Everyone can agree that betta fish are a stunning freshwater genus that everyone wants to keep in a tank.
Choosing just one from the 70 plus varieties from the gourami family is a difficult choice.
Bettas are not only unique for their captivating color variety but also for their ability to survive in low oxygen environments, like their natural habitat in rice paddies, tranquil streams, drainage ditches, and puddles.
But since we’re focusing on veiltail bettas in a tank, here are the must-have requirements to make these ray-finned aquatic creatures thrive and you happy.
What Is a Veiltail Betta?
Veiltail bettas are a beloved choice of bettas for their attractive fin display.
They are as well-suited to novice fish keepers as they are for experienced owners. What’s more, they’re also easier to breed than other varieties within this (Osphronemidae) family.
Betta splendens is the scientific name for these multicolored creatures within a rainbow spectrum of color variations.
True to their moniker, veiltail bettas are attractive freshwater fish that captivate aquarium owners with their breathtaking translucent tails that shimmer with movement in the tank.
With their uncanny ability to breathe oxygen through a highly evolved breathing organ called the labyrinth, veiltails and other bettas survive in low oxygen environments and breathe on the surface. Underwater, a betta breathes through its gill.
Bettas are aggressive and territorial, but a male veiltail betta is only mildly aggressive towards fish in the same species and keeps within the fighting fish family. This moderate aggression makes them a popular choice for aquarium tank owners.
The species is native to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Southeast Asian region. That has led to some lively debate over the betta’s alternative names of Japanese fighting fish and Siamese fighting fish. Because Thailand was once known as Siam, the origin of the Siamese fighting fish remains unchanged.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Veiltail bettas have a reputation that precedes them, but it isn’t always fair either. While veiltail betta fish can sometimes display aggression, they’re primarily peaceful, especially toward other fish species.
Having said that, veiltail bettas are also carnivores. In their natural habitat, bettas are beneficial because they typically consume the larvae of mosquitoes and other insects, worms, and smaller fish.
In nature, as their environment is dependent on other influences, bettas are called generalist feeders and adapt their diet.
Male veiltail bettas make good companions to other fish from suitable schools. To spot aggression in a veiltail betta, look at their fins for a fighting signal.
Bettas exhibit aggression with a display in their fins. Taught and stiff fins suggest that they feel threatened in their environment and are preparing for a fight.
A content veiltail betta’s fins sway in the aquatic breeze like a silk banner unfurled for show. As a novice aquarium owner, it will be necessary to distinguish between tranquil and aggressive stances.
Understanding your fish is key to promoting a healthy lifespan of between two to four years.
Are Veiltail Bettas Aggressive?
The answer depends on the tank environment and who is keeping your veiltail company. In the animal kingdom, male dominance is part of survival. This dominant stance becomes prominent when they feel threatened.
If you notice a change in your veiltail betta’s swimming pattern, look for signs of aggression and a change in its usually fluid fin movement.
A veiltail swimming frantically from side to side is under duress. It’s a signal that it’s miserable and concerned about safety in the tank hierarchy.
As a freshwater aquarium keeper, make the necessary arrangements to house only compatible fish in the tank with your veiltail betta.
How to Take Care of Veiltail Bettas
Veiltail bettas are easier to breed than other bettas, but they also require essentials for a happy life. Small in stature, measuring only 1.5 to 2 inches in length, these miniature fighters need an ambient temperature of 72-81° F to thrive. Avoid extreme or rapid temperature changes and aim for a median temperature of 75° F.
If temperatures plunge, the veiltail will swim in a sluggish pattern and may eventually become ill and die. A water heater is inexpensive and beneficial to regulate fluctuations.
Veiltails make peaceful companions in three-gallon tanks with reasonable care. Since their natural habitat is in slow-moving water, it’s essential to mimic that environment. They won’t like a pump disturbing the tranquility with a powerful current.
Further, strong currents may harm their delicate fins and tails.
Another equally important consideration for keeping a veiltail betta in prime condition is a perfectly balanced pH level between 6.8 and 7.5. They are also sensitive to hard water measured in GH and require a water hardness between 5 and 20. Soft water will promote overall good health, while hard water will promote a decline.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Maintaining an optimum home environment for a veiltail betta won’t be complicated. Most importantly, you will want to keep water conditions within specific parameters to keep them comfortable and content. That will include, as mentioned, ensuring temperatures are ideal and that the current is consistently mild.
Correct lighting will promote fish health and allow the veiltail betta’s stunning color spectrum to be showcased. Lighting is another way to invest in fish health at an affordable price. Using the correct source is also important to create an artificial day and night cycle. After all, your fish will need to sleep too.
Mimicking the natural environment ensures that the plants in the tank provide good hiding and resting places, but these plants need to be soft and elastic to avoid damaging the fragile fins.
As with plants, veiltails crave a space to feel safe. Building rock fortresses will allow them to hide in a concealed habitat. Use rounded and smooth pebbles. Avoid sharp objects in the tank.
Key takeaway points:
- Tank temperature average of 75° F (without drastic fluctuations)
- Hardness level GH of between 5 and 20
- Ph level neither alkaline nor acidic 6.8 to 7.5
- Soft plants and light
- Mild current
- Suitable companions
- Ample room, three-gallon tank
- Replace 10 -25% of the water each time you clean, clean/replace the filter
The caveat for smaller tank operators is that you need to change ⅓ of the water at a minimum every 3-4 days without a filtration system and keep to a schedule. Like with larger aquariums, never change all of the water at once. This drastic action may shock your fish and cause them distress.
What to Feed Your Veiltail Betta?
A healthy carnivore diet is crucial for veiltail betta fish. Anyone who has ever kept a betta or fish in a tank can attest that fish have personality in spades.
The same is true for these inquisitive creatures, and they will interact with the tank owners displaying their beautiful fins with much fanfare, especially at feeding time.
They like meaty foods, and a diet that includes live morsels of food is ideal. A pet store should be able to provide tank owners with live bloodworms, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae. Substituting with frozen samples is okay too, and freeze-dried flakes and pellets are a good supplement as long as they contain high-quality fish protein content.
Overfeeding is not healthy. Your betta will suffer from bloating, constipation, and overall ill health, diminishing its quality of life and longevity.
Since veiltail bettas are tiny, their food source should match their proportion and be formulated for bettas. Any excess food that falls to the bottom of the tank should be removed with a turkey baster to promote a healthy tank between cleaning.
Instead of overfeeding, concentrate on feeding your fish regularly twice a day and alternate between live and frozen substitutes.
Veiltails will spit out food that they don’t find palatable, so keeping a keen eye on your fish’s eating habits is important. A betta in its natural environment will eat whenever a food source is available and then not eat for an extended period. This period can last from a few days to two weeks and should not harm the fish as long as the fish is in a healthy environment.
Unfortunately, veiltails will refuse to eat when they’re in a stressful environment. That can lead to them eventually becoming lethargic and ill.
Like all bettas, veiltail betta males are territorial and will not enjoy competition in the tank. On some occasions, they may enjoy the company of a female.
Testing to see if they are compatible is crucial. Look for the signs mentioned above of aggression and have an alternate plan if things don’t work out.
While bettas are known to be aggressive, veiltails are usually more docile and peaceful.
They make suitable tank mates for guppies, kuhli loaches, ghost shrimp, and cory fish (any schooling or bottom-feeder fish). Also, avoid grouping veiltails with brightly colored, finny fish as they could be seen as intrusive invaders.
Allowing the companions some time to get accustomed to newcomers and form a social hierarchy is vital in establishing a healthy tank environment.
Keeping Your Veiltail Betta Healthy
You know a happy fish means a happy life. More research confirms that fish lead complex social lives. As the primary caregiver to your veiltail, don’t be surprised to form a rewarding mutual attachment.
Aquarium owners understand that providing the essentials is partnered with tank maintenance.
Why go to the expense of furnishing an aquarium, light system, filtration, fish, plants, rocks, and then skimp on cleaning the tank.
An appropriate three-gallon tank needs a regular cleaning schedule. While diving (not literally) into the tank to remove harmful organisms and algae buildup every two weeks may seem daunting, it’s a manageable chore.
Replace at least 10% of the water using a suitable temperature. Suction any gravel, pebbles, structures, and plants with your tank vacuum (not the Dyson) quickly in an efficient pattern. This action removes harmful elements from developing in your tank and harming your fish.
Water should be tested regularly for imbalances in calcium, strontium, magnesium, and other damaging trace elements with a testing kit for aquariums. These imbalances are treated with cocktails of specific mineral solutions to restore a healthy balance immediately.
Cleaning your tank is also a great time to observe your fish and monitor them for signs of health and an opportunity to interact with your fish. They’re curious by nature.
How Much Do Veiltail Bettas Cost?
Consumer demand for these aquatic angels and the relative ease of breeding in captivity makes them an affordable fish for hobbyist aquarium owners.
A few factors will determine the price you pay. The age of fish and where you purchase them are the biggest influencers but expect to pay between $2 to $6 on average.
Of course, there are extravagant betta varieties with a price tag ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Successful breeding and popularity have made these fish a great option to include in tanks because of the low price point. They remain a pure joy to watch in the tank.
Veiltails are noted for their aesthetic appeal and color pattern; they’re also easy to maintain and breed.
A veiltail reaches sexual maturity at six months. Given that, if you are interested in breeding, make sure you know your fish’s age. Breeding before maturity is in vain.
Once you have a mature pair, separate the couple into an appropriate temperature tank. Think of it as a honeymoon suite with some privacy.
The female veiltail betta should be smaller than males to prevent males from feeling intimidated and aggressive. Fish courtship is a fascinating thing to witness.
Look for subtle clues like the female changing her color mantle when ready. Her coloring will deepen, and she will produce stripes that signal her readiness.
The veiltail betta has a dominant gene and breeds without too much difficulty. Veiltail is the most popular variety of the betta species and will be the type that is most common in aquarium pet stores.