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How to breed Betta splendens

Betta splendens, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are a popular aquarium fish species due to their vibrant colors, unique personalities, and ease of care. Breeding Betta splendens can be a rewarding experience for hobbyists, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and preparation. In this article, we will provide a detailed guide on breeding Betta splendens.

Betta splendens mustard gas Halfmoon siamese fighting fish
Male Betta splendens, (Mustard gas Half moon Betta)

Choosing breeding pairs:

The first step in breeding Betta splendens is choosing the right breeding pairs. It is essential to select healthy and genetically diverse pairs to produce healthy offspring. When selecting breeding pairs, it is essential to consider the following factors:

  • Age: The age of breeding pairs should be between 8-12 months old. Breeding young fish may result in underdeveloped eggs and sperm, while breeding old fish may result in low-quality eggs and sperm.

  • Health: Breeding pairs should be in good health, without any signs of illness or disease.

  • Compatibility: Breeding pairs should be compatible and show no signs of aggression towards each other.

  • Genetics: Selecting breeding pairs with different genetic backgrounds can help produce healthy and diverse offspring.

A female Betta splendens, Siamese fighting fish
Female Betta splendens, note the ovipositor showing (The tube in which eggs are laid from)

  1. Conditioning:

Conditioning is a crucial step in breeding Betta splendens. It involves feeding the breeding pairs high-quality and nutritious food to prepare them for breeding. Conditioning should last for approximately 2-3 weeks before breeding. During this time, breeding pairs should be fed a varied diet consisting of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, black mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and daphnia. It is also recommended to change the water frequently during conditioning.

Black mosquito larvae
Black mosquito larvae is an excellent conditioning food.

  1. Breeding:

Breeding Betta splendens involves several steps, including the following:

  • Selecting a breeding tank: A breeding tank should be at least 10 gallons in size and have a heater and filter. The water temperature should be between 78-82°F, and the pH should be around 7.0.

  • Introducing the breeding pairs: Introduce the male fish to the tank first, allow the male to build a bubble nest, which will serve as a place for the eggs to be deposited.

  • Add the female into the breeding tank carefully as aggression may occur if either sex is unwilling to spawn. Introduce the female in a clear cup or jar that will allow the fish to see each other, court but unable to physically touch.

  • When it is apparent that both fish are ready to mate, release the female into the males tank.

  • Spawning: Spawning occurs when the male wraps his body around the female and releases sperm, which fertilizes the eggs. The female will then release her eggs, which will be deposited in the male's bubble nest.

  • Separating the parents: Once spawning is complete, it is essential to separate the breeding pairs to prevent them from harming each other, or the eggs or fry. The males can be great parents and can be left with the eggs if required.

Betta splendens in spawning embrace under the bubblenest. Siamese fighting fish
Betta splendens embracing under the bubblenest

Betta splendens, Siamese fighting fish with eggs and fry, breeding Betta splendens with fry
Male Betta splendens with eggs and fry.

  1. Hatching:

The eggs will hatch within 24-36 hours after spawning. The male will care for the eggs and fry, protecting them and ensuring they stay in the bubble nest. Once the fry become free-swimming, which occurs after 2-3 days, the male should be removed from the breeding tank to prevent him from preying on the fry.

  1. Rearing:

Rearing Betta splendens fry can be challenging, but it is essential to provide them with the best possible environment to ensure their survival. Fry should be fed with infusoria, baby brine shrimp, and micro worms. It is essential to provide them with clean water and maintain the appropriate water temperature and pH level.


Breeding Betta splendens can be a rewarding experience for hobbyists, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and preparation. It is essential to choose healthy and genetically diverse breeding pairs, condition them properly, and provide them with the appropriate breeding environment. Breeding Betta splendens can be challenging, but with the right care and attention, it can result in beautiful and healthy offspring.

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