Metallic & Full Mask Betta | Betta Hybrids

There are lots of different types of betta fish varieties available to the betta fish community. Everything from marbled betta fish, black betta fish and crown tailed betta to double tail bettas, halfmoon bettas, combtail betta and more. Recently we were asked about metallic betta fish and masked betta fish.

What Are Metallic Betta Fish?

Metallic Betta Fish

Metallic Betta Splendens come in all different shapes and sizes. To understand metallic betta fish first you will want to understand how the color and scale patterns are related. 

Metallic betta are said to be a hybrid between betta splendens and wild betta which have a higher degree of iridescence to their scales.

Fish also have cells called iridocytes. These are what give fish scales their shiny, iridescent look. Now dependent on the depth of these cells is where you will find the determining factor for a metallic betta.

tail siamese fighting fish

The depth of the cells will make the scales appear metallic, striped or even white in appearance. The more pronounced that the scale is, the more like armor or “metallic” their scales will look. 

Aside from the color & scale patterns of a betta fish belonging to their genetics, diet and environment play factor as well. Fish cannot naturally produce pigments, they are derived from their diet. A healthy diet will allow your betta a pronounced variety of colors.

To keep your bettas’ colors prominent, make sure that you keep their tank clean, keep them on a highly nutritious diet and make sure that their tank temperature stays between 75 degrees and 86 degrees fahrenheit. 

Half & Full Mask Betta Fish

Super red halfmoon type of betta splendens

Half and full mask betta fish are betta varieties that have essentially the same color head as their body. Most betta fish have a different colored head than their body. When you find masked betta fish, the face and body will flow together seamlessly. 

If you are looking at a half mask betta, only half of their face will be the same color as the rest of their body. 

Masked Betta & Metallic Betta

Lots of times betta fish heads tend to be black and the iridescent scales do not cover the top of the head. In these betta variations the head is usually black. Betta breeders are trying to breed more color or iridescence into this area.  

The way that they go about doing this is to introduce the copper betta genes into their betta breeding program. This is because most metallic betta often have the same colored head and bodies (full mask). By introducing the copper gene the resulting bettas usually develop a full color covering of the head that matches the body.