Step by Step guide to breeding Bettas


At the moderators request I'm posting a guide to breeding Bettas...This is my personal opinion on how to breed Betta fish..Others may do things differently....


Here is a guide to Breeding Betta Fish:

I'll start with letting you know that Betta breeding is extremely time consuming and very expensive....Even if you somehow ended up with 100 live fry and sold them all you would probably not end up even breaking even as far as profit goes....So before encountering this difficult task of breeding decide why it is you want to breed Bettas in the 1st place....

The 1st and probably most important step in a successful breeding is going to be your stock...I highly frown upon people who get this whI'm that they want to breed their pet store Bettas...The reason this doesn't usually work is because you know nothing about the age and the genetics behind these fish...It is risky and a waste of time and hard work....People do not want to pay for a Veiltail Betta and have it shipped at the tune of $31.00 for something they can find at a local pet store.....

OK, let's assume you have purchased some good stock from a reputable breeder and you are ready to go.....The most common mistake I've seen people make is their spawning set up...Somehow they think it is OK to breeder their new Bettas in a 10 gallon (or less) tank that Daddy has been living in.....It WON'T work! Trust me on this one! Betta fry are extremely fragile and need immaculate water conditions and they can not be raised in a tank with gravel......

Let's now move on to the set up.....If you really want your spawn to work you must follow these few simple steps....Breeding is not a freak show at a circus...They demand their privacy in order to spawn......Here are the list of things you'll need:

A 10 gallon clear plastic Sterilite tub or an empty 10 gallon tank with a lid and light...

A 25 watt heater

A sponge filter and air pump

LOT'S of Christmas moss

Indian almond leaf (only available online)

Plastic wrap

A light for above the tank

2 well conditioned Bettas (preferably sibblings)

You will start with filling your tank/tub up with treated water..I fill my spawn tanks up with 3-4 inches of water NO more than that! I place the heater at an angle and set it on 80 degrees....I place the Indian almond leaf at both corners of the tank....This softens the water and also provides a place foe the male to bubble nest as they float on top....If you can't get the Almond leaf use a Styrofoam cup cut in 1/2 taped to the side of the tank...Taping it to the front is the best place if you want to view the breeding....Add your moss and let the heater run all night before placing your pair in the tub......You want to make sure the heater is running steady at 80 degrees...

Now your heater is at a safe temp and you are ready to glass your pair....You are 1st going to place your female in a glass hurricane globe (open top) and set her into the tank....Make sure the water level in the tank is below the top of her globe.....Next, add the male and let him swim free in the tank....You will notice him circling around her and flaring...This is normal....He may even bite the glass...He should continue this behavior for an hour or so and then swim away and start building a nest under the cup or almond leaf....He'll dart back and forth between her and the nest for hours....I leave her in the globe that night with NO lights and go to bed....


The next morning I release the female....I then cover the top of the tank with clear plastic wrap to create moisture and keep the heat in.....You want your spawn tank dripping with humidity....This aids in the hatching of the eggs and development of the fry....

The nest few hours are going to get ugly! You are going to see a lot of chasing and biting.....After a few hours of this you should notice the female checking out his nest.....She'll swim over to take a look and then dart back to her hiding place.....Once she feels his nest is ready for breeding she will swim over and start rubbing her body and tail against the males side....She will be displaying vertical bars on her sides....Most females will now assume a submissive position and allow the male to get close to her...If at anytime the male is getting so rough you become worried about your girl be killed TAKE her OUT!

Female displaying vertical bars she is ready to spawn....


Now for the actual spawning....The male will wrap himself around the female literally bending his body in half and squeezing her tightly.....The female will look like she is dead but trust me she's not....After several tight squeezes (usually about 3-5 minutes apart) you will start to see her drop her eggs with each squeeze....After the embrace as they call it she will float lifelessly to the bottom of the tank ...After several seconds she will wake up and start looking for eggs....During the time she is lifeless, the male is already searching for eggs and taking them back up to the bubble nest inserting them into the bubbles....This process goes on for hours.....It may last up to 3 hours depending on how long the female will allow him to wrap her.....

This is the embrace....YEP, that's your sweet little girl in there!


Here is a female before and after a breeding...Not exactly what you want to put your beloved pet girl through!


When the female has had enough of him or is no longer releasing eggs she will swim away from the nest and go back to her hiding spot.....This is the time to take her out of the tank and put her is a warm, clean tank of her own to recover...

Now it is time to turn the light on and LEAVE it on 24 hours a day for at least the 1st week....For the nest 24 to 36 hours you are going to notice the male spending 24 hours a day tending to the nest....He will not be eating at this time so don't even bother feeding him...This will only pollute the tank with uneaten food....

Fertile eggs in the nest..


After about 24 hours the eggs start to hatch...You will see little tails hanging down from the nest...Usually 100's of them! They will start to fall from the nest and the male frantically picks them up and reinserts them back into the bubbles....This goes on for another day or 2 before they are finally free swimming in the horizontal position....Once the fry are free swimming the male can now be removed and placed into a clean warm tank to recover...Also make sure and feed him now....

24 hour old nest...Those are tails hanging down!


After the male is removed it is time to start feeding the hungry fry....You will find this information on the raising fry sticky page.....

Once again this is going to be a very time consuming venture and it will cost a LOT of money for supplies, fish, set up, separate 1/2 gallon tanks for the male fry when they are 3 months old...I can't even begin to tell you what I spend on food when I am growing out a spawn!

Here is my set up....I found it to be much easier to have a whole separate room set up for my spawning growing fry....Because remember, once the fry are 2 weeks old you are going to be doing daily water changes.....Sound like fun yet?


This is what your 10 gallon spawn tank will look like if it is the perfect environment for breeding...The amber color is from the natural almond leaf...Not exactly a "show tank" now is it!


This 55 gallon tank below is used for the girls when they are growing out....The males are in there too until they start acting like (well males) lol


If you read this far down you can figure out what the time and financial cost is by doing the math.......I have well over $2000.00 invested in my 1st spawn alone!

Good luck and keep it fun!


Thank you all for the compliments! I enjoyed doing it for the forum..

I decided to share a short video of a spawn I did a couple of days ago...This shows the damage that most often occurs during a spawn...This is my blue BF pair spawning...This pair would NOT spawn with the light on so excuse the poor quality video...



Almond leaf helps with the water quality and yes, it helps reduce stress to the spawning pair.....My females always help insert eggs into the nest but the minute spawning is finished she must come out or it will become an all you can eat buffet lol....

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