In the 5th and final part of my betta fish series, I will be sharing on breeding betta fish.
As you already know, betta fish are some of the most wonderful creatures you can have in your tank.
Their beauty will make your aquarium stand out and flourish.
For many aquarists, after fully understand the different aspects of owning a betta, breeding them to create unique combinations of colors is the next step.
So before you embark on this project, find out what you are getting yourself into and see if you are truly ready.
Consideration when breeding betta fish
One of the most important breeding factors to remember is Betta fish can make more eggs than you expect—over 600.
Unless you plan to have a few hundred fish, take this into consideration before beginning the breeding process.
Before you choose the pair of Betta to breed, you have to prepare the tank.
The tank needs to be at least 7-8 gallons to allow enough space to feel comfortable.
Naturally, the aquarium should be cycled when you get the fish and include a removable divider.
The filter needs to be very delicate; if it creates strong waves, it might destroy the eggs.
Keep the temperature of the breeding tank around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27C), which requires a heater.
Apart from these factors, try to keep the tank as simple as possible; it is recommended not adding substrate because the eggs can become lost in the gravel.
Choose your breeding pair
When the tank is ready, you have to choose a pair of fish for breeding.
If possible, only buy your fish from a reputable retailer or take fish from someone you know.
The best age to breed your Betta is from 6 months to a year old; as the female grows to full-size, she can become too large to mate with a smaller male.
When deciding on a male and female Betta, chose ones with characteristics you would like the fry to have.
Different stages of breeding process
Stage 1 – Getting to know each other
When ready, place the fish in the tank and let them get used to each other for a few days.
During this time they have to be separated by the divider.
Follow their behavior and make sure they are not aggressive toward one another; some females might poke the males, which indicates they are not compatible.
Stage 2 – Prep them with quality food
When you are ready to proceed, start feeding them with live food.
If you don’t have access to blood worms, you can use some species of roaches and/or crickets.
Try to avoid dry food.
In special cases you can also give them frozen or dried shrimp, but make sure they were not exposed to any chemicals.
When you search for live food for the parents, also search for live food to reserve for the babies since they only eat live food.
Microworms and vinegar eels are the most common types of food, but you can also give them baby brine shrimp every once in a while.
Stage 3 – Breeding time
If everything goes well, after a few days the male will create a bubble nest indicating they are ready to breed and the divider can be removed allowing the male and female fish to be in the same tank.
Make sure to close the filter and introduce decorations to the tank that will allow the female to hide.
It will be a few days or weeks until they finally breed and they can be aggressive towards each other during this time.
When they finally breed, the male will take the female under the nest where she will start producing eggs.
During this time, she will be very calm and will barely move, but this is normal.
The eggs will fall to the bottom of the tank and the male will take them into the nest.
Stage 4 – Separation of female betta
Some females will eat the eggs, so if you notice she is doing this, simply take her out of the tank.
When you are sure she will not release more eggs, usually after a few hours, move her away and treat her tank with special substances to care for her fins.
Stage 5 – Expecting your betta fry
As for the eggs, the male will stay in the tank for a few days until the babies start to appear.
It is recommended to give him a very small amount of food during this time, as this will prevent the male from eating the eggs.
When you notice the fry can swim, you can completely remove the male and place him in another tank.
From that point on, you just have to care for your small Betta fish!
Taking care of your fry
Feeding your betta fry
Once you’ve removed your male betta, you need not feed your fry immediately.
You need to observe your fry and only start feeding them once they have started swimming horizontally so that they are able to get to the food.
Even then, you only need to put a small portion of microworms that you should have with you prior the breeding process.
The fry should be fed twice a day unless there are leftovers from your earlier session.
Keep a constant condition
It is important for the fry to have stable tank conditions.
Thus, it is fine if you do not do any water change for the time being.
In fact, try to not even add any water to the tank as it might change the parameters of the water which could affect the fry.
And due to this, it is important that you do not overfeed them as it will dirty the tank quicker.
Don’t be too excited
I understand that you are super excited with your successful attempt of breeding your betta BUT try not to handle the fry.
Best is to leave the fry alone and cover the tank with a lid.
What if you see some dead fry?
Don’t need to cry a bucket if you do see some dead fry.
It is very common to encounter some dead fry as some are just weak and malformed and won’t last for 10 days.
However, if you start seeing 10 dead fry each day, then you have a problem and something has to be done.
Best of luck
Ultimately, you need some luck when breeding betta fish. Sometimes the pair that you choose might not be suitable for each other and other times, your fry might not survive.[bctt tweet=”You need lots of patience and perseverance to breed betta fish.”]
Plus, you need to understand all aspect of betta fish.