Bright, vibrant and eye-catching. Betta fishes are always high in demand in pet shops thanks to their gorgeous looks. Also known as Siamese fighting fish, they are a native to Thailand's Maokong basin. Consequently, breeding Betta fish to create a profitable venture of your own is definitely a great idea. At the same time, however valuable it may seem, breeding them can be quite a tedious task. But not anymore!
Betta males are usually considered to be quite aggressive, and hence, during their mating, there's a dire need of extra caution. So if you observe the process with proper discretion, results could be quite a bliss.
The baby fishes are called fry, just to mention. Before we move on to the equipment and other details of raising Betta fry, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don't plan on vacations during the period of breeding Betta fish as they need constant care and monitoring
- Be prepared to invest in the process as raising Betta fry requires a lot of equipment.
- Prepare a quiet space with lots of privacy for setting up the tanks. This is because they prefer a peaceful environment for their breeding process.
Steps for breeding Betta fish:Breeding Betta fish requires lots of commitment and keen observation as well. So carefully read the step by step guide given below for raising beta fry successfully:
Step 1. Setting up a permanent Betta tank
Before you get a pair for breeding Betta fish, you need to set up a permanent home for your Betta pair. It is usually advised to create separate tanks for male and female Betta fishes and an independent tank for the mating process as well. Each of these tanks should have the capacity of holding 5 gallons of water at least. Along with tanks, you'll need the following equipment for the tanks :
- live plants
- A removable glass divider
- Aquarium heater( set to 80 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the heater in the breeding tank along with styrofoam to create a more comfortable breeding environment. Further, carefully place the live plants in the breeding tank as well so that the female has places to hide during the mating process.
Step 2. Buying a good breeding pair
After you have settled up the tanks for your beta fishes its time for you to select the beta fishes for breeding. To choose a breed, you have two options, either get beta fishes from a pet shop or a breeder. However, buying from a breeder is highly advised as you'll know better about the breeds of Betta fish. Also, they'll be quite a useful source of information as well. While buying a pair of beta fish keep in mind the following things that will ensure successful breeding:
- While choosing fishes for breeding, ensure that both males and females are energetic and have no signs of fungus and infection.
- Fishes who are 12-14 months old are considered to be perfect for mating as they can create healthy offsprings.
- Further, while choosing males for the breeding process get fishes with bright colors. Female Betta fishes favor bright-colored males. Thus the mating process will be more relaxed and ensure healthy Betta fry.
Step 3. Conditioning the Bettas for breeding
After you have brought a beautiful pair of Betta fish, it's time for you to prepare them for mating. Let your fishes settle into the new environment for at least a month so that they get used to their new environment. Also, feed them properly, and once they have settled into their environment its time to get ready for the real action!
Step 4. Preparing the breeding tank
To prepare the breeding tank, fill it up with 3-5 inches of water and place a live plant in it. Now set the aquarium heater to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it for at least 24 hours. Now to start breeding Betta fish put a divider in the tank and place male and female fish on each side of the tank for breeding.
Now, after you have placed the fishes on either side of the tank, you'll notice that the male fish will start spreading his fins and showing off to attract the female. He'll also turn into a deeper color as well. Further, if your male Betta seems excited and aggressive don't fret, it's completely natural. While the male Betta shows of his looks to charm his female counterpart, he'll also make a water bubble nest. Its an overnight process, and you need to keep the divider between the fishes until the male creates a bubble nest.
After he has created the bubble nest, you can remove the divider and introduce the female. This part can get a little aggressive and dangerous, so you need to keep a close eye on the pair. In the beginning, the male will try to attack the female and might bruise her fins. However, there's nothing to worry as long as the female's life isn't in danger. If you notice the female fish resisting the male or destroying the bubble, you'll have to get a new Betta fish couple.
When you notice that the female has opened up to the male Betta fish, and are swimming together, you are almost halfway through. Eventually, they'll embrace a few times to fertilize the eggs. After a few embraces, the female will switch into a zombie mode. But don't panic she isn't dead!
While the female lays eggs, the male Betta fish will collect them and put them in the bubble nest for taking care of them.
step 5. Remove the female Betta
This vital step for breeding Betta fish might sound a bit weird. After the female Betta has laid eggs, you must remove her from the breeding tank so that she has time to recover from laying eggs. Also, sometimes, female fishes could start eating their eggs. So its best to remove them from the breeding tank as soon as possible to ensure safety.
step 6. Taking care of the fry
Now the male Betta will take care of the Betta fry until they hatch properly. He also might eat up the unfertilized eggs. Moreover, you might consider offering the beta male little food during this time. He might not have any appetite in the beginning but keep giving him a small amount of food daily while he is taking care of the eggs. The fry will take a minimum of three days to hatch. In the first few days, they'll hang with their tail upside down and will gradually take a horizontal swimming position. After they have hatched and are swimming freely in water, take out the beta male and put him in a separate tank as well.
step 7. Nurse the fry
Now, after they have hatched and are swimming, you must keep providing them proper food daily to ensure their growth and survival. Start by feeding the infusoria in the beginning and gradually include micro worms in their diet as well.
Also, keep changing the water of the tank as well to ensure a clean environment for their growth.
Safety measures while breeding Betta fishes
Betta fishes are fragile creatures, and breeding them can be quite a challenge. Without proper safety measures, Betta fish breeding can be quite a tough challenge. So keep in mind the following points to ensure profitable Betta fish breeding:
- Catching them young is the key. Therefore, start breeding the pair while they are young.
- Protein is an essential nutrient for young fry if you want them to proliferate.
- Once matured, reduce feeding them with plentiful food like blood worms as this can slow down digestion.
- It's essential to maintain a constant temperature in the breeding tank. So, make sure you don't overheat the tanks.
- Always read directions for the use of chemicals or drugs before administering it.
- If during mating, the female destroys the bubble nest or doesn't show any vertical line, this might indicate that she isn't interested in the mating process. In such a situation it's best to get yourself a new pair of Betta fishes.
- Always choose a breed whose genetic information is available or else the breeding can't lead to sick offsprings who can't survive.
- Choose a private environment for the breeding process to increase the chances of beta fish mating.
- For successful breeding, keep a constant check on the temperature, feeding, quality of the water, mating partners, and the environments.
- Last but not least, make sure the fry is in good condition and have grown fully before giving them away.
Conclusion:It is crucial to do meticulous research before starting the breeding of Betta fishes. Also, note that beta fishes are carnivores in nature. Therefore proper attention must be given to them to know if they are aggressive or not. Although breeding Betta fishes is quite simple and beginners friendly. However, it is time-consuming and requires commitment. Get your young Betta fishes and breed them to fries!
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