What are the characteristics of opal betta fish?

In this blog we will discuss opal betta fish. We will discuss everything about them in this blog.


In this blog

  • Opal betta fish
  • Key specifications of opal betta fish
  • General characteristics of opal betta fish
  • Tank size of opal betta fish
  • Water parameters of opal betta fish
  • Tank mates of opal betta fish
  • Tank plants for opal betta fish
  • Substrate for opal betta fish
  • Feeding habits of opal betta fish
  • Behavior of opal betta fish
  • Breeding of opal betta fish
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

What are the characteristics of opal betta fish?

Opal betta fish are considered shiny and opalescent betta fish because of their appearance. They are pure white with a pinkish tinge and are uncommon among bettas. They are another variant of betta fish that is produced through selective breeding for their shiny and pure white appearance. 

Opal bettas have their uniqueness and lit up the aquariums with their shiny appearance. To know more about them in detail keep reading the blog. 

Key specifications of opal betta fish

Scientific nameName Betta splendens Opal betta fish
Other namesShiney betta fish/ Opalescent betta fish 
Habitat Freshwater of Southeast Asia
Diet Carnivore / omnivore 
Temperament Aggressive like their wild bettas
Life span3 years
Conservation statusVulnerable (wild)Captivity (data deficient)

General characteristics of opal betta fish

  • Opal bettas are white with a tinge of pinkish color. They are famous for their shiny appearance.
  • Opal bettas are similar in length to other selective breed bettas. They are also 2-3 inches in length and have beautiful pectoral fins.
  • The lifespan of opal bettas is between 2-3 years, which is an average lifespan of bettas, and can live beyond three years if given the proper care and attention.
  • Opal bettas do have a special labyrinth organ that helps them to breathe in an oxygen-deprived environment.
  • Opal bettas have beautiful eyes and sharp teeth. Bettas do not bite, so don’t worry about their sharp teeth.
  • Opal bettas are known for changing their colors in response to stress and other environmental conditions.
  • Male opal bettas are bigger and shinier than female opal betta fish.

Tank size of opal betta fish

The minimum tank size for any betta fish should be five gallons to accommodate their fins and space for swimming freely and effortlessly. If you want to keep more than one betta fish then the additional size should be an extra one gallons for each betta fish.

Keep opal bettas in spacious tanks and not in small and compact tanks. This will limit their movement and can stress them. 

Every opal betta fish needs their own space in the tank, so don’t compromise with the size of the tank and make sure you are keeping them in a horizontally shaped tank.

  • Minimum size- five gallons
  • Additional size for individual opal betta – one gallon
  • Opal betta tank shape- Horizontal

Water parameters of opal betta fish

  • Opal betta fish water type-Freshwater type
  • Water temperature in opal betta tank-76-80F (warm water is must)
  • Opal betta fish breeding temperature-78F
  • Opal betta fish water pH-6.5-7.5
  • Degree of water hardness in opal betta fish tank-3 to 4 dGH and 3 to 5 dKH
  • Water movement inside opal betta fish tank-Calmer movement
  • Ammonia and nitrite levels in opal betta fish tank- zero ppm
  • Nitrate levels in opal betta fish tank <20 ppm

Water changes in opal bettas tank

  • Water should be changed with proper planning as sudden and large changes can stress your opal betta fish and can even kill them after sudden changes.
  • Make sure you are acclimating your betta fish before adding the new water to avoid water shock.
  • Partial water changes are recommended in the opal bettas tank.

Filters in opal betta tank

Bettas are known for producing lots of waste in their tank and it is a well-known fact that bioload leads to ammonia spikes in the tank. To avoid this you need good quality filters in bettas tanks. 

There are different types of filters available in the market, you can choose according to your choice. Make sure to choose filters that don’t hurt your opal betta fish, as they sometimes hide near the filters too.

Heater’s in opal betta tank

Betta fish originally belong to warmer climates, so they prefer warm water in their aquarium, and to maintain that a heater is required. It is important to maintain an ideal temperature in betta fish tanks to avoid problems due to temperature fluctuations. 

A good quality heater attached with a thermometer is all you need to maintain the required temperature. The temperature should be monitored every day without fail.

Tank mates of opal betta fish

Best tank mates for opal betta fish are:

  • Rasboras 
  • Corydoras 
  • Plecos 
  • Loaches 
  • Danios

Tank plants for opal betta fish

Best tank plants for opal betta fish are:

  • Vallisneria
  • Silk aquarium plants
  • Water Sprite
  • Sword Plant
  • Sinking ceramic betta log
  • Marimo balls 

Substrate for opal betta fish

Opal bettas don’t need a substrate as they are surface dwellers and occupy the upper and middle levels in the tank.

Add substrate in two conditions, if you are adding bottom dwellers and want beneficial bacteria for the tank environment. There is no harm in adding a substrate in a betta fish tank, but make sure the substrate is not sharp or rough, because opal bettas have beautiful and shiny pectoral fins which can get hurt if they collide with the substrate. 

Sand or gravels can be added as they are similar to the natural substrate in bettas wild habitat and even easy to clean too.

Feeding habits of opal betta fish

Opal betta fish are naturally carnivores but can accept a variety of food in aquarium conditions if trained well. They are famous for eating like crazy and will never say no to food. So, it is their owner’s responsibility to feed them moderately.

It is advised to include lots of proteins in their diet, so do it by feeding live food, freeze-dried and frozen food. But make sure you are not giving it daily. It should be given as a special treat to them. If feeding frozen or freeze-dried food, defrost it before feeding your fish.

There are betta-specific pellets designed especially for betta fish, it is made with all the ingredients required for betta growth and development.

You can also feed your opal betta fish veggies or plant-based food, but bettas don’t like to eat plant matter. It can be given occasionally but not regularly.

Overfeeding is a common problem among bettas, so it is very important to feed betta fish moderately and the leftovers should be removed every day using a gravel siphon to avoid the accumulation of leftovers in the substrate. 

Leftovers can increase the levels of ammonia in the tank and will change the water chemistry. 

Feeding frequency- Feed adult bettas twice a day and young or juvenile opal bettas thrice a day.

Behavior of opal betta fish

  • Opal bettas are aggressive like their wild cousins. This trait is common in all betta fish.
  • When they are happy they swim effortlessly, greet their owners, enjoy listening to music, and follow their owners too.
  • When they are under stress they tend to hide, lose appetite, interact less, and look gloomy.
  • When they are aggressive they flare their gills to show their dominance to other bettas.

Breeding of opal betta fish

To breed an opal betta fish you have to maintain a breeding tank exactly like their main tank with lots of plant covers, heater, and other accessories you add to the main tank.

Keep male and female betta in a breeding tank and let them know each other. During this period don’t disturb them, as it can distract them and breeding won’t happen.

The Male will make a bubble nest and wait for the female to release eggs, this whole process will get over in three days and babies will come after three days. 

Male betta will look after the fry until they become free swimming. Female bettas don’t show parental care and look more aggressive during breeding and post-breeding. It would be best to remove female bettas from the breeding tank to the main tank, as female bettas can end up eating baby bettas if they are under stress.

Feed betta fry healthy and nutritious food for their growth and development and separate them when they become free swimming.


  • Opal bettas are not as common as other bettas and they are not easily available.
  • Maintain water parameters, feed them high-quality food, do tank cleaning, and do water changes in bettas tanks with proper planning.
  • Heater and filters are vital to opal betta fish so install these two in their tank.
  • Interact with them more to understand their behavior.
  • Exclude stressors from their tank.

Frequently asked questions

Do opal bettas change colors?

Yes, opal bettas change color when they are under stress and stress stripes are more prominent female opal bettas.

Do opal bettas like hiding spots?

Yes, opal bettas like hideouts in their tank to feel safe and secure when they are under stress.