Most betta lovers, breeders, rescuers, and enthusiasts in general got their start by buying a little betta from a petstore and falling in love. Most likely that betta was a tail type known as the Veiltail. Veil tails were the first long finned betta type, bred from the original wild short finned splendens. They are still the most commonly found betta, though their fancier cousins are beginning to steal the show more and more.
Among the crazes for the halfmoons, the crowntails, the doubletails, and the other fancier tail types, the veiltails are getting lost in the crowd. Which I find to be very sad, since most of us got our start in the betta world with these gorgeous flowy bettas.
Veiltails are easily recognized by their long, asymmetrical tail (or caudal fin), which naturally drops downward, shaped like a bell or veil. The veiltail gene is very easy to breed into a line and very difficult to breed out. For this reason serious breeders tend to stay away from veiltails because they are considered common, and undesirable. There are no longer recognized classes at betta shows in the USA for these fish, however I know a few breeders who plan on working to get them back into the shows again soon.
Bettas4all (an international betta specific forum) have developed their own international show standard for the veiltail betta, and in shows over in the netherlands and such bettas are allowed in the shows. According to bettas4all the show standard for a veiltail betta is as follows
• Standard Veiltail (VT)
• Dorsal (dorsal fin)
The Dorsal is narrower at its base and has fewer rays than the (other fin variants.)(1)The fin should run in a sickle-shaped manner and not exceed over ¾ of the body length of the fish. It should not (run out in individual rays.) (2)Overlapping of the Dorsal over the fish body is not desired.
• Caudal (caudal fin)
The caudal fin should be full with a broad base, but (long stretched.) (3)It should be at least the same length as the body of the fish. The rays come out of the tail root steeply rising in the upper part of the fin and then after reaching its highest point at 20% of the entire fin length, drop down in an even (elbow.)(4)
Within the lower part of the fin the rays come out almost straight
from the tail root with an (easy upward arranged)(5)curvature and then
drop down parallel to the other fin rays. Thus results in a light sickle-shaped (long stretched optics.) (6) The Caudal must be able to be
carried easily by the fish in its entire length. The ends of the rays
should not have any spikes or indentations. An (easily corrugated)(7)
fin border is permitted. The fin volume is to be stretched completely
(not too many rays and/or too much skin between the rays, no
pleating) when the fish flairs.
• Anal (anal fin)
The anal fin should (set up at the highest point of the body)(8) and
be at least as long as the body and run out in its deepest end
(pointedly. The form is to resemble a parallelogram.)(9)
• Ventrals (ventral fins)
The ventral fins are to be the same length as one another and should look like a curved knife blade. They should BE at least 1/3 as long as the
This is a standard that I for one will be using when I begin breeding my veiltails in the very near future!