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Betta Fish Breeding 101: From Courtship to Caring for Fry

Breeding Betta fish isn’t only a fascinating hobby but also an art that has been practiced for centuries.

By selectively breeding Betta fish with desirable traits, breeders can create an incredible array of vibrant colors and unique fin shapes that make these fish so popular. But breeding Betta fish isn’t just about putting two fish together and hoping for the best. It takes careful planning, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of Betta fish genetics and behavior to create stunning and healthy offspring.

In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the world of Betta fish breeding. From selecting the right breeding pairs to caring for the fry, we’ll cover all the essentials you need to know to successfully breed Betta fish.

Let’s dive in and discover the beauty and artistry of this ancient practice!

Understanding Your Goals, Resources, and Plans

When it comes to breeding Bettas, everyone has their own unique reasons for doing so. Some breed for the purpose of showcasing their fish, while others do it to discover new color and pattern combinations. There are also those who simply want to gain experience.

Before embarking on a breeding venture, it’s important to first consider your goals and resources. Do you have the time and financial means to care for the Bettas and their offspring? Additionally, you should determine what you plan to do with the resulting offspring.

It’s important to know that breeding Bettas can be costly, but you can reduce expenses by being creative. Rather than buying new tanks or jars, consider purchasing used ones or repurposing plastic containers and drink bottles. Regardless of your approach, you’ll still need to acquire the necessary equipment, food supplies, and medications.

Required Supplies for Breeding Bettas

  • Two separate tanks, one for the male and one for the female. The tank size can vary depending on your budget, but a minimum of 5 gallons is recommended to start with.
  • A 10-15 gallons tank for Betta breeding
  • A 20-gallon or larger grow-out tank
  • An adjustable heater
  • Fry food
  • Half to one-gallon jars for the fry (1cm in size), and it’s cheaper to buy them in bulk. If not, prepare around 100-300 jars in advance.

Note: Make sure you cycled the tanks before taking your breeding pair home. If you’re not sure how to set up the Betta tank, you can check our dedicated guide here.

Recommended Optional Equipment and Supplies

  • Aquarium filter
  • Live plants, silk plants, or caves
  • Glass chimney or jar (for a female Betta to the male Betta introduction)
  • Indian Almond Leaves (IAL) and medicines

Understanding Betta Genetics and Choosing the Right Breeding Pair

Each Betta fish inherits genes, or alleles, that control its traits. A trait may be visible or hidden, depending on whether it’s recessive or dominant. The physical traits that a Betta fish displays are called its phenotype, while the genes it carries are called its genotype.

When two Betta fish breed, each parent contributes one allele to their offspring, and this is where dominant and recessive alleles come in. A dominant allele only requires one copy to be visible in the offspring’s phenotype, while a recessive allele requires two copies.

When discussing genetic traits, typically a two-letter code is used – capital letters for dominant traits and lowercase letters for recessive traits.

Punnett Square is an exercise that can be used to predict what proportion of offspring may display certain traits. Although it’s not always accurate since many traits are controlled by several genes, it works well enough for certain traits, such as Melano, Elephant Ear, and Double Tail, which are recessive traits.

Now, let’s look at some examples of Betta fish breeding experiments:

Example 1: Red male x Blue female

In this example, the male has one copy of the red color allele (R) and one copy of the blue color allele (r). The female has two copies of the blue color allele (rr).

When these two fish are bred, the offspring will inherit one allele from each parent.

  • RR (red)
  • Rr (red)
  • rr (blue)

To fill in the boxes, you simply write one allele from the top row and one allele from the left column in each box. The possible combinations are:


As a result, the possible genotypes of the offspring are:

  • 50% Rr (red)
  • 50% rr (blue)

And the possible phenotypes (observable traits) are:

  • 50% red
  • 50% blue

So, the offspring will be either red or blue, with a 50% chance of each.

Let’s take an example from Betta’s finnage:

Enlarged pectoral fins, also known as elephant ears, are a recessive trait, while small, translucent pectoral fins are a dominant trait. When you cross an elephant ear (ee) Betta with a non-elephant ear (EE) Betta, all the offspring should have normal pectoral fins but carry the hidden elephant ear trait. If you pair two of these offspring together, about a quarter of the resulting offspring should have enlarged pectoral fins.

Here are the possible combinations using the Punnett Square exercise:

  • ee (elephant ear) x EE (regular ear)

Each offspring gets one allele from the first parent and one allele from the second parent. There are four possible combinations, although in this case, the result will be the same for each combination: eE, eE, eE, eE.

Offspring 1Ee
Offspring 2Ee
Offspring 3Ee
Offspring 4Ee

Each fry inherits one recessive allele and one dominant allele. Since the dominant allele is for normal pectoral fins, all the fry should have normal pectoral fins. However, those fry have a hidden allele for the elephant ear trait.

Now, those fry grow into adults, and you select two of them to pair together. When writing down the allele, it’s customary to put the dominant one first, so we’d write the problem like this:

  • Ee x Ee = EE, Ee, eE, ee

The fry in this second pairing will be more diverse. All fry who inherit the dominant (normal) pectoral allele will have the same phenotype (EE, Ee, or eE). However, some fry, about 25% of them, will inherit the recessive allele from both parents and have enlarged pectoral fins.

If you choose from those offspring, you can safely predict that if you pair two fry with enlarged pectoral fins (ee x ee), you should get all offspring with enlarged pectoral fins since the only possible result is for them to inherit the recessive allele.


Most visible traits are determined by more than one pairing of alleles, which is why this doesn’t always work perfectly. But, it’s a start and works well as a “rule of thumb” for traits like Melano, Elephant Ear, and Double Tail, all of which are recessive traits.

So, when breeding Betta fish, it’s crucial to choose high-quality parents with good genetics and desirable traits, such as strong finnage, good body shape, and vibrant coloration. While color and tail type are important factors, they shouldn’t be the only consideration when choosing breeding stock. Experienced breeders may do color or tail-type crosses to achieve a specific goal, but new breeders should focus on high-quality fish with desirable traits before attempting more complex crosses.

It’s recommended to source your breeding Bettas from a reputable breeder with knowledge rather than a pet store. Reputable breeders can provide healthy and genetically diverse Bettas, while pet stores may not be as knowledgeable about the genetic history and health of their fish.

One helpful resource to determine the dominant and recessive genes of Betta fish types is the International Betta Congress (IBC), which is an organization dedicated to the breeding, showing, and study of Betta fish. The IBC has a Genetics Committee that provides information and resources on Betta fish genetics, including dominant and recessive genes.

After selecting your desired breeding pair, the next step is to properly condition them for breeding.

Conditioning Betta Fish for Breeding

Conditioning is the term used to fatten up the fish for breeding to increase the chances of successful spawning and healthy offspring. The male Betta will likely fast during the courtship and egg/fry rearing process, which can take 5 to 14 days. Female Betta can experience severe beating during this process so low health can cause failure and even death for either fish.

Betta breeders have reported fewer fry when breeding unconditioned fish.

Conditioning typically involves feeding Bettas (if they are mature enough) with good meaty live or frozen food like Bloodworms or Brine Shrimp for at least 2 weeks, with 2-3 small feedings a day spaced 6-8 hours apart. This is especially important if you haven’t been able to feed your Betta fish properly, which can happen when life gets busy.

It’s important to monitor the Betta fish’s feeding and adjust the amount as needed, as each fish may have unique feeding requirements. It’s recommended to feed the fish until their bellies are slightly rounded.

Additionally, endurance training (flare training) is highly recommended for Betta fish before breeding. To do this, show them another Betta or fish (not the one you plan to breed them with) to flare at twice a day for 20-30 minutes. This training will improve their strength and confidence in the breeding tank. Regular flare training is important, but increase the frequency a few weeks before breeding.

Setting up a Breeding Tank for Betta Fish

Preparing your breeding tank while conditioning your breeder pair is important. Allow the water to settle by aging it, and add live plants to make it more stable. Aging the water with live plants promotes Infusoria growth, which is beneficial for the fry’s first meal.

Since the male Betta is responsible for caring for the eggs and fry, the breeding setup should be tailored to his needs. If the setup is unsuitable, it could cause health issues or lead to breeding failure due to the amount of energy the male Betta expends during the process.

Betta breeding setups can vary greatly and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Bettas can be bred in small bowls or large tanks, shallow or deep water, and with or without plants. The best approach will depend on the breeder’s individual circumstances, such as available space, time, budget, and access to fish-related resources, as well as the specific characteristics of their Bettas.

Betta splendens’ breeding can be violent. Male Bettas can attack and harm female Bettas during the process. Therefore, an appropriate tank size with hiding places for the female is crucial. Live plants or manmade items can be used to provide a break from the male’s sight but may make swimming difficult for both male and female Bettas. This can lead to improper care of the eggs by the male Betta and result in fewer surviving fry. Additionally, removing the parents without disturbing the eggs or fry can become more challenging with such items in the tank.

It’s recommended to keep the tank’s bottom bare. If you do use a substrate, choose fine-grained options like sand to make egg collection easier. If eggs get caught in between pebbles, they may rot and pollute the water.

To create a bubble nest area, provide something floating such as a styrofoam cup, plastic bubble wrap, or Indian Almond Leaf (IAL) above the desired area.

Betta fish are tropical fish and require warm water between 75-84°F (24-28.8°C), with 82.5°F (28°C) being the ideal temperature. Lower temperatures can make them less active and lethargic, and it’s not advisable to breed them at the lower end of the temperature range. They are more tolerant of higher temperatures and will readily breed, but this can result in weaker specimens due to increased egg/fry development.

Betta fish prefer a pH of 7 (neutral) but can tolerate a range of 6.5-8.5. Most tap water sources in the United States have a pH in this range, and low or high pH within this range doesn’t seem to affect egg/fry development significantly.

Water hardness, which is the concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water, is also important. Most tap water around the world is adequate for Bettas. The ideal water hardness for Bettas is between 5-20 dGH or 70-300 ppm. A simple method for testing water hardness is by adding detergent to the water. If the detergent disperses immediately, the water is soft enough for Bettas. If not, pure water (RO) may need to be added to the water.

ParameterIdeal Range
Temperature75-84°F (24-28.8°C)
Water Hardness5-20 dGH

Breeding Containers

You can use almost all sorts of containers for breeding Betta fish:

Glass Tanks

Breeding Bettas in the U.S. is commonly done using a 10-gallon glass tank because of their clear visibility for monitoring spawning, eggs/fry, and daily developments. However, they can be more expensive and have less stable temperatures due to the glass’s conductivity. Temperature fluctuations are generally not problematic unless the surrounding air temperature drops significantly and remains low for days. In such cases, adjustable submersible water heaters can help stabilize the temperature.

Betta Fish Breeding Setup in Glass Tank

Plastic Containers, Tubs, And Buckets

Many Betta breeders in the U.S. are now using plastic tubs for breeding due to their affordability and effectiveness as an alternative to glass tanks. Plastic tanks are believed to maintain temperature better. However, the downside is that it can be more difficult to monitor fry development, uneaten food, fry waste, and possible problems since the contents aren’t easily visible. Even when using clear plastics, the view can be limited.

Betta Fish Breeding Setup in a Container

Clay Containers

Clay containers are highly stable in terms of temperature, making them an ideal choice for breeding Betta fish. However, they aren’t as versatile as other container options, such as plastic or glass, when it comes to storage, view, and cleaning. Therefore, they are typically only used for breeding purposes, and only small containers are easily manageable.

Identifying Signs of Readiness to Breed

During the conditioning period, your Bettas should become fat and healthy, indicating that they’re ready to breed.

Male Bettas often build bubble nests to signal their readiness to breed, but not all males are diligent nest builders. Some males make their nests after seeing a responsive female, during the courtship period, after spawning, or after the eggs are laid. In some cases, they may never bother making a bubble nest. Some male Bettas make a bubble nest in their isolated tanks but not in the breeding tank. However, males can still breed without bubble nests.

Betta Fish Built Bubble For Spawning Embrace

Female Bettas show readiness through vibrant colors with white vertical bars at their midsection. However, light-colored females may not show these bars. All sexually mature female Bettas carry two egg sacks, but only one egg sack will be emptied during each spawn. Female Bettas can be bred every 5 days, but it’s not advisable as they need time to recover from the first spawning. It’s recommended to give them a one-month interval between spawns to fully recover.

Additionally, you can rely on their body language to determine the signs of readiness of Betta fish. They swim differently during fighting mode and breeding mode.

During fighting mode, Bettas aggressively flare and hold their position or try to break through to attack the other Betta.

In breeding mode, both males and females will flare, show off their vibrant colors, and swim in a flirting manner. They will swim all over the tank in an “S” fashion, hoping the other will follow. After a while, the male will try to bite his opponent. So if two males in breeding mode are flared, they may change into fighting mode. This is normal – male Bettas often beat female Bettas into submission. Bettas showing this behavior are ready to breed, regardless of bubble nests or breeding bars.

Betta Breeding 101: A Step-by-Step Method

Fill your 10-gallon tank/container with water about 4-6 inches deep. Some breeders use a bare tank, while others use live plants or plastic caves as hideouts for the female. Adding plants can also provide protection, anchor for bubble nests, or micro critter cultures for the first-day fry feeders. It’s important to set up the nesting area opposite to the hideouts.

Heaters and filters can be added as needed. A heater should be used to keep the temperature stable from the day the pair is introduced. Filters can be added later, once the fry are free swimming or big enough to withstand a small current.

While this method may lead to a longer courtship period, it’s safer for the female because she has more space to move around and hide. This also provides more hiding places for the fry, making it less likely for the male to cull them. Using a 10-gallon tank is ideal for fry, as it’s not too small or too big, but it can make it difficult for the fry to find food.

Another advantage of this method is that immediate water changes aren’t necessary, and the larger tank provides more stability in water parameters. If the tank is initially filled to 4-6”, you can add 1 gallon of water daily until it’s full enough. By then, the fry should be strong enough to avoid being sucked up during water changes. To refill water, it’s recommended to use a drip system method to avoid sudden changes in water parameters, which can be harmful to the fry.

How to Introduce Male and Female Betta

Before breeding, the male Betta is typically released into the breeding tank before the female. Breeders may use various methods to introduce the female, such as floating her in a lamp chimney or jar before release. Some breeders prefer to release the female immediately to see if the pair is responding to each other, while others may wait for 1-3 days before releasing the female to reduce damage to her during courtship.

However, waiting until the female is ready to lay her eggs may result in fewer injuries to the female but also carries a risk of early egg release that is not fertilized. In addition, there is a possibility that the female may be ready to spawn while the male is not, leading to the female releasing eggs without being fertilized. Breeders who are confident in their Bettas may release both males and females at the same time.

Adequate hiding places should be provided for the female to escape from the male’s aggression. However, first-time females may take up to a week or more to be ready to breed and may receive beatings from the male during this time.

The Process of Betta Fish Courtship and Spawning

The breeding process of Betta splendens can be divided into two stages:

  1. Courtship
  2. Embrace/Spawning

Courtship Phase

In the courtship phase, both the male and female Bettas will flare and flirt with each other. One will follow the other in an “S” shape pattern around the tank. Eventually, the male will bite the female, causing her to hide. During this time, the male Betta will tend to his nest occasionally. This cycle of flirt-bite-hide will continue until the pair is ready to embrace.

The period of courtship can last from a few hours to over a week, depending on the method and experience of the fish. As long as both fish are active and showing signs of interest, it’s best to let them continue. It’s important to ensure that the female is not severely injured during the courtship phase. If she is motionless, the breeding should be canceled.

In the jar/chimney method, the male and female may immediately embrace after the female is released, skipping the courtship phase. This method can be disadvantageous, especially for experienced females who don’t need a long courtship period as they may release unfertilized eggs in the jar. Another issue is unsynchronized timing, where the female may be ready to release eggs, but the male is still in courtship mode (although this is rare). In such cases, the female will inevitably release unfertilized eggs. Otherwise, the process should be similar to the previous method.

Embrace/Spawning Phase

During the spawning stage, the female will approach the nest carefully with her head down. Some males may whip their bodies and tails against the female, which is normal. After several attempts, they will eventually embrace and eggs will be released. This process may take multiple embraces, particularly with fatter or younger females. However, after the first few batches of eggs, there should be a steady flow of eggs.

Two Betta fish embracing in a display of affection and breeding

After each embrace, both the male and female Bettas will usually float, paralyzed for a few seconds. The male will regain consciousness first and retrieve falling or scattered eggs, with the female following shortly after to help. This process will continue until spawning is complete.

Egg Laying and Fertilization

Female Bettas may eat their eggs during breeding, but they can also help gather them. Some female Bettas care for their eggs more than the male, at least during spawning. Lazy male Bettas may float under the nest while the female retrieves fallen eggs and only rearrange the eggs. These males are usually bad fathers and may not tend to eggs at all. If they do care for eggs, usually only a few will hatch. It’s hard to know if the male or female is eating the eggs, and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. If we see the male or female spitting out something under the nest, it’s a sign that there will be eggs.

Caring for Betta Fish Fry

There may be times when the male beats the female during breeding, which can threaten her life. You should be alert for signs of distress in the female, such as heavy breathing, long periods of motionlessness, and a lack of response to the male’s approaches. If you notice these signs, it may be necessary to cancel the breeding and seek appropriate treatment for the female.

In some cases, the female may appear to be in good condition but motionless, as described earlier. This can occur if the male has attacked the female’s midsection, which can endanger her life while keeping her fins intact. These types of attacks are more dangerous than biting off parts of the fins. If you observe such a situation, remove the female and provide the necessary medical treatment.

After spawning, the female will help retrieve scattered eggs, but the male will eventually chase her away. This is the time to remove her carefully without disturbing the nest, which can harm the eggs. Use a net or bare hand to scoop her out once she becomes still. This is important in smaller tanks to prevent injuries to the female.

Deciding when to remove the male depends on personal preference and the male’s behavior. To prevent fry from being eaten, most breeders remove the male once they start free swimming, regardless of his behavior. However, taking the male away from his fry can cause stress and weaken his immune system. You can help him recover by providing clean, warm water, adding salt, Indian Almond Leaves, or stress medication.

Some breeders prefer a more natural approach and leave the male until the fry are larger or can be moved into jars. This is only recommended if the male is actively caring for the eggs and fry. This method is believed to result in stronger fry because the male naturally culls weak ones.

Betta Having Eggs in Bubble Nest

Raising and Feeding Betta Fish Fry

Congratulations, they’ve spawned!

For now, there isn’t much you can do until the fry are free-swimming, so it’s best to leave the male and his eggs undisturbed. It’s the male’s job to care for the eggs and rear the fry. They keep the eggs clean and feed the fry by mouthing them occasionally, although sometimes they don’t know their parental duties. This is especially true if you’re breeding very young males, as they may not have matured enough to understand their responsibilities.

Some males may eat the eggs after spawning. There are those that appear to care for the eggs but eat them the next day, others that don’t care for the eggs and eat them soon after spawning, and some that eat the eggs as they pick them up. If you want fry from these males, you need to gather the eggs during spawning before the male and female eat them.

To potentially improve the behavior of a young male who is a bad father, it’s recommended to give him a 1-3 month break from breeding and keep him in a separate, bare tank. When trying to breed again, use a different setup with plants or ornaments to create a new environment. If he continues to eat eggs, it’s recommended to retire or remove him, but if his genes are valuable, you can try artificially hatching the eggs.

To determine the type of father a male fish is, we need to observe his behavior. Just because a male fish eats eggs or fry, it does not necessarily mean that he is a bad father. Male fish may eat weak or deformed fry, cull fry when there is limited space and food supply, or devour eggs/fry when they feel threatened by too much disturbance from excited breeders.

Artificial Hatching

There are different ways to artificially hatch eggs, but two basic methods are available. The first one involves removing both males and females from the breeding tank when spawning is finished and leaving the eggs there. It’s best to use a clean tank with fresh water to prevent the hatch rate from being affected by mold. It’s not essential, but shallow water is often used. To avoid debris covering the water surface, covers are used.

The second method is to remove the eggs instead of the parents. To do this, simply use a cup or spoon to transfer the eggs to a clean bowl or tank. Some breeders believe that using air pumps set to a minimum can prevent fungus growth, but I personally don’t think it matters. In my experience, I find the second method of moving the eggs to be the best option.

After hatching (vertical tails hanging down from the bubble nest), Betta fry still have their egg sacks and don’t require food. They swim in circles and spiral patterns and can’t control their movements. The male Betta will catch any stray fry and return them to the nest.

Betta Fry Hang Vertically Down

After the fry have hatched and are free-swimming, you must decide whether to remove the male Betta or leave him with the fry and risk him eating them. If the fry are important to you, it’s best to remove the male and eliminate any risk. However, if the male Betta is a known good father, he can be kept long-term with the fry, but there is always a risk as their behavior may vary during each spawn or fry rearing. Regardless of your decision, caring for the fry will require daily attention.

Free-swimming fry will require food. A common initial food is infusoria, which are tiny organisms found in aged water with live plants. Adequate amounts of infusoria can sustain the fry for up to three days before they are big enough for other food types. Some U.S. breeders prefer live foods, while Asian breeders may use hard-boiled egg yolk for the first few days to a week.

Free Swimming Betta Fry

However, many breeders don’t recommend using hard-boiled egg yolk as it can quickly pollute the water. While live foods are the preferred choice for Betta fry, egg yolk can serve as an alternative if the live cultures fail.

When feeding newly free-swimming fry, spread small amounts of food throughout the tank, preferably through vibrations to attract them. It’s best to feed them small amounts frequently to avoid overfeeding, which may cause harm. Be mindful of the type of food you use as some may cause swim bladder issues or introduce harmful bacteria. Check a weekly feeding schedule for proper guidance.

1Vinegar Eels and Microworms (with Infusoria)A pinch
2Baby Brine Shrimp (BBS) and Light Microworms (with Infusoria)A pinch
3-5Baby Brine Shrimp and Grindal Worms (with occasional Fry Crumbles/Powders, Flakes, and Frozen BBS)A few per feeding
5+Grindal Worms, Frozen Daphnia, Chopped Frozen Bloodworms, Flakes, Repashy, and Large “Stick Foods” (such as Earthworms and Beefheart)Enough for the fry to eat in a few minutes

When you start feeding fry, it’s important to also start adding water or doing partial water changes. For new breeders, it’s recommended to use the shallow method to avoid siphoning out fry. During the first week, fry are too small and weak to avoid siphon suction, so it’s important to be cautious. Focus on siphoning out water and avoid cleaning the tank floor. An air stone can be attached to the intake end to prevent sucking up fry.

To add water to the fry tank, it’s recommended to use a drip system and set the flow rate to 1-2 drops per second. Don’t hang the tubing as it may disturb the fry, instead dip the end in the water to create a small current.

The percentage of a water change should be determined by the tank size and the number of fry. Smaller tanks require a higher percentage of water change, such as 50-90% daily for 1-gallon tanks during the first week, while larger 10-gallon tanks only need 30-50%. Keep in mind that as the fry grow, they will need more space and water changes.

To move fry to bigger tanks, wait until they are at least 5mm in size and use a soft, small mesh net. Smaller fry should be cupped or carefully poured into the new tank to avoid injury or death. Make sure the temperature of the new water is similar to the old water to prevent temperature shock.

It’s recommended to clean the grow-out tank once a month to prevent aggression, and it’s best not to move the fry to avoid inducing stress. Siphoning out 80-90% water, wiping/scrubbing tank walls and floors, and adding new water in carefully is a good method.

To minimize aggression in the grow-out tank, avoid making changes to the tank accessories such as adding or removing plants or ornaments after 6-8 weeks. Additionally, consider keeping one adult male in the grow-out tank since fry are 1cm; they are too big to eat but too small to pose any threat and will be left alone by the adult.

When to Separate The Fry

After 6-8 weeks, fry may start to show aggression, which can result in nipping and fin damage. If you plan to show your fish, it’s recommended to separate them into jars before they become too aggressive. However, if you are keeping them as a hobby, they can be kept together as long as they remain peaceful. It’s only necessary to separate the aggressive ones into jars.

Jarring fry is a significant commitment and should be done with careful consideration. It requires time, effort, and resources to properly care for each jarred fry. Additionally, once a fry is jarred, it can’t be returned to the sorority as it’s likely to become aggressive. Therefore, jarring should be done only to those showing aggression or as per personal preference or goal.

When jarred, each fry should be fed separately, and the water in each jar should be changed daily or every other day. Proper heating is also essential and can be done using heat tapes, heating a tub and placing the jars in it, or heating the entire room.

Jarring the Betta Fry

It’s recommended to separate show betta fry at an early age of 1.5-2 months or before any aggression begins to avoid any torn fins that may be faulted by judges. This will also ensure that the fry grow perfect fins. Separating the fry in isolation will also reduce their eating, especially if kept in smaller containers like a 1-gallon jar, which will result in less body growth but increase fin growth. By 4 months, the fry should have full fins compared to those kept in big grow-out tanks.

For pet purposes, the fry can be kept together until they show aggression. The aggressive individuals, whether male or female, should be separated because aggression can quickly spread, leading to many torn fins. While a natural hierarchy will be established, too many torn fins may cause disease outbreaks.

For adult Bettas, a diet of high-quality pellet foods, frozen Bloodworms, and frozen Brine Shrimp is recommended, along with occasional live foods such as Grindals and White Worms when available.

Frozen Bloodworms4-6 times per week
Frozen Brine Shrimp1-2 times per week
High-Quality Pellet Foods (Ken’s Tropical Green Granule, Northfins, Golden Pearls, Atison’s, etc)As needed
Live Grindals and White Worms (when available)As needed
Live Brine Shrimp on Live Blackworms (very occasionally)As needed


Start with this breeding guide, and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Choose one pair of fish that you like and can obtain from a reputable source. It’s important to have a plan for the excess offspring, whether you cull them (through euthanasia or feeding to a larger fish) or give them away locally. As a new breeder, it’s recommended that you aim for 20-50 fish depending on space and time availability. Remember, many fish offspring don’t survive in the wild, so it’s crucial to be a responsible caregiver.

Make sure to prepare all the necessary equipment, medications, and food, and practice with live foods before breeding. Take it one step at a time, and don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments.

Why not try breeding fish yourself? With the right preparation and knowledge, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

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