Betta – breeding and rearing

The breeding of Bettas requires patience, space and good preparation. With the necessary conditions the breeding can be successful. In the following basic points of breeding are described.

Necessary conditions

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Several tanks are needed for breeding. For mating, it has proven to be best to prevent visual contact of the parent animals a few days before reunion. During this time, both are fed a diet rich in fat and protein. Then the male is placed in a breeding tank with an edge length of at least 40 cm. He should now have visual contact with the female, which however continues to swim in a separate tank.

In the breeding tank, floating plants and small caves give the female the opportunity to hide during courtship. The male Betta likes to attach the foam nest to large-leaved plants for a better grip. A floating polystyrene plate on the water surface can also be offered for this purpose. It is not allowed to use a substrate, because falling eggs get stuck in the gravel, rot and contaminate the water.

Water values are of secondary importance in the breeding of Betta, as long as they do not go to extremes. More important are a calm water surface, a heater, the water level and a cover over the pool. The following values are considered optimal for breeding:

– PH-value: 5 – 7-
total hardness: 5-15-
water level: 10 -20 cm-
temperature: 28 degrees

Courtship behavior

The male Betta drives the female during the courtship display sometimes violently through the aquarium. It flutters with its fins and tries to lure the female to its prepared nest with wiggly movements. When the female is ready to spawn, bright vertical stripes appear on the body.

Spawning behaviour

The male embraces the female during mating and brings the two genital openings together. After some sham mating follows the correct mating, where the female drops 1 – 15 fertilized eggs during spawning rigidity. The male collects them and brings them to the foam nest. Further mating follows. If the female does not drop any more eggs, she is driven away by the male. Therefore it should be taken out of the breeding tank for safety reasons. In the end, the foam nest contains on average 50 to 200 eggs.

Breeding care and feeding

With Betta , the male takes over the brood-care. If eggs or just hatched young fish fall out of the nest, the male collects them and brings them back. The young fish hatch after a few days. At first they feed on the egg yolk. About 3 days after hatching the fry swim free. Now the male should be taken out of the breeding tank and the young should be fed twice a day. Depending on their size the following food can be used:

– Liquid feed-
Dust feed-
Artemia nauplii-

Rearing of young fish

The water temperature is gradually reduced to 24 – 25 degrees. The cover protects the young fish from inhaling cold air and thus from diseases. A slight movement of the water surface helps to distribute the food in the tank. In this way every fish gets the same amount of food. The water is changed about every 3 days.
From the first signs of rivalry the fish must be separated. With a length of about 4 cm the Betta has reached spawning maturity.

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