GLOSSARY OF BETTA TERMS
Alleles Genes.
Artemia Brine Shrimp
Ammonia The by-product of decay, waste, uneaten foods. High Ammonia levels are extremely toxic.
Anal Fin The fin located on the belly.
BBS Baby Brine Shrimp.
Belly Slider A nickmane for a Betta Fry with Swim Bladder. Also known as SBD (Swim Bladder Disorder)
Betta Splendens Pronouced "Bet-tuh". Also, known as Siamese Fighting Fish. For more info on Bettas click here
Black Water Extract (BWE) Used for encouraging spawning and in the stimulation of the roots of plants in the aquarium.
Blonde or Bright "B" A reduction in black pigmentation.
Breeders Adults you use for spawning purposes
Bubble Nest The male will build this to house the eggs after mating. Sometimes he builds it just for kicks. And occasionally you will find a female bubble nest builder.
Butterfly (BF) Variegated Fins (VF) that is characterized by a "band" pattern.
Cambodian "c" A decrease (or limitation) in the production of black. Depicted as a light colored body and darker fins.
Caudal Fin The tail fin.
Chloramines A combination of Chlorine & Ammonia, added to most tap water. Highly toxic to fish. Unlike Chlorine, Chloramines do not naturally disapate from water. It must be removed with dechlorinators.
Chlorine Added to tap water. Toxic to fish. Use a dechlorinator to remove it, or let the water stand for a few days.
Color Layer There are 4 layers of color that can be found in the Betta.The Iridescent (Blue/Green/Steel) layer is the topmost layer and is produced by Iridophores (aka Guanophores) pigmentation. Followed by the Red layer produced by Erythrophores. Then Black layer is produced by Melanophores. And the bottom layer Yellow (which is also called Non-Red) is produced by Xanthophores.
Comb Tail "ct" The combs (rays) extend past the finnage.
Community Tank A tank that holds many different species of fish. Or used to combine different spawns.
Conditioning This is the time period when you get your pair ready to spawn by feeding them a varied diet of live or frozen foods. Usually 1-3 weeks.
Crashing This is a term that I use to describe the violent, shaking, ramming into walls, banging into rocks, spinning out of control, head dives that a Betta does right before they are about to die. Once a Bettas starts "Crashing" death is imminent.
Crown Tail "CT" Depicted by long extended rays. Similar to a King's Crown.
Cull An unwanted fish.
Daphnia Water Fleas. They are a first food for the Fry.
Dorsal Fin The fin located on the back.
Delta A very full and flowing tail that is fuller than a Fan Tail, but not quite Half Moon. Sometimes called Super Delta when it falls just shy of Half Moon.
Divided Tank A tank that is divided in order to house multiple male Bettas. Click link to the left for instructions on making a Divided Tank.
Dominant Referring to traits, only one gene is needed for this characteristic to show up.
Double Ray "DR" Referring to Crowntails---TR=Triple Ray, DDR= Double Double Ray (aka 4 Rays).
Double Tail "DT" Depicted by a split in the Caudal Fin.
Egg Bound When a Female Betta's stomach becomes engorged with eggs.
Eggs Betta Splendens are Egg-Layers. They mate, then place their eggs in a bubble nest. (Eggs in Nest picture). Photo Courtesy Scott/Cajun Betta
Extended Red "ER" A deep cherry red that extends throughout the entire body and finnage.
F1 First generation (fillial generation) of offsprings of a pairing (F2 is the second generation...).
Fan Tail Shaped like a fan.
Filtration Either Biological, Chemical or Mechanical. Designed to clean the water by elimination of waste products (food or poop).
Flaring An instinctive action of flaring the gills as a show of dominance.
Fry Baby Bettas. (Fry Picture). Photo Courtesy Scott/Cajun Betta
Fry Food See Fry Foods page for these.
Geno The hidden traits.
Green Water Algaefied (is that a word?) Water.
Grizzled A term used to describe Pastels with Iridescence on their body.
Halfmoon "HM" The simplistic or "perfect" definition would be an 180° Caudal spread. However, many experienced breeders believe that the Halfmoon is a 165° + tail spread with a "straight" edge from the top to the bottom of the Caudal Fin. Click on Halfmoon (to the left), for a pictorial of Halfmoons.
Heterozygous Different genes.
Homozygous The Same genes.
IBC International Betta Congress.
Incomplete Dominance

Occurs when Alleles (genes) are partially expressed. Often producing an intermediate Phenotype.

Infusoria A microscopic protozoan organism. Often the Fry's first food.
Iridescent Colors Blue, Green or Steel. These 3 colors make up the topmost layer of the Betta.
Jarring The point when you remove your male Fry (and sometimes females) from their tank and put them in individual jars (containers). Usually between 6-8 weeks.
Labyrinth An organ that allows Bettas to breathe surface air.
Lateral Line The sensory organs located on the body of the fish, allowing them to orient themselves in water.
LFS Local Fish Store (or LPS, Local Pet Store).
Marble "Mb" An elusive gene that causes varied patches of color (marbling).
Melano "M" An increase in black pigmentation. Commonly refered to as "Black". Black Melano females are "infertile".
Microworms (MW) A small nematode. One of the Bettas first food.
Mouth Brooders Eggs are carried in the mouth until they are hatched.
Nitrates The conversion of toxic Ammonia into Nitrite, then converted into Nitrate. High Nitrate levels are toxic.
Nitrogen Cycle A process an Aquarium goes through.
Non- Red "NR" NR produces Yellow.
Opaque "Op" A chalky-white coloring.
Outcrossing A point in your line that you introduce new and unrelated genes to your Bettas gene pool.
Ovipositor The egg tube. Normally viewed as a "white spot" on the females belly. It sometimes is protruded.
Pair Male and Female.
Pectoral Fins The fins located behind the Gills.
PH Is the measure of acidity of water. 7.0 is neutral, <7.0 is acidic, and >7.0 is alkaline.
Pheno This is the visible part you can see. (i.e. double tail).
Piebald A flesh colored face.
Plakat A term used by some in Asia to describe short-finned Bettas. They are the same species as Betta splendens. They just have short tails.
Quarantine A period of time that all "new" fish and "sick" fish should go through in a separate tank. To prevent illness of other fish.
Recessive Referring to traits, you will need 2 genes for this characteristic to show up.
Red Loss "L" The red coloring on the body starts fading.
Red Wash An unwanted reddish color somewhere on the fish (usually in the ventrals, often in the tail).
Reverse Osmosis The usage of a membrane to filter water from contaminants and chemicals.
Rice Paddies These are open fields near a river/stream and are a natural habitat of the Betta. They can be found throughout South East Asian countries. They are murky, low-oxygen areas of fresh water ranging from several inches to several feet deep. Click for a look at how Rice Paddies are built . Note: Rice Paddies are "not" the size of a 4 oz cup that they are often erroneously compared to in pet stores
Salt Baths A procedure that is helpful in eliminating Parasites. You would place your Betta in a small container (1 gallon) then use a concentrated amount of Aquarium or Epsom Salt. Your Betta would soak in this for 15-30 minutes, 2x a day.
Single Tail "ST" Possessing one tail (i.e. - STM, Single Tail Male - STF, Single Tail Female).
Spawn(ing) The mating of a male and female.
Sponge Filter A filter made out of Sponge, used in the Breeding tank.
Spread Iridocyte "SI" Iridescent coloring on the fish.
Swim Bladder Disorder (SBD) A common Betta disease. Click Diseases for more information.
Test Kit

Used to measure water parameters such as pH, Ammonia, Nitrates. There are 2 types of test kits. Nessler (the more common type, such Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) which measure total Ammonia levels. Salicylate (a bit more complicated to use) is a more accurate test kit, as it measure both Ammonia and Ammonia Nitrogen. Note: When using a Dechlorinator such as "Amquel" you can get "false" readings with a Nessler kit. As Nessler kits measure "total" Ammonia, including the Ammonia that Amquel "locks up".

Unsexed A young lot of Fry, whose sex has not been determined.
Variegated Fins "VF" Commonly referred to as the Butterfly (BF) pattern.
Veil Tale "P or VT" A long hanging tail. Common Pet Store variety.
Ventrals The two short fins located on the underside (in front of the Anal Fin).
Water Hardness Degrees of Hardness (DH), referring to the softness or hardness of water. It is the measure of dissolved minerals in your water. Usually expressed in PPM (parts per million) Soft/0-75ppm, Moderate/76-150ppm, Hard/151-300ppm, Very Hard/Over 300ppm.