Many Betta fish owners eventually realize that they want to expand their Betta biome into more than a few fish. We’ve been there, so we understand. Breeding Bettas can turn your aquarium into a colorful and dynamic playing field that’s so beautiful it’ll instantly grab others’ attention.
You can make some money on the side selling new Bettas or even gift them to your closest fellow fishkeepers.
Usually, if you leave your Bettas in the tank in the proper environment, nature will take its course, and they’ll mate, producing little Betta fry. Still, you need to know what to do once the newly-hatched fish come about.
- Should I Breed My Betta Fish?
- Timeline of a Betta’s Growth
- Guide to Raising Betta Fry Quickly
- Feeding Betta Fry
- Separating the Fry
- Watch This!
- Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Breed My Betta Fish?
Betta fish are a widely popular species to breed because they can breed in a relatively short time, don’t require an overwhelming amount of effort, and are stunning.
That being said, why should you breed Bettas?
If you’re a fan of marine life, breeding Betta fish is worth it just for the beauty they’ll add to your aquarium.
If your current aquarium is sparsely populated, then this is an excellent opportunity to fill it with colorful fauna.
Besides, you can even make some money by breeding Bettas and selling the fry when they grow up. And yes, we know that one Betta doesn’t sell for that much, but consider how one couple usually produces 40-50 eggs and can lay up to 500.
Timeline of a Betta’s Growth
You should know how a Betta fry goes through its growth stages if you plan on raising it. That’s because newly-hatched fry will go through phases where they need different care and foods.
Knowing a Betta fry’s growth timeline also helps you track progress (by knowing which stage your fish fry is in).
Obviously, the first step before conceiving a fry is mating. The male Betta fish builds a bubble nest during this stage, then searches for a female and attracts it through a stunning colorful show. It’s a sight to see!
After the female lays its eggs, remove it from the breeding tank. The male will then collect the eggs and protect them in its bubble nest until they eventually hatch one or two days later. After that, the male should stay with its fry for a few more days until they learn free swimming.
At one week old, the fry should be around 0.1″ long with no tails. Dorsal fins will only start growing at two weeks old when the fry is about 0.25 inches long.
For the next four weeks, the fry will grow about 0.2-0.25 inches per week and continue developing its fins and labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe oxygen from the air.
By the seventh week, the fry should have its fins fully developed. The characteristic vivid colors should also start forming when it’s about eight to nine weeks of age.
At 10-12 weeks of age, the Betta reaches maturity and gains its fertility. Then, at 2-3 inches long, its growth will stagnate, and the males will start searching for females to mate with.
Fun Fact: Read our post regarding Pregnant Betta Fish: Learn To Detect Its Pregnancy Easily to understand how bettas undergo breeding and egg-laying.
Guide to Raising Betta Fry Quickly
If you’re set on raising some baby Betta fry fish, you’ll probably want them to grow up as fast as possible to save yourself the effort in the long term and see the results of your (and your adult Bettas) work.
Besides, if you plan on turning this into a small shtick on the side, you’ll need to boost the breeding process.
Did you know that professional Betta breeders can help their fry reach maturity faster than hobbyists?
This is why it’s important to know what you can do to make Betta fry grow faster.
Give Them a Suitable Betta Fry Tank
Betta fry fish need some finely-tuned tanks to boost their growth.
While you could keep the new Betta fry in the breeding tank for a few weeks, you’ll eventually have to move them to a grow-out tank.
The grow-out tank should be at least 20 gallons to fit all the fish comfortably. You should also cover its lid because otherwise, the fry might try to leap out.
We also recommend that you look into providing the fry with some live plants. They’re not absolutely necessary, but they’re a great natural food source for the fry and help to improve water quality.
Maintain Optimal Water Parameters
Betta fry fish, like human babies, are delicate and need specific water parameters to survive to adulthood. For instance, you need to maintain a consistent pH and temperature to grow the fry.
Water pH Level
You’ll need to make a habit of measuring the water’s pH levels. Thankfully, you can easily do this with a pH strip test kit.
Ensure the pH stays around 7, so it’s neither acidic nor basic. If you notice the pH drifting toward either end, use a pH stabilizer to mitigate the effects immediately.
However, there’s only so much a stabilizer can do in a short time frame, so if the pH goes under 6 or over 8, you’ll need to change the water entirely. This is why we recommend you measure the pH a few times per week.
You probably don’t need us to remind you how vital water temperature is for Betta fish and, by extension, their fry.
An ideal temperature to grow baby Bettas is around 80-85° F (26-30° C). You should get an aquarium heater to keep its temperature in that ideal range.
When measuring temperature, take the reading at the other edge of the heater because that’ll tell you if the heat is distributed evenly in the aquarium.
You’ll also need to check the temperature frequently because Betta fry is very sensitive to temperature changes.
Change the Water Frequently
If you leave the aquarium water unchanged, it’ll eventually fill with Betta fry waste, which leads to high ammonia and nitrite levels. This will cause the spread of disease among your fish, so contaminated water is one of the highest risks to Betta fry; you shouldn’t neglect this step. That’s why you need to change the water frequently.
We recommend changing 25% of the water 2-3 times a week and a complete water change every month.
The best way to change the water is by using a very narrow siphon tube. Don’t use a regular siphon or anything wide enough to suck the fish out.
Start by siphoning water off the bottom, which could include wastes like dead fry or eggs, decayed parts of plants, and food waste. Then, work your way up the top.
To sum up, the water should always look as pristine as possible. And beware of cloudiness, which could indicate contamination.
Feeding Betta Fry
Learning how to feed your fry is essential to their development and directly impacts how quickly they grow. Fortunately, there are numerous Betta fry foods, so you won’t struggle to find a fine meal.
However, you still need to be careful with feeding your fry, especially during their most delicate days.
What Do Baby Betta Fish Eat?
Baby Betta fish will typically only eat live foods, such as vinegar eels, banana worms, baby worms, grindal worms, mosquito larva, walter worms, and baby brine shrimp.
You can easily find most of these foods online or at a fish store. You can even make Betta fry food at home with the right ingredients.
How to Feed Them Properly
Feed your fry small worms like tiny nematodes in their first few days or let them eat infusoria off plants in the tank. You can start feeding them baby brine shrimp when they’re a week old, which should suffice their nutritional needs.
You can introduce frozen foods around the fourth week. Look for finely-grated frozen foods from trusted vendors. By the fifth or sixth week, you can introduce more worms into their diets, such as grindal worms, vinegar eels, and banana worms. Keep feeding them the baby brine shrimp, worms, and frozen foods while they’re in the grow-out tank.
Once they’re out, you can introduce pellets and experiment with other foods for adult Bettas.
Separating the Fry
Like humans, baby the Betta fry reach a point where they go their merry way. You’ll need to help them separate at this stage. Otherwise, they might get too aggressive in their confined space and attack each other. Once the fry starts showing their colors at 8-9 weeks old, the males will start showing signs of aggression similar to those of adults.
This is the time when you should separate the fry into their unique jars or containers.
Male fry, in particular, need to be singled out and separated for a while since they’re much more likely to attack other fish or try to lure females.
Females are less aggressive, though, so you can keep most of them together in one tank. However, larger fish might eat smaller ones, so you might want to separate those.
While in jars, Betta fish fry will still need frequent water changes and temperature checks. So, if you want to make it easier, you can keep the jars in a large tub of water and adjust the temperature in one go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Betta fish eat their fry?
Betta fish are generally gentle with their fish fry and egg sacs. However, they tend to eat eggs that failed to fertilize correctly or dead fry and will only eat their fry if they’re extremely hungry or agitated.
What’s the survival rate of Betta fry?
A baby Betta fry usually survives to adulthood. If you and your adult Betta fish take care of the fry properly, about 90% of the tank should stay. But if you neglect some aspects of their growth, their chances decrease dramatically.
Should I feed baby brine shrimp to my fry?
Baby brine shrimp is a perfect meal to feed Betta fry fish and many other fish fry species. Live brine shrimp are a staple food for baby Bettas during early life. But once they grow older and learn to eat pellets, you can start feeding them non-living baby brine shrimp.
You can definitely grow Betta fry quickly, but you must be willing to commit some of your time and effort if you want to succeed. Although the first time you raise a Betta fry might be full of surprises and complicated nuances, you’ll soon enough get the hang of it. Besides, the reward at the journey’s end is well worth the wait.
The majority of the Betta fish fry survive to maturity, but make sure you follow proper care procedures because they’re pretty sensitive to harsh environments.
Last Updated: July 12, 2022