Dumbo Betta Fish Care Guide and Tips

Last Updated on June 23, 2022

The Disney character Dumbo is often illustrated with elephant ears sticking out of the sides of his head, so it’s no surprise that these beautiful pet fish have been given this name as well.

Dumbo halfmoon betta or elephant ear betta fish got their names from how much they resemble large elephants (or in other words: big elephant-like “ears”) on their humungous fins and tail.

In this article, your question (or questions) about this aquarium fish will be discussed so make sure to keep reading below!

Dumbo betta fish care sheet

Minimum Tank Size:5 Gallons
Diet:Protein-rich diet
Average Lifespan:3-5 years
Size:Approximately 2.5-3 inches
Disease:The common ones include popeye, fin rot, fin infection, and bacterial infection from leftover food
Decorations:Plants and toys
Tank Maintenance:Weekly partial water renewal with a water temperature of 72 to 82 Fahrenheit (22.2 – 27.8 Celcius)

What is Dumbo Halfmoon Betta Fish (Elephant Ears Betta)?


elephant ear betta fish

The elephant ear betta is a very unusual fish. Although they tend to have shorter tails, their broad and long pectoral fins resemble the ears of an elephant – making them look like they’re flying through water!

Despite the reputation of male betta as the more boisterous and aggressive gender, it turns out that female betta fish are sought after in some circles.

Male dumbo bettas will often have shorter and less elaborate tails than females of this variety. This makes males less popular among certain aquarists because they don’t stand out nearly as much with drab colors.

For those who want an impressive-looking girlish fish at their fish tank, females are your best option due to their extended pectorals – making them very eye-catching indeed!


Having huge fins and tail help these fish swim around as they move through the water and are especially helpful when navigating around in aquariums -where colors become more pronounced!

The colors of this betta fish when in captivity are strikingly different from those found in nature. The blue, light green and even bright pink are a stark contrast to the brown and gray typically find out in their natural habitat.

Researchers say that this change occurs because they grow up with fewer predators who would otherwise be attracted by these more common colors!


These beautiful betta fish only grow to be about 6.5cm on average once they are fully mature and typically have slim profiles that can make their huge, flowing fins seem even bigger than their actual body!


So how was this betta splendens first discovered?

The elephant ear betta fish is native to Southeast Asia, specifically the Mekong Delta. The Siamese fighting fish is also found in Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia naturally today, however, it is believed that these fish originated from Thailand.

This aquarium fish also naturally lived in shallow waters with a gentle water flow such as in rice paddies, canals, and floodplains.

Created from captive breeding, dumbo halfmoon bettas elongated pectoral fins crop up randomly on a spawn once in a while so it isn’t hard to imagine how this created the first dumbos when bred by accident!

Unfortunately, the dumbo halfmoon betta is considered vulnerable or endangered species since their habitats are becoming more and more polluted due to development purposes.


Betta splendens is surprisingly a long-lived animal. They can be expected to live for between three and five years, although they have been documented as living up to ten!

However, how well you take care of the needs of your pet fish will also contribute substantially towards their longevity – their living condition and the food they eat will affect this too.


The dumbo halfmoon betta is a type of fighting fish that belongs to the family of gouramis. A male betta is infamous for attacking other males even in their own species, which makes it impossible to house two male betta together in one tank.

Care guide for your betta fish

Tank Requirements

People tend to think that their betta can live in small containers considering their small size. However, having a small space can do more harm than good and may even cause future health problems.

If you want to have a happy, healthy betta fish in your home then it is important that the tank size matches what they need.

The recommended minimum tank size for a betta fish is at least a 5-gallon tank or larger. But if possible, as big as 20-gallon tanks or more is the best size to start with to give your fish enough space to swim around freely and have their hiding places.

Related: What Is the Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank for Your Betta?

Another thing to consider in choosing your tank is that it shouldn’t be too deep. Betta splendens thrive in shallow water because their labyrinth organ allows them to breathe air on the surface of the water.

Water Temperature

The recommended water temperatures for betta fish are between 72 to 82 Fahrenheit (22.2 – 27.8 Celcius).

Bettas, who are native to Southeast Asia, are tropical fish which is why you should invest in a good water heater. Testing the water periodically using a thermometer can also be helpful to make sure it is just right!

In case of water change, be sure that the water you’re putting in your tank is just as warm as the recommended temperature. Abrupt changes will shock them and will not be good for their health!


Dumbo halfmoon betta, just like any other betta splendens, is sensitive to fast and strong water flow. Why? This is because it will be difficult for them to swim around if the current is too strong for them.

That is why choosing a filter that is gentle and right for your betta is fish is a must! Although a water filter will help maintain the cleanliness of your fish tank, partial water change weekly is still needed to give your fish the best environment.

Water Quality

One of the most interesting things about dumbo Halfmoon betta fish is that they are able to survive in environments with much more acidic pH levels than optimal.

They can live at a range from 6-8, but do best when it’s 7 pH where all other aspects such as temperature and oxygen level are met too. Like all other fish, the secret is to not make the pH level perfect but rather to keep it stable.

In cases when pH is not maintained and is always incorrect, your little friend may suffer from what we call pH shock that may lead to death if not treated immediately.

If you are worried about the actual pH of your water, most pet stores will be able to test it for a small fee.

Another option is checking the water yourself. Pick up a self-testing kit that detects changes in acidity levels in aquariums and periodically measures your tank’s pH or else risk excess algae growth due to higher CO2 content from an unbalanced environment!

Additional resources:


Betta splendens enjoy a protein-rich diet such as mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, blood worms, fish pellets, and flakes.

Bettas tend to eat food on the surface of the water which is why shallow tanks are recommended so it won’t be difficult for your betta to reach the surface.

Remember to give just the right amount of food and remove excess food lying on the bottom of the tank to avoid polluting the water and changing its pH level.

Related resources:

How to breed dumbo halfmoon betta?

How do people breed elephant ear bettas?

Like any other fish in captivity, breeding is a challenging task for dumbo bettas. However, it is not entirely impossible.

Here are some tips on how you can breed a dumbo halfmoon betta:

  • Set up a breeding tank following the recommended tank requirements.
  • Choose a fish species you want to breed your dumbo betta with. Make sure that your betta splendens is healthy and in the best condition (no parasites, disease, or fungus)!
  • Do not choose bigger females over smaller males to have a higher success rate in breeding.
  • Introduce the male and female fish to each other. The male will often flare their fins and show off to try to attract the female.
  • The male fish will start building a bubble nest once introduced to the female as a sign of showing off.
  • If the female is interested, she will head over to the male’s nest. The male on the other hand will try to include the female in the mating dance.
  • The mating will now begin after the dance with both fish nosing each other’s sides until the male fish can turn over the female and tightly wrap around the female’s mid-section.
  • If this is successful, the female will lay eggs and the male will look after them!

Can they have tankmates?

A lot of people keep betta fish with other types of fish. This can be tricky, but it’s not impossible if you know what to look out for and do in advance.

You need to know what the other species are like first and make sure that they’re compatible with each other.

Another thing is that an extra tank should always be ready just in case you have to quickly remove the other fish from the tank at any time after introducing them together.

To assess compliance, track your animals closely within 72 hours– this will help gauge how well they are getting along or whether there may need more work done before returning everyone back into a single tank again!

Related: Fish You Can Put with a Betta


Betta splendens have a lot of variety but what makes elephant ear betta extra special is the beauty of their appearance including their unique coloration!

They are a small, colorful fish that can be an interesting addition to your home aquarium which is fairly easy to take care of – requiring few resources for its upkeep.

If you’re still not quite sure what type of betta fish to buy, don’t despair. There are tons of breeds out there!

Some rarer types might be harder to find in a pet store and will cost more (especially if they come from abroad), but with the Internet as your resource for all things pet-related, getting a new fish friend has been neither easier nor less expensive than it is now.


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