Max Size: 7cm

Emerald Betta (Betta smaragdina)

Emerald Bettas are rarely seen. They are timid but also have a cheerful temperament. Its unique appearance and the fact it is far tougher in terms of diseases since they have been less bred in captivity make this fish loved by many aquarists. However, they need more attention to the tank and the environment, such as tannins and plants compared to other Bettas.

Emerald Bettas are very territorial, and even if they are not looking to fight, they can attack or even kill other fish that become somewhat intrusive. This behaviour is particularly apparent during the breeding season. For this reason, these Bettas are not recommended for a community aquarium. Its care requirements and disposition mean it is best kept alone or with very peaceful species.

Provided there is sufficient cover and you have a large enough tank it is possible to keep more than one male per tank, though it is deemed best practice to isolate pairs for breeding purposes.

Emerald Bettas have a shiny green and blue sheen on their body and fins,

they get these colours due to refraction and interference of light from hexagonal crystals. Their iridescent bluish-green scales form a snake-like pattern all over the bottom but its real colours are green with orange accents.

Populations from various localities often exhibit differences in patterning and colouration, tending to vary in the extent of red or green patterning.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameBetta smaragdina
Other NamesEmerald Green Betta, Mekong Fighting Fish, Blue Betta
OriginsLaos, Thailand
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespan5 - 7 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 10
TDS18 - 179
72 - 79℉
22.2 - 26.1℃

Photos of the Emerald Betta

Emerald betta

Natural Habitat

Emerald Bettas are native to Laos and Thailand in Southeast Asia. You can find them in Chao Phraya River, and the Mekong River. These Bettas inhabit still, or sluggish water bodies such as rice paddies, ditches, swamps, ponds and streams; These are usually shaded by submerged marginal or surface vegetation and sometimes contain little dissolved oxygen. The substrate can vary from leaf litter to sand, mud or deep sediment.

Chao Phraya River

What to feed the Emerald Betta

It would be best to offer your Emerald Betta high-quality flakes, granules, and Betta pellets once they are recognised as edible as a staple diet, supplementing this with small, live and frozen foods like bloodworm, artemia and daphnia as this will ensure the development of optimal colour and condition.

Be careful you do not overfeed your Emerald Bettas as they seem to be particularly prone to obesity.

How to sex the Emerald Betta

It is effortless to differentiate male from female Emerald Bettas. Males have much more pronounced colouration than that of the females, and their fins are also more extended. In contrast, the females are duller, and their fins are shorter.

How to breed the Emerald Betta

Emerald Bettas are Bubble nester. It is essential to provide plenty of refuge for the female, and you can use lengths of plastic tubing or empty camera film canisters to provide them with potential nesting sites. You may include floating plants into the nest if present.

The aquarium should have the tightest-fitting cover possible because the fry requires access to a layer of warm, humid air; otherwise, it can impair the development of the labyrinth organ.

The pair need not be separated before spawning. The male might construct the nest in a tube or canister, under fine-leaved surface vegetation or a broad plant leaf. He will not usually tolerate the female in the proximity until it is complete.

When the female is interested in mating, she becomes lighter coloured and develops dark vertical bars on the flanks. Spawning typically occurs beneath the nest where the male wraps himself around the female in a warm embrace.

When the pair reaches the point of climax milt and a few eggs are released, which the female proceeds to catch between her pelvic fins and her body. The male will then transfer these eggs to the nest while the female recovers any loose eggs. This process is then repeated until the female runs out of eggs.

Once spawning is complete, you can leave the adults where they are, even though the female is no longer actively involved. The male will then take full responsibility of tending to and guarding the nest.

The eggs will generally hatch within 24 to 48 hours, remaining in the nest for an additional 3 to 4 days until the yolk sac is fully absorbed, the male will continue to collect and return any that may have fallen. If threatened, the male may move the complete nest elsewhere. Once the fry becomes free swimming, the male will lose interest. The adults do not usually consume their offspring.

The fry requires infusoria-grade food for the first few days, and then they can accept motile foods such as microworm and Artemia nauplii. However, it should be noted that there exist reports of young Betta developing health issues if fed excessive amounts. You should perform small and regular water changes rather than large intermittent changes.

Other Bettas of interest

Siamese Fighting Fish(Betta Splendens)
Snakehead Betta(Betta channoides)
Spotfin Betta(Betta macrostoma)
Toba Betta(Betta Rubra)
Date Added: 27/01/2021 - Updated: 18/11/2021 19:10:34