Betta Fish Breeding Step 1 : Conditioning

One of the most important phases to the success of a spawn in the conditioning period. This is because the conditioning period is the 1 to 3 week period before spawning in which the betta is completely spoiled so that they have tons of energy build up, are healthy as an ox, and the female has the energy to produce hundreds of eggs. If you’re a beginner you may not realize that neither adult will eat while they’re in the spawning tank, that can be as much as 4 days for the female and 7 days for the male! Nobody wants their male to become hungry enough that he’ll snack on all his fry even if he would have otherwise been a wonderful father.

So how do you condition? You feed the betta very rich foods, preferably live, such as mosquito larva, brine shrimp, daphnia. IF you cannot get those the freeze dried versions work as well, but personally I find a mixture of hikari betta bites and freeze dried mosquito larva (bloodworms) works best. I heard a statistic that 80% of males that are conditioned with brine shrimp become egg eaters, so I recommend avoiding brine shrimp, or experimenting with it in a blend of foods. The length of the conditioning period is from one to three weeks depending on many factors, Normally I observe a two week conditioning period, the first week the pair can see each other, the second week they can only see each other for two 15 minute periods per day. Now that you know the how, next comes the why.

Many people thing the why is for the female to develop eggs. The truth is that it’s really not, the female does develop more eggs and they get bigger, but the real purpose is to give the bettas extra energy. Once in the spawning tank the bettas will not be fed until they are removed, more on why later. The conditioning period basically “Fattens” the bettas up for the spawning, and the extra food stimulates the spawning behavior also, they’re only willing to spawn when they think there is plenty of food.

Now that you know about conditioning you can move on to Tank Setup.