Breeding Basics

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This detailed 10 minute video offers one way to go about breeding bettas successfully. Presented in somewhat step by step fashion you can easily grasp the big ideas quickly. Although I would hasten to add that given the requirements, you are unlikely in a position to breed these fish successfully or not. So my advice would be do not attempt this at home. Just saying. But you’ll still have a very good idea of what’s involved and what to expect should you decide to go ahead with your plans to breed bettas.

Takeaways from this video.

  • The set-up is the first step covered. And you get a list of items you’ll need which would include a heater, Indian almond leaf and a cover. A good point is made about the sponge filter. You don’t use it during the courtship. But you will want to use it once the fry are free swimming. The almond leaf (or Styrofoam cup) is used to give the male a place to build his bubble nest. Think of it as the framing. Also recommended are some plants in the tank which can be used by the female to get away from the male.
  • Note how shallow the water is. Remember that when the eggs start to fall out of the bubble nest, the male is duty bound to retrieve them. And the deeper the water level the harder this will be for him.
  • Backstepping a bit, you want to introduce the male first. Doing so after conditioning him on protein rich foods to get him to the peak of health. Keep in mind that the male won’t eat for three or four days after breeding, and he’ll be busier than a one armed paper hanger, so he will need some reserves to keep him going.
  • Put the male into the breeding tank 24 hours before introducing the conditioned female secure in her own glass container. The globe is for the safety of the female. It lets the male get the idea without being able to get to the female. There is also a sign to watch for that will tell you it is time to release the female into the tank.
  • Initially there may be a lot of aggression from the male towards the female. If they don’t get past this stage within 48 hours separate the pair and recondition. But this is why you want to offer plenty of hiding places for the female.
  • You’ll hear breeders refer to “the embrace” – where the female produces eggs and the male fertilizes them. This video captured the final one and that’s it. But more importantly, it shows what the female looks like after each embrace and why. This is good to know otehrwise you may think something is wrong? You also get a good shot of the vertical stripes on the female during this part of the video.
  • This is when you want to remove the female. The male will assume the nest tending and egg retrieving chores. For this reason you do not want to turn off the lights. He needs to be able to see the eggs to retrieve them.
  • The fry hatching is the next step. You can tell when you see what looks like tiny strands of thread attached to the bubbles. Should any fall out and not be able to make their way back to the nest the male will scoop them up off the bottom of the tank.
  • Once the yolk sac is digested you need to be ready to feed some kind of micro worms.
  • Then in a couple more days the fry should be free swimming. It’s now time to remove the attentive male. But his job is done.
  • First feeding of the micro worms. Go easy. Expect some not to be eaten. Just be careful not to overfeed which is easier said than done. But for the first two weeks you don’t want to be changing water out any more than you need to because this is dangerous for the fry. It’s harder for them to adjust to shifting water parameters. And be prepared to feed twice a day.
  • Gradually fill up the tank over the next 60 days. This could actually become a grow out sorority tank if you like.

One last thought about worms for feeding the fry. You’ll want to have these ready ahead of time. Like three weeks before you’ve even got fry to feed. (I’ve seen impassioned pleas on message boards from those with fry and nothing to feed them.) A good place to get microworms is aquabid.com. Basementbettas is one you’ll often find with listings there and they are a reliable supplier. They’ll even provide instructions to keep your culture producing food for the fry for a good long time if not forever.

About Lucas
Putting a name with a face I'm Lucas Smatana. Like you I'm passionate about betta fish and hope to share my enthusiasm. The idea here is to make sure you get helpful info and useful ideas on betta fish care that really work. To insure your betta keeping experience is a good one both for you and your fish. So that you and your pet enjoy a long, happy and healthy relationship.

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