Have you ever considered breeding betta fish? Do you think it would be too complicated? Wouldn’t be nice to breed and raise your own fry to sell to your friends or the local fish store?
Breeding betta fish is not that hard at all and many first time betta owners have success doing so. There is something very special when you provide the perfect conditions for a fish to reproduce in your home.
Betta Fish Tank
The first thing you need to do is purchase a small aquarium tank for your breeding adventure. I do not suggest that you attempt to breed betta fish in a small bowl or even a small betta tank under 10-gallons. There are several reasons I suggest purchasing at least a 10-gallon aquarium tank for breeding bettas. Here are just a few.
- More room to spread out aggression
- Better water conditions
- More consistent water temperature
When setting up your breeding tank, you will need start out by purchasing a quality sponge filter. Sponge filters are safe for fry and will not suck up the eggs or fry during spawning. Sponge filters run off of simple hobby air pumps and are rather cheap, do a great job, and easy to maintain.
Second, ensure you purchase a small heater that is made to control water temperatures in the size tank you own. Water temperatures need to be kept between 78-81 °F to trigger spawning and keep the eggs and fry alive.
Next, purchase aquarium plants to provide cover for the female betta to retreat to when the male becomes aggressive. Live plants are wonderful, but artificial Betta plants will do just fine. Floating aquarium plants are needed since the process of betta breeding fish occurs near the top of the aquarium.
Be sure that the tank runs the full Aquarium Cycle before adding your fish.
Do not have any other fish in the breeding aquarium. Tank mates will entice aggression and other fish will eat the eggs and fry of your betta fish.
Preparing the Bettas for Spawning
When you select a pair of Betta Fish, pick a pair that are very similar in size. You do not want a full grown male betta and a small female betta because the male may harm or kill the smaller female. When you first purchase these two, keep them separated in individual bowls or tanks. We will introduce them later.
Please do not think that you can just throw a male and female betta together and have an instant spawn. First we need to prepare the bettas by feeding them highly nutritious Betta Fish Food. The amount of time suggested to “prep” the fish will depend on who you ask but I prefer to “prep” the Betta fish for at least 10-14 days.
We do this for several reasons. First, we need to help the female develop healthy, fertile eggs. Second, the female must build up her strength for the spawning process. The male will be aggressive towards her during the betta spawning process. This can be very stressful for the female. So, lets give her some time to store up some energy.
Introducing the Two Betta Fish
Now it is time to introduce the male betta fish and the female betta fish. This can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to put the two betta fish (in their individual bowls) side by side for a period of time.
The method I prefer is to introduced the male betta fish into the breeding tank first. Next I use a separator or plastic holding container to house the female betta.
I suggest using a Tom Betta Security House to hold your female betta in until they get use to one another. This betta security house keeps the female safe and allows the two to get use to one another. During this time the male should begin building a betta bubble nest at the top of the aquarium. At this time, you should see the male swimming up to the female and both interacting with one another. The female may even turn on her side from time to time as if she was submitting to the male. When the male builds the bubble nest, this is your sign to introduce the two.
Upon the initial introduction, please pay close attention as to what is going on inside the aquarium tank. Do not panic when the male chases and nips at the female betta’s fins. The male betta showing aggression is normal in the spawning process. If you feel the female is getting severely abused, you may want to put her back in her security house and try again later.
Betta Fish Spawning
The process of breeding betta fish begins when the male betta entices the female up to the betta bubble nest. The male will rub up against the female as she turns on her side. The female betta begins releasing eggs and as they slowly drop down to the bottom of the tank, the male will begin scooping them up in his mouth. The male will then swim up to the betta bubble nest and deposit the eggs into the nest.
At this time, when you notice that the female is finished releasing her eggs, you should remove the female from the breeding tank. Once the spawning is complete, the male will continuously chase the female away from the bubble nest. If you do not remove the female, she will be beat up by the male or killed. Also, the female often tries to eat the eggs so it is highly suggested to remove the female immediately after spawning.
Raising Betta Fish Fry
After 3 days you should see young betta fry falling from the betta bubble nest. The betta fry may stay on the bottom of your tank or the male may come and pick them up to deposit them back at the top of the bubble nest. Do not remove the male betta fish unless you see him eating the fry. I usually keep the male in the tank until all the eggs are hatched.
Once all the fry are hatched, you can remove the male betta fish. The betta fish fry will have little yolk sacs attached to the underside of their belly. This sac will feed them for about two weeks. When you notice the yolk sac is gone, you should begin feeding Ocean Nutrition Atison’s Betta Starter Food – 12g. I suggest you feed several times per day and make sure you do not overfeed.
To ensure healthy fry and a faster growth rate, make sure you keep up with the water changes. Fresh, clean water will ensure a healthy batch of betta fish fry.
Breeding Betta Fish – Spawning Video
Breeding Betta Fish is not hard at all. The key to breeding betta fish is experimenting with compatible mates and watching them closely to ensure no one gets seriously injured during the process.
Go ahead give breeding betta fish a try!