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FAQs on Betta Reproduction

Related Articles: Anabantoids/Gouramis & Relatives, Betta splendens/Siamese Fighting FishBetta Systems, Betta Diseases,

Related FAQs:  Bettas in General, Betta ID/Varieties, Betta System, Betta Behavior, Betta Compatibility, Betta Selection, Betta Feeding, Betta Disease,

The best site I had found to help when I bred our Bettas was: http://www.siamsbestbettas.com/


New Print and eBook on Amazon

Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

I don't want to raise the fry...      2/19/15
…and I hope I do not sound cruel. I got a female Beta, her name is Garnet. I figure she is almost a year old now. I chose a female because I thought they may go over looked since they are not as “fancy". I just want one Beta but after reading as much as I can find online I believe she is full of eggs and ready to breed. I was told at the pet store that females can become egg-bound & get sick and perhaps die. I do not want Garnet to die! I’m willing to get a male if that’s the only way for her to have her eggs released.
<It's not.>
I am ignorant about fish breeding by choice, not apathy. I have very many other hobbies, one of which is helping my rescue dog be all that he can be after being traumatized by humans in some ways. I love my interaction with Garnet but I do not have the time to help bring more Betas into the world. This is why I hope I do not sound cruel.
<You don't. Bettas, and fish generally, rarely get egg-bound. It's a problem that happens quite often with turtles and other reptiles, but fish... not so much. Usually (and I mean, 99 times out of 100) when fish become bloated it's either constipation or Dropsy. Bettas are very prone to both. Tropical fish shops are often a bit hopeless on diagnosing problems... after all, to work in one you don't need to have gone to vet school or taken an advanced class in fish physiology. So to start with, let me direct you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
Next up, let me recommend Epsom Salt (a completely different chemical to table salt, sodium chloride) which you can buy at pharmacies and online without much bother. Used at a dose of about 1-3 teaspoons per 5 US gallons of water, this stuff often reduces swelling and acts as a laxative, making it an ideal (probably the best) "first pass" treatment to swollen fish, especially if such fish are otherwise healthy (i.e., feeding). This trick is one of many in Bob F's excellent "Betta Success - Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term" book that you can download from Amazon for about the price of a cup of coffee ($6.74 in PDF/eBook format!). Seriously, it's worth getting, and what you read and understand will help you keep Garnet healthy in the long term. Link's at the top of the page mentioned already.>
I’m sorry for this lengthy plea for advice and pray you can help us!
Shirley H
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: I don't want to raise the fry... Betta repro. f'    2/21/15

Thank you for your quick response Neale! I appreciate your kind understanding as well.
<Most welcome on both counts.>
I did go to the link earlier and just now but still don’t feel my concern has been addressed. It’s NOT you! If I am understanding you correctly, Garnet will most likely “shed” her eggs on her own without a male. I will download the book you suggested! Since I’m not a real computer wiz, it will be helpful for me to read the old fashioned way!
<Glad the book sounds interesting. Bob F owns this site and manages it, and his knowledge of our fishy friends is immense.>
I strongly feel she is not constipated as she looks just like the pictures I saw of a female ready to bred.
<Do indeed look similar. Treatment is essentially the same, the Epsom Salt and time, but really, egg-binding in fishes is very uncommon among aquarium fish except for fancy Goldfish.>
It’s always good to know good info as you suggested with Epsom salt! That stuff is amazing! I just used some when planting rooted cuttings this morning to help encourage the roots and help against shock!
<Never heard of that usage before.>
If I assumed incorrectly about Garnet taking care of her eggs on her own, will you be so kind as to let me know if there is anything I can do for her. I guess I could even “rent” my daughter’s boyfriend’s male Betta that he rescued! Some one abandoned him for about a year! The poor thing was on his side to be able to breathe as the water was that low! He has a good home now!
<Well, male and female Bettas don't really get on. If you do try cohabiting them, separate them for a while if possible, perhaps with a mesh that divides the tank in two. It takes a while for the male to build a nest and get ready to look after the eggs, and any female that comes into his territory before he's ready isn't going to be welcomed.>
Sorry for carrying on so…don’t get me started on dogs!
With thanks,
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: I don't want to raise the fry...   2/21/15

Dear Neale,
Thank you again for your quick reply and additional help! I ordered the book on Amazon. I like and need pictures anyway!
<Hope you enjoy.>
So, until it arrives, I will continue to just keep a watchful eye on her.
<Pretty much...>
Thank you again for being “out there”! Shirley
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Betta s. repro.      1/19/15
while cleaning Betta tank i messed up the bubble nest and my Betta seems withdrawn is that possible
<With the nest gone he'll simply be reset to the beginning of the process, and should quite quickly start building a new one. But if your fish seems "unhappy" in the sense of not behaving as he normally does, review the basics rather than trying to impose human emotions onto him. Is water quality good? Is the heater working? Has something startled him? That sort
of thing. Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding Wild Bettas     11/22/14
Hello! I acquired a wild caught pair of Betta albimarginata in late June of this year. They live in a planted ten gallon aquarium with a couple of Oto cats, three phoenix Rasboras (I'm selling them, which is why there's only three) and two bamboo shrimps. ph is about 7.2, zero ammonia/nitrite and 5-10 ppm nitrate.
<As always, hardness is more important than pH. You do need soft water for this species, which should allow you to keep the pH at some steady value between 6 and 7 using commercial Discus buffer.>
The pair have bred a lot since June (at least twice a month), but the problem is that the male *immediately* swallows the eggs (I've witnessed it).
<He is of course a mouthbrooder, so swallowing the eggs is part of his job!
But he should thereafter incubate them for a couple of weeks or so before releasing them as free swimming fry (at which point he stops caring for them).>
He gets food daily (either frozen or good quality flakes), so I know its not from hunger. Since I don't know the age, could I assume this is just inexperience (even though it's been several months now)?
<Possibly, but usually fish "get it right" after a few practise attempts, and after, say, 5 or 6 breeding attempts, if he's still not doing it right,
I'd look into other explanations.>
I know my pH is higher than the wild, but I've heard alibis are rather lax about pH levels (even wild caught ones), could that be a potential problem here?
<Again, it's a possibility, but I'd expect incorrect water chemistry to cause other problems as well, such as a failure to breed altogether.
Nonetheless, the wrong water chemistry can cause eggs to fail to hatch or become fertilised, at least with other species, so it's possible he knows the eggs weren't doing the right thing, so consumed them to recycle the energy.>
Could the presence of the other fish be throwing him off?
<A definite possibility, but netting out other fish can introduce another stress that causes incubating males to swallow their eggs, or conversely, not releasing the fry when he should do so. So while removing non-Betta tankmates makes some sense if you can, removing the female after mating is often counter-productive.>
Is there anything else I could be missing, or could it be that he is just a horrible dad?
<Yes, it's possible for fish to be genetically lacking in some instinct, and consequently unable to rear offspring the natural way. Heck, with farmed Angels this is practically the default! That said, because Betta albimarginata can't be bred any other way than by allowing males to rear the eggs, this risk is very small, since your male must have had a competent father, whereas farmed Angels have all been reared by humans, not mated pairs of Angels, so can very easily have had fathers that lacked proper egg-care instincts.>
Thanks a lot!
<So, a variety of things going on here. Since mouthbrooding Bettas come from different habitats than Bubblenest-building species, the first thing to do is review the tank. They appreciate moderate water current, so check there's enough water movement and oxygen for them to be settled. (Mouthbrooding seems to have evolved specifically because they weren't living somewhere a Bubblenest could be built, like a pond or swamp.) Check water chemistry, in this case 1-10 degrees dH, pH 6-7. Because you'll be running at an acidic pH, biological filtration will be handicapped, so take precautions not to over-tax the filter by understocking and moderate feeding. Don't keep these fish warm, 25 C/77 F tops. Again, they come from streams, not swamps, so don't like very warm water. Floating plants or plants with tall, bushy leaves will provide line-of-sight barriers that will help incubating males feel more secure and able to hide away from other fish if they want to. You said your Bettas are feeding well, but check the diet is sufficient and varied. Bloodworms for example will be taken readily enough but aren't especially nutritious, and brine shrimp even less so. Daphnia are rather better, as are newly hatched brine shrimp. Don't overfeed though. Too much fat inside a Betta seems to cause all sorts of problems. Finally, do go online and read other breeding reports. You'll find a bunch. Sometimes there are differences, and it pays to try out different things to see what works for you. Cheers, Neale.>

PLEASE READ THIS. Betta breeding; egg retention concern      11/5/14
Hello this is Shea. I have a blue veiltail female Betta and thought that it would be an interesting experience to breed my female with my friends male (of the same kind). So I went through the process like I put their bowls
next to each other, fed them special food and waited a while until my female had eggs in her. Then I bred them and it turned out well. She had some torn fins but she recovered. After the eggs hatched I gave the male
back to my friend. It has been about 3 months after the breeding and my female still has eggs that I can see under her in between her fins. I was wondering if this was normal or common, or if she is in any pain from it.
<Not normal. In fact never heard of it. Female Bettas deposit their eggs among the plants where the male has built his bubble-nest. He collects the eggs and keeps them safe in the nest. Unlike, say, Ricefish, female Bettas
don't have sticky eggs that form a "clutch" under her vent. Without a photo I can't be sure what's going on here. Eggs stuck to the vent doesn't sound likely at all. So you need to be thinking of other problems such as
constipation, bacterial infection/anal prolapse, Camallanus worms, etc. that can interfere with the shape of the vent.>
Please email me back and any suggestions on what I can do would be great thank you so much!
-Shea the concerned Betta owner
<Need more info, I'm afraid. Water quality/chemistry, mode of filtration used, diet, and above all a decent sharp photo of the fish's vent. Cheers, Neale.>

breeding Betta's; NNS        4/10/12
i've number of doubts about breeding the betta's
i've different varieties at home
the questions are
My female has laid eggs two days back
<? By herself? Did you see a/the "white dot" at her vent ahead of this event?>
As this is the first time i've setup the tank with sand and live tanks, but the male is not fetching the eggs that are fallen in the sand
<... Mmm, males squeeze the eggs from the female... NEED to be conditioned, separated... placed into a setting...>
1) why does it do it?
<? Do what?>
2) As i'm from India i'm not aware of maroxy, can i know what it is?
<A medicine made by Mardel Corp.>
3) how long should it take to breed it again
<A few weeks. READ here:
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: breeding Bettas
Hi Bob
Thanks for replying me.
My new born fry's has hatched and the male is taking good care of it.
How long the male should be in the tank with the fry?
<Till they're free-swimming... depending on temp... four days or so>
Can the fry be in the same tank still it grow?
<No... READ where you were referred. BobF>
Thank you

Breeding Bettas   9/21/13
Im just curious, as i havent seen the answer anywhere else..if female siamese fighters dont spawn for a specific amount of time, do they lose the ability? Thanks
<Shouldn't do, any more than human beings. But do note that with many fish (again, as with people) fertility declines with age, so it's a good idea to spawn relatively young fish, which for Bettas, would be around the 6-month mark. Cheers, Neale.>

Infusoria culture    8/12/13
Hi, i have a Siamese fighter pair that might spawn and after doing some research i decided that i will feed the fry infusoria but just out of interest, can boiled rice aid in making infusoria?
<Possibly, but the tried and trusted way is to use a lettuce leaf or piece of banana peel. So go with those: at least you know it'll work and that you'll get not just a reliable culture but a safe one too -- cooked rice can very easily cultivate Bacillus cereus, a common source of food poisoning. Cheers, Neale.>

Siamese fighter, beh.      3/2/13
Hi there, I've got 4 inexperienced Siamese fighter males in my tank . They are about six months old and not interested in the females at all. They wont even build a bubble nest. What can i do to encourage them to build nests?
<Raise the temperature, keep "conditioning" w/ meaty foods; separate them from females for weeks>
I have conditioned them on freeze dried blood worms and Tubifex worms for about 2 weeks. The tanks are clean, ph is about 6.8, temperature is between 27 - 29 degrees Celsius
<Bob Fenner>

Re: How to tell if my Betta is a pure Imbellis? Now Betta repro., fdg. unknown Nematodes   12/6/12
I have spawned Betta splendens several times, but never been able to raise the fry. I know a breeder who actually feeds them baby brine shrimp from day one until they're ready to eat flakes, but I think I'll try infusoria.
<Wow! Rearing Betta fry on brine shrimp nauplii is pretty impressive. But do remember that if the nauplii die and rot, they cause infusoria to grow in the water, and even without the dead nauplii, there may still be infusoria feeding on the algae and organic waste in the tank. So it may be ambiguous whether your friend reared the Betta fry with the nauplii being
directly eaten, or whether he used them -- inadvertently -- to culture infusoria in the tank.>
I have some java moss that I took out of my pond, and there's a bunch of little worms that propel themselves by spinning through the water. Would those work?
<Those will be more like Microworms, which are good foods for fry, but may be too large to use. There's a good literature on rearing Betta splendens fry; avail yourself of it. Have a look for 'Bettas, Gouramis and Other Anabantoids Labyrinth Fishes of The World' by Jorge Vierke; I suspect you'll find much there of interest, use. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: How to tell if my Betta is a pure Imbellis?     12/6/12

The worms are reproducing. Thanks a lot for your help!
<Please don't assume these worms are good. Free-living nematodes are common in tanks that aren't kept clean. Though harmless, they can indicate water quality problems. Microworms should be cultivated separately, usually in a starchy "goo". You will find instructions online without much bother.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: How to tell if my Betta is a pure Imbellis? Fdg. young?     12/9/12

It came from a pond outside, but I don't think they're larva.
<Sounds like generic nematodes. Unlikely to cause harm, but probably too big to be eaten by fry. Supposedly Paradisefish (Macropodus spp.) consume small worms readily, so a Betta might. Wouldn't bank on it though. Cheers, Neale.>

Tubifex worms.     7/6/12
Will freeze dried Tubifex worms help in the conditioning of Siamese fighters?

<Would not use Tubifex worms at all. Not a healthy, safe food. You will find live daphnia and brine shrimp at any good aquarium shop, and these are infinitely safer and more effective. Using live foods makes all the difference when conditioning fish for spawning, though it's perfectly possible to spawn Bettas without live foods. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tubifex worms.
The problem is that the pet shops in Johannesburg don't sell brine shrimp or daphnia. I've looked.
<Grow your own! Brine shrimp eggs can be got mail order, while Daphnia (or some local equivalent) will be seen in any pond, and can be brought home and cultured easily in a small pond or water butt.>
The only stuff I can really give them is that tetra Betta , blood worms , and now this Tubifex worms. Shall I continue with the blood worms?
<Tubifex and Bloodworms are known disease-carriers (which freeze-drying should kill) but I'd also be worried about heavy metals. Aquarists are increasingly leery of using either. Do try instead stuff from your fridge!
Tiny bits of white fish fillet and seafood will work just as well as any non-live food. It's the variety that's the key, rather than using any one specific food. So offer these alongside your regular flake and cooked peas, and you're providing a good, balanced diet.>
Thanks Neale

Breeding Bettas- 5/7/2012
Hi , I've been conditioning my female Siamese fighter for two days so far and she's been fine , but now I've noticed she's flaring at the male and going crazy. Is this normal? And is this a good sign or not?
WWM: Yes it is normal, in the sense that this happens when aquarists put them together in the same aquarium. Male and female Bettas will fight, which is why you don't keep them together in the same aquarium (unless the aquarium is fairly big, 30+ gallons, or you don't mind the male killing the female). Bettas don't form "pairs" and sooner or later the male will want to drive the female out of his territory. After the eggs are laid, he views her as nothing more than a threat, a potential egg-eater. If the female is ready to mate and full of eggs, by all means introduce her to the breeding tank, but remove her back to her normal (male-free!) aquarium at the first sign of trouble.
Cheers, Neale.
Re: Breeding Bettas- 5/7/2012
I'm keeping them separated because I know she's definitely not ready and I've learnt my lesson the hard way when I first tried to breed them. Thanks Neale
WWM: Most welcome. Good luck breeding them! Breeding Bettas at home is much harder than many suppose. Cheers, Neale.

Female Siamese fighter acting strange, repro., fdg.     5/5/12
Hi , on Thursday I bought 5 crown tail Siamese fighters , 2 male and 3 females. I've noticed that one of my females has an ovipositor sticking out a lot and her tummy isn't swollen , not as far as I can see whereas the other females ovipositors don't show at all. Now this female is frequently swimming to the area where my separated male is and flares her fins and challenges him , but at the same time she has dark vertical bars on her body when she passes him. Is it possible that she's already conditioned or should I condition her anyway even if she's not?
<It is possible that the one female is "ready" sans showing her ovipositor, but I would condition (through feeding, water changes) her/any female prior to trying a spawning. Bob Fenner>
Re: Female Siamese fighter acting strange

Thank you for your advice , I did a water change yesterday , the temperature is about 27-28 Celsius and I've started feeding them bloodworms this morning. Is that ok?
<Mmm, am not a fan of these sewer "worms"... Search on WWM re, and also Betta Feeding (FAQs). BobF>
Re: Female Siamese fighter acting strange
I forgot to mention that in addition to conditioning them with frozen bloodworms I've been giving them food designed for fighter fish. Its shrimp and krill I think its called 

Conditioned female fighter?    1/30/12
hi , two or three months ago I bought a small purple female Siamese fighter and ever since then I've been conditioning her with frozen blood worms and two weeks ago I noticed that her belly is slightly swollen and her ovipositor is starting to stick out , and now this week her tummy is a little bigger and the ovipositor is still sticking out. Is she ready for breeding? Thanks.
<She could well be ready for breeding. But do also note that domesticated Betta splendens are prone to obesity, and fat females can, do look very similar to "ripe" ones, including the extension of the ovipositor.
Territorial males can, will attack unresponsive females viciously, damaging, even killing them. So approach breeding B. splendens with due caution and an open eye for trouble; in any event, separate, remove the female if she doesn't initiate courtship or else immediately after spawning. Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding Betta splendens; female readiness 11/4/11
<Hi there>
I was wondering when a juvenile female Betta is ready to breed. I have a female Betta and she is about an inch long. She is about half the size of an adult female. Thank You!!!
<One can generally tell/guess when said female is quite round in the abdomen and a small "white dot" protrudes from her cloaca. Please review here re reproduction:
Bob Fenner>

Breeding a rare Betta 10/20/11
Hello: <Hello Judy>
I have a rare black Crowntail in a heated five gallon. He is so black that there is only a tiny bit of blue sheen even under fluorescent lighting. <Nice. I have has a similar fish in the past but mine was more a gray/black> I was thinking of breeding this Betta, as something like this is really hard to find. I read that most store Bettas are "old" and this one does not blow bubble nests. <Mature Bettas will create bubble nests quite readily in the right conditions. The fish you see in store are indeed likely mature but should not be 'past its prime'>I think that is a sign of "retirement age" for a Betta. <Could well be the conditions actually. How is the water movement in your tank? Betta tend to like lower water movement and I have found that the nests tend to appear when surface movement is lower. How long have you had this fish? They are not exactly long lived.>
Also I heard that you have to breed a black Betta to a blue female to get the highest chance of another black one. I was wondering if Bettas that do not blow bubble nests would do so if a female was introduced?? Thank You!!!
<I would not suggest introducing a female into his tank directly but have seen that the presence/sighting of a female does stimulate breeding behavior to an extent. If he sees a female who is ready to breed, it may well set things in motion. Do keep in mind that as you go about it, you will need to add the female at just the right time, monitor things carefully and remove the female once the breeding dance is done. He is likely to attack her after. Also, are you prepared in terms of foods/jars for the fry? While fascinating, raising the fry can be challenging.>
Judy <Good luck Judy! - Sugam>

Re: Breeding a rare Betta 10/20/11

<Hello again Judy>
The tank is five gallon at 80 degrees, but the filter is for 5-15 gallon and it does create water movement on the surface. I was thinking of getting one of those Tetra 1-3 gallon filters since there is only one fish in there for less water movement.<Some movement on the surface is okay and in fact good. You do not want stagnant water. If however the surface movement or for that matter the water movement in the tank is massive, this can upset the Betta.>
<Bought him> About a month. I happened to find him at this pricey place where they generally deal with saltwater fish. <Nice find!>
I would have to get that stuff and read up on what to do. The only way to get these black Bettas is to order them from Singapore. <I would plan the raising of the fry well before considering breeding this fish. I know first hand what a mess it can become if one isn't well prepared. Get your infusoria cultures going and stable before moving ahead with the breeding plans. You can start by reading here -
The library rarely has good science books on fish, just basic fish keeping and most of the internet has terrible info. The only saving grace is the WetWebMedia. Thank you!! <Glad you have found the site useful. Keep reading, always loads to learn! - Sugam>

Betta fry questions   8/22/11
Alright my fry are 6 weeks old tomorrow (August 22nd 2011) and the oldest are already an inch and have excellent colors. The most recent of the video's I've made of them is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4uyxTa7HF0&feature=player_embedded  I made it just now because the other most recent was inaccurate to what they look like now. They've changed in the week so I made another.
I can't find a definitive answer to my question and since they're developing so quickly (some of them) I was wondering at what age or what size you can definitely tell what gender they are. I've had interest in
buying them from people who see my videos of them and when I can tell gender I can start to sell them. I know they can start to breed at 3 months or so it has to be before then. How many WEEKS old can they breed and can you sex them?
<Hello! From my experience I was able to sex my fry around 8 weeks or 2 months old but the finnage is not completely grown out until around 6-8 months. I have missed sexed fry a few times. The best time to breed Bettas is at 16 weeks or 4 months old, and this is where the sexing problems happen. If you are not 100% sure of the sex you can end up putting two males or two females together, which I have done, so I usually wait until I can tell by finnage (to be 100% sure) or by which are more aggressive. Good luck! Merritt.>
Re: Betta fry questions   8/22/11
Problem with finnage in these guys is that they're Plakats. So the finnage isn't definitive. I ave a female who's more impressive than one of my males so. I guess the ovipositor (Sp) would be my best bet. When that develops would be good... lol. Because I need to sell them ASAP but most people won't buy unsexed fry. Got tuition to pay for. The art degree that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm really passionate about. But anyway the way they act/ fight I'm fairly certain the big guys are just that guys.
Their development closely resembles that of a male and they're more "aggressive". Want to keep a pair for breeding. The parents are still pretty young though. They were only 3.5 months now they're 5 months old?
Perhaps not even that. I could condition them if I could sell most of these and make room. Because by all the "charts" and things I've looked at they're at the 11-12 week phase since "most" of the things I've looked at is saying they don't
really have good colors until 7 weeks but these had good colors at week 4-5. Now they're still developing I'll give you that. They're showing marbling this week that they weren't last week so maybe that's what they're referring to.
<Hello again. Didn't know they were Plakats and that will make the finnage sexing not work. Others use the ovipositor so I think that is your best method right now and just keeping an eye on the ones that seem more aggressive than the others. I have heard of young males having a "fake" ovipositor but I have never had a problem with that, just keep it in mind.
Good luck in the art degree! Merritt.>

Breeding Siamese fighters.   8/15/11
I bought a female Siamese fighter and obviously I separated her from my male so I introduced her to him for twenty minutes and it didn't go well.
<Often doesn't. Don't take your eyes of these two; male Bettas can, will kill females after spawning unless the aquarium is very large.>
I introduced them again and she bowed her head and displayed vertical bars.
So I put her in with the male and he's been courting her for awhile now and what I want to know is when will she turn on her back so he can embrace her?
<When she's good and ready! How did you condition her prior to introducing her to the male? What live foods did you use? Did you feed her up on those foods for one week or two? Have you raised the temperature in the tank?
Have you performed the necessary gradual changes in water chemistry to ensure the hardness is low and the pH in the acidic range, around 2-10 degrees dH, pH 6-7? You can't expect to just dump two fish into a tank and then to find them making sweet, sweet love. Just doesn't work that way with egg-laying fish.>
The courting has been going on for an hour at most so far
<Cheers, Neale.>
Disinterested non-breeding Betta female    8/15/11
why does my male Siamese fighter build his bubble nest , swim to the female and flare his gills and fins at her then swim back to the nest and continue building?
<Likely she isn't ready to spawn yet, so she fails to respond as a gravid female, and the male goes back to his nest to wait for another, more receptive female.>
He courted her and chased her around a bit and got aggressive then started building the bubble nest and now he's behaving like this. Why is that?
<Female egg-layers need to be conditioned, and that means a couple weeks feeding on good quality food, usually small live foods, but possible wet-frozen foods as well. Water chemistry needs to be appropriate too, 2-10 degrees dH, pH 6-7 being about right for Betta splendens. Water temperature may need to be raised slightly as well. After a couple weeks of this, the female will swell up with eggs, and about the time she's ready to spawn her genital papilla will become obvious. That's the time to place her in the spawning tank with the male. Cheers, Neale.>
Siamese fighter... repro.    8/16/11

I did not condition her , she readily accepted him and bowed her head. The tank got a 100% water change a few days before I got her , and the temperature is 32 degrees Celsius. I will condition her once I get live food. Is that okay?
<Yes, but best to do this in a separate tank (not a breeding trap!) because the males can be very aggressive towards unresponsive females. At the very least, keep a close eye on them both, and don't try to keep the pair in less than 10 gallons. Cheers, Neale.>
Will the female Siamese fighter eat frozen blood worms?   8/16/11
<Yes. Wet-frozen are best for conditioning, though live are better. Live brine shrimp and daphnia will be even better. In fact a mix of live foods is generally recommended, though you can condition females with just wet-frozen foods. Obviously this assumes you have the right water chemistry and temperature. Cheers, Neale.>
How many times a day must I feed frozen blood worms to the female Siamese fighter that I'm conditioning?
<... I'd only feed these once every few days. Some troubles reported in recent years re this insect larvae's use as fish food. See WWM/search re.
Bob Fenner>
More Betta non-reading    8/16/11

So once the female Siamese fighter has been conditioned , will she respond to the male?
<Quite possibly, all else being favourable.>
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!
<Feel free to say "thank you" some time. One-line questions from your cell phone might be easy to send, but I appreciate the effort it takes to show good manners. Cheers, Neale.>
I'm sorry if it seemed I was ungrateful and rude but I really do appreciate the help. Thank you. Tons.
<You are most welcome.>
B.T.W I fed the female frozen blood worms and she's looking a lot better than what she was
<Cool. Good luck, Neale.>
What subject? Further re Betta/s, no rdg.    8/18/11

Past few days I've been conditioning my female Siamese fighter and she does eat , but very little. Now today she won't eat anything , why is that? Also her belly has grown a bit , is that the eggs?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Female Siamese fighter. Repro... - 8/20/11

Hi , for the past two days I've been utterly confused because I've been conditioning my female Siamese fighter and I see that she has quite a large white bump by her ventral fins but the thing is I don't know if that's for her eggs.
<Yes; if protruding just before the anal fin and behind the pelvic fins, it's the ovipositor.>
I've seen a females ovipositor before but this female is quite a large one.
<Gets bigger (or rather, extends further) close to spawning, typically within 24 hours of egg-laying.>
Is that white bump for her eggs or am I mistaken? Thanks.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Female Siamese fighter.- 8/20/11
Thanks Neale , that's really helped.
<Glad to help, Neale.>
Will my female Siamese fighter eat less when she gets closer to laying eggs?
<No idea. Why would she? Cheers, Neale.>
Siamese fighter.- 8/21/11
Since Tuesday I was conditioning my female Siamese fighter but now I see her fins are nearly completely destroyed and she's not doing well. Its not fin rot , the water is clean and normal. She is still alive though. Shall I put her out her misery and flush her?
<As I think I've told you several times already, male Bettas do not always tolerate female Bettas. Were the male and female in the same tank? If so, then the male clearly attacked her. She can heal, but she will need her own tank and you will need to treat as per Finrot (and I'd avoid unreliable medications like Melafix and go straight to the antibiotics or similar). At the very least, if you have just the one tank, place the MALE in a breeding trap so the female is able to move around the tank safely. Should euthanasia be required, do read:
"Flushing" is cruel. Clove Oil ("Eugenol") is the most humane way to kill small fish and generally very inexpensive. It can be obtained from some pharmacies as well as online through Amazon, among other vendors. 30 drops in one litre of aquarium water, stirred well, creates a bath into which a fish can be placed and held down with a net. The fish will quickly become sedated and should be dead within 10 minutes. This method is believed by vets to be painless and a much better alternative to old school methods involving ice. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta male not retrieving eggs   4/1/11
I have a HM Betta male that just matted with my female but he didn't go down and pick up the eggs from the bottom. I have looked everywhere for a reason why he would do this. I thought it might be age or maybe he is just lazy, I'm not sure. The female actually ate most of the eggs before I got her out. If you have any idea how to get him to retrieve the eggs for next time can you email me back. I know he is young (about 5-6 months old) but I don't know if that would be a problem.
<Hi Michael. Make Bettas often don't do their duty first time, and there's nothing much you can do about it. It's worth trying a few times. Most get the hang of it eventually. But otherwise you'll just have to give up, move on, and try with another, better quality male (fish behaviour very largely being about genetics). Meantime, pray to the Fish Gods! Cheers, Neale.>

Betta Breeding Setup   4/26/10
Hi all - My 7 year old and I are excited that we are about to embark on getting some mates for his male Betta and giving a go at breeding them. We bought a 2.5 gallon rectangular tank that comes with glass dividers to split the tank into 3. We are planning on using a small slow flow internal filter for biological filtration, a small heater that is preset at 78F and an incandescent light. The tank comes with a pretty tight fitting glass top with room for air on the corners - I am concerned this setup will suffocate the fish, but the LFS seemed unconcerned. Will the room at the corners allow enough oxygen in? We are thinking about getting 2 females to go with the male, one fish for each section of the tank. In the male section, what would be good to float on top so he can build his bubble nest? I was thinking about breaking off a piece of plastic plant. I have done the reading and think we can make this happen, but just curious on your thoughts on the set up. Thanks in advance for your advice. Mitch
<Hello Mitch. Can I please dissuade you from this project? For a start, your aquarium is too small, and in all likelihood the male will simply kill any female thrown in there. 2.5 gallons is not really adequate for a single male Betta, despite what the folks selling these "glass coffins" might suggest. Rearing baby fish is all about optimising water quality, otherwise the eggs become fungused and the fry simply die. But the other issue is that breeding Bettas is a hassle with little point to it. Each male Betta juvenile needs its own (heated, filtered) tank, and they start becoming aggressive long before they're big enough to sell (at about six months old). The females are marginally less snappy, but the market for female Bettas is small. In other words, there's a huge amount of expense and effort, with little/no benefit. If you want to breed fish, then there are some excellent species to begin with, including Corydoras aeneus (Bronze Catfish), Ancistrus sp. (Bristlenose Catfish), and Danio rerio (Zebra Danio), all of which are MUCH easier to breed, and FAR EASIER to sell onto your local pet store. Breeding fish is terrific fun and a great educational experience for children, but you really do need to avoid things like Bettas and Convict Cichlids that seem easy, but are actually difficult and/or difficult to sell on. Cheers, Neale.>

Betta breeding? 3/5/10
Hello I am trying to breed my Betta's. My set up is a five gallon tank with a heater and plants. My male Betta made a bubble nest so I put my female in with him yesterday.
<Best to do in the early AM (lights on) on a day when you can/will be present to keep an eye on... should the male become too aggressive, the female disinterested>
It took a while for them to get used to each other but tonight they started breeding. She would put her head down and he would rap <Heee! Modern age... wrap in the olde ones> around her. But he doesn't seem to be able to squeeze her she just slides out.
<Maybe she's not "ready"... does her genital papilla show?>
She is a pretty large female?
<? Got me>
Can she be to <too> big for him to squeeze or will it just take a while for him to squeeze the eggs out?
<I suspect this female may not be "ripe"...>
Cause I haven't seen any eggs fall when he squeezes her. Please help....
<I'd be studying a bit more here. Perhaps a trip to the community library, or purchasing a book (new, used) on Amazon or such re Betta splendens. Bob Fenner> 
Betta breeding #2 3/5/10
hello again, they finally squeezed enough and got the eggs out but the male doesn't even go down to look at the eggs.
<... is the water deep? Temperature?>
The female does she blows them in the nest to.
But I thought I was supposed to take the female out when there done but since she's doing the eggs should I still take her out or should I leave her in and what about the male if I leave her in should I take him out?????
<Again, time for that library trip. You can read our scant coverage here:
but having the whole process described to you in detail in one document is of much greater value.
Bob Fenner>

beta fish 1/6/2010
hello. I have a beta
<Betta, to rhyme with "better". Not to rhyme with "beater".>
fish that I believe is a female, as she is gold and not very pretty, but not sure.
<Should be easy enough to tell. Females have short fins, males don't. Females tend to be less aggressive, too.>
She has a super distended belly, doesn't eat much that <Do review the needs of this species. A common myth is they do well on pellets. While fine from time to time, a diet of just dried foods will lead to constipation, and that can cause bloating. Fish will also bloat if being kept badly. I mention this because far too many people imagine Bettas can live in unheated bowls a gallon or two in size. THEY CANNOT. Minimum, you're looking at a 5 gallon aquarium with a heater and a filter. No, water changes don't remove the need for a filter, and no, a centrally heated home or dorm room isn't warm enough. Do read here:
Constipation can be relieved by NOT using dried foods of any kind, and sticking to cooked peas (squished) and live (or wet-frozen) brine shrimps and daphnia. Add a teaspoon or two Epsom salt per 5 US gallons as well. Not
regular salt, Epsom salt. Once the bloating goes away, use your dried foods, but only once or twice a week. The rest of the time use live or wet-frozen foods: bloodworms, brine shrimps, etc. Dried foods are as likely to cause constipation in fish as they do humans. Imagine if all you did was eat Jerky for a month! You'd be pretty bloated, too.>
I a seeing and has this small white thing sticking out where I believe she goes to the bathroom?
<Goes to the bathroom? I love Americans; they're so wonderfully prone to euphemism for normal bodily functions. I'm visualising a fish jumping out of an aquarium, running up the stairs, sitting on the loo, and wiping its backside with toilet paper. Anyway, I suspect you mean its genital pore.
Yes, on Betta splendens, it is often the case that females have a small white tube present by the anus. This is the genital pore, the opening through which eggs are extruded during spawning. Males, for whatever reason, don't tend to show their genital pore quite so often.>
Please help, I want to save her if possible.
<Assuming the bloating is constipation, the prognosis is good.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

re: beta fish 1/8/10
Thank you so much for all the helpful info.
<Neale is "marked out", but I will relate your thanks, message here>
I will get the live food this afternoon and hopefully it will help. One last question, the genital pore is out right now and is there a chance that her belly is filled with eggs that she cant pass? Sorry if I sound stupid :)
<There is a possibility of this. Please read here re the use of Epsom Salt:
Bob Fenner> 

Breeding Bettas 6-15-2009
Hello WWM Crew
<Hello! Merritt A. here today!>
I have 3 male Bettas (Fire- the red one Ice- the Crowntail blue one and Sunny- the yellow one). Yesterday I bought 3 females and put each female in a divided tank with a male. Fire and Ice both were displaying at the females and the females displayed back, but the female that was in the tank with Ice died so I went and got another one today. I lifted the divider in all three tanks but Ice and the female attacked each other, why is this?
<Did the second female flash receptive signs back at him? (clamped fins, head down, vertical bars on the body)>
Him and the first female didn't act like this. Sunny made a nest last night but my boy friend bumped the tank and messed it up. What I can't figure out is why sunny and his tank mate are not interacting they both swim in the undivided tank as if the other isn't there.
<How old is Sunny? Older Bettas are less likely to mate than younger ones, also he might not be attracted to the female you purchased for him. Each male Betta will have individual tastes regarding females.>
FIRE made a nest but I needed to do a water change and messed it up. His female now looks as though she has eggs and her ovipositor is poking out.
Fire won't make another nest and every time I lift the divider she'll let out a cloudy discharge substance, What is it?
<She may be getting excited and be releasing a egg solution that doesn't contain eggs. You male Betta might remake a nest if you introduce the female or position another male Betta near his tank so his thinks he has
competition. Good luck! Merritt A.>

Breeding Bettas Part II 6-30-2009
Thank you Merritt for responding also I'm trying to condition my Bettas but they wont eat the blood worms and one of the females keep changing colors every few hours, is she ok? Again thank you for all your help and I love the WWM Crew you guys always respond to me so quickly and the website is the best....... I only care for my fish with the advice from you guys and not these other " Experts" so again thank you Merritt and everyone else at WWM!
<Sorry for not answering this sooner. Your female Betta is fine. Many fish change color depending on mood and in this situation, I would bet it is mood. If your Bettas do not like the blood worms you can always culture mosquito larvae yourself. It is very easy and they will love it. You are welcome and good luck! Merritt A.>

Betta breeding, Corydoras comp.    6/7/09
Hi WWM Crew! My name is Hana and i have been planning for over a month to breed my Bettas. I was wondering if I could put a Corydoras catfish in a fry tank after my fry become free swimming.
<No. There are two reasons. Firstly, Corydoras catfish will eat anything small they can catch. Their eyesight isn't good, so they hunt by smell. If the thing they find smells nice, they'll eat it! Secondly, in breeding
tanks you want perfect water quality. This is difficult to do. It is important to remove uneaten food, do lots of water changes, and above all, not add any big fish! You cannot add "one" Corydoras catfish because
they're schooling fish, and adding the minimum number -- five -- would cause too much pollution. If the breeding tank gets polluted, the fry will die.>
This is my first time so I would like some advice too.
<With regard to what?>
I don't have a sponge filter or a air pump but I do have a normal hang-on filter. Would it be okay if I put a piece of cloth on the intake tube to soften the intake?
<No. You do need an air-powered sponge filter. Firstly, the male Betta needs to make a nest, and for that, water flow must be very gentle. If the water flow is too strong, the bubbles will not stick together properly, and the eggs will fall out of the nest. Secondly, the fry are very, very small, and if the water current is too strong, they will be at risk of being sucked into the filter. Thirdly, you will need to feed the fry infusoria,
and these will get sucked into an electric filter.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

"Fish Help"
Re: HI... Betta... repro.  6/7/09

Thank you so much!
<Most welcome.>
I will consider an air pump and a sponge filter. Are airstones okay to put in with the Betta fry?
<An air-powered sponge filter is better.>
I heard that darker colors are more dominant when you breed fish; is that true?
<Not as simple as this. Some colours like Yellow and Black are recessive, and hence producing them means you need to cross just the right parents.
This is why Yellow Bettas and Black Bettas are so uncommon. Other colours are dominant or co-dominant, such as Red and Blue. These tend to be common in broods, though the proportions will vary depending on the gene you're interested in. Indeed, if the genes are co-dominant, as with Red and Blue compared, you can get both genes expressing themselves: some mostly red fry, some mostly blue, and some that are purple. I'm not really knowledgeable of Betta genetics, but I dare say that there are books, web articles, and indeed whole forums devoted to the topic! Cheers, Neale.>

Betta breeding   5/1/09
Hi Crew
I am very new to Betta breeding and have read a lot. One thing which is a bit unclear to me is: will the female produce vertical bars in the conditioning process away from the male or will they only appear after
introducing her to the male?
Hope to hear from you soon. mike
<Hi Mike; the vertical bars are a communication device whereby females advertise to males that they're potential mates and not rival males. The females don't normally show these bars unless approaching a
territory-holding male. They may show these bars at other times, but they might not be obvious. In fact some females don't ever show them! Much better to rely on plumpness in terms of her filling up with eggs, and the behaviour of the pair when it comes to determining whether they're about to spawn. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta breeding   5/1/09
Thanks Neale
Great advice coz I'm so inexperienced I could have be waiting for ever for those bars to appear. It bought me on to another question though...sorry.
<Fire away!>
I have a large female and one that is slightly smaller and they both seem to be getting plumper. I have been feeding them bloodworm in the conditioning process and noticed them getting plumber/fatter.
<Cool; but don't overfeed them. It's not so much the quantity of food as its quality that matters, and live foods especially work great. On the other hand, just because a female is fat, doesn't mean she's filled with
eggs! I'd feed a normal amount of food, but in 4-6 small meals across the day. That would suggest to the girl that "the good times are here" and there's plenty of food.>
Is there a clear sign to determine weather it is over feeding or egg development.
<Yes; the white egg tube (ovipositor) should appear. If she's merely fat, she'll look plump, often with the scales slightly protruding from her body.>
I only ask because my large female has a big belly but no white egg tube and my smaller female has an egg tube but not as big a belly, however there is a bit of swelling just behind her stomach.
<Sounds like she's ready to breed. Use an aquarium with a divider, put the male on one side, the female on the other, and see how they react.>
Hope this makes sense pretty hard to explain.
Good news is though they have both gone a dark blue and the horizontal lines have almost disappeared.
As for behavior I have seen them (females) doing a mad little dance next to each other and a bit of flaring. They don't fight and its only happened a couple of times? what's that all about?
<Quite normal. They aren't social fish, and even the females can be territorial.>
I've read loads on how to breed these great little fish but sometimes its hard to find the answers for such simple questions.
<I'd recommend a little book called "A Fishkeeper's Guide to Fish Breeding" by Chris Andrews. It's easy to pick up second-hand copes inexpensively via Amazon and the like. Amazon has the 1993 edition for ONE CENT. I've got the 1986 edition. It's still the best little book on breeding tropical fish out there, and yes, the Betta is described in detail.>
Again would really love to hear what you got to say.
Thanks mike
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Betta breeding   5/1/09
Wicked, Thanks Neale. That has really helped me out. Sounds like I've been doing the right thing by feeding them about 5-6 times a day.
There is no sign of protruding scales so could be eggs.
<They don't always have protruding scales, just sometimes.>
I will feed them for a couple more days on some 'live food' and then introduce the female in a divider and see if they take. Hopefully they will. If they do I will release the female once the male has built his bubble nest under half a cup.
<Sounds like a plan.>
I will defiantly get that book. Shame its so expensive haha. I will have a look down the side of the sofa for the cash. (about 35p in England I think)
<Ah, didn't realise; I'm in England too. Would imagine the book's available in England too.>
Thanks again mate, really good advice.
<Happy to help.>
<Good luck, Neale.>

Help...male or female Betta 01/18/09 The LFS where I just bought a couple Bettas from did not know if they were male or female. Sounds silly, but I'm not sure if they are females or young male plakats. I am almost positive they are female, but I was wondering if male Bettas displayed vertical lines or if that was strictly a female display. Thanks for your quick answer. I appreciate your help. Cat <Well, you could always put them together and see if they fight or not. j/k! Don't do that. I'm not sure about the stripes, but I doubt it's a sure fire way to sex them. Your best bet is likely to look for the ovipositor tube or egg spot. Look for a really small little white dot the size of a grain of sand, on the "belly," between the anal fins and ventral fins. Best, Sara M.>

Breeding Betta question 8/18/08 I am attempting to breed my Betta fish for the first time. <Much written about this, but do be prepared to house literally dozens and dozens (potentially hundreds) of males separately. For most casual hobbyists, there is no point at all trying to breed these fish as you'll be hard pressed finding homes for all these fish.> I have the 10 gallon tank with live plants, Styrofoam, submersible heater. My female has been ready (white dot, rounded large stomach and displaying vibrant vertical bars and more vibrant color-it was really beautiful) I put her in view of my first male and he did nothing. <Has he made the bubblenest yet? It's best to leave him to do that, and then introduce the female. One good trick is to use a divider to keep the female away from the male. The male will see the female, make his nest, and *then* you can introduce them without fear for problems.> Switched him out for my other male, he has made the bubble nest and was displaying for her, so I let her out. She went over to the nest a few times but would leave, almost like she was saying he needed to make it bigger. <Females do indeed select the mate. The flip side is that if the female rejects the male, he may aggressively drive her off. You can help things along by "conditioning" the female prior to introducing the pair to each other. A rich diet of live (or wet frozen) foods will do this far better than flake.> He would dance to her and try to lead her back to the nest. Eventually he chased her around a lot and she has some fin damage. <She rejected him; he's now keen to drive her off to make space for another female.> She is no longer showing her bars and he has forced her to repeatedly hide. <Normal.> I took her out to try and give her a break. I plan on reintroducing her (through glass) to see if her bars will reappear? <Do condition her for a couple of weeks first.> How long should I keep her separated and out of sight for? <Couple of weeks rather than a few days.> She still shows her egg tube near her vent. How long does it usually take for her to reabsorb her eggs? <No idea. Will depend on multiple factors: diet, water temperature, age.> Just wondering how much time I have. I also have a backup female that I am conditioning but she is not showing anything yet. Thanks! <Cheers, Neale.>

End product, Betta breeding  - 05/31/08 Hi, Crew I have a few questions. 1) If I breed a half-moon Betta (male) with an ordinary female will I get fry of both varieties or just the half-moon or just the normal? <Absolutely no idea. Will depend entirely on the genetics of the two parents. You will have to experiment simply to figure out the genetics of the parents, let alone predict what'll happen.> I am asking this question because if I could get the answer it would save a lot of my time. 2) In what quantity should I use Metronidazole to cure intestinal tract in fishes? <Seek and ye will find... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flagylfaqs.htm ...and linked articles. WetWebMedia has a search tool, so it's often quicker to go straight to the articles and FAQs relevant to an issue than to wait for us to get back to you. Cheers, Neale.> Male Bettas and Female Bettas  2/7/07 Hi its <it's> me, Sharon again. I just wanted to know about my Bettas. I have a really pretty red, blue, black, and white Halfmoon female Betta, her name is Danger. I also have a neon pink, and neon blue male Betta, his name is Neon Flare. I REALLY want to breed these two, but I just don't know how. <Read> One time I put Danger and Neon Flare together (BIG mistake!) and I didn't know that they'd practically kill each other. What happened was the moment Danger realized she was with Neon Flare, I think she was curious and wanted to know what he tasted like. So she nipped him and knew he was mad at her and went straight to the back of the tank and tried to hide. Eventually he found her hiding behind some fake plants, and attacked her violently. I took her out as fast as I could and put her in a 1 gallon tank. A couple months after that, I thought they were ready to be together again. So I put them together in the same 10 gallon tank and Danger was MEAN! She ripped a chunk of fin off his tail and ate it! I took her out really fast again and put her back in her original tank. So I know never to put them together! But how will I breed them? Will I ever have Betta fry? Please Reply. Thanks Again,              Sharon <I'd get on down to the local library... There are numerous books on Bettas, breeding... Otherwise some input here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betreprofaqs.htm and the linked files you'll find there. BobF>

Female Bettas blowing bubble nests   11/14/07 Hello, <Hi there> I am a beginner at keeping and breeding Bettas. I have been reading your columns with great interest. On your Betta Breeding FAQ, I read a question from a person whose female-appearing Betta was blowing a bubble nest. I have seen a few references to such behavior online, and generally the experts will say that this behavior doesn't exist in females. <Mmm, does happen at times> There is often the suggestion that the fish in question may be either a wild-type male or is simply not a fully developed female. <Also a possibility> Well, I have two females who both blow bubbles. Both are definitely female: they both show stripes, and both have prominent egg spots. Lilith blows small groups of bubbles. Not usually enough to build a cohesive nest, really. But Eve once blew a decent sized bubble nest, dropped about 50 eggs, and placed them all into the bubble nest herself. I was stunned! I had been conditioning her for breeding before she did this. She was entirely alone at the time. A week later, I put her in with the male, and she was just too scared of him to breed. I wonder if it may have been too soon after the dropping of the eggs, too. I removed her and put the other female, Lilith, in the tank and she bred successfully! Her fry are now just over two weeks old, and I am working hard to get them through this sensitive period. Wish me luck... <...! "Bred successfully?" As in young are developing?> It is likely that these two were sisters, as I purchased them the same day from the same store, and they share the same coloration. So perhaps this behavior is a genetic trait. They are both veil tails, which is a strain that I know the serious hobbyists don't tend to keep. Perhaps this is why the serious hobbyists don't see this behavior - maybe it's linked somehow to the veil tail strain, only found in those fish with poor breeding. My fish also have a dark red coloration that I love, but I know more serious hobbyists find less interesting. It is fairly common, but I find it beautiful. The reasoning is all conjecture, of course, but the oddest things can be linked together genetically. We can never know exactly why this happens, but I assure you, it does happen! <Agreed> I just thought it might be interesting to know that some bona fide fertile females do, occasionally, blow bubble nests. Mary <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Female Bettas blowing bubble nests, beh. and repro. f's   11/15/07 Thanks, Bob. <Welcome Mary> <...! "Bred successfully?" As in young are developing?> Perhaps my wording was somewhat ambiguous... Lilith (bubble-blowing female #2) bred successfully with the male, not with the other female. I removed Eve (bubble-blowing female #1) from the breeding tank, leaving Lucifer (VT male, also an avid bubble blower) in. I added Lilith to the breeding tank and she bred with Lucifer. <I see...> So yes, indeed, they bred successfully. The fry are now sixteen days old. There were quite a lot. I lost some to algae / excessive phosphate levels, which I'm still battling. There are still far more than I have ready grow out homes for, as I just didn't expect this degree of success. <Given decent "circumstances", life proliferates... fortune passes everywhere> Some are up to a centimeter long. I caught the largest trying to eat a sibling this evening! <Very common... this sorting by size, behavior, is a steady job for several people at hatcheries of Betta splendens> The larger one had the entire tail and back end of the smaller one's body in its mouth and throat, but couldn't quite bite down or swallow it whole. It swam backward for a while trying to get the smaller one out of its throat. Perhaps he has learned that he is not a snake, and can not eat anything larger than his own head. Or perhaps not, as he is a fish with a very small brain. At any rate, I scolded him roundly, and he assured me he would change his cannibalistic ways. I added another round of baby brine shrimp as incentive. <Heeee! I would remove this rogue to a container of its own or at least sequester it with similar sized individuals> I wonder if it is too early to begin separating out aggressive fry from the remainder of the babies. They hatched only sixteen days ago. Hmm... <Is not too early> Thanks! Mary <Be chatting Mar, BobF>

Re: Female Bettas blowing bubble nests, repro.  -- 11/17/07 Hi again, Bob. Thanks so much for your advice thus far! I have what may seem like a silly question... How on earth do I remove Goliath (as we are now calling the cannibalistic Betta fry) safely to other quarters? He has dozens of siblings, and lots of room to move around. How do I make sure I get him quickly, and don't traumatize him or his siblings? A net seems unwieldy for such a little guy, but he's way too big for a dropper. How do you do it? <I move baby fish using the plastic measuring cups that come with medications. It's easy enough to scoop them up using these. On the whole baby fish are fairly robust, so I wouldn't get too paranoid about this sort of thing.> I am particularly concerned because when I changed the water a few days ago, I accidentally sucked a bunch of fry into the vacuum and I think they may have been some of the same ones who didn't make it through the week... <Since you'll end up with a bazillion more fry than you can possibly raise to a decent size and sell on, I'd not worry about this. The main problem with Betta spp. fry tends to be separating off the males as they mature: they very quickly turn nasty and attack one another. Home aquarists breeding Betta spp. for fun often find it easier to simply rear a manageable number of fry (say, a couple of dozen) and dispose of all the rest.> Any advice would be helpful. I found two tailless floaters today! <Ah, that's normal in pretty well all batches of fish. Review your fry mercilessly, and destroy any substandard fish humanely. Sexual reproduction has evolved to be a slap-dash affair, with genes getting cobbled together any old how. While this sometimes throws up good mutations, more often it results in deleterious deformities. That's where natural selection comes in. What you're seeing is perfectly natural and exactly what happens in the wild, though inbreeding of ornamental fish undoubtedly raises the chances of deformities.> My boyfriend's suggestion is that I coax him into a cup by putting some smaller siblings in as bait. Yikes! <Probably excessive. Moving fish is often easier at night, when they're dozy.> Thanks! Mary <Cheers, Neale.>

Making bubbles? Bettas... females?    8/22/07 Hello, i have a sorority of female bettas that recently have begun making bubbles which look like the bubble nests that male bettas make when ready to breed. I am sure they are all female, so i do not understand why these large numbers of bubbles have begun appearing, could you help? <Mmm, I strongly suspect that you have at least one male mixed in here... do isolate the larger/est ones in turn... and be observant. Bob Fenner>

Betta Fish Question... repro.   6/30/07 <<Good morning, Justin. Tom here.>> I found your e-mail address as I was researching what I found in my Betta's bowl a couple of days ago. I have a male betta. I've had him for more than 6 months. I also have a tendency to leave home for two or three days, but the last time I came home after one of my extended leaves, I found about a dozen egg like things floating at the top of his bowl. He is male, I thought at least, and never come in contact with another betta while I've owned him. The eggs look like bubbles, but filled with mucus with a little brown "yolk". Can my betta asexually reproduce? <<Justin, the short answer is no. The female's eggs must be fertilized by a male. If what you've found are, in fact, eggs laid by your pet then you've got a female rather than a male. This also means, of course, that the eggs aren't viable. As to how you could have managed to end up with a female that has the appearance of a male, there is much selective breeding going on among farmers of these fish and one of the facets of this practice is to breed for females with male-like traits, i.e. longer finnage and brighter coloration. (Things used to be much simpler.) The 'hook', if you will, is that lots of folks would love to keep Bettas together in the same tank which isn't feasible with the males, for obvious reasons. However, it is with females. The upshot is that breeders raise females with the males' characteristics and, potentially, sell more fish. (You might simply have procured a female Betta that 'naturally' possesses more coloration and finnage, as well.) Tom>>

Betta Fry   2/20/07 Hi <Hello there> I have found your advice very reliable on several occasions in the past, and I am sorry to be bothering you again. Two of my Bettas spawned successfully two weeks ago. The fry were numerous and healthy until yesterday. I have been feeding them mainly baby brine shrimp (frozen and live) with some finely ground Betta pellets. <Do know this "phase" of development is the hardest in the process...> I have been siphoning the tank daily with partial water changes, adding Interpet Fresh Start for chlorine etc. and some Amquel to remove ammonia etc. <Mmm... a very good idea to use "old water" from an established system for these change-outs... of the same temperature... OR to at least pre-mix and store new water for a week or more. The "new" water out of the tap is just that variable, hard for developing young to take> A box filter with synthetic wool and activated carbon has been in use also. Yesterday the fry appeared to be sinking head-first and lying on the bottom; alot of these are now dead. Many of the fry alive but obviously unwell are resting on their heads on the bottom with their tails facing straight up. I have read online that too much brine shrimp can cause swim bladder problems (I am waiting for ordered microworms to arrive). <Mmm, another very common issue... Such food cultures need to be "going" well in advance of spawning/rearing events> Can you please tell me if what I am seeing sounds like a swim bladder problem or something else? <May be related to feeding... but is likely environmental... about this stage, the development of Labyrinth Organs... the tank is covered from air drafts I hope/trust... Otherwise, the trouble could be from the source water... I do hope your young recover.> I cannot find a similar description of fry lying 'face down tail up' online. Thanks LEE <Bob Fenner>

Betta breeding: lots of time, energy and expense...worth it, if you're ready!  12/30/06 Hey, <Hello and Happy Holidays!> I am a beginner Betta lover and I got my first male Betta 4 months ago and for my bday two weeks ago I got a females so I could breed. <I'm confused - you got a female, singular, or multiple females, plural?> But now that I am just about prepared to breed these Bettas, I'm scared he will kill her. <It's possible.  At the least, the female will likely get a bit beat up.> I know chances are zero... <zero?  Not true, if properly researched first...> ...but I love these fish so much! <I, too, love the Bettas! Best thing you can do for them is read, read, and read some more before attempting to breed.  From the research I've done, breeding Bettas requires a lot of time, money and energy to be done properly and safely.  Here's some links to my favorite Betta websites: http://www.bcbetta.com/spawning.html http://www.siamsbestbettas.com/breeding.html http://www.bettatalk.com/spawning_setup.htm > And my 2nd question is if Liquifry #2 is ok for Bettas, or only #1 ok?? <My understanding is that the latter is specifically formulated for livebearers, and the former for egglayers.  Thus, I'd choose #1. I do not have personal experience with either; instead, I use Hikari's First Bites.  Serious Betta breeders usually grow their own microworms, from what I understand...> --The lover of the fishies! <Best to do your homework before undertaking such a project.  I currently have 2 males Bettas (separately, of course) and 1 female Betta, and I know that I don't know nearly enough to undertake such a project.  Also, be sure you have room for up to 200 fry at a time! Good luck, Jorie> Betta Spawning  10/26/06 Hi, <<Hello, Lee. Tom here.>> In a first attempt to breed my male Betta with one of my females (both young and first-timers also), I am seeing the following and would really appreciate your advice; upon introducing the female in a glass jar to the males tank, she displayed vertical barring immediately while he kept flaring at her, and both tried to get to each other. <<So far, so good'¦>> They were like this for 12 hours straight - he did not make a bubblenest, he was focused on only her. I let her in to him directly, and they immediately began spawning for the next 7 hours. He still did not make a nest. They both then spent 6 hours picking up the eggs and spitting them to the surface under the Styrofoam bubble-less site (they sink again quickly). She lost her bars, I removed her. He is still constantly chasing sinking eggs and spitting them to the surface alone, for the last 12 hours. Was he too eager to make a nest or, is it possible he lacks the ability? <<Either of these two is possible, Lee. First, I'll assume that there was little, if any, agitation of the surface of the male's tank. Bubblers, HOB filters and surface 'agitators' of this sort are not conducive to males building nests. Floating plants, even fake ones, can prompt the male to construct a nest, though. Another 'trick' you might try is to hold a mirror near the male's tank. This should cause him to flare -- not something I find 'amusing' for its own sake -- but might give him a sense of competition for any females that might be around. (Generally, females are drawn to males that have created large nests. A sign of power, if you will.) Finally, along this line of thinking, daily water changes and a diet of live foods, if possible, can 'jump start' a male into this part of the spawning ritual. As for being too eager, this wouldn't surprise me. If he were caught unawares with the introduction of the female, his immaturity may have led him to skip the bubble nest and concentrate completely on the female, which is exactly what you observed.>> Will the fry sink and die when they hatch without a bubblenest? (He will tire soon I think). <<Sadly, Lee, I don't think the chances for the fry would be good under these circumstances. Shortly after they hatch, the male will continue to push them back up into the nest'¦if one exists. They typically don't take long to become free-swimming but I'm not optimistic about their survival during these first, critical days.>> Should I try and breed the same pair in the future? (Will they get it right next time?) <<Sounds to me like they got most of it right this time around, Lee. I wouldn't be discouraged on a first try. Having spawned once, your male may turn into a nest building dynamo and you could find yourself up to your hip pockets in baby Bettas. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.>> Your opinion would be invaluable Thanks LEE <<Happy to assist, Lee. Best regards. Tom>>

Breeding Bettas, reading    6/28/06 Hello- <Hi there> I have a breeding pair of Bettas in a breeding tank, and I had to leave them alone together for a few hours (there had been a clear divider separating them previously.) Now, the male has blown a huge bubble nest under the Styrofoam cup shelter, and is constantly hovering underneath it. He chases the female away if she makes herself noticeable. - They are now separated again, for the female's safety - How can I tell if they have laid eggs in my absence? <Mmm, most easily by the males attentive behavior under the nest> I don't want to reintroduce the female if there are already eggs in the nest, as the male will chase her and nip her. <These two should not be in constant view of each other. The female needs to be removed> The female is still very plump, and I don't see any "dropped" eggs on the bottom of the tank, which leads me to think she has not released any. Thank you for your time! -Amber <Should not appear plump... after. Did you perceive the female was "ready"? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betreprofaqs.htm and the files linked there. Bob Fenner>

Re: breeding Bettas  6/29/06 Hello- Thank you for your reply, I've read the articles you linked to. When I released the female, she had the white egg spot showing and was wiggling back and forth at the male. <I see> I don't think she was squeezed, though, because shortly after sending you my first question I removed her from the breeding tank and the male started to stray from the nest and did not appear half as attentive as he had when she was in view. <Mmm, and I take it the female could be seen by the male, he had "blown" a bubble nest prior> As I mentioned before, she's still incredibly plump and has the egg spot showing. She's pure white, so I can't really tell if she was displaying stripes. As I write you this, I have examined the bubble nest and did not see any eggs, but since they're the same color as the cup, I's expect this even if there were eggs there. Maybe the male is over-protective of an empty nest? Many thanks! -Amber <Yes, this does happen. I would try re-exposing this female... Bob Fenner>

Betta fry, poor English   6/22/06 Have bred fighters several times since last December. Good amount. Why would they be stunted in growth. i.e. five month old fry still only about 6-7millimeters. ph- neutral temp-25'celcius food- Liquifry then finely ground flake and Betta food. (Too small for live food) Regular water changes (2 per week about 40%) Different parents What am I doing wrong? <Perhaps water changes (done more frequently leads to faster growth), and better nutrition for sure. Please learn to/use your spelling, grammar checkers before sending... Bob Fenner>

Hi. Maybe do give a go at WetWebFotos.com... Breeding Bettas   6/18/06 Hi. Also, our local pet store gives us problems! We are breeding Bettas and fancy-tail guppies and any other fish... personally I'm breeding  gourami's though.... but one thing, the pet store sold us sterile female Bettas (long-fined females- a new strand that is known for being infertile!) <Thanks for pointing this out. Not uncommon that this occurs. Not really the store per se, but the producers overseas...> we didn't research it until now and we've spent over $100 on just the Bettas alone! But wow! We were doing everything right then we researched more and more and then one day popped up a site that told us it's a new strand that's commonly infertile! At Wal-Mart here,  theirs will most likely breed because they're at least fertile and breedable! what do you recommend we do? Buy from Wal-Mart because there are No breeders in our area--- at all! <You seem serious enough to try the "Betta Congresses". Use your search tool to view, perhaps join the U.S., International, perhaps a regional Betta Club. Bob Fenner>

My Lord-- Homosexual Betta Fish   6/13/06 Hello, <Howdy> I have been trying to breed Betta fish for the first time. I have one male (isolated) and four females. Two of the females are larger and have been together in the tank for about 2-3 months, and I just got two smaller ones last week. A few days ago, I tried breeding the alpha female with my male, but floating her only produced endless flaring by each, and through-the-plastic attacks. <I strongly suspect this alpha female is another male... happens all the time...> Fearing for their safety, I removed her and put in the "2nd", less dominant, female instead. I'm not sure if she was squeezed--after a few hours I removed her, she was a little beat up. <Was this second female "ready"?... Round, with a "white dot" at her vent?> Today I did a  ~40% water change on the female tank, the first in a while. Just now I was sitting in my room when I saw an odd white burst from my tank, and I started watching them. That's when I noticed then my 2nd female was 'vertical', and then the two mature females embraced, and eggs shot out. I had never seen such a thing, but read about it so I knew what was going on. I'm so confused, almost as if my son had come out on me. (Being 18 though, I have no son. This is as close as it gets.) <... I understand> Is my alpha-female too masculine? Is there hope for her to breed with my male? Should I just accept her for who she is? Eddie <Or rather who "he" is... As stated... often there are some "mis-identified" females in batches of grown-out Bettas... Commercially, males are separated into individual bowls at early age... but some don't get identified, mature till later... and are mis-sold as females. I would separate and keep this alpha fe/male as another male. Bob Fenner>
Re: Betta Homosexuality  6/13/06
Thank you for your response. <Welcome> I must, for my own sake, see if your conclusion may be false. My (admittedly inexperienced) eyes do note the 'egged stomach' of--well, Ruth--in comparison to my male, it is bulgy. Secondly, when they squeezed (several times) both of the girls would immediately go to consuming furiously all of the expelled eggs. Isn't that against the male's duty? <... Mmm... perhaps... there is a possibility that these are two females... even that one is not quite "all female"> This is slightly unrelated, but I found it curious as well. My 2nd female, a bit later in the night, took to squeezing herself once. She curled and shot out eggs, and ravenously devoured them. As if she found her own body to be a vending machine. <Yes... will consume...> Eddie (Mailing on Hotmail now as my main client now doesn't believe in your address) <Dang our ISP, my ignorance of computer technology. Cheers, BobF>

Bettas repro.  6/5/06 Hello WWM crew, My name is Elizabeth and I have a few questions to ask you. I have a male and female Betta. The male, Kiddo, seems highly interested in the female, Arabess, but every time I put them together Kiddo will practically tear off all  of Arabess' fins. <Not atypical> I've tried everything from putting her in a bowl beside his tank to putting her in a drinking glass inside his tank so that he can see her   but can't get to her. He builds bubble nests (not very good ones though), <Is the male's system covered? These nests are easily disrupted with differing surface/air temperature> but she  won't show any signs off readiness aside from vertical yellow lines on her belly  and the white "button". <This and "fullness" in appearance are about it...> She's very energetic and loves to flutter around him  when she's NOT directly in the same tank as him. I've read that just to be safe  you should always have two females available. <Mmm, one technique... not that used by commercial breeders by and large> Yesterday I just purchased my  second female, Momma. I've tried feeding her three times now and she won't eat. I  tried putting her with Arabess, my other female, and they whip each other with  their back fins. <Unusual... the new female may be an immature male...> I'm not sure if this is aggression or playfulness but I  thought that females don't fight. Also I know that some fish will "kiss"  each other (like the kissing Gourami) as a battle of the fittest, <Rare> so to say, to  see what fish will break away first. My two females have been doing that but I  wasn't sure if it was safe or not so I took the one out. My new female shows no  interest in Kiddo and I'm afraid she's rather stressed or something (though she  shows only vertical lines). I'm thinking about returning her to the store for a  less aggressive male for Arabess. Should I get another male? <If you'd like> Or would a  different female be a better idea? A new male for Arabess or a new female for  Kiddo? <Up to you. A key element to breeding Bettas is warm, stable water... are your systems heated? Bob Fenner>

Betta Breeding Beginnings - 05/15/2006 Hi WWM Crew!   I'm a new owner of Bettas and need some help.  I've had a male Betta for 3 or 4 weeks in a 1 gal+ bowl and he seems to be happy and healthy.  I use distilled bottled water, and change it once a week. <Uhh, not completely, I hope?  On this size container, I'd try to do two partial changes a week if possible, but water tests will tell you if you must.> I just bought a female Betta and wanted to breed them.  I can't tell if they are ready to breed.  They are in separate bowls and see each other.  The male shows interest in the female and displays.  The female seems to show some interest in the male.  The male is about 2 inches long counting the fins.  She is about an inch long.   <She is too small for this male right now; perhaps even too small/immature to breed at all.> I do not see any sign of the white button on the female.   <Probably too young/small to have eggs right now.  She'll need to be quite a bit bigger - close to the size of the male.> The male makes quite a large area of bubbles on the surface (a bubble nest?)   <A good sign.> But when I change the water he has to start all over.   <Less water more often may do the trick, here.  Use an air hose to siphon some of the water for a water change, rather than pouring from the bowl....  lots of tricks here.> I have no filter, aerator, light or thermometer for them.  So I am starting from scratch.   <For the nesting father and fry, you'll need a larger space (even a half-filled ten gallon tank will suffice at first), a constant temperature (this means heater and thermometer), preferably some live plants to help Dad with nesting (Riccia fluitans, floating, would be of great help here).> I don't want to spend a fortune.   <It won't take a fortune, but it will be at least some expense, to set them up to properly and successfully breed.  For now, though, you'll be waiting a while for the girlie to grow up a bit.  You can perhaps even acquire your system(s) piecemeal from garage sales, classified ads in the newspaper, maybe even eBay if you find something local, who knows.> Will I need to get an entire aquarium system to breed them?   <To successfully raise the fry, yeah, I would really recommend at least a ten gallon tank for Dad and his nest.> Can you recommend an economical but good quality system to buy?   <Again, you can probably find used things for cheap.  Even ask your family and friends - maybe someone has an old tank or some gear up in the attic that's been gathering some dust.  While you're waiting for that great deal to come around, read up on the 'net regarding Betta breeding; there are tons of sites that will give you step-by-step instructions to help you along your way.> Currently I have them near an east window, partially sunny on the kitchen counter.  They both seem quite content and healthy.   <Sounds good.> Thanks for the help. <Glad to be of service.> DGL <-Sabrina>

Fe/Male Betta beh.  - 05/10/2006 Hi, I need some help. I have a cute female Betta. She has been thriving since I got her. About two weeks ago I purchased a male Betta. I let them both see one another but never introduced them. They were in two separate tanks at all times. I've since given the male away. However now the female will not stop laying eggs and making bubble nests. She will not eat because she is preoccupied with protecting her nest. <Mmm, females rarely build bubble nests, nor do they guard them. I suspect you have a less than mature appearing male> I feel so bad for her. I don't know what I should do. I'm even worried about changing her water because I will have to discard her eggs. Although I know I must change her water soon. I know she needs the presence of a male to fertilize her eggs, but is there anything I can place in her tank to stop her from laying eggs. She has had three separate episodes of egg laying. A few days will go by where she will eat like crazy. Then she stops and lays her eggs. Do you have any advise for this hopelessly romantic female Betta? <... I would change the water... Bob Fenner>

Some Betta Repro./beh. advice needed!    4/20/06 Hello there, I saw your information about Siamese fighting fish on the wet web media website while I was looking for some advice and I thought I would email and ask you as it seems you have lots of experience with these amazing fish! I have a male and a female and they have been spawning and lots of eggs have been released; the trouble is that the male has not created a nest anywhere (at least that I can see) and it seems that when the eggs are released both male and female (after she has recovered) have been eating the eggs. <Happens> The eggs that have survived the adults seem to just float away among the tank. I am worried that the eggs will not survive with the male being so flippant about them.. have you seen anything like this before? <Yes... lack of preparation... need to be raised apart, introduced such that the male is stimulated, makes a bubble nest> I am pretty new to keeping the fighting fish and am desperate for some advice on the matter as it would be very sad to see the eggs go to waste. Thank you very much, Micaela Burr. <Do a bit more reading re spawning Betta splendens... Plenty on the Net, books re this. Bob Fenner>

Bettas (not) mating for life   3/10/06 Hey guys and girls   my dad and I were at a pet store and like any pet store that has FW fish they had Bettas. My dad was saying how it was terrible to keep any fish in such a small "tank" (more like a cup). then he asked me if Bettas mated for life I said since they were aggressive fish probably not. What is true? Also what your opinion on keeping Bettas in a "cup" <Is unnecessarily cruel and backward. See what is posted on WWM. Bob Fenner> Veronica

Betta With No Bubble Nest 3/5/2006 Hi <<Good Evening.>> I am trying to breed Bettas. Both the male and female seem to be ready and the male is trying to build a bubble nest, but try as he does he cannot seem to get a nest made. There is no filter system and the temperature is at 80F. Am I doing something wrong? <<If the water parameters are all in check, and the tank is properly cycled, just give your male more time, he will get it eventually.  I recommend a very low flow filter, as the media is were most nitrifying bacteria grow.  Lisa.>>

Aggression in breeding Bettas  - 2/21/2006 Dear WWM crew (and a special hello to whoever answers this!), To start off, I love this site. If I've ever had a fish question, I've found the answer to it here, but I'm at a loss about this and concerned about my fish. I've had Betta fish before, but this is the first time I've tried to breed them. Everything I've done was instructions from what I've found online, but they don't specifically cover this in depth, and I want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong. I have a royal blue male Betta for about 3 months now, and about 3 weeks ago I bought a blue/red female as well. They were both well fed on live brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms, and a mixed flake/pellet food just for Bettas. I fed them 3 times a day, varying what I fed each time. The male, Vader, was in a one gallon bowl and the female, Padme, in a half gallon bowl. <I hope GeorgeL doesn't find out re this naming...> Both were active and happy, and I changed about half their water weekly.  When they were placed next to each other, they would display and show a lot of interest. Padme's color would intensify, and she'd turn very red in the fins and the cheeks, almost as if she was blushing.   <Mmm, need to be in heat-controlled settings...> I have a 5.5 gallon tank for their breeding tank, heated to 80 degrees F, half a Styrofoam cup, a bunch of floating plastic plants, and a sponge filter. I let Vader loose in the tank and put Padme in a jar, and released her when she started to bar, and had the white "button" sticking out from her belly. Vader has a bubble nest about 4 or 5 times the size of his body, and they were constantly displaying at each other. <Sounds good> I let Padme out, and they were displaying for each other. Then Vader started to chase her and nip at her fins, which I expected. He chased her constantly for about an hour, then returned to his nest. She stayed in the corner of the tank, eying him. Every 15 minutes or so, he would take of, display and wiggle in front of her again, and she'd take off and he'd chase her, nipping.  I expected all of this, but she wouldn't go to him and present herself, even though she had the bars still, and the white "button". After about 36 hours together, <... a day is about the limit...> I have taken her out because she was really torn up, and I was concerned because she was just floating on top of the water or resting on the bottom with her fins clamped. Vader would chase her every so often, and she'd take off, but other than that she wouldn't move. She is now in a container next to the breeding tank, as I wanted to give her a chance to rest. I read that they would look very beat up and ragged, but I don't know if his negative attention is a bit excessive. She looked very pitiful and tired when I took her out of the breeding tank, but now they are both swimming at the glass and flaring at each other again, and she seems much improved, other than her frayed fins. Her stomach is also swollen, I can only assume with eggs. I'm planning on putting her back in a day or so, but I wonder, should I have taken her out at all? <Yes... or else this fish would very likely be dead/killed> She has only been out of the tank for about an hour, but she already looks better, and keeps swimming in front of Vader. Any advice would be appreciated! And thank you in advance! ~Kylie <The breeders should be housed in heated systems (though not as warm as the breeding tank)... and only allowed together for an interval of several hours... will breed or not during this time. Afterwards, some time, care must be exercised. I encourage you to acquire a few more females. Bob Fenner>

Betta breeding relating  2/14/06 Hi, I hope you can help us. My 13 year old son decided to keep fish about 6 months ago. He bought a +-30lt tank (+- 6 and a half gallon) with a pump etc etc and a red Betta male, two X ray Tetras and a White cloud something or another. <Tanichthys... a "standard" in the hobby> He had been in a tank at the pet shop together with these fish and the pet shop owner told us they would be compatible. <Usually...> He <The Betta I take it> ate the White cloud sometime during day 2 so we moved him into his own tank which is around 1.5 gallons in size. This tank is parked right next to the large tank. From day one he started blowing bubble nests and seems very happy. We increased the population of the larger tank with various fish including a small Betta female and she gets on well in this communal tank. We have had the Betta female around 2 to three months and she has grown big and pretty and around 3 weeks ago we detected that she is gravid and the little white button is sticking out of her fore tummy. <Ah, yes> The male's interest (he can see her through the tank walls) has increased enormously and he displays and flares for her like mad. She in turn comes to his side of the tank and displays for him. I have been reading every web site and FAQ site I can find on these beautiful creatures so thought I knew what to do. We fed them both on blood worm to get them in good condition. We created a large bowl tank (+-10lt) with the water all treated etc and with some plants for her to hide in. He went in first and immediately started creating his nest. A day or two later she went into a plastic peanut butter jar which we placed in the bowl tank. She freaked! She panicked and went nuts. We took the jar out and placed it next to the bowl tank. She calmed down and he continued to display to her and to build his nest. Later that day we put her into the water with him. He flared, his beard swelled up and he attacked her. She swam around and around the tank in panic and every few moments he bit her. He demolished the fin below her white button and took a few chunks out of her tail. There was no sign of courtship, <Actually... this is it> just aggression from him and terror from her so we removed them and put them both back in their own tanks. For the first few hours she was a bit offish and chased the odd fish which came too close. The following morning she was back in her normal good mood and back to displaying for him and he keeps flaring every time he sees her and hasn't stopped trying to build a nest. What have we done wrong or does it appear that he is psycho and will attack any female? <"Practice"... makes perfect, or hopefully at least acceptable> If she is constantly gravid will this harm her? <Will re-sorb the egg material...> If we leave them to constantly court through the glass will this do them any harm? <Likely not... as long as can "get away", should be fine> Regards, Rob from South Africa <Thank you for sharing your Betta breeding experience. Bob Fenner>

Some Thing Fishy is Going on.... Betta repro.   2/10/06 Hi, <Howdy> I have been breeding Betta's for the last 5 yrs or so and I am pretty good at solving my own breeding problems.  But this problem baffles me to no end.  I have two females having the same problem at the same time.  Both females have been bred before without incident.  But now I am having a problem.  It has been about two months since their last breeding with their mates.  They are now back with the males and this will be a third spawning for both pairs.  The water temp is between 82-84 F all are fed on live/frozen foods, receive UV lighting and almond leaves are used in the breeding tanks.  Both males have their nests built and the females where released mind you two different tanks for the two pairs.  After about an hour of courting the females where enticed under the nest.  They where embraced by the males but no eggs came forth.  Both the male and female went down towards bottom looking for eggs.  And no there was no eggs eaten. I watched closely at the embrace for any appearance of eggs being released and there was none. This happened repeatedly for over a few hours before I returned both females back into their teasing cups.  What could possibly be causing this? <Mmm, likely a seasonal period of non-egg-production,.... or "old" females> Is there anything I can do to encourage the females to actually release? <Yes... food/conditioning out of the sight of the males> Or should I just let them go at it?   <? Mmm, will be killed> The males seem to get agitated after a while with no eggs being released and start attacking the female aggressively. Please help ASAP! Thanks Nikki <I'd get, use more females... introduce/use only when you can see a "white dot" at their vent... along with roundish/ready appearance. Bob Fenner>

New to the Betta Breeding   1/10/06 Hello, I just started into this Betta breeding business and I have a few questions   I need answered for me. First of all, I was just wondering how long it takes for  the female to make her eggs? <In good health, about every six weeks... better to "condition" with meaty foods, frequent water changes... wait for "button" to "pop out"...> Second, I have a tank that has a separator and I  have the female in one and the male in the other (it is kind of small but I have  some plastic plants in there for them), will this do?   <Mmm, no. You should have the sexes entirely separated... chemically and visually...> Third, I  have one female and two males, I'm not planning on making a living out  of breeding Betta, does that seem like a good number to start out with? I hope  to hear back soon. Thanks for your time. ~Christa <Better to have a few more females... as you will find... get beat up, killed... With more you can more readily spawn when you'd like to try. Bob Fenner>

Betta fish mis-mixed male and female 1/8/06 I have a male Betta, about 2 mo.s ago we purchased a female and added her to the same tank as our male. <Not a good idea to permanently house together> We recently noticed that our male has lost all of his fins and we are not sure what has happened I read on your website something about fin rot but I'm not sure this is what that is or how mush Epsom salt to add to a 1gal tank or anything else for that matter can you help me? <Separate these two, observe if there are other fishes nipping at your male. Bob Fenner>                                                                  Thank You                                                                                    Leslie

Betta Breeding im Deutschland - 10/09/2005 Hallo... <Guten tag, mein freund! Sabrina hier.> Both of my male betas are living under the same condition (the aquarium is divided but they can not see each other). One of them is building a nest and is very "in love" with his "girl" :) <Sehr gut / very good!> The other one has also contact with his female... she gets eggs but then the male eats them, cause he doesn't build nests and don't know where to put the eggs. Is it possible, that he is not able to build a bubble-nest? Very strange... <Mm, possible, yes; though, he may still be immature - or even just not ready to breed. Feeding foods of very high quality will help with this.> Sorry, I know my English is worse...I'm German... <Nein, deine Englisch ist sehr gut.... Meine Deutsch ist slescht! You are just fine.... Your sentences are clear; errors are minor. In all honesty, we have native English speakers that send us far, far worse grammar and spelling than this.> Greetings MO <Danke schoen for writing in. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Breeding Bettas, poor English 10/6/05 Hi. im <No such word.  Please capitalize.>  I'm 16 years old and I have bred Bettas before.  They got to a stage when they were swimming just around the nest and then after 2 days of that my   female ate them all up.  <All the eggs?>  Is it a good idea to move my female out after they have reproduced and let the male take care of them?  <Yes, the male will generally kill the female.  The female does not participate in care of the offspring.> Thanks, Tom  <Sure, Catherine.  In the future, please use correct grammar when asking questions.  They get posted for everyone to read.  We have to correct grammar mistakes; a process that is quite time consuming.>

Breeding Bettas  9/28/05 Hi,   My husband and I just recently got  involved in fish and now we have a male and a female Betta.  They were  doing rather well, I went to feed them about two weeks ago and noticed that  Princess (the female)  was enlarged. As I watch through out the day I  was given the privilege of watching them embrace.  As the day went on Bah  (the male) stopped embracing. I looked on the internet and learned that he  needed to make a bubble nest. I got the stuff needed to help him do  that,  Bah started making the nest, but my son popped it.  My  questions are first how do I get him to make a new bubble nest, and the second  is will Princess ever let go of her egg?  It's been about a week and a half  since   Bah has embraced her.  Thanks for your input.  I need  help.  Is Princess in pain? < Lots of floating plants or an upside down Styro cup will help entice your male Betta to build another nest. He will not do anything if your son still has access to the aquarium and continues to disturb them. Once the nest is built the female should spawn within a few days at 80 F. She should then be removed.-Chuck>

Betta fish and breeding  9/25/05 I have a female that has been enlarged for 2 weeks.  At first they  spawned and flared at each other.  The male did have a bubblenest, my son  popped the nest on Friday.   My question is what do I need to do to  help get these fish to were they will finish breeding.    Thanks for your help, Lynda in Kansas city <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to the articles, FAQs on Bettas... Reproduction... Bob Fenner>

Betta fries? Help... yummy  9/25/05 hi, I just bred some betta fries and had follow instruction on making infusoria for them. I use lettuce and put it in some tank water and let it sit in the sun for about 2 weeks now. The water has some milky fluid on the top of the water. How can i tell what is infusoria or not and what part (the milky fluid or the clear fluid) should i suck up to feed the fries? <Mmm, I'd look into liquid fry foods (e.g. "Liquifry") in this case instead... infusoria cultures should show small animal movement when strong light is shown through them. I would not skim off, feed the milky fluid at the top. Bob Fenner> Please answer ASAP. Thank You, John

Water Changes on Nursery Tank  9/25/05 My tank is dirty and I need to clean out the water but don't know how because there are baby free swimming Bettas and I don't want to kill them. <Use a small siphon hose or even airline tubing to remove water and any leftover food, dead fry, etc. from the bottom of the tank.  Siphon the water into a bucket, when you are done check the bucket to make sure you did not suck up any babies.  You are going to want to condition your water in a separate container, dechlorinate it, add salt, aerate, etc., and heat to match the temperature of your tank.  Once the water is ready water it in gently so you do not create too much turbulence.  As long as you match the new water to the water in the tank you should be fine.  Small frequent water changes will be less of a shock than large ones.  I like to change out 2 gallons a day on my 10gallon tank (full of Guppy Fry). Best of Luck, Gage> Almond Tree Leaves for Breeding Bettas Hello. I'm a 13 year old trying to breed Bettas. I heard that when the bay Bettas are free swimming then you should put some almond tree leaves in the water because it helps to " medicate" the water. Do you know where I can purchase these almond tree leaves and if so who should I buy it from? Thanks for your help. >> You can mail Mike, he should have some for sale. Good Luck, Oliver

Breeding Bettas Hi Bob, It's near mid winter here, None of my breeding pair want to blow any bubbles, Is it the cold. I have the temp. set at 29C what else can be causing it? Really weird. I can't stop them in summer. Regards Charles <Sorry for the delay, have been out to Bonaire. Could "just" be the temperature, but know also that light plays an important role here, and with many organisms in mediating, triggering behavior like reproduction. Many Betta breeders extend photoperiods, or leave lights on permanently in their "breeding rooms." Bob Fenner>

Bettas spawning but no eggs Hello, I've read a lot of  Q&A's on this subject but none of them seem to have the same questions as me. So here it goes. I have a small 2 1/2 gal. tank that I'm trying un successfully to bread my Bettas in,. I've  had a clear divider separating them , some small  floating plants as well and a small heater keeping the water at a steady 81 to 82 deg. I let my male get a nest  a little larger than his body going then I removed the divider. She looks fat and has a very small white thing sticking out her belly. He chased her for a while and showed off quite a bit then went back to building his nest while she watched. His nest is now very large a bout 5 or six times his body size, and she is hanging out with him like two love birds, no aggression at all. the problem is that they have been like this for 14 hrs. I have seen him squeeze her at least 20 times while watching and she doesn't even struggle at all then they just float apart like they are dead and drift for a few seconds still in the same positions as when he was squeezing her, then they swim  around a bit under the nest and do it again. This has  been happening all night but he never seems to squeeze any eggs out? can you tell me what I should do? I've watched  them do it many times very closely and do not see any eggs at all? please help, this I s my first time trying to breed  Bettas and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right? >> It is normal for Bettas to have some fry runs without eggs, or eat the eggs the first time, or drop them on the ground. I would be patient, I am sure they will eventually figure it out. You may want to make sure your temperature is nice and high, maybe around 86 F. Good Luck, Oliver

Spawning Bettas Hi, I just wanted to give an update. Today the Bettas finally spawned. When they first started, every time the eggs dropped the female got them and ate them. Finally, the male started getting the eggs and putting them in the nest, then the female actually helped him put eggs in the nest. Wish me luck on getting lots of fry and keeping them all alive. An update on the Molly fry, they are all still alive, growing and doing great. Thanks for your wonderful website and all the info on it. Angie <Great news! Congratulations and good luck! Don>

Female Betta in Heat: Does this explain the mood swings? Hello.  My name is Marie and I have recently bought a female beta.   <Hello, Mike G with you tonight.> We have her in a tank with several other fish and seems to be fine, other than a little shy. <To be expected.> We caught her having problems with only one fish, which she chased around and, we think, nibbled on her tail. The fish that she was chasing around died and she seems to be fine with the others, even ones of the same breed that, we believe, she might have killed.   <I don't quite follow you. She seems fine with the others, including the ones of the same breed that she killed (or might have)? In any case, she sounds like a rowdy one. I'd separate her if it were up to me.> Is that normal?   <Bettas are unpredictable fish in terms of temperament. Yes, it is normal, but only in certain individual fish.> Also, do female Bettas secrete a cloudy discharge when in heat?   <No.> It is all over the bottom of the tank and I have no idea what it is. <Could be one of many things.> I'm an amateur when it comes to fish and it would help a lot if you could tell me.  Thank you very much.   <I am glad I could assist. Best of luck, Mike G.> Marie. Raining (Reigning?) Females Hi Guys, Just wondering why I had 95% of females in my first 3 spawns. (fighting fish, age approx 18 months old) During the spawn, temp. set at 28C and PH at 6.8. Please advise. Regards Charles <There are often more females than males in such spawns, but your numbers may well be affected by either/both your temperature and/or pH. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Raining Females, breeding Bettas Hi Bob, Thanks for getting back to me.  I know the next step is to up the temp to say 29/30 but how should I go with the pH. up or down and by how much?  Regards Charles <To just a bit alkaline... the low 7's. Bob Fenner> 

Betta fry, temperature Hi Bob, Hope you can help me with this one. At what age can fry live comfortable at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) I know at 3 months they are quite very comfortable at 68 will they be OK at 2 months? Regards Charles <Likely so... as you're likely very aware, sudden drops in temperature, particularly cold air-drafts can be deadly to Betta fry... better to keep their tanks covered, in the mid seventies to eighties F. Bob Fenner>

Gotta get the Bettas to Spawn Hi, I am trying to spawn Bettas with no luck. I have conditioned them and the female just would not cooperate. I finally separated them and cleaned the tank out. After a day a looked at the female is she was about to bust with eggs. I put another 1/2 cup (Styrofoam) in the tank. I put the female in and was about to put the hurricane glass over her when she swam under the cup (no bubblenest yet) and released 10 eggs, she swam to the male and tried to get him to follow. Well, he would not. I put the glass over her she he could start his nest. She dropped another 10 eggs. I released her after he had a very little nest and she dropped about 20 eggs. She will not have anything do with the male now. He keeps chasing her and her bars are going from vertical to horizontal, like she's stressed. Should I take her out, will she just keep losing eggs before spawning, or should I change males? Is it normal for the female to lose eggs before the spawn? Thanks, Angie  <<Yes, females can loose some eggs this way, if they are really full. You should keep your pair separated but so that they can see each other. Then wait until the male has built a bubble nest at the surface that has a good size, at least twice the size of his body. You can have some floating plants or small slivers of Styrofoam at the surface to help him anchor the nest. When he has a decent nest and the female is full you can put them together and it should be less than a day or two. If your male does not construct a good nest I would change him. Some males just do not know how to do this... After spawning you should remove the female as many males will chase and kill the female after spawning. There is a good Betta spawning article on this Betta site: http://www.cbsbettas.org/doc/articles/Tips_on_Spawning_Bettas.htm.  Good Luck, Oliver>>

Gotta Get the Betta to Spawn - II Thank you so much for your help. I thought all the hard work I have done getting them ready was completely ruined. He can build awesome nests. Before I separated the 2 yesterday his nest was about an inch thick and covered the entire bottom of the 1/2 Styrofoam cup I had in there. He now has a good size bubblenest going so I have released the female, hoping for a spawn. She still looks full of eggs. Thank you, Angie  <<No problem, good luck, Oliver>>

Gotta Get the Bettas to Spawn - More Follow-up Hi, I am relieved to know that is was OK for her to lose some eggs. Although I have another problem. I am not sure what happened here but I took her out of the spawning tank yesterday because she does not look like she has eggs anymore. There are no eggs in the tank though. I do not know if they spawned when I was not home and they were eaten or what. When will she get enough eggs to try spawning again? Is it possible she just dropped all of her eggs and they ate them or do you think she may still have her eggs? Can Bettas have eggs without it being noticeable to us? The Male still has a great bubblenest. I am keeping her where they can see each other so he will not mess up his nest, just in case she looks full of eggs again. Thank you so much for your help. Angie >>Are you sure there are no eggs in the nest (they would not be anywhere else)? They are very small. You can see if the male spends a lot more time around the nest. To answer your questions: Female Bettas usually show that they are ready to spawn when the white genital papilla protrudes from their belly, but they can still have eggs if not. It will take here from 7-14 days to be ready to spawn again, depending on how well fed she is. Good Luck, Oliver<<

More Betta Spawn Stuff I am sure they are not in the nest. He was still chasing her like he was wanting her and not staying under the nest accept to make more bubbles. I also watched to be sure he was not picking anything up and bringing it to the nest and he was not. She is very well fed with frozen bloodworms, freeze dried bloodworms, and frozen mosquito larvae. Whichever I feel like giving. I feed once in the morning and once at night.  I have her in a jar in the spawning tank and she keeps showing her bars to the male and her tube is showing but she just does not look like she has any eggs. I have another female but she is opaque. He wants nothing to do with her. I put her in the tank and she swims right next to him and he acts like she is not even there. I do not know if she is ready to spawn, because of her color, I can not see any bars. She does not look she has any eggs though. I am just going to try to be patient and wait for her to look full of eggs again I guess. By the way you guys and your web site are great. I am not only asking questions but reading a lot of things on here. My newly bought Molly had babies 5 days ago and I learned a lot off your site about the care of them. She had 16 (at least that's how many I found when I got home) and they are all doing great. They are starting to swim now instead of just stay at the bottom. They are in their own 10 gallon tank which I started with only being half full of water and I add a gallon every other day. >> Thank you. It is best to wait another 7 days and then put them together again and see if they will spawn, when Bettas are young it sometimes takes a few attempts to figure them out. Good Luck, Oliver<<

Breeding Bettas II Thanks Oliver. I guess I was a little hasty with my question, because as soon as I sent the e-mail I went out to find that the eggs were dropping and he was doing his job gathering them up and placing them in the nest. I do appreciate your response and have a couple more questions for you. Now they are no longer just eggs they have eyes and a tail but still seem to have the egg too. They have been this way for almost 36 hrs. I tested my water and found my ammonia was a little high (1.5 or so) , so I did a partial water change keeping the new water just a little warmer, conditioning it with stress coat and using a air line to remove and replace the water. A half an hour every body looked fine 8-)  , but I tested the ammonia levels again and they didn't change 8-(  ( I did about a 25 to 30 % change.) Should I do anything else? < The ammonia levels may be coming from uneaten food or fish waste. Try and remove the source.> Also the male is acting a little strange he is just laying on the bottom or on a piece of a water plant, he is never this lazy. Hopefully the water change will perk him up. Is it the right time to move him out now or should I wait? < Move him out when the fry become free swimming.> Now my last question is when should I begin feeding the babies, I bought Wardley Premium Small Fry (liquid food for all baby fish livebearers and egg layers) so it says, from PetSmart. I wasn't really sure they knew exactly what I needed and wasn't sure their advice was correct. With the ammonia up like it is I'm afraid to feed them anything? If you can help I'd appreciate it a lot. Thanks again, Allen. < This stuff may or may not work. Look online at the Betta websites to see what serious Betta breeders are using these days. Most of them use live food cultures because the fry are so small.-Chuck>

Betta Sex/Tankmates Hello. I have recently checked out your website and found it very informative. I do have a couple of questions. How can I tell if my Betta is male or female? Can my Betta be put in an aquarium with 2 mollies, 1 dwarf Gourami, and 2 tetras? Thank you for your help. Erin D <Male Bettas have much longer fins and brighter colors. Some Bettas are too aggressive to be kept with smaller fish. And some small fish will nip your Betta's fins. You can give it a try, but be prepared to remove him if problems develop. Don>

Betta Babies Dear Sir, I have loads of fries of Siamese fighters in my aquarium. I would like to know when can I transfer them to the main aquarium (with their parents); after 2 months or 3??? They are already of an average of 1.5/2.0 cm in length. Kindly do respond ASAP, Regards, Shay < There are two things going on here. One, the fry must be big enough not to be eaten by the parents. Usually this means about half the body size of the adult. The second is the sex of the fish . Small males will still fight amo9ngst themselves and the big male will kill them. So small males must be separated into their own bowls. Females do not need to be separated but the adult male will still harass the female fry and try and get them to breed. I would only put the females back into the main tank without the adult male to manage the aquarium space better.-Chuck> 

No Betta bubbles! And poor writing I have been reading a lot of the FAQs on betas and they like all talk about their betas making bubble nests. What? I have had my beta for 2 or 3 months and I have never seen this happen. <Perhaps not mature enough, maybe just not "frisky"> I keep him in a little vase (probably 3 or 4 cups) (there's nothing in the bottom) and I use distilled water which I change half of every 3 to 4 days. <Distilled water is not a good idea> he lays on the bottom or just slowly swims around all day. he loves to eat and we feed him 4 pellets in the morning and 4 more at night. <Just pellets as food is a poor diet> we keep him in the kitchen and he doesn't have a heater or a filter or a plant or anything. is he miserable? <Likely so>  does he need more room or a plant or something? the people at the pet store said he'd be fine and I don't know if he's supposed to do anything , so please help me make his quality of life better. ; ) kylie <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down to the area on Bettas... read re their Systems, Feeding, Behavior... Please don't send such illiterate messages to us... "i's" are capitalized... as is your name... Bob Fenner> 

Betta Eggs My boyfriend had a female Betta fish who laid eggs. The male she was in the tank with didn't blow a nest and she ended up eating them all. About a week or 2 later I took his female, in hopes that my male would be able to breed with her. He has a nice full nest and seems ready. She seems to be getting slightly fatter, although not as big as the last time she was pregnant. My question is how long does it take for her to produce eggs, from the last time she laid eggs. I wouldn't put her in the tank until I know she is ready. Thanks for your help. <I would give her at least a month. Feed her lots of bloodworms and other meaty foods. Then put the two tanks next to each other if possible. They will both display when ready. Don>

Want Fries With That? Why did my crown tail's fries die? Hi, why did my crown tail's fries die?? Hi, I am Jason, I spawned my crown tail and the fries hatched successfully. But a few weeks later the fries started dying and the next day, all the fries are dead. Is it because I helped them changed their water and they got too stressed? Help me. <Juvenile Bettas are very susceptible to damage, death due to small environmental changes... cold air, water quality changes... It is very important to keep their world stable for the first few months... to match new water with old, keep their tanks covered... and change the water very slowly... with a drip type system of small tubing... like that used for airline. Bob Fenner> 

Betta Gender Mystery - 03/31/2005 Hi! I have had 3 Bettas for almost a year now and I thought that I had 2 males ( Known already) and 1 female, but the female has long fins. The day I went to the Mililani pet store I headed to the fish section and noticed Bettas with long fins. I was looking for a female Betta so I didn't bother with the long fined Betta. The pet store owner is my neighbor so he had told me that the long fined Betta were new to his store and known as a "SHOW" Betta. I asked him "Where are the female show Bettas?" He said they are right in front of you! So all this time I have thought I had a female Betta, but I noticed that I can't see her egg spot! This is because her fin is in the way.  <You should still be able to see this, despite finnage....> Can you help me with this problem. Also she is a blue show Betta and I see a dark blue, black line going across her body. So can you help me to figure is my Betta a girl? <Without a photograph, there is no definitive answer we can give you. There are a lot of "long" finned females offered on Aquabid lately, so you might take a look there, and compare with your own. If you can get a good photograph to email to us, we can likely help make a determination as to gender, but without, it's just not possible. The "long" finned females that I have seen, in person and on Aquabid, are still not comparable to good, long-finned males; colorful, for sure, but the finnage is still obviously not that of a male. The body shape of a female is different, too, once you get used to seeing them. Get to as many stores you can to look at their females and compare to your own. Wishing you and your beautiful Bettas well, -Sabrina> 

Betta Breeding Dear Bob, I found your website while looking for help with some problems I've having with my male and female Bettas and, since you're the "fish-man," I hope you won't mind answering a few questions. I've had two different male Bettas in a Minibow 2.5 (with divider) with the same female. I bought the female Betta because the first male kept building bubble nests. When he chased the female, I separated them. Within a few days, the first male died. <Sorry to hear> I've had the second male for only a week and now he, too, is not looking well. He seems listless and may have some kind of mold growing on his fins. I also had him in a separate tank overnight yesterday, and this morning his water looks really foul. Could be secreting some kind of stress hormone? And if so, should I keep the male and female in totally separate tanks in separate rooms? <Are you doing water changes? I change 50% of my water every week> If not, could some of the plant material in the tank be fouling the water and making the male Betta sick? What do you think of the small tanks with filter and divider? Are they a good idea, or is it better to keep males and females separate? If so, how do you know when it's time to put them together for mating? <Any dead organic matter will decay and foul the water. That's why it's important to do water changes using a gravel vac. I always kept Betta pairs apart in side by side tanks with something between them to block their view. Then I would start to feed her good meaty foods. Bloodworms and Mysis shrimp work well. When she plumps up remove the blinder so they can see one another. You'll know when they are ready. Both will display through the glass. Word of caution when breeding Bettas. The young males will start to fight at a very early age. You will need to be able to separate them. Be ready!> Many thanks for your help, Alan <Don> 

Breeding Bettas Hey WWM crew!?? <Hey, Mike G here> Long time no chat! I have a question, lately I got a few more Bettas and one of them is a male delta marble Betta. (darker royal blue color - name: BUDDIE) and he's quite calm usually. <Bachelor Bettas typically are calm fishes.> Today I bought home a 'female' crown Betta (MINNIE) which is smaller in size. (purplish blue) When I placed her beside the veil tale - she didn't flare or do much, but when I placed her beside the delta tail one, she instantly started flaring and got all excited (so did my delta tail one) They would stay flared, go around in circles and pose to the side to show off their sides. Does that mean they're really interested and wants to spawn? <It could mean any number of things, though it is good that they are taking an interest in one another.> This is my first time having a female and I'm not sure if they do behave the same. Would they get depressed if I do let them see each other, because I don't want to over work them (flaring too long) or lose interest if I don't let them mate.  I don't know how to breed them. So what should I do now?? <Check out the following site. It is chock full of Betta information, and should help you get well on your way to becoming a Betta breeder. http://www.bettatalk.com/

You want fries with your Betta? Hi guys, sorry to bother you guys...again. I've got a lot of Betta fry, around..1 week and 3 days old. I'm not sure when I should separate them. Around what time of age should I separate them into jars for male? How would I be able to tell when to separate them? Thanks again <Practice is the only way to identify males from females... and close observation... the larger, more feisty individuals are males... Bob Fenner>

Betta reproduction Sorry about that again, My fries are Betta's. Siamese fighters, they are around 1 week old fry. So I'm wondering if I could move them into a little square box and it'll cool down. And I'll get the time to clean my water and then heat it up again, so would I be able to move them into a cold tank just for a while for now?  Thank you again <Ahh, good question. Actually, this is a very critical time for moving small Bettas... as when they're developing their labyrinth (breathing) organs, a gulp of cold air can be deadly... better to move the male (am sure the female is already out) and try to raise the young till they're a quarter inch or so in length... making water changes slowly... with a length of small (like airline) tubing to remove waste, add new water... IF you have to move all, DO move all the water, and MAKE SURE the new water in the new tank is about the same temperature (or a little warmer) and chemistry. Bob Fenner> 

Bubble Nests I have a six month old Betta. He eats well and is active. When will he blow bubbles? Thank you. Marge <When he feels like conditions are suitable for breeding. Temperature about 80, water fresh, good food supply. And having a female within sight, but not in the same tank, always helps. Don>

Betta Fry Feeding Hi guys, sorry to bother you but I've got some more questions to ask, <Hey, Mike G here> My Betta's have already bred, just wondering people in a lot of "Betta breeding" way, say they use "infusoria" just what is infusoria? Some food? <Infusoria are microorganisms of the class Protozoa, and include a large number of species found in infusions of decaying organic material. They are commonly used as food for Betta fry. A simple, concise write-up on Betta foods can be found here: http://www.bettatalk.com/what_fry_eat.htm  A general Betta Breeding FAQ: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betreprofaqs.htm > My fry are all around...72 hours old? And they have all spread out, I've also taken the male out. They can't really swim well, they basically stay at the top of the water, do I start to feed them at this time? Cause I've tried to drop some of my liquid feed that I bought, but they don't seem to have any reaction, but instead, it's making my tank dirty...so how would I know if they are actually eating? <Betta fry will begin eating once their yolk sac is fully digested> The other question that I was wondering about was when do I start to separate my males out of the tank into jars? <When they begin to show aggression towards one another, somewhere around 1 month of age.> Thanks again <Glad I could be of assistance. Good luck rearing your fry, it is a wonderful experience.>

Betta breeding Hi crew, I've got a few questions about Betta breeding. My male and female have already bred, the male is looking after the eggs at the moment, when do I remove the male? <When the young have hatched out and are free-swimming> Is it when they can swim horizontally? <Yes> I'm also a bit confused about feeding the fry. When they hatch, and start to be able to swim horizontally, do I start to feed them? <Yes> I bought the liquid for them, and some frozen brine shrimps. How much do I feed a day with the liquid? <Very little... a drop or so... twice a day or so> and how do I feed them with the frozen brine shrimps? <Not for a few weeks... they won't be large enough for a while> do I just crack a little bit of the frozen brine shrimps off and just put it in the water? <Better to defrost it outside in a bit of water first> When do I start to feed them the brine shrimp? Thank you <You can practice offering some in a few weeks... and should see if their mouths are large enough to accept this food. In the meanwhile, be careful of drafts (cold air) by keeping the tank covered... and diminished water quality... by frequent small water changes. Bob Fenner>

Male Betta NO BUBBLE NEST  Hi, my name is Kimberly Bedell. I have a problem. I have taken care of male Bettas in the past but never a female. With the passing away of my 4 yr old male I went and bought a male and a female Betta. I learned how to mate them or so I thought. I put the female and male together, the male was lethargic and the female did a lot to try to get his attention. Eventually they did mate but right after she attacked him till he had a split tail and was bleeding so I removed him from the tank. I later found out that was part of spawning. The female is now pregnant and has no nest to lay her eggs. I was told that she must want to keep them if she hasn't dropped them yet. I have now put the male back in her tank but he only harasses her, and NO BUBBLE NEST. Is there a way to get the male to make a bubble nest? <A few things are usually done... keeping the sexes separated, raising temperature of the water to the low to mid-eighties F., supplying a bit of floating plant material or Styrofoam to anchor the nest, conditioning the spawners with meaty foods...> Can I get a new male to make a bubble nest for her? <Yes... professional breeders use numerous pairs... some work sometimes, some not> I am confused at this point as to what I can do to help.  Basically I need to know what to do if the male is not producing a bubble nest. Thank you for your time. Kimi <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betreprofaqs.htm  Bob Fenner> 

Betta Bubble Nest Hi guys, I have 1 female and 1 male Betta, they are in separate tanks where they can see each other. A few days ago the male made a bubble nest, so I thought he was ready and moved him into the tank where I want to spawn them. The female was still in her old tank, they're tanks are still facing each other. I can see that the male is really excited, because he keeps facing where the female is. I've been waiting for the male to make his bubble nest. On the first day that he went into the spawning tank, he started to make it bubble nest, but then a few hours after he stopped making it. The bubble nest wasn't big in the first place, so it disappeared. How come he doesn't make his bubble nest anymore? Is something wrong with the water? Or he just doesn't feel like making a bubble nest? Thank you guys <I think the move to the new tank upset him a bit. Give him some time. Make sure you do water changes until he starts to build again. If this is a new tank ammonia will build up quickly. Feed the female a rich meaty diet while he settles in. Don>

Betta Breeding Hi, my name's Daniel and I was wondering how long you have to wait till the Siamese fish eggs spawn and then how long can you keep the male in there for after the eggs have hatched? If you could get back to me I would appreciate it very much. <Hi Dan, Don here. If you mean how often do Bettas breed, it depends on many factors. Quality of food, temp, age all make a difference. After the adults have spawned you can expect them to hatch in 3 to 5 days. Hatch time depends on temperature. I like to remove the male as soon as they start to hatch. Just be careful not to destroy the nest chasing him. He will eat them when they become free swimming>  

Betta Eating Eggs Just yesterday, my female has released her eggs with the male under the bubble nest. While the eggs were dropping down, the male went to pick it up with his mouth, he doesn't go up and put it in the bubble nest. After around 1 hour, I came back and took a look, the female was still releasing the eggs, and the male still was catching the eggs, but the males stomach was getting bigger and bigger, is he eating the eggs? If it is, is it because that it's his first time breeding? Would I need to try breeding some more time so he'll know what to do? Or, is there another way to do to, if so, then please tell me. Thank you <Feed him well, keep the water fresh and warm and all should go well. If he does not think the conditions in the tank are good enough for the fry to thrive he may eat the eggs rather than wasting the energy needed to raise them. That's the way nature works. He may be too young also. Give it time, keep them in pristine water. Don>  

Feeding Betta Fry I've just got a few question about Betta breeding. In my tank, I've got a female that is pregnant, and a male. The male has made a bubble, nest, but I'm not too sure if it's big enough, like it's a very small one, should I get another leaf or something for my male Betta to make a bigger bubble nest? After the female has released her eggs, and the male has put the eggs on the bubble nest, around how long does the eggs hatch after being laid? I read on the net after around 3 days the eggs would need to start to eat, right? Well, when they have been hatched, would I need to lower the water down to 2 inches high? So they can survive by themselves? If I need to do that, the heater wouldn't be useful will it? So that means they won't need a heat? I'm not too sure about these stuff, so can you help me with these questions? Thank you <I would worry too much about the size of the nest. He'll make it bigger if and when he needs to. Adding another leaf would not hurt though. The temperature is a big factor in hatching time, but around 3 to 4 days at average. Do not feed until they are free swimming and the yolk is gone. I never bothered lowering the water. Using a 2.5 to 5 gallon tank made feeding pretty simple. I used a liquid food for Betta fry. Mix it about 50-50 with tank water, then draw some into a long piece of airline tubing. Put the end near the fry and release a little. This works with baby brine shrimp also. As soon as they are actively swimming the entire tank you can switch to a fine flake food. Don>  

Betta Breeding Blues Hi, Thank you for your wonderful resource - I have gotten much of the initial information on breeding Bettas from your site. However, I seem to have come up against a wall in my breeding efforts. I have three male Betta splendens and three females. The females are currently kept together and the males all have their own tanks. I live in Australia so our tropical climate seems to really agree with them - they all seem happy, healthy and active. They have plants in their tanks and are fed freeze-dried worms, alternated with something called 'Betta mix'. The males often build bubble nests but I have seen no evidence that any of the females have eggs. The thing is I can (and often do) put the females in with the males and they have no problem living together and show little to no interest in each other. The males will flare up a tiny bit at first when we put the female in but then they just tend to keep out of each others way. I have been putting three females (also tried with just one female) in with one male when he's built a sizable bubble nest and crossing my fingers....but so far no luck at all. Is there anything else I could do to help the process along? I have been trying for several months. Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. Thanks, Chantay <Best advice I can give is to overfeed the females a rich, meaty diet. Continue what your feeding but try to add frozen, or better yet live, food. Bloodworms, Mysid shrimp (not Brine), even tiny fruit flies. Do this until the females plump up before adding them to the males tank. Keep them out of sight of one another while conditioning. Then put then next to one another. He should go nuts making a new nest. She will display back and spend most of the time on that side of the tank when she's ready. Make sure you do more water changes when conditioning females this way. Temp should be steady and around 80 when breeding/conditioning, so a heater is vital. Don>   Chantay Logan

Betta Breeding Basics Hello, Thank you for your suggestion before, but now I want to breed my Bettas. I've been reading heaps and heaps of information on breeding Bettas, I understand a lot just not the like whether they need a leaf or something for the male to make a bubble nest. Some of them say the male Betta makes the bubble nest on the leaf and some say they make it on the corner of the tank, so I'm not too sure. <It's up to the Betta. You can supply a small leaf. He'll either use it or not> So, would I need 2 female Betta's and 1 male Betta so the male can choose which female it likes, or should I just leave 1 female with it? And after they the has hatched, I would need to take out the female Betta right? And also, can you tell me more about breeding etc feeding fry. Thanks a lot <First, you can not put a female in the males tank until she is ready to breed. If she is not ready he will kill her. So you're going to need at least two tanks. Put them right next to one another and put a piece of paper between them. Feed the female rich, meaty foods like bloodworms until she appears to have a small marble in her stomach. Remove the paper so the fish can see each other. When she's ready, you'll know. She will stay by that side of her tank and display to the male. He'll be going nuts, and start a bubblenest. Give them a day or so like this before adding her to the males tank. Step back and watch. If there is any aggression you may have to get her out. If they are going to breed the male will wrap himself around her. If that doesn't happen within an hour or so, remove her and try again in a few days. Some say to leave the female overnight, adding her after lights out. But I wouldn't risk it. The hard part is removing the female without destroying the nest, but she needs to come out right after they spawn. Remove the male when the fry hatch. Feed the fry live baby brine shrimp. You can also get fry food for egg layers in most pet stores. Good luck. Don>     

Betta Mating When is it a right time for the Bettas to mate? <<Bettas will mate when they are ready. They must be fed the proper foods (preferably alive) to get them into condition. They should be kept in separate tanks, but side by side so they can see each other. You need to do daily water changes. Her body will become ripe with eggs, which is when she should be put into the tank with the male. IF she accepts the male, she will lay the eggs, and he will fertilize them, then he will chase her away. The female MUST be removed from the tank once he begins to chase her, or he may kill her. The male will take the newly fertilized eggs and place them into the bubble nest he has built. He will care for the fry. You need to feed the newly-hatched fry with baby brine shrimp, so set up a hatchery in advance, to be sure you have enough foods for the new fry. I recommend you do some reading about this on the Net, do a search for Betta breeding so you can read up on the details. -Gwen>>

Male Betta makes bubbles on top container Hi, Thanks for your feedback, the information has been valuable. My male Betta, has made a bubble nest that covers the top of the container. If you look from above you can barely see him. What can I do to isolate the nest to just one part of the top of the container (i.e. put a small cup). < You can try and skim the nest to one part of the container but he will just make more bubbles wherever he feels like it.> Will he only make the nest in the cup. < You can try it but the bottom line is he will build his nest where ever and when ever he feels like it. Not all Bettas are the same. What works for one may not work for another.> Is it OK to remove the bubbles that are currently there. < He will just make more in a short period of time if he is ready.> When I makes this nest is it safe to release the female into the same container as the male, for breeding. How do I know the female is ready. < The male should have a pretty good nest and be flaring at the female. The female should be very heavy with eggs and flaring back at the male.> Is it true when the male makes the nest he is ready. < The bubble nest is usually a indication that the male is ready to spawn.-Chuck> Thanks, Mario D

Female Betta      Hey, my name is Shy and I had some questions about a female Betta  I bought from Wal-Mart (Yes Wal-Mart). < Wal-Mart is probably the largest retail fish distributor in the U.S. so you are not alone.> I bought a lively male at the same time and am hoping to breed them ... one day.  I used to raise and breed guppies and thought it might be time for a change. I've read practically every "step-by-step breeding" pages and none seem to answer my questions. Is my female becoming egg-swollen or not? She's a creamy white-with lavender fins, but her tummy is almost pure white, and it looks a bit bulgy. Mind you, I only know about guppies, could she be fat in one spot? If she didn't have such a large dorsal fin (if that's what you call it) and fin under her body she'd look like a pregnant guppy. Please help. I've read some horrible things on this page.. like fishy tumors and fish constipation. I need to know. Thanks so much. < Some Betta breeders put the female Betta in a large jar and set the jar in the tank with the male Betta. The male Betta would build a bubble nest in some floating plants or in a quiet area of the tank. The female should be responding to his advances but flaring her fins and gill plates. If she is acting aggressive and she is swollen then she probably has eggs. If she is already in with the male then he may have intimidated her and has harassed her to the point that she is not interested in breeding any longer. If she does not eat at all and her belly is swollen and the scales have become wide and pronounced then she probably gas dropsy and she needs to be treated with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Betta bubbles My daughter got a Betta, we are noticing clusters of bubbles on the surface of the bowl. Are we doing something wrong?  H Reile < Your Betta is a happy camper and has set up a bubble nest waiting for a female Betta to come by and spawn with him. He will give up after a while and the bubble nest will dissolve back into the water.-Chuck>
Re: Betta bubbles
should I go out and get a female? <No not needed. Read up on Bettas before you get a female and try to breed them. While it may be a very rewarding experience to observe it does require some work and extra tanks and things to be successful.-Chuck>

Betta, not for breeding             Hey, crew how is it going. Besides that I have a few questions to ask you. First, I have one female and one male Betta a Pleco and one snail. Now, the male seems to flare up a lot and chase the female around is that good for ether one of the Betta's ? < The additional stress of the male continually chasing the female around to spawn may eventually wear her down to the point to where she may become weak or diseased.> Also, my female changes colors do the different colors symbol a mood (like a mood ring :) or is it just because of the time of day? < Probably the change in lifting but some of it may be to display the mood she is in.> Finally, is it possible for my Betta's to sense each others territory range (including the Pleco)? Because the male stays away from the ornament cave (that the female seems to "own") and the female stay's away from the fake tree roots that has a hole in it that acts like a den to the male. < I think your female is making a last stand and letting the male and all the other fish know that this is her territory and she is willing to defend it.-Chuck>     P.S. the Betta's are not for breeding

Breeding Betta fish I have read your website on Betta splendens and was wondering how many baby fish do they have or an average on how many will live? <The best site I had found to help when I bred our Bettas was: http://www.siamsbestbettas.com/ These offered a great step by step process in their "Breeding" section.  Even included pictures.  I suggest you check out this site, and see what they can offer you!> I would like to breed them but need to know how many to expect so I can prepare.  Thanks Nicole <There are many clubs around the US that are dedicated to the breeding of Bettas.  You can find a list of them here: http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/bettaclubs/index.htm Good luck with the Betta Breeding -Magnus>

Betta Breeding Hi Sabrina, Hope this finds you doing well.   <Indeed it does.  I hope all is well with you, too.> I am thinking about breeding Bettas now. <Wow, that was quick!  You are officially obsessed.  Not a bad thing, though, of course!> I am getting everything in order, but have no idea where to get the little cups to put them in once I have to separate them and at what age do I separate them. <Some breeders use Beanie Baby boxes for this, as it provides the fish more room for better health/water.  You can almost always find these available on eBay.> I have been reading like crazy on all the other sites on how to breed and they mention the cups but not where to get them. I was thinking maybe a craft store? <Perhaps, yes.  This might be a great thing to ask on one of the larger Betta forums, like this one:  http://bettastarz.aimoo.com/ .> And they mention vaguely when to separate them, but I want to be sure. <My best suggestion here is also pretty vague: when they start to show aggression toward one another.  The females can be kept together indefinitely, unless any show extreme aggression.  Again, this, and many, many other breeding details can be had at good Betta forums and many good Betta sites.  We do have a couple breeders on our own forum http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/index.jsp , but I believe they frequent the other forum above, as well as a couple others.> I have already lined up some of the LFS out here that will buy the lil fellas and gals from me and my family will all get some. :) <Geez, you're gonna go and get others addicted, now, too....  Freakin' Betta dealer, the first fish is free....  ;)  just kiddin'.> Thanks a bunch!  Magic <You bet!  I hope you have loads of fun with this endeavor, good luck!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Breeding Bettas (10/9/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight....> I have had a male Betta for about 5 months now and he is in a 5 gal tank.   <Sounds good.> I just recently bought a female and put her in the tank with him.   <Ack!> Boy, was that a mistake, it seems as if he thinks she is a male.   <Yup. Until he figures out he's a female and starts building a bubble nest, you can't combine them!> All he does is swim around showing off his fans, but then he will get close to her and flare his throat and attack. She attacks back rarely and she ends up either swimming to get away or stays to the bottom of the tank and hides and usually he will leave her alone.   <I'm glad he hasn't damaged her too badly.> So, I had to remove her and put her in a separate tank. <Ah, good...> I put her tank next to his, thinking they will get used to each other. He still "shows off" but at least without harm. A week passed and I put her back in the tank and he started up again. <He will attack her every time you put her in the tank, unless they are *both* ready to breed! She needs to be egg-heavy, and he needs to have a bubble nest already built before you put them in the same tank.> How am I to get them to breed??   Thanks for any info you can give. <Do look around on the web, and in bookstores or your library -- there are many web sites and books devoted to breeding Bettas. I would not attempt to breed them until after reading at least one book and a few web sites about this. Also, check out the WetWeb chat forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk -- we have a pair of experienced Betta breeders who frequent the forum, and they can help out with suggestions for information sources and other questions. --Ananda>

Betta Guys or Betta Gals? I have a question regarding my Bettas.  I bought two of them.  A red one and a white one.  I do not know if they are boys or girls or a combination or what.  They are in separate aquariums though.   <Best to keep 'em that way, even if they are females.  Females in groups of, say, for or five (or more) will do okay, but just two or three females will beat up on each other.> The white Betta seems more aggressive and the red more peaceful.  How can tell if they are boys or girls? <Male Bettas will usually have long, elegant fins, and females will have quite short fins, comparatively.  There are such things as short-fin male Bettas, but they're not seen nearly as often as regular long-finned males.  Also, males are typically much more colorful, though some females available now are stunningly colored, too.  Almost anywhere that sells Bettas in cups sells only males that way; usually they'll have a tank where they keep several females together.  Though, I have seen a couple of instances where females are sold in cups, too.> Thank you!  Have a wonderful day! <You too!  -Sabrina>

Re: Let's just be friends... I have a question about Bettas. <I hope I have an answer. :o)> I have a breeding pair that I have been conditioning in separate tanks for a couple of months. I put the male and female together about 3 days ago. The female is getting ripe with eggs and both are displaying courtship behavior. However, the male is not building a bubble nest and seems less interested than I hoped. <When placed in the tank with the male, the female should be placed in a clear container of some sort. Most breeders use a glass lamp chimney that sticks up out of the water a little. This way the male can see her but not actually get to her. Float ½ of a Styrofoam cup in the tank for him to build a nest under.> I have the pair in a 2.5 gallon tank, temperature is 78-80 degrees. Humidity is provided by an Eclipse lid, but no filtration is currently in use. I have Styrofoam cup pieces floating to help with the bubblenest building. Any suggestions? <Ah, I see you already have the cups. I would remove the female for a few days and then place her back in the tank inside of a lamp chimney for a few more days. Then release her and see what happens. Occasionally you will get a male that won't build a nest until they actually begin spawning. If you have any other males that are building nests (even if they aren't breeding) you can take a small spoonful of that nest and place it in with the breeding pair. This will often fool the breeding make into adding onto the 'surrogate' nest. Once in a while you'll get a pair that absolutely refuses to breed but not real often. Ronni> Thanks Jeff

Female Betta with bulging sides <Anthony Calfo in your service> I recently returned from being away for a few months, and discovered that the friend that was fish sitting didn't take good care of the fish at all. 9 fish had died, and I have a female Betta that has stumped me. She has two large protrusions (as shown in attached pics)  <thank you for the pics, they have helped tremendously and prevented a misdiagnosis... see below> one on each side behind the gills. At first I thought it might be dropsy or constipation, but the fish sitter said she had been like this for over a month. I have been home now for 3 weeks caring for the fish, and the lumps haven't seemed to change at all. I have been keeping her on a very light diet (in case of possible overfeeding or constipation) and she is isolated in a quarantine tank.  <the QT was very wise... kudos to you> The strangest part is that she is acting completely normal aside from the fact that she can't keep swimming, so she rests on the bottom, swimming to the top once in a while for air. She eats normally when I feed her. Any ideas? <yes. It seems to me that your fish likely has some sort of growth or infection of the swim bladder, perhaps. In rare cases, burrowing internal parasites perforate layers of tissue internally and cause such swelling. Impaction is possible, but not likely after such a long period. Many distended female Bettas are simply gravid (egg bearing ripe and quite conspicuous). However, the "swelling" of a gravid female if forward and reveals a distended ovipositor at her vent. This is not evident on your fish at all. There may be little to do without seeing more symptoms (if anything can be done at all for a growth, for example). Do try though some Epsom salt from the pharmacy. One tablespoon per five gallons and repeat in three days. Water changes as usual. Epsom salt helps regulate body fluids and may stimulate this fish. Do let us know if it helps. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks, Ariel the pictures are also on my website at www.geocities.com/stariel25/sick.html

Raising Bettas First of all let me tell you that I am very new at this. I have a male and female Bettas. For the last six months we have been trying to mate them (and they seem to do well that), however, no babies are ever hatched. The two of them are in their individual bowls (except at pairing time). <I bred, raised Bettas for a few years... and "spent" many thousands of hours as a lad cleaning bowls for a Betta business...> He appears to do his job, but no babies. I have been told that the eggs should hatch in 36 hours after fertilized. Is this true? <Depending on temperature... about this long> I have been told that maybe the male does not know how to fertilize the eggs? <Mmm, unlikely> I have also been told that the eggs must fall to the bottom so that he can fertilize them (he picks them up in mid air and places them in the bubble nest)? Is this true? <No... can "catch" in mid water, after squeezing out of the female, fertilizing...> I was also told that the water temperature and ph should influence the hatching. Is this true? <Absolutely> But if so, wouldn't the male at least fertilize the eggs and we could see the eggs fertilized? <Don't know if I'm understanding you here... would you see evidence of this? As in at the time? Not unless you have very good vision... but the fertilized eggs should hatch out...  I am writing to you hoping that you don't mind investing a few seconds educating a neophyte. <Please see our brief coverage on this species here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and consult folks on the various BB's on the net in our interest. Our Chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ I would check to make sure you're not having any drafts/vacillation in water temperature, that your pH is stable and about right, and also get/use another male. Bob Fenner>

Re: Raising Bettas Robert...Thank you very much for the prompt reply...What should the temperature and Ph be? <Ideally, about 82 F. and neutral (7.0). If you can't use small submersible heaters, stick a non-submersible in an olive jar with water around it, and cover the breeding tank/jar with an air-tight bit of plastic or glass. Avoid hard, alkaline water (dH of no more than 15) as this limits the time/viability of sperm and hardens the eggs prematurely, lessening the likelihood of fertilization)... If you can, get on down to a large (college) library and look into Betta books... by Gene Lucas, Robert Goldstein... or seek these works on Amazon.com, other on-line sources. Bob Fenner>

QUESTION I HAVE A LIGHT BROWN BETTA (sexing Bettas) OK I PUT A LID ON THE DUEL BETTA HEX AND HE WATCHES ME FEED HIM AND HE HAS A RED ONE NEXT TO HIM BUT I PUT A PROTECTOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BETTA HEX AND IF I SEND YOU A PICTURE OF THEM CAN YOU SEE IF THEY ARE MALES OR FEMALES <The males are the ones with the long flowing fins. Females have much shorter fins. You can see pictures and read additional information on them here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm P.S. In the future, please do not write in all capitals. All caps means you are yelling in internet etiquette and it is hard on the eyes to read. -Steven Pro>
Ok if the red one has red fins and a little bit of blue on them, it is a male correct and the other one has a little yellow and blue then is that a female one <Color has nothing to do with determining the sex of your fish. Please see here to start http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betta_splendens.htm and might I suggest "Bettas: A Complete Pet Owners Manual" by Dr. Robert Goldstein. -Steven Pro>

Betta Breeding Info. Hi I am considering breeding Bettas and was wondering if you could give me a few pointers.  I am not new to Bettas myself just the breeding part.  I have read a lot about breeding and know a little about it but not much.  Also could you send me a picture of a homemade breeding trap and a store bought one? I have read descriptions of them but do not know what they are supposed to look like.  I also need to know what to feed the fry preferably something I can make) and when do I know that both of the fishes are ready to mate.  I also heard that after mating the female may need special attention to get her going again.  Do I treat her with medication?   What is the ideal temp., and ph level for mating?  Thanks Have a Great 2003, Crystal Thebideau <Hi Crystal, I am not familiar with the breeding trap.  From what I have heard the trick is live food, warm water ~80 digress, and 24hr lighting prior to introducing the two.  The fry can  eat Liqui fry, or possibly green water. http://freshaquarium.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fpabs92.org%2Ffirst_food.htm If you use Google.com and search for "breeding Bettas" you should find a wealth of information.  Best Regards, Gage.

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Betta Success
Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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