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Betta Fish Breeding 101 | How-To

If you’ve been into Betta fish keeping for a while, trying your hand at breeding can sound like a fun option. After all, what could be more rewarding than seeing your fish grow from the size of a pinhead to a fully grown adult?

If you’re interested in Betta fish breeding, keep reading. We’ll explain what a Betta breeding tank should look like, describe the breeding process and give you some pointers on how to raise the fry.

Betta Fish Breeding

Before you start, here are some important things to keep in mind.

First off, you’re not going to get rich breeding Bettas. Even the most successful hobbyist Betta breeders don’t do this for the money: they just really love the species. You might manage to offset some of the cost of raising the fry by selling to other hobbyists or the local aquarium store, though!

Secondly, keep in mind that you’ll have to obtain responsibly bred specimens if you’d like to get into Betta fish breeding. With pet store Bettas, you have no idea of their genetics and possible undesirable traits, so you’re best off skipping those. Try to get fish from a fellow hobbyist breeder instead: they’ll be able to tell you a little more about the pair and you’ll have more of a guarantee of their quality.

Lastly, be sure to have everything in order before you start the process. Your Betta pair should be happy and healthy. They should be well-fed and have their own cycled, heated aquariums that are set up in a way that promotes their well-being.

If you’re not sure what a Betta needs to thrive, we’ve got articles on both Betta fish tank size and Betta fish tank set-up that you might want to check out first.

Betta Breeding Tank

Now that we’ve got the previous out of the way, let’s have a look at your Betta breeding tank. In order to get your pair to spawn and provide a good starting environment for the fry, you’ll have to set up a special aquarium that provides the right “ambiance”, if you will.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10 gallon tank or Sterilite tub
  • Heater
  • Filter (sponge filters are preferable – if it’s cycled that’s a plus)
  • Tank divider
  • Light
  • Indian almond leaf
  • Java or Christmas moss
  • Plastic wrap
  • Some hides or plants

Fill the tank or tub with about 5” of water and turn on the equipment, with the heater set to about 80 °F. Position the plants and décor and place some of your Indian almond leaves in the water. Let things settle for a bit before moving onto the next step.

Betta fish breeding

Ready to introduce the pair to each other? Place the tank divider in the breeding tank and move the female in there. Give her a little time to adjust before moving the male to the other side of the divider.

If all goes well, the pair will exhibit intense interest in each other. The male flares his fins and will try to reach the female through the divider. The female should show vertical barring on her body and show similar behavior. It likely won’t take long before the male starts building a bubble nest in preparation for the eggs.

Give it a night and then get ready to introduce the pair. Keep in mind that this is a stressful process that involves lots of chasing and possibly aggressive behavior. If the bubble nest is up to the female’s standards their mating dance will begin within a few hours. The pair will embrace multiple times and you’ll see eggs start to appear.

Don’t worry if the female looks tired or dead while the male collects the eggs and places them in his bubble nest. This is normal behavior! Once she appears to wake up, move her back to her own tank and leave the male to attend to the eggs.

Raising the fry

Male Betta fish are great dads and will tend to their bubble nest and eggs constantly. If any eggs or fry fall, you’ll see him carefully placing them back. Once the fry are free swimming, remove him and take over their care yourself.

You can feed the fry using tiny foods like infusoria and microworms (be sure to have your culture ready!). You can switch to baby brine shrimp once they’re large enough to eat them. Be sure to keep the tank very clean at all times: these little baby Bettas are very sensitive!

Need help?

Setting up and maintaining an aquarium like a Betta fish tank is a very rewarding process, but it also requires plenty of knowledge and work. If you don’t have time to turn yourself into an aquarium guru right now but still want to enjoy having a fish tank in your home, why not let FantaSEA Aquariums set up and maintain it for you?

If you’re interested in a custom tank, let us know here and we’ll get back to you with our ideas.

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Marijke Puts

Hey! I'm Marijke, FantaSEA's resident blog writer. I'm a full-time pop science author, part-time PADI diver and snorkeler, and have been keeping fish since I was a kid. When I'm not writing fish care guides, you can usually find me underwater or trying to figure out how to fit more tanks into my house.

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