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Koi Betta Fish: Species Profile, Varieties & Care Guide

Have you ever been captivated by the mesmerizing colors and patterns of koi betta fish? Are you considering adding one to your aquarium but unsure about its care, behavior, or even how to differentiate between the various types?

You’re not alone in your curiosity. Dive into our comprehensive ‘Koi Betta Fish Overview & Types Guide‘ to discover the world of these aquatic wonders, ensuring you’re well-informed and ready to provide the best environment for your finned friend.

Koi Betta Fish Quick Fact Table

Common Names Koi Betta
Scientific Name Betta splendens (though specific for Koi variety could vary)
Adult Size Approx. 2.5 to 3 inches
Lifespan 3-5 years
Family Osphronemidae
Origin Southeast Asia (koi variant is selectively bred)
Temperament Generally aggressive toward other bettas
Compatibility Best kept alone or with non-aggressive species
Tank Mates Kuhli Loaches, Bristlenose Plecos, Harlequin Rasboras, Otocinclus, Cory Catfish
Minimum Tank Size 2.5 – 5 gallons (larger is better)
Diet Carnivorous
Prey Insects, small crustaceans
Habitat Freshwater
Color Varied (specific to koi pattern)
Skin Type Scales
Care Level Intermediate
Breeding Bubble nesting
pH 6.5 – 7.5
Water Hardness Soft to slightly hard
Temperature 76 – 82°F (24 – 28°C)
Favorite Food Live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms

Koi Betta Summary

Koi bettas are not a blend of koi and betta fish but fall under the Betta splendens category. Their distinct coloration, reminiscent of treasured koi, sets them apart.

This variety was accidentally discovered in the 1970s by Orville Gulley, an inmate at Indiana State Prison, during a rehabilitation project using peanut butter jars for breeding. Once recognized, they were introduced to the world by hobbyist Walt Maurus.

Though pricier, their stunning appearance makes them a prized choice for aquarium enthusiasts.

koi betta fish
koi betta fish

Koi Betta Appearance

Koi bettas stand out in the world of fish for their unique and varied markings. While marble bettas typically exhibit two marbled shades over their base color, Koi bettas can proudly boast up to three.

These stunning creatures are adorned with Koi-like patterns in a rich spectrum of black, white, orange, red, and sometimes blue. Male Koi bettas can flaunt either long or short fins and are often seen with half-moon, plakat, delta, or veil tail fin types. On the other hand, female Koi bettas, like their betta counterparts, possess shorter fins but don’t lag in displaying vibrant hues.

koi betta color
koi betta color

It’s fascinating to note that a Koi betta’s color pattern can shift with changes in its environment, its mood, and as it ages.

Koi Betta Fish Varieties & Color Types

The Koi Betta showcases a captivating assortment of colors, patterns, and tail types, offering enthusiasts a stunning array of options to choose from:

Galaxy Koi Betta: The quintessential Galaxy Koi Betta is characterized by its shimmering, iridescent scales that evoke the beauty of the cosmos. These scales create an ethereal and captivating visual effect, setting them apart from other betta varieties.

koi galaxy betta pic
koi galaxy betta pic

Fancy Variety: Distinguished by their multifaceted appearance, Fancy Koi Bettas boast a minimum of three distinct colors that blend harmoniously, creating an eye-catching and intricate palette.

Fancy red koi betta
Fancy red koi betta

Candy Variant: The Candy Koi Betta exhibits vibrant and dazzling hues reminiscent of candies. Some liken their colors to the delightful shades found in sorbets, making them a visually delectable addition to any aquarium.

Candy koi betta
Candy koi betta

Tiger Stripes: The Tiger Koi Betta boasts a unique charm with its yellow-hued body adorned by striking black or blue stripes, evoking the powerful and majestic aura of its namesake.

Tiger Stripes betta fish
Tiger Stripes betta fish

Nemo Pattern: Aptly named after the beloved clownfish, the Nemo Koi Betta showcases a striking marbled pattern of orange, red, and black, reminiscent of the iconic fish from the sea.

Nemo halfmoon betta fish
Nemo halfmoon betta fish

Samurai Variation: A true rarity, the Samurai Koi Betta combines the allure of dragon scaling with marbled colors, creating a mesmerizing and intricate appearance that pays homage to the warrior spirit.

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Samurai Variation betta fish
Samurai Variation betta fish

Veiltail Types: Beyond colors and patterns, the Tail Koi Bettas offer further diversity. Variations like crowntails and halfmoons are commonly found, each contributing to the betta’s unique charm. It’s essential to note that intricate fins can indicate a more delicate betta that requires attentive care.

Veiltail yellow betta fish
Veiltail yellow betta fish
white koi betta
white koi betta
tangerine koi betta
tangerine koi betta
red koi betta
red koi betta
koi plakat betta male
koi plakat betta male
koi halfmoon female betta
koi halfmoon female betta
blue and white koi betta
blue and white koi betta

Standard Koi Betta vs. Galaxy Koi Betta

A “Koi Betta” typically refers to a Betta fish with a color pattern resembling that of a Koi fish, usually displaying a mix of red, black, and white shades.

On the other hand, the “Galaxy Koi Betta” is a distinct variation with an extraordinarily vibrant and intricate color scheme. This includes hues of blue, red, white, orange, and black, arranged in patterns reminiscent of the mesmerizing swirls seen in galaxies. Moreover, this variant often boasts an iridescent, metallic glow on its scales, akin to shimmering stars in the night sky, which accentuates its “galactic” theme.

The standout feature of the “Galaxy Koi Betta” compared to the standard Koi Betta is this singular and striking color pattern.

standard koi betta
standard koi betta

How To Tell If Koi Betta Is Male Or Female

female koi betta fish
female koi betta fish
male koi betta
male koi betta
Characteristics Females Males
Fins Thinner, sometimes shorter. Bulkier, especially ventral fins.
Body Streamlined. Curved, bulkier.
Egg Spot White lump near ventral fins in adults. Not present.
Color Generally less bright. Generally brighter.
Head Smaller in size. Larger in size.

This table outlines the distinct characteristics that can help differentiate between Koi Betta male vs female based on fin structure, body shape, egg spot presence, color intensity, and head size.

Koi Betta Lifespan (How Long Do Koi Betta Fish Live)

Koi bettas, like their Betta splendens counterparts, typically live for three to five years when provided with proper care.

However, their longevity greatly hinges on their living conditions. A high-quality diet, optimal tank environment, and attentive husbandry are essential. Neglect or subpar conditions can expose them to health issues, drastically reducing their lifespan. Proper care is paramount for a thriving koi betta.

Koi Betta Average Size (How Big Do Koi Bettas Get)

Koi bettas are petite wonders. When they reach maturity, they typically measure between two and a half to three inches in length.

king koi betta
king koi betta three inches

Koi Betta Fish Care

Tank Size: It is strongly advised to provide your Koi Betta with a tank that holds at least 5 gallons of water. This ensures an environment where your betta can move freely and engage in natural behaviors.

Temperature Range: Maintaining a consistent water temperature of 75–82˚F is vital for your Koi Betta’s well-being. Extremes below 75˚F or above 86˚F can lead to stress and health issues.

pH Level: Strive for a neutral pH around 7.0, but understand that Koi Bettas can adapt to a slightly broader range of 6.0 to 8.0. Monitoring and stabilizing the pH helps create a comfortable habitat.

Learn about: The best pH for Betta fish: Ideal Range & How to Achieve

Substrate: Opt for a substrate that supports plant growth and is gentle on your betta’s delicate fins. Smooth gravel or sand are excellent choices, while sharp materials should be avoided to prevent injuries.

Plants: Incorporating live plants is not only visually appealing but also enhances the aquarium’s ecological balance. Suitable choices like mosses, dwarf hair grass, Anubias, Java ferns, and floating plants such as water lettuce provide hiding spots, oxygenation, and a more natural habitat.

Lighting for betta: Emulate the natural day and night cycle by providing consistent lighting. Keeping a regular lighting schedule helps regulate your Koi Betta’s biological rhythms.

Filtration: Employ a filtration system that maintains optimal water quality without creating strong currents. Clean water is crucial for your betta’s overall health, while excessive water movement can cause stress.

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black koi betta care
black koi betta care

Koi Betta Breeding

By adhering to these comprehensive steps, you can participate in the wondrous process of nurturing new life within your aquarium, ensuring the health and vitality of your bettas at every stage.

  • Set up a dedicated breeding tank equipped with a heater to maintain a stable temperature and a well-seeded sponge filter for biological filtration. Including a tank divider aids in acclimatizing the bettas to each other.
  • House male and female bettas in separate tanks to maintain familiarity without the risk of aggression. Allow a period of around 2 weeks for the male and female bettas to acclimate to the breeding tank environment and to each other’s presence.
  • The male will initiate the breeding process by constructing a bubble nest at the water’s surface. This elaborate structure serves as the future home for the eggs. After the female releases her eggs and the male fertilizes them, he carefully gathers the eggs and places them within the bubble nest. The female is then removed and returned to her separate tank.
  • Once the eggs hatch into fry, it’s crucial to relocate the male back to his original tank to prevent accidental harm to the newborns.


Are koi betta fish rare?

No, Koi bettas have a distinctive color pattern, making them uncommon but not truly rare. Their koi-like appearance stems from a specific genetic trait.

Are koi betta fish aggressive?

Yes, Koi bettas share the aggression levels of the Betta splendens species. Males are territorial, while females can display territorial behaviors but are generally less aggressive.

Learn More: Betta Aggressive “Reasons Why Betta Fish Fight and How to Stop!”

Why is my koi betta turning blue?

Possible reasons include: Genetic marble gene expression causing color shifts, Environmental factors such as water quality or lighting, Aging, Health issues or stress.

How Much Do Koi Betta Cost?

Females: Typically $15-20. Males: Up to $50. Prices vary based on availability and store location. There are also tank setup costs to consider.

In wrapping up our deep dive into the ‘Koi Betta Fish Overview & Types Guide,’ we’ve explored the captivating world of these vibrant aquatic beings, from their distinct colorations to their unique behaviors. Equipped with this knowledge, you’re now poised to provide the best care for your koi betta.

But the aquatic journey doesn’t end here. Dive deeper with more insightful blogs from National Park Aquarium, where our passion meets your curiosity, and the wonders of the aquatic realm await your discovery.

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