How to breed Betta fish?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to breed Betta fish?”. We will list the top recommendations for setting up a breeding tank and discuss which conditions should be provided to favour the breeding process.

How to breed Betta fish?

To breed Betta fish you will be required to choose a healthy matching pair and ensure that ideal conditions are set for breeding. Furthermore, you will need to carefully present the male to the female and monitor them during spawning. After you will have to check the fish’s health and conditions.

How to set up a Betta fish breeding tank?

The Betta fish breeding tank needs to be a bit large, a minimum of 10-gallon would be enough for the fish to feel comfortable. There should have no substrate on the breeding tank. However, plenty of leafy plants and hiding spots should be provided.

Additionally, floating structures are also needed for the male to build and establish a good bubble nest before mating. Plants with broader leaves can be nice choices for this. The bubble nest will support the fries with plenty of oxygen and protect them. Thus, it is very important for reproductive success that the bubble nest is well structured and safe.

Also, Betta fish prefer being alone and quiet while mating. Thus, Betta fish also prefer to have an isolated space to breed, a single species tank with no other fish species, for example. Also, try to set up the breeding tank in a quiet area with appropriate lighting.

The water of the breeding tank should range around 78 degrees Fahrenheit and no deeper than 5-6 inches. To keep the temperature ideal, heater usage is recommended.

Furthermore, you will also need a filter to keep the water free from contaminants and any toxins. However, it is crucial to keep the water flow very gentle as it could damage the Betta fish bubble nest. 

How to choose a breeding pair?

Choosing the breeding pair is very important to successfully breed Betta fish. They have to be healthy and have bright colours and nice flowing fins, as these features would help them to match more easily. Healthy females prefer paring up with healthy males, thus, fins conditions and colours are great signs of health. No deformities, injuries, diseases consequences will also help them to pair up more easily.

If you have breeding purposes from the beginning, you can obtain your Betta fish from reputable breeders. Thus, they will be able to tell you how old are they and this will help you on pairing them up. Betta fish are better for mating between four months and one year old.

What are the ideal conditions for successful breeding Betta fish?

It is important to follow some steps before placing the Betta fish breeding pair in the breeding tank. The tank should be fully cycled and free of chemicals, which could lead your fish to develop diseases or kill the babies.

Also, water flow should be slow and gentle to guarantee the bubble nest from being destroyed. The surface air should also be somehow humid and there should be a lid on the tank.

Below are some other steps that should be followed to guarantee breeding success.

Betta fish breeding conditioning

The breeding pair should be conditioned to guarantee they are ready to mate. Two weeks before their addition to the breeding tank should be enough to condition both. 

To perform a good conditioning process, you can use meaty foods, such as daphnias and worms. These items can be live or freeze-dried. The Betta fish should be fed two to four times per day, in small amounts. This feeding routine will assure the fish nutrition and health.

How to add the female Betta fish to the breeding tank?

It is crucial to place the female Betta fish first then the male in the breeding tank. Additionally, it is also important to keep them separated until they are ready to mate. To keep them separated you can opt for a glass wall or a grille in the tank.

The female will require some time to explore the environment and feel comfortable before being introduced to the male. Guaranteeing a successful Betta fish breeding comes to make the Betta fish as comfortable as possible during the entire process.

How to introduce the male to the female Betta fish?

This introduction will give a start to the breeding process properly. The Betta fish will meet and get to know each other. The male will notice the female presence and will begin to flare its fins. The male will also begin to dance around in an attempt to attract the females, his colours will look brighter and more vibrant.

The female will then become receptive and some dark vertical stripes will appear in her body. If these stripes are horizontal, the female is not ready for breeding yet. 

Additionally, a small tube will appear on the female’s belly, it is the ovipositor. This is the final signal the pair is ready to breed.

The bubble nest

The bubble nest is also crucial for successful breeding. When the male is ready, he will start building the bubble nest. Sometimes, the female may help them on building it but this is rare.

This nest is composed of several bubbles with a saliva coating. Once the male finishes the building process, he will stop working on it. This bubble nest has two main purposes, to attract the female, prove the male is healthy and in good shape, and also to protect and provide oxygen to the eggs and fries. The bubble nest building process takes from 12 to 24 hours to be finished.

Mating

When the bubble nest is ready, the male and the female begin to interact. The glass or grille should be removed and the female should swim directly to the bubble nest. Then, the female will decide if it is good enough or not. She will destroy the nest if she disagrees with it.

If the female does not like the nest, you should immediately place the grille or glass back in its place, separating the Betta fish once more. 

The male will begin to work on a new bubble nest to try to convince the female to breed. However, if the female rejects the nest again, this pair is probably not a match.

How do Betta fish mate?

In the case the female approves the bubble nest, she will remain close to it. The male will begin to dance around her and chase her around. In some specific situations, the male can become aggressive and injure the female. Thus, it is important to observe them closely to avoid injuries.

They will begin to swim together and the fins will be flaring. This dance can last for up to 3 hours. To obtain success, this process should not be disturbed. Thus, the feeding should be held up during the dance.

They will then move closer to each other and towards the nest. The male will embrace the female and she will begin the egg-laying process. After the eggs are released, the male will take them one by one and carry them up to the bubble nest.

Removing the female Betta fish

The laying process is quite quickly in comparison to the others, it can last a few minutes or a few hours. Once they stopped embracing and the female stops laying the eggs, she will need to be removed from the tank quickly. Otherwise, the female can begin to eat the eggs. At this point, the male will become territorial and may even attack the female.

Egg hatching & caring for the Betta fry

The next few days are summarized by the male taking care of the eggs and guaranteeing they are clean and safe. If an egg falls, the male will take it up back to the nest. Also, the male will eat any unfertilized or rotten eggs, to keep the nest clean.

After two or three days, the eggs will hatch and the babies will remain attached to them until they can survive on their own and search for food. Once the hatchlings are free swimming, the male can be placed back in his original tank. You should then feed the fries with small items, such as micro worms, to guarantee their full nutrition and development.

It is also very important to keep the tank clean and free of contaminants. As the fries grow, they can be fed bigger items, such as young brine shrimps and bloodworms. After some time, the fries will be mature and their colours and fins will develop. At this moment, the juvenile should be separated to avoid any territorial behaviour. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “How to breed Betta fish?”. We listed the top recommendations for setting up a breeding tank and discussed which conditions should be provided to favour the breeding process.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to breed Betta fish?

How many babies does a Betta fish have?

In general, Betta fish can lay around 50 eggs per spawning. This varies according to each individual.

How do you know when a breeding Betta fish pair is prepared to reproduce?

The male will brighten the colours and start flaring the fins. The female will develop darker vertical stripes along her body. She will also develop and lower the ovipositor. They will then start dancing and swimming together.

What is the ideal age for Betta fish breeding?

Betta fish breeding processes are usually more successful when the fish age between 4 months to one-year-old. Fish older than 14 months will have less success with breeding.

Can you tell if a female Betta fish has eggs?

Yes, it is possible to detect if a female Betta fish is carrying eggs. Her belly will become rounded and white. She will also lower the ovipositor between the ventral fins.

How long does it take the Betta fish breeding process?

In general, Betta fish take up to 6 days, 3 days for them to be ready after beginning to build the bubble nest and the other 3 days until the female start laying the eggs.

Is it easy to breed Betta fish?

Yes, in general, it is easy to breed Betta fish. However, few conditions should be properly organised to guarantee a successful breeding process.

References 

Breeding Betta Fish: Step-by-Step Setup Guide For Mating Conditions. https://japanesefightingfish.org/breeding-betta-fish/

Adams, C. 2021. How To Breed Betta Fish: An Expert Guide To Successful Breeding. https://modestfish.com/breeding-betta-fish-guide/

How to Breed Betta Fish. https://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/betta-fish-myths.htm

Lab. T. How to Breed Bettas: Betta Breeding 101. https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Breed-Bettas-Betta-Breeding-101/

How To Breed Betta Fish: Easy 5 Step Guide. 2020. https://fishtankbasics.com/how-to-breed-betta-fish/

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