Alien Betta Fish: Overview, Care Guide & More

Alien bettas are not a species of wild betta fish. 

Rather, they are bred in captivity from various species of wild betta. There is limited information on alien betta breeding, but these are the four most common bettas involved: 

  • Betta splendens
  • Betta smaragdina
  • Betta stiktos
  • Betta mahachaiensis

This species of betta fish features bright, iridescent colors. This particular trait makes it a popular freshwater fish among fish keepers. 


alien betta appearance

Alien betta fish have dark-colored bodies, usually brown or black.

This beautiful fish boasts a metallic sheen and iridescent scales, possibly green, copper, blue, or another color. 

Unlike Betta splendens, alien betta fish have rounded caudal fins instead of forked ones. This creates a striking appearance similar to that of the Betta imbellis. 

Also, note that female alien bettas tend to be more brightly colored than females of other betta species. 

Unique Differences 

This species of betta fish is famous for its iridescent appearance. Most male bettas feature vibrant colors, but alien bettas stand out by comparison. 

Another unique trait of alien bettas is their caudal fin. While most bettas have a forked caudal fin, alien bettas’ are rounded. 

The alien betta breeding process is difficult compared to that of others.

This species is genetically predisposed to fertility issues. (We’ll talk more about this later.) 


On average, alien bettas can live about four years in captivity. 

To extend your betta’s life, provide it with the appropriate care and environment.

This includes performing frequent water changes, housing it with optimal tank mates, and feeding it a high-quality diet. 

Alien bettas may perish earlier due to disease, infection, or improper water conditions. Like other betta species, alien bettas are prone to several health issues and parasitic infections.

Taking proper care of your bettas will reduce their chances of becoming ill or infected. 

Average Size

Alien bettas generally grow to be 2-3″ inches long. Male bettas tend to grow larger than female bettas. 

Compared to the standard betta, Alien betta match the average size.

Alien Betta Fish Care

alien betta care

Like other tropical fish, alien bettas need specific living conditions to thrive. 

Learn about the ideal tank conditions, diet, and common betta diseases. This information will help you provide the best possible life for your alien betta. 

Tank Size

The ideal tank size for alien bettas is at least five gallons for a single fish.

With each new fish addition, we recommend increasing the size. Betta fish are territorial and aggressive creatures, meaning they need plenty of space to themselves. 

If you plan on having a sorority or community tank, ensure a tank size of at least 15 to 30 gallons. 

Water Parameters

Alien betta fish need specific water parameters to thrive. Regularly check the tank water to ensure it aligns with optimal conditions, and perform frequent water changes. 

Here are two essential parameters to consider: 

Ideal Water Parameters for a Betta Fish Tank Include the following:

  • Temperature: 78-80° degrees Fahrenheit (25.5-27° C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: < 40 ppm
  • gH: 3-4 dGH (50-66.7 ppm)
  • kH: 3-5 dKH (53.6-89.4 ppm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 Gallons

Also, ensure the water always has very low ammonia and other toxin levels. 

Consider buying a thermometer and water testing kit to keep tabs on the tank water’s parameters. Installing an aquarium heater will also help keep the temperature warm. 

What To Put In Their Tank

Alien betta fish enjoy tanks which closely mimic their natural environment. This means plenty of plants, hiding places, and tannins. 


The gravel or substrate should be neutral in color. Bright colors cause bettas to become stressed or aggressive, which isn’t what you want. 

Just be sure to soak and rinse the substrate before putting it in the betta tank!

A Low-flow Filter

While bettas are resilient fish, they still require good water conditions. 

Installing a filter is one of the best ways to ensure clean water. Using a low-flow filter is crucial, which poses less risk to your bettas’ lovely fins. 

A Heater

An aquarium heater helps keep the tank water warm and within optimal parameters. 

In the case of the heater, don’t just go for the cheapest option.

Consider getting one made especially for bettas; it’ll save you a lot of trouble in adjusting the heater.

Lots of Aquarium Plants

Alien bettas love living amongst plants, as it resembles their natural environment in Thailand. Here are a few ideas for you to consider: 

  • Driftwood
  • Amazon swords
  • Java moss
  • Java fern

Driftwood is a fantastic option here. It provides hiding places for your bettas and adds tannins to the water.

Tannins enrich the bettas’ environment so they can thrive. 

Plenty of Places To Hide 

Betta fish enjoy their privacy, so having many available hiding spots is essential. 

Here are a few options to consider for your betta tank: 

  • Driftwood
  • Decorations (natural, glass, ceramics, or silicone — not plastic)
  • Plant arrangements

Providing hiding places for your bettas will help keep their stress levels down. This is important because alien bettas are rather aggressive and prone to stress. 


Adding a lighting element to your tank will benefit both your bettas and the aquarium plants. 

Cycled lighting helps the fish and plants keep with their natural circadian rhythms.

Additionally, it helps the plants grow more lusciously (which means no yellowing plants). 

Possible Diseases

alien betta fertility issue

Bettas are prone to a variety of common fish diseases and parasitic infections: 

  • Ich
  • Fin & tail rot
  • Popeye
  • Dropsy
  • Swim bladder disease 
  • Flukes
  • Betta fish lice
  • Anchor worms

Alien bettas, in particular, are also prone to fertility-related issues. This species of betta fish is difficult to breed as a result. 

Keep your bettas healthy by maintaining optimal water parameters. Poor conditions put your bettas at greater risk of falling ill. 

Also, provide a welcoming tank environment mimicking their natural habitat. This helps reduce stress levels, allowing your bettas to better fight off sickness. 

Food & Diet

Alien bettas are carnivorous, meaning they primarily eat meat. 

They need a varied, protein-rich diet to receive all of their essential nutrients. We recommend feeding your alien bettas a variety of betta fish foods: 

  • Live foods. This includes live bloodworms, snails, baby brine shrimp, and other typical betta foods. Giving your bettas live food provides them with plenty of protein. It also allows them to feed according to their natural instincts. 
  • Frozen foods. This option is more convenient for many fish keepers. It provides most of the nutrients of live food, but you won’t have to deal with live creatures. 
  • Freeze-dried foods. This is an even more convenient option. In addition to making feeding time easier, this type of betta food is cheaper than live/frozen foods. 
  • Pellets. This type of food is essential in the typical captive betta diet. The betta pellets contain numerous nutrients your alien betta needs. This type of food is also affordable and easy to remove from the tank after feeding time. 
  • Flakes. Most bettas prefer pellets over flakes. But betta food flakes do contain plenty of nutrients while remaining affordable. 

Make sure not to overfeed your alien bettas.

This will cause digestive issues, constipation, bloating, and even obesity. It may also result in higher ammonia levels in the betta aquarium. 

Behavior & Temperament

Alien bettas are moderately aggressive fish. 

Due to their aggressive and territorial nature, they require expansive swimming space.

You cannot keep two or more male betta fish in the same tank. They will fight each other, which may result in one or more bettas dying.

If you notice aggression or stress-related issues among your bettas, consider moving them into separate tanks.  

Alien betta fish tend to do well living with non-betta tank mates. 

Tank Mates

Male alien bettas cannot live together in one aquarium. They will fight and possibly kill each other. 

Female betta fish may live together without issues. This tank setup is called a sorority. 

Additionally, alien bettas need an unusual breeding tank setup of one male with a few females. This setup is okay for the short term, but the male should be separated again after mating. 

Alien bettas tend to do well with nano fish and other peaceful species. A few examples of compatible tank mates include the following:

  • Tetra
  • Pleco
  • Snails
  • Shrimp

Watch your bettas’ behavior for signs of stress, aggression, or bullying. If these things are present, you may need each betta to live by itself. 


alien betta breeding steps

While alien bettas are a popular choice in fishkeeping, they have fertility issues. This makes it difficult for them to experience successful breeding. 

The Breeding Process

Like Betta splendens, alien bettas are bubble nesters. The male betta builds a bubble nest near the water surface to impress the female. 

If the female is impressed, they will engage in a mating dance with the male. The two will twirl around each other to fertilize the female’s eggs. 

The male betta fish places the fertilized eggs into his bubble nest.

He will watch over the betta eggs for the next two to three days. This involves scooping them into the nest if they fall and chasing away other fish. 

Alien Betta Breeding Complications

Alien bettas have fertility-related issues, making it difficult to breed successfully. 

For this reason, the breeding tank setup for this species is a bit different. 

Rather than putting a single betta pair into the tank, betta breeders place a single male with several females. 

Doing so increases the chances of successful breeding. 

Another pro tip: If you want to breed an alien betta of a specific color, both parents must be this color. 

Due to the difficulties in breeding this species, fish experts suggest leaving the task to professional betta fish breeders. 

This is safer for the bettas and is more likely to be successful. 


The typical price range for this betta species is $25–$65. 

Alien betta fish featuring blue and green colors tend to be more expensive than copper ones. 

This species is a bit more expensive than others, partially due to the aforementioned breeding issues. 


This betta species is not rare and is readily available for purchase. 

Blue alien bettas tend to be rarer — and more expensive — than other varieties. 

FAQ for Alien Bettas

Still curious about alien betta fish? Here are answers to some of the most common questions. 

What is the price of alien betta fish?

This type of fish costs an average of $25 to $65. The blue varieties of this species may be even pricier, as this color is considered rare. 

Is alien betta a wild betta?

No, alien bettas are not a wild species. 

They are bred in captivity from domestic and wild bettas. These hybrid bettas are gorgeous and vibrant to look at. But their genetics make it difficult for them to breed with any success. 

What is the lifespan of an alien betta fish?

They can live up to 5 years in captivity.

You might be able to extend their life through proper care. Achieve this by following these tips: 

– Perform frequent water changes of 20%–25%.
– Feed your bettas a varied and protein-rich diet. 
– Make a welcoming tank environment with aquatic plants and hiding places. 
– Watch your bettas’ behavior for common signs of illness or stress. 

Can alien bettas live with other fish? 

Male bettas should usually live by themselves in a separate tank. The exception is if you want to house it with non-betta creatures, such as shrimp and snails. 

It’s okay to house a few female alien bettas together. This arrangement is called a sorority, and it works because females are less aggressive than males. 

Common non-betta tank mates for this species include the following: 

– Tetras
– Pleco
– Shrimp
– Snails

Always check your bettas’ behavior to ensure there are no aggression issues. If there are any, consider housing your bettas in individual tanks. 

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Wesley Oaks has a background in web publishing and decided to combine his skillset with his enjoyment of betta fish. When he isn’t working behind the scenes for Betta Fish Bay, he’s homeschooling his kids and soaking up quality family time.

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