Betta Fish Bubble Nest: Does Your Betta Build One?

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So you got your first male betta only to end up in panic mode when a week later you found the surface of his tank littered with bubbles. Suddenly a lot of questions were floating in your mind. How did soap bubbles get into his tank? Is he dying? Did I use the wrong kind of water?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Nothing is wrong. In fact a lot could be going right.

That’s right. This act of betta fish bubble nest building could/should be taken as a good sign that your fancy finned one is happy to be in his new home. So don’t freak out. As Martha Stewart would say this is a good thing. But just to be sure, let’s find out what this is all about and why a male betta has to do this.

Betta Fish Bubble Nest Defined: This is basically a layer of bubbles created by the male bettas for the purpose of breeding and caring for their eggs. The packet of bubbles is coated by the male with saliva to make the construction more durable. In the bubbles is where the eggs will be kept, protected and safe, until they hatch.

As you’ve observed a bubble mass masterpiece is usually built on the water’s surface. The betta could also form a nest under floating leaves or other debris which they will use to stabilized the whole affair.

Little Known Betta BubbleNest Facts

Nests of floating bubbles come in all different shapes and sizes. Thickness or depth can vary all over the lot as well. What I’m trying to say is that there is no standard issue nest. No prototypical example. How it’s constructed basically depends on factors like the betta’s age, level of enthusiasm, personality, and the water conditions.

For some bettas blowing nests is sometimes a near daily event. While others build may do only a few nests in a year’s time. More vigorous younger males are apt to be more frequent nest builders.

Bubblenest Trivia: Bettas are not the only ones capable of building fry nurseries from bubbles. There are also other fish species, like Gouramis, that are true bubblenesters and also make use of them. Usually this is a tactic of fish living in tropical waters which have a depleted oxygen supply.

There are certain external factors that affect the ability of the betta to build its bubble nest. One is when you’re running a filter because the current tends to distract the bettas. But you can solve this right away by placing a mesh over the output to control the water flow. Then add more floating plants or let a Styrofoam (cut into half) float at the surface. You may also want to make sure that the tank water is in the best condition and that you’re feeding your betta good food. These and your male betta should be bubbling all day long.

While they can be constructed any time, they are most often formed as a result of anticipated breeding. Once the male is conditioned for breeding, it flares its gills, spreads its fins, and twists its body in an attempt to impress any nearby female. It then begins to build a floating mass of bubbles on the water’s surface.

After the male and the female bettas embrace and the female releases her eggs, the male will retrieve them in his mouth and blow them into the mounded bubbles until Where they will stay until they hatch. Keeping up with any wayward eggs that fall out of the nest is a full time task. Most doting dads will chase away the female afraid that she will eat the eggs out of hunger (this is the time when you need to take the female out of the tank). Now the eggs are solely under the care of the male betta. And the male betta will only need to be removed once the fry are in the free-swimming stage.

However, male bettas can also form bubblenests even when not breeding. This is usually happens when they are in optimum living conditions such as when they have plenty of good food and live in good quality water. In short, male bettas can make bubbles when they’re healthy and happy. But it doesn’t mean that just because your betta isn’t into building one floating mass of bubbles after another he’s no longer healthy either. Although zeal for this activity does tend to wane with age.

Video Shows How It’s Done

Here’s a master at work. You can see up front and personal how it’s done.

Okay so much for your intro into this betta fish nursery construction technique. For answers to any lingering questions about these clever nests (and when was the last time you used a bubble to build something>) such as

  • “How do you tell if your betta is making one?”
  • “Why is my Betta Splendens fish creating such nests one after another nonstop?”
  • “How long does it typically take to complete such a bubbly effort?”
  • “How big does your typical floating mound of bubbles need to be?”
  • “What can be done to encourage nest building?”

why not check out part two of betta bubble nest building? Be sure to check it out too.

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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3 Responses to “Betta Fish Bubble Nest: Does Your Betta Build One?”

  1. Dave says:


    Quite a while back, I was breeding fancy tailed guppies and I had a lot of success in specific color schemes. There were 2 pet shops that would buy them. I no longer do this and the only thing I have left is a 50 gal community tank which is fine with me ( about 15 fish. I recently purchased 2 crown tail bettas, young, healthy, constant nest builders. Each one is in a 1 gal LED tank.
    My big question here is this—-if breeding were to tank place, what does a person do with the male babies as they grow?

  2. Dave says:

    PS—-I have no females yet.

  3. Markell says:

    My beta has built bubble nests but now he only makaes bubbles but does not nest them. I cleaned his bowl yesterday using the method I always use, He did eat and is admiring himself in a mirror I pladced at his bowl and showing his full beauty.

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