How to Breed Betta Fish

Betta_spawningBreeding Betta fish can be a great hobby for the whole family, but the process shouldn’t be taken lightly. Betta fish breeding is time-consuming, can be expensive, and demands care and commitment, but it’s quite rewarding for those who have the time and resources. If you’ve chosen to breed Betta fish, you need to learn as much as you can about the species and their breeding before you begin. For example, did you know that more than 600 eggs can come from a single spawn? That’s a lot of betta fry!

 

Next you will need to prepare well in advance for bringing your breeding pair home. Set up two separate 10 gallon tanks, one breeding tank and one to place the female after she releases her eggs. Betta fry are highly fragile and need pristine water conditions with no gravel, so equip one tank for breeding with a removable divider, an adjustable filter, a few plants, and a heater set to 82 degrees. Only 5 – 6 inches of water is needed for this tank.

 

Selecting the right Bettas is an important part of breeding. Pet store Bettas are usually too old to breed, and you rarely know about their age or genetic background. Find good stock from a reputable breeder instead to select your breeding fish.

 

It’s best to purchase your breeding pair a few weeks or so before beginning the breeding process to allow them to become acquainted with their surroundings. House them in separate tanks, and keep in mind that Bettas – especially males – should be no more than 14 months old to breed best. Begin feeding live food such as brine shrimp, worms, crickets, and other cut up insects when you are ready to breed the fish. Betta fry only eat live food, so it’s best to begin preparing a supply of very small live food for when they’re ready.

 

When the breeding pair have been eating live food for a week or so, introduce them into the breeding tank, but with a divider. It is important that they see each other clearly before being put together to minimize the risk of injury. Some displays of aggression are normal, but watch for excessive aggression or any form of attacking one another.

 

When the male is ready to breed, he will form a large bubble “nest”. Turn off the filter, and remove the divider between the two, but continue to watch them closely. Male Bettas will bully the female a bit, but as long as her life is not in danger, this is normal. This form of courtship may last a few hours, and perhaps even a few days. Make sure the female has a few hiding places to escape to when she needs.

 

From there, just allow nature to take its course. The male will eventually lure the female into the bubble nest where embracing will begin. When the female produces eggs, she will become placid or “zombie-like”, and begin to drop her eggs. The male will pick them up and place them into the bubbles, and the female may help him after she recovers from her lifeless state. Once the female is finished releasing eggs, the male will begin to bully her again, so gently remove her and put her in her own tank, but leave the male. The male is responsible for caring for the fry until they can swim, which will be in about 24 – 36 hours.

 

So now that you have a sweet school of Betta fry, how do you nurse them to adulthood?

We will look at how to care for fry and allow them to survive and thrive on our next post. Until then, breed on!

 

Sources:

5 Ways to Breed Betta Fish

How to Breed Beta Fish

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

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