Betta Fish Breeding – Keeping betta fry alive
Once you have successfully bred your Siamese fighting fish you will quickly realize that getting the parents to spawn is not the end of the process of betta fish breeding. The next step is to keep the baby bettas alive long enough to have a decent chance at becoming a healthy adult fish that could be the parent of the next generation of bettas.
This post will focus on the first few days of life for your dozens to hundreds of betta fry. The first question you may have after successful betta fish breeding is when to remove the female and male fish from the spawn tank. The female should be removed as soon as they show signs of being done laying eggs. If you keep the female in after the spawning process is completed then the male will become aggressive and will focus on hurting her rather than tending to the eggs in the bubble nest.
The female will likely hide in a corner or behind a plant. You can easily remove her from the tank with a two or three inch fish net. Put her back into a 2.5 to 5 gallon tank and start feeding her quality foods again.
The male betta will need to stay in the tank for several days as he will care for the betta eggs. He will not eat during these days so do not try to feed him. Uneaten food will increase the number of harmful bacteria which can kill off baby bettas. The dad will hunt for fallen eggs and spit them back into the bubblenest. In 24 to 48 hours the eggs will hatch and baby bettas will begin falling instead of eggs. This part of the betta fish breeding process is fun to watch since you can see many tails hanging down from the bubblenest!
The baby bettas will feed off the remainder of their yolk sac for a few days as they quickly gain size and mobility. They will start to dart away but at first they are rather uncoordinated. Once the majority of the fry are able to maintain a stable position in the tank they are considered “free swimming” and you can then remove the dad to his own 2.5 to 5 gallon aquarium. He might sulk for a few days but will soon start looking for food!
How To Keep Your Betta Fry Alive After Betta Fish Breeding Occurs
So, you have some betta fry now but are wondering how to give them the best shot at growing into healthy adult bettas! There are two keys to success – clean water and a variety of foods. Your spawn tank likely has about 4″ of water in it. This water level can slowly be increased by adding a few cups of fresh aged water every day until the fish tank is full. Then you can start doing 20% water changes every day to continually remove hormones and toxins that can easily stunt the growth of your future show quality betta fish.
After the betta fish breeding and hatching occurs, your Siamese fighting fish babies will be ravenous! There are two great choices for the first foods to feed these babies. These options are microworms and newly hatched baby brine shrimp. Both choices are active live foods that will stimulate swimming behaviors in your fish as the betta fry hunt the foods down. Microworms are kept in damp oatmeal and are easy to culture. Brine shrimp are hatch in salty water from eggs and only keep their nutritional value for a day or two after hatching – making them more complicated to use.
The baby betta fish should be fed two or three times per day. Start with small amounts and use a tiny turkey baster to siphon away uneaten foods after each meal. As the fry grow quickly, you can add more live and frozen foods to the feeding regimen.
If you keep this up, your Siamese fighter fry will grow up into strong, beautiful adult fish. You can choose the best male and female to start the next round of betta fish breeding!