Looking for advice on breeding betta fish

Goldmoon

Member
I’m looking for some advice on breeding bettas. Before reading this post, I’d like you to know that I’ve read every article, watched every video and studied every post online about how to breed bettas (or, at least that’s what it feels like!). I am well prepared for the babies, I am aware of the time and money this hobby costs, and I am really committed to these fish.

I bought a “breeding pair” of betta fish off of eBay a little over a month ago. The seller claimed that the fish they sell are between 2.5 and 3 months old, but I have a feeling these two were older (maybe closer to 4 or 5 months?). Here’s why I think they are older; the male was constantly building bubble nests and the female has a visible egg spot. Also, they are fully grown and their fins are fully formed. They are hmpk, and they dont look like juveniles— more like adults. Unless you can get a full grown betta in 3 months, I am pretty sure these guys are older.
So I conditioned them for a little over two weeks (I read that two weeks was a good amount of time for conditioning before breeding) by feeding them frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, and doing small daily water changes. The females egg spot is very visible and the male was making huge bubble nests (bigger than I’ve ever seen a betta make before). I slowly introduced them before I released the female. (She was doing the characteristic “wag” with her body inside of the barrier I set up whenever she saw him, so I assumed she was interested.) I released her into the tank and checked on them every couple of hours for the next 3 days. Nothing. The male built a huge nest and was occasionally chasing around the female. All that she endured was a tiny tear in her caudal fin.

For these three days, she was mostly hiding in the corner of the tank. She was just trying to hide from him, and she was not engaging in any sort of breeding behavior. The end of the third day, she was acting the same as she did in the first hour. I removed her, and decided to try reconditioning them. So, they had three days of separation and were fed with frozen foods once again. They were reintroduced and put together after another two days. Again, nothing.

When the female is inside the barrier, she is wagging her body and flaring at the male, trying to get his attention. As soon as she is in the tank with him, she has no interest and just goes to hide. I tried this over and over again—at least four times now—and the same thing happens almost every time.

The only time I got any sort of breeding behavior was when I put a “teaser” female into a separate barrier in the breeding tank. (Just a female from my sorority tank, to try and challenge the female I’m trying to breed). When I did that, within an hour, the male and female were under the nest, swimming next to each other. I held my breath and left them alone. To my disappointment, when I came back a half hour later, she was just hiding in the corner again. Another fail.

Since these two were sold as a “breeding pair”, I had assumed that they were compatible. I am getting really frustrated that it is taking this much time to get them to lay eggs. I know that this is just nature, and that it can take time. But I’ve been trying for a long time to breed these fish and I’m really eager to get results. I am writing this post as a last resort for some advice on breeding these two. I spent quite a bit of money on this pair when I bought them and I was really looking forward to getting some fry. I would really appreciate any and all advice that you may have, because right now I am at a loss.

Also, in case you were wondering the breeding tank is a 5.5 gallon that I have filled about half way, the water temp is kept at 80°, and there are Indian almond leaves in the tank. The tank is cycled, and all the parameters are good. There is a lid to keep the humidity in, and I have some floating plants for the female to hide in. The male and female are similar in size; the female is just a little bit smaller.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to get in all the info for you guys. Thank you in advance.
 

SM1199

Member
I had the same problem during my first attempt to breed bettas. The issue turned out being that the female had a bit too much cover and space. The female was able to get out of sight of the male and the male would lose focus and the female didn't have much motivation to meet with him.

It seems space doesn't seem to be your problem if you've got them in 2-3 gallons of water. Is the female hiding underneath the IAL? That's what mine did, so I removed a majority of the leaves to coax her out. If she's hiding in the floating plants, you might want to remove most of those too. With that being done, the male will usually have her in his line of sight and things should get moving right along. The female might be harassed more, but it should be quick if all goes well.

Good luck to you, sounds like you've got everything set up well!
 
  • Thread Starter

Goldmoon

Member
SM1199 said:
I had the same problem during my first time attempt to breed bettas. The issue turned out being that the female had a bit too much cover and space. The female was able to get out of sight of the male and the male would lose focus and the female didn't have much motivation to meet with him.

It seems space doesn't seem to be your problem if you've got them in 2-3 gallons of water. Is the female hiding underneath the IAL? That's what mine did, so I removed a majority of the leaves to coax her out. If she's hiding in the floating plants, you might want to remove most of those too. With that being done, the male will usually have her in his line of sight and things should get moving right along. The female might be harassed more, but it should be quick if all goes well.

Good luck to you, sounds like you've got everything set up well!
Thank you for the quick response! She occasionally hides in the almond leaves, but it is mostly just hiding in the corner. I tried removing plants, leaves, lowering the water, still nothing. When the male chases her, he is not overly-aggressive, so I’m not too worried about him harming her to the point where she is in danger. Maybe I’ll try taking more of the plants out, and see if that makes any difference. I appreciate the advice!
 
Top Bottom