How to Breed Betta Fish

Decorating a fish bowl is almost as fun as watching your fish.

Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish, make beautiful, exotic pets. Follow these simple steps, and you'll soon have a school of tiny Betta fish.

  1. Pour 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of water into a 5-gallon (19-liter) aquarium.
  2. Cut a plastic foam cup in half and place the outer side face up in the corner of the tank. This will be the nest for the fry (baby fish).
  3. Place live plants throughout the aquarium. This is where the female will hide if the male fish are bullying her [source: Berdoulay].
  4. Ensure the water temperature is a constant 82 degrees F (27.8 degrees C).
  5. Place the male fish in the tank with the plants.
  6. Place the female fish in a smaller tank. It's not necessary to put plants in the smaller tank.
  7. Condition the fish for breeding for approximately a week by feeding them live food and changing their water regularly. The healthier the fish are, the more successful the breeding will be.
  8. Place the two tanks beside one another, so the fish can see each other and prepare for breeding. You'll know the female is ready to spawn when her stomach swells to the size of a marble and she has vertical stripes on her body [source: Baumgarten].
  9. Place the female fish in the tank with the male fish.
  10. Observe the fish. If the male is too aggressive, remove the female fish and wait a few days before trying again. It's normal for the male to chase the female around the tank nipping at her fins.
  11. The fish will mate by embracing under the nest. The female fish will look paralyzed as she expels her eggs. Once the fish have finished embracing and the female fish has swum to hide in the plants, take her out of the tank.
  12. Let the male fish guard and tend to the fry for 24 to 36 hours. Once the fry can swim, remove the male fish from the tank.