How to Breed Betta Fish – 7 Step Guide
It’s easy to understand why bettas are so popular with fish breeders. The variety in color, style, and types among these fish offer a lot to potential breeders. Still, the process of breeding betta fish can be tricky.
If you are planning on breeding betta make sure you are taking the right precautions and have the correct information. If you make mistakes or miss crucial steps in the breeding process, you could easily end up killing your fish.
You could also lose money and time spent on breeding. To avoid any of these issues, we’ll give you all the information you need in our article.
We’ll show you exactly how to breed betta fish. This way you can successfully breed these vibrant pets! You want to have healthy and beautiful fish so follow all these steps carefully!
Table of Contents
Get Your Tanks and Gather Materials
Before you do anything, you’ll want to have the right supplies to breed your betta. One of the most important items in this process is a tank. You will need two separate tanks for your fish.
One tank will act as a permanent home for your betta fish after breeding. The other tank will be used exclusively for breeding your new fish.
This is where you will keep fry after they are born. In this tank, they will be kept safe and grow stronger.
Preferably, you can get a tank larger than this. Ten gallons is the best size, but at a minimum, five gallons are required for breeding.
The Right Supplies
In addition to the tanks, you’ll want to have the right supplies. Fish need clean water to start the breeding process. And when your fry are born they will need optimal water conditions to survive.
To build up and maintain the conditions of your tank water, make sure you have everything you need.
Some key items to get include a water heater, tank filter, and a hiding place for your male bettas. Male bettas are aggressive when they mate so its ideal to have decorations that will give them space to hide.
Plants can work as well though. Moss is actually a great choice for betta males and females.
You’ll also want to have a divider for your two adult fish if you are only getting two tanks. Males will attack female bettas so keep them separate as you breed them!
You can get other supplies to fill your betta tanks. But don’t put gravel on the bottom of the breeding tank.
You don’t want fish eggs to settle at the bottom of the tank. Instead, purchase Styrofoam or a leaf. This item will be used later for your fish to collect eggs laid by the female betta.
Set Up Your Breeding Tank and Permanent Tank
You can set up your permanent tank as you set up your breeding tank or after. Just make sure you have your tank prepared before you purchase any fish.
For any pet, it’s crucial that they have the right environment to stay healthy. This is especially true right before breeding. You want to make sure the conditions of the water are perfect for your betta.
Also, there are some differences between permanent betta tanks and breeding betta tanks. So don’t prepare them the same.
Breeding tanks tend to be more bare-boned. Again, you won’t have as much in this tank as your other more permanent tank. You’ll also want to keep your breeding tank in a more subdued area of your home.
Fish need a quiet and relaxing area to reproduce. In addition, when you set up this tank, keep gravel out of it. Add the necessary amount of water to the aquarium and put it in your tank heater.
Breeding tanks need warmth. For betta, the best breeding temperature will be at seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit. Filters can be put in as well, but make sure the water flow is low.
You don’t want to disturb the eggs in the tank when they are laid. They need to be kept in almost still water. You could forgo the filter altogether, but you’ll have to keep the water clean yourself.
We recommend a sponge filter as it will create less movement in a tank. You can also put in lights in your tank, but make sure they are dim. Too much light will mess with the breeding process.
The same steps can be taken for your permanent tank. Add in a filter and heater to make the water right for your incoming pet. But you can add extra things to your tank like gravel and more decorations. You can also get a filter that has a little more power.
With both tanks, you’ll also want to cycle the tank. Set up the cycle and get your supplies in advance. It could take weeks to properly cycle your tank and make the water suitable for a betta.
Pick Your Betta
Once you have your tank set up and cycled you can choose your fish pair!
Some breeders consider this to be the most important step. So if you want to know how to breed betta fish the right way pay attention to this step.
First, you need to think about what kinds of betta you want in your tank. When you breed your pair, you are creating your own betta. There is much to consider, from color to tail type.
Betta exhibit all kinds of forms and patterns. One popular betta includes crown tails. These bettas have wide tails with pointed ends like a crown.
Other popular types are half-moon bettas which have the shape of a half-moon. Still, there are plenty of other options to choose from.
So do some research on betta color and tail type. Once you know what betta you want to make this will help you get the look you want.
In addition to having a betta with the right type of visual, you want to consider their health. It’s important to get a fish that is in good health.
This way the bettas you breed are healthy. A healthy betta should appear active in the water. They should not have white spots or other signs of disease or illness.
Fins and other areas of the fish should not have tears or fungus growing on them too.
Also, make sure that potential bettas are not slow or at the bottom of the tank all the time. If your male betta is slow, the female betta is less likely to want to mate with them, unfortunately.
So make sure males are colorful and active to smooth out mating your fish!
Really, you want a young and active fish to get the most out of your breeding program. You can breed older fish but this is not optimal. Fish that are anywhere from four and twelve months old are the best fish to breed!
Lastly, you want to look at the size of both the male and female betta. Both your bettas should be of a similar size. Male bettas can be a little bigger. This is typical of the species, but don’t get a female that is bigger than a male.
And to get the best results, buy betta from a good breeder. It can be more expensive to buy from a fish breeder, but you will be more successful with your breeding.
You don’t want to get a fish from a local pet store. You might save money, but fish sold in these locations can often be of lower quality. So consider this in your betta choice.
Breeding Conditions for Fish
Video: “How to Condition Betta Fish for Breeding/Spawning”
So you have your male and female fish. They have the colors and characteristics you want. So what do you do from here? In this next part, we’ll show you exactly how to breed betta fish. It isn’t as simple as putting your two fish together in a tank.
In their natural habitat, female fish of this species choose a mate. They often make a decision based on the hue of a betta, its health, as well as, other qualities.
In your tank, your bettas won’t have a choice. They will have to mate with the only other fish in the tank. If you want this to happen successfully make sure the tank is in perfect condition for breeding!
Breeding takes a lot of your fish. They need plenty of energy to court one another. And once eggs are produced males need the energy to take care of eggs.
Give them good nutritious food to keep them going throughout the breeding period. You will have to feed them a higher quantity of food.
We recommend trying to give them live food or freeze-dried food of good quality. Feed them nutritiously for around two weeks then start the breeding process.
At this point, your fish should still be in separate tanks or containers. They won’t meet until the next step.
Bring the Female Betta Into the Tank
This is the beginning step of betta breeding. You want your male and female betta to meet one another for the first time. Most breeders will do this with a divider.
Others use a see-through container that floats. Use what works for you! Put the female in and let her swim alone for thirty minutes. Then allow the male betta in.
Usually, a male will display mating tactics at this point. Their fins should flare and their bodies will darken. They want to attract their potential mate.
If your female fish wants to mate she should show similar signs.
The color on her body will also change and she should be moving her body more rapidly. Stripes will also appear on the female betta as well.
A tube should also appear on her back fin. This is where the eggs will come out.
Male bettas should be active at this time too. They will create a bubble nest by the end of the day. This is what will contain the female’s eggs if she chooses to mate.
The male will make this nest on the leaf of Styrofoam you put in the tank.
Let Your Female Swim Free
After around twelve to twenty-four hours you can let your female fish roam free in the water without a divider or container. Make sure that the bubble nest is built though!
You don’t want to let your female with the male betta for long. Most females should roam for an hour. You will know if the mating is successful depending on what she does to the bubble nest.
If she destroys the nest. Get her out and start again. Let the male try to attract her again. If the female keeps destroying the nest your fish might not be right for each other.
If she accepts the nest, you will see a courtship unfold. The male betta will swim around with your other fish and keep impressing her until she lays eggs. Nipping is normal but watch out to make sure it’s not too aggressive.
Plants and other hiding places are crucial during this period. The female will hide and the male will pursue her. Eventually, the mating dance will occur.
This is when the male attaches to the female to help fertilize and release her eggs.
A lot of eggs will release during this time. Anywhere from fifty to five-hundred. After this is done the eggs will start to float into the water and the male will collect them for the nest.
Female fish won’t look great once the eggs are out of her body. They could look dead, but they aren’t they are just recovering. Eventually, all the eggs will come out and the dance will end.
Once this happens you need to get your female out of the tank. The male could attack her. Some female bettas like to help the males, but this won’t be the case with every fish.
Hatch Your Eggs
Once your female betta is placed in her own tank, it’s time to start hatching the betta eggs. You want the tank warm, so put some plastic wrap over the top of the tank.
This will keep heat trapped in and humidity high, this way the eggs can hatch. Keep your male betta in. He will continue to fertilize the eggs and take care of them in the nest until they are ready!
During this time males will swim throughout the tank and rearrange eggs. This will be done until they hatch. Normally this happens within thirty-six hours!
Taking Care of Your Fry
Video: “newly hatched betta fry that you need to know”
The betta fry needs a good bubble nest to hatch. This is why the male should stay in the tank to keep blowing air into the nest.
After the thirty-six hours have passed the nests oxygen will be depleted and the fish will hatch. Betta fry will plummet from the nest and their dad will swim them back to the nest.
Most betta fries stay in their nest for around two to three days at max. By the end of this, their tails will have grown long enough for them to swim. Day four is when they are really ready to swim!
At this stage, it’s time to take your male betta out of the tank. You have successfully bred your bettas. You now know how to breed betta fish!
The new fish will need their own tank to grow up without their parent. Betta fry take four months to properly develop into adults. So be patient and give them plenty of good food to keep them growing!
Again, live food can be an option. But, if you want food that is less of a hassle to prepare, freeze-dry or frozen works as well. Try out some brine shrimp or blood worms. They have plenty of protein and nutrition.
And remember that betta fry needs more food than other fish since they are growing. Don’t skimp out on this resource, your fish need it to grow well!
Many people want to know how to breed betta fish successfully. There are many steps to follow and consider when breeding any kind of fish.
But with this guide and our step by step instruction, you should have no issue getting the results you want. It takes time and focus to get the fish you desire. But with the right tools, anyone can breed great betta.
Bettas have a ton of variety and choosing the right fish pair can be important to the process. We talked about all the qualities your fish should have for a successful mating!
Hopefully, now you know how to breed a betta. It isn’t always easy getting the betta you want. Or getting fish that will mate with one another. It could take some time to get betta breeding right. Mistakes can definitely be made along the way.
But now you know what needs to go into your breeding tank and how to breed betta fish correctly. We hope we could help you breed the best betta fish!