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How to Set Up a Betta Breeding Tank

tan betta fish with green highlights

9:18 AM - March 20, 2013 by Adam Short

Once you decide you want to breed the beautiful species of Betta fish, you may have a lot of questions. Betta breeding requires a certain level of knowledge, and first and foremost is understanding how to set up your breeding tank.

What Size Betta Tank?


We recommend using a 10-gallon tank because it is small enough to allow you to monitor the spawning as well as the bubblenest and the fry (baby Bettas). To alleviate any bacteria or fungal growth, wash not only the tank, but also any equipment you will use inside the tank such as rocks and decorations. Additionally, sterilize every component so the bacteria and fungus don’t attack the fry.

Covering the Tank


Covering the tank is not a necessity when you are not breeding your Betta, but for breeding purposes, it is highly imperative to cover your tank when your Bettas are spawning. Their already aggressive nature is heightened during this time and it isn’t unusual for them to jump out of the tank. Likewise, a cover will keep the heat inside the tank, which is important for the eggs and fry.

Plants in the Tank?


natural plants in betta tankAs previously mentioned, Bettas that are spawning become very aggressive. Certain plants, such as hornwort, are a great choice to place in the tank during this time. The male Betta will use these plants to help make its nest as well as provide privacy and shelter for your female Betta.

Decorations in the Tank?


Along with plants, decorations can also provide shelter for the female as well as add a place for the male and female to relate before spawning begins. Moreover, if there aren’t any plants or decorations at all in the fish tank, the male could very well kill the female out of sheer instinct to protect his territory.

Substrate (Gravel)


Although most aquarium owners love the look of a colorful substrate, leave out this material during breeding times. The bottom of the tank should be clear except for stones and/or plants.

Condition of your Water


When Bettas are breeding, the pH of the aquarium water should measure between 6.8 and 7. It’s also important that the water be only marginally soft and the hardness measure between 8 and 10. By using a 50/50 mixture of tap water and demineralized water, you can easily maintain the tank at these levels.

It’s also vital that the temperature of the fish tank remain at 82 degrees. If the water gets too warm, even near 85 degrees, it could destroy the Betta eggs even before they hatch.

Water Filtration


The best-case scenario when breeding Bettas is to not use any filtration at all and use a syphon to remove a partial amount of water every other day. Be careful not to disturb the bubblenest.

If you must use filtration, keep the surface disturbance to a minimum. Any turbulence in the tank can damage the bubblenest, which will make it almost impossible for the male to keep the eggs from floating out.

Breeding Bettas is very rewarding. And setting up the correct breeding tank is imperative for the safety and health of your Bettas, the eggs and the fry.

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