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Betta fish can be bred.
Siamese fighting fish, or bettas, are a wonderful hobby.It's not something to be taken lightly.It can be rewarding if you have the time, resources, knowledge, and commitment that breeding bettas demands.
Step 1: It is important to learn as much as possible.
It's important to know as much as you can about the animal you're trying to breed.Research betta care and breeding.There are many books and websites.If most survive, you could end up caring for more than 500 betta fish.You need to know what you want to take away from the experience.Are you interested in genetics, breeding for show, or supplying a local pet store?Are you in love with bettas and want to take your hobby to the next level?It takes a lot of time, space, and money to breed for show or supply.Due to the high start-up and supply costs, it is very difficult to make a profit breeding bettas, so this should not be your goal for some time.
Step 2: Put your permanent tanks in place.
You need to bring your breeding pair home when you are ready to try breeding.In Set Up a Betta Tank, you can see how to set up two tanks.If you want to bring home fish, be sure to cycle the water in the tanks.
Step 3: A breeding pair is needed.
Bettas breed best when they are young, so if you find a good one online or in your area, you will have the most success.If you can find a breeder in your area, they can be a great source of information.If the first pair doesn't work out, get two pairs and make sure the male and female are the same size.You don't want to breed pet store betta fish as they are usually severely inbred and have health problems.
Step 4: Allow them to settle in.
If you want your bettas to adapt to their environment, you should have them for a few months.Males breed best when they are no more than 14 months old.When you have a lot of free time, plan to breed them.It will take at least a few hours every day for more than 2 months to care for the male and female and their young.Make sure you don't go on any vacations, business trips, or high-stress events.
Step 5: Your breeding tank needs to be set up.
The breeding tank should be 5–10 gallons (18.9–37.9 L) and be equipped with a divider, a few hiding places, and a heater set to around 80 F.The eggs will get lost when they fall to the bottom of the breeding tank.Only fill the tank with 5 to 6 inches of water, and set it up where there are few distraction, such as other fish, bright colors and human activity.
Step 6: When you are ready to breed, start feeding live food.
Live brine shrimp or bloodworms are the best bet, but other worms, crickets, roaches, and other insects will also work.It's a good idea to raise these yourself or purchase them from a pet store or breeder to avoid the dirt and chemicals that wild insects could be carrying.If there is no live food, you can try frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms.
Step 7: Start raising food.
You will need a supply of very small live food to feed betta fry when they are ready.Start now to make sure you have a good supply in a few weeks.The best food is probably microworms.Baby brine shrimp can be fed, but only in moderation, as too much may cause swim bladder disorder.
Step 8: The pair is introduced.
If the breeding pair has been eating live food for a week or two, you are ready to introduce your bettas.The male and female should be moved so they can see each other.You can either put their tanks next to each other or on opposite sides of the tank divider.It is important that they are able to see each other before being put together.A clear plastic cup or oil lamp chimney is used by some breeders to introduce females to males.The female should only be introduced for a few hours each day, as she is being contained in a very small space.Allow them to watch each other for a few days.Some breeders separate the pair and then introduce them for a few more days before moving on to the next step.
Step 9: They should be observed their behavior.
If the bettas seem interested in one another, watch them.The male will show off his fins and swim around.The female will angle her head down submissively and display vertical bars on her body.Aggressive displays are normal, but if they are trying to attack one another through the divider, do not put them together.It's best to separate them and try again later, or try a different pair of betta.It would be better if you waited and watched the betta fish fight.
Step 10: The divider needs to be removed.
A large bubble nest will take 1-2 days to build once your male is ready to breed.When this happens, turn off the filter and let the female go into the tank, but keep an eye on the pair.The male will probably chase her around and bully her.If neither fish's life is in danger, this is ok.It may take several hours or days for this to happen.Check on the pair regularly to prevent serious injuries and make sure there are plenty of hiding places for the female.
Step 11: Nature should be allowed to take its course.
They will embrace when the male gets the female under his bubble nest.It may take some time to produce eggs.The female will go into a zombie-like state when the white eggs fall to the ground.The male will scoop them up and put them in the nest.Some females will help with this once they recover, but others will eat the eggs, so watch carefully and remove her if she is eating them.The female will stop releasing eggs eventually.
Step 12: The female betta needs to be removed.
The male will bully the female once she is done releasing eggs.Scoop her out and put her in her tank.Maroxy can help her fins heal.It's a good idea to treat the breeding tank with Maroxy to prevent the fungus from killing the eggs.
Step 13: The male should be left in the tank until the fry can swim.
This will be three days after hatching.The male will not be fed during this time.The male is more likely to eat the eggs and fry if this is not done.A small amount of food will be given to him by other breeders.If you choose to feed him, do not be alarmed if he does not eat right away, but continue to offer the food, and gently remove un eaten food with a turkey baster.Keep the tank light on, but keep the filter off, to prevent the current from disturbing the fry.
Step 14: Wait for fry to hatch.
The male will replace any that fall when the fry hang from the bubble nest.The fry will swim away from the nest after a few days.The fry will not be able to eat on their own before this.
Step 15: Carefully remove the male from the tank.
He can return to his usual feeding schedule.Adding some Maroxy will help him heal.
Step 16: Feed the fry.
Feed the fry a small amount of live microworms after you remove the male.If you want to see how much is eaten, feed twice a day.If the fry still have food when it's time for the next feeding, you can skip it.Cut back on the portions if you see a lot of dead microworms.Microworms and Infusoria are small, living food that will feed the fry for their first week of life.Baby Brine Shrimp are easy to hatch and are the easiest to control how much to feed, but feeding too much will result in swim bladder disorder.
Step 17: The fry should be given time to grow.
Keep the fry warm and cover the tank to prevent drafts.Continue to get more and more food.The fry will need to be moved to a larger tank when they grow up.If you see large numbers dying each day, you probably have a problem because not all fry will survive the first few weeks.Check temperature, chemical levels, and consider the possibility of treating infections.When the fry are 1.5 - 2 weeks old, turn on the filter, but restrict the flow with a gang valve.When the fry are two weeks old, begin performing small water changes every few days to keep the tank clean and free of dead food, but use a gentle siphon or turkey baster to prevent injuries, and add clean water very slowly.The tank light can be turned off at night.Slowly increase the flow of the filter and watch fry to make sure they are strong enough to swim against the current.
Step 18: The fry should be placed in grow-out tanks.
By the time the fry are two weeks old, you should have a 20 gallon tank.The temperature and water in the tank should be the same as what the fry are used to.One slip up could cause them to die.If you fill a half-filled five or 10 gallon tank, you can move them when they are 4-5 weeks old.
Step 19: Fry off live food.
You can gradually switch the fry to frozen and then freeze-dried and pellet food when they are about a month old.Make sure the food is small enough to fit in their mouths.Wean them off the live food slowly by offering small amounts.Remove food that is not eaten.They will eat the pellets if the fry are put in the tank.The betta fry will eat them too.
Step 20: There are two males.
It is time to remove the male fry from the tank when they start fighting.If suddenly isolated, they can become depressed and be placed in individual tanks.The males can be left with the females until they become aggressive.Some males will refuse to eat the first day or two, so try feeding them live food.Continue to separate the male and aggressive fish.In the next few days and weeks you will want to begin isolating the males with opaque dividers as they will try to attack each other in adjacent tanks.
Step 21: The future of your spawn is up to you.
You should start contacting potential buyers if you are selling your fry.You can choose the best fish for future breeding or take pictures to send to buyers if you choose to.If you want to create a genetic line, you need to choose the best few fish from each spawn to continue breeding and sell or give away the others, or you will find yourself with more bettas than you can possibly take care of.
Step 22: Sexing young Bettas.
Sometimes experienced breeders accidentally put two males together.Young males have short fins.Men flare at each other.Females can be just as aggressive as males.Eggs are released from the egg spot on the belly of a female.If you jar a Betta and it blows a nest, it's a male.Some females blow bubble nest, so be sure to double-check.
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