Delta Tail Betta: A How-To Guide On Care, Breeding, & More!

A tropical fish enthusiast named Eduard Schmidt-Focke created the first delta tail betta fish.

This betta tail type gained popularity after its acceptance into the International Betta Congress in 1967.

Delta tail bettas get their name from their unique tail shape. The triangular shape of the tail looks like the Greek letter,  Delta.

Breeding veil tail and halfmoon plakat bettas creates the delta tail variation.

There is also a flashier variant known as the super delta tail betta.

Keep reading to learn the difference between delta and super delta tail bettas. We also provide a helpful care guide and breeding history of this betta species.


delta tail betta appearance

The caudal fin of a delta tail betta has a triangular shape with a spread of up to 120 degrees.

In a super delta betta, the tail fin spreads from 120 to 160 degrees.

Delta and super delta bettas have webbing all the way to the tail edges. This trait gives their tails rounded edges without any fringes or spikes.

Another trait of the delta tail betta is its long and flowing anal and dorsal fins.

Female bettas always have shorter fins and tails than male bettas. In a delta tail female betta, the caudal fin still maintains the triangular shape and wide spread even though it is shorter.

Delta tail bettas come in a wide variety of vibrant colors. Like most bettas, the most common colors in delta tails are red and blue.

A delta tail betta may also have any pattern available in other types of betta fish. But the bicolor and distinct butterfly patterns are the most common in delta tails.

Since the delta tail trait is dominant, breeders can focus on creating colorful combinations of these fish.

Unique Differences

Delta tail betta fish have a few unique differences because of their long fins.

These fish have a more difficult time swimming than short-finned betta types. Super delta tails have even more of a challenge when swimming.

Since delta tail bettas cannot swim well, you must take extra precautions when setting up their aquariums.

Maintain a gentle water current with an adjustable filter and sponge baffles. A slower current lets the fish swim and explore with less difficulty.

Choose a tank with plenty of horizontal space and a shallow depth. Delta tail bettas are not good vertical swimmers and may have trouble reaching the surface for fresh air and food.

Avoid placing objects with sharp edges in your delta tail betta tank. These sharp objects can tear your betta’s delicate fins.

Sometimes these tears can lead to infections, which brings me to my next point.

Delta tail bettas are more prone to fin and tail rot.

This disease usually stems from poor water conditions. Bacterial and fungal infections in torn fins may also lead to fin rot.

You must maintain a safe environment with clean water for your delta tail betta at all times.


The average lifespan of a delta tail betta fish is between 2-5 years.

Knowing the exact age of your betta is difficult.

Most betta fish sold in pet stores are six months to one year of age.

If you buy your fish from an individual breeder, they may have a more accurate record of your betta’s age.

At three years old, you may notice your betta slowing down due to old age. This is normal and just means your betta may eat a bit less or take more naps than usual.

Barring the possibility of disease or illness, this behavior is nothing to worry about.

Average Size

The average size of an adult male delta tail betta is between 2-3″ inches long.

Female delta tails are just a bit smaller with a size range of 2-2.5″ inches.

A betta’s size also depends on its diet and environment.

If a betta receives a nutritious, well-balanced diet when it is young, it may grow into a larger adult.

Likewise, a betta raised in a larger tank can grow larger than one kept in a cramped space.

Delta Tail Betta Care

Creating an ideal environment plays a crucial role in your betta’s health and well-being.

These fish are sensitive to their surroundings and can become stressed or unhappy if their home isn’t comfortable.

Prolonged stress lowers a betta’s immune system, making the fish more prone to illness.

A proper diet is also vital in keeping your betta healthy.

Follow our guide below for creating the best habitat and meal plan for your delta tail betta.

For more tips on the optimal betta tank setup, check out our article at the link.

Tank Size

delta tail betta tank size

The smallest recommended tank size for betta fish is 5 gallons.

If you want a community tank setup for your betta, you need a larger tank.

A 10-gallon tank works well for housing your betta with small invertebrates like snails and shrimp.

When keeping your betta with peaceful schooling species like neon tetras or rasboras, you need a 20-gallon aquarium.

But the size of the betta tank isn’t the only important factor. You must also consider the shape of your aquarium.

Long-finned bettas like delta tails are not strong vertical swimmers. These fish may struggle when swimming to the surface for fresh air and food.

Choose a fish tank with more horizontal space and a shallow depth. This type of tank gives your betta plenty of space for swimming while allowing easy access to food and air.

Avoid portrait-style tanks, which make swimming to the surface difficult for a delta tail betta.

Water Parameters

Betta fish need specific water parameters to thrive.

The ideal water parameters for betta fish are:

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

Establishing a nitrogen cycle in your aquarium is crucial for keeping toxins at safe levels.

The nitrogen cycle relies on beneficial bacteria for converting harmful ammonia and nitrite into less harmful nitrate.

Weekly partial water changes also remove toxins and maintain stable oxygen and pH levels.

Another important component of betta tank water parameters is the temperature.

Betta fish come from the tropical climates of Southeast Asia. Without warm water temperatures, these fish cannot thrive.

You must have a reliable aquarium heater for keeping temperatures at optimal levels.

What To Put In Their Tank


A substrate is essential for a betta fish tank. The substrate anchors plants and provides a surface for the growth of beneficial bacteria colonies.

Gravel is the most common substrate fish keepers use in betta tanks. Aquarium gravel is available in a variety of colors and sizes.

You may contrast the color of your gravel with the color of your betta. Neutral gravel colors enhance a natural environment.

Avoid gravel with rough edges, as it could tear a delta tail betta’s long fins.

Other substrate options include sand and aquarium soil.

Sand creates a soft surface for your betta. But it does not anchor plants very well.

If you choose a sand substrate, ensure it is safe for your aquarium. Play sand and coral sand are not suitable for betta tanks.

Aquarium soil provides vital nutrients for root-feeding aquatic plants. Placing a thin layer of aquarium gravel over the soil keeps it from getting too messy.

Aquarium Filter

An aquarium filter helps remove harmful bacteria and oxygenates the water.

You must choose the right filter for the size of your betta tank.

The ideal filter should circulate all of the tank water around 4-6 times every hour. This is the filter’s gallons per hour (GPH) rating.

This means you need a filter with a rating of 20-30 GPH for a 5-gallon tank.

Remember, delta tail bettas are not strong swimmers, so they need slow-moving waters.

A filter with an adjustable flow lets you create a gentle flow for your delta tail betta.

Placing a sponge baffle on the output nozzle can slow the water flow even more.

Aquarium Heater

An aquarium heater helps you maintain the warm water temperatures your betta needs.

The heater must have an output of 3-5 watts per gallon of water.

A 15-25 watt heater is a good choice for a 5-gallon tank. In a 10-gallon tank, you need a 30-50 watt heater.

Most aquarium heaters have a built-in thermostat so they shut off after reaching the desired temperature.

But these thermostats aren’t always accurate and can sometimes fail.

Use a separate thermometer for ensuring your betta tank temperatures are accurate.

Check the water temperatures at least once per week. This keeps you aware of temperature changes and lets you make adjustments as needed.

Bettas are sensitive to sudden temperature fluctuations.

Keeping your betta tank away from air vents and direct sunlight helps avoid sudden temperature changes.


delta tail betta lighting

Your delta tail betta needs a consistent day and night light cycle. Periods of light and darkness help a betta regulate its eating and sleeping schedule.

LED fixtures are the most common lighting used for aquariums today.

These lights support the health of your betta and live plants without producing excess heat.

Your betta needs 8-10 hours of light during the day, and complete darkness at night.

A light timer can provide a consistent lighting schedule for your fish. This helps in case you are forgetful in turning the lights off at the end of the day.

Some LED lights have a “night mode” with blue lighting. Bettas do not need these types of night lights, and they can stress the fish.

Adjustable lighting fixtures let you control the brightness of the LEDs. This is a useful feature if you discover the light is too bright for your betta.

Betta fish do not like harsh lighting, and they may hide during the day to avoid it.

If you notice your betta hiding more than usual, consider dimming the aquarium lights.

Floating aquatic plants can provide your fish with a bit of shade if your lighting is not adjustable.


Adding lots of plants to your betta tank can create a more natural environment.

Live plants are the best choice because they provide several benefits to your fish. They act as natural filters and help oxygenate the water.

Aquarium plants also provide plenty of hiding places for your betta.

Some excellent live plant options for your delta tail betta tank include:

  • Java fern
  • Anubias
  • Amazon sword
  • Java moss
  • Brazilian pennywort

These are all great choices for beginner fish keepers because they do not have any special care requirements.

Artificial plants do not need any maintenance at all. But they do not provide natural filtration or oxygenate the water.

If you choose fake plants, avoid those made from plastic. Plastic plants can have rough edges, which may tear your delta tail betta’s fins.

Use plants made from silk instead. Silk plants are a much safer choice for your betta because they are soft and smooth.


Your betta needs lots of enrichment items in its tank. Tank decorations prevent boredom and provide places for your fish to explore.

Bettas also need plenty of hiding places. Hiding spots make your betta feel more secure, which reduces stress.

Possible hiding places for your betta can range from:

  • Coconut caves
  • Ceramic caves
  • Aquarium driftwood
  • Smooth rocks

Always inspect decorative items for sharp edges or rough textures. A betta’s fins are fragile and a small tear can lead to an infection or fin rot.

One way of testing the safety of decorations is by running a small aquarium net over them. If the next snags on the object, it is unsafe for your betta.

You must also consider the placement of your tank decorations. Ensure there is plenty of space around each object, so your betta cannot get stuck.

Do not overcrowd your betta tank with too many decorations. Your betta needs a bit of free space for swimming around.

Possible Diseases

Delta tail bettas are more prone to fin rot because of their long fins.

The most common cause of fin rot is poor water conditions. Dirty tank water contains harmful bacteria, parasites, and toxins like ammonia and nitrite.

Fin rot may also develop after a physical injury to a betta’s fins. In this case, the wound becomes infected with a bacteria or fungus, and fin rot sets in.

  • Symptoms of fin rot in bettas are:
  • Brown, black, or bloody fin edges
  • Ragged fins
  • Fuzzy white growths on the fins
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale coloring on the body and fins

Mild cases of fin rot are treatable with aquarium salt baths and antifungal or antibacterial medications.

Fin rot is not usually fatal except in severe cases where the disease spreads to the body.

Seeking treatment at the first signs of fin rot increases your betta’s chance of recovery.

Learn more about other common betta diseases by reading our helpful guide at the link.

Food & Diet

Unlike some other tropical fish species, bettas are carnivores.

Regular tropical fish flakes do not contain enough protein for bettas.

A good staple diet for your fish is a betta pellet food with at least 35% animal protein.

Feed your betta 2-4 pellets twice per day. Space each meal 6-8 hours apart for healthy digestion.

Remove uneaten food after each feeding. Leftover food sinks to the substrate where it rots and releases ammonia and other toxins.

Keep your betta from getting bored at mealtime by adding some variety to its diet.

Live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods provide additional nutrients and flavors for your fish.

Some excellent alternative food options include:

  • Blood worms
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Baby brine shrimp
  • Daphnia

You may feed these foods to your betta 2-3 times per week in place of its pellet food.

Behavior & Temperament

delta tail betta behavior

Bettas have a reputation for their aggressive behavior. This is why they are also called Siamese fighting fish.

Of course, the temperament of your delta tail betta depends on the individual fish.

There is no real way of knowing how feisty your delta tail betta is. But if your betta flares a lot, this is a sign of more aggressive behavior.

You may notice other quirky behaviors in your delta tail betta.

One of these odd behaviors is a betta’s jumping ability.

Wild bettas jump out of the water to catch insects just above the surface. This jumping instinct carries over into captive-bred bettas, as well.

Keeping a lid on your betta tank prevents the unfortunate discovery of your fish lying on the floor.

Another behavior seen in male bettas is bubble nesting.

Male bettas create clusters of bubbles on the water surface during mating season. The male betta deposits eggs from the female into these bubbles and guards its spawn until they hatch.

Your male delta tail betta may build a bubble nest even without the presence of a female.

This is a natural instinct and is usually a sign of your betta’s happiness.

Take care not to disturb your betta’s bubble nest when cleaning the tank. Doing so may upset your fish and cause him to retreat for a few days.

Tank Mates

Because of their territorial nature, you must never place two male bettas in the same tank. This only leads to fighting and it may not end well for at least one of them.

Female delta tail bettas from the same spawn can live together in small groups. But, you must have at least a 20-gallon tank with plenty of plants and hiding spots.

Betta sororities like this can get very complicated and are not recommended for beginner fish keepers.

Unlike schooling fish, bettas do not mind living alone. These fish are solitary creatures by nature and adding tank mates can get tricky.

If you want a community tank for your delta tail betta, you must take some precautions.

A 10-gallon tank is large enough for your betta and a couple of snails or small shrimp.

For a betta community tank with peaceful schooling species, you need a 20-gallon or larger aquarium.

Not all species can live in the same tank as your delta tail betta, either.

Avoid colorful fish or known fin nippers.

Some good tank mates for your betta include:

  • Neon tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Corydoras
  • Otocinclus

If you see signs of aggressive behavior in your community tank at any point, you must separate your fish. Having a spare aquarium on standby is always a good idea.

Breeding Delta Tail Bettas

Breeding delta tail bettas is a straightforward process.

When you cross a veil tail betta with a halfmoon plakat, the resulting spawns are usually delta tails.

This happens because the long-finned trait is dominant over the short-finned gene.

Breeding a veil tail betta with a regular halfmoon betta increases the chance of super delta tail fry.

Pairing two delta tail bettas results in a majority of the spawn having delta tails.

There is also a small chance of producing super delta tails and an even smaller chance of regular halfmoon bettas.


The average price for a delta tail betta ranges from $8 to $20. Super delta tail bettas cost even more with a price range of $25 to $40.

Larger tails and brighter color variations in delta tail bettas increase the price.

Delta tail bettas with common colors are on the lower end of the price spectrum.

If you order your delta or super delta tail betta from an online breeder, ensure you budget for the shipping costs.

Shipping charges for betta fish can cost as much as $20. This usually includes overnight shipping in a special container for the safety of the fish.


delta tail betta rarity

Delta tail bettas are one of the more common betta fish types due to their popularity among fish keepers.

Super delta tail bettas are much less common because of the focus on the more popular halfmoon betta.

But you likely won’t find very many delta or super delta tail bettas at your local pet store.

The demand for these bettas is not as high as for other betta fish tail types like the crowntail and halfmoon.

You may have more luck seeking out a delta or super delta tail betta breeder online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Delta Tail Bettas

At what age do delta tail bettas reach their full size?

Most betta fish reach their full size at seven months of age.

The growth of a betta also depends on its environment and care.

A juvenile betta fish raised in a large tank and fed a healthy diet may continue growing for up to one year.

Most bettas you see in pet stores are between six months and one year old.

What is the difference between a super delta tail betta and a halfmoon betta?

The main difference between a super delta tail betta and a halfmoon betta is the width of their tail spread.

When flared, a super delta’s tail fans out between 120 to 160 degrees.

If the tail fans out to 180 degrees, the betta is a halfmoon. When the tail spreads more than 180 degrees, the betta has a rosetail.

Halfmoon bettas with double tails are full moon tail types. 

Is a delta tail betta a good choice for a beginner?

A delta tail betta is a good choice for a beginner who understands the tank requirements for this fish.

Delta tail bettas are more prone to fin issues, so providing a safe and clean environment is vital.

Otherwise, delta tail bettas have the same care needs as other common betta varieties.

Maintaining a weekly tank cleaning schedule and providing a high-quality diet go a long way in keeping your betta healthy.

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Toni Tedescucci is a freelance writer who loves all animals, especially betta fish. When she isn’t busy writing for Betta Fish Bay, she’s spending time with her family or getting cozy with her cats and a good book.

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