Since these territorial fish tend to get aggressive with their same species,
especially with the same gender, you must set up a permanent tank to keep them
apart and prevent them from killing each other.
The ideal pieces of equipment for a proper betta fish tank are :
Two 5 to 10-gallon tank with lid for enough space to hide, but not too big
so they can't find each other. A 25-watt water heater that keeps a stable
temperature similar to their natural habitat
Sponge filter to keep the water clean. Make sure that the sponge doesn’t
create too much current to scatter the eggs
Air pump to draw water into the sponge filter
Some plastic wrap or styrofoam to create humidity
Add natural-looking moss and ferns to provide hiding areas
Insert removable tank divider to prevent the pair from fighting and to risk
Choosing the Beta Fish Breeding Pair
This is the most crucial part of successfully breeding a couple of betta fish.
Buy from a reputable breeder instead of a pet store even if they are more
expensive because breeders have better information about the age and
genetics of the fish. They select and maintain quality for themselves as
well as the customers.
Choose a pair between the age of 4 to 12 months. Bettas reproduce better
fry when they are young. Older betas often produce genetically weak and
Since you will need at least a month to get them acquainted to each other
and their environment, consider their age before you pair them.
Determining which betta to pick is another tricky challenge since the
males are aggressive and the females are picky about their territory and
Choosing the Perfect Breeding Pair
The female betta spies on the males to determine their suitability before
mating with them. This is because they have instincts to sense the best
Like the female bettas, carefully observe the fish before you select them.
Some points to look out for a while you pick the right betta pair:
Level of Movement: an active and energetic fish is a sign of good health.
Slow moving ones that are barely affected by sudden movement show
signs of parasitic infections or other diseases. It could also mean that they
have genetically transferrable poor immunity.
Colors: Bettas are known for their colorful body and fins. Not only
does the tone determine the quality of the breed but they are also
indicators of good health and genetics.
The female mating preference determined that red-colored males are
more attractive to the females than the blue.
Red pigment is an indication of sufficient carotenoids in the body which
signals the female that the male is a successful forager and has a healthy
immune system, therefore, makes a better mate.
Healthy Fins: Healthy male foragers have smooth and long fins without
scars or damage. A female is likely to pursue one without tainted fins
because it indicates that the male is a good fighter.
Creating Breeding Conditions
After you have built a suitable ground for each betta to swim and explore its
surroundings, the next essential step is to create a condition for breeding.
Start by feeding them live food such as brine shrimps, bloodworms,
roaches, and insects. If live food is unavailable, frozen food and freshly
killed insects can also be used as substitutes.
Live food should be fed for at least a week before introducing the bettas
so that they are familiar with their food and the conditions when they
After a week of live feeding the male and female in separate tanks, bring
the containers closer to each other, so each fish has a clear view of the
Betta Fish Breeding Signs to Look For
Make sure that they see and are aware of the other’s presence before
putting them together to prevent injuries.
To find out if the fish are showing signs of readiness to breed, there are
several signals you can see:
Indications from the male:
Flaring of the fins,
Making a nest and
Imitating the female’s position and rhythm.
Indications from the female:
Visible white egg tube behind the ventral fin
The appearance of vertical stripes on the body
May imitate the male’s movement
Moves with head held downwards
Introducing the Betta Fish for Pairing
Remove the separator when you see that the male has built a bubble nest.
Let the female swim freely to the male’s territory in the breeding tank and
keep an eye for signs of hostility.
Nibbling each other and chasing around is a typical trait that lasts for
several hours to over a week so do not panic.
Ensure that there are plenty of places for the female to hide in case there
is a threat.
Watch out for signs of injuries whenever you feed them and check them
regularly for normal signs of energy level and healthy coloration.
If the female destroys the bubble nest, remove her from the male and
restart the conditioning process and then reintroduce them.
If that happens again, your pair might not be compatible.
Letting the Betta Fish Mate
Once the fish are comfortable with each other and their environment, the
female will allow the male to catch her.
The male betta wraps its body around the female and strives to fertilize
until the female starts to drop eggs.
Once the female release its eggs, the male collects and places them on the
bubble nest that it built.
If you notice that the female is trying to eat the eggs, which is normal,
remove her from the breeding tank.
Sometimes the female betta also helps the male to nestle the eggs so make
sure you know what they are doing before removing it and placing her to
her original tank.
Caring for the Betta Fish Fry
The males should be left in the breeding tank along with the eggs and fed
small portions on alternate days.
It might not want to eat as frequently so make sure you remove leftover
food from the tank without disrupting the eggs before feeding fresh food
stock to the male.
Keep the tank light on throughout the day and night
Keep the filter off to avoid the current from disrupting the fry.
After the fry loses their yolk sac, and they can swim on their own, you can
relax a bit.
Feed them infusoria, baby shrimps, microworms and vinegar eels after a
The water tank should be kept clean and frequently changed at least twice
a week for the first two weeks, and the temperature should remain
Once the fry swims horizontally, remove the father into another tank and
watch the fry grow into beautiful fish within a few weeks!
Breeding Betta Fish is not for the beginner, but if you are up to it, the above guide will get you started on the right path. Like all tropical fish breeding, investing in the proper equipment and fish with great genetics gives you the best chances for success.
Feel free to share your tips on breeding Betta Fish below!