March 8

Sarah Robertson

King Betta Fish Care Guide

King Betta comes under the family of "Betta splendens". With their gorgeous pattern and color, they are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish that will always pique your interest. The king betta is a stunning creature with bright hues and vibrant colors. They have an intriguing appearance and are one of the most popular aquarium fish. 

King bettas are available in different color varieties but the most common colors include blue, green, orange, red, yellow, and purple. These are available all over the world. But have you ever wondered if owning a king betta is something for you? Well, it can be an amazing learning experience to keep one of these in your home or office. Here is a guide that will help you care for your king betta fish.

Appearance Varieties

The appearance of a genetic King betta is its most distinct feature. Unlike Crowntail or Halfmoon bettas, king bettas have shorter fins and tails. However, they have a more impressive and elongated body shape.  Blue, red, green, marble, and black are all common colors for a king betta. Males typically have brighter hues compared to the female king bettas.


The fish belongs to the Thailand and Indochina regions of Asia. It is a popular aquarium species all over the world, especially in the US and Europe. The betta gets its name from an ancient warrior tribe "Bettah". The wild betta fish are mostly found in the rice paddies and shallow water of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. These fish have been used for ornamental purposes in ancient times.

Life Span

A healthy king beta fish lives for about 2-3 years on average. There is no guarantee that yours will live this long though. In fact, most of the bettas that are kept in aquariums usually live for about 3-5 months. This is because they are sometimes fed food that contains harmful chemicals, or if not fed well.


Bettas shed their skin when they become sick or stressed. This is normal; all fish do this under certain circumstances. You should not fear if your fish sheds its skin, but instead, try to find out the reason behind it. Some of the common reasons why bettas shed their skin are fluctuation in temperature, pH level, and pollution.


The size that a regular betta fish reaches depends on many factors like feeding schedule, quality of water, etc. Usually, Betta fish are sold in the growth of 2-2.5 inches. But they can grow up to 3 inches when given proper care. 

Caring for King Betta Fish

Caring for King Betta Fish

So, what do you need to provide your king betta? King betta fish are large, so they need a big tank to live in. So, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons or 20-gallon tank is recommended for one fish. The bigger the tank, the better it is for your betta.

The lid of the aquarium must be tight because these fish have been known to jump out of their tanks. The aquarium has to be cycled before it is occupied by the King betta. There should be a filtration system so that water remains clean and healthy enough for the fish to live in.

You must provide a filtration system to keep the tank free of debris and waste material since your betta requires clean water to live. It's also important to consider the water quality. You can also change 20% of the water every week to avoid dirty water.

It is very important to consider what type of water to use in the tank. You can use either tap water or purified water, but it's better to avoid using distilled water because they lack minerals and salts essential for your betta's health.

It is very important to maintain the right water parameters in a betta fish tank because if not done properly, it can have harmful effects on your pet. You must know that bettas are from Asia and these fishes require slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6-8 for their survival.

 The most important parameter that you must maintain is the water temperature. Bettas like warm water with a temperature ranging from 75 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit (25-26 degrees Celsius). If you are keeping your fish in a room which is too hot then the temperature will go beyond 84F, which can prove fatal for the pet fish. Hence it is always advisable to fix an aquarium heater in your tank if the room temperature is very hot.

  • Temperature: 75 - 76
  • PH level:  6 - 8
  • Degree of General hardness(dgh): 5 - 20.

Also, they cannot survive in water that has a high ammonia content or chlorine levels. Make sure you buy a good quality filter for your aquarium because these are helpful in maintaining the water quality. If you use tap water then it is better to let it sit for 24 hours in order to get rid of the chlorine content.

Tank Decor

Decorating your betta's tank is important, but also tricky because your fish will likely try to destroy it. They are very energetic creatures that need things to play with. So, you have to be wise when choosing the décor for their tanks. Keep in mind that bettas are free swimmers and love to swim on the water surface. Therefore, when decorating your aquarium, make sure there is enough swimming space as well as decoration.

Like any other bettas, King bettas like dense aquariums. So, decorating it with a lot of plants is a good idea. The heater and filter should be placed outside the fish tank so that your pet cannot come across any danger. Providing a lot of hiding space will keep your betta relaxed. Driftwood, artificial plants, and stones are good hiding spots for your betta fish.

Live or Fake Plants?

The choice between live or fake aquatic plants is a common question for betta owners. Live plants are preferred by most people because they look natural and provide better oxygenation to the water. However, these plants have some disadvantages too. They drop leaves into the tank which turns into debris that can harm your fish.

 So, if you have made up your mind about keeping live plants in the tank, you must be extra careful. If you go for live plants then make sure that you do not use any chemicals in the water to kill bacteria. If your fish is sick, avoid using it at all costs because these chemicals can harm your fish.

The other option is fake plants which are quite popular with bettas because it does not cause any harm to them. You can place a large plastic plant on one side and some natural aquarium rocks toward the back of another side of the tank. However, make sure that the plants that you are using have a clean edge and are not sharp. It is something to keep in mind because bettas have a long and colorful tail which they can injure themselves with.

Bettas are great jumpers so it is important to cover the top of their aquarium properly because they can get out very easily if not done properly. You should use a hood or even better, get an aquarium fitted with a mesh top that will prevent them from jumping out. If they do manage to get out then you might find them lying dead on the floor after a while.


King betta fish are suitable to be kept as a solo pet. They cannot co-exist with other fish species of Betta because they fight for territory. Even if you put more than one king betta in the same tank, they will immediately start fighting and it can lead to injury or death of your precious fish.

Never put other types of fish in the same tank as your betta, since it will be regarded as a hazard to your precious pet. However, because this is just like any other situation, there are exceptions. There are some tank mates that are compatible with King bettas. 

These fishes can be raised together in a community tank as a community fish peacefully if they are introduced at a young age. However, you should always be careful when choosing tankmates. There are some things that you must keep in mind about certain species. Tank size is the first thing to consider.

Never put them together in a small tank. They may get aggressive and fight to the death. A tank size of at least 20 galloons is recommended. Avoid keeping other fish that can nip or chew fins of your betta. Bettas can be fought against species that would not endanger their ecosystem or social position in the pecking order.

You can put one male with two females if you want to; however, your tank should be large enough to accommodate all of them. If you think that your betta is not comfortable with other fish then it is better to remove those first and see how they react with each other. 

What Are the Fish Which Can Survive With King Betta Without Any Danger?

  • cory catfish- Yes, these species of fish are compatible with king betta fish. They are also known as 'Corydoras'. These catfish come in different shapes and sizes. They are best suited to be kept in small schools of 6-8. They are herbivores that feed on algae. They are also very friendly with other tank mates and King betta fish.
  • ghost shrimp- Also known as 'glass shrimp', they are very popular among Betta fish owners because of their compatibility with bettas. However, make sure you do not use any type of ghost shrimp that has bright colors on it. Painted glass shrimps are not suitable for your tank because your betta will surely see them as an obstacle or prey.
  • Neon Tetra- Neon can survive with King bettas but it is not a good idea to keep them together because the fish might nip at their fins which will lead to health issues. However, if you place neon tetras in a large school of 12 or more then there is no risk for your betta to attack them.
  • snails- As mentioned before, snails are great algae eaters so they are compatible with bettas. You can place some types of snails in your tank. However, make sure not to place any type of plant-eating snails because they will destroy your live plants and turn it into debris which can harm your betta.
  • guppies- Guppies are great because they come in a large variety of sizes and colors. You can pick your guppy according to the size of your tank. They are very friendly and get along with other fish.
  • zebra danio- These small fish come in a variety of colors and patterns. They will look great when you place them in your Betta tank because they will be the perfect contrast to your colorful betta. However, make sure that you do not add other large schooling fish into the same tank. This is because zebra danios are very active and they can get stressed if there are larger fish in your tank.
  • Kuhli loaches- These are excellent companions for your betta because of their small size. They will also be great on the bottom of your aquarium because you need to add some bottom feeders.

Is It Harmful to Keep Multiple King Bettas Together?

Yes, keeping more than one betta together is not healthy because their aggressive nature will make them fight to the death. This might be funny at first but will eventually lead to the death of all the fish involved. Some people might think that it is normal for fish to fight but this is not true. Fish only fight when they sense danger and they will never attack their own species.

Can Female King Bettas Live Together?

You can keep female bettas together but make sure there is more than one otherwise they might fight. It is important to know that these fish might not always fight and they will eventually get along. However, do not put them in a small tank.

King Betta Fish Diet

King Betta Fish Diet

It is very important to feed them regularly. If you are asking your pet to stay in the aquarium then it is necessary that you provide food twice a day. Bettas are carnivores by nature, so they prefer meat over plant material as their staple diet. Wild bettas eat mosquito larvae and other small bugs. In the aquarium, you can feed them the following:

  • Live foods-Live foods are a better option because they contain more nutritional value than normal fish foods. They also provide a variety of vitamins that bettas need for their survival. Brine shrimp, blood worms, and flake food are some of the live foods which can be fed to your betta fish. But make sure that you don't overfeed it because this will turn the water into sludge very quickly.
  • Normal fish food- You can feed them flakes or pelleted foods as well to keep them healthy and active. You can buy them from a pet store or sometimes your local grocery stores that sell aquarium food as well. Make sure you read the ingredients before purchasing it though because not all betta foods are equal in quality and composition.
  • Frozen foods- It is not recommended to feed them live food all the time because it tends to carry diseases with it. As an alternate, you can feed them frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp occasionally. You can also purchase betta pellets which have a good nutritional value and are easily accepted by your pet.

What Not to Feed Them?

Do not feed your pet any food that is not mentioned above because it will lead to malnutrition. If you are giving live foods then make sure they are healthy and free from diseases. Do not buy them from untrustworthy sources. You can even give some dry betta pellets which have the same nutritive value as that of normal fish food.

Throwing leftover food into the tank is a common mistake that people do. This leads to uneaten and decaying food in the water which can turn it into sludge very quickly. It will not only harm your pet but also create an unhealthy environment for it. So, try and feed them as per their requirement and never overfeed them because this can cause severe problems with their digestive system.

In addition to this, you must feed them only those foods that have been approved by the FDA. Some of the food items that can be given as a treat are goldfish or any other live fish which they find in their surroundings. Avoid giving any kind of earthworms because these might infect your pet and prove fatal.

When to Feed Them?

It is best to feed your fish early in the morning and evening because this is when they are most active. They will go about swimming around the tank happily in search of food. It is not recommended to feed them at night because you will find it difficult to spot them in the dim lighting of your room. Also do not leave any food over after your pet has eaten because it can rot and produce harmful gases inside the aquarium. So always keep the tank clean.

King Betta Buying/Adopting

Always buy your pet from a good quality breeder because it will have all its scales intact and other features will be perfect as well. If possible, buy one that is at least 2 months old because it will be easier for you to train them in the long run. Also, before buying them, make sure that they are put in a separate container because some bettas are very aggressive in nature and might attack other fish when put together with them. You can try keeping them together in a tank after they are trained well.


King bettas are prone to many diseases if not given proper care and attention. If you notice any kind of abnormal behavior in your pet, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Some of the common problems that might occur are:

  • Velvet disease- This is a very common skin infection that your pet will get if it stays in an unclean environment. The mucus present on its body will turn into small white spots which are called velvet. These patches may also have some calcium deposits in them. If left untreated, this might lead to the death of the fish.
  • Constipation- If they are given less nutritious food, it can lead to constipation in your pet which is very dangerous. It will make them lethargic and reduce their appetite drastically. You must immediately feed them some high-quality foods to overcome this disorder.
  • Gill flukes- this is caused by parasites that attach themselves to the gill of your fish. If it finds it difficult to breathe due to this, your pet will try to scratch itself against the gravel and decorations in the tank. If you do not practice good hygiene then it can affect other pets as well.
  • Dropsy- As mentioned above bettas like to eat live food and these might lead to intestinal blockage which is what dropsy is. If untreated, they might become lethargic and die within a week or two of contracting this disease.
  • Popeye- This occurs when a sac forms behind the eye and starts enlarging. This will make the fish appear as if it has lost an eye and is very rare among bettas. It can be treated if you immediately consult a vet but once this sac bursts, your pet's eyesight might deteriorate due to continuous exposure to air.

How to Keep Your Pet Stay Healthy?

There are some things that you can do to keep your pet healthy and happy. This includes:

Maintain a steady temperature- bettas like it around 75°F but the water must not be too cold or else this will reduce its immune system and make it more susceptible to diseases.

Provide nutritious food- try using pellets for flakes because most bettas will not eat these. However, they must be soaked in water before giving it to your fish otherwise it might block their digestive track and harm them. You can also give brine shrimp or bloodworms but make sure that there are no impurities present in it.

Do daily cleaning- this is very important because you must get rid of all the waste and uneaten food from the tank. This will reduce the chances of your pet contracting any diseases. Use a gravel vacuum to remove dirt from the bottom and do not forget to clean the plant and decoration in it as well.

Add 1-2 drops of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water to keep your pet healthy. It is also recommended that you use a de-chlorinator before putting the water in the tank because chlorine present in tap water might harm them.

Carry out a full clean once a month- Do not skip this task because for this you will have to take out all the fishes from your aquarium and then place them back after it is done with. This way you must clean the gravel and tank entirely and then refill the water.

It is of utmost importance that you do not overcrowd your pet because this will decrease its life span drastically. Make sure that it has enough space to move around so that it can grow normally without any kind of problems.

Only keep healthy fishes- If you notice any signs of disease or lethargic behavior then immediately remove them from the tank else, they might infect your other pets too.

How Can You Tell if Your King Betta Is Healthy?

There are some things that you need to check regularly in order to make sure that your King betta is healthy. This includes:

Appearance- they are usually deep blue in color with red, white, or yellow patterns on their body. They might also have some beautiful ripples on their fins which make them look very attractive. You must make sure that there are no spots present on the body because this might be a symptom of velvet and can be fatal if left untreated.

If your pet is healthy then it should actively swim around the tank and its fins must be erect at all times. They also do not like staying at the bottom of the aquarium because this means that there is something wrong with them.

Does It Have Any Signs of Disease?

Make sure to check for these symptoms on a regular basis so as to treat them as soon as possible:

Lethargic and weak behavior- this is a sign that your pet is not getting the right kind of food. Try feeding it with live brine shrimp or bloodworms so that it can regain its strength quickly.

Furry growth on the body- This might be a symptom of velvet and must be treated as soon as possible in order to avoid any complications. You can use a medicine called Methylene blue for this purpose but it might change the color of your pet's body to light blue temporarily.

Sunken eyes- lookout for these signs if you notice that there are white or yellowish patches present on its body. This indicates that your fish has developed an illness and you must take it to a vet right away.

Swollen abdomen- there can be many reasons for this such as constipation or bloating because of overeating. Try giving it some pebbles so that it can pass them through its digestive tract and reduce the size of its stomach by half.

Does Your Pet Look Bigger Than Usual?

If your fish has stopped eating for more than two days then it means there is something wrong with it. Bring it to a vet immediately so that you can get the treatment done in time without any problems. Also, check its abdomen on a regular basis to see if it looks bloated because this could be an indication of liver disease.


Breeding King betta fish is not very difficult because they are considered ideal for this purpose. You must have a separate breeding tank in your home in order to raise the fry properly. Find a pair of healthy fish from the same age group and put them in this tank. The male will then start to court the female and they might even produce a bubble nest.

This dance can go on for hours. Once the female shows interest in spawning the male betta will wrap itself around her and help her release the eggs. The male can fertilize the eggs internally and then place them around the bubble nest that he has already made. Make sure that there are no other fish or plants inside this tank because these might eat up all your fry.

Once the spawning is complete it is a must to remove the female from the tank and transfer it back to its normal home. The females often end up eating their fry when they are hungry which is why you should separate them immediately.

The male betta will tend to the eggs and fry on a daily basis and keep them safe from other fish. It will also clean the growing larvae as they move around inside the bubble nest. It takes about two to three days for these fries to hatch and you should move them into another tank once they reach the free-swimming stage.

How Can You Raise Your Pet's Fry?

You must be ready to invest a lot of time in order to raise your pet's fry properly. You can place the baby betta fish inside a separate aquarium with some plants and pebbles at the bottom. They are very small when they are born so you have to keep feeding them on a daily basis.

 The newborns often eat up the yolk sacs when they are born. The best way is to feed them infusoria which you can produce at home or buy from the market. The tiny larvae will eat up this food because it is rich in protein. 

How Can You Determine Their Sex?

Before you breed your pet, it is necessary that you know its sex because there are chances of overpopulation if both males and females are kept together. The male betta fish is usually more colorful than the female bettas but this is not a sure shot method of telling them apart.

Males have a pointy dorsal fin which they use to attract the female and it can be seen from afar. You can put your pet in an aquarium or large tank but make sure that there are no other fish inside because a King betta fish can kill them.

Adult King betta fish are around three inches long so the newly born fry is extremely small. This makes it difficult to determine its sex without getting too close to its body. Buy a professional magnifying glass from your local pet store and use this for this purpose.


The King betta fish is a wonderful breed to keep as it will increase your love towards nature and help you relax through its beautiful dance which it performs naturally. These beauties originate from the rice paddies of Thailand, where they were taken to be sold as pets. They are very aggressive regular water fish and are known to fight for territory.

You can put this fish in an aquarium or any other container as long as it has a lid and a balanced environment. This species of tropical fish do not require any special care or equipment so you can keep it without spending too much. Just make sure that its needs are met and your pet will be healthy and happy. A 10-gallon aquarium is a must for any betta fish if you are raising it alone but a larger tank is needed if you are putting it together with other fishes.

Water conditions must be monitored daily as poor water quality may lead to the death of bettas. Males do not like to be kept with other males and can fight to the death. A female can be kept with another female or several females with one male. A decent-sized tank with a good filter is the best way to keep them happy in your home. So these are some of the most important things you should know about raising a pet betta fish at home.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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