Many questions from a “beginning” betta breeder


New Member
Sep 8, 2020
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Hey everyone! :)
I’ve been trying to breed my betta for the longest time (At least over a year now) but I haven’t had any luck. My male would build a nest after I introduce my female, I gave him a few days(about 2) to build, and that’s when I put my female in breeding tank. I keep an eye on them and there’s usually never any nipping done from the male, only from my female trying to get his attention. Other than that, nothing happens and I still haven’t had any success in getting them to actually breed.
I’m restarting my breeding tank, new plants, hiding spots, etc. So here’s where my questions start (incase I’m doing something wrong):

1. What should the water parameters be (ph, hardness, alkalinity, etc)?
2. What’s the ideal temperature when breeding and if they spawn, what should I change it to for the fry?
3. What would you suggest the best plants to be in the breeding tank? I have a few Java ferns on standby, as well as a few moss balls. I’m currently growing a few more things ( I don’t know the names of them, but it’s some type of aquatic grass, and also one that gets long and stalky kind of like bamboo, but it’s not super thick, and definitely not bamboo)
4. What would you say the best tank size for breeding is? I currently have a 5g, I’ve read that some people have success with a 5g tank as well as a 10g. my 5g was a gift from a friend, so I wanted to put that in use.
5. What’s the best diet for my bettas leading up to breeding? I have freeze dried bloodworms, and I also have Brine shrimp eggs, but I’m saving those for when I get a successful spawn.
6. When is my betta “too old” to breed? My female, I purchased her from petco (please don’t judge me, I was a still a newbie and wanted a betta, without spending a bunch of money at a legit breeder) and she was advertised as a “baby,” so maybe 4 months and then she developed her “egg spot” which is when I figured her approx. age. I’ve had her for about 2.5 years now so she’s probably about 3 years old. Is that too old to breed successfully?

Sorry, I know it’s a lot of questions, but I feel like no matter how much research I do and how much I follow it, nothing works. It’s pretty discouraging when I see a bunch of people having success, and after a year of trying, I’ve had absolutely no luck.
Thank you in advanced for any advice and the help! Hopefully I’ll have some luck soon :)


Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Captive bred Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish) will breed in water with a GH below 100ppm and a pH below 7.6.

Wild caught Betta splendens will breed in water with a GH below 50ppm and a pH below 7.0 (preferably around 6.5).

Temperature for breeding and rearing the fry is 25-28C.

Best plant is Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).

18-24 inch long tank is fine for a pair to breed in.

Fish should be fed a variety of dry, frozen and live foods 3-5 times per day for at least 2 weeks before they are bred. Do big daily water changes and gravel clean the substrate when feeding 3-5 times per day to keep the tank clean.

Good frozen foods include prawn/ shrimp, bloodworms, brineshrimp, daphnia and marine mix (contains prawn, fish & squid).

Good live foods include mosquito larvae, mozzies, small flies & moths, small ants, ant eggs, aphids, brineshrimp, daphnia, grindal or white worms, flour weevil larvae.

Fish can breed when old and age doesn't make much difference to them. Older fish will usually produce bigger batches of eggs but not as often. Young fish will produce smaller batches of eggs more often.

The breeding tank should have an air operated sponge filter and not too much surface turbulence. Have lots of floating plants (Water Sprite) to help reduce surface turbulence and for the male to build his nest under.

Try not to disturb the nest when doing water changes, just syphon water out and slowly fill the tank back up using a bucket and syphon the new water from a bucket into the tank.

If the fish get along together and don't fight, leave them together in the tank and feed them well. The male should build a bubblenest and when he is ready, he will display to the female and they should breed. The female will shed a few eggs and the male fertilises them. He then picks up the eggs and puts them in the bubblenest. This continues until the female has shed all her eggs. At which time she will usually swim off and hide. You can remove her after this.

The male will look after the eggs and fry for the first few weeks. The babies are small and need green water, infusoria or boiled egg yolk for the first 2 weeks. Then they can be offered newly hatched brineshrimp.

The following link has information about culturing foods for baby fish. You need to start most cultures a month or more before you breed the fish because they take time to grow. There is also a section on boiled egg yolk and brineshrimp.

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