Betta Breeding – Caring for the Fry

If you have already started the breeding process with your Betta fish, your eggs may have hatched after being cared for by the male. If you arrived at this stage of the process successfully, what you are about to encounter next is the care of the newly-hatched fry so they can grow into beautiful and healthy Bettas.

What is Next?

After the eggs have hatched, you may observe the fry hanging tail down from each individual egg. They will remain there for up to 36 hours until all of their yolk sac is absorbed.

The most dangerous threat to these new Betta babies is fungus, which love to attack any of the unfertilized eggs that still remain in the tank. This has to be eradicated immediately or it will spread to the fry and even to the male who tends to them. If you carefully remove all of the unfertilized eggs immediately, then the fungus will not have a chance to develop.

Be careful when removing what you perceive as unfertilized eggs. Developing eggs are more translucent. If you look carefully, you can even see a black dot that is the emerging eye. Unfertilized eggs are opaque white.

Feeding Your Fry

Fry are very tiny when they first hatch and require liquefied food that is made specifically for them. There are many ways to culture fry foods yourself. Find information in books recommended by your fish dealer or local aquarium shop. Once they are a few weeks old, they can ingest baby brine shrimp, which will help them grow much larger.

Your fry, as they mature, will prefer the same food that is fed to their parents.

This should include:

  • Live or frozen brine shrimp
  • Vegetable flakes
  • Dried shrimp
  • Standard flakes
  • Live blackworms (in limited quantity)

The real plants in your aquarium will also provide the fry with food to nibble on. Make sure that the live plants have no sharp leaves or greenery that can damage the fry’s delicate mouth.

Feed the fry small amounts many times a day. Remember that the fry has a long gut so they eat less than their parents and will be hungry again in an hour or two. Also, remove uneaten food from the tank.

When do You Move the Fry?

Immediately after the fry hatch, move them to a container of their own. Equip their fish tank similar to their parent’s, yet avoid dangerous, large power filters. They are tiny and lightweight and can easily be sucked into any mechanism that wouldn’t normally harm an adult Betta. By adjusting the flow of the filter and adding a mesh net over the intake, you can protect them from accidents.

Should the Sexes be Separated?

Betta fish aquarium with blue and red betta

Once you can identify the sex of the fry, separate the males and females. Their gender will be obvious at 2-3 months of age. The males develop longer fins and are brighter in color. When this is apparent, it’s time to put the males into their own containers.

Place all the females in an aquarium that is large enough to house them comfortably. Place the males in one-gallon jars that have suitable aeration and clean water. Change the water frequently.

Betta breeding is a responsibility that requires time and patience, but the reward and enjoyment is great for those who desire to raise beautiful Betta fish!

Have you tried to breed bettas?