What are the characteristics of unicorn betta fish?

In this article we will discuss unicorn betta fish.We will discuss everything about them from their habitat information, tank size,water parameters,feeding habitat,breeding,diets and other parameters too.


In this blog

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

What are the characteristics of unicorn betta fish?

Key specifications of unicorn betta fish

Scientific nameCommon name Betta splendens Unicorn betta fish
Other namesSiamese fighting fish
Habitat Freshwater of Southeast Asia
Diet Carnivore/omnivore in captivity
Temperament Aggressive like their cousins
Life span3-5 years
Conservation statusVulnerable (wild)Captivity (data deficient)

Unicorn betta fish habitat information

Siamese fighting fish,commonly known as betta, is a freshwater fish that grows naturally in Southeast Asia i.e Cambodia,Laos,Myanmar, Malaysia,Indonesia,Thailand, and Vietnam.

The unicorn bettas are captive bred and have been bred specifically for their vibrant unicorn colors by betta breeders.They are quite unique and mostly not found in natural habitat.

Not much is known about them, and they are available in specific shops and can be bought on special orders only.

General characteristics of unicorn betta fish

  • Unicorn bettas have been named so because of those unicorn colors.They have been bred in captivity for those beautiful colors only.
  • Unicorn male bettas are more colorful than female bettas.
  • Unicorn male bettas are bigger than female bettas.
  • You can easily differentiates sexes in unicorns like their wild cousins, so you can say that sexual dimorphism in bettas.
  • Genetics play a vital role in bettas variants and their colorful bodies.
  • It is very important to choose the right unicron variant,as healthy lines will have bigger lifespans.

Tank size of unicorn betta fish

  • For unicorn bettas, the tank should be at least 3 gallons. If you plan to keep a lot of community fish,your aquarium should provide one gallon of water per inch of fully grown unicorn fish.
  • Bigger and well spaced tanks are a great choice for unicorns bettas too.
  • Unicorn bettas need lots of space to hide in the covers when they feel anxious or intimidated by other tank mates.
  • Provide lots of plant covers in the tank to hide, to nap and rest whenever they feel like.
  • Provide tank covers as they too jump out of their tanks ,when they get anxious.

Water parameters of unicorn betta fish

Unicorn bettas like their wild cousins prefer soft water, but withstand a wide range of GH from 5-20 DH or 70-300 ppm.

Mixing Indian-almond leaves, alder cones,and distilled water reduces the hardness of the water.

KH is a buffering capacity that keeps the pH stable and should exceed 4.5 DH or 80 ppm to prevent pH fluctuations.Unicorn aquarium water temperature should be maintained at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooler water can kill them because it slows down their immune system and makes them more likely to get sick.

Hot water is not good for them, as it ages them quickly due to increased metabolism.Heaters should be installed to maintain temperature.

Tank mates of unicorn betta fish

Depending on the individual unicorn bettas they can be aggressive to the same species and other gouramis.If they are willing to tolerate tankmates, you can add tank buddies for them.

Some of the best aquarium companions for your 10 gallon aquarium are fish that occupy lower levels in the aquarium, such as small loaches and catfish.

Non-fish inhabitants such as snails, shrimp and frogs also work well in aquariums of this size.Ghost shrimp and unicorn bettas can live together as pets.You can also feed your unicorn bettas ghost shrimp.

Alternative tank mates for unicorn bettas:

  • Apple snails
  • African dwarf frogs
  • Cherry shrimp 

Tank plants for unicorn betta fish

Take your unicorn betta aquarium to the next level by adding live aquatic plants to purify, enrich and simulate its natural environment. 

Betta fish like to stay close to the water’s surface, and floating plants are a great way to strengthen the top layers of their home.

Because of its fluffy roots and dense foliage, your unicorn betta will feel safe enough to build its foam nest or take a little nap surrounded by plants.

Stem plants are another great background plant that can quickly cover a unicorn bettas aquarium with lots of green.

  • Java moss.
  • Water sprite
  • Salvinia minima 
  • Hornwort.

Substrate for unicorn betta fish

Gravel is excellent because it makes it easier to fix plants and produce more beneficial bacteria.

The aquarium substrate makes your unicorn bettas feel more at home and makes the aquarium look more natural.

If you’re going to add gravel, you don’t want it to be too shallow or too deep.The ideal depth is 1.5 inches, but 1-2 inches will fit any tank.

The top layer of Fluval Stratum is a substrate that is not only good for unicorn bettas but also excellent for the live plant growth too.

Substrate you get online:

  • Spectrastone Premium Gravel
  • 18 Pounds Black Decorative Pebble
  • Seachem Flourite

Feeding habits of unicorn betta fish

Unicorn betta fish are carnivorous fish that eat live insects, small bugs, and larvae in the wild.It requires a high protein diet and the appropriate nutrients.

Floating pellets are probably the most typical betta staple food, so this is the main source of food.Many sizes and grades of pellets are available, so it is important to choose high quality betta pellets.

Always read the ingredients list and choose high protein betta granules.For a regular size unicorn betta fish, you need to give him about. 1-3 pellets per day, at once or separately.

Watch them carefully during feeding and feed one pellet at a time to ensure that they consume each pellet completely.

Make sure you are not overfeeding them,because like other bettas they are also prone to digestive issues and succumb to poor water conditions due to overeating.

Best bettas food:

  • Fluval bug bites
  • Tetra betta floating mini pellets
  • Omega one betta flakes
  • Tetra bloodworms

Behavior of unicorn betta fish

Unicorn betta fish like their wild cousins, fight to establish a territory, including food resources, shelter, and access to females.Male bettas fight each other because of their territory.

When one male enters the other’s territory, the two may act aggressively, but the fight may not take place, with plenty of room to retreat.

There is no way to stop betta fish from fighting other fish.Some bettas are less aggressive than others and can be maintained well by a variety of tankmates.

Breeding of unicorn betta fish

  • Select a healthy pair of unicorn betta.
  • Add six inches of water into a five gallon aquarium.
  • Cut a plastic foam cup in half and place the outer side face up in the corner of the tank.
  • Place live plants throughout the aquarium, especially floating plants to facilitate the breeding process.
  • Make sure the aquarium water temperature is a constant 82 degrees F (27.8 degrees C).
  • Introduce healthy mating pairs in the tank and monitor them.
  • Once they get adjusted to each other, male will start building bubble or foam nests for the females to attract.
  • Females will come and sit on those eggs and will release eggs in the bubble nest.
  • Keep moniotning,as some bettas are inexperienced or maybe they are not aware of the breeding process, so it might make the betta eggs prone to fungal infections.
  • If they are experienced,male will take care of those eggs and will aerate them properly and protect them from female bettas.
  • Remove female bettas as they get super aggressive and might attack those eggs.
  • Remove male bettas when they are stressed,as due to stress they might end up eating their own eggs, but this is rare.They will protect their eggs until the fry learns to swim.
  • Take proper care of betta babies and handover them to betta breeders for further breeding after 6-8 months.

The spawning process is very stressful for female unicorn bettas. It is important not to disturb the aquarium, because there is a risk of the bubble nest collapsing.

The nests get bigger and bigger and it should take 3 days for the fish to breed.By then, the female should lay enough eggs in her body


  • Always bring healthy unicorn bettas from a reputed betta breeder, who knows their genetics and healthy lines.
  • If you are getting unicorn bettas with poor genetics,they will die off soon, because they won’t be able to survive in a new environment.
  • Make sure not to stress them,as they become weak when overly stressed and die ultimately due to such a stressful environment.
  • Do water changes from time to time to avoid the ammonia buildup in the unicorn bettas tank too.
  • Maintain pristine water conditions in the unicorn bettas tank to keep them healthy.
  • Do regular water monitoring,to maintain pristine water conditions.
  • Quarantine new tank mates for 2 weeks to avoid infections spreading in unicorn bettas tanks.
  • Feed your unicorn bettas live food along with some color enhancers to maintain their color, but don’t overfeed them.

Frequently asked questions

Do you find unicorn bettas in their natural habitat?

Unicorn bettas are not found in natural habitat, they are made through captive breeding by reputed betta breeders.