Betta splendens: reproduction and mating in the tank. Advice on how to breed fighting fish.
Thefighting fishowes its name to its territorial nature. Although there may be qualms about the coexistence between thefighting fishand other aquarium fish, the main problems are found in combining several males together. In nature, the fighting fish does not attack other males of the same species or other fish because it has no problems with space and territory. Thefighting fishit becomes a threat and attacks another fish only if it invades its living space (its territory). In a home aquarium, the coexistence and number of males that can be introduced into the tank is closely related to the size of the aquarium.
Optimal conditions for the reproduction of Betta splendens
If you want to doreproduce the fish fighterand you are a beginner, prepare an aquarium of at least 20 liters, where you will have to prepare a divider (they are easily bought, or a large delivery room that you will need later to isolate the female and in the first phase to introduce the couple). Ideally your aquarium for mating and reproducing thefighting fishit should be 40 liters, have a good filtering system, a substrate of fine sand and a thermostat capable of maintaining a constant temperature at 26 ° C.
Another non-negligible factor is nutrition. At any stage of his life, thebettait should have a complete power supply. Use fortified food (a good fortified food can be found on Amazon, visit this page:Haquoss Gourment natural food), but on alternate days you will also have to provide him with live food such as sea monkeys (brine shrimp), leeches, worms, larvae ... you can find them in the best-stocked shops. Artemia can also be found dried and dehydrated, the betta he likes it, however live food tends to keep him even more engaged, as well as healthier.
If you prefer to do it yourself, you can also administer diptera larvae (fly larvae or mosquitoes collected in stagnant water) but in this case you risk contaminating your tank, so this practice is not recommended. As I explained to you in the article "betta splendens, fighting fish", this species eats very little, so don't overdo it.
Betta splendens: reproduction
In the first phase, add the two fish to the aquarium keeping them separated by a divider, in this way the fish can see each other but not come into contact with each other. This phase serves to sift the interest of themale bettaand to avoid territorial grievances (if the two specimens trying to attack conspicuously despite the divider, you will not have to try to make them mate but you will have to replace one of the two).
If thebetta splendens maleis interested, he will swim to the partition and inflate his fins showing off. If the female is interested, show off her short fins and, as a sign of submission, she will angle her head towards the substrate.
If you have observed these signs, remove the divider. When themale bettawill be ready toreproduction, it will prepare a large bubble nest, when you notice the bubble nest, turn off the tank filter and free the female by removing the divider. In this phase, the male to show his virility / territoriality, could chase the female and bite her, this is a normal attitude. This is the courtship phase and can last several days.
Take a good look at the pair of bettas, if the male becomes overly aggressive, be prepared to remove the female.
If the courtship is successful, the male will take the female to his bubble nest and mating can occur.
The female, in deposition, will go into a sort of cataleptic state. The eggs will accumulate on the bottom of the tank: it will be the male who transfers the eggs to the nest and protects them.
After this phase, generally the female must be removed from the aquarium, moving her to another tank or to a large delivery room (depending on the size of the aquarium). It is true, some examplesbetta femalethey show care towards the nest, but most, generally, tend to destroy the nest and devour the eggs, so I advise you to move the female or pay attention to her behavior.
A few days will pass from spawning to hatching and from hatching, you will notice the first fry swimming in the tank after two or three days. In this period, you will have to feed the male every other day, reducing the amount of food to a minimum and taking care to remove - with a pipette - the food not consumed so as not to further weigh down the tank that has been without a filter for days. At this stage, you will need to keep the aquarium light on even at night.
Even if the bubbles and the nest move, do not intervene, the male manages the nest and brings forth the offspring. The bubble nest is likely to move multiple times, so don't be alarmed.
When the fry are able to swim, remove the male from the aquarium and continue with his normal routine. Feed the fry with special powdered feeds (or microworms for fry 3 to 40 days old) and monitor their meals. Add very little feed per session.
You can reattach the filter when the fry are developed enough not to have problems with the movement of the water (therefore approximately 7 - 10 days), adjust the filter to its minimum intensity. At this point, perform a first 10% water change, taking care not to annoy the babies born. After a week, perform a further 10% water change.
The 15 day old fry should be moved to a larger aquarium of at least 75 liters (make sure the temperature and water quality is comparable to that which previously housed the fry and nest), this is a dedicated growth aquarium .
When the male fry are large enough, they will start fighting each other, so you will need to separate all the males into individual trays. Within 10 - 11 weeks of birth, thebetta splendensit will have acquired all its characteristic features.
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