The Orange Betta Fish: Varieties, Breeding and Care

Orange plakat betta fish.
Orange plakat betta fish.

The orange betta fish is one of the rarest and most difficult colors to breed in Betta splendens.

The main reason why it is so hard to breed orange betta fish is simply that they tend not to breed true. This means that even if the parents are orange themselves, their offsprings may not. Typically, orange fighter fish will produce either yellow or red offsprings.

The coloration of fish is created by three pigments: red, black, and yellow. These pigments are contained within cells called chromatophores. To produce orange we need a combination of yellow and red chromatophores.

Varieties of Orange Betta Fish

Orange betta fish come in different patterns and shapes. Depending on the parent’s dominant and recessive genes, different variations of orange bettas are possible.

Solid Orange Betta

Solid orange coloration (uniform color, no spots or patterns) is possible. There are many different tail shapes available as well, including half-moon, plakat, veil-tail, round tail, and crowntail.

Some strains of orange bettas are made between parents of different colors. The solid betta serves as the base for the orange coloration, and can help create stunning strains such those listed below.

Solid orange betta.
Solid orange betta.

Orange Dalmatian Betta

The Orange Dalmation has a pale orangish coloration with dark orange spots on its fins. This strain of betta fish is extremely rare and sought after by many betta enthusiasts. The coloration is known to be difficult to achieve, since Orange Dalmatians may not always breed true. Orange Dalmatians can be produced by breeding two bettas of two different colors. According to reports, they can be bred with a solid orange betta and a Red Dragon betta.

Orange Dalmatian Betta
Orange Dalmatian Betta.

Orange Koi Betta

The koi betta is a marble-type betta that is white, black, and orange! They are reminiscent of Japanese koi breeds, namely the Kohaku, Goshiki, or the Shawa.

Koi bettas are galaxy bettas, which means that breeders cannot predict the coloration of the fish they breed. Galaxy bettas will vary in price depending on the appeal of their coloration and pattern.

White, black and orange Koi betta.
White, black and orange Koi betta.

Orange Crowntail Betta

The crowntail variation and orange coloration are mutually inclusive. The Crowntail variation was created by Achmad Yusuf in 1997 in Indonesia. Since then, the variation has become popular amongst hobbyists, enough that they are sometimes available in pet stores and local fish stores. However, your chances of finding an orange crowntail betta in a physical location may be difficult. Your best bet is online.

Orange crowntail betta.

How to Keep the Color of Orange Betta Fish

It is well documented that the nervous system and hormonal system of betta fish affect the distribution of pigments within the chromatophores. This is a common thing for betta fish, who will change colors depending on their mood or environment.



To maintain the bright colors of your orange fighter fish, it is important that you feed your fish a variety of foods.  Betta fish are omnivorous and will practically anything that can fit in their mouth. They will eat plant-based foods like cucumbers, blanched vegetables, and algae. They will also eat commercially available prepared dry foods like crisps, pellets, and algae wafers. As for protein-based foods, Bettas will happily eat blood worms, brine shrimp, and infusoria.

Bloodworms can be especially beneficial for an orange betta, as they are prone to dull coloration. They are known to promote reddish pigmentation and may aid your fish in maintaining deeper coloration.

Tank Conditions

Betta fish tend to lose color when they are unhealthy or getting old. Fish are born with a fixed number of chromatophores. As they age and grow larger, the chromatophores spread more thinly and thus produce coloration of lower intensity.

The best way to maintain the color of your Betta fish is to maintain the health of your fish. First and foremost you should maintain adequate water parameters. 

Indian almond leaves.
Indian almond leaves.

Bettas are adapted for slightly acidic water, you should therefore maintain pH within the range of 5 to 6.5. This can be achieved through the use of botanicals such as Indian almond leaves.  Alternatively, this can be done with commercially available products like Seachem Acid Buffer.

I find that bettas have better coloration in heated tanks. As some of you may be aware, betta fish are tropical fish that are highly sensitive to color temperature. Oftentimes, pet stores will market betta fish in a way made that implies that they do not need anything other than a 2-gallon small bowl. Of course, that could not be further from the truth. In fact, the aquarium of a betta fish should hold at least 5 gallons of water. A heater is also a must considering the species natural habitat. By providing a heated aquarium, you ensure that your betta is healthy and in return, they will reward you with deeper coloration.


The environment of the betta has on its coloration. Betta fish intentionally and unintentionally adjust their coloration depending on their surrounding. Generally, a darker background is considered to be better a choice. In the case of the orange betta fish, this may be dually beneficial, as the contrast between orange against black will be esthetically pleasing. 


The orange coloration in betta fish is thought to be caused by a mutation of the red gene.

According to Betta Territory, the orange of betta it’s classified as an NR, for non-red. The non-red genes come in two varieties, yellow (also referred to as NR1) to orange (NR2).

Breeding orange betta with other orange bettas is said to have disappointing results, at the offsprings are not likely to have the same discoloration as their parents. However, other some report having been able to them true.

For one, the orange coloration is highly reccessive and cannot be crossed with other colors.

Finding Orange Betta Fish for Sale

Now you may wonder where one could find an orange betta for sale. As mentioned before the orange betta fish is one of the most difficult colors to breed and therefore difficult to find. You may be able to find them online either through Aquabid, eBay, or through vendors like King Koi Betta. (Note: make sure to do proper research before making a purchase online.)

It is unlikely that you will find an orange betta at a pet store or even a local fish store, but perhaps worth a try before making a purchase online.

Level of careModerate
Size5-6 cm (2-2.4″)
Tank size10 Gallons (38 liters)
Native OriginSoutheast Asia
Specific GravityFreshwater
Temperature20 -28 °C (68-82.4°F)
pH5 to 7
Degrees of Hardness5 to 19
Level of availabilityUncommon
Stocking Ratio1:1 M:F
SpeciesBetta splendens

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