If you’ve ever seen a rare Betta Fish, it should be no surprise why they are so sought after by fish enthusiasts.
There are over 73 species of Betta, with some being incredibly rare. Different color and pattern variations can make a fancy Betta fish worth thousands of dollars.
We’ve explored what makes some Betta so expensive, the different variations, how to care for a Betta, and what to know as a new Betta fish owner.
Let’s dive right in - pun intended!
What is a Betta Fish?
The Betta Fish (Betta Splendens), known as the Siamese fighting fish, is from the freshwaters of Southeast Asia.
You’ll find this beautiful species in the shallow waters of ponds, marshes, and streams. There are over 73 species of these fresh fish, some rarer than others.
Over the past 1,000 years, the Betta has become one of the most popular fish for home aquariums.
But it’s no surprise considering this finned beauty is so mesmerizing, it’s managed to grab the top spot, becoming the national aquatic animal of Thailand.
The Siamese fighting fish is notoriously sensitive, and even the most expensive Betta fish require a lot of work to ensure they remain healthy and happy.
Further down, we discuss the different species of Betta Fish and why they grab the top spots of the most expensive Betta fish. But what is the rarest Betta color?
Here are a few you aren’t likely to come across at your regular online auction:
In addition to color, there is a whole load of patterns. We can’t go through them all, but some cool ones include the following:
- Marble: Variety of patterns all over the body.
- Dragon: Base colors are intense, with the main body remaining translucent.
- Pastel: Fins are a light shade of the base color on the body.
- Cambodian: The fins are solid, while the body remains translucent.
The Most Expensive Betta Fish
Let’s look at the Betta Fish that will set you back a pretty penny.
Half Moon Betta Fish
This stunning fish gets its name from its unique tail shape. It fans out, creating a half-circle that resembles a half-moon.
The Half Moon Betta Fish has long fins along the bottom and peak fins towards the top, giving this fish its fascinating shape.
While Half Moon Bettas aren't scarce fish, some patterns and colors make some of these fish the rarest in the world.
For example, a marble pattern is difficult to achieve, making it one of the rarest finds. A Marble Half Moon Betta can set you back hundreds of dollars for a single fish. So it’s up there when looking for the most expensive betta fish.
The starting price for a regular Half Moon Betta is between CA$15-$35, with prices going into the hundreds for rare combinations.
Crowntail Betta Fish
One of the world's most unique species of fish, the Crowntail Betta Fish, has a distinctive tail with sharp points on the edge of the fins, resembling a crown shape.
This expensive Betta can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000, depending on the color and scale variation, putting the Crowntail Betta Fish close to being the most expensive of its kind.
Despite being a rare find, if you get your hands on a Crowntail Betta, you need to prepare for the work that goes along with owning one of these beauties.
The Crowntail Betta Fish is super sensitive and can be prone to diseases on the tail. So you’ll need a large aquarium setup for this longtail rarity. Clean water is an absolute must for this species.
There is practically no difference between the length of the tail and the fin, and both have the spiked shape that makes them so popular. A Crowntail Betta Fish will usually reach around 2.5 inches fully grown.
The species usually come in dark colors, costing around $10-$30. The more vibrant colors are the most sought-after and cost anywhere from $60 to somewhere in the thousands if you find a super rare color or pattern variation.
This species is a combination of the Halfmoon Betta and the Plakat Betta. It is one of the rarest fish in the world, with a Half Moon tail and a beautiful scale pattern.
The most expensive Betta Fish ever sold was a Kachen Worachai which sold for 53,500 Thai Baht, which equates to nearly $2000 Canadian Dollars - far more than the breeder ever expected.
Named after its breeder, the Kachen Worachai is a Halfmoon Plakat with the colors of the Thai national flag.
This fish is a once-in-a-lifetime find with vivid blue, white, and red tones throughout the body and tail of the species.
Plakat Betta Fish
The Plakat Betta is one of the most expensive Betta fish in the world. A rare color and pattern variation can cost a whopping $1,500.
The Plakat Betta species is highly sought after because it is one of the more active Betta variations. They also appear larger than other Bettas because the fins are shorter and closer to the body.
A normal Plakat Betta at your local pet shop will cost around $5-$7, but the price varies greatly depending on the specific species and color.
White Platinum Dragon
A Betta Fish with a dragon scale variation is pretty new, but it is seriously amazing to see. The fish have a base color that goes along with the dragon-like scales of a different metallic color.
This makes the species look more like a swimming dragon than a fish, which many fish enthusiasts dream of owning. However, this does make it one of the most expensive Betta Fish.
The White Platinum Dragon has a white undertone with white scales, a rare combination within the Betta family.
A pure white Betta has sold for close to 700 USD, making it one of the more expensive Betta fish in the world.
There is a difference between white and albino fish. An albino Betta has a pink undertone, while the White Platinum Dragon is a milky white that shines because of its unique scales.
Guide to Owning Betta Fish
Now that we know how much the most expensive Betta fish in the world can cost, let’s see what it takes to own one.
What makes a Betta Fish aggressive?
Whether you own an expensive Betta fish or not, your fish can still be difficult to handle.
Here are a few of the top reasons your Betta fish might not be happy:
- Untreated diseases: Look out for tail damage and clean the tank to prevent contamination.
- Overcrowding: You can’t keep more than one male in a single tank - it’s not called the Siamese Fighting fish for anything.
- Incorrect food: There is species-specific food, including pellets, frozen food, and flakes. Also, look out for food quantities.
- Small tanks: Your Betta needs space. They might look small, but they need room to swim and make the space their own to prevent boredom and territorial aggression.
- Boredom: Believe it or not, fish get bored too; that’s why your finned friend needs space. Interactive toys and live food like brine shrimp can keep a Betta interested.
- Water temperature: Betta fish needs warmer water, thriving in temperatures between 78°F-80°F.
Since Betta can be very aggressive towards each other and other fish, it’s essential to keep an eye on how your fish interact with one another.
Setting up your aquarium
The days of simply throwing a goldfish in a bowl and calling it a day are long gone. An expensive Betta fish requires some serious care.
You need a proper setup to own a Betta fish, and you should want one considering how much a rare variety might cost.
Get the biggest tank you can for your space. A Betta alone can survive in around five gallons, but if you have a lot of fish, you need to aim for ten gallons or more.
Before adding your fish, you need to treat any water with a water conditioner. Additionally, you need to cycle the water through a filter a few times first. This can sometimes take weeks, but a test kit will tell you when things are balancing for your fish to thrive.
Next, a gravel vacuum can help keep your tank clean and remove certain harmful bacteria. But you’ll need to remember to change 10%-15% of the water each week.
Wild Betta fish thrive in water between 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit; that’s why it’s important to note what species of fish you want because some require much cooler water.
A big note here: you CAN’T house two male Betta fish together; they will fight, usually to the death.
However, you can house multiple female wild Bettas together and potentially one male but always be on the lookout for aggravated behaviors, including:
- Erratic swimming
- Flaring gills
- Attacking other Betta fish
Betta fish are carnivorous in the wild, meaning it feeds on live larvae and insects. So, what does that mean for your new aquarium additions?
Plant roots are a good option alongside frozen food and pellets, but be careful not to overfeed your Betta.
A good indicator is to feed each of your fish food they can easily consume within three minutes. Uneaten food can destroy your water purity.
Whether you have a Plakat Betta or a Half Moon Betta fish, each fish is different regarding feeding.
Betta fish are generally quite sensitive, impacting their health in various ways.
Some key indications of disease are:
- Lethargy: If your Betta fish isn’t responding to normal stimuli like lights, it indicates something is off.
- Low appetite: Your fish will generally love feeding time; if it doesn’t come out for food, it’s not a good sign.
- Stress stripes: If the color starts to fade and you notice lines on the body, this is a significant indicator of stress, whether it’s health or personality related.
- Murky water: This is a sign of bacteria and disease and needs to be addressed ASAP.
- Torn fins: Fin rot occurs with inadequate water quality; the first sign is torn fins.
So, if you have even the most expensive Betta fish, there is still a chance it could have health issues.
Now that we know the warning signs, what are some common health concerns of one of the most beautiful fish in the world?
- Pop eye: Swelling of the eyes (can be treated with antibiotics, and removing bacteria from the tank is necessary).
- Anchor worms: A parasite that appears red and produces slime (requires urgent antibiotic treatment).
- Columnaris: A bacterial illness causing lesions, ulcers, and fraying fins (treated with antibiotics but must be within 72 hours to avoid death).
- Hemorrhagic: Bleeding of the mouth and eyes caused by bacteria (treated with antibiotics and a low fatality rate).
Bacteria and parasites cause many health issues, so it is incredibly important to keep your water clean. You must ensure that things are at the correct level for the fish's survival, regardless of whether it’s the most expensive Betta fish.
How much is the most expensive Betta fish?
Some Betta fish go for between $500-$1,000. The most ever paid was for a Kachen Worachai that sold for $1530, resembling the Thai national flag.
What is the rarest color of Betta fish?
Purple and pink Betta fish are some of the rarest colors of Betta fish. But many people look for rare patterns like marble and Cambodian, and these rare colors make for some of the most expensive Betta fish.
What is the prettiest Betta fish?
It’s all down to opinion; we love the White Platinum Dragon (one of the most expensive Beta fish). Finding darker colors is easier, so the rare color combinations and patterns like white on white with the dragon scales are unique. But all the species have something special to offer.
Are pink Bettas rare?
Yes, pink is one of the rarest colors seen in wild Bettas, and these make for beautiful ornamental fish.
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