Betta fish are immensely fascinating creatures. You will find them in many varieties. Fish enthusiasts and breeders continuously attempt to breed new types of bettas. Whether you’re interested in breeding bettas, or you are simply captivated by the betta life cycle, here is everything you need to know about betta fish eggs.
How Many Babies Does a Betta Fish Have? A betta fish can have several babies since they can lay up to 500 eggs in some cases. However, it largely depends on the condition of the mating pair and environment. Since not all eggs survive, it can be hard to predict exactly how many babies a better will have.
Betta Fish Mating
To understand the factors that affect betta eggs, it is necessary to grasp the entire breeding process of these fish.
Wild betta fish start their mating process with the female betta choosing male betta. The female selects a mate based on his color, size, fin length, and how nicely he had made his bubble nest. Don’t worry, the concept of a bubble nest will shortly become clear.
In captivity, however, you would most likely be choosing your own pair for breeding. Before allowing the two fish to breed, you need to create optimal tank conditions. Plus, the fish you select must be ready for breeding.
This means your fish must have enough stamina to tolerate the stress that comes with courting and spawning. Breeding is not exactly a piece of cake for these fish. You can condition them by providing high-quality food sources such as live foods.
How the Fish Mate
Once you introduce the male and female to each other, it might take some time for them to adjust. It might be a good idea to use a tank divider or two separate clear tanks for this purpose. When the male notices the female fish, his color will start to become a deeper shade and he’ll try to impress the female by flaring his fins.
If the female is interested, her color will also become darker and she’ll develop vertical stripes on her body. These stripes are known as a barring pattern. The female will also form a small white tube protruding from the ventral fin, also known as the “ovipositor.”
Males start to build a “bubble nest” within 24 hours of introduction. The bubble nest consists of many air bubbles created by the fish himself and layered with saliva. They will build these nests in different places in the tank depending on where the male finds favorable conditions.
Put the female into the tank once the nest is ready. The female will inspect the bubble nest and if it is not acceptable for her, she might destroy it or simply swim away.
If the female approves, both fish will start performing a dance which includes swimming next to each other and flaring their fins. They’ll continue the dance until the female is prepared to spawn.
The next step is the nuptial embrace which starts with a mating dance. The male flips the female and wraps himself around her. This fertilizes the eggs.
The two fish might stay floating or sink to the bottom and then they will take a break and try again. After a few squeezes, the female will start dropping eggs with each embrace.
This entire reproduction process lasts from a few minutes to a few hours.
How Many Eggs Do They Lay?
Bettas lay almost 30 to 40 eggs during each spawn. Some bettas can lay up to 500 at a time. Once the female is done laying eggs, males release “milt” into the water. This allows the eggs to be externally fertilized.
Male Roles in Caring for Babies
Males start to catch the fertilized eggs and take them to the bubble nest. It is best to remove the female at this point.
The male then spends the next one or two days caring for the eggs. He will return any eggs that fall from the nest. It might blow new bubbles or create a new nest and transfer all the eggs there.
Some male bettas may also eat poorly fertilized eggs. This is important because unfertilized eggs may rot and cause harm to the other eggs. However, the babies will grow on their own with no help from the male or female fish.
Duration of the hatching process
Baby bettas take about three days to hatch. Babies are termed as “fry” and are extremely small. They may fall from the bubble nest during the hatching process. The male Betta catches them and puts them back into the nest.
As the babies begin to develop, you will be able to note their eyes appearing as tiny black dots on the eggs. Eggs that are newly hatched still possess a yolk sac that has very important nutrients.
The babies remain in their bubbles for around two to three days with their tails hanging downwards. They become ready to swim by the fourth day. At this point, they would have absorbed almost the entire yolk sac they were in.
It is best to remove the male once the babies begin to roam around and swim horizontally.
Betta Fry Life Cycle
Betta fry reach adulthood after four months of hatching. They need a lot of food in between to be able to grow properly. In the wild, neither parents stay to care for the fry. They find their own food and survive.
When Can Bettas Spawn Again?
It may take bettas around two weeks to be ready to spawn again. However, in some cases, it may take longer.
How Many Eggs Bettas Usually Lay
There are a few factors that affect how many eggs a betta fish can lay. While the ability of the female betta to produce eggs is crucial, the ability of the male to fertilize them is equally important.
The females need to have enough energy to produce them and the males need to have enough energy to fertilize them and care for them.
Proper care and conditioning can make them produce more eggs.
Which Factors Affect Their Survival?
Many factors determine how many eggs survive to become healthy, swimming bettas. The parents, especially the female, may eat some or most eggs.
The male might also eat some or all eggs while it has to care for them. This is different from when the male betta eats a rotting egg to protect the entire batch.
Another factor that influences how many eggs survive is whether the male can properly care for them or not. If the male quits looking after the eggs, they can fall, causing the nest to collapse. Very few eggs survive after a collapse.
If the male does not care properly for the eggs, betta eggs might become rotten and catch fungus. Even if some eggs manage to hatch, babies can get stuck in the fungus and will most likely die.
It is possible that the male tends only to the eggs and neglects the nest, which causes it to thin down and eventually dissolve. Even if the betta blows bubbles back into the nest for the falling eggs, it won’t be enough to keep up with all of them.
It is best to be careful about how you feed the male during this phase. The wrong routine can increase his appetite forcing him to eat the eggs. Even if you don’t feed him, a male fish might develop an appetite for eating the eggs when he is trying to get rid of the bad ones only. Eggs will sink to the bottom of the tank and will eventually rot.
Therefore, the quantity of eggs that survive and hatch into fry depends mostly on how the male betta cares for them.
Some More Interesting Facts
Here are some fascinating facts regarding bettas, how they mate and reproduce, and their eggs:
- When male bettas are interested in female betta, they spread their fins and twirl to attract a mate.
- Males build bubble nests that vary in thickness and size.
- Males usually build nests on the surface of the water.
- If a male finds his environment favorable, he may start to build a bubble nest even if no female is present.
- The female will keep releasing eggs with each embrace until she cannot go anymore.
- In some cases, the male takes the fertilized eggs to the bubble nest using his mouth.
- It is best to remove the female right away as it may otherwise eat the eggs.
- Usually, the male chases the female away to prevent her from eating all the eggs.
To sum it all up, betta may lay up to 500 eggs at a time but not all will turn into healthy babies. Some eggs will not get fertilized and some may get eaten by the male or female fish. Hence, it can be difficult to predict exactly how many babies betta will have.