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majerah1 07-10-2011 02:20 PM

Breeding bettas
Thought I would write a how to for spawning betta splendens for those curious about the process.

I must first inform you all,if you do decide to breed,take note they can have upwards of 100 fry.If you are lucky enough to have all 100 grow up,and even luckier to have them all male,then you are looking at 100 jars to hold the juvinile testosterone machines in.So make sure you discuss with a local pet shop,friends or whoever,to line up possible homes for the fish.Also take in account the money it takes to breed these fish.You must condition the pair,have live foods,and jars for the juviniles(more on the foods and conditioning in a minute)Flakes will not do for this project.

If you have decided to proceed,then read on.

Picking the pair.
So you will want to pick a pair for your project.The pair I will be spawning this time will be an unrelated pair,consisting of a red dragon halfmoon male and a blue halfmoon female.The goal for this(as you need a goal to breed,dont just fall headfirst in this stuff.)is to see the colors I get,and to improve the finnage on the males side.He is of shortfinned genes,which has his anal fin extremely long compared to his caudal.If I were to show him,he would get points taken from him because of this.So the female has nice even finnage.Both have a great topline.
Here is the pair:
Better pic of the female later.
Conditioning the pair.
You will want to set aside two weeks for this.This will let the female get full of eggs,and the male to get enough energy to raise the fry.Also it will help to let them get to know each other.You will need to feed them at the very least twice a day,of high quality foods(remember that money I was talking about?Here is where some of it will go.)I feed mine as a staple,atisons Pro.this is a high quality food.Another food fed is frozen bloodworms or live mosquito larvae.Daphnia and grindal worms are good too,as is fresh hatched BBS.
Two to three small meals a day for two weeks,with the pair beside each other.The female will get vertical bars(if shes a dark colored fish,light ones are very hard to tell.)and the male will dance and flare for her to impress her.
During this time you will need to set up a spawaning tank for the pair.
Tank setup
The norm is a ten gallon,filled with a few inches of water.You will not want gravel in here,as the eggs will fall down under them and the pair cant get to them.An adjustable heater is a plus as well.The temp will need to stay constant for them.86-90 is perfect.I prefer 86 myself,but some like it hotter.Live plants will give shelter to the fry and the female.Floating plants give the male a nest spot,as does a styro cup.This time though i am using something totally different!
Pics to follow in the next post of my new setup.

Ajax 07-10-2011 06:40 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Looking forward to the rest of this thread!

Scuff 07-10-2011 06:59 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Glad to see we've got another betta expert around here. I think the site was lacking one for a while.

Ajax 07-10-2011 07:44 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Hasn't Bev been the betta go to girl for a while now ... ?

majerah1 07-10-2011 08:12 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
As you can see its not quite half full.Also instead of the styrofoam cup,I am using a turtle dock.He may like it,and he may not,who knows.
Also note the live plants.This is for the health of the tank.Some use a sponge filter,but I dont always do this.However,you can if you want.If you do,have a control valve and keep it down to about one bubble per second or so,or you will disrupt the nest.
This time I will be placing the female in a floating livebearer trap.I sometimes just put her in,and sometimes I use a hurricane glass.

Tomorrow I will have the pair in the tank and will explain more to the process.
For note though,as I forgot it above.You will need live food of some sort for the fry to eat once they become freeswimming.Many use microworms,I use vinegar eels.From there I move onto the fresh BBS,then to the grindals,and start to wean them onto solid foods,at about two weeks,depending on growth.

Questions so far?

majerah1 07-11-2011 01:23 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Ok so day two,and the pair was introduced to the tank.
Ba-Ul exploring the tank
and the female in the breeder trap.She is clearly stressed from the confinement.
Some will leave the femaele in confinement for a day before release,which I suggest,but Ive done this before and so I know what to look for,lol.
What to look for,is vertical breeding bars(as mentioned above) from the female and the male to dance for her.There will be chasing and nipping,this is normal.You want the female to swim with her head pointed down.
Heres a few pics of the male,flared out for the female.
and the female,submissive.
So once he builds a nest I will show more pics.This can take up to two or three days.Be sure to keep an eye on them for excessive violence.You do not want a female that bosses the male around or is too eager.She can very easily rip him to shreds,as the short fins giver her the advantage of speed.Also look for lip locking and pummeling into the bottom or sides of the tank,or a female who bombards the nest.These are signs they will not spawn,and you should remove them ASAP.

theguppyman 07-11-2011 01:34 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Nice, Keep us posted.

majerah1 07-12-2011 10:07 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
Day three of this endeavor,and the female is showing fin damage and the male is making a nest.She has been going to him,and I will at least try to get a few pics of them under the nest and possibly a video as well.

majerah1 07-13-2011 02:32 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
As it sometimes happens,you will not end up with eggs.This time was the males first try and he got way too frustrated with the female he turned on her.Therefore,I will pull this female and rest her,and try a second sibling of hers in a few days.
In this case Ill just keep them in the spawn tank and clean it as if there were fry and let them pair get to know each other this way.

When you do pull the female,for whatever reason,make sure her tank is clean,warm and medded if need be.I will be housing her back in her container,somewhere quiet away from the other fish.Ill add salt to her tank and keep an eye on her.Fin rot can set in quite easily at this time so be prepared for that.

snail 07-14-2011 07:03 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
very good thread to keep going, thanks

majerah1 07-24-2011 09:48 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
Thought since I have hangers I would update this a little.Not the dragon pair,but some wilds who spawn the same way.

Once they begin wrapping,the male will place the eggs in the nest.After they finish spawning,the male will chase the female off,and he will tend the eggs himself,picking them up and moving them around.This keeps the from fungussing over.He will also eat any that are unfertilized,to keep the good ones from becoming fungussed.
Here you can see the male and the clutch of eggs.The male is clearly stressed,as he hates the camera,lol.The female is stressed too.The male is on the left,female on the right.
Better shot of the eggs.The bubbles help hold the eggs in place.If any start to fall the male will throw a few more bubbles up there.

A few days later the eggs will begin to hatch and this is when the father has little time to rest.The fry will hang vertically from the nest and continue to fall down,trying to swim about.The male must pick them back up.This is a never ending job for the entire time the hang from the nest,which is a day or o,depending on the temperature of the tank.
Fry hanging from the nest.Note the little tails!

Once they become free swimming,you can remove the male and let him rest.The fry will then need to be fed on live foods for the first four weeks or so,gradually introducing them to powdered,then pelleted.

snail 07-24-2011 10:24 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
sooo cute!

SuckMyCichlids 11-16-2011 12:33 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
do you keep both of the betta's in the breeder box the whole time the fry are in the bubble nest? thanks for the info, i'd love to give it a shot as my girlfriend has a few bettas

majerah1 11-16-2011 05:35 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
Actually she jumped ship shortly after so kept me from removing her.I didnt want them in the breeder,I was trying to introduce them to the tank.They had other plans heh.

Now the pair have a 20 gallon to them selves and tons of babies.They are wilds though so do not try that with the long finned or domestic betta splendens.Mahachai are much more docile a fish.

heathermoler 12-31-2011 02:35 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
I am very interested in breeding bettas. I have a male crowntail now but I'm not sure what female to get and from where or what supplies I might need to start out. any advice would be great! This thread has already helped me a lot! :)

FishDude 09-30-2012 12:47 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
When the female is ready she usually has vertical bars on her sides. I know the 1 I used did.

majerah1 09-30-2012 08:19 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
The darker females, yes. In a lighter colored lady its not always easy to see bars so you will have to go by the actions of the fish :)

Tralyn 10-02-2012 11:46 AM

Re: Breeding bettas
Wow, this was really informative. I was thinking about breeding but now that I read this, there is no way I'd be able to pull it off. Maybe I'll just offer my orange crowntail male as a stud, haha.

PyxelPanda 03-23-2017 07:29 PM

Re: Breeding bettas
Currently I don't have a Betta (I used to, and I REALLY want one). Betta breeding is very fascinating, and is really interesting to experience. I'm very excited to see your fry.
Good luck with your fish keeping,

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