Veiltail Betta Care Guide (Diet, Tank Mates, Habitat)

Veiltail Bettas are common pet fish that you can easily find in the store. They come in a variety of colors and have gorgeous fins that remind you of a bridal veil.

If you are planning on becoming a proud betta owner, then make sure to get to the very end of this article.

We will find out if Veiltails are actually aggressive or not, what do these beauties eat, how to improve their lifespan, what diseases you should be aware of, and so much more.

About Veiltail Bettas

Nowadays, Veiltail Bettas are among the most popular aquarium fish in the world. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, wild bettas have dull colors and relatively short fins, so the main reason why these fish became famous in the first place was not their appearance…

…but their character.

There are over 70 species in the genus Betta, but the one we are all familiar with is the Betta splendens or ‘the Siamese Fighting Fish’.

Hundreds of years ago, children would catch these fish and place them together in one vessel to watch the creatures fight. Very soon in Thailand, such fighting contests became extremely popular. At one point, the King even decided to tax such events.

In 1840, a few fish were given to Dr. Theodore Cantor, who actually gave them their name ‘Betta splendens’ or ‘beautiful warriors’. Since then, the fish have been imported into different European countries and the United States.

Thanks to selective breeding, plenty of colors and fin types have been developed throughout the years.

Veiltail Bettas were first described in 1927. For a very long time, these beauties were predominant in all the countries where bettas have been introduced. But in recent years, the ‘cousins’ of Veiltail Bettas with more complex tails have become more popular.

Unfortunately, nowadays, fewer and fewer Veiltails are being bred. If the demand keeps on dropping, it might become difficult to come across a Veiltail Betta in the future.

What Do Veiltail Bettas Look Like?

All three unpaired fins of a Veiltail Betta are elongated. The asymmetrical caudal fin naturally droops downward – this is the most common type of tail you’ll find in domesticated bettas.

Fun fact: the long tail gene (the VT) is dominant and easy to breed, and that’s the main reason why a lot of people choose to adopt Veiltail Bettas for breeding purposes. Because of the dominancy, you can’t really cross this type with bettas that have other tails as the offspring will have a veil tail.

The vibrant color of the fish is created with the help of four layers of cells within the skin – the top iridescent layer is followed by the red layer, then the black one, and, finally, the yellow layer.

For example, in the blue Veiltails, the top layer is more ‘concentrated’ and has plenty of iridescent pigment cells, making the fish appear blue.

For years, the red and blue Veiltail Bettas have been the most popular options. But nowadays, you can find fish of practically all colors and even patterns. 

Where did the fish get its name from? Well, the caudal fin might remind you of a beautiful bridal veil. By the way, this feature can be seen in both females and males. However, there are a few differences between the sexes.


Just like with all the other bettas, the male Veiltails are more colorful than the ladies. Even though you wouldn’t really be able to see the difference when it comes to domesticated bettas.

Another difference – the fins of a male are usually a bit longer than those of a female.


One of the easiest ways to find out if the fish in front of you is a female or not is to look for the ovipositor (the organ that the females use to lay eggs).

Look at the fish’s underside; if it’s a mature girl, you will see a tiny white spot. It is positioned before the anal fin and after the pelvic fins.

Also, do pay attention to the body shape of the fish. A female would have a more plumper, oval-shaped body, while the male’s body looks almost triangular.

How Do You Care for a Veiltail Betta?

In a nutshell, you have to try and mimic the fish’s natural habitat.

Bettas live in shallow pools and sometimes even rice paddies. Consequently, the water there is warm, sluggish, and not always full of oxygen. Moreover, their habitat is usually shaded by aquatic vegetation and different trees.


You should keep your fish away from direct sunlight. Even though domesticated Veiltails don’t really mind bright light, creating a dim environment is a better decision as too much light can be a bit stressful for the beauties.

Typically, bettas need 8-12 hours of light on a daily basis and up to 16 hours of darkness.

Artificial light is totally fine as it won’t increase the water’s temperature and won’t stimulate algae growth. 

Finally, make sure to use quite a few plants that will help diffuse the light. Moreover, they can become great hiding places in case the little guy needs some shade.


It is extremely important to choose a filter with a low flow rate. As we have already mentioned, in the wild, bettas are used to living in pools and even puddles. These guys don’t have the ‘equipment’ necessary to survive a strong current.

Choose a filter that would barely disrupt the water surface. Depending on the size of your tank, you can go for either a sponge filter or an internal filter.


The chances are high that the temperature in your household doesn’t go over 75 F, so you are going to need a heater.

Of course, tanks of different sizes would require different heaters. In any case, experts recommend going for one with a built-in thermometer – you wouldn’t have to worry about checking the water’s temperature all the time.

Also, do choose a heater with an automatic cut-off mechanism. Such devices will stop working as soon as the water level drops. If the heater continues working without being fully submerged in water, a disaster might occur.


Any kind of entertainment is beneficial for the pet’s well-being, so make sure to get some toys and decorations for your beloved fish.

When buying decorations, make sure that they don’t have any sharp edges and that they are soft. Otherwise, the thing may damage the Veiltail’s delicate fins.

You can go for a floating betta log that the fish is going to swim through or even sleep in. By the way, sometimes males decide to build bubble nests right inside the log.

Getting a few plants is also a great idea. Both fake and real options are okay; simply make sure that the fish still has enough space to swim around and that it can easily reach the surface to get a gulp of air.

Fun fact: you can try to teach your Veiltail Betta to swim through hoops – these fish are actually quite intelligent.

Use Indian Almond Leaves

Another thing that will help mimic a betta’s natural habitat is Indian almond leaves. By the way, these leaves are full of flavonoids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

The compounds will also help lower the water’s pH and absorb some minerals – it’s literally an amazing water conditioner.

Simply add one leaf for every two gallons of water. You can leave them whole or cut into pieces – that doesn’t really matter.

Tip: leave one leaf floating on top of the water. A male might want to build his bubble nest right underneath the leaf. Moreover, the babies will be able to feed on it as the leaf begins to break down.

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What Are The Best Water Parameters For Veiltail Bettas


The temperature has to be kept between 75 and 81 F. Make sure that there are no sudden fluctuations as Veiltail Bettas are extremely sensitive to temperature changes.

In fact, the fish can easily die of temperature shock, so a good heater is a must.


Bettas prefer neutral pH, between 6.5 and 7.5.

Water Hardness

General hardness (GH) should be kept at 3-4 dGH – these numbers refer to the dissolved concertation of calcium and magnesium ions.

Carbonate hardness (KH) has to be between 3 and 5 dKH. This metric describes the ‘buffering’ ability of your water.

Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates

Nitrates have to be kept below 20 ppm, while ammonia and nitrites should be as close to zero as possible.

That’s why it’s important to have a great water filter. This thing provides a home for beneficial bacteria that can turn the fish’s waste into something less toxic. Without a filter, the ammonia would just build up in the water (it might end up burning the gills of your Veiltail Betta).

What Diet Should a Veiltail Betta Have?

It is very easy to overfeed a Veiltail Betta. The stomachs of these guys are the size of one of their eyeballs, so you can’t really give the little ones too much food at once.

In fact, 2-3 betta fish pellets would be enough for one meal.

Generally, you would need to feed your pet about every 12 hours. However, giving food to the betta once a day or three times per day might work as well, as long as you know that you are not giving the beauty too much food.

As a rule of thumb, remove any leftovers that have not been eaten in 2 minutes. This will help prevent bloating and keep the tank much cleaner.

Veiltail Bettas are carnivores. That means that you can’t give them flakes – the fish need food that are rich in protein. In the wild, bettas eat different insects and larvae, so keeping their menu close to what their ancestors were used to is a great idea.

The best foods include:

  • Prepared betta pellets (these are rich in fiber and will help avoid constipation)
  • Frozen bloodworms (in moderation)
  • Frozen or dried brine shrimp
  • Krill
  • Live vinegar eels
  • Live daphnia

Live treats are not only high in protein but will also make your Veiltail Betta move around a bit more while chasing the prey. However, you should definitely be giving your fish frozen and dried proteins more often, as live food may become a source of parasites.

Tip: try to change up the betta’s menu from time to time; otherwise, the little guy will get bored and will stop getting excited when it gets close to feeding time.

How Can You Tell Your Veiltail Betta Is Happy And Healthy

Of course, as a great betta fish owner, you would want to make sure that your pet is living a happy and healthy life. Thankfully, there are quite a few signs that will show you that your Veiltail Betta is thriving.

Bubble Nests

Perhaps, the easiest sign that you might notice as soon as you come close to the tank is bubble nests.

Such nests are collections of bubbles found on the water’s surface. Once the Veiltail Betta is happy, feels safe and comfortable, and is ready to mate, it will start blowing bubbles.

Bear in mind that, generally, only males build such nests, so if you have a female, the chances are that you are not going to see one.

Don’t be disappointed if you have a male betta, but it never seems to build a bubble nest. All Veiltails will do that at their own pace; some fish need up to 6 months to make up their mind.

Great Appetite

Healthy bettas love to eat. In fact, these intelligent creatures would start acting differently whenever it gets close to feeding time.

The little guys will begin swimming closer to the place where you usually add the food to the tank. Moreover, happy Veiltails will eagerly move toward the food and will start eating it straight away.

Loss of appetite can be a sign of different diseases and even depression.

Vibrant Colors

A physically healthy fish that has nothing to worry about in its day-to-day life will display beautiful colors and flowing fins.

On the other hand, a sick Veiltail would have dull colors and droopy fins. If the fish have been stressing out too much lately, they might develop a ‘stress stripe’ – a horizontal stripe that appears across the pet’s body.

Normal Activity

Bettas like interacting with their surrounding on a regular basis. They might also quickly swim or move in a more relaxed manner – all these behaviors are absolutely normal and show that your fish feels happy and safe.

But if the fish choose to ignore all the ornaments and toys and want to stay in one part of the tank (usually at the bottom), then something is wrong.

Effortless Swimming

A healthy Veiltail wouldn’t experience any trouble while swimming. On the contrary, if you have noticed that the fish finds it challenging to swim in one direction, keeps leaning to one side, and appears uncoordinated, then you might be dealing with a sick fish.

Getting Along With All Tank Mates

Bettas are relatively aggressive and don’t like company. But they will eventually get used to their tank mates if you have managed to find compatible creatures. The Veiltail would be swimming around other fish without the intention of chasing them.

Such friendly behavior means that your betta is happy and healthy.

An Aggressive Reaction Towards Unknown Stimuli

It is absolutely normal for a Veiltail Betta to act a bit aggressively towards something that it is not yet familiar with.

But if your fishing doesn’t really care about what’s going on at all, then it looks like it might be depressed or sick.

How Long Do Veiltail Bettas Live & How to Improve Their Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Veiltail Betta is 2-5 years. But your pet can live for longer if you manage to take amazing care of it.

These are a few things that you can do to make sure your fish lives a wonderful, long life.

  • Monitor the health of your fish

You already know what a healthy and happy betta looks like. We would also recommend not getting yourself any fish that was stored in cups. Also, make sure that all the other tank mates that the Veiltail used to live with are healthy.

  • Get a proper tank

The perfect tank for a Veiltail Betta is spacious, has a good-quality filter and heater, and plenty of toys.

  • Always keep the tank clean

This is vitally important as various pathogenic bacteria love dirty environments. You should vacuum the gravel regularly and change at least 10-15% of the water every week. Never change all water at once, as in such a case, you will get rid of all beneficial bacteria.

Tip: buy a special kit that will help you monitor the ammonia levels, the water’s pH, and other important parameters.

  • Provide a balanced diet

A healthy diet is based on good-quality food that is rich in all the necessary elements. To improve the lifespan of your Veiltail, you would also want to make changes to the menu from time to time. That will be more entertaining for the betta and, consequently, will increase the creature’s appetite.

What Size Tank Do Veiltail Bettas Need?

A Veiltail Betta needs plenty of space. The minimum tank size for a single betta is at least 10 gallons. Of course, you would have to get a bigger’ home’, in case you plan on introducing any tank mates.

If the tank is too small, the Veiltail will end up damaging its beautiful fins as it will constantly be bumping into the tank’s walls.

Also, go for a tank with a well-fitted lid. All bettas are good jumpers, and if you don’t have a lid, you might end up with a dead fish.

Long and shallow tanks are much more suited for Veiltail Bettas than tall, deep ones. The creature is a labyrinth fish, and it needs to get up to the surface every now and then. Because of the form of its fins, the Veiltail might find it difficult to make its way up if the tank is too deep.

What Are Common Diseases That Affect Veiltail Bettas?

Bettas are relatively sturdy, and if you manage to keep the tank clean and provide the fish with well-balanced meals, everything is going to be okay.

However, there are a few diseases that you should be aware of.

Fin And Tail Rot

This condition can be caused by bacteria and fungi. If you ever notice that the tail and/or fins of your beloved pet are becoming grey and appear to be ‘melting away’, then you should get proper medications containing antibiotics.

You might never have to deal with fin and tail rot if you manage to keep the tank nice and clean.


A parasitic disease is also known as a ‘white spot‘. The skin of a betta with such a condition will develop white dots, marks, or rings.

This disease can also be treated with the right medication. To avoid it, optimize all the parameters of the water (pH, ammonia, nitrites, and so on).

Betta Tumors

Unfortunately, fish can get cancer lumps and growths. Those are caused by genetic mutations and infections.

Sometimes, a simple surgical operation can help.

Fish Fungus

This disease originates from previous infections. The affected Veiltail might develop slime, white lumps, white fuzz films, and so on.

Antibiotics can cure the fungus in the shortest time.

How Do You Breed Veiltail Bettas?

Ideally, you wouldn’t want to get your breeding pair from a shop. Opt for a reputable breeder if you want to succeed.

Make sure that both bettas are about the same size and that they have had at least a few months to settle in their tanks (or one tank with a divider).

When you are ready to breed, start giving live food to the couple. This will help initiate the process. Once the male is prepared, he will build a bubble nest.

Finally, place the lovebirds in the same tank and let the mating game begin. The female will soon release the eggs that the male will then place on the bubbles.

At this point, the female has to be removed from the tank. You can leave the male together with the babies.

For a while, the babies would be feeding on what is left of the egg yolk (they will hatch in only about 2 days). Once the little ones begin to swim, remove the male Veiltail from the tank and start feeding microworms to the babies.

What Tank Mates Can Live with Veiltail Bettas

It’s quite difficult to find a suitable tank mate for a Veiltail as it prefers to be alone.

However, here are a few mates that you can try introducing to the bully:

  • African Dwarf Frogs

Not exactly a fish, but such frogs make amazing tank mates. By the way, they eat the same food.

  • Bottom Feeders

Catfish and other fish that prefer to stay close to the bottom will stay out of the Veiltail’s way. Moreover, they will help you clean the tank.


How Much Do Veiltails Cost?

A Veiltail is the most common betta, so you wouldn’t have any problem finding one. Even though the price would depend on the color and the pattern, these fish are usually quite cheap and will cost you around $3-5.

Are Veiltail Bettas Aggressive?

Bettas are known for having troublesome characters. But a lot of experts admit that out of all the types, Veiltails are the most peaceful ones.

Of course, they might get angry from time to time, but not as much as the ‘fancy’ bettas.

Can You Put Veiltail Bettas Together?

Never put two males in one tank and mix a female and a male only during breeding. Putting a few females together might work, but you have to bear in mind that even the ladies can get aggressive towards each other and end up in a fight.

How Big Do Veiltail Bettas Get?

An adult Veiltail will usually be around 2.25-2.5 inches in length. However, some fish can grow up to 3 inches if you manage to take proper care of them.

Are Veiltail Bettas Rare?

Veiltail Bettas are the most common type of bettas. But as the years go by, the popularity of this type starts to decline. Nowadays, people prefer more fancy bettas that have extraordinary fins.

If there is no demand, pet shops will soon stop selling Veiltails and, consequently, the fish will become rare.


Veiltail Bettas are truly spectacular fish that might become amazing pets for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

Sometimes, these little guys might be a bit aggressive, and they are prone to overeating. But if you manage to take great care of your Veiltail, you will be able to enjoy its gorgeous appearance and cool character for quite a few years.