Did you know you can spend thousands of dollars on an extra fancy Betta fish? These little aquatic friends also known as Siamese Fighting Fish may only live two to five years, but their short lifespan means little regarding their worth. Fish hobbyists love intriguing and rare colors of fish, and betta fish enthusiasts are no different.
Siamese fighting fish are native to Southeast Asia’s 75-80°F (23-27°C) waters. You can find them in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam freshwaters. The males are flamboyantly colored with big billowing tails, giving them a magical, elegant look. They gracefully swim in their tanks, providing a splash of beauty and color in the homes of millions of people worldwide.
Though betta fish are relatively easy to care for, they are also not the simplest, so be sure to do all your research before adding these beautiful fish to your aquarium.
1. True Purple Betta
The true purple Betta fish is extremely rare and can fetch thousands for its sale price. The steep cost is due to the tremendous time and work it takes to create a solid purple Betta. Variations of the true purple Betta are available for much less expensive and still make for a beautiful color of fish that shows off your aquarium. These can be pinkish purple, bluish purple, blackish purple, and so forth. They typically sell for several hundred dollars.
2. Samurai Koi Galaxy Betta
The Samurai Koi Galaxy Betta Fish has an array of bright orange and red koi speckles and beautiful dark blue colors that you might find in a galaxy, along with dragon scaling. This coloration, paired with the speckled Koi fish look, makes for a unique-looking fish. These Bettas can cost from $100 to several hundreds.
3. Fantail Betta
Fan Tailed Betta Fish are luxurious with long flowing tails that seem to pool around them as they swim. They come in many different colors, and the more brightly colored and extravagant they look, the more intense their breeding program likely was, which will mean a heftier price tag. Their name “Fantail” comes from a genetic mutation that causes them to grow two caudal fins, making the voluptuous tail seem even more extensive than the typical Betta. It’s known that some people have paid thousands of dollars for specific fantails in the past.
4. White Dragon King Crown Betta
The White Dragon King Crown Betta is extremely rare. In fact, it’s so rare that this isn’t even a photo of it. It does look very similar to the fish in the picture, except it is pure white. These fish has the coolest-looking tales paired with “dragon scales,” and it is no question why they would be worth a good bit of money. The massive caudal fin of the male Bettas makes for this beautiful fish’s namesake, the crown tail. Its caudal fin can even be three times the size of the little fish’s body! Needless to say, the spiky fins make it look like the top of a king’s crown.
5. Butterfly Betta
The Butterfly Betta Fish is a gorgeous, primary-colored billowing fish that tends to have two half moons of color on its tail. The fish’s body is one color that bleeds into its fins but stops about halfway. The secondary color of the fins is usually a translucent white or pearl color. The Butterfly Betta is the shape of a butterfly, which, of course, is where its namesake comes from. These fish aren’t as uncommon as some of the other Bettas on this list, but they can be costly depending on their color scheme and the rarity of it.
6. Dragonscale Betta
The Dragon Scale Betta Fish is a relatively new variant of Betta fish on the market. The scales are slightly more raised and conspicuous than that of the other types of Bettas. The pretty metallic sheen of the dragon scales also gives this fish its namesake. You will often see Dragon Scale Bettas with dark blue or red scales mixed with a mostly white body. It is very similar in looks to the Koi Betta Fish, and as seen above, they can be both.
7. Kachen Worachai Plakat Betta
One Betta fish you can easily spend thousands on is the Kachen Worachai Plakat Betta fish. It is known to have short fins and a stocky body. These are very rare, and specific color combos are breathtaking. Over time breeders have introduced these beautiful color schemes into the stock that was once very bland in their wild appearance. The standard and most popular universal Betta fish is a splendens, which has long, flowy fins. Plakat Bettas are similar to the original wild Bettas with short fins. They come equipped with a more muscular and robust build overall.
Kachen Worachai is a fish breeder in Southeast Asia. In 2016, he created a “Thai” Plakat, simply a Plakat showcasing the colors of Thai flags. Since then, other Thai Flag Plakats have surfaced in the industry.
In Southeastern Asian countries, fish fighting is legal and less controversial than in the Western world. Plakat Bettas are the first choice among fish fighters due to their stocky, muscular body and short fins. These characteristics help the fish injuries be less severe, which means they can remain in the fight longer.
8. Twintail Betta
The Twintail Betta Fish has a split tail, giving it the illusion that it has two separate tails. These are not the rarest or most expensive Betta fish but are unusual. These fish are slightly more challenging to care for than non-split-tailed Bettas. They sometimes have issues with swimming due to their split tail. They are also more susceptible to fin injuries.
These Twin Tail Bettas were initially introduced to the world in 1920s Japan and were to be the Betta world’s koi fish.
9. Crowntail Betta
The beautiful Crowntail Betta’s namesake comes from their long, ray-like caudal fins that look a bit like the top of a crown. They come in many colors, making some of the most unique-looking fish look even more majestic. Depending on what color variation you seek and if the fish is also dragon scaled, you could be paying more than you thought possible. Some of the most expensive Bettas in the world are crown tail variants.
10. Rosetail Betta
Rose Tail Betta Fish are rose-colored beauties. They come equipped with large, flowy tails that almost look as if made from silk. Since they have such elaborate tails, specific care is vital so they do not injure themselves by accident. These lovely fish are a variant of the half-moon Bettas, except that their tails are even more ruffled and overlapping. The Rosetail is a variant that you will want to have in very slow-moving water to help them swim to the best of their ability.
11. Dumbo Betta
Dumbo Betta Fish are similar to their cousins, the Halfmoon Betta fish, but their fins set them apart. They have broad and long pectoral fins that look quite a bit like a particular famous elephant’s ears. Their tail tends to be a bit shorter than some of the other Bettas. You might have to ask yourself if it’s an adorable baby elephant flying around your fish tank or if you do have a Betta fish.
One thing that sets these beauties apart is that the female’s tails are actually more prominent than the males of this species. In all other Beta fish, the males have the more flamboyant tails. Females are heartily soughtafter with Dumbo Bettas.
12. Wild-Caught Betta
In the mid-1800s, Betta Fish were first noted and observed in the rice paddies of Southeastern Asia. Now, we have classified 75 different types of wild-caught Betta fish. The original Betta did not have huge, luxuriously flowing tails, bright colors, or shiny scales. They were rather plain and called biting fish, which in Asia still occurs. The rarest of the wild Betta is the Betta macrostoma. The wild Bettas were considered extinct until they were seen again in 1981.
Summary of Top 12 Most Expensive Types of Betta Fish
Here’s a recap of the 12 priciest, most beautiful Bettas researched.
|Rank||Betta Fish||Cost / Reason|
|1||True Purple Betta||Extremely rare and can cost thousands of dollars due to the|
time and work it takes to create a solid purple
|2||Samurai Koi Galaxy Betta||Cost from $100 to several hundreds|
|3||Fantail Betta||Can be thousands of dollars; the more brightly colored, the more intense their breeding program|
|4||White Dragon King Crown Betta||Expensive as extremely rare|
|5||Butterfly Betta||Can be costly depending on color scheme and rarity|
|6||Dragonscale Betta||Relatively new variant on the market, with more raised and conspicuous scales|
|7||Kachen Worachai Plakat Betta||Can easily spend thousands as very rare|
|8||Twintail Betta||Not the most expensive, but are unusual due to their split tail|
|9||Crowntail Betta||Some of the most expensive in the world are crown tail variants.|
|10||Rosetail Betta||Newer variant with elaborate tail|
|11||Dumbo Betta||Unusually, females’ tails are more prominent than males’|
|12||Wild-Caught Betta||Considered extinct until seen again in 1981|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Mr. Witoon Boonchoo/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.