How to Breed Betta fish – A Simple Step By Step Guide
Betta fish, known commonly as the Siamese fighting fish, has become one of the most popular aquarium fishes in the world. Their beautiful outlook really sets them apart from other fish, and as a result, they make for beautiful, exotic pets. Including the fins, the Betta fish generally reach a maximum length of 7 inches. The reason why they are called ‘Siamese fighting fish’, however, is because of the fact that these fishes tend to be quite aggressive in nature.
Equipment required for Breeding Betta Fish
Breeding Betta fish can be a bit troublesome if you don’t know the actual process, as well as the equipment that is required. In order to breed Betta fish, there are several things that you need. First off, you will need a clear plastic Sterilite tub or an empty gallon tank, with a capacity of at least 10 gallons. Make sure you fit a lid and light on top of it. You can also get a readymade tank off the internet, or from your local aquarium. The next step is to buy a 25 watt heater. A specialized water tank heater can be purchased off the internet, or might be available at your local aquarium shop. You will also require an air pump and a sponge filter. For breeding purposes, buy a lot of Christmas moss as that helps too. Other things that you need is a plastic wrap (easily available), Indian almond leaf, which can only be found online, as well as the Betta themselves.
Buying a Betta Breeding Pair
When buying a Betta breeding pair, it is advisable to buy them when they are young, and make sure you buy from a reputed dealer. It is advisable to ensure that the male and female be of the same size, and preferably, try to get siblings. Avoid buying from pet stores, as the Betta in pet stores are usually too old to breed. Also, get two pairs, so that in case one of the pairs doesn’t work out, you can try with another.
Setting up the Betta Fish Tank for Breeding
Once you have all of this, here’s how to get started:
Tank water level
First of all, fill up your tank or tub with treated water. It is advisable to fill up the spawn tank with up to 3 to 4 inches of water. Don’t go any higher.
Tank water temperature
Set the heater at an angle and put it at 80 degrees.
Softening water with Indian almond leaves
Then, take the Indian almond leaves that you bought and place them at both of the corners of the tank. The Indian almond leaf will provide a softening effect to the water, and will also ensure that the male gets a place to bubble nest as they float over to the top. For people who are unable to acquire the Indian almond leaf, another option is to use a Styrofoam cup that is cut in half and taped to the side of the tank.
Allow water to settle overnight
Then, fill up the moss and allow the heater to run throughout the night before you decide to place the pair of fish in to the tub itself. It is important to ensure that the heater runs steady at 80 degrees.
Betta Fish Spawning Process
Placing female betta into the tank (in a glass container)
Once your heater has been running at a safe temperature throughout the night, the next step is to place the Betta fish inside the tank. In order to do that, it is advisable to first place the female in a glass container or jar made of glass with an open top and then set her in to the tank. Do ensure that the water level within the tank/ tub is below the maximum height of the container or jar. Once that is done, add the male in to the tank. Now, within a short amount of time, you will see the male swim around the container or jar and he is likely to start flaring as well.
Male Betta Flaring and Building bubble best
At some instances, the male Betta might even try to bite the glass. That is normal due to their aggressive nature. For an hour or so, this would happen, though the time period varies. Then, the male Betta will swim away and start building a nest under the Styrofoam cup that you placed, or preferably, the almond leaf. The male Betta will often swim back to the female and then move back to the nest. It is advisable to leave them in this state throughout the night and make sure that no lights are on.
Release the female Betta fish for mating
Next morning, let the female free then place the plastic wrap on the top of the tank to create moisture and heat, as that helps in hatching the eggs. Now, after this, you might see a lot of erratic behavior, such as biting and chasing. Don’t worry. Within a while, the female will start to visit the nest. Once she feels the nest is properly done, she will move to the male and start rubbing her sides to him.
Female Betta laying of eggs
Keep a close watch on this, because if at any point you feel the male getting a bit too aggressive, take the fish out. After this is over, she will begin to drop eggs. Then, the female will fall lifelessly to the floor. She’s not dead, so don’t worry. The male will take care of the eggs. Once the female is done, it is advisable to take her out and allow her to recover.
Male Betta placing eggs into the bubble nest
All this time, the male Betta will attend to the eggs. He won’t eat, so don’t bother feeding him. Make sure the light in the tank is on 24 hours a day for the first week.
Betta eggs hatching and Male Betta recovery
After a few days, the eggs will start hatching. This is the time to take out the male and allow him to recover. As the babies begin to hatch, it is advisable to separate the male fry when they are around 3 months old. You can search the internet for the food items that are most recommended to feed the baby fry. That’s the step by step guide on how to breed Betta fish, it’s awesomely fun, but a big investment of time and effort though!
Betta Fish Breading Guide Videos
Below are some really awesome Betta Siamese fighting fish breeding videos which will really help you in getting started, highly recommended videos.
#1 Step by step guide to breeding betta fish – by Julien Sirard
#2 Betta Fish Spawing – eggs laying and pick up – video by s2kturner
#3 Betta Fish breeding food for betta fry
#4 Betta Breeding Project week 1 to week 14 by Aquarimax