Breed Bettas – a beginners guide to breeding siamese fighting fish


Siamese fighting fish are such a unique species of tropical freshwater fish.  They have unique personalities, are easy to keep, and are available in a huge range of colors and fin types.  Anyone who has this type of fish has, at some point, considered what it would be like to breed bettas.  While many nay-sayers dismiss this idea by saying it is too difficult and expensive, if you follow a simple guide you can keep costs down and find success with breeding bettas.

Assuming you have already picked out to quality bettas, you can start conditioning them.  This is done by housing them separately, each in a few gallons of water at 80 to 82F.  They are fed a variety of live and frozen foods for two weeks.  Water changes are done every few days to keep conditions as ideal as possible.  For the last week, these two fish should be in sight of each other so they can get used to each other.  The male should start blowing a bubble nest if he is in good health.

The next step to breed bettas is to set up a separate 5 to 10 gallon spawn tank.  Fill it with 4 to 5 inches of water and put in a heater at 80 to 82F.  The tank should have no gravel, but plants are helpful to provide hiding places for the females.  Add a clear chimney, made from a hurricaine lamp or 2L pop bottle.  Also add either half of a styrfoam cup or an indian almond leaf in one corner.

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Add the male to the spawning tank.  The next morning, you can add the female in the pop bottle.  The male will start building a bubble nest if he hasn’t already done so.  When the female tries following the male around, and starts swimming with head down at a 45 degree angle she is ready.  If she is a dark siamese fighting fish, she will start to show vertical bars when ready to spawn.

Release the female when she is ready, and keep an eye on your bettas from afar.  It is hard to predict when they actual spawning will occur, but if they are not violent towards each other, then leave them together.  You will know when the male starts watching the white eggs in the bubble nest.  He will spit any fallen ones back up inside.  When they are done spawning, remove the female carefully.  The male will watch the nest for 24 to 36 hours until the eggs hatch, then he will spit the fry (babies) back up for another few days.

After 3 days, the baby bettas should be free swimming and you can take the males out.  Start feeding the babies microworms or freshly hatched baby brine shrimp, and doing frequent small water changes and they will grow quickly.

Fish tank supplies needed to successfully breed bettas therefore includes a 5 gallon tank, an empty pop bottle, a heater, Indian almond leaves, some live aquarium plants, and a sponge filter for the grow out tank.  Click here to buy an excellent book on care and breeding of Betta splendens.

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