Betta smaragdina
Ladiges 1972

Betta smaragdina male
Photo by Atison Phumchoosri [4]

Keeping Betta smaragdina from an Aquarist View


Betta smaragdina can be housed in pairs, species tanks, and community tanks.  Pairs can be housed in a 10 gallon tank, groups should be housed in a 30 gallon tank or larger.  Pairs should be given cover such as caves and plants.  In a pair or species situation it is possible that fry could be discovered in the tanks.  For best results remove a pair to a breeding tank with little to no filtration.

Water Conditions

Not critical, smaragdina is very tolerant of water chemistry and thrives in almost any type of water as long as it is clean and well filtered.  They should be kept at mid 70s to low 80s F.


Males are more intensely colored and might have longer fins while the females will be a browner in color however females should display an ovipositor or egg tube.


Smaragdina is a surface bubblenester however the male may make a nest under objects on the surface of the water.  Males normally initiate spawning and entice females to the nest for spawning.

Similar Species Similar species would be all splendens complex members.
Identification Smaragdina have green or blue gill plates with wild spots on the tail rays.

Articles on Betta smaragdina

Spawning Betta smaragdina – the “Emerald Betta Yohan Fernando.

Betta smaragdina Ladiges, 1972.  Michel Dantec.  Communauté Internationale pour les Labyrinthidés [internet]. France; c.9 August 2002.

Care and Spawning of Betta smaragdina.  Gerald Griffin.   Flare! Mar/Apr 1990

Articles on Related Species

Working with wild Bettas  Gerald Griffin.   Flare! 2006.

Bettas in Peril, the Mahachai SituationGerald Griffin.  Flare 2005

Original Citation Ladiges, W. 1972. [60]
References Riehl, R. and H.A. Baensch, 1991. [85] Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. [88] Grabda, E. and T. Heese, 1991. [45] Riehl, R. and H.A. Baensch, 1996. [86] Vidthayanon, C., J. Karnasuta and J. Nabhitabhata, 1997. [107] Schliewen, U., 1992. [94] Fernando, Yohan.  [44] Griffin, Gerald. Mar/Apr 1990. [119] Liebetrau, Sue. 1975. [123] Liebetrau, Sue. 1975. [124] Dantec, Michel. 2002.  [129]
Type Locality Korat, Thailand.
Holotype ZMH H4639
Paratype ZMH H4640 (1)
Where Found Countries: Thailand
Known Occurrences: Thailand
Miscellaneous Information Max Size: 7.0 cm TL
pH range: 6.0 – 8.0
dH range: 5.0 – 19.0
Temperature range: 24 – 27°C
Reproduction: Bubblenest builder
General Notes: “The male’s body colour is mainly blue or green, giving the impression of an emerald. The fin rays are bright red as the pelvics are the same with a large black edge ending on the extremity in white-blueish. Operculum is green. The anal fin is pointed, the dorsal fin looking like a large flame. The body is quite more elongated than in Betta splendens…A group of 5 fish, 1 male and 4 females, can be kept together…Water conditions: hardness: 8 to 10° GH, pH slightly below 7 with a temperature around 24 to 28 Celsius degrees.” [126]