Once you have a tank of beautiful, vibrant fish, you may start to wonder how to breed betta fish and whether your aquarium is suitable for breeding.
While you could just let nature take its course and hope that your fish will breed naturally, there are several things you can do to give your fish the best possible chance of producing healthy, brightly-colored fry.
Read on to learn the basics of how to breed betta fish.
How to breed quality betta fish
While you can just leave your male with a group of females and leave them to do what comes naturally, selecting the right parent fish to breed from will give you your best chance of success.
Starting with young fish as your parent fish is the best way of ensuring healthy fry, and this might mean specially ordering in your founding parent fish, as if you buy from a pet shop you will be unable to guarantee their age.
It is also wise to select particularly vibrant specimens to breed. This improves the chance of them producing bright, colorful fry.
Conditioning for breeding
It is important to condition your bettas to encourage the female to lay her eggs and the male to fertilize them. To do this, you should feed your fish plenty of high protein foods such as bloodworms and daphnia, and place your male and chosen female in separate parts of a partitioned tank where they can see each other.
The male betta should then begin to build a bubble nest, and the male and female fish will “flare” at each other, displaying their full size and color as a prelude to breeding. The female will become larger at this time as her stomach distends with eggs. The entire process can take one to two weeks before both fish are ready to breed.
When both fish are ready, bring them together and expect lots more flaring, chasing, and possibly even what appears to be aggressive behavior between the two fish.
Ultimately, the male fish will wrap himself around the female to squeeze the eggs out of her, while fertilizing them at the same time. Once this is completed, the female fish will float to the top of the tank and the male to the bottom before the male, and sometimes the female too, begin to move the fertilized eggs to the bubble nest.
This can take a few hours to complete, and when it is done, the male will guard the nest, chasing the female away from it.
Hatching and fry
The embryos will usually hatch in just one to two days, after which the fry will eat their embryos for nutrition.
Around four days after this, the male should be removed from the tank so that he doesn’t try to eat his own offspring and the fry will begin to thrive on their own.