Researching betta breeding... Came up with this guide

CatLaFae

Soooo, I have been researching breeding betta fish quite deeply, and tonight I typed up the following guide while reading and listening to various sources of information to get the most well-rounded insight possible... Which brings me to posting my personal care guide so far here, for anyone who has a bit of time and interest in reading and reviewing to do so... I'd love if anyone has their own personal experience that I can add in, as well as pointing out anything I might have missed or that is incorrect. I'd like to hand-write everything out for addition to my betta "handbook" binder, and want to try to make sure my notes are as thorough as possible before doing so. I plan on adding a section on choosing a breeding pair as well, I just haven't gotten around to typing it up yet but have been trying my best to wrap my head around IBC standards and what is considered good form etc. in general.

I know this is a huge wall of text, and anyone who even scratches the surface reading it let alone replying with more insight is so greatly appreciated ^_^

Preparation for Parents
Conditioning can take 2 weeks or longer
Female should be slightly smaller than male so that they will be able to wrap and so that male is not intimidated by female
Ensure the pair is high quality and healthy before choosing to breed
Feed small amounts of high quality foods 2-3 times daily
- Live brine shrimp, blood worms
- Frozen brine shrimp, blood worms
- High quality pellet
- Gel Foods

Breeding tank
- 5-10 gallon breeding tank with 3-4 inches of water
- 25-50 watt heater set to 80
- Thermometer
- Guppy grass/Christmas moss/java moss/floating plants are all good to have in tank
- Place sponge filter inside, but do not turn on as to keep water still for bubble nest integrity and newly hatched fry
- Float bubble wrap (bubble side down), Styrofoam, or an IAL propped up by floating plants

Always keep tank covered

Place the male in the tank

Leave him alone for one hour so that he can claim the tank as his territory

Place jar with female inside tank for 2-24 hours

Male may build bubble nest, some will not build nest until female has been released

Female will show an egg spot, breeding bars, and be swollen with eggs

Female will show interest in the male, attempting to swim alongside him, and angling body downward

Feed pair before releasing female into tank

Release female and monitor behavior

Nipping and chasing will happen, remove female only if male is seriously trying to hurt her or if you see “lip locking” occur (which means a serious fight)

Eventually they may spawn, male will wrap female and fertilize the eggs as she releases them

Spawning can take up to several hours and involve many wraps

After each embrace, the female will look lifeless, but she is not

You will know they are done when male is chasing female from the nest/the female is hiding in a corner while the male stays under the nest.

You may be able to see the eggs in the nest, although you should not disturb the nest to do so.

Remove female as immediately as possible after they spawn.

The eggs will hatch between 24 and 48 hours.

The babies will be attached to the nest for 2-3 days after hatching.

Leave the light on 24/7 for the first week after spawning.

Do not feed the male while he is tending to babies as he will not eat and it will only foul the water.

Remove the male from the breeding tank once the babies are free swimming/swimming horizontally. The male will likely be taking frequent “breaks” at this point and not staying as consistently close to the nest as before.

Fry Feeding
The fry do not need to be fed while still swimming vertically/attached to nest. They feed off their egg sacs at this time.
Have food ready before the babies are born (live cultures)
Betta fry need to be fed live foods as their instinct dictates that they hunt
There is not necessarily a set routine for when to feed that fry which type of live food, but as a guideline:
Vinegar Eels

Fed for first few days of free swimming

Pour through coffee filter, let filter drain, fill up with water and siphon with a syringe

Vinegar eels stay high in water column and thus the babies will have an easier time hunting them early on

Microworms

Fed for a few days after you’re finished feeding vinegar eels

Culture in a container with oatmeal and an optional sprinkle of yeast

Take q-tip or pipette and place in a cup of water, then suck up with a syringe to feed to fry

These sink to the bottom of the tank but fry will hunt them there

Baby Brine Shrimp

Feed once babies are big enough to eat them

Do not feed too much, as they can cause swim bladder issues

Use brine shrimp hatchery with bubbler, make salt water with additive-free salt (some add baking soda too)(distilled water better?), put in eggs which will hatch after 24 hours if temp is at 80 degrees F or up to 36 hours to get a good hatch if water is at 70 degrees F

Always have 2 hatcheries going spaced two days apart to ensure steady food source for growing bettas

Need 2 liter soft drink bottle, brine shrimp hatchery with airline tube, valve, and an air pump, measuring spoon

Add ¼ tsp of baking soda

½ tsp brine shrimp

2 tbsp salt

Start air flow

Leave for 24-36 hours

Shine light into bottom of bottle to attract the BBS to the bottom where they can be siphoned using a straw attached to a syringe separately from the eggs

Pour through coffee filter and then rinse in fresh water before sucking up with syringe

Feed a small amount several times per day

Some people choose to feed the brine shrimp fry powder food before feeding the shrimp to baby bettas, mix powder into water separately and then pour in with BBS, allowing them to eat for 10-15 mins

Grindle Worms

Feed once the betta fry are large enough to eat them

Keep in a container on potting soil/peat and feed a kibble of dog food

Put them in a cup of water and suck up with a syringe for feeding

Gel Food

Fed once bettas are old enough to be interested in eating it

Repashy spawn and grow is great


Frozen brine shrimp and blood worms (once bettas show interest)

Brine Shrimp cubes can be tossed in tank and allowed to thaw

Blood worm cubes should be thawed before adding worms to the tank

High quality pellets such as Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One, New Life Spectrum


If you have one in the spawning tank, turn on small sponge filter around 9 days, to keep water circulating in order to prevent scum from building up on the surface which will prevent the babies from getting air. Otherwise, place a plain white paper towel across the surface of the water 1-2 times per day to keep it free of buildup. Some people choose to turn the sponge filter on, on the lowest flow, as soon as they are free swimming, however.

Transfer fry to grow out tank between 10 days-2 weeks for very large spawns, and about 4 weeks. Ensure temperature of grow out tank is the same as spawning tank. You may either pour the entire contents of spawning tank into grow out tank, or scoop several fry out at a time, counting how many fry you transfer as you go, if you’d like an idea of how many fry were originally in the spawn.

Growout tanks can be anywhere from 10-40ish gallons, depending on the size of the spawn. If your spawning tank was 10 gallons, this may be filled up and used as growout tank unless it is a big spawn (over 50 surviving fry after 2-3 weeks old), in which case larger is better. The females may generally stay together, while the males should be jarred when they begin showing aggression toward each other.

For ultimate growth, keep water in the growout tank between 85-88 degrees.

Test water in grow out tank daily. If any ammonia, do the required water change size to get the ammonia down to 0 ppm. To do water changes on fry tanks, use airline tubing (which may have the flow of water lessened even more by inserting a narrow stick such as a chopstick, into the end of the tubing). If using a larger siphon, place fine mesh across the opening. Remove 50% of the water you will be removing while vacuuming up debris on the bottom of the tank. Then remove the remaining 50% from the top of the tank using a clear cup. Refill the tank with treated water of the same temperature as the tank.

Many breeders recommend changing 50-70% of the water in the growout tank daily to prevent buildup of Growth Inhibiting Hormone (GIH).


Somewhere between 8 weeks and 3 months old, male fry will begin showing signs of aggression such as nipping at one another. This is the time to begin separating the male fry into their own containers/tanks i.e. jarring. Jars should be ¼ to ½ a gallon, or larger if you have space. You can lay sheets of plastic craft mesh over the tops of the containers rather than using the proper lids for ease of maintenance and feeding. Weight them down with something to prevent escapees. The other, more secure option is to have actual lids with a hole in them for feeding. Jars must have 100% of the water changed daily, especially if they are smaller containers. You may either separate all the males at the first signs of aggression between them, or separate them out individually as you see them become aggressors or start getting picked on themselves.


You may separate the females if you choose, and definitely take out any that show signs of being overly aggressive. A small amount of fin nipping is normal in a female grow out tank, so to guarantee no torn fins you may want to jar all the females.

Jars can be heated using reptile heat tape, heating the whole room to the appropriate temperature, or placing all the jars in a large tub of water that can be heated. “Card” bettas to be able to control when they see one another each day. For the tub of water heating option, plastic craft mesh can be used for carding.


Begin selling when they can be accurately sexed, as to avoid mistakenly sending a male instead of a female etc. Spawns can grow at varying rates depending on the breeder, so it is difficult to state a specific age at which they can be sold. 3-4 months is a ballpark for the minimum age.


Culling

Obvious flaws such as crooked spines, swim bladder disorder (do not overfeed in order to lessen the chances of) if it doesn’t go away

If many babies are having issues, feed less, raise temperature a little bit, possibly feed daphnia and see if it can be corrected.

Culling can mean giving to pet only homes, euthanizing as humanely as possible, feeding to other fish…

*CREDITS FOR INFORMATION WITH LINKS*
Websites:
Fishlore (Step by Step guide to breeding Bettas)
Modernfish (How To Breed Betta Fish: An Expert Guide To Successful Breeding)
japanesefightingfish (Breeding Betta Fish – Step-by-Step from Tank Setup to Breeding Conditions)

YouTube:
The Urban Fishkeeper
It's Anna Louise
Simply Betta
Creative Pet Keeping
Betta Nation
Dexter's World
 

grac3

how did you know i needed a guide for my friend who was looking into breeding them thanks so much!
 
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CatLaFae

how did you know i needed a guide for my friend who was looking into breeding them thanks so much!
I wouldn't take this at face value yet, I am still in the research phase and was hoping to get some feedback from people with experience before deciding that my "guide" was accurate XD Just a disclaimer haha. But yes, I think it's off to a good start at any rate and there is lots of potentially good information in there!
 
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MyFishAddiction

There is one on fishlore, and I would assume that since it's from here it would be a good guide. However, it was written in 2009, so it may be a little old.
 
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CatLaFae

There is one on fishlore, and I would assume that since it's from here it would be a good guide. However, it was written in 2009, so it may be a little old.
Thank you I read that over a few times and incorporated some of the info on it into my own guide, I just wanted to bring together as much good information from different sources as I could to make sure I have as thorough as possible of an understanding hehe. It's a great guide though!
 
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Coradee

Thank you I read that over a few times and incorporated some of the info on it into my own guide
please don’t forget to give credit if you used information from the Fishlore guide
 
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CatLaFae

please don’t forget to give credit if you used information from the Fishlore guide
I don't see an edit button, so I'll just post the credit here! These are sources I have been using for my information.

*CREDITS FOR INFORMATION WITH LINKS*
Websites:
Fishlore (Step by Step guide to breeding Bettas)
Modernfish (How To Breed Betta Fish: An Expert Guide To Successful Breeding)
japanesefightingfish (Breeding Betta Fish – Step-by-Step from Tank Setup to Breeding Conditions)

YouTube:
The Urban Fishkeeper
It's Anna Louise
Simply Betta
Creative Pet Keeping
Betta Nation
Dexter's World
 
Upvote 0

smee82

I don't see an edit button, so I'll just post the credit here! These are sources I have been using for my information.

*CREDITS FOR INFORMATION WITH LINKS*
Websites:
Fishlore (Step by Step guide to breeding Bettas)
Modernfish (How To Breed Betta Fish: An Expert Guide To Successful Breeding)
japanesefightingfish (Breeding Betta Fish – Step-by-Step from Tank Setup to Breeding Conditions)

YouTube:
The Urban Fishkeeper
It's Anna Louise
Simply Betta
Creative Pet Keeping
Betta Nation
Dexter's World

There is an edit button in the click down thingy at the bottom next to report button.
 
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CatLaFae

There is an edit button in the click down thingy at the bottom next to report button.
It's not showing up in the original post unfortunately, although I can see it on my most recent post on this thread... I guess maybe after some time passes the ability to edit a post is deactivated?
 
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smee82

It's not showing up in the original post unfortunately, although I can see it on my most recent post on this thread... I guess maybe after some time passes the ability to edit a post is deactivated?

I forgot about that. But yes theres a time limit on editing posts.
 
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Kribensis27

It's not showing up in the original post unfortunately, although I can see it on my most recent post on this thread... I guess maybe after some time passes the ability to edit a post is deactivated?
Yup, I'm usually unable to edit my posts after a few days.
 
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