Spade Tail Betta: Overview & Care Guide

Spade tail bettas are a favorite fish among aquarists for their unique tail shape and dazzling colors. Their tail features a wide base which narrows into a point, just like a spade.

Betta keepers speculate spade tails came about by crossing veil tail and halfmoon bettas. 

This species of betta became quite popular in the 90s, but it’s harder to come by today. Since most of these bettas are bred in Thailand, all available spade tails in the U.S. were shipped here. 

Spade tail bettas are beautiful, easy to care for, and available in a variety of colors and patterns. What’s not to love? 


spade tail betta appearance

Spade tail betta fish get their name from the shape of their tail, which is similar to a spade. The tail features a wide base which tapers to a point at the end. 

This fish species also boasts elongated fins. These fins look beautiful as the betta swims around the tank but are more likely to become damaged.

Spade tail bettas come in various colors and patterns. Red and blue are especially common colors. These bettas also tend to feature heavy iridescence. 

Many people say this attractive fish looks similar to a roundtail betta.

Both types feature a wide tail base and a more rounded tail appearance. But on a spade tail betta, the tail tapers to a point.


On average, a spade tail betta fish can live from 3 to 5 years in captivity. 

Extend your betta’s life by maintaining high water quality. Also, make sure you feed your betta a balanced and protein-rich diet. 

Average Size

Spade tail bettas can grow up to 3″ inches long. Males tend to grow larger than females. 

The best way to help your betta reach its full size potential is to feed it nutritious foods. A balanced diet will give your betta the nutrients it needs to live a healthy life. 

Spade Tail Betta Fish Care

Spade tail bettas are one of the easier betta types to care for. The important things are to keep the water within optimal parameters and feed your betta well. 

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for most spade tail bettas is 10 gallons. This will give your betta plenty of space to swim and roam. 

If you plan on adding tank mates, consider a tank size of 15 gallons or more. 

Bettas are territorial and aggressive fish. When put with other fish in too small of a tank, they may pick fights. 

Getting a large enough tank is crucial in keeping your betta healthy and happy. 

Water Parameters

Bettas are tropical fish needing specific 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

It will be easier to maintain these water conditions if you have a water heater and aquarium test kit. 

The heater will keep the water within a specific temperature range, so you won’t have to check so often.

The test kit will help determine the water’s pH level at any given moment. It will also tell you if certain toxins, such as ammonia, are in the water. 

What To Put in Their Tank

One way to ensure a happy betta fish is by having the proper tank setup. For the best results, include the following things in your betta’s aquarium: 


Add a layer of about 1″ inch of substrate or gravel to the bottom of the tank. This will help the tank mimic the natural habitats of bettas.  

Opt for a neutral-colored substrate. Bright colors may increase your betta’s anxiety levels and make it more aggressive. 

The substrate is especially important if you plan to add rooted plants to the tank. 


A tank filter helps clean the tank water. It does this by pulling in the dirty water, filtering it, and releasing it back into the tank. 

It’s crucial to have a filter installed.

Betta fish become stressed or even ill in poor water conditions. Things like ammonia or algae buildup are preventable with a good filter. 

Ensure the filter you choose is low-flow.

Bettas prefer slow-moving waters, and a powerful filter could disturb the water too much. Also, spade tail bettas’ long fins might become damaged if caught in a too-strong filter.


Bettas thrive in environments where they have access to plenty of light. On average, bettas should receive from 8 to 12+ hours of light. 

We recommend buying a programmable lighting system. This will let you determine the level of lighting and automate turn-on/shut-off times. 

A lighting system will also benefit any plants you put in the tank. 


spade tail plants

Bettas love aquariums with plenty of plants. Adding plants is also a great way to oxygenate the water and enhance the tank’s aesthetic. 

There are lots of great aquarium plant options to consider, including the following: 

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


Add decorations to enhance the tank’s aesthetic and give your betta more hiding places. 

Bettas are private and territorial, making it important to give them hiding places. Many decorations feature hidey-holes where your betta can escape to. 

When buying decorations, avoid those with sharp edges.

Your betta may injure itself on these. Also, avoid those made with toxic materials or paint. Toxins can leech into the water, making your betta sick. 

Possible Diseases

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

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

Keep your betta healthy by maintaining good water conditions and feeding it a healthy diet. 

Food & Diet

Your spade tail betta will thrive with a proper diet. It’s best to feed your betta a variety of different foods: 

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

Spade tail bettas also enjoy eating certain types of vegetables and plants. A few great options include zucchini, spinach, peas, and sweet potatoes. 

Emphasize protein and fiber in the diet, and avoid overfeeding. Bettas are prone to obesity and digestive issues, and overfeeding can make these worse. 

Behavior & Temperament

Spade tail bettas have a similar temperament as other betta types.

Betta fish tend to be territorial and aggressive, especially around other male bettas.

It’s critical to avoid housing two male bettas together. They will fight and possibly kill each other. 

Most bettas do okay in sororities or community tanks. But if you do notice aggression issues, consider getting a larger tank or housing your betta alone. 

Sometimes, bettas may show more aggression if they’re stressed or anxious. To avoid this issue, keep your betta healthy and provide a suitable environment. 

Tank Mates

Spade tail bettas can live with tank mates in most cases. When choosing tank mates, opt for small and peaceful fish that won’t cause aggression issues. 

A few great ideas include the following: 

  • Tetras
  • Snails
  • Shrimp
  • Corydoras

If you do notice aggression or fighting after introducing these tank mates, consider housing your betta alone. 


spade tail breeding

Spade tail bettas originate from Southeast Asia, especially the Thailand region.

This betta type is most likely the result of crossing halfmoon bettas with veil tail bettas.

In fact, the spade tail is considered a precursor to the veil tail. Many spade tail bettas develop a veil tail as they age.


The average spade tail betta will cost between $10 and $15

You might pay more for bettas with rare colors or patterns. For example, black and albino bettas are considered rare and are, therefore, more expensive. 


While spade tail bettas are not especially rare, they are a bit difficult to come by in the U.S.

This is because most spade tails come from Thailand and few spade tail breeders exist in the U.S. 

This being said, shopping online might be your best option. Ensure you buy from only reputable companies and breeders. 

Spade Tail Betta FAQs

What is a spade tail betta? 

A spade tail betta is a cross between a halfmoon betta and a veil tail betta. Its tail shape resembles a spade, being wide at the base and tapering off to a point. 

This type of betta is available in numerous colors and patterns. One popular variation is the alien betta

How much does a spade tail betta cost?

A spade tail betta costs between $10 and $15.

Those with rarer colors or patterns may cost more than this. Also, bettas from more established or trusted breeders may cost more. 

Learn Even More About Betta Fish Care

Spade tail bettas are an attractive option for any tank. We hope the information in this guide will help you care for your new spade tail! 

If you found this article helpful, please share it on social media. And check back often for new product and care guides.

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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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