Double Tail Betta

Double Tail Bettas are fascinating freshwater fish with a distinctive tail fin that splits into two lobes, giving them their name. With their spectacular colors and mesmerizing fin shapes, they have become a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. These independent fish require moderate maintenance, making them an excellent choice for species-specific aquariums.

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Care DIfficulty


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Southeast Asia

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2.5 inches (6.4 cm)

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4 years

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Table of contents

Origin, Appearance, Size, and Lifespan

The Double Tail Betta, or Betta splendens, is a popular freshwater fish originating from the Mekong Basin in Southeast Asia. You'll usually find them in the shallow, slow-moving waters of rice paddies, ponds, and swamps in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

In the wild, Double Tail Bettas thrive in warm, low-oxygen water with abundant vegetation. These plants not only serve as hiding spots but also as a source of nourishment, while their surroundings provide the ideal habitat for displaying their vibrant colors. These solitary fish are known for their territorial behavior and should be housed individually.

Their natural environment features warm and slightly acidic water. The temperature typically varies between 76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius), with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5, and water hardness between 2 to 12 dGH. To create a similar environment in your aquarium, make sure to maintain a consistent water temperature, use a reliable filtration system, and incorporate live plants and hiding spots.

By closely mirroring the Double Tail Betta's natural habitat and ensuring the right water conditions, you'll be setting your fish up for a healthy and happy life in your aquarium.

Double Tail Bettas are celebrated for their stunning colors and unique tail fin structure that splits into two lobes. These striking features make them an alluring and eye-catching addition to aquariums. Even though they are small, reaching up to approximately 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) in size, their vibrant hues and elegant fins make them an ideal choice for those seeking a visually impressive aquatic centerpiece. These graceful fish captivate observers as they gracefully glide through the tank, making them a beloved favorite among hobbyists of all experience levels.

With proper care, Double Tail Bettas can enjoy a lifespan of up to four years. As territorial beings, they thrive in solitude and are best kept individually. To promote their well-being and ensure a long life in captivity, it's essential to provide a well-decorated aquarium with ample hiding spots, as well as a diverse diet consisting of premium flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.

Fun Facts

Now that we learned more about the appearance and lifespan of Double Tail Bettas. In this section, we'll highlight some fascinating facts about these beautiful fish that make them stand out in the aquarium hobby. From their remarkable fin structure to their unique behavior, Double Tail Bettas are full of surprises and are sure to captivate any aquarist.

  • Fin gene mutation: The split tail fin of Double Tail Bettas is a result of a genetic mutation that affects the caudal fin, causing it to divide into two lobes. This mutation can occur in various Betta tail types, including Halfmoon, Plakat, and Crowntail, creating an array of stunning fin configurations.
  • Bubble nests: Male Bettas are known for their bubble nest-building behavior. They create these nests by blowing air bubbles coated in saliva at the water surface. The nests serve as a safe haven for fertilized eggs, showcasing the males' dedication to protecting and nurturing their offspring.
  • Labyrinth organ: Double Tail Bettas possess a unique respiratory structure called the labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air in addition to extracting oxygen from the water through their gills. This adaptation enables them to survive in low-oxygen environments, like the shallow, slow-moving waters they inhabit in the wild.
  • Territorial displays: Male Bettas are notorious for their territorial behavior and aggressive displays towards other males. When confronted, they often flare their gills and spread their fins to appear larger and more intimidating. This behavior can be fascinating to observe, but it's essential to avoid housing two male Bettas together to prevent injury or stress.
  • Color variations: Double Tail Bettas come in a wide range of colors and patterns, including red, blue, green, yellow, white, and combinations thereof. Their striking appearance, combined with their unique fin structure, makes them a highly sought-after centerpiece in home aquariums.

Now that you've discovered some interesting tidbits about Double Tail Bettas, you'll be better equipped to appreciate their beauty and intricacies in your aquarium. In the following section, we'll provide recommendations on tank setups, ensuring your Double Tail Bettas have an ideal environment to thrive and showcase their impressive features.

Recommended Tank Setups

Each setup includes the core components—tank, filter, heater, lighting, substrate, and more—ensuring that you can create an appropriate environment for Double Tail Bettas and other compatible freshwater fish species in your aquarium. As you move from budget-friendly to high-end setups, you will also have more options for customization, aesthetics, and advanced features. Double Tail Bettas are best kept individually or with compatible tank mates, as housing two males together can result in aggressive behavior and stress. Typically, Double Tail Bettas are priced between $5 and $25 per fish, although prices can vary based on factors such as size, quality, and availability.

Budget-friendly setup (around $200):

  • Tank: 5-10 gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($20 - $50)
  • Filter: Sponge filter or small hang-on-back (HOB) filter rated for 5-10 gallons ($10 - $25)
  • Heater: 25-50 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($10 - $25)
  • Lighting: Basic LED aquarium light ($15 - $35)
  • Substrate: Inexpensive aquarium sand or small gravel ($5 - $15)
  • Decor: A few pieces of driftwood, rocks, and silk or low-maintenance live plants like Java Fern and Anubias ($15 - $30)
  • Fish: One Double Tail Betta ($5 - $25)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Fish Net: $2 - $5
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $15
  • Test Kit: $15 - $40
  • Fish Food: $3 - $10
  • Water Conditioner: $3 - $10

Mid-range setup (around $250 - $400):

  • Tank: 10-20 gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($30 - $100)
  • Filter: High-quality HOB or small canister filter rated for the tank size ($30 - $100)
  • Heater: 50-100 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($15 - $40)
  • Lighting: LED aquarium light with adjustable settings for plant growth and color enhancement ($35 - $100)
  • Substrate: Nutrient-rich aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks ($10 - $30)
  • Decor: A mix of driftwood, rocks, and live plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species ($30 - $60)
  • Fish: One Double Tail Betta ($5 - $25)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Fish Net: $2 - $5
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $3 - $10

High-end setup (above $500):

  • Tank: 20-30 gallon rimless aquarium with a glass canopy ($80 - $200)
  • Filter: High-quality canister filter rated for the tank size ($100 - $250)
  • Heater: 100-150 watt adjustable aquarium heater with an external temperature controller ($30 - $70)
  • Lighting: Advanced LED lighting system with customizable settings for plant growth, color enhancement, and day/night cycles ($100 - $300)
  • Substrate: Premium aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks, with added root tabs for extra plant nutrition ($20 - $50)
  • Decor: A combination of driftwood, rocks, and live plants to create a natural aquascape, featuring plant species such as Java Fern, Anubias, Cryptocoryne species, and carpeting plants like Dwarf Hairgrass or Monte Carlo ($50 - $100)
  • Fish: One Double Tail Betta ($5 - $25)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Fish Net: $2 - $5
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $3 - $10

Please note that these numbers are just recommendations, and you should consider other factors such as tank mates and individual fish personalities when deciding how to set up your Double Tail Betta aquarium. Prices may vary depending on location, brand, and availability.

Set Up Your Tank

In the previous section, we discussed the recommended tank setups for your Double Tail Bettas and other fish. Now that you have a better understanding of what's required, let's dive into the step-by-step process of setting up your aquarium. These steps will guide you through selecting the ideal location for your tank, cleaning and preparing the tank, installing essential equipment, and cycling the water to create a healthy environment for your fish. We'll also cover the proper acclimation process to ensure a smooth transition for your Double Tail Bettas and other fish into their new home. By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to creating a thriving aquatic ecosystem for your fish to flourish in.

  • Step #1: Choose the perfect spot for your aquarium, making sure it's away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Ensure the surface is level and sturdy enough to support your filled tank. If your aquarium requires a stand, assemble it according to the manufacturer's instructions and place the empty tank on it.
  • Step #2: Next, clean the tank by rinsing it with clean water (avoid using soap or chemicals) to remove dust or debris. Wipe the inside with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse the substrate (sand or gravel) thoroughly in a bucket until the water runs clear, then spread it evenly across the bottom of the tank, creating a slight slope towards the back for visual depth.
  • Step #3: Before filling the tank with water, plan the layout of your aquarium, including the position of equipment like heaters and filters. This will make it easier to set up and maintain the tank in the long run. Install the heater and filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using a sponge or under-gravel filter, place it beneath the substrate before adding water.
  • Step #4: Decorate the tank with driftwood, rocks, and plants to create hiding spots and a visually appealing environment, ensuring there are open swimming areas for your fish. When decorating the tank, be careful to arrange driftwood, rocks, and plants in a way that won't damage or obstruct the equipment. You can also anchor plants to driftwood or rocks to help them stay in place.
  • Step #5: Fill the tank with water treated with a water conditioner if your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines. Place a clean plate or plastic bag on the substrate to prevent disturbance while filling. Fill the tank until it's about 2/3 full. Attach the aquarium light to the hood or canopy, following the manufacturer's instructions. Consider using a timer for your aquarium light to maintain a consistent day and night cycle, which is essential for fish and plants. Connect the heater, filter, and any additional equipment (air pump, CO2 system) to power sources, and install the thermometer in an easily visible location.
  • Step #6: Top off the water, leaving space between the water surface and the top of the tank for oxygen exchange. Turn on the filter, heater, and other equipment. Monitor the water temperature and adjust the heater as needed. Allow the tank to cycle for 4-6 weeks to establish beneficial bacteria and stabilize water parameters. During the cycling process, you can add a bacterial starter culture to speed up the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the tank. Use an aquarium test kit to monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Step #7: After the tank has cycled and water parameters are stable, slowly acclimate your Double Tail Bettas and other fish to the tank's conditions before introducing them. Begin by floating the unopened fish bag in the tank for 15-20 minutes to equalize the temperature. Afterward, open the bag and add a small amount of tank water to it. Continue adding small amounts of tank water to the bag every 5-10 minutes for at least 30-60 minutes, allowing the fish to adjust to the new water chemistry gradually. Use a net to gently transfer the fish from the bag to the tank, avoiding any unnecessary stress or exposure to the water from the bag.
  • Step #8: Once all the fish are introduced, establish a consistent daily feeding schedule, providing high-quality food in appropriate amounts for your fish species. Perform regular water changes (20-30% every 1-2 weeks) and monitor water parameters using a test kit to maintain a healthy environment for your fish. Observe your fish closely for any signs of stress or illness, especially during the first few weeks after introduction. Be prepared to take action if necessary, such as adjusting water parameters or seeking advice from an experienced aquarist.

By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating the additional setup tips, you can create a thriving aquatic environment that will help your Double Tail Bettas and other fish flourish in their new home.

Recommended Water Parameters

To ensure the well-being of your Double Tail Bettas, it's crucial to maintain specific water parameters in your aquarium. Here's a breakdown of what you should aim for:

  • Temperature: Keep the water between 75°F and 80°F (24°C and 27°C) for optimal comfort.
  • pH: Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water (1-10 dGH) is ideal.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: Maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, and keep nitrate levels below 20 ppm.
  • Lighting: Provide low to moderate lighting with shaded areas and plants to prevent stress.
  • Water movement: Moderate water flow is best, mimicking their natural slow-moving habitat.

Regularly test your aquarium water and perform necessary water changes to keep the environment stable.

Routine Water Maintenance

Water changes are essential for a healthy Double Tail Betta tank. They help remove excess nutrients, waste, and toxins. Here's a suggested routine:

  • Weekly water changes: Replace 20-25% of the tank water every week.
  • Test water parameters: Regularly check pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness.
  • Use a gravel vacuum: Clean the substrate during water changes.
  • Dechlorinate the water: Treat tap water with a water conditioner before adding it to the aquarium.
  • Match temperature and pH: Ensure new water is similar to the tank water.
  • Acclimate the fish: Give your fish time to adjust to new conditions after water changes.

In addition to routine water maintenance, consider the following to ensure the health of your fish and the overall appearance of your aquarium:

  • Monitor lighting duration: Keep track of how long your aquarium lights are on each day, aiming for a consistent 8-10 hour photoperiod. Too much light can lead to excessive algae growth.
  • Plant maintenance: Regularly trim live plants to maintain their health and appearance. Remove any dead leaves or plant matter to prevent water quality issues.
  • Filter maintenance: Clean or replace the filter media as recommended by the manufacturer, usually every 4-6 weeks. Avoid replacing all filter media at once, as this can disrupt the beneficial bacteria and lead to water quality issues.

Diet and Feeding Schedule

Double Tail Bettas are carnivores and require a protein-rich diet. Here are some feeding guidelines:

  • Pellets: Use high-quality pellet food specifically designed for Betta fish.
  • Frozen and live foods: Offer brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia as occasional treats.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed modest portions one to two times a day, and avoid overfeeding.

Stress and Diseases

Double Tail Bettas may experience stress from various sources, such as poor water quality, aggression, or unsuitable tank conditions. Identifying and addressing these stressors is vital for your fish's health and well-being:

  • Watch for stress signs: Keep an eye on your Double Tail Bettas for unusual behavior like hiding, lethargy, color loss, or rapid breathing, which may indicate stress.
  • Check water quality: Test your aquarium water to ensure it meets the ideal parameters and conduct regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Monitor tank mates: Make sure your Double Tail Bettas aren't being harassed or attacked by other fish and remove any aggressive tank mates if needed.
  • Create a suitable habitat: Provide plenty of hiding spots, appropriate lighting, and a properly sized tank for your fish.

While Double Tail Bettas are generally hardy, they can be susceptible to some common fish diseases, such as:

  • Ich (white spot disease): A prevalent parasitic infection causing white spots on the body and fins, lethargy, and appetite loss. Treat Ich with aquarium salt or anti-parasitic medication and raise the water temperature to around 82°F (28°C).
  • Fin rot: A bacterial infection that leads to frayed or discolored fins and tail. Treat fin rot with a partial water change, aquarium salt, and antibacterial medication containing erythromycin or tetracycline.
  • Velvet disease: A parasitic infection causing a yellow or brownish velvet-like coating on the fish's body. Treat velvet disease with anti-parasitic medication containing copper sulfate or formalin.
  • Swim bladder disease: A condition where fish have difficulty swimming upright. Treat swim bladder disease by fasting the fish and offering them blanched peas, and consider using an antibacterial medication if needed.

Prevent diseases in Double Tail Bettas by maintaining excellent water quality, avoiding overfeeding, and providing a balanced diet. Quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank and promptly address any signs of illness.


Breeding Double Tail Bettas can be a challenging undertaking, but it is achievable with the right setup and conditions. Follow these steps to breed Double Tail Bettas:

  • Step #1: Set up a suitable breeding environment with a separate 5-gallon or larger breeding tank, a pH level of around 7.0, and a temperature of about 80°F (27°C). Include hiding spots like plants and decorations for the fish's comfort.
  • Step #2: Select a healthy, mature male and female Double Tail Betta for breeding. You can determine the gender by observing their physical characteristics and behavior.
  • Step #3: Prepare the breeding pair with a high-protein diet of live or frozen foods for several weeks to help them build strength and energy.
  • Step #4: Introduce the female to the male's tank and monitor their interactions. The male will create a bubble nest at the water's surface. If the female is receptive, the male will wrap around her and squeeze out her eggs, which he will then fertilize and place in the bubble nest.
  • Step #5: Remove the female from the breeding tank after spawning. The male will care for the eggs and the bubble nest. Keep the breeding tank in a dimly lit area, as the eggs are sensitive to light. Eggs will hatch within 24-48 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after several days.
  • Step #6: Remove the male once the fry are free-swimming, and feed them infusoria or liquid fry food initially. Gradually introduce crushed flake food as they grow.

Breeding Double Tail Bettas can be a rewarding experience for experienced hobbyists. Patience and the right conditions are key to success.

Recommended Tank Mates

Here are the top 10 recommended tank mates for Double Tail Bettas:

  1. Harlequin Rasboras
  2. Neon Tetras
  3. Glowlight Tetras
  4. Corydoras Catfish
  5. Ghost Shrimp
  6. Amano Shrimp
  7. Mystery Snails
  8. Zebra Snails
  9. Ember Tetras
  10. African Dwarf Frogs

Always avoid aggressive fish or those with long, flowing fins, as they may provoke aggression from the Double Tail Betta. Monitor the behavior of new fish and ensure they don't cause stress or aggression towards the Double Tail Betta.


In conclusion, Double Tail Bettas are a captivating species of freshwater fish known for their unique appearance and ease of care. These fish require specific water parameters, a well-balanced diet, and a suitable environment to thrive in captivity. With the right conditions, they can live up to 3-5 years and be an excellent addition to any aquarium. When selecting tank mates, it's crucial to choose peaceful and non-aggressive species to ensure a harmonious community. Breeding Double Tail Bettas can be a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced hobbyists, and patience and ideal conditions are key to success. Overall, Double Tail Bettas are a stunning and lively species that can enhance any aquatic display with their vibrant colors and fascinating behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Double Tail Bettas?

A minimum tank size of 5 gallons is recommended for a single Double Tail Betta. A larger tank would be even better, as it helps keep water conditions stable while offering more space for your fish to swim and explore.

How should I set up a tank for a Double Tail Betta?

Double Tail Bettas thrive in water temperatures between 76°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C), a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, and moderately hard water. Provide a tank with plenty of hiding spots, such as live plants, caves, and decorations, and ensure the water is well-filtered and well-oxygenated.

What do Double Tail Bettas eat?

Double Tail Bettas are carnivorous and require a protein-rich diet. Feed them a mix of high-quality betta pellets, along with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

Are Double Tail Bettas compatible with other fish?

Yes, Double Tail Bettas can coexist with other similarly sized, non-aggressive fish species. Ideal tank mates include small tetras, rasboras, and peaceful invertebrates.

How can I differentiate between male and female Double Tail Bettas?

Males typically have longer fins and more vibrant colors, while females have shorter fins and more subdued coloration. Males also tend to be more territorial and aggressive.

How long do Double Tail Bettas live?

With proper care and optimal tank conditions, Double Tail Bettas can live for 3 to 5 years.

How do I breed Double Tail Bettas?

Breeding Double Tail Bettas can be challenging, as they require specific water conditions, a separate breeding tank, and careful monitoring of the breeding pair. Use a separate breeding tank, and ensure the male has created a bubble nest before introducing the female for spawning.

Do Double Tail Bettas require a planted tank?

While not strictly necessary, a planted tank is highly recommended for Double Tail Bettas. Live plants provide hiding spots, improve water quality, and create a more natural environment that closely resembles their native habitat.

Can Double Tail Bettas change color?

Indeed, Double Tail Bettas can undergo color changes as a result of several factors, such as stress, illness, or alterations in water conditions. If you observe your Double Tail Betta experiencing a loss of color, it's important to examine the water parameters and keep a close watch on their health.