Combtail Bettas: Overview, Care Guide & More

The combtail betta is a favorite among betta keepers.

This species boasts a fascinating tail design with extensive branching and ruffled edges. 

It’s bred by crossing a crowntail betta with another betta type (usually delta tail or halfmoon). As a result, it has many of the same characteristics as the crowntail betta. 

Its parent fish, the crowntail betta, came about in 1997. This means the combtail is a relatively new addition to the world of betta keeping. 

Combtail betta fish are a beautiful species to keep. They’re sure to enhance the aesthetic of any aquarium! 


combtail appearance

Combtail betta fish look like a cross between a halfmoon betta and a crowntail betta

This species of betta features excessive branching of the fins and tail. This gives the tail a fascinating “spikey” appearance.

In addition, combtail bettas have webbing which goes to about two-thirds up their tail. 

Combtail bettas come in a variety of patterns and vibrant colors. Red, orange, blue, and black are all popular colors for this betta type.


The average lifespan of a combtail betta in captivity is 2 to 4 years

Help your betta live longer by giving it the proper care and attention.

Especially focus on keeping the water clean and within optimal conditions. Also, feed your betta a balanced and high-protein diet. 

Average Size

Combtail bettas can grow to be from 2.5-3″ inches. Males usually grow larger than females do. 

Your betta might appear larger for various reasons, such as bloating or its impressive finnage. 

Bettas can grow to their full size potential with a proper diet and attentive care. 

Combtail Betta Fish Care

Betta keepers consider combtail bettas to need an easy or moderate level of care. While they’re not difficult to care for, their fins may pose some problems and need special attention. 

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a single combtail betta is 5 gallons. But we recommend starting with 10 gallons to give your betta ample room to roam. 

If you plan on adding tank mates to your aquarium, you may need an even larger size. 

Water Parameters

This betta species needs certain water parameters to thrive:

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

We recommend buying a water thermometer and a water testing kit. These will help you better maintain these parameters with less effort. 

What To Put in Their Tank

There are several things a successful betta aquarium needs. Make your combtail betta feel right at home by including these things in its tank setup: 


Put about a 1″-inch layer of substrate or gravel at the bottom of the tank. This will help mimic bettas’ natural environment and allow you to add plants later.

Opt for neutral-colored gravel or substrate. Bettas become more stressed and aggressive when they’re around bright colors. 


It’s essential to include a filter in your betta tank setup. 

A filter pulls in water from the tank, filters out the bad stuff, and pushes clean water back into the tank. 

This process removes harmful toxins, such as ammonia, from the water. High ammonia levels can kill your betta, its tank mates, and any aquarium plants you have.

Since the filter moves water around the tank, it helps oxygenate the water. This is important because bettas need some oxygen in the water due to their labyrinth organ.

Opt for a low-flow filter.

Combtail bettas have long and impressive fins, which may get caught in too-powerful filters. Also, bettas prefer water with little movement. 


Captive bettas do best when given adequate lighting. 

We recommend getting a programmable lighting system. This way, you choose how long your betta receives light and how much it receives.


Bettas are native to Southeast Asia, where they enjoy densely vegetated waters. Include plenty of plants to help your tank better mimic this environment.

There are various aquarium plants suited for the same water conditions as bettas. Here are a few to consider: 

  • Amazon Frogbit
  • Anacharis
  • Anubias
  • Cryptocoryne 
  • Water Sprite


combtail decorations

Adding decorations to your tank is a great way to enhance the aesthetic. It will also make your betta more comfortable. 

Bettas prefer environments with plenty of hiding places available. Luckily, many tank decorations sold in stores feature things like hidey-holes. 

Be careful when choosing tank decorations. Avoid plastic decorations, which may have sharp edges and hurt your betta.

Also, avoid any decorations with toxic paint or other toxic materials. Toxins can leech into the water, making your betta sick. 

Possible Diseases

Combtail bettas are prone to the same diseases as other betta species. These include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Ich
  • Dropsy
  • Swim bladder disease
  • Columnaris
  • Popeye
  • Flukes
  • Anchor worms

Keep your betta healthy by feeding it a proper diet. Also, ensure you maintain the optimal water parameters. 

If you think your betta is ill, have a vet examine it. They will provide a diagnosis and guide you through the next steps for treatment. 

Food & Diet

Your combtail betta needs a varied diet rich in both protein and fiber.

There are several food types to choose from. We recommend offering your betta a combination of the following: 

  • Live foods
  • Frozen foods
  • Freeze-dried foods
  • Pellets
  • Flakes

Combtail bettas are more carnivorous than many other betta species. Make sure to feed it the occasional live and frozen foods as a treat! 

Behavior & Temperament

Combtail bettas have an average temperament when compared to other varieties of betta. 

In general, betta fish are aggressive and territorial creatures. They need ample space to roam and enjoy having hiding spaces available.

Males tend to be more aggressive than females.

For this reason, never house two male bettas together. They will fight and possibly kill each other. 

If your betta is being aggressive toward its tank mates, consider housing it separately. In some cases, it might be effective to get a larger tank instead. 

Tank Mates

combtail tank mates

Combtail bettas usually do well with tank mates. But ensure you only add tank mates who are smaller and less aggressive than your betta. 

A few great tank mate options for your combtail betta fish tank include the following: 

  • Corydoras
  • Tetras
  • Snails
  • Shrimp

Avoid any tank mates known for fin-nipping. You don’t want your betta’s beautiful fins and tail to become damaged!

After adding the tank mates, watch your betta’s behavior for several days. Ensure there is no undue aggression between your betta and its new tank mate. 

If issues do arise, consider keeping your betta in a separate tank again. 


Combtail bettas usually result from crossing a crowntail betta with any other type of betta. The other betta in this case is often a delta tail betta or a halfmoon betta.

This betta type is similar in appearance to crowntail bettas but features less extensive branching. 

The combtail betta came about as a result of both selective breeding and genetic mutations.

Remember: We don’t recommend you breed combtail bettas yourself. Expert betta breeders are better equipped to safely and effectively breed them. 


On average, a combtail betta can cost between $5 and $15.

Your betta might cost more if it’s a rare color or has unique patterning. Also, the price may increase if the betta is especially healthy or attractive. 


Combtail bettas are not considered a rare betta variety. They are somewhat easy to breed, and they’re available in most pet stores and online. 

Certain colors and patterns may be rarer than others. For example, black or albino bettas tend to cost more due to their rarity. 

Combtail Betta Fish FAQs

What is a combtail betta?

A combtail betta looks a lot like a crowntail betta but with less branching. 

It features a tail and fins with little or no webbing between the rays. This gives them the appearance of being “spikey.” 

When a halfmoon betta is used in breeding, the tail features the same 180-degree spread as the halfmoon betta’s. 

This betta type is available in an array of color and pattern options. 

What is the difference between a crowntail and a combtail betta fish?

These two betta varieties look very similar to each other. This is because combtail betta fish are usually bred with the crowntail betta as a parent. 

The primary difference between the two is the extent of the branching.

Combtail bettas tend to have smaller rays and larger fins than crowntails do. 

Depending on the breeding pair, combtails may also have other differences.

For example, if the halfmoon is a parent, the combtail will likely have a 180-degree spread of the tail. 

Expand Your Knowledge on Everything Betta Fish

With their distinct tails, combtail bettas make a beautiful addition to most tanks. They’re somewhat easy to care for, and you’ll find them in most pet stores selling fish. 

To give your betta the best life, look through our various product and care guides. It’s our goal to provide the best and most up-to-date betta care info to make your job easier.  

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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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