Breeding Betta Splendens
So you think you are ready to breed the betta. This can take alot of time and even make you angry at times, but it can be VERY rewarding when it pays off.
10 gallon tank is ideal for spawning... people use anything form 5 gallon upwards. Bare bottomed is best.
Two suitably matched and healthy fish
A chimney of some sort so male can see female without causing damage... 2 ltr bottle with top cut off works well or a breeding trap
Plenty of plants, pvc pipe, flowerpots.. anything that will provide cover for the female.
In the UK you will need a heater... 28-30 degrees is a good spawning temperature.
A sponge fry filter for once the eggs hatch.
Something for the male to nest under... floating plants, half a strofoam cup, bit of bubblewrap
Most importantly you need to know you are breeding fry that you can find homes for and you also will need containers to house the males as they start to mature.
1. Pick a male and female that you would like to breed, make sure they are equal in size, so you don't run into any problems along the way.
2. Once you have choose the pair, you MUST condition the pair for atleast 2 weeks. Plenty of live foods and well fed. Once in spawn tank they can go up to a week without any food at all so you need them in top health.
3. Keep the filter off to start with so the current does not destroy the nest. Add the male betta to the breeding tank first. You can add the female in her chimney so she's visible to the male, MAKE SURE THEY CAN'T GET TO EACH OTHER.
4. Now it is up to yourself to you to know if they are ready to spawn, the male should be making a bubble nest, and coming up to the female and flaring and swimming back to his nest. The female will develop vertical bars on her body, this is difficult to see on lighter colored fish. Often she will swim with her nose tilted to floor.
5. If she is displaying the above and there is a good sized nest let her out, and the chase is on. You must be ready for the male to nip and bit her fins, but this is normal. If everything goes well she should swim over to the nest, and inspect it. If she is happy she will do alittle dance and let the male get close and personal . However if after a few hours the male is being overly agressive and the female is hiding from him then put female back into chimney and try again later.
6. When both parties are ready to breed the female Betta will position herself under the nest and the male Betta will wrap his body around the female. The fish will appear paralyzed for a short period of time. This embrace will be repeated several times until the female Betta has expelled all her eggs. It can take anything from half an hour to several hours.
7.Once the pair have finished spawning remove the female, right away as she could eat the eggs or get attacked. You will know they are finished as the male will chase the female again and she will try to hide.
8.Your male Betta will now tend to the eggs on his own for the next 24-36 hours, catching them and placing them back in the nest as they fall out
9.After around 4 days the baby Betta fry will become free swimming and your male will be struggling to keep them all near the nest. The male should be removed at this time.