Betta Fish Breeding Top Secrets

General info on betta breeding

Before betta breeding it is important to under stand the basics. Betta splendens are bubblenest builders. Like gouramies, a few species of dwarf pikes, and a few catfish species, and a few otehr species of bettas. Some bettas like betta marcrostoma are mouthbrooding bettas which are very similar to some cichlids. Anyway in the world of betta splendens, the males are the ones who will look after the eggs and young for awhile. The males also do this by building a nest out of bubbles. His spit is on the bubbles which acts like a dis-infecting agent. Anyway the females only job is to release the eggs, the male will chase the female away as she in his eyes may pose a threat to eat some eggs.

A picture section which shows breeding bettas, tank set-ups, wrapping, signs is under way now, so within a month hopefully the site will be running 100% and all of the text is done and pictures and videos is done

Step 1
Conditioning


it is important not to just rush into breeding bettas, you must first condition both of the breeders. 2 weeks is generally the suggested time frame. As you need to feed the female alot of highly fat and protein rich foods to get her to produce alot of eggs. The male needs alot of food as when he is in the breeding tank, he shouldnt be feed, and when he is with the fry he probably wont eat. Worms are a good food for conditioning bettas. Blood worms are mosquito larve and good in protein and fat. feeding the bettas 2 times aday worms is a good feeding plan. I wouldn’t let the male and female see eachother until the one week b4 adding them both in the breeding tanks.

Step 2
Tank set up

A bare tank is a must. I dont understand why people add gravel unless they are trying to breed bettas in a community tank, which speaks for itself…. Anyway you need a bare bottom b/c the eggs are very small and will fall constantly so gravel will just make the eggs get suck, rot and fowl the tank. It is a good idea to keep the sponge filter on the opposite side of the tank and not even have it running until the male is out. I would suggest using a clear cup or glass bowl etc.. in the middle of the tank, This is where the female bettas is going to be added to, so that the male can see her, and she is protected. Adding live plants around the tank will add protection and food for the fry, also helps clean the water. For the nest you can either go in three directions. One is to add a half cut sytrofoam cup in the tank and tap it to one of the sides. The male will usually build the nest under this. Another way to go is use alot of floating plants like ricca to get the male to build under there. The other way to go is to just let the male build a bubble nest anywhere, however this is sometimes no good as he can build a nest on the bowl of the female and when you go and release her, it may destroy the nest. The best way to go is with the stryofoam cup. A heater is a good idea, and generall like the filter, should be placed at the otehr end of the tank. Keep the tank covered, it is very important to keep the atmosphere temp the same as the water as the baby fish dont have have their labrith organ ready yet and cold air can kill them. So a book or a hood provides good coverage. Always allow the water in the breeding tank sit for aday or two like yo would for anyfish tank. A good temp is 85*F as bettas naturally come from a warm enviroment. pic: pic: again

Step 3
Adding the bettas

It would probably be a good idea to add the female in her bowl first,allow her the time to get use to the surroundings. Next you can add the male into the main section of the breding tank. He should see the female and within hours he should be a usual male betta and start flaring. By allowing the female to be comfy she should respond with confience and not be scared. The male should soon start to build a nest. During this time it is important not to really bother them and try to both keep the noice down and the surrounding light down.

Step 4
First signs

usually within a day you should see alot of progress. The male should usually have a few bubbles in the nest site, and the female should usually be verticly barred up and dancing. If you see her scared and at the bottom with horizantal stripes that usually isn’t a good thing, meaning she isn’t ready but give it time, if the signs are still there they probably wont breed. A common mistake that i often see is people release the female way to earily, this not only endangers her life, but makes the breeding process go alot slower. There is really no need to release her when the signs that i am about to show up aren’t present. Usually when the female is attacked by the male to earily, she will have fear stripes and breeding slows down, not good, so trust me and dont release her yet as the male can see her and she is fully protected and isn’t alarmed. For the female signs, she should really be confident and rich in color and have verticle stripes. This will only make the male work harder to get the nest done. Just allow her to stay in the bowl for awhile longer until the nest is done.

Step 5

When the male has the nest the way he likes it, he will change is approach, he will usually stop trying to bite her every time, and instead almost do a dance in trying to lure her to the nest. so in short less attacks and more swimming to her, dance, and swim back to the nest. Dont forget that some males build bigger nest and others dont. If you see the male doing this “dance” you should also see the female acting in a similar way swimming and dancing. Now you can release her, and it will usually either end up like this. The female will sometimes go under the nest, because she is ready and the male may not understand thi(especially younger males, thats why it best to start out with older males) The male may attack her and the female will usually either, swim away and try again later, or she will stick around and if she is really ready, than she will swim head down, clamped fins, and in a “S” pattern. This is a good sign. Now sometimes before this, the male may attack her and keep going after her, if this happens it is a good idea to put her back into the bowl before she gets really hurt. Anyway if she is swimming in that pattern the male should understand this sign. Usually he will continue building the nest and in a perfect world the female will push the male and they will wrap under the nest. But sometimes the male could be to involved with his nest that the female get bored and leave or attack the male. if this happens please see the troubleshooting section below.

Step 6
The actual spawning

The male and female will embrace under the nesting area. Either they will stay at the top or fall to the bottom. Either is ok. The wrapping it self maybe unsucessful at first, many bad wraps can happen before the male and female get it right and eggs fall. If it is sucessful you will see the male and female be stunned for a few seconds. Dont worry this is normal and they will soon get back to normal. The male is usually the first to recover and he will usually go down and get the eggs using his mouth. The female will usually help pick up the eggs. You can sometimes see the male and or female get a take of air and then place the eggs in the bubblenest. But sometimes they will continue wrapping. But at some point the male and female will get the eggs and release them into the bubbles. The whole process can last anywhere from 1 hour to 7 hours. Thats why having time is important. After they are done the male will take care of the eggs and chase the female away. At this point it is a must to remove her. The male is now left with the responcibility to pick up the eggs when they fall. If he eats the eggs see the troubleshoot section below.

Step 7
Post care for female

After you remove her it is important to put her in a tank with no other fishes and very clean water. Adding some bettamax is probably a good idea to help her recover from her injures that she might have gotten during breeding. I wouldn’t feed her the first day after removing her. The day after it would be ok to feed her worms or pellets again. It is important not to rush her right away into a community tank. It is important to watch out for any signs of infections or illness. So keep an eye out and products like bettamax helps.

Step 8

The next few days the male should be busy getting the eggs off of the bottom of the aquarium and blowing them into the nest. It isn’t uncommon to have the male move the nest or bubbles. The spit he uses to make the nest are good in keeping the eggs clean and infection free. Depending on the temp of the water, the eggs may hatch in 1-3 days. The babies should be little white dots. They might swim around trying to get back to the nest but most are unsucessful, a good male parent will get most of the fry and add them back into the nest. You dont need to feed the babies anything at this stage but it is a good idea to start your brine shrimp eggs at this point.

Simply get a soda bottle, and add 1/2 warm water and some salt water mix(if u get a brine shrimp set they come with the right balance of salt) add a piece of air tubing at the bottom and allow the bubbles to go and create a current. If you looking for quality breeding pair, you may find some that you want by visit this betta fish for sale online store. The warmer the better. The eggs should hatch within aday, and the brine shrimp babies are little reddish dots that are moving. You want to feed the baby bettas the baby brine shrimp or BBS for short. To get the brine shrimp out of the soda bottle it is important to get a very very fine mesh brine shrimp nets and use a light to attrach the brine shrimp and gental pour the water out over a bucket and filter out the BBS. Since brine shrimp are saltwater it is a good idea to rince them under gental tap water to wash away salt.

Before You Breed Bettas

Before you breed bettas you should research this topic from not only this site but many others as well. Remember that you can do everything right and still have no luck at breeding them so dont get discouraged after the first few spawns.

As you can tell, betta splendens are bubblenest builders. They will build nest with oxygen and spit. They can build the nest on the side of the tank, but most breeders find that natural set-up like floating plants or artifical styrofoam cups will work alittle better. After they spawn the male is the one who will take care of the eggs and it is best to take the female out. This can be found anywhere and for a reason.

But before you breed you should have a ballpark idea on the facts and economical and moral responciblity.

How much? ~ Breeding bettas isnt cheap. While some novice breeders will do it without spending much, arent really doing it the right way and have a miuch high unsucessful rate than breeders who do more research and do it the right way.

You have to start off with a tank. 10 gallons are probably the most common sized tank to breed bettas in. While you can breed them in smaller tanks, it isnt recommend unless you are a skilled betta breeder. A ten gallon will run about 8-10 usd. Make sure you get a glass hood or any hood. You will need a filter. It should be a sponge filter. A sponge filter is about 2-10 usd and worth every penny. While you might not use it right away it will help keep the baby tank clean. Live plants. Live plants are a must because they not only provide breeding materials but they also provide food for the growing fry. So lets look at a shopping list.

Tank = 8-10 usd.
hood = included.
sponge filter = 2-10 usd.
heater = 10-20 usd.
live plants = 3-20 usd.
styrofoam cup = 2 usd.
glass tube = 3 usd
55 gallon tank growout = 77-99 usd.
good breeding stock = 4-55 usd.

While their are other stuff needed, that would probably be the bare min i would get.
(More info on tank set-up and detailed betta breeding tips are on other pages.)

Make sure you have the time. Betta breeding requires your presences so that no body gets killed. Betta breeding can take anywhere from 1 – 7 hours so make sure you have the time to be there and watching. You will need time to take care of the fry. ie feeding and cleaning.

Make sure you have the money and time to breed bettas. It isnt for everyone and maybe thats for a reason. Please refer to my other breeding tabs above for more info on breeding bettas.

Betta Fish Anatomy

Fish anatomy includes fins, gills, bones, skin, and internal organs. The gills have a cover over them called an operculum and it is used to protect the gills. Agnathas, which are jawless fish such as Sting Rays and Sharks, have gill slits. The water enters through their mouth and then over the gills of the fish. When water passes over the fish’s gills, it allows oxygen to enter the bloodstream and then get sent to various parts of its body. Sharks and Sting Rays both have nostrils, but these are only used for smelling out their next meal, not for breathing.

Another part of fish anatomy are the fins. The fins are used for stability, steering and swimming through the water. There are two fins in particular that help the fish stay stable and keep it from rolling. Those are the anal fins and the dorsal fin. The caudal fin is used to help them to steer and move forward and the pectoral fin also helps them to steer as well as brake in the water. The pelvic fin is used like a leveler to keep them level in the water.

Fish anatomy also includes the shape of the fish. Fish species have about six main body shapes. The flat body shape is found in Flounder, Sting Rays, Sole, and Skates. The fusiform body shape is found in Salmon, Tuna, Barracuda, and Sharks. Round body shapes are porcupine fish while ribbon shapes are found in cutlass. The compressed body shapes are seen in Angel Fish and Butterfly Fish. And the elongated body shape is found in eels, needlefish, and lamprey.

Fish anatomy is not all that complex. They have five senses just as man does, with the exception of the lateral line. The lateral line is simply a series of scales modified by a pore. This pore connects with another system of nerve fibers and sensory cells. The lateral line runs from the gills to the tail and can be seen from the outside. It is the darker line that runs across the center of the fish. It can detect electrical currents in the water and is also used as an echo location in order for it to identify the surroundings. One of the five senses of a fish is vision, which is very limited depending on the conditions of water and lighting. Fish have a highly developed sense of smell and taste which enables them to find their food and know if it is good or not. Fish have a very elevated sense of touch as well. Fish are known to be deaf but some believe that they can hear, although they are not sure whether it is only vibrations felt through the water or actual hearing.

Betta Compatible Tankmates

Learn the “do’s” and “dont’s” About stocking bettas with other tropcial community fish.

Betta Tip

Remember to stimulate your betta everyday. By allowing the bettas to see itself in the mirror for about 5 minutes aday will be good for both your betta’s mental and physical state.


Read First

Remember that every betta is different, so some are more mild and others are more aggressive, Remember this when stocking you betta tank.  The best way to find out is by trying. I have seen some male bettas eat a whole guppy and others who will live fine with mal guppies.  Another factor to consider is filter capability and tank size.  You never want to overstock a fish tank or betta tank.

The Right Tankmates

Most bottom fish-cory catfish, otto catfish etc… Nothing that can eat the betta.Tetras- most tetras will do fine,  Again it depends on your bettas personality.  livebearers- Again depends on your betta,  But some will tolerate guppies, andlarger livebearers such as mollies and swordtails.Labyrinth- depends on your betta,  but gouramies and generally safe.  other betta species might not be lucky.

The Wrong Tankmates

Barbs- Most barbs are fin nippers which will cause your betta problems. Certainly tiger barbs jump to the top of the list.  I have experiented with rosy barbs.  They seem to work.Oddballs- Never a good choice with bettas and small community tanks.

Betta Fish Illness

Bettas like most fish rely on their slime coat to provide them a source of protection against paracites.  When the animal becomes stressed or is touched by ojects that can remove slime coat, the scales are exposed.  Which can lead to internal and external illness.  Certainly bettas and other fish can get cancer. Im not really the one to ask when it comes to fish sickness, but the following is what i would do.  Please refer to my forum, where the people can help you better than i can.

Paracites- For fish in general, paracites like velet and ich are common and treatable. Paracites can be spotted by the naked eye as little whitish dots on the external part of the fish. While their can be internal paratcites like worms, most of the common paracites are external.  One of the best ways to treat is to use aquarium salt. Alot of freshwater paracites can not handle saltwater. So by giving your fish a saltbath, or just adding aquarium salt to the fishtank will be all for the best.  Remember not to use table salt.   The next thing to do is increase the water temp.  Paracites will speed up development in heated water. This is good for ich.  There are plenty of medications out there for fish and are effective on bettas.  Also their are products out there, that can be used to treat internal paracites by coating the fish food with this kind of medications.

Fungal- Fungus can develop on open wounds.  You can remove the fungus by hand with a net or tweezers,  but the best thing to do is add salt and treat with medications. 

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