Crowntail Betta Fish: Traits, Care, Breeding and More

The crowntail is a captive-bred variety of betta splenden.

They were introduced in the 1990s by an Indonesian breeder named Achmad Yusuf.

Crowntail betta fish have only grown in popularity since then. It’s currently one of the most sought-after bettas available.

Good thing these guys are in no short supply!

crowntail betta fish atf


The defining trait of a crowntail betta is, of course, its tail and fins.

All the betta’s fins and their tail have a spiky appearance. The webbing between these spikes is very short and only extends a little from their body.

If you’ve heard of the combtail betta, you might be confused. They sound pretty similar, and they actually look alike too!

But the key difference is, combtail betta fish have webbing stretching at least 2/3 of the way to the end of their tail and fins. 

The crowntail is anything with less webbing than this, which is why these fish have a thorny appearance.

You’ll find crowntail betta fish in all kinds of vibrant colors including the common red and blue betta hues.

However, most crowntails come with dark colors.

This is especially true of the females, who lack the brighter colors of their male counterparts.

crowntail betta appearance


Most crowntail betta fish live to be about 3 years old. It’s common for them to die after just 2 years, though.

This is a shorter lifespan than other betta varieties, some of whom live up to 5 years in captivity.

So, how do you lengthen your crowntail’s lifespan?

The most common factors in betta death are:

  • Poor water quality
  • Illness/infection/injury
  • Aggressive tank mates
  • Overfeeding/poor diet

The crowntail betta shares the same needs as other betta fish in all these areas.

To avoid injury and illness, keep the water clean. Don’t bring in plants or live food if you don’t trust the source; these things sometimes carry in parasites.

Aggressive tank mates may attack or even eat your betta, depending on their size.

Goldfish, for example, will eat a betta that is significantly smaller than them.

Most commonly, though, novice aquarists underestimate how important water quality and diet are.

Keeping up with water changes and being fastidious with feeding is crucial to your betta’s health and survival.

Average Size

Most crowntail betta fish stop growing at around 2.5″ inches. It’s not inconceivable to see a crowntail reach 3″ inches in size, though.

This is a typical size for betta fish, so they don’t need special accommodations.

If you’re looking at a crowntail and they seem especially small or big, consider their environment.

Using a tank larger than five gallons is going to dwarf your betta. Conversely, keeping them in an uncomfortably small tank makes them look bigger.

Crowntail Betta Fish Care

Crowntail betta fish are one of the most popular choices for a reason!

They’re easy to care for and don’t require much of any special attention.

Tank Size

Like most betta breeds, crowntail bettas need a 5-gallon aquarium.

This gives them ample space to swim around while allowing plenty of space for plants and decor.

Using a bigger tank is fine. But don’t go larger thank 10 gallons if you don’t have other lifeforms in the tank.

Do not keep your betta in a tank smaller than 5 gallons. Keeping the correct tank conditions in such a small space is hard.

You’ll find yourself doing more frequent aquarium water changes to make up for the tank size.

Water Parameters

Crowntail betta fish are just like other Siamese fighting fish with their care requirements.

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

These are all important values to keep an eye on. Use an aquarium test kit to check pH, hardness, and chemical changes.

Temperature is easy to monitor by always keeping a thermometer on the tank.

Ammonia and other chemical levels will likely cause fin rot and other health problems if they get too high.

Changes to temperature and pH will send your fish into shock or make them sick.

Saltwater exposure damages your betta if it is not a very controlled aquarium salt bath. Freshwater only for these babies!

If you’d like some more targeted guidance on maintaining betta aquarium water, read our article here.

What To Put In Their Tank

To imitate their natural environment, you need to put lots of plants in your crowntail betta’s tank.

Plants are great at helping you maintain a clean aquarium environment too.

They oxygenate the water, provide shade and hiding places, and even absorb harmful chemicals.

Sometimes they also act as a food source for potential tankmates.

A densely planted tank makes your betta feel more secure to move around and explore.

It also gives them something to observe or be curious about and prevents boredom.

Crowntail bettas need an aquarium light as well. It’s best to get something with a timer.

Finally, add some decor! There are lots of Spongebob-themed caves available in pet stores and online.

The important thing is to keep at least one or two caves for your crowntail. This gives them a place to hide or rest when stressed or tired.

Betta fish also love floating logs, as it allows them to make bubble nests and hang out near the water surface.

Before putting anything in your crowntail betta’s tank, ensure it has no sharp edges.

Many caves and driftwood need to be sanded before your betta has access to them.

The product usually instructs you to do this on the packaging somewhere. Some even come with sandpaper.

Possible Diseases

Like other betta varieties, crowntail betta fish are susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infections as well as fin rot, ich, and swim bladder disease.

These illnesses are all common and treatable. Here’s a more comprehensive list of betta diseases.

The crowntail is not as sensitive to certain illnesses as some betta types are.

Food & Diet

Crowntail betta fish need to eat twice daily, though many fish keepers give their betta one day of fasting each week.

This helps prevent bloat and constipation.

Give your betta a high-protein diet.

This should consist of commercial betta pellets and live food like blood worms. Frozen foods are a hit with betta fish too!

Don’t give your betta more than he or she can eat in a few minutes. Clean up any uneaten food after 3-5 minutes, longer if your betta happens to be a slow eater.

This is important as it prevents overfeeding.

Behavior and Temperament

crowntail betta behavior

Crowntail betta fish most definitely come with a temper. They know how to protect their space and are unafraid to get aggressive.

This is extremely common for all Siamese fighting fish. It’s right there in the name!

Still, some crowntail betta fish are very docile.

Want a calmer crowntail? If you’re allowed to pick one from a group, look for the fish who flares the least.

Flaring is an expression of aggression or anger. Charging and nipping are other common aggressive behaviors.

If you keep your betta in a solitary tank, aggression won’t be a problem anyway.

In fact, many betta keepers relish the big personalities of their pets!

But if you want to raise shrimp with your crowntail, choosing an easygoing one is better.

Tank Mates

Because they’re such popular fish, it is incredibly tempting to find a good tank mate for bettas.

But for the most part they are not especially social.

They are stressed by other fish and may lash out if they don’t feel safe.

All this being said, your betta would love certain kinds of tank mates.

Algae eaters are wonderful friends to your crowntail betta fish. They help with tank maintenance but don’t cause your betta so much stress.

The most important trait for a good crowntail tank mate is peacefulness.

Any lifeforms who like nipping or chasing are not safe options.

If something tears or otherwise hurts your crowntail’s fins or tail, there is a high risk of infection or fin rot.

These problems are usually very treatable. But it is best to avoid them altogether.

When you do decide to put in a tank mate of any kind, keep a careful eye on things for a week or two.

Some signs things aren’t working are:

  • Hiding (betta or tank mate)
  • Charging/chasing
  • Nipping/biting
  • Excessive flaring

It’s okay if some of these happen when you first add a friend to the aquarium. Nipping and biting are more dangerous and should not be allowed.

Best Crowntail Tank Mates

Some of our favorite algae eaters to pair with the crowntail betta are:

  • Cherry shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Amano shrimp
  • Mystery snails
  • Nerite snails

Each of these creatures has its own list of benefits and risks when you add them to the tank.

Most snails, for example, have a heavy bio-load. But they are efficient algae eaters and clean up plant and food waste before you even know it’s there.

Shrimp are sometimes a bit nippy, and your crowntail might decide to eat them. But they clean up similarly to snails and add much life to the tank.

Ultimately, you must decide how much cleaning and feeding you want to do regularly.

Be sure to upgrade your tank size according to who’s living with your betta!

Here’s a longer list of potential tank mates for your crowntail betta.


crowntail betta breeding

Unlike some types of betta fish, the crowntail does not result from two separate breeds.

To breed crowntails, get a male crowntail and a female crowntail.

Set up a breeding tank, ensuring there is a good place for a bubble nest. Some use floating logs, others floating plants.

It also helps to use a spacious 10-gallon tank, which makes both fish feel more comfortable.

Crowntail bettas are no more challenging to breed than your standard betta fish. 

Learn all about the process in our article on betta fish breeding, written by a veterinarian.


Crowntail betta fish range in price from $5-25.

This is partly because chain pet stores sell them for much cheaper prices than breeders.

But remember too, specific colors of crowntail betta fish are hard to come by, making them more valuable.


Crowntail betta fish are very common. This is due, in part, to their popularity.

They aren’t especially challenging to breed but are well-loved by aquarists. So breeders easily keep the shelves stocked with these beauties.

Some of the more vibrant colors we traditionally see in betta fish are harder to find in crowntails, though.

Anything bright outside of the most common blue and red is tricky.

Fascinatingly, it is easier to breed dark colors in crowntails than other varieties.

Crowntail Betta Fish FAQ

What fish can I put with a crowntail betta?

While it is possible to keep another fish with your crowntail betta, we do not recommend it.

Crowntail bettas, like other betta varieties, are territorial and often get aggressive. Even if they are a more peaceful individual, they get stressed when you introduce another fish to the tank.

The only exception to this rule is for those who keep betta sororities. It is possible to keep female crowntail betta fish with other female bettas.

This is not a task for the meek, though. We suggest only experienced betta keepers attempt to raise a sorority.

How big do male crowntail betta fish get?

Male crowntail bettas are not likely to be bigger or smaller than their female counterparts.

They do tend to have larger caudal fins, though. This is one way to easily sex any new crowntail betta fish you might buy. Keep in mind, the caudal fin on both sexes is larger than on many other betta breeds.

What color is rare for crowntail betta fish?

The rarest crowntail colors are the same as the rarest betta colors in general.

Purple, green, and albino bettas are some of the most difficult to find. Orange, Cambodian, yellow, and other vibrant colors and patterns are also uncommon.

Female crowntail betta fish come with darker colors, making it hard to find even some of the most common (red, blue, etc.) vibrant colors.

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Written by

Contributing Writer

Jacinta was raised on a dairy farm in Vermont where they worked extensively with cows, chickens, pigs, goats, and other animals. They have a background in writing both creatively and professionally.

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