Baby Betta Fish Care

Baby Betta Fish Care

Everyone loves both bettas and babies, right? So, the combination of these two, a bitty baby betta, is, of course, a cute little critter that everyone loves! Watching your little betta grow into a beautiful fish is a wonderful experience. Now, how do you go about caring for your new little addition to the family?

In order to care for your baby betta, you will first have to determine the age. We will cover the care of baby bettas you will buy in stores as well as caring for actual babies that are brand new. The younger the baby betta, the more difficult it is to care for. However, the baby bettas you buy in the store are easy to care for and don’t have many care differences from adult bettas.

In this article, we will first cover the care of bettas by age in days, from 1-3, 3-5, 5-8, 8-14, 14-25, and 25-35 days old. Next, we will discuss jarring, and shipping your bettas. After we discuss raising bettas from eggs, we will go over pet store baby care, including filters, heaters, and baby foods.

1-3 Days of age

At the beginning of a betta’s life, they will have egg sacks and will still have their father guarding them. For the first few days of their lives, they will not be able to swim due to their large egg sack. However, they do get antsy and will wriggle about, causing them to fall out of their bubble nest.

If they fall and lay on the ground, the fungus will likely cover and kill them. However, their dad will come along to pick them up and put them back in the nest. He will be doing this for hundreds of babies once they start to hatch.

For the first 1-3 days, the babies will be absorbing their egg sacks, but some will finish absorbing them. Once this happens, you must start feeding the babies so that they don’t starve.

Baby bettas need live food for the first month or so of their lives. Most baby fish can eat baby brine shrimp as soon as they hatch, but baby bettas tend to be too small for these. Instead, you will have to feed them microworms and/or vinegar eels.

These live foods are easy to culture and do not take up a lot of space. If you attempt to feed them using powdered fry foods, you will lose the vast majority of your spawn, probably over 90%. In a pinch, you can culture infusoria to feed them for these first few days.

3-5 Days of age

All of the babies will have lost their egg sacks at this point, so you can begin to feed a little more heavily. At this point, you should still be feeding them microworms, vinegar eels, and/or infusoria. However, some will be large enough to start to eat 1-2-day old baby brine shrimp. In addition, you should remove the male at this point.

If you have not yet set up the brine shrimp hatchery, now is a good time to do so. The brine shrimp have egg sacks after they hatch, and these egg sacks are perfect nourishment for the baby bettas.

For some reason, you are unable to procure baby brine shrimp, you can instead culture fairy shrimp. Baby fairy shrimp have the same nutritional value as baby brine shrimp. Fairy shrimp are a freshwater version of brine shrimp commonly found in vernal pools.

In order to culture these, you will need green water, like daphnia. In fact, culturing fairy shrimp and daphnia in the same green water bucket is a great idea. That way you can provide constant daphnia and baby fairy shrimp, or even adult fairy shrimp for the larger babies.

The brine shrimp should be rinsed in fresh water before being fed to the bettas. Otherwise, you will be adding a good deal of salt to the baby bettas, something they are sensitive to.

5-8 Days of age

This is the last age group that will be able to get sufficient nutrition from the nematodes and infusoria you are feeding. From here on out, you should switch to feeding them primarily young daphnia, brine shrimp, and fairy shrimp.

The nematode worms that you have been feeding up to this point will simply be too small to provide proper nutrition. They are only a few millimeters long and not very thick or full of protein, unlike the baby brine shrimp.

Baby brine shrimp provide many more nutrients and essential vitamins, not to mention their protein content, which is why every betta breeder uses them. Hatching the brine shrimp is not difficult; you can even use an old soda bottle.

The brine shrimp eggs you buy will come with instructions in terms of temperature and salinity. You must use either aquarium salt or pickling salt to make their saltwater mixture. Brine shrimp also prefer higher pH water, so you can add baking soda as well.

First, you should add the eggs to the bottle you want to use. Secondly, add some airline tubing and the saltwater mix. Then, turn on the bubbler and place a light over the container to encourage hatching. Place the container either in a warm room or float it in one of your warm aquariums but be sure not to spill it into the aquarium.

The brine shrimp will hatch in 18-36 hours, and it is helpful to have multiple hatcheries running at the same time. This will prevent the babies from starving while they wait for the next batch to hatch.

8-14 Days of age

At this point, you can cease feeding them vinegar eels, microworms, and infusoria, as they are now too small to catch the bettas’ interest. Depending on how fast the bettas are growing, you may be able to start feeding certain larger worms.

Grindal worms and young white worms are good foods for these babies. They do have a high fat content, so the babies should not eat them every day, but they are great for increasing the growth rate. California blackworms are also great live food, as are tubifex, but tubifex worms often come with parasites.

Once you begin feeding worms, in addition to daphnia and brine shrimp, you will see your bettas start to grow faster than ever. However, don’t be over-zealous in feeding the worms, as feeding too many at once can lead to constipation.

Bettas are carnivorous, so live foods are great for them, but live food with a high fat content can be hard on their digestive system. It is more difficult for them to pass fatty foods, and they may become constipated, which can lead to bloat and swim bladder disorder.

The heater should still be set between 80-82, as it was for breeding. This will raise their metabolisms just slightly enough for them to grow faster without causing damage.

14-25 Days of age

Your baby bettas should be looking a whole lot like bettas at this point. You should still be feeding them baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and some worms at this point. However, now you may be able to start feeding them fry food.

Do extra water changes once you start feeding the dry food, as they will be unable to eat all of it. At first, it is likely that none of them will want to eat the food. They are accustomed to live food and will only eat things that move.

Therefore, they will at first only eat the food as it falls. As the food is falling, the babies will think it’s something alive that is moving, and they will go after it. However, there is no way they will be able to eat all the falling food, and once it rests on the bottom, they will lose interest. In order to prevent the food from causing ammonia and nitrite spikes, you should do extra water changes.

The easiest way to do a water change and avoid sucking up any babies is to get a rubber band and a 100% nylon stocking. Using the rubber band, secure the nylon stocking around the end of the siphon. Once it is secure, there is no way a baby will be able to travel down the tube.

However, it is possible that a baby will get stuck to the stocking, so be sure to check the stocking thoroughly before putting it away. Test your water parameters regularly, as babies are more sensitive than adults to poor water quality.

25-75 Days of age

Your baby bettas should start to show some of their colors around this time! You may be able to sex some of them, but most of them you will not. At this time, some may start to get aggressive and you will have to remove them from the others.

The babies should be readily accepting dry food and you can start to wean them off the baby brine shrimp. Excess feeding of these can affect the swim bladder due to their salt content. However, if you were feeding the brine shrimp along with fairy shrimp and daphnia, the babies should be fine,

During this time, you can continue to feed them large and small daphnia as well as fairy shrimp. The worms are a good addition as well but limit the feeding to 2-3 times a week. Once they start showing aggression, you should upgrade all of them and separate the most aggressive. In addition, you can begin lowering the water temperature to around 78-80 degrees.

40 breeders are tanks with perfect dimensions to raise your fish. Most of the females can live together in a tank of this size while they are still young. The majority of breeders choose to separate all of their males, but it is possible to keep the peaceful ones with peaceful females.


“Jarring” refers to the process of separating aggressive males and females into their own little “jar”. The jar should be at least a half-gallon, should be heated to at least 78 degrees, and needs daily water changes.

The easiest way to heat the many jars is to heat the room that they are in. You could also connect them on a sump system, but this could lead to more trouble than it is worth. Most of the time, breeders simply do daily 50% water changes on the jars, heat the room, and fill the jars with plants.

The bettas in these jars should be prevented from seeing the other bettas next to them. The point of separating them is to reduce damage to other fish and stress to the aggressive fish. If the aggressive fish is unable to remove the other fish from its line of sight, it will become stressed.

Stressed fish are open to disease and do not display their best color. The better the color of your bettas, the better they will sell, so keeping your fish safe from stress helps both you and the fish.

Brief: How to Ship a Betta Fish

When it comes to shipping fish, most people love to use breather bags because it keeps a constant supply of oxygen in the water. However, when it comes to labyrinth fish like bettas, these bags are not an option.

Betta fish must be able to access atmospheric air to bring it into their labyrinth organ. While it is possible to ship betta fish in a breather bag, it is much riskier than shipping in a normal poly bag.

The issues with poly bags are that they do not have a constant supply of oxygen, they slosh fish around, and fish sometimes get stuck or crushed in the corner. The best way to avoid fish getting stuck in the corners of bags is to buy square bottomed poly bags or tape up the sides to make it a squarish shape at the base.

When using a poly bag, fill ¼ to ⅓ of the bag with water and make sure at least ⅔ of the bag is air. You need enough water to cover the betta if the bag tips, or if the box is put on its side. You must ensure that your betta will be entirely covered, no matter which way the box goes.

Heat packs and insulation are also essential for shipping betta fish. Since betta fish are tropical fish, they must be kept at tropical temperatures in order to stay healthy. For shipping, you will want 72-hour heat packs.

Even if the trip is shorter than 72 hours, the 24- and 48-hour heat packs release much more heat initially, and this extreme heat can be too much for your betta. Insulation normally comes in the form of Styrofoam lining all the sides of the box, but other methods can be acceptable.

Pet Store Baby Betta Care:

The “baby bettas” you find in pet stores are normally between 4 and 8 weeks of age, but they can be both younger and older. The primary differences between adult bettas and these baby bettas in terms of care is that the baby bettas will need more frequent water changes and will need smaller food.


A filter is vital for any and every betta. The filter houses the beneficial bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite then nitrate. Without a filter, the fish will either burn to death or suffocate to death, depending on how far into the cycle the fish makes it.

In terms of a filter for baby betta, they do not handle flow as well as larger short finned bettas. The baby bettas will all start out as short finned ones and will later grow into larger fins if they have the genetics for this.

While some of the babies can swim better than adult long finned bettas, they are not capable of swimming strongly or for long periods of time. This means that they need a very gentle filter with a low current.

The best filter for baby betta is a simple sponge filter. All you need is the little sponge filter, an air pump, a check valve, control valve, and airline tubing. Most air pumps come with control valves and some airline tubing.

Sponge filters are powered by air and create a gentle bubbling flow. This flow is enough to filter the tank of baby betta without providing too strong of a current. In addition, the control valve allows you to easily adjust the flow so that you can turn it down for feeding time.


Just like other bettas, babies also need a heater. The heater must be set between 78-82 degrees and have very little fluctuation in temperature. Adjustable heaters are better than preset heaters because if the internal thermometer of a preset heater is off, there is nothing you can do about it. On the other hand, if the internal thermometer of an adjustable heater is off, you can just take into account the margin of error and reset it properly.

Baby bettas are more susceptible to becoming sick from the cold. Their immune systems are not fully formed, so keeping them at the wrong temperature leaves them open to disease, and they are not as good at fighting off diseases as adults.

Baby Foods

Baby bettas have mouths that are too large for microworms and vinegar eels, but too small for most betta pellets. You could either use a fry food, such as Hikari First Bites or grind up some larger betta pellets.

Bug Bites are especially easy to grind up and are high in protein. A higher protein food will help encourage growth in your baby betta, so you will be able to see its tail type and coloration sooner.

In conclusion, baby bettas that have just hatched require special care and food. They are unable to eat dry food and must eat an assortment of live foods. These babies are extremely demanding and difficult to raise. On the other hand, pet store baby bettas are older and much easier to care for, but they still give you the experience of developing right before your eyes.

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