Betta Fish are a variety of freshwater fish that has been widely known all around the world. If you are a pet or decorative fish enthusiast, bettas should be inhabitants of your fish tank or pond.
The fish are also popular for their large variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and tail types—thanks to mix or cross-breeding! However, many beginners are still unaware of their betta fish personality.
Yes, betta fish do have personalities, just like us humans!
Also well known as Siamese fighting fish, betta fish are pretty much common among newbies in the pet or decorative fish hobbyist community. Being only 7 cm in length, betta fish are small, colorful fish that have dramatic yet impressive personalities.
The captivating fish do not require much maintenance due to their striking physics and behaviors. Surprisingly, they are also blessed with amazing skills, such as recognizing their owners and creating bubble nests.
Speaking of the fancy fish physics, bettas have a labyrinth organ that helps them breathe the air on the water surface. This is because their gills are not capable of receiving enough oxygen from the water around them.
Most of all, betta fish are very well noticed with their unique physical features such as tails in numerous types—from the flowing, long tails to the neat, short ones. Meanwhile, their body patterns are also rich in variation, from single patterns to multi-colored ones.
Regardless of all of that magnificent body features, it is their colors that make them look stunning. Once you combine all of those special features, you will get hundreds of unique betta variants.
Betta Breed Varieties
Before we discuss betta fish personality, let us explore the varieties of its breeds. The fish are usually classified by their tail sizes and shapes and the size of their tail.
Below are just a few of hundreds of betta types based on the classification.
Crown Tail Betta Fish
Having been one of the world’s most popular decorative freshwater fish, crown tail bettas are relatively a new species. The special betta fish was bred for the first time by Ahmad Yusuf from Indonesia about 25 years ago.
The species has long, spikey crown-shaped fins, but when the webbing is 2/3 longer than the tail, it should be classified as another variant—comb tail betta. The male crown tail betta fish usually show extraordinary colors with longer tails and fins than those of the female ones.
Unlike most betta fish, plakat bettas are known for their round and short tails. Their fins are also relatively shorter than the other breeds.
With dazzling colors, the bettas that got their name from the word “plakad” (meaning fighting fish in Thai) are considered wild bettas. You can find them in their natural habitat.
Halfmoon betta fish earned their name from their large tails that particularly resemble a half of a circle. This variety cannot be found in the wild as it is tightly bred in captivity—usually in betta fish exhibitions.
Bred for the first time in the 80s, half moon bettas have reached international recognition after approaching Europe.
Do Betta Fish Have Personalities?
In case you wonder if betta fish have personalities, the answer is, yes, betta fish do have personalities. Not only do the elegant little fish have extraordinary physical features and skills; they also have unique personalities.
Depending on how you treat them, if you do handle them with care, they will show you positive traits such as friendliness and curiosity. They are the kind of cute pet fish that love being stroked and swimming in your hand.
Sadly, there have also been depression cases suffered by certain bettas—usually caused by stress or loneliness. After suffering for a period, depressed bettas will starve themselves until they are dead. Read further to know about betta personality traits and betta fish temperaments.
Betta Fish Personality and Temperament Types
There are some known personality types on betta fish, below are some of them.
These bettas will always have an aggressive temperament towards anything in their habitat. They tend to lose their temper and attack almost everything they see. Even after being handled with care, they will remain to blow at you when being fed.
Due to its high aggression, a betta can even bite its own tail. Not to mention that it also easily gets boring, making it need extra care.
For your information, male betta fish are much more aggressive than the female counterparts. So it is a bad idea to place more than one male bettas in a tank. This will lead them to hurt each other and become stressed.
This betta fish personality means they do not easily get affected by anything. These beautiful little creatures love resting so much that they are sometimes known as lazy bettas.
They also enjoy exploring in their tank sometimes. When it is time for feeding, these calm bettas do not just snap the food up like the aggressive ones. They tend to feed on their food more gently.
However, even bettas with a calm character are also inclined to easily get bored. Due to their natural weakness appearance, it is also difficult to detect if there is a disease. The bright side is, they can live together with the other fish peacefully.
Bettas that are nervous means they get stressed easily, and because of the condition, the fish tend to bite their own tails or are inclined to suffer from a disease. Nervous traits can usually be found in ragged-fin bettas no matter how much care you give them.
These nervous bettas should not be placed with the other fish or placed in divided aquariums. Despite their relaxed look, nervous bettas could easily meet death if not taken care of seriously.
The opposites of the calm bettas are the lively ones. These bettas are the kind of active explorers with high curiosity. They are the ones that always come to a side of their tank and cheerfully look at anyone or anything outside the tank.
This can be identified with their busy eyes assessing the surroundings. They will also patrol in the tank more than the others.
The other character of a lively betta that can be notified is being repetitive in doing some actions such as repeatedly eating smaller creatures in the tank if they find them hard to eat.
The great thing is they do not get stressed or mad easily. In fact, they can interact with the other fish in the tank more friendly—usually by swimming around together with them. You can either place lively bettas in a community or a divided aquarium.
Betta Fish Personality Signs
As a betta fish owner, you should always pay attention to their personality signs. This will help you reveal your betta’s personality. Please note that it is easier to identify the aggressive or nervous bettas even though it is not 100% true.
Too Much Flaring
If your betta tends to flare (lose temper) at every single thing around that moves or keeps puffing up when being fed despite long term of care/ownership, these signs could tell that your betta is aggressive.
However, some bettas are only flaring at a few things like a new home or flashlight of a camera, and it does not make them the aggressive ones. In this case, notice what your betta is flaring at and try to reduce or eliminate it to lessen your betta’s stress.
Still on betta fish personality, if your betta breed oftentimes floats around slowly on the top of the aquarium and enjoys resting, it is more likely a calm betta. They also love to explore the tank gently.
Although these bettas tend to ignore the others around, that means they do not get easily stressed and angry because they know they are the kings or queens of their home.
Some bettas are even scared of the dark. When it is time to turn off the light in the room where the fish tank is placed, these freaked-out bettas will get nervous, lose their temper, and act weirdly. If this often happens, your betta is probably a nervous one.
Pacing a Lot
This personality sign is somehow odd but can indicate fear, nervousness, or even worse, aggression. Pacing at the tank sides is probably caused by your betta’s fear of the other tank mates.
If you frequently notice this, you should immediately separate your betta from the others.
Female vs Male Betta Fish Personality Traits
When it comes to betta fish personality between the males and females, you should look closer. A male betta fish will usually adapt well in a community aquarium or pond if it is the only male there or if the fish and the others are the calm or lively variants.
Just do not place one aggressive betta fish with other fish if you wish them to live longer.
On the other hand, female betta fish are less antagonistic and will generally get along with the other inhabitants of the tank. Pecking order (dominance hierarchy in animal behavior) will be permanently set in a community tank over some period of time.
This means one fish will make itself a dominant inhabitant in the tank while the others will be the submissive ones. It is not a problem, though, as long as they can all get along together.
In terms of betta fish personality, there are always negative traits (the aggressive and nervous ones) and positive traits (the calm and lively ones).
What you have to do is carefully watch your betta’s behavior and place them in the right fish tank—whether it is a divided or community one.
Remember to feed them with nutritious, high-protein food (a betta’s diet is usually carnivorous) like insects, larvae, pellets, flakes, or frozen dried blood worms.