How to Breed Betta Fish

If you are considering breeding Betta fish, you need to know that it is often a bit of a complicated process. And you need to be a responsible breeder and have a plan about where to relocate the fry (baby Betta fish). That being said, breeding Betta fish can be an interesting, educational and rewarding process.

The first step in how to breed Betta fish is to have a good environment in which to do it. You will need to have a separate Betta breeding tank that is used just for this purpose. No other fish can live in it at this point. Clean it well with hot water, not with soap or cleaners, and only put around six or seven inches of water in it. You need to have a heater of course and the temperature needs to be set around 80F to 82F degrees. Put in the required drops of conditioner to get the water stabilized and start up your filter, preferably a sponge one.

Because male Betta fish are aggressive, you’ll need to have some places in the tank where the female can hide and get away quickly if need be. Put some plants on one end of the tank, either live or plastic, and you can even add some rocks as well to hide behind. You’ll also need to cut a Styrofoam cup in half and float the half with the bottom in the tank so that the male Betta fish can get under it and there is a pocket of air at the top. A divider for the tank is also necessary to separate the female and male fish before breeding.

Next of course you need a male and female Betta fish. The males are what you will normally find in pet stores and it may be hard to find a female. But you should be able to get a pet store to order one or get one online from a Betta breeder. Once you have a male and female Betta, put the male into the breeding tank on the side with the upside down Styrofoam cup and then the female on the side with the plants.

Now you need to induce your Betta fish to want to breed, so you need to feed them really well for a couple of weeks. Give them foods like bloodworms and daphnia to condition them and get the female to produce eggs and the male to make a bubble nest under the cup on his side of the tank. When the female Betta is ready, you will often see her plump up a bit and maybe even see the tiny eggs inside her. The male Betta will sort of strut up to the divider and wave his fins out in a mating display.

The next step is the most important and potentially dangerous. You will turn your female Betta out into the male’s half of the tank and see if they breed and spawn. You have to watch very closely because the male Betta may bite and damage the female’s fins and body during the chase and actual mating embrace. If the female is receptive, she will let the male approach her or even go towards him herself. If she isn’t interested or ready and the male is too aggressive you will need to take her out and try again in a couple of days. Do not feed the fish when they are together.

When breeding Betta fish, the female will usually stop below the upside down cup with the bubble nest and the male will grab her and sort of curve himself around her body. This will stimulate the female Betta to release the eggs she has. When the two are not joined any longer then you need to get the female out of there as quickly as possible and into her own tank.

Now it’s all the male Betta fish’s job. He should gather the eggs, keep them in the cup and bubble nest until they hatch in around two or three days. By the fourth day the baby Betta fish or fry as they are called should be able to swim around by themselves and you need to take the male out and put him in his own tank.

Now you need to get your filter going, but you can’t turn in on full force or you’ll suck p the fry and kill them. Adjust the flow so that it is very slow. When the fry get bigger you can gradually increase the flow.

Food for your Betta fish fry is the most important thing now. Many breeders aren’t very successful because the fry have to have suck tiny bits of food to eat. The naturally existing protozoa and plant matter in ponds is small enough to feed Betta fry. This is why if your breeding tank is a little grungy, it’s actually a good thing. You could also get a tiny bit of pond water and add to your tank, but there are risks of adding harmful bacteria.

For a beginner, it’s best to feed them microworms. Feed them all they will eat but don’t over feed. Add the worms about four times a day and so this for a month. You can then move onto cutting up bloodworms or daphnia into small pieces and feeding that along with the microworms. Crushed flake food can also be added.

Add more water after a couple of weeks and continue to do so as the fish grow until the tank is at a normal water level. At seven or eight weeks the fry should be about an inch long and you should be able to start to tell the males from the females. Males have longer fins and are more colorful and aggressive.

The female Betta fish can be kept in one tank, but the male Betta fish can’t be kept together with each other. This is why it is vital to know what you are going to do with them before you start the Betta fish breeding process. But if you can work out a deal to supply a pet store or sell them yourself, breeding Betta fish will be a fun experience for you.


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