Betta fish are one of the most popular pet fish worldwide today, second only to the traditional goldfish. There are many different variations of betta fish. But sometimes, those stunning looks come at a cost to the fish’s health and welfare, and unfortunately, that rings true with the beautiful rosetail betta.
So, what’s so bad about this type of betta? Should you buy a fish with this tail shape?
Keep reading to get the full lowdown!
What is a rosetail betta?
A rosetail betta is basically a halfmoon betta with extra branching in the fin rays, especially on the caudal fin. That causes the fish’s tail, or caudal fin, to spread beyond the 180-degree mark in some cases. Sometimes, the caudal overlaps with the betta’s other fins.
The spreading tail gives the fins a rose-like appearance. In extreme cases, the tail appears almost feather-like. Hence the fish is sometimes referred to as a feathertail.
That certainly makes for a beautiful betta fish, which explains why these creatures are so popular.
The rosetail betta variant was developed in 1989 by the well-known betta breeding team of Rajiv Masillamoni and Laurent Chenot. These fish were not officially given the name “rosetail” until breeder Jeff Wilson joined the team in 1991. Jeff is also credited with coining the term “halfmoon.” So, rosetails have actually been part of the aquarium trade since the late ’80s and early ’90s, although they’re still among the varieties of bettas that are considered relatively new.
When these bettas were first seen in halfmoon spawns, they were considered undesirable mutations since they were unable to spawn and were also weaker than other halfmoons. However, even though rosetail bettas were not used for breeding purposes, they were exhibited at an IBC convention during the early ’90s, being presented as blonde-diamond halfmoons.
Rosetails are incredibly popular with betta fans these days, but originally, these freaky fish were used by betta breeders to quickly improve the tail spread of their progeny. However, now, rosetails and feathertails are specifically bred to be sold commercially, and you can generally find plenty of examples of these types of bettas for sale on sites like Aquabid.
But of all the different betta tail types, there are a few reasons why aquarium hobbyists should think twice about buying a rosetail betta.
Are rosetail bettas bad?
So, what’s so bad about rosetail betta fish?
The examples of rosetail bettas that you see in photos and videos are usually strong, young fish whose fins are not yet fully grown. These fish might look great, but that’s not the full story.
Rosetail betta fish generally develop serious health problems as they get older, leading to a miserable life for these aquarium fish.
All betta breeds like to take rest periods throughout the day. That’s why many owners buy betta hammocks and hollow floating betta logs for their pets. Resting is a natural betta behavior and shouldn’t give you cause for concern.
However, a list of bettas that develop extreme finnage, including halfmoons, rosetails, and feathertails, are severely hampered by their spectacular flowing tails. Their very distinct tails become so heavy and cumbersome that the tiny fish find swimming so energy-sapping that they often end up resting on plant leave or just sitting on the bottom of the tank.
Plus, senior bettas become weaker as they age, making swimming even more of a challenge.
The ever-popular betta fish are labyrinth breathers, which means they boast an evolutionary quirk that allows them to breathe atmospheric air at the water surface.
In fact, no variety of betta fish can extract all the oxygen they need from what’s dissolved in the water, so they must visit the surface regularly to top up their oxygen reserves by breathing air.
So, if your fish is so weighed down by its tail and other fins that it doesn’t have the energy or strength to swim to the water surface, it could even suffocate.
Look carefully at your betta fish (which is sometimes called a Siamese fighting fish), and you’ll notice that it has an upturned mouth filled with tiny teeth. That’s because bettas are surface feeders. In the wild, water-bound insects make up a large part of the betta’s diet. The betta waits below the water surface until a mosquito or some other unlucky insect settles on the surface. Then, the betta grabs the insect and hangs onto it with its teeth so its lunch can’t fly away.
In the captive environment, domesticated bettas visit the water surface to take floating betta pellets or other foods you’ve offered them. If the fish can’t swim to the surface easily because its finnage hampers it, there’s a good chance that your betta will go hungry or even starve.
If your betta struggles to get to the water surface to breathe and feed, it will quickly become stressed.
Stress is extremely dangerous for all fish species, as it weakens their immune systems, leaving them open to attack by parasites and bacteria.
Broken Fin Rays
Look closely at your betta’s tail and other fins, and you’ll see that there are fine, hair-like bony structures that hold the webbing of the fin together. At the end of the fin, the rays spread out or branch. That’s perfectly normal. However, fish that are bred to develop abnormally spread tails have rays that are correspondingly more spread out than usual.
That excessive branching produces a bigger tail, which puts more weight onto the rays. When the tail becomes excessively heavy, the rays can no longer hold the weight and sometimes break. If that happens, the whole tail collapses.
Once that happens, the beautiful rosetail effect is usually gone, and you’re left with a crippled betta fish with collapsed fins that is usually unable to swim properly.
Sometimes, in an attempt to decrease the handicapping weight of their tails so that they can move and swim more easily, rosetail bettas resort to biting their tails.
This distressing habit sees the fish using its teeth to bite off parts of the caudal fin. That greatly increases the risk of bacterial conditions like fin rot, so you must keep the tank super-clean if you spot your rosetail biting his tail.
Greatly Reduced Lifespan
Most betta fish breeders think many of the betta varieties with spectacular finnage are not as strong and healthy as regular betta splendens and plakats.
Often, rosetail bettas are the smallest of the fry. In pursuit of bigger and more impressive finnage, imperfections are often ignored, and that can lead to poor scaling (body scales incorrectly lined up, for example) and other bad conformation.
How can you help your rosetail betta?
If you have already fallen for the charms of or rescued a rosetail betta, you might run into one or more of the problems that we mentioned above. So what can you do to make your betta buddy’s life happier and more comfortable? Read on for a few rosetail betta fish care tips!
Some betta keepers opt to trim the tail of their extravagantly finned bettas. However, we do not condone that practice, as it’s likely to be painful and distressing for the fish.
Also, there’s the risk that the betta’s damaged fins will become infected. Bacteria can enter the fish’s body through the wounds on its fins, potentially setting up an infection that could eventually kill your fish.
Baffle Your Filter
Except for plakat bettas that have shorter fins than the betta splendens long-finned varieties of the species, regular bettas don’t appreciate too much water movement in their tank.
In the wild environment, bettas live in slow-moving or stagnant waters where the current is minimal or non-existent. As previously mentioned, long-finned bettas like rosetails struggle to swim as their finnage grows, and too much water flow makes matters even worse. Your fish will certainly become stressed if it struggles to swim, and it could even be injured if the current throws your pet against the glass or tank decorations.
However, your betta tank does need to have a filtration system to keep the water clean and safe for your fish. So, what can you do?
The easiest way to protect your betta is to baffle the filter outflow to deflect the current. That won’t affect the circulation of water around the tank, which is essential for a healthy environment for your fish. However, baffling the outflow will make life more comfortable for your betta buddy.
To baffle the filter, you can:
- Fit a flow adjuster to the outflow pipe if suitable for the filter design
- Adjust the direction of water flow so that it’s deflected by lush planting or tank decorations
- Fix a piece of sponge over the outflow pipe
Alternatively, you might want to consider swapping your current filter setup for a HOB, sponge filter, or canister system.
One of the betta traits we mentioned earlier is that the fish needs to visit the water surface frequently to feed and breathe air. That’s going to be tough for your pet if it lives in a tall tank and is struggling to swim to the top.
If you have a tall tank, then, you might want to consider replacing it with a long one. Bettas don’t generally need a vast amount of swimming space, although they do appreciate a tank with enough room to patrol their territory.
Betta fish are pretty intelligent creatures, and they do get bored in a plain environment without any decorations and toys to explore and play with. However, it’s very easy for your rosetail betta fish’s extravagant finnage to become snagged on items of tank décor. So, by all means, include a few caves, overhangs, floating logs, and the like, but be sure not to clutter the swimming space too much and present a hazard for your pet.
Also, check any ornaments that you add to your tank to make sure they don’t have any sharp edges that could injure your domesticated betta.
Swimming, when encumbered by a huge tail, is extremely tiring for your fishy friend. So, you’ll need to provide your pet with plenty of resting places.
You can buy betta hammocks that are shaped like a broad leaf and made from soft, safe plastic. They even come with a sucker to fix the hammock to the aquarium wall. To make your betta’s life easier, fix the hammock just under the water surface so that your pet can easily grab food or take gulps of air when it wants to.
You can also use live or silk plants to create resting places for your betta fish. Broad-leaved plants such as Anubias make perfect places for your betta to chill out. Marimo moss balls are also excellent additions to the tank, as many bettas enjoy playing with them and using these spheres of algae as convenient resting places.
Choosing A Rosetail Betta
If you have your heart set on owning a rosetail betta, you’ll need to know how to choose a good one.
Here’s what to look for:
- A D-shaped caudal fin with extreme branching
- Well-balanced finnage that appears proportionate
- Symmetrical scales
- A decent swimmer
As explained above, the finnage should never be so extreme that the betta cannot swim properly.
What should I do if my white rosetail betta fish is turning blue or changing color?
White or light-colored rosetail bettas often change color as they mature. So, don’t be surprised if your white or pale pink fish gradually turns red or blue, especially if it had little specs of color on its body when you bought him.
The only kind of white betta that is guaranteed to maintain its color has very thick metallic white scales. However, it’s important to note that the thickened scale gene can mean possible health problems, including tumors, for the fish.
Although rosetail bettas are beautiful to look at with their gorgeous flowing finnage, all that extravagance can spell a life of misery for the fish as it gets older. The fins are heavy, making swimming very difficult for the betta, potentially leading to stress and consequent ill-health.
Also, fish with a genetic mutation, like rosetails and feathertails, don’t generally enjoy a long lifespan and tend to succumb to health conditions as they age.
For all the reasons mentioned above, although these fish are undoubtedly beautiful to look at, we would urge you not to buy one.
73 thoughts on “Rosetail Betta: The Downside Of Beauty”
We have learned the hard way to avoid long “pants” in our bettas. Even veils and halfmoons can be plagued with torn fins and fin rot despite pristine conditions, and rosetails would be worse. Our longer finned fish definitely have more trouble swimming, and it’s so sad to see them struggle. Our short finned bettas are clearly more agile and don’t show the frustration of being weighed down by unnatural fins. We will only buy plakats from now on. They are beautiful, energetic, happy, make wonderful pets, and far less likely to expose you to the heartache of a struggling fish.
Man, honestly, sometimes I wonder if my boy (halfmoon) has rosetail genes. His tail is constantly healing and reacquiring fin rot despite everything, and today I found a hole in his dorsal fin! He has some “curly” rays that probably never healed correctly after his fin biting started. I’ve definitely learned my lesson about pet store breeds from this experience, and although I wouldn’t trade my little guy for the world, sometimes I have to wonder if he’s even happy with all of that going on. Thank you for this post! <3
It’s very sad and unfortunately, people don’t know about it until the first time a problem arises with their fish. There is not too much you can do other than make sure water parameters are stable and provide a good diet. You could maybe add some extra resting spots in the tank, like live or silk plants. They should be soft enough to not further injure your betta but strong enough to hold it up if it wants to rest.
Fascinating article! I’m now pretty sure my betta is a rosetail, between this and a few other articles. He wasn’t sold for it – he was just sold as a ‘dragonscale’ but I can tell that there’s a good amount of branching on his tail fins. From what I remember rosetails were originally just a trait that would show up randomly in a halfmoon line, and that breeders would just use them to boost a halfmoon line – I might be wrong about that second part lol. But anyways, I’m pretty sure no one was trying to breed a rosetail with him.
He’s a wonderful fish, and I love him dearly, but between this and a few other health problems, I rather wish I’d gotten a plakat instead.
In other news, my local pet store sells juveniles as ‘females’ and, while I do believe you can sex them that young, if I ever bought one I’m pretty sure it would be something of a ‘grab bag’ of fish. What fin type is it? What sex is it? What color will it be? Who knows?
Gotta *love* stores that don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
I personally find it pretty hard to tell bettas apart still, and I’ve been doing this for years! There are just so many colors and variations, and it’s often hard to tell the true expression of the fish if they’re being kept in less-than-ideal conditions.
I would say, if you’re really wanting to know for certain what kind of betta you’re getting, to go to a more upscale store or designated aquarium store. Many of the aquarium stores by me know exactly what kind of betta they have, though the price will reflect it.
I was going to get a red rose tail and name him cherry but after reading this article I decided I was going to try really hard to not buy a rose tail unless he was in extreme suffering but until then I am going to stick to my dumbos
Thank you for being a responsible fish owner! While they’re definitely beautiful fish, it’s just sad to watch them suffer.
Good luck with your dumbos!
I was going to breed HalfmoonRosetail betta, I am so glad I saw your article or I might have bred hundreds to suffer in silence.
Thanks for researching before attempting to breed!!
I have a lot of rosetail bettas..they are my favorite bettas..One thing to ensure their tails and fins not collapsing is to train them once a day..This to ensure that the fish can get use with its heavy tails or fins. Flaring is very important for any long tail bettas..especially halfmoon, rosetail, feathertail and veiltail.
Hello. I’m glad to hear you’ve been having success with your rosetails. However, I feel like saying these fish can lead a normal life with some exercise is a bit misleading. It doesn’t negate many of the issues that rosetails have. Good luck with your fish!
Thank you for the great article! It definitely changed our opinion regarding rose tails. We won’t buy one for sure now.
Does a normal Halfmoon Betta have as much problems as the rose tails since we really admire these beautiful fish, but wouldn’t like to see it struggle. We are kind of torn apart about getting a Betta with big fins.
Is there also a type that has a similar silky movement that still is quite natural for him?
Hi! I’m glad to hear it made you reconsider.
Halfmoons do have some of the same issues and I’ve personally had bad experiences with them. Not fin ray breakage, but fin rot and the like despite the water quality being excellent. If you want to keep the issues limited but still have one of the more ‘spectacular’ Betta fish types, maybe consider a female or plakat with dumbo fins? 🙂
Damn… I was considering buying a betta, cause they are happy to be alone, and since it’s just one, might as well be a stunning rosetail. I was thinking it’s just how they are and they are adapted to it. I didn’t even consider how much selective breeding had screwed them, the poor little guys. I am definitely not gonna do that now, although nothing can prevent the suffering of the ones that are already born, if anything can lower their breeding it’s something. This really makes me sad, how uncomfortable you must be to bite parts of yourself… It’s horrible. I don’t know what fish to buy now though. Know anything that’s generally big and likes to live alone?
Hi! Glad to hear you’re not considering buying a rosetail anymore, it’s unfortunate they are such a bad choice since they’re beautiful. All domestic Bettas suffer from breeding-related issues to some degree, but if I were to buy one I’d go for a lovely short-tailed Plakat. Otherwise, if your aquarium is at least 10 gallons and you have some experiecne in fishkeeping, you could consider a dwarf puffer? They do well on their own and are lots of fun to keep. I’ve got a caresheet for them here if you’re interested.
Good luck! 🙂
what does a rosetail betta eat?
The same as any other Betta. You can find a Betta feeding guide here if you’re interested. 🙂
I have a Rose tail I got from petsmart last year. Hes still going strong. I do not see any issues mentioned yet. Maybe some are subjected to bad breeding like breeds of dogs are. The result of this may be more pronounced in some compared to others. I doubt the issues mentioned effect every single Rose tail in existence.
Glad to hear your rosetail is still doing well! Yes, the degree of bad breeding definitely varies and you can surely get lucky with a strong specimen. Whether you’d like to take the risk and support the breeding of fish that are so likely to struggle later in life is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself.
Good luck with your fish! 🙂
I bought a betta that was labeled as a double tail. In the 2 months that I have had him, his fins have continued to grow. He looks to be a rose tail as well as a double tail. I have him in a 10 gallon and have lots of tall plants, a betta leaf and hammock for him. It makes me sad to think he may have so many issues because of his tail.
I’m sorry to hear that, but with the right measurements like the ones you’ve been taking I think he’ll be relatively alright to be honest. Sounds like you’ve got things under control 🙂
My Halfmoon betta’s tail falls on him whenever he swims down.has trouble turning but has an amazing appetite and is always happy to see me!
hi. I also hear about HMPK (Halfmoon Plakat) species with bigger tail size than normal plakat. Is it gonna get the same problem like rosetail? Sure I dont want to buy a lethargic betta. So, should I buy HMPK or Normal PK?
Hello! A halfmoon Plakat definitely isn’t going to have as much issues as a rosetail or even a normal halfmoon, because their tail is still much shorter. So no, I don’t think you would end up with a lethargic fish. Normal PK might still be a little better though because their tail likely has less branching.
Good luck! Glad to hear you’re going your research before buying a Betta 🙂
Thank you for sharing your insight. I just bought a Rosetail Betta recently and realised there is a big difference from normal Betta behaviour. I was suspicious that the heavy tail might be the cause. Your info confirms my thought. Lessons learned. Definitely won’t buy this tail type again next time. It is also sad to think that the selective breeding that we forced on animals for our own visual pleasure is causing them so much pain and suffering. I would like to see my Betta happy and living their lives the fullest. Not worth seeing them unhappy just to have a silly big tail for us.
So sorry to hear you didn’t find this out before getting your rosetail. Hopefully the tips mentioned in the article can help make him comfortable! Lots of big leaved plants and gentle filter flow should be helpful.
hi! I been thinking about get a Betta, and I want something like a Rosetail Betta, but I don’t want it to have problems 🙁 Is there a similar tail type that doesn’t have the shortest fins but not the longest fins? I really admire Rosetail Bettas but don’t want to support them either. So If you can find something similar to a Rosetail Betta I would love you!
Hi! Realistically, you’re always better off with a plakat/short-tailed Betta. You could try a crowntail, though, or maybe a dumbo plakat 🙂
How about a star tailed betta? I didnt know about hear issues, I was looking around for a Betts with long luxurious fins but now I’m not, I saw a star tailed plakat and they look almost like regular plakat, is that the same? Will they have issues?
*their issues, sorry not hear issues
Thank you for the article! I was seriously thinking about getting a rosetail or feathertail but now I know not to. I’m thinking of getting a white opal delta tail, but I was wondering if delta tails have any of the same issues as rose/feathertails? If so, are there any other betta breeds with minimal issues but are still attractive?
Oh, and my second choice of fish would be a white opal elephant ear.
Hi Belle! Thank you for doing your research beforehand. Unfortunately, a lot of the more attractive bettas can potentially have swimming problems. Deltas shouldn’t be too bad, but you still have to be mindful of their tails. The ‘safest’ betta you can get is the Plakat, but I think a Delta should be fine!
Star tail?! Breeders come up with new names for tail types every day don’t they. I think it’s mostly a marketing thing to get more money for rosetail plakats, star tail is not a recognized name as far as I know. But no, although the tails are very branched I don’t think they will have problems – plakats are pretty much always in the safe zone tail-wise. There could be some body issues from bad breeding so make sure the fish has good form and no odd scaling. It’s the fish with long and especially long + extremely branched fins you should avoid. 🙂
Thanks for this article, we bought what I believe is a copper rosetail from a betta fish show, just because he had pretty colors, we couldn’t tell what fin type he was, and we were thinking about breeding him with a gorgeous copper crowntail girl we recently bought, just to see how it would go because they’re both copper, but since the rosetails have so many problems, I’ve decided we’ll instead breed the girl with one of our crowntail males instead. Thanks!
Nice to hear you decided not to breed him with the crowntail girl. Rosetails often have many additional defects because they’re just bred for the tail shape, you don’t want to pass that on to the fry. Good luck 🙂
Really informative. So glad to find this article. I found it after I started researching to learn what a feather tail betta actually is. Thanks for this.
Glad it was helpful! 🙂
Thanks for the informative article and all the great comments! I’ve been babysitting a friend’s betta (i think it’s a veiltail) for 2 weeks, and when I mentioned to my cousin, he told me about the rosetail betta if I decided to get my own betta. I’m so glad I did more research and found this article. I definitely DO NOT want to buy rosetail now. I’m an animal lover, and it makes me sad to read about the issues rosetail bettas have because of their beautiful, long fins. I’ve never had an aquarium, so I still have much to learn/read before getting my own betta.
Hi! So glad this article was helpful and steered you away from rosetails. I agree they are absolutely stunning but it’s just not worth it. If you do decide to get a Betta be sure to read plenty of guides and caresheets (the Betta tag) on Aquariadise might be a good place to start) to make sure you’re well-informed.
Good luck and (possibly) happy fishkeeping 🙂
Are Veiltails generally okay?
Definitely better than rosetails. I personally avoid all long tail types but a veiltail should do fine in most cases. 🙂
I have a rosetail betta that i picked out from a petstore that I used to work in. He was young and was beautiful and I knew he would need extra care that most customers would not give him so I brough him home. I have had him for almost two years and he is perfectly happy and active. If you have one of these fish it is important that you do weekly water changes and make sure the water is the perfect condition for your fish to be happy. You also want to feed a high protein diet I would recommend getting fish food specifically for bettas or buying frozen food such as bloodworms or brine shrimp and feed these as a treat. Provide plenty of resting spots like betta hammocks closer to the top of the water line. Marimo Moss balls at the bottom. Also remember to avoid any sharp rocks or sharp hideouts or sharp artificial plants. A good rule of thumb is if it is sharp enough to Fray a pair of pantyhose then it is too sharp for your bettas fins. If your Betta begins to get open wounds on the fins I would immediately go and get a treatment. A good one that i use is melafix. It is tea tree oil based so if the dosage is properly followed it is not harmful to the tank’s enviornment. 🙂 happy fish keeping!
Thanks for sharing your tips. I’m glad to hear your rosetail is doing well, although I still wouldn’t recommend people getting one as it just sustains the market. I also have to note that Melafix is not medication and can actually be toxic to Bettas! This will tell you more about it.
Ive been suspicious of the beuatiful tail types of Betta for awhile now , admit that it is hard to resist them when seeing them in stores . I told my wife that id never buy another long fin Betta ever again, then find myself admiring another halfmoon koi only days later. I love the plakats ,they have lots of energy an lots of attitude an really enjoy them ,one of the best fish ive ever owned..but do Dumbo Plakat have issues.hoping the answear is no.
They are beautiful aren’t they. While a dumbo plakat might have issues to some degree, it’s certainly better than a halfmoon and definitely better than a rosetail. Or worse: a rosetail plakat! So I think you can get a dumbo plakat in relative ‘safety’. 🙂
I have a rose tail. I got him I think almost two years ago! He was so beautiful; sadly he no longer looks like a rosetail. I am desperatly trying to make his fins heal and not get to the point of body rot. I moved out a while ago, and my mom kept my fish because it was easier. I would still go over and clean their tanks. A few weeks ago, most of his finnage looked fine, except for his tail (which is normal). I decided his tail had gotten way too short, so I decided to bring him to where I live so I could medicate him. Within a few days of him being with me again ALLLLLL OF HIS FINS ARE SUPER SHORT. I think it may have to do with the water quality change. He went from living in well water, to town water. I do add conditioner, but I am wondering if it isn’t enough.
Aw, I’m so sorry to hear your rosetail isn’t doing well. Do you know if it’s fin rot or fin biting? Fish with heavy finnage do often bite off their own fins out of frustration.
Hey, I’ve been thinking about getting a Betta and the Plakat’s are healthier with their shorter tails as you’ve pointed out. But I would like to know about the Plakat crowntail line mixes. Their tails are just as short for the most part, but are their immune systems still weaker or is that only an effect of longer tails rather than crowned tails?
Great to hear you’re considering a plakat. I think crowntail plakats are definitely much less of a problem than rosetails. Although any heavily selectively bred fish will be a little weaker, rosetails specifically are exceptionally weak for some reason – not just because of their heavy finnage, but also genetically. So a crowntail plakat is definitely a much better option.
Good luck 🙂
Thank you for your quick reply 8D Is it possible to find perhaps one that is more plakat than crowntail but still has the crowntail fin shape, even if only slightly? I want to make sure it’s as healthy as possible, if not I am perfectly content with a plakat, the colors are beautiful no matter what but i am very interested in the crowntail shape at the same time. I used to own Bettas when i was younger when my mom claimed they didn’t need filter or heater and could be kept in a vase with a plant that they could “feed” off of :/ I decided, now that I am older to actually do some research rather than just listening to the pet store workers and turns out it was all wrong! I feel aweful about those Bettas now so this time I’m going to make sure I do a…. Betta job? I’m a horrible pun making person 0-0; But yeah a 10 gal rather than my dinky little… 1.5 gal i think it was? Well regulated temperature all that jazz… I was seriously considering a rosetail for the very same reason many do, that long gorgeous tail… but upon just looking that up specifically i instantly found this and the shock i felt…. i almost made the same mistake all over again. Truly thank you for this I would have gotten one for sure if i hadn’t found out.
Yeah, you should be able to find that, though you might have a little trouble locating such specific finnage in a regular pet-/aquarium store. I’ve seen plenty of plakats with slight crowntail characteristics at betta shows.
Great to hear you’ve done your research. A lot of people, including me, look back on their childhood and realize their beloved pet fish were actually absolutely miserable and died prematurely. As long as you can admit your mistakes and move on to providing a better home for your future fish it’s all good! Keep researching and reading, don’t believe everything people say and you should be absolutely fine 🙂
I just got a beta from a petstore whom was labeled a rose petal male, and while he may be young as I have no grasp of how old he is, Casanova seems healthy even though he’s not one of my more energetic fish. His fins are even shorter than that of my half moon double tail but he rarely moves but stays more at the top of the tank. Should I be worried? I saw him and his tri coloration was so gorgeous I thought he’d make a wonderful breeding male but now I wonder if I should. If someone who is experienced could answer my post that would be nice. I’m a beginner at hobby breeding and I just want what’s best for my fish.
Hi! Congrats on your betta.
First off, as for breeding – no breeding with pet store Bettas please. You don’t know where they came from and what genes they carry. For breeding, try to purchase fish from other hobbyist breeders instead! And try to avoid rosetails when finding breeding stock.
If he has relatively short fins he might be fine in the long run although there’s no way of being sure and I’d keep a close eye on him. As long as water values are good, filter flow isn’t too strong, there are no symptoms of disease and he has plenty of resting places I don’t think you need to worry at this time. Just try to find fish with less heavy finnage in the future!
Good luck 🙂
I had a Veiltail that could basically be called a Rosetail. He had an obsurd anount of finnage. After showing him to a friend who is a breeder of Hybrid Betta he told me that he was probably a combination of Veil and Rose tail. He said that someone probably got a female of one variety and she was spawned with the male of another variety. He could swim well and was highly active. His fins were not round as most Rose/Feather tails are. His fins were still sharply pointed as a normal Veiltails is but it was like he had extra…..Hmmmm…..Layers….He also didnt swim with them all flared out like Ive noticed Rose/Feather Tails do. He kept his fins pretty held together and swam very quickly and well. He even jumped out the tank from time to time trying to get to the bigger tank next to his where I had a group of females with other fish. I actually ended up javing him in that tank as he managed to jump into it one day while I was at work and didnt seem to bother with the females or any of the other fish. They never spawned though. I had a double filtration system because I had other fish in the tank and there needed to be more water flow for them. To be exact I had 4 female Betta, six tetra, two snake skins, a ghost knife, two needle nose eels, 4 koi/gold fish hybrids, a Leopard Spot Alge Eater, two snails, and then my male betta when he decided to hop tank and live with everyone….I jad him for so many years before he died….I think it was 4 or 5….I had him forever….And he didnt die from old age….My niece knocked him over while I was cleaning the tank and had him in a glass bowl….The bowl landed on him and broke his spine…He lived for almost 3 weeks despite the injury but eventually the damage got to him…Eventually my entire tank died out from old age….Im now starting up a new betta tank and plan to get a King Betta as I have always loved the large and beautiful breed but given my dedication to my eco tank I never got one. Now is a good time. Anyway, past that Imy breeder friend told me that Rose/Feather Tails are NOT Always Bred. Sometimes they happen as a genetic mistake and he says that the look is In Fact A Genetic MISTAKE That People Cultivated. That is why they usually die and have problems swimming and just living in general. As you know Betta with long fancy fins Are NOT Natural. In the Wild Betta fins are nowhere near as long as they are in the pet store variety. He told me that Veiltails are the closes to being wild out of the “Fancy” tailed Betta. He told me that there is alot of breed mixing going on in the breeder world and that people are screwing up the fish. This is what drove him to breed his own Betta for his family owned pet store. He sells….Odd Pets…..That his family breeds and cares for on their farm and he brings here in the city to sell. Hed been making some beautiful Betta so I may just get one from him though I know it wont be a King…Oh Well…Betta are beautiful in the end….I just hope people will stop finding the flaws in Rose/Feather Tails and Overly Finned Halfmoons and Deltas….The fish being happy and swimming freely around its home is what makes the Betta such a magnificent fish despite its tinier size. Lastly as far as cutting a Bettas fins, if the Betta is strong and Healthy You can do it but you have to be a professional at it.. They are MUCH Tinier than that Asian fish in the Youtube video. Their fins are MUCH more delicate and their Constitution is MUCH Weaker, ESPECIALLY The Fancier Ones As Most Have Been Bred To Have Recessive Traits Like Crazy Long Fins and that makes them have a weaker immune system. So Be Careful and get a professional. I know how to clip fins because I had a Koi/Hybrid whos fins got ridiculous if I didny clip them. Theyd get sucked into the filtration and get ripped off then hed get an infection from the trauma. So I started clipping his fins every month like clipping nails. Id place him in a recovery bowl for 3 days and then put him back in the main tank. Anyway, Happy Tank Keeping People!!
Great article! I bought a gorgeously fluffy halfmoon from an independent shop awhile ago and he always has probelms with his fins including dorsal + caudal fin breaks and degredation I think is from tail biting. He is really ugly now haha. I bought a normal tail-sized betta not long after I got the first and he has never had any problems with his fins, also he looks much better and healthier than the fancy halfmoon. They are in virtually the same water conditions + same water change frequency. I do not regret buying the halfmoon because he still has a good quality of life but would not buy another.
Sorry to hear about your betta, but glad you won’t be buying super long finned fish any more! Short finned bettas just seem so much happier. 🙂
Hi I was wondering if I should be worried about my rosetail Rhaegal. His fins were in extremely bad condition when I got him but I saw his potential beauty. I have been successful in starting to heal and regrow his fins but after reading this I’m worried about his fins getting too big. Just FYI his fins didn’t have anything like described above, his fins looked like they had been cut into by something. Looked very human inflicted perhaps.
Hi! Sorry to hear you had lots of trouble with your betta. Unless he starts getting visible issues, I wouldn’t worry too much. Please don’t support the breeding of rosetails by buying more in the future, though!
Thank you so much for this informative post. I wish I had seen it 4 months ago when I purchased my first Betta. He is a rosetail and was absolutely stunning. I purchased him from a chain store because I fell in love with his fins and color. Now 4 months in, he’s currently in quarrantine being treated for his second bout of fin rot. 🙁 Next time I will be wiser!
Glad this post was helpful to you in identifying the cause of your betta’s problems. So sorry to hear he’s not doing well, I’ve actually had problems with all types of long finned bettas, not just rosetails, so I definitely know what it’s like to have your fish in and out of quarantine constantly. Super frustrating! Hopefully he gets better soon.
I’m so sad. I had no clue about rosetails. I bought a betta maybe 7 months ago, off of aquabid. A red rosetail who I now notice demonstrates everything you’ve mentioned. His tail is mangled from the biting, but he still has a lot of fin left, and noticeably struggles to swim to the top. He rests on the plant and columns I have in his tank. I’m not sure what to do, but keep the water levels low.
Oh dear, I’m so so sorry to hear that. The best thing you can do I think is to keep him comfortable. Be sure to have lots of plants with big leaves like anubias and betta hammocks so he can rest near the surface. Baffle the filter if you haven’t already, but make sure the water stays very clean because the tail biting does leave him vulnerable to finrot. Keeping the water level low is also an option if nothing else works.
Good luck with him. Hope these tips help a bit. 🙂
What about a fish surgery like the one done in here in this you tube vid:
Would that help the rose tail live a longer, happier life?
Betta fins usually grow back as far as I know, at least they do when the fish has had fin rot. Also, they just shouldn’t be bred! If people stopped buying them the market would quickly disappear and breeders would stop breeding for excessive finnage.
Yeah they shouldn’t be breed, but for the people who already have a rose tail, would cutting the finnage short in a fish urgery help it?
I think that usually does more harm than good. I also think the fins may grow back like when the fish gets fin rot. Doing a “surgery” like this likely puts the fish at a huge risk of infection, even if the water is kept very clean. I’m not sure, though, as I’ve never read reports of it.
Ok, thanks for your reply!!!
Oh wow, thanks for this article!
My first betta was, a halfmoon, was a rosetail from PetSmart and the second was a halfmoon with a large tail (not quite a rosetail) as well. I’ve still got them both, but let me say, I see a HUGE difference in activity level!
First of all, both fish had CONSTANT issues with fin rot. At first I didn’t know what I was doing with my bettas, had them in tiny 2.5G tanks, and didn’t know how to properly take care of the water. Fast forward several month with both in a divided and cycled 10G, and my inexperience had permanently damaged one of the fish. Both nearly lost all of their tails and while both have their tails growing/grown back splendidly, the rosetail’s fins just don’t look right. It’s getting better, but the other halfmoon was almost much more active. At this point, because the rosetail had a harder time growing his fins back, his tail is smaller than the other fish. The thing I noticed? He’s much more active than he used to be, though still not as much as the other fish.
And man, I wish I had seen this article when you first published it! Now that I’m a more experienced betta keeper, I’ve got 4 bettas, one of which is another rosetail. When I stuck him alone in a 10G, he had no idea what to do and didn’t move around a lot. I was concerned. He’s much more active with only having 5G, but it never even occurred to me that the reason behind that would be his fins. And because I’ve only had halfmoons and veiltails, I stupidly believed the LFS employees who told me bettas aren’t active fish (I have since been corrected and someone actually told me I should look at plakats)…
So what I’m saying is, thank you! 4 bettas at a time is enough for me right now, but if and when I look at getting another betta, I’ll definitely check out the smaller finned guys (those ones seem to stay at LFS’s longer anyway). 🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience! I’ll refer to your comment in the article, it’s definitely worth the read for anyone considering a rosetail.
So sorry to hear you’ve had so much trouble with rosetails, this is just exactly what I meant. If you do ever get another betta, I’d totally recommend going for a plakat. I will be doing the same, as I’ve had nothing but trouble with ANYTHING long-finned!
Thanks for the shot of your hairy chest, and for the information in the post. 😉
HAHA, wow, I hadn’t even noticed that! Apparently the rosetail breeder whose videos I used also likes to show off his chest… will replace that one by another video. My goodness!