Purple Bettas (And Why They’re So Genetically Rare)

When shopping for a pet fish, bettas are a popular choice. They are beautiful-looking fish, and they tend to be inexpensive fish to purchase. There are so many species of betta fish with a plethora of colors and patterns. They can make a gorgeous addition to any household. 

Of course, neither of these things is worth it if you are not willing to take proper care of the fish. There’s a common misconception that betta fish are easy to take care of, and therefore, many are purchased by owners who don’t take the time to learn everything they need about bettas. Instead, they go off instinct, which doesn’t work for bettas.

However, if you are a responsible fish owner, you may be intrigued by the different types of betta fish you can take care of. Betta fish come in different colors, leading to part of the intrigue about the species of fish. There is a lot to know about betta fish, including one of the rarest types of betta fish you can find. 

Can Bettas Be Purple?

Purple betta fish do exist, and they are just as beautiful as you might imagine. There are different types of purple bettas, including bettas that are purely purple. This purple is brilliant and saturated, similar to a jewel tone.

The color is stunning, but it is extremely rare to find a betta fish that is purely purple. If you do find a purely purple betta fish, you’ve stumbled upon a rare gold mine. 

Purple bettas can also be more expensive than other colors of betta fish because they aren’t as easy to find. This can result in a profitable endeavor for breeders. Therefore, there are a lot of betta fish breeders who work very hard trying to recreate a perfectly pure purple betta. 

You might find a purple betta that has a mixture of other colors within its fins, such as blues, reds, and pinks. This is because there are subspecies of the true purple betta, which are somewhat easier to find than pure ones. 

The color of a betta fish is determined by its pigment cells. These cells are called chromatophores and are made up of three primary colors; red, black, and yellow. The chromatophores will partially determine what color the betta will be and how deep the cells are embedded within the fish’s scales. 

Wild betta fish do not typically have as many color variations as those that are bred. This is partially why the practice of breeding betta fish has become such a popular one. Many variations of betta fish that exist today only exist because of selective breeding. 

Subspecies of the purple betta include the Purple Popsicle, the Purple Salamander, and the Purple Gas. There are also some subspecies that have more of a royal blue tint to them. Some bettas with purple in their coloring will be found in a variety of shades of purple and can be iridescent. 

Purple Gas bettas are a fascinating mixture of mustard and purple. Yellow tends to be the more dominant color, with a hint of purple in the body or in the tail. The Purple Popsicle betta is a mixture of purple, blue, and red. Blue tends to be the more dominant color. Finally, the Purple Salamander betta tends to be a mixture of purple and red with white accents. 

Are Purple Bettas Rare?

A true, completely purple betta is a very rare type of betta fish. With betta fish being one of the most common fish to be bred over time, there have been numerous color variations of betta fish spawned into existence. This makes it difficult to know exactly how to breed a purely purple betta fish. 

There are some traits that can be passed down genetically from bred betta fish. Genetic abnormalities or mutations can also occur when breeding bettas as well, leading to intricate and unique patterns and colors of betta fish that can be almost impossible to replicate. 

Moreover, these mutations can cause health problems for these betta fish which can bring their ability to survive into question. If they are too ill to continue breeding, it may be impossible to attempt to have these bettas pass down their unique features, and that variation will die off. 

Many bettas that appear to be purple, upon closer inspection, will have some blue in their coloring. While these bettas are also beautiful in their own right, they are not the purple that many betta enthusiasts are seeking. 

A truly pure purple betta is also not a natural variation of a betta fish. The only reason they exist is because of breeding other types of betta fish. Because they don’t naturally exist in the wild, it’s much harder for anyone to be able to find one when browsing pet stores. 

Why Are Purple Bettas So Rare?

Purple bettas are so rare because bettas have been bred by so many people all over the world for hundreds of years. Without the proper documentation of every variation of betta fish that has been bred, information can get lost very easily. 

Unfortunately, when something is rare, it becomes a hot commodity, meaning that more money can be charged to obtain it. This can be said of the purple betta. Professional breeders will want to keep their secrets hidden in order to avoid other breeders being able to breed the same rare fish, thus decreasing their value over time. 

Betta fish can also change their coloring to communicate certain things, including if they are unhappy in their environment or if they are unwell. It’s common for them to appear to be a slightly different color when at the store than when they get home and are adapting to a much more suitable environment. 

This can make it difficult to know whether or not you have purchased a true purple betta. Similarly, this can also make it difficult for a breeder to know whether or not they have successfully bred a true purple betta. 

Breeding Purple Bettas

Trying to breed purple bettas into existence is a task that takes a lot of effort and knowledge on betta fish. It’s not as simple as just using color theory to try and breed two colors together and hoping for purple betta babies. 

If it were that simple, breeding red and blue bettas should be able to produce purple bettas all the time. Chances are, this is how purple bettas came into existence in the first place. However, the exact red betta and the exact blue betta that were bred to make a purple betta is unknown. 

Breeding red and blue bettas can produce purple bettas, but not the true purple betta that is so rare. They will often produce offspring that vary in colors, which can be seen under different lighting. To know whether or not you have a true purple betta, shining different types of light on them will not change their color at all. 

What To Know Before Trying To Breed Purple Bettas

If you’re hoping to be able to breed purple bettas yourself, it’s important to know that it’s not as simple as breeding other fish. There is no particular guidebook that tells you exactly how to do it. It takes some patience and experimentation. 

It’s also important to avoid stressing out your bettas by forcing them to breed too much. Part of being a responsible fish owner is knowing when to just let your fish live their lives. 

Become A Betta Aficionado Before Breeding

If you haven’t raised betta fish, you should give yourself some time to raise them and learn more about their behaviors and unique attributes. 

Since bettas can be so aggressive towards each other, breeding them isn’t as easy as putting a male and a female in a tank. They have to be watched to make sure they don’t attack each other. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide about Betta fish care, click here!

Breeding Bettas 101 

You should have a tank that you use specifically for breeding betta fish. This is because the water has to be as clean as possible. You should also have a divider in place to keep the fish separate at first, and it should be transparent enough that the fish can see each other. 

You should also give them moss, so they have places to hide and have something in place, such as Indian Almond leaves, for the male to create a nest for bubbles. This nest is necessary before allowing the fish to breed. 

You should also watch each betta fish very closely. The male betta will usually become brighter if they are in the mood to breed, and the female will usually become darker. 

When they are ready to mate, you should still watch them to make sure they don’t start attacking each other. If the breeding is successful and the babies are hatched, it’s time to take the male out, so he doesn’t attack the babies. 

Breeding Purple Bettas Is A Secretive Practice

Some professional breeders who have successfully bred a purple betta keep their secrets close to the vest. They aren’t interested in sharing their success story, as maintaining the rarity of purple bettas can be of financial gain to these breeders. 

Breeding Purple Bettas Using Pink And Red Bettas

There has been some success by professional breeders in creating purple betta fish offspring by breeding a male HM pinkish betta and a red female. However, the result was a pale purple betta. There is hope that continuously breeding these colors could result in a darker purple color eventually. 

Breeding Purple Bettas Using Blue And Red Bettas 

Other breeders have tried breeding a purple betta using a royal blue male betta that had coloring closer to purple than blue. This male was matched with a bluish red female, resulting in a violet-colored purple betta. 

How To Take Care Of Purple Betta Fish

A purple betta fish can live a long and fruitful life if they are cared for properly. They are quite particular in how they like their environment to be set up. Betta fish of any variety are prone to all types of illnesses and diseases that can result from improper care and a lack of water maintenance. 

Bettas can also be aggressive fish, so it’s best to avoid cohabitation with other fish. There is a reason they have a reputation for being fighting fish. Bettas actually used to be used for fighting as entertainment because they are so aggressive. 

Therefore, it’s important to only consider a purple betta fish if you have the intention of giving them the best home possible. There are some things you must know in order to take the best care of your purple betta fish. 

Purchase The Right Sized Fish Tank

Purple bettas need a decent amount of space to move around in. You should opt for a tank that is no smaller than 10 gallons. The more room you can give your purple betta, the better. For some reason, it’s common for pet store attendees to recommend fish bowls for bettas. If you are told this, kindly ignore their advice and go for a tank. 

You also want to ensure there is plenty of coverage around the tank to make your purple betta happy. They do not need a lot of light to thrive. Similarly, the tank only needs a low filtration system in place. If the filter is too strong, your betta fish will have a hard time swimming in the tank. 

Monitor The Temperature Of The Water

Purple bettas are pretty particular about the temperature of their water. Ensure you keep the level around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep a close eye on any variation in the temperature of their water and change it accordingly. 

Their water also needs to be kept clean at all times. Betta fish are prone to getting sick and can get sick easily. If you see their color begin to change, that’s a good sign that something is wrong. Most illnesses they catch can be traced back to their water condition. 

Invest In A Heater 

Since purple bettas are so particular about the temperature they like for their habitat, you may want to look for a heater compatible with your tank of choice. This will ensure you can keep their water at the appropriate temperature as consistently as possible. 

Feed Them The Right Diet

Purple bettas are carnivores. They cannot be sustained with any basic fish flakes. It’s important to seek out fish food that has ample protein. 

Fish food with enough protein to satisfy a purple betta is typically made with other fish. They also enjoy blood worms or brine shrimp. They also need to be fed the proper portions so that they don’t overeat, which they are prone to do if they are given too much food. 

Be Selective Of Their Tank Mates

Male purple bettas tend not to get along very well, so keeping multiple in one tank is not a good idea. Females will sometimes be able to cohabitate so long as they have plenty of space in their tank and options for hiding. 

Bettas can be fairly aggressive fish, so it’s best to keep minimal bettas together in a tank if any at all. They also tend to attack other fish that are colorful, as well as fish that swim near the top of the tank alongside them. 

Every betta fish is different and will have a different temperament. Therefore, trying to have them live with other fish can be a gamble. 

Be Careful With Decorations 

If you want to put some plants in your purple betta’s tank, you’ll want to select silk ones. This is because their fins and tails are delicate and sensitive, and they can get hurt if they swim against something too hard. 

You can also put real plants in their tank if you would like to. The softer the plants, the better. Soft moss and other delicate decorations that aren’t made of hard plastic are also suitable. 

Be Sure They Have Access To Adequate Oxygen

Bettas are unique fish in that they require oxygen from the air and the water. They need to have access to both sources of oxygen. Purple bettas will spend most of their time swimming near the top of the tank. This will allow them to get both types of oxygen that they need. 

Recap

While purple bettas are few and far between, it is possible to find them. If you do manage to stumble upon a purple betta, consider yourself very lucky. You should also consider giving them a proper home in order to ensure they survive and thrive despite their rarity. 

Breeding purple bettas is much harder, though. A purple betta is a stunning addition to any home as long as you are responsible and take the time to learn enough about them to provide them with the best home suitable to their unique needs.