If crowntail bettas are kings among bettas, then king crowntail bettas are emperors among crowntails!
These bettas truly stand out, even among the most gorgeous of crowntails.
As they are so rare, not much information is known about this species. Well, I have managed to get my hands on one, and I’m ready to share everything that I have learned so far.
Here’s the real truth about king crowntail bettas!
What Is a King Crowntail Betta?
Not many people have heard of king crowntail bettas before, so I feel like I need to explain what this fish is before anything else.
A king crowntail betta is a rare type of crowntail betta (betta splendens). It is so rare that not many people are even certain whether they truly exist.
Even some expert fish keepers confuse king crowntail bettas with regular king bettas. However, the two are entirely different species.
While king crowntail bettas belong to the betta splendens species, king bettas are thought to be betta imbellis, a special line of bettas bred for their aggression.
King crowntail bettas have overlapping ray traits. Because of this, they are often known as cross-ray crowntail bettas.
However, a more narrow definition states that not all cross-ray crowntails are considered true king crowntail bettas.
For a cross-tail betta to be considered a king betta, it should have eight or more cross ray points. While not every single ray has to overlap another, more overlaps lead to a higher quality of the betta.
No other crowntail betta type has the same ray overlapping.
It isn’t certain when the first king crowntail betta came to be. However, it is assumed they were first bred about the same time as the first crowntails.
Crowntails were first bred in 1997 by breeding bettas with specific fin characteristics. They come from standard bettas naturally found in Asia – most notably, Thailand.
Since then, several types of crowntails were recognized by the International Betta Congress (IBC). One of them is king crowntail bettas.
As such, it is without a doubt that king crowntail bettas are true crowntails.
While there are many more beautiful crowntail types that are yet to be officially recognized, none can match king crowntail bettas in appearance.
Differences Between King and Regular Crowntail
Many people might assume that king crowntail bettas are simply giant crowntails. This is because, in many species, the word ‘king’ is used to describe really large specimens. However, this isn’t the case here.
The main (and only) difference between all crowntail types lies in the shape of their fins.
All crowntails have reduced webbing between fin rays. This gives their tail the appearance of spikes – or, rather, crowns. This is only exaggerated by the tail’s length, as it’s often longer than the rest of the body.
The caudal fin isn’t the only fin that is shaped like this, but it is the most prominent one. Even dorsal and anal fins are long, adding to the width and volume of the ‘crown’.
However, unlike regular crowntails, king crowntails have ray extensions that curve over each other.
Another difference is that their tails aren’t as straight as that of a standard crowntail. This gives them a more unique appearance.
Finally, while both king and standard crowntails can come in a huge variety of colors, the most common color in kings is black. Opposite of that, regular crowntails are most commonly found in shades of blue and red.
Are There Any Personality or Care Differences?
As king crowntail bettas are a fairly new type, there really aren’t any differences other than in their appearance. They require the same care and have the same personality as most other crowntails.
This means that you’re dealing with a rather temperamental fish that will fight most of its tank mates – especially if you have a male.
Because of this, they are usually kept as single fish. Considering how good looking they are, I don’t think anyone would truly mind making them the centerpiece of the tank.
They are moderately easy to take care of, but they don’t deal well with changes in water parameters or temperature.
Keep them in warm water and make sure pH values are as close to neutral as possible. Make sure the water is oxygenated and that your king crowntail can reach the water’s surface, as it requires air to breathe properly.
When it comes to diseases, the biggest concern is fin rot. Their long fins are prone to damage, whether by bacterial or fungal infections or as a result of injury.
King Crowntail Betta Price
While standard crowntails bettas aren’t too expensive as they are so widespread, the same cannot be said for king crowntails. This is the most expensive type of crowntails you can find, especially if you manage to find one in a rare color.
Most king crowntail bettas you can find cost around $45. This is close to the price I’ve paid for my king.
On the other hand, I have seen listings of king crowntail bettas costing as high as $89!
When you compare that to the price of a standard crowntail, which is typically between $2.5 and $5, you can see just how much more expensive king crowntails are.
Also, price is one of the few differences between male and female crowntail bettas. Due to their gorgeous tails, male kings tend to be more expensive than females.
While we’re talking about the price, I would like to give a quick disclaimer: Make sure you are getting a real deal before paying such a high price for a betta.
Most king crowntails are imported from Thailand. There are not many breeders in the US that breed them. However, just because a crowntail is imported doesn’t make it a king.
The most important feature you need to look at is the caudal fin. Are the rays on the fin overlapping? If not, then you’re not looking at a king crowntail betta.
Many breeders are trying to sell any crowntail with a voluminous tail as a king crowntail betta. While all types of crowntails are equally beautiful, don’t allow someone to scam you.
While king crowntail bettas are rare and expensive, they are worth every penny – provided that you’ve managed to get a real deal.
They have unique fins that cannot be seen in any other betta species. This includes even the most gorgeous of crowntails!
Just keep in mind that bettas aren’t good beginner fish. Make sure you know how to care for them properly before spending so much money on a single betta.
If you’ve already mastered betta care, then this is an amazing addition to your collection. I know there was no way I could miss the opportunity to have one!
Featured image: ids_bettafish
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.