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. 

Inverts For Bettas

If your tank is small and not really good for other fish, try looking at freshwater invertibrates.  Such as snails, clams, mussles, and shrimps. 

Inverts will give your betta cleaner water, and something to have in the tank that is living.  When thinking about ghost shrimps, always expect the betta to kill and eat it.  They can be small enough that the betta ma take it for food and eat it.  Nevertheless, they can be used for foods as well as cleaning crew.

Again shrimps like ghost shrimps might be eatten.  But conside ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimps.  Both are become more popular and easy to care for.  They will molt so remove extra skin if you see any.  They will help keep the bettas tank clean.  When you remove the shrimp from water, be aware. They can and will jump very far. 

Snails, Personally i am not much of a snail fan, But apple snails and ramhorn snails seem to be common.  They can exit the water so keep a good lid on.  I dont know very much about snails nor do i wish to learn, but that is just me. So you might like to try a snail in your betta tank.

Clams,  Love them.   I just started to get golden clams.  These guys i though would be very hard to keep, but they are quite the opposite.  Mines do just fine in gravel and in larger betta tanks.  They can move themselves with the lip that can come out, and they will feed/ clean your water with the tube that comes out.  They are not harmful to your betta and help clean the water.  Remember they are animals so dont remove them from the water for too long.  

Fresh water mussles.  I have seen these in petstores, never had a chance to try them out yet, but they cant be much more difficult than clams.  Probably great for larger betta tanks with moving water.

Crayfish.  I would probably say no, I have had a few crayfish in the past, and they have never been friendly with me. When i experimented with bettas, the bettas was kill and the fins were eatten.  I would try and stray away from crayfish.

Frogs,  ADF or african dwarf frogs are not inverts, but good forr betta tanks. Your betta may be alittle aggressive for the frog, but they will make good companions.  ADFs stay small, but will usually eat only worms.  Stay away from african clawed frogs.  In petstores these are often larger and albino.  These frogs will kill fish and eat a betta.

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