Mustard Gas Betta Fish: Species Profile & Care Guide

Mustard Gas Betta against a dark background

If you are looking for a fish that would look really beautiful for your aquarium, look no more than the Mustard Gas Betta.

As freshwater fish, what sets Mustard Gas Bettas apart from other bettas is their striking mustard-colored tails and fins. Aside from their appearance, are you curious about what else sets them apart?

Join us as we unravel everything there is to know about Mustard Gas Bettas, including their origin, looks, temperament, lifespan, care requirements, and more. Let’s begin.

Mustard Gas Betta Fish Quick Facts

Scientific Name:Betta splendens
Common Name:Mustard Gas Betta
Origin:United States
Habitat:Freshwater, tropical
Lifespan:2–5 years
Size:2–2.3 in (5–6 cm), up to a maximum of 4 in (10 cm)
Colors:Bicolor: Blue, green, blue and orange, black, dragonscale, red, white, and yellow with mustard tails and fins.
Diet:Omnivorous, but should focus on a high-protein diet
Tank Size:5 gallons (minimum)
Temperature:77–82°F (25–27.8°C)
pH Level:6.5–7.5
Hardness:2–12 dKH
Price Range:$5–$20 ($30 and up from specialty breeders)
Recommended Tankmates:Not recommended for communal living; In a larger tank, it may coexist with snails, shrimps, and peaceful community fish.

What Is a Mustard Gas Betta Fish?

Mustard Gas Betta amidst plants
Image credit: kittyllb / Instagram

Developed in the United States in 1999, the Mustard Gas Betta is a striking variety of betta fish known for its vibrant, two-toned coloration. Typically, their bodies shine in dark shades of blue or green, while their fins boast bright orange or yellow hues, resembling cloud-like waves.

These bettas have adapted to live in environments with low oxygen levels thanks to their labyrinth organ that lets them breathe air directly. 

Despite their majestic looks, they’re not very active swimmers, which makes them perfect for small tanks. They’re easy to care for, not picky eaters, and can thrive in a well-maintained tank, making them suitable for beginners.

Mustard Gas Betta Origin and Habitat

Mustard Gas Betta with flaring large fins

Originally from Siam, Vietnam, and Japan, bettas, or Siamese fighting fish, have been a part of selective breeding for decades. This practice has given rise to numerous species, including the Mustard Gas Betta.

However, it was not until 1999 that the Mustard Gas Betta fish made its debut. This is thanks to Jude Al, a breeder from the United States who took 13 years to perfect this “pure” variety. 

Today, these fish are mostly created through cross-breeding, leading to a wide range of colors and patterns. They are primarily bred in Southeast Asia, where enthusiasts believe the current stock has strayed from Al’s original creation.

Fun Fact: Many enthusiasts of Mustard Gas Bettas did not agree with the name given to these beautiful fish since it evokes the harmful substance used in warfare. Yet, out of respect for the original naming, no one has attempted to change it.

Mustard Gas Betta Physical Characteristics

Mustard Gas Betta with blue body and red fin
Image credit: garagebettazone / Instagram

The Mustard Gas Betta fish is a sight to behold, with its unique mustard color blending seamlessly with another vibrant hue on its sleek body. 

These fish are not just about their striking colors; their large, flowing fins, which can extend up to three times the length of their body, and an upturned mouth for surface feeding make them unique. 

Including their tails and fins, Mustard Gas Bettas average about 2 to 2.3 inches, but those with longer fins can reach a maximum of 4 inches.

Mustard Gas Bettas boast an array of colors and patterns, making each fish distinct. Here are some of their more common colors:

  • Blue: This is a classic color, offering a stunning contrast to the mustard-colored fins.
  • Green: This variety is rare, with a breathtaking sheen and green veins at the base of their fins.
  • Blue & Orange: These bettas present a brighter blue body with vivid orange fins, differing from the typical mustard hue.
  • Black: Black bettas feature a deep shade, enhancing the contrast and beauty of their appearance.
  • Dragonscale: A rare mutation, dragonscale gives the scales a metallic sheen, with blue being the most common color in this variety.

Other less popular colors for the Mustard Gas Betta are red, white, and yellow.

Meanwhile, their tail types add to their overall elegance. Let’s take a look at the different shapes below:

  • Halfmoon: These tails resemble a half-circle, showcasing a 180-degree spread.
  • Crowntail: These bettas are noted for their spiky fins, giving them a fierce look.
  • Delta: Delta tails are triangular, especially when fully stretched.
  • Rose-tail: These bettas have fins with folds, mimicking the appearance of a rose.
  • Veiltail: Veiltail bettas feature a downward-sweeping tail, adding to their graceful swimming.
  • Fullmoon: These tail types exceed a half-circle, creating a stunning visual effect.

Generally, males typically display brighter and more intense colors than females and have longer, more pronounced fins. 

However, it’s essential to recognize that due to selective breeding, there’s no “standard” appearance for these fish anymore, with each breeder potentially offering a unique strain.

Meanwhile, here is a video of a blue Mustard Gas Betta fish in action. Notice its beautiful blue body and its large yellow flowing fins and tails:

Mustard Gas Betta Fish

Mustard Gas Betta Temperament and Behavior

Male Mustard Gas Bettas, like all male bettas, are aggressive and territorial. They cannot coexist with other male bettas as they may fight fiercely, often leading to injury or death. 

It’s important to avoid placing them together to prevent these conflicts. Despite their aggressive nature towards other males, Mustard Gas Bettas can be peaceful when housed with non-betta fish. 

They thrive in community tanks filled with other peaceful species, so long as they’re given enough space and places to hide. This setup helps reduce their stress and curbs their territorial tendencies.

Here are some quick tips to ensure harmony in a mixed tank:

  • Never mix male bettas together.
  • Female bettas can live in groups, known as sororities, but keep them away from males.
  • Provide plenty of hiding spots and ample space to prevent stress and aggression.

Remember, while Mustard Gas Bettas can add beauty to a community aquarium, their need for territory and specific companions should be carefully considered.

Mustard Gas Betta Lifespan and Health

Mustard Gas Betta in green aquatic environment

Mustard Gas Bettas, like other betta fish, have a lifespan of 2 to 5 years, though some may live longer with proper care, which includes maintaining a clean tank and providing a high-quality diet.

To keep Mustard Gas Bettas healthy, one must also be aware of their common diseases and their symptoms:

  • Ich and Fungal Infections: Look for white spots on the body, clamped fins, and unusual scratching. Treat with increased water temperature and specialized medications.
  • Swim Bladder Disease: Signs of swim bladder disease include difficulty swimming or abnormal floating. Offering a high-fiber diet with daphnia or brine shrimp can help, alongside maintaining ideal water conditions.

Preventive measures are crucial in avoiding these illnesses and maintaining their overall well-being. These include the following steps:

By paying close attention to their health, behavior, and living conditions, you can help ensure your Mustard Gas Betta enjoys a full and vibrant life. Remember, a well-cared-for betta is a happy betta.

Mustard Gas Betta Care Guide

Mustard Gas Betta with blue and teal scales
Image credit: islandgirlaquariums / Instagram

While Mustard Gas Bettas thrive well as tropical freshwater fish, they require specific care and conditions to thrive and live healthily in an aquarium setup.

Here’s the essential information you need to consider about the Mustard Gas Betta’s diet, tank setup, and water conditions:

Diet and Nutrition

Mustard Gas Bettas thrive on a diet rich in meaty proteins, mirroring their natural preference for insects and larvae. 

While they are omnivores, the bulk of their nutrition should come from high-protein sources, supplemented with a bit of plant matter for balance.

Their daily meals should include:

  • High-quality betta pellets: Acts as the staple, providing all essential nutrients.
  • Live or frozen foods: Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are good choices to mimic their natural hunting instincts and dietary needs.
  • Finely chopped, cooked vegetables: This diversifies their diet and provides additional nutrients.

Further, one of the best pieces of advice I got from a betta breeder when it came to the diet of my Mustard Gas Betta, Marley, is to implement a fasting day once a week.

The effects of this practice were indeed beneficial since it prevented digestive issues in Marley, such as constipation and bloating, ensuring his long-term health.

Additionally, feeding your Mustard Gas Betta should be done in moderation. Serve only small portions twice a day, enough that they can finish in a couple of minutes to avoid overfeeding.

Remember, a well-fed betta is a happy and active companion in your aquarium.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for a Mustard Gas Betta Fish requires thought and care. Bowls and vases won’t do; these fish need a proper aquarium to thrive. 

A 5-gallon tank is the minimum, but 10 gallons is better, providing the space they need to swim freely. Key aspects of tank setup include:

  • Tank Shape and Size: A long tank is ideal, offering ample horizontal space. This setup accommodates their surface feeding and breathing habits without stressing their luxurious fins.
  • Substrate and Plants: Opt for sand or soil to support live plants, creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat. Gravel, stones, rocks, quartz gravels, and driftwood also work for added texture and hiding spots.
  • Lighting: Keep lighting soft and subdued to protect their sensitive eyes. Natural light is sufficient, avoiding bright, harsh aquarium lights.
  • Filtration and Water Quality: Install a gentle filter to avoid strong currents that stress bettas. Regular water changes and substrate cleaning are crucial for maintaining water quality.

Remember, bettas can jump, so a secure lid is also a must to keep them safely inside their home. By providing these conditions, you’ll create a healthy and enjoyable environment for your Mustard Gas Betta.

In my tank setup, I also avoided incorporating fake plants or painted decorations because these can tear their fins or leach toxins into the water from the paint.

I also followed my breeder friend’s advice and gave my betta between 8 to 12 hours of complete darkness so that he could sleep well. Bettas do not have eyelids and rely on total darkness to rest.

Water Conditions

Mustard Gas Betta Fish thrive in specific water conditions that reflect their tropical origins. Fluctuations can lead to temperature shock, so a reliable heater and thermometer are indispensable tools in their care.

To maintain a healthy environment, consider the following water parameters:

  • Temperature: Keep the water consistently warm, ideally between 77°F and 82°F, to simulate their natural tropical habitat.
  • pH Level: A slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 is optimal for maintaining their health.
  • Water Hardness: The water should be soft to moderately hard, within 2-15 dGH, to match the conditions they are accustomed to.

Regular monitoring and maintenance of these water conditions are key to providing a thriving environment for your Betta fish.

Breeding Mustard Gas Betta Fish

Shimmering green Mustard Gas Betta

Breeding Mustard Gas Betta Fish is a delicate process that requires experience and a focus on ethical practices. It’s not just about the striking colors but also ensuring the health of the fish. 

The breeding journey begins when the male builds a bubble nest near the surface, signaling readiness for reproduction.

Here are the detailed steps to successfully breed Mustard Gas Bettas:

  • Step 1 – Identify the sexes: Males are more vibrant and have longer fins, while females are less colorful with shorter fins and a rounder belly.
  • Step 2 – Prepare separately: Keep the potential pair in adjacent tanks with a clear divider, allowing them to see each other without physical contact, as this reduces stress and aggression.
  • Step 3 – Conditioning: Feed them high-quality food to prepare them for breeding.
  • Step 4 – Introduction to the breeding tank: Carefully place both in the same tank and watch for the male to build a bubble nest.
  • Step 5 – Post-spawning care: Once eggs are laid and fertilized, remove the female to prevent aggression from the male, who will guard the eggs until they hatch.

Raising the fry involves moving them to a separate tank and feeding them suitable food until they can eat regular Betta pellets. 

This journey from preparation to fry care exemplifies the complexity and responsibility of breeding Mustard Gas Bettas.

How Much Does a Mustard Gas Betta Fish Cost?

Mustard Gas Betta with blue and yellow patterns
Image credit: / Instagram

Prices for Mustard Gas Bettas can vary. While you might find them for as low as $5 to $20, especially in pet stores, expect to pay around $30 and up for a fish from specialty breeders. 

These prices reflect the fish’s quality, coloration, tail form, and genetic lineage. Its popularity, coupled with limited availability, makes finding one a quest.

Finding a genuine Mustard Gas Betta involves looking beyond the local fish store to specialty breeders and online auctions. Also, be wary of “fake” bettas, which may not be true to the breed’s specific characteristics. 

Within the United States, you can check out AZ Gardens, Betta Squad USA, Zion’s Betta World, and Coast Gem USA for top-quality Mustard Gas Bettas.

Remember, opting for breeders known for their quality can enhance your pet’s health and lifespan, making the initial investment worthwhile.

Recommended Tankmates for a Mustard Gas Betta

Mustard Gas Betta with pale yellow body
Image credit: / Instagram

Mustard Gas Betta Fish, with their vivid colors and territorial nature, require a careful selection of tank mates. Not all fish can coexist with them, especially other bettas, due to their aggressive tendencies. 

A tank of over 15 gallons is recommended for adding any companions to ensure enough space for all and prevent their territorial.

Some of the suitable tank mates for Mustard Gas Bettas include:

  • Snails: Nerite or Mystery Snails are great choices as they keep the tank clean without invading the betta’s space.
  • Shrimps: Cherry or Amano Shrimps may prove to be good companions, provided they have ample hiding spots to escape the betta’s notice.
  • Community fish: Peaceful, community fish like Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, danios, mollies, platys, White Mountain Cloud Minnows, or Corydoras catfish can also share the tank if it’s spacious enough and well-structured with hiding places.

It’s important to steer clear of aggressive fish or those known for fin-nipping, such as tiger barbs, other betta variants, and gouramis.

Note: If you plan on selecting Nerite Snails as companions for your Mustard Gas Betta, watch out for overproduction of their eggs since these can affect the water quality of your tank.

Here is an article you can use as a reference on how to remove nerite snail eggs from your tank in case they grow out of control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mustard Gas Betta with clear tank background
Image credit: spesialis.betta / Instagram

Are Mustard Gas Bettas Aggressive?

Yes, Mustard Gas Bettas, especially the males, are known for their aggressive and territorial behavior. Housing them with other male bettas is a bad idea because they might fight fiercely, causing death or serious injury. 

They’re not the best choice for community tanks with a variety of fish, either, as their stress levels can rise, leading to aggression. 

Female bettas are less aggressive and can live together in groups, but they should not be mixed with males.

Are Mustard Gas Bettas Rare?

Mustard Gas Bettas stand out among other betta varieties for their rarity and distinct yellow-brown coloration, a trait resulting from a recessive gene. 

True specimens, especially those originally bred by Jude Al over two decades ago, are exceedingly rare, with many modern examples being hybrids. 

Despite their aggressive behavior, common among bettas, their unique appearance has garnered significant interest. However, finding a genuine Mustard Gas Betta remains challenging, making them extraordinary.

How Can You Tell If a Mustard Betta Fish Is Male or Female?

Telling male from female Mustard Gas Bettas is straightforward in adults. Males boast vibrant colors, long, flowing fins, and slimmer bodies. 

A unique test involves using a mirror; males often attack their reflection, mistaking it for a rival. When ready to mate, they also create bubble nests, a sign harder to observe in a pet store setting.

Conversely, females have duller colors and shorter fins that don’t extend beyond their body height. They appear thicker and have a noticeable white spot near their ventral fin, or the ovipositor tube, used for laying eggs. 

Did this article spark your interest in Mustard Gas Bettas more? Share your thoughts and questions about this beautiful and colorful betta variety in the comments below.

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