Veiltail Betta

Veiltail Bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are eye-catching freshwater fish with long, flowing fins. With their rich colors and graceful appearance, they have become a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. Although they are often considered aggressive, Veiltail Bettas can coexist with certain tank mates and require specific care to thrive in a community aquarium.

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Care DIfficulty


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Potentially Aggressive

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Southeast Asia

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2.5 inches (6.4 cm)

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3 to 5 years

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Table of contents

Origin, Appearance, Size, and Lifespan

The Veiltail Betta, or Betta splendens, originates from the Mekong Basin in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. You'll usually find them in shallow, slow-moving waters with an abundance of plant life. These environments offer hiding spots and a variety of food sources, making it an ideal habitat for them.

In the wild, Veiltail Bettas are found in warm, slightly acidic to neutral 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 5 to 20 dGH. To create a similar environment in your aquarium, make sure to maintain a consistent water temperature, use a top-quality filtration system, and incorporate live plants and hiding spots.

By closely mirroring the Veiltail 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.

Veiltail Bettas are celebrated for their vibrant colors and the long, flowing fins that give them their name. These brilliant colors and graceful fins make them an irresistible and eye-catching feature in aquariums. They usually reach up to approximately 2.5 to 3 inches (6.4 to 7.6 cm) in size, and their distinctive appearance and personality make them an ideal choice for those seeking an enchanting, lively aquatic display. These charming fish captivate observers as they glide gracefully through the tank, making them a cherished favorite among hobbyists of all experience levels.

With proper care, Veiltail Bettas can enjoy a lifespan of up to 3 to 5 years. As solitary beings, they often prefer living alone or with carefully chosen tank mates. To promote their well-being and ensure a long life in captivity, it's essential to provide a well-decorated aquarium with abundant hiding spots and a diverse diet consisting of premium pellets, flakes, and frozen or live foods.

Fun Facts

Now that we learned more about the appearance and lifespan of Veiltail 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 elegant finnage to their vibrant colors, Veiltail Bettas are full of surprises and are sure to captivate any aquarist.

  • Bubblenest builders: In the wild, male Veiltail Bettas create bubblenests by blowing bubbles at the water's surface. These nests serve as a safe haven for fertilized eggs, which the male guards diligently until they hatch.
  • Labyrinth organ: Veiltail Bettas possess a unique respiratory organ called the labyrinth, which allows them to breathe air from the surface. This adaptation enables them to survive in low-oxygen environments, such as stagnant pools or rice paddies.
  • Displaying aggression: Veiltail Bettas are known for their territorial behavior, especially among males. When faced with a rival, male Veiltail Bettas will flare their gills and spread their fins to intimidate their opponent, often resulting in a spectacular display of color and finnage.
  • Color variations: Veiltail Bettas come in a wide range of colors, including red, blue, green, yellow, and even metallic hues. Their vibrant colors and unique fin shapes make them highly sought after in the aquarium hobby.
  • Jumping ability: Surprisingly, Veiltail Bettas have the ability to jump out of the water. In the wild, this skill helps them escape predators or move between small bodies of water during the dry season. As a result, it's essential to keep a secure lid on your aquarium to prevent your Veiltail Betta from jumping out.

Now that you've discovered some interesting tidbits about Veiltail 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 Veiltail Bettas have an ideal environment to thrive and showcase their elegant 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 Veiltail 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. Typically, Veiltail Bettas are priced between $5 and $25 per fish, although prices can vary based on factors such as color, quality, and availability.

Budget-friendly setup (around $100 - $150):

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

Mid-range setup (around $200 - $300):

  • Tank: 5-10 gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($40 - $80)
  • Filter: Canister filter or high-quality HOB filter rated for the tank size ($30 - $60)
  • Heater: 50-watt adjustable aquarium heater ($15 - $30)
  • Lighting: LED aquarium light with adjustable settings for plant growth and color enhancement ($40 - $80)
  • Substrate: Nutrient-rich aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks ($10 - $20)
  • Decor: A mix of driftwood, rocks, and live plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species ($30 - $60)
  • Fish: One Veiltail Betta ($5 - $25)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $10 - $20
  • Test Kit: $15 - $40
  • Fish Food: $5 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

High-end setup (above $350):

  • Tank: 10-20 gallon rimless aquarium with a glass canopy ($80 - $150)
  • Filter: High-quality canister filter rated for the tank size ($100 - $200)
  • Heater: 50-100 watt adjustable aquarium heater with an external temperature controller ($30 - $60)
  • Lighting: Advanced LED lighting system with customizable settings for plant growth, color enhancement, and day/night cycles ($80 - $150)
  • Substrate: Premium aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks, with added root tabs for extra plant nutrition ($20 - $40)
  • 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 Veiltail Betta ($5 - $25)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $10 - $20
  • Test Kit: $20 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

Please note that these numbers are just recommendations, and you should consider other factors such as tank mates and individual fish personalities when deciding on a setup for your Veiltail Betta. 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 Veiltail Betta. 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 Veiltail Betta 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, ensuring it's away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Make sure 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 cautious 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 Veiltail Betta 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 the Veiltail Betta is 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 Veiltail Betta flourish in their new home.

Recommended Water Parameters

To keep your Veiltail Betta healthy and happy, it's important to maintain specific water parameters in your aquarium. Here's a breakdown of what to aim for:

  • Temperature: Keep the water between 76°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C) for optimal comfort.
  • pH: Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.5, allowing for stable conditions.
  • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water (1-10 dGH) is ideal for your Veiltail Betta.
  • 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: Gentle water flow is best, as Veiltail Bettas prefer calm environments.

Make sure to test your aquarium water regularly and perform necessary water changes to keep the environment stable.

Routine Water Maintenance

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

  • Weekly water changes: Replace 20-30% of the tank water every 1-2 weeks.
  • Test water parameters: Check pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness regularly.
  • 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

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

  • Flakes and pellets: Use high-quality flake or pellet food designed for Betta fish.
  • Frozen and live foods: Offer brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia as occasional treats.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed modest portions twice a day, and avoid overfeeding.

Stress and Diseases

Veiltail 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 Veiltail Betta 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.
  • Create a suitable habitat: Provide plenty of hiding spots, appropriate lighting, and a properly sized tank for your fish.

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

  • Step #1: Create 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). Maintain soft water (1-4 dGH) and include hiding spots like plants and caves for the fish's comfort.
  • Step #2: Select healthy, mature male and female Veiltail Bettas 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 male to the breeding tank first, and then add the female after he has built a bubble nest. Monitor their interactions and remove the female if aggression becomes excessive.
  • Step #5: After spawning, remove the female from the breeding tank, as the male will care for the eggs and fry. Keep the breeding tank in a dimly lit area, as the eggs and fry are sensitive to light. Eggs will hatch within 24-48 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after several days.
  • Step #6: Feed the fry infusoria or liquid fry food initially, then gradually introduce crushed flake food or newly hatched brine shrimp as they grow.

Breeding Veiltail 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 Veiltail Bettas:

  1. Dwarf Corydoras
  2. Harlequin Rasboras
  3. Celestial Pearl Danios
  4. Endler's Livebearers
  5. Bristlenose Plecos
  6. Kuhli Loaches
  7. Amano Shrimp
  8. Nerite Snails
  9. Ghost Shrimp
  10. African Dwarf Frogs

Remember to avoid large, aggressive fish like cichlids, angelfish, and predatory species, as they may harm or eat the Veiltail Bettas. Always observe the behavior of new fish and ensure they don't cause stress or aggression towards the Veiltail Bettas.


To summarize, Veiltail Bettas are a captivating species of freshwater fish renowned for their vibrant colors and unique fin shape. These fish require specific water parameters, a well-balanced diet, and a suitable environment to thrive in captivity. However, 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 Veiltail Bettas can be a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced hobbyists, and patience and ideal conditions are key to success. Overall, Veiltail Bettas are a stunning and lively species that can enhance any aquatic display with their impressive appearance and engaging behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Veiltail Bettas?

When setting up a home for Veiltail Bettas, a 5-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a single fish. Opting for a larger tank is even better, as it helps keep water conditions stable while offering plenty of room for your fish to swim.

How many Veiltail Bettas should be kept together?

Veiltail Bettas are generally best kept individually, as they can become territorial and aggressive towards other bettas, especially males. However, some females can be kept together in a larger tank with plenty of hiding spaces.

What water parameters do Veiltail Bettas require?

Veiltail 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 soft to moderately hard water with a hardness between 1 and 10 dGH.

What do Veiltail Bettas eat?

Veiltail Bettas are primarily carnivorous and require a protein-rich diet. Feed them a mix of high-quality pellet or flake food, along with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Are Veiltail Bettas compatible with other fish?

Yes, Veiltail Bettas can coexist with other peaceful, non-aggressive fish species of a similar size. Ideal tank mates include dwarf corydoras, harlequin rasboras, and celestial pearl danios.

How long do Veiltail Bettas live?

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

How do I breed Veiltail Bettas?

Breeding Veiltail Bettas can be challenging, as they require specific water conditions and a separate breeding tank. Prepare the breeding pair with a high-protein diet and monitor their interactions during the breeding process.

Do Veiltail Bettas require a planted tank?

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

Can Veiltail Bettas change color?

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