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How To Breed Betta Fish

Once you know how to breed betta fish, you’ll soon have baby betta fish swimming around your aquarium. It won’t be easy, but once you do it right, you’ll have healthy bettas in no time. Here’s everything you need to know to breed betta fish successfully.

Set Up Betta Tank

The first thing to do is set up the aquariums for your male and female betta fish. Once you set up both betta fish tanks, you have to allow them to cycle. It takes about two weeks for a tank to cycle, so don’t buy your fish right away.

Things You Need For A Betta Breeding Tank

Betta fry need a separate breeding tank. Do not try to breed betta fish in their tanks because you need to remove the parents after mating and hatching. Here’s what you’ll need to set up a betta breeding tank:

  • An empty 10-gallon tank with a lid
  • A Submersible 25-watt heater
  • Seasoned sponge filter
  • Air pump
  • Plastic wrap
  • Christmas Moss
  • Indian Almond leaf (or styrofoam cup)
  • LED lighting
  • Tank divider

A 10-gallon tank offers enough space for the female betta to hide but not too much that the male can’t find her. Do not add any substrate to the breeding tank.

Add a water heater to keep the water temperature stable, and the sponge filter keeps the water clean. Sponge filters also don’t disturb the water’s flow too much.

You need the plastic wrap to create a humid climate within the tank. Add Christmas moss to provide hiding places for your bettas.

The styrofoam or almond leaf acts as a starting point for the male betta to build his bubble nest. You need the LED light to regulate the amount of light that enters the aquarium.

You use the divider to introduce the female and male betta to each other without causing a fight. Below, I’ll walk you through how to set up it all up.

Choose The Betta Breeding Pair

Buy a breeding pair of betta from a reputable breeder. This way, you can know about the betta fish’s age and genetics. It’s best to breed bettas when they are between 4-12 months. Here’s how to choose the perfect betta for mating:

  • Buy from a trustworthy breeder.
  • Both betta fish should be between 4-12 months when you’re ready to breed them.
  • The male is active and shows no signs of laziness or illness.
  • The male has bright coloration (female betta prefer male betta with red colors).
  • The male has long, uninjured funs.

How To Set Up The Breeding Tank

Place the breeding tank away from other aquariums that have bright colored fish. The surrounding area should not have any bright colors, either. Nor should there be lots of human traffic nearby. Betta fish like to mate in private. Once you find a private spot, here how to set up your betta breeding tank:

  • Fill the 10-gallon tank with three to five inches of water. You don’t want the water to be too deep for the baby fry when they hatch.
  • Install the sponge filter and air pump.
  • Install the heater at an angle so that it is all underwater. Set the temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Tape the styrofoam cup or almond leaf to the front of the aquarium.
  • Add the moss. But, don’t add too much so that the fish can’t find each other.
  • Leave the aquarium as-is for 24-hours. Keep an eye on the temperature. It needs to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

How To Introduce Betta Fish To Breeding Aquarium

After 24 hours, it’s time to introduce your betta fish to the breeding tank.

  • Add the female betta fish first on one side of the divider. Leave the female alone for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, add the male betta fish to the other side of the tank and let him get acclimated to the aquarium.
  • Once the male and female betta fish notice each other, the magic starts. The male’s colors darken, and he starts to flare and display his fins to attract the female.
  • The female’s color also darkens to show interest in the male. You should see vertical stripes appear along her midsection, which means that she’s ready to breed.
  • Her ovipositor also becomes more visible. This is the “egg spot,” and it looks like a spec of white chalk. It is from the ovipositor where she releases the eggs.
  • Do not remove the divider. The male might “bite” at the glass but this is normal behavior.

Male Betta Builds Bubble Nest

One hour after introducing your betta, the male should start building his bubble nest. The male will dart back and forth, courting the female and building his nest. Leave them as is until the next day (with the divider in place).

Remove The Divider

The next day, remove the divider. The female more than likely will inspect the bubble nest. Signs of aggression are typical, and she might try to destroy the nest if she doesn’t like it.

Once the male can be in contact with the female, his display becomes more extravagant. He” chase the female around the tank to start the mating dance.

Cover The Tank With Plastic Wrap

At this point, you want to cover the tank with plastic wrap to keep moisture and heat trapped. A humid tank aids in hatching the eggs and is suitable for fry development.

The Mating Dance

Chasing can last anywhere between two to six hours. There may be some biting as well. During this time, the female will try to hide, and the male will look for her. From time to time, the female will also check on the bubble nest to see if it’s ready.

Once the conditions are right, both betta fish spread their fins and swim next to each other. They flare at each other and put on a display. After they finish their dance and game of hide and seek, they begin to spawn.

The male and female swim around each other and use their noses to push each other on the side. The males flip the female over and cover her with their body.

After a while, he releases her and swims beneath the female’s body. He waits for the female to drop the eggs so he can scoop them up and place them in the bubble nest. The female will be motionless and appear dead during the process but she is fine. Once she drops all her eggs, remove her from the breeding tank.

Caring For The Betta Nest

During the next 36 hours, the male betta takes care of the eggs. It covers them in mucus and creates more bubbles. The male betta may also make a new nest and transfer the eggs.

Sometimes, the male might eat the eggs. It could be that he’s eating eggs that aren’t fertilized or defective. But, in general, he’ll take care of his eggs until they hatch.

Hatching Betta Eggs

As the baby betta fish start to hatch, they can fall from the bubble nest. Once the male notices, he’ll catch them and put them back.

For the first days of their life, the fry hang tail down. After a while, they’ll start to switch into a swimming position. Once they can swim, remove the male from the breeding tank. You can now feed your baby betta with small brine shrimp, vinegar eels, infurisa, or micro worms.

How To Know When Betta Fish Is Ready To Mate?

Male betta fish create a nest of bubbles when they are ready to breed. The bubbles float at the top of the tank. A male betta fish stays under the nest and wait for a female to mate.

After the female betta fish mates, she lays eggs. The male releases milt into the tank to fertilize the eggs. Male betta fish then place the eggs in the bubble nest. In three days, baby betta fish, fry, hatch.

Be sure to remove both the female and male from the tank as they will eat the babies. Remove the female after she lays her eggs. Remove the male when the babies start to swim. Male betta fish care for the eggs until they hatch and the fry can swim.

How Many Babies Do Betta Fish Have?

Female Bettas lay between 30-40 eggs per spawn. In some cases, a female can lay up to 500 eggs. How many betta fish hatch and survive depend on the conditions of the tank.

References

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