Breeding Betta Fish
How Old do Betta Fish Need to be Before Breeding?
The ideal breeding period is between 4 and 12 months of age. So choose young fish around 3 or 4 months if at all possible. You want to have your fish at least a month before breeding them.
How Many Babies (fry) Come from a Single Mating?
Well it can be quite a lot so be prepared! Most betta fish lay between 30 and 40 eggs, but some lay as much as 500!
Preparing for Breeding Betta Fish at Home
When breeding betta fish, get three tanks, two for housing each fish and one for breeding. If you get a tank with a divider you can get away with just 2 tanks. Cycle your tanks about a month before getting your fish for best results. Choose your breeding pair. Find high quality fish from a reputable resource. Your fish should be about the same size and age. It is best for the female to be slightly smaller, rather than larger.
It is important to note that most pet store betta fish are older than the ideal breeding age so a quality breeder is a better choice for finding a mating pair. Quality breeders can provide better information about genetics and other important background information on their fish while pet store fish tend to lack this information and you may end up with unhealthy or undesirable betta fish fry. Choose breeding exotic betta fish with the color and traits you want in your betta babies.
How to Set Up a Betta Fish Breeding Tank
Set up your breeding tank in a calm and quiet area of your home. Ideally the tank should be 10 gallons and have a removable divider. If you use a filter it should be a gentle one that will not disturb the bubble nest. Betta fish enjoy privacy during breeding so offer plenty of cover for them. Live or silk plants are a great option.
Rocks and other tank decor that doesn’t have rough edges are other options for romantic hideaways for your mating pair. There should also be something that floats on the top of the water to support the building of the bubble nest by the male betta fish. Some common choices are a piece of styrofoam or an almond leaf. The breeding tank should be 78 to 80 degrees fahrenheit. The bottom of the tank should be bare. The breeding tank is filled with 5 or 6 inches of water only when breeding betta fish.
Betta Fish Breeding Tips
- In order to condition your breeding pair, high quality food should be fed in small amounts 2 to 4 times per day. You can use live food like bloodworms or brine shrimp. Always raise live food yourself or purchase it from a reputable source. It can carry bacteria and parasites so always use with caution. If live food isn’t an option try frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp or bloodworms.
- After a week or 2 of conditioning, you can introduce your fish. Start slowly by having them in either a divided tank or separate tanks where they can see each other. Watch their behaviors. If they are both flaring and trying to attack each other, take a break for a while and try again later. If the male is showing off and the female is angling her head down you are on your way to a successful mating pair!
- If you are using a divider keep them separated and watch for the male to build a bubble nest (this can take 2 to 3 days). Turn off your filter and allow the female betta fish into the tank with the male. Keep a close eye on your bettas.
Turn in for part 2 of Breeding Betta Fish...where we get down to breeding business and discuss raising fry and what to do after breeding betta fish!
Buy a breeding pair at JV Betta!