Double Tail Betta: Overview, Care Guide, and More

The double tail betta is a fascinating variety of betta. 

It first came about due to a genetic mutation during selective breeding. This mutation causes the betta to have a split tail, making it look like two tails. 

This betta is thought to have originated in Japan in the 1920s. 

Learn more about this unique betta fish and how to care for it. 


double tail betta appearance

Double tail betta fish have a unique tail design. The tail fins are split to give the appearance of there being two separate tails. 

This variety of betta comes in a broad range of colors and patterns. Some of the most common colors include blue and red, but they are available in almost any color. 

In addition to having a double tail, these bettas have gorgeous, long and flowing fins.  

Betta fish exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females tend to differ in appearance. In this case, female bettas tend to be smaller, have duller coloration, and have shorter fins. 

Since this beautiful fish has so many color and pattern possibilities, look at all your options before buying one.

Halfmoon Double Tail Bettas

One variety of double tail betta fish is the halfmoon double tail. 

Halfmoon double tail bettas are similar in appearance, but they have two “halfmoon” tails. This gives them a stunning look, which has made them a favorite of many betta keepers. 

Like other types of betta fish, halfmoon double tail bettas come in various colors and patterns. 

Unique Differences

Due to their longer, heavier fins and tail, double tail betta fish have difficulties swimming. Males, in particular, have heavy fins weighing them down and making swimming a struggle. 

Also, these longer fins are more prone to damage. This is important to note, as there are a few different typical causes of fin damage in bettas:

  • Flashing
  • Fighting with or bullying from tank mates
  • Getting too close to the tank filter 
  • Getting a fin-related disease or parasitic infection

It’s crucial to watch your double tail betta fish for any signs of tail or fin damage. This includes rips, tears, discoloration, and clamping. 

If you do notice issues with your betta’s fins, have a vet examine your betta. They can provide you with a diagnosis and suggest next steps. 


The average lifespan of double tail betta fish is from 2 to 5 years. 

Take proper care of your betta to help extend its life. This includes keeping the tank water clean, feeding your betta well, and giving it the best possible environment. 

Average Size

Double tail betta fish usually grow to be about 2.5″ to 3″ inches long. 

Male bettas usually grow larger than females do. 

Your betta may appear to be larger than average if it has especially long fins, which is common in double tail bettas.

Double Tail Betta Care

While double tail betta fish are a delight to look at, they’re not the best fish for beginners.

Due to their impressive finnage, they have certain struggles only experienced betta keepers can accommodate for. 

Learn how to care for a double tail betta in the guide below. 

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for this variety of betta is 5 gallons for a single betta. However, we recommend starting with at least a 10-gallon tank. 

Bettas are territorial and aggressive fish, meaning they need plenty of space to roam. 

The larger tank size is especially important if you put lots of decorations in the tank. Since double tail betta fish are prone to fin damage, crowded tanks may result in injury.

Water Parameters

Since bettas are tropical fish, they need warmer water temperatures 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

You may find it helpful to buy a heater for your tank. This device will keep the water at the optimal temperature, ensuring it remains stable.

This is critical since rapid changes in water conditions can make your fish sick or stressed. 

What To Put In Their Tank

To keep your double tail betta fish happy and healthy, include these things in the tank setup:

Substrate or Gravel

Put a 1″-inch layer of substrate or gravel on the bottom of the tank. 

This helps the tank mimic the betta’s natural environment.

Wild bettas are used to Southeast Asia’s stagnant ponds and shallow waters. The substrate helps to achieve a similar look and feel. 

Avoid brightly colored substrate or gravel.

Bright colors may cause your betta fish undue stress and increase its aggression levels. Instead, opt for a neutral-colored substrate.


Install a tank filter to help keep the water clean and oxygenated. 

A filter draws in the tank water, filters out toxins and bacteria, and releases the water back into the tank. 

This water movement also oxygenates the water, which is essential for bettas. Betta fish have a labyrinth organ, which requires frequent gas exchange.

Ensure you buy a low-flow filter rather than a stronger one.

Double tail betta fish are especially prone to fin and tail damage, which can occur if they get too close to a filter. Low-flow filters reduce the extent of possible fin damage. 


Your double tail betta tank will also benefit from an aquarium heater. 

Install a heater to keep the water within the optimal temperature range. This way, you don’t have to constantly worry about checking the temperature.

Also, a heater will help keep the water temperature stable. This is critical because bettas can become ill or even die if water conditions change suddenly. 


Bettas love tanks with plenty of plants. 

You have two options when it comes to aquarium plants: live plants or fake plants. 

Live plants are a great choice for a more natural look. They also help oxygenate the water. Here are a few great aquarium plants to consider:

  • Anacharis
  • Anubias
  • Amazon frogbit
  • Amazon sword
  • Java moss
  • Water sprite

If you opt for fake plants, avoid those made from plastic. Plastic plants may have sharp edges which can damage your betta’s fins. 

Instead, choose more natural and less dangerous options, such as silk plants. 


double tail betta tank setup

Adding decorations to the tank is a great way to improve the aesthetic. If done right, it also gives your betta more hiding places and privacy. 

Choose aquarium decorations with hidey-holes, as these will help reduce your betta’s stress levels. 

Also, consider buying your double tail betta fish a betta hammock.

This is a piece of aquarium “furniture” for your betta to rest on. Double tail bettas need this since their fins are so heavy and tiring to swim around with. 

When shopping for decorations, avoid those containing toxic paints. The toxins can leech into the water, making your betta sick. 

Possible Diseases

Double tail bettas are prone to the same diseases as other bettas. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ich
  • Dropsy
  • Swim bladder disease
  • Popeye
  • Fin and tail rot
  • Flukes
  • Anchor worms
  • Columnaris 

This betta variety is also especially prone to tail and fin damage. If left untreated, this damage can result in infection and kill your betta. 

Keep a keen eye on your double tail betta, and see a vet if you notice any issues. 

Food & Diet

Keep your betta healthy by feeding it a balanced, high-protein diet. We recommend feeding it a variety of different food types: 

  • Live foods: This option allows your betta to feed according to its natural instincts. It’s also especially high in protein. Bettas enjoy various live foods, including blood worms and certain types of shrimp. However, this option tends to be more expensive, and some find it difficult to handle live creatures.
  • Frozen foods: This is a more convenient and affordable option than live food, but it still offers ample nutrition. 
  • Freeze-dried foods: This food type is great for those uncomfortable handling live or frozen creatures. It allows a more straightforward feeding process without skimping on essential nutrients. Plus, since it’s freeze-dried, it will last a long time. 
  • Pellets and flakes: These are the most popular types of betta food. Both pellets and flakes are very affordable and easy to find in any pet shop. Bettas usually prefer pellets over flakes, but both are sufficient options nutrition-wise. 

Also, make sure not to overfeed your double tail betta fish. Overfeeding may cause obesity or constipation, which bettas are prone to anyway. 

After each feeding, remove all uneaten food from the tank. Leaving the food in causes increased ammonia levels, which can hurt your fish.

Behavior & Temperament

Like other betta varieties, double tail betta fish are quite aggressive and territorial. 

This means it’s imperative not to house two male bettas together. Male bettas will fight and possibly kill each other if kept in the same tank. 

This betta variety usually does well in community or sorority tanks.

But if you notice any signs of aggression or bullying, consider housing your betta by itself. A few signs to watch for include the following:

  • Flashing behavior
  • Excessive hiding
  • Damage to the fins, tail, or body
  • Lethargy 

Another way to help reduce aggressive behavior is to include more hiding places in the betta tank. 

Tank Mates

In most cases, double tail bettas can have tank mates. But be careful in choosing the best possible tank mates to avoid aggression issues. 

Here are a few great options to consider:

  • Shrimp
  • Snails
  • Plecos
  • Corydoras

Generally, it’s best to avoid homing your betta with other fish. They may pick at its fins or tail, causing damage and infection. 


The double tail betta came about as a result of a genetic mutation during selective breeding. It’s thought to have been discovered in Japan in the 1920s. 

Note: it’s considered dangerous to breed a double tail with a double tail. It may result in various deformities or health issues.

To breed a double tail betta, cross a double tail with a single tail. 

It’s difficult to get the desired results when breeding this betta. We recommend leaving it to professionals with ample experience in betta breeding. 

This said, it’s important to note that double tail bettas are bubble nesters. This means the male builds a bubble nest to impress the female and protect the fertilized eggs. 


double tail betta price

Double tail bettas can cost anywhere from $8 to $30, on average. 

Bettas featuring rarer colorations or patterns may cost more than this. For example, black and albino bettas are rarer and tend to run up the price. 

Further, you might pay more for healthier or larger bettas. 


Double tailed bettas are a very common betta fish variety.

Interestingly, males of this variety are more common to find than females. 

Certain colorations or patterns of this betta, such as black or albino, are rarer. 

Double Tail Betta FAQs

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about double tail bettas.

Is double tail betta rare?

Double tail bettas are not considered rare. In fact, they’re one of the more common types of betta fish.

Male double tails are more common than female ones.

What is the difference between a double tail betta and a halfmoon betta?

The tail is the primary distinction between a double tail betta and a halfmoon betta.

A double tail betta has a genetic mutation causing it to have two tails. 

A halfmoon betta, on the other hand, has only one tail. Its tail is in the shape of a half-moon, giving it its name.
There’s also a betta breed known as the double tail halfmoon. This fish comes from breeding a double tail betta with a halfmoon betta. It results in bettas with two half-moon-like tails. 

What is the lifespan of a double tail betta fish?

The average double tail betta fish lives between 2 to 5 years in captivity.

Raise Healthy Double Tail Bettas 

While double tail betta fish are a wonder of the natural world, they’re not for everyone.

We recommend this betta for more experienced betta keepers due to the potential fin-related issues of this breed. 

Whether you bring home a double tail or another awesome betta variety, we have your back. We offer detailed care guides, product roundups, and more to help you give your betta the best life possible. 

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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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