It has always been a desire for most Betta lovers to breed from their favorite Betta pair. I mean, why wouldn’t they? It comes with huge blessings, from both aquarium enthusiasts’ point of view and financial aspects.
The good news is Betta Fry has a survival rate of over 90%. And there are plenty of things that will increase the survival rate significantly.
So, if you’re looking forward to bringing some addition of Bettas from your own pair of old Bettas, this article can be your complete guide throughout this process.
Betta Fry Survival Rate
Here’s the good news, if they are taken care of properly, almost 90% of Betta fry might survive. But Only if you do everything in the right order or else, there will be a disaster.
Everything You Need To Know
First, let us have a look at the things we will have to be careful about. Before starting spawning, you will have to make sure of these things:
- The perfect tank
- The optimum environment
- Proper feeding
After making sure of these things, let us jump to the factors that can prove to be lethal:
- Improper water quality
- Overcrowded tank
- Bad feeding habit
So, it’s pretty clear that there are only certain factors playing a key role in the nurturing of Betta fry.
Why Should You Breed Bettas?
Betta fish are widely chosen for breeding purposes. It’s because they come in a wide range of colors and shapes. And they are capable of breeding within a short period of time.
Professional Betta breeders can produce fully developed Bettas within two to three months and after that period, they start the process all over again. A pair of healthy and capable Betta can give birth to almost 60 to 100 fries.
It’s also great for earning some extra bucks. As adult Betta fish cost a significant amount of money, Betta breeding is hands down a profitable process. Besides, you can easily put more versatility in your tank, as the fry will grow up to be so different from each other.
Boosting The Growth
If you want to see your Betta fry swimming around in your tank real soon or want to sell them to other Betta lovers, you would want them to grow up as quickly as you can.
In order to grow them faster, you will have to keep the optimum environment available almost all the time. But it depends so much on care and maintenance. You will have to feed them routinely with a variety of live foods and we should choose the foods according to their stage of growth.
Another significant factor is the water quality. Every spawning can produce 60 to 300 fries, so it is never easy to keep the water clear. Separating the fry at the right time will also boost their growth.
Different Stages Of Growth
For proper care and maintenance, it is necessary to understand the stages of growth. We must change the food routine with every stage of growth. Let me show in a chart the growth stages of Betta fry.
|Age (weeks)||Size (inch)||Notes|
|1 week||0.1||No tails at this scale|
|2 weeks||0.25||Starts showing dorsal fins|
|4 weeks||0.45||Growth is average|
|5 weeks||0.60||Keeps growing|
|6 weeks||0.85||The largest is over an inch|
|7 weeks||1.10||Fins developed at full length|
|12 weeks||1.92||Extrapolated based on-trend, no further noticeable growth|
Setting Up The Tank
The size, shape, and even the methods vary from breeder to breeder. Some breeders prefer moving out Betta fry to a grow-out tank at the very beginning, while some keep them in the breeding tank for up to three weeks and then transfer them to a new tank.
But, eventually, you will have to move them to a specialized tank to ensure power growth. To set up a grow-out tank, follow these instructions:
- Shape: Use a circular tank, it is much easier for feeding and swimming.
- Size: The tank size depends on the number of Fry. Try to select a big tank with the capacity of 18 gallons.
- Jar wrapper: Use a jar cover to prevent any object from falling into the tank and it also prevents the Fry from jumping out.
- Heater: Set up a water heater to maintain optimum water temperature.
- Filter: Use a sponge filter or a stone filter.
- Additional Shelter: Use Indian almond leaves as it conditions the water naturally. Also, use Banana leave inside the tank.
- Water changing options: You should go for a Turkey baster or narrow hose pipe, as common gravel siphons are too potent to pull out your Betta fry.
- Lighting: Lighting is an essential element for Betta fry growth. Use either mild sunlight or aquarium light to ensure a proper environment for your Fry.
- Include live plants: You should definitely put a significant number of live plants inside your tank. Live plants are home to infusorians, which are essential for juvenile fry.
Maintenance Of Water
Betta fry is extremely sensitive to water quality. It is a determining growth factor for Betta fry and the survival rate depends mostly on it. So all your extra efforts should be given to keep the water at an optimum level and all the parameters should be kept at home for the Fry.
Pure water quality is important for raising Betta fry and inspiring their growth.
The optimum pH for fry growth is 7 to 7.2. You should measure your water pH thrice a week at least. You can use a strip test kit for measuring pH.
Neither acidic nor alkaline environment is preferable in this case. Use a pH stabilizer to bring it back to the normal range. Sometimes the pH can’t be brought back to normal range permanently. In this case, you should change the tank water completely.
An optimum temperature is necessary for the rapid and smooth growth of Betta Fry. Temperature plays a key role in the metabolic functions and other physiological activities of fry. As Betta fish are tropical fish, they can easily grow up in increased temperatures.
On the other hand, a decreased temperature will pave the way for fungal, bacterial, and parasitic attacks. The digestion and respiration will also be affected by a decreased temperature.
So the temperature should be kept within the range of 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a thermometer at the end of the tank, opposite the heater. This will allow you to measure the temperature, which is thoroughly distributed in the water.
Try to be consistent with the temperature, any rapid rise or fall will have a direct effect on the fry. Try to avoid fluctuations as much as you can, check the temperature once a day.
Make The Habit Of Changing Water
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Betta fry is significantly susceptible to water quality. Contaminated water can be the biggest threat to your newly hatched fry. Because of the increased quantity of fish and increased digestive function, the water in your tank gets polluted easily.
To ensure rapid and healthy growth, breeders recommend 25% of water change thrice a week and full water change thrice a month. This will keep all the pollution away and make a safe home for your Betta fry.
The easiest and safest method of pulling water out of your tank is to use a siphon. You shouldn’t use a regular siphon as they will suck your fry out of the tank. Instead, go for narrow-gauge tubing or an Airline hose. You can also insert anything that will decrease the fast flow of water.
While changing the total tank water, start from the bottom. Clear any dead fry, uneaten food, metabolic waste products, and other unwanted substances from the bottom by vacuuming. Take almost 50% of the water out through this. Then take a cup and remove the rest 50%. This is safer than other methods, as it allows you to notice whether you’ve accidentally caught any Fry.
Use conditioned and treated water with the same temperature and pH as before. You wouldn’t like to give a shock to your Betta fry by changing the environment suddenly.
Don’t Ignore Cloudy Water
One of the most common things you’ll notice while breeding Bettas is cloudy water. It can be seen right after hatching. Some amateur breeders ignore this condition most often. But this is something you should never neglect.
Increased Ammonia and nitrite level in the water causes cloudy water. Ammonia and nitrite come from the metabolic wastes of your Betta fry. The normal range of Ammonia and nitrite should be kept less than 0.2 or 0.3. When the level reaches 1, water becomes dusty.
Invest In A Water Testing Kit
If you’re planning to breed Betta for the long term, then you should consider buying a good water testing kit. It’ll prove to be a lifesaver for your Fish and Fry. It will help you to measure the pH and the amount of different chemical substances present in your water tank.
What Are You Feeding?
The growth and health of your Betta fry are directly related to what you’re feeding them. The food type is quite limited, but you have got some options to choose from. Betta fry should only be given live foods. You can’t feed them pellets if they are not older enough. Here is some live food to boost the growth of your fry:
- Vinegar eels
- Walter worms
- Banana worms
- Baby brine shrimp
- Fairy shrimp
- Grindal worms
These foods are available in pet shops or you can buy them online. But a lot of Breeders prefer to culture these foods in their homes. If you want to do the same, start culturing them before starting the breeding process.
A lot of these foods grow in dark areas and can smell pretty bad. So you should keep this away from your household. You can feed the Fry when they have broken from the eggs and are swimming freely.
Preparing Fry Foods At Home
There are some recipes available to make Betta fry food at your home. Some of these recipes are pretty easy to make whereas some recipes require time and effort. Also, Betta fry foods can be costly. You can make the following foods at home:
- Powdered Spirulina
- Powdered egg recipe
- Brine shrimp
Keep A Food Chart
It may sound like too much work, but it isn’t. Keeping a food chart is really important to supervise your Betta Fry’s growth. You can easily notice which time is suitable for providing them with food. Besides, keeping a food chart will save the extra amount of food from being wasted.
We should not give Betta Fry two major meals. Instead, feed them four to five times a day. It enables every fry to have an adequate amount of food and also decreases the wastage of food significantly.
Selecting The Best Food
We have already talked about what food is good for Betta fry. Let’s focus on the best foods that will have a great impact on Betta fry growth.
We always notice that Fry and Fish grow rapidly in natural hatcheries and ponds. The principal reason is the foods available in those places, especially Chlorella. Moina is said to be the source of life for Betta Fry. Daphnia is also a superb choice for two weeks aged Fry.
It may seem a bit difficult to feed Betta fry for amateurs. Here are some tips that will help you in this regard:
- The first thing you should feed your newly born fry, are Nematodes. You can also feed them Infusoria. Live plants inside the tank will store Infusoria in abundance.
- After the first week, start feeding them brine shrimps.
- Keep on feeding those Brine shrimps, Nematodes alone can’t supply them with all the essential nutrition.
- During weeks three and four, you can add frozen food along with brine shrimps. You can also add Daphnia to the diet. Frozen foods should be purchased from reliable stores, as they have a higher possibility of being contaminated. I recommend you to buy from the Hikary Brand.
- After reaching four to five weeks, introduce black worms and Grindal worms along with brine shrimps. Worms are a great choice because they can live at the bottom of the jar until the Fry eats them.
- After they begin to mature, keep on feeding Brine shrimps, worms, and frozen foods. You can now start to feed pellets. Fry aged between Eight to Nine weeks is capable of eating dry foods.
- As they continue to develop, try to maintain a variety of foods in the diet. You can now reduce the feeding time to twice a day.
Separating The Fry
After the ninth week, your Betta Fry will start to show up their colors. This is a clear sign of maturation. That means it’s time you separated the Fry. It’s also known as ‘Jarring’.
The male Betta Fry will start to show their aggression, so they should be the one moving out. Each male Betta fish needs individual jars. You can either use small tanks, bottles, mugs, and cups to store them.
Female Bettas can be kept together, but the larger ones may eat the weaker fish. So, it’s better to separate them based on their size and shape.
After separating, you have to keep on the maintenance. Change the water daily & ensure an optimum temperature and pH.
Doing all these for separate jars can be really tiring, so you can store Betta fry in a big tank with jar dividers. They are basically nets, used to separate fish within the same tank.
Growth Inhibitory Hormone
Growth inhibitory hormone (GIH) is a hormone that doesn’t let the Fry grow. Bad water quality has an impact on GIH release. So even after jarring the Fry, maintain 100% water change every day.
Time To Take Care Of Your Fry
After jarring them, you should take care of them like a grown-up Betta fish. The minimum time should be 10 minutes for each Betta fish. This includes changing water, cleaning, and feeding. Make sure you give them enough attention.
- Always try to keep the water clean
- Use Indian almond leaves as more as you can
- Use live plants
- Exposure to sunlight
- Don’t dump Betta fry directly into changing waters, do it gently
- The right temperature should always be maintained
- Monitor the ammonia and nitrite level
- Don’t make the jars overcrowded
- Don’t use carbon filters, go for sponge and stone filters
Breeding betta fish is never an easy task. But at the end of the day when you will see all you
beautiful Bettas showing up, you will realize that it was worth all the effort. I hope you found all the necessary information you needed in this article.