Face Off: Half Moon vs. Plakat Betta

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Halfmoon Bettas and Plakat Bettas are often compared with each other. In the world of Betta Fish Keeping, these two are popular and similar yet different when closely examined. Now, let’s undergo rounds to explore these two Bettas. US Tropical Fish will go with facts and descriptions to compare these two magnificent Betta breeds. Game on!

Round 1 – TAILS

  • The halfmoon tail is large. Also, when its flared the caudal fin will fan a 180 degrees which causes the tail to create a half circle.

  • Generally speaking, the term Plakat betta is used to describe a short finned Betta fish. The tail is short and round on the traditional Plakat Betta.

Round 2 – FINS


  • The Halfmoon Betta’s dorsal fin is quite large and tends to have a rounded shape. The anal fin forms a large curtain under the fish’s belly. All three fins overlap each other. The combination of its fins make the Halfmoon Bettas look like an elegant flower.


  • Unlike Halfmoon Bettas, Plakat Bettas require short fins so they can move quickly in a fight. Their anal fins only extend an inch or so from their bellies. Plakat Bettas have elongated anal fins, sword-like pelvic fins, and a fan-like dorsal fin that’s situated on the lower back. However, the tailfin is noticeably shorter than the flowing fins of any kind of Bettas. In addition, the tail and dorsal fins feature noticeable rays. These characteristics of their fins make Plakat Bettas strong and more difficult for opponents to shred.

Round 3 – COLOR


  • Halfmoon Betta fish are among the prettiest tropical fish species, due to their 180-degree, fan-like tails. They are known for their brilliant colors like red, blue, green, purple, and orange.


  • The possibilities of Plakat Betta’s colors are endless. For a while, Plakat Bettas were very muted in color. They closely resembled wild Betta fish, which don’t have the intense color this species is known for in captivity. However, through the years of selective breeding, Plakat Betta’s colors became wide and unique!

Round 4 – SIZE


  • Halfmoon Betta fish have an average length of 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) when they are fully grown. On occasion and under the right conditions, these Bettas can grow to as big as 3 inches (7.6 cm) in length.


  • The average Plakat Bettas size is usually two to three inches in length for adults. They’re on the smaller side of the size spectrum.

Round 5 – BODY


  • Halfmoon Betta’s body type shows a striking difference among other Bettas. The males mostly have longer and fuller ventral fins than the females. Male Halfmoon Betta tends to be long and thin in shape while the females are usually shorter and thicker. Halfmoon Bettas are usually captivating to the eye, for they are well known for their attractiveness while displaying their body.


  • Plakat Betta’s body type is a little more compressed and stocky. The head of a Plakat Betta tapers down to a point at the upturned mouth. Their bodies are longer than long-finned varieties and their dorsal fins are usually round and about a third of the size of a veil tail. 


Did You Know?

There is a breed of Bettas called the HALFMOON PLAKAT BETTA. Coincidence? No, actually, these Bettas really exist and has characteristics of the normal Plakat except just like a Halfmoon Betta, the tail spreads to 180º and is shaped like a capital “D”. What a combination indeed.



  • Most Butterfly Bettas have the Halfmoon tail type. This makes the pattern look even more beautiful since the anal, dorsal and caudal fins all overlap each other like flower petals. Most Halfmoon Bettas have butterfly color patterns.


  • In the past, Plakat Bettas rarely have patterns. But due to selective breeding, the marble and koi patterns of Plakat Bettas emerged. Most of the marble koi that have been bred are Plakat varieties.

Round 7 – LIFE SPAN


  • Halfmoon Bettas take roughly three years for to survive. They need better living environment to be able to survive longer.


  • The normal Plakat Betta lifespan is between three and five years.Plakats that are subjected to fighting tend to live much shorter lives because stress makes them more prone to disease.



  • Tank Size and Environment
    • Fill the tank with at least 80 percent of the water before putting the fish inside.
    • The size of the gallon will depend on the sex, age and number of the Bettas.
    • Halfmoon Bettas are usually less active and has trouble moving around due to their large size of fin. This gives them the ability to survive in a smaller space these Bettas can live in a 3-gallon tank
    • Prepare a tank with rocks, water, and live plant.
    • Avoid using sharp objects to prevent harm to the Halfmoon Betta’s fin.
    • Get a cover for the tank in case if the Betta likes to jump up and all over.
  • Temperature
    • The ideal temperature for a Halfmoon Betta fish is 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Water Parameters
    • Provide a filter so as to have enough bacteria that will help convert ammonia to nitrates, after 24hours. However, this usually takes close to a month.
    • Ensure to change the water content in the tank, every 3-4 days.
    • Do not imply change all the water at once.
    • Change like 60% of water to reduce the shock that Halfmoon Betta will feel.
  • PH Level
    • The PH level of the tank should be slightly acidic or neutral (5.8-6.7).
    • Remove all the chlorine present in the tank.
    • Avoid putting salt in the tank.
    • Halfmoon Betta fish feed on fleshy things and are very choosy.
    • Its diet should be rich but should contain no fish flake.
    • Halfmoon Bettas can be feed mostly on foods like meat, fried shrimp, blackworms, white worms, daphnia, soldier fly larvae, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, live brine shrimp and others.
    • Serving food once per day is enough for a growing Halfmoon Betta.
    • Halfmoon Bettas need to be feed with a variety of food.

Plakat Betta

  • Tank Size and Environment
    • The minimum tank size for a Plakat Betta is around five gallons.
    • The bigger the tank is the better.
    • Plakat Betta fish are used to shallow waters filled with plenty of hiding spaces. These fish appreciate having numerous resting options.
    • Some broad-leaf plants like Anubias Barteri. floating plants or artificial “Betta shelves” can be used in a tank where a Plakat Betta live.
    • Driftwood, rock caves, or plastic décor can be recommend to its tank environment.
    • Make sure that all the décor edges are smooth and accident-proof.
    • It’s also very important to keep some open space along the water’s surface.
    • Giving the Plakat Bettas easy access to the surface is a must!
    • Plakats will be happier in a larger tank where they can have more room and be really active.
  • Temperature
    • Plakat Bettas can live longer when the water is between 72°F to 82°F.
  • Water Parameters
    • They prefer warm conditions and slightly acidic water.
    • Water hardness should be between 2 to 12 dKH
    • These fish are pretty adaptable and can easily thrive in standard tropical fish conditions.
  • PH Level
    • Ideal PH level is between 6.0 to 7.5.
    • Use almond leaves to lower the pH level.
    • Provide some tannin-infusion that closely resembles their natural habitat.
    • Plakat Bettas are carnivorous fish with an appetite for protein.
    • Commercial pellets that are protein based is highly recommend.
    • Plant-focused foods cannot be the dietary foundation for excellent Plakat Betta care. 
    • Provide a nice balance between dry commercial food and live food.
    • Plakat Bettas can be feed with brine shrimp, bloodworms, micro worms, Daphnia, and any other protein-rich food source.
    • Feed Plakat Bettas twice a day.


Round 9 – BEHAVIOR


  • Halfmoon Bettas are naturally aggressive, pet betta fish fight longer. It can be more aggressive than veil tails, but this depends on the individual fish.


  • Plakat Bettas are known to be the most aggressive variety of all Bettas. They are much faster than long finned varieties and much stronger swimmers. They also have a bad habit of jumping out of their tanks. These Bettas are notoriously territorial and will fight to the death if they see any fish enter their domain!Plakat Bettas tend to focus their aggression within their species or on fish with a similar look.



  • Halfmoon Bettas are widely available in pet stores. It’s popular but not quite as common as the Veil tail and Crowntail.


  • Plakat Bettas are endemic to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. In fact, the modern Plakat Betta market is booming!

And the WINNER is….?????

Actually, Halfmoon Bettas and Plakat Bettas are both winners and unique in their own way. One cannot easily choose who is better because both of them are the best in their breed. Whether you want to keep a Halfmoon or a Plakat, bear in mind that a healthy fish depends on a responsible owner. A great fish comes with great responsibility.

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