Bettas are ready to breed once they reach 4 months of age. The male will blow little bubbles on the water's surface. This is called a bubble nest. Females will get rounded, and a little white tube will stick out of her abdomen. This is called an egg tube.
Supplies needed for breeding bettas includes:
1 ten gallon tank 1 air pump with stone
1 styrofoam cup(cut in half lengthwise)
1 glass hurricane 1 aquarium heater
1 bottle methyline blue (lasts several spawns)
1 super sized dose of patience
1 conditioned pair 1 aquarium thermomitor
1 black mystery snail
In order to condition the pair, they need to be fed a varied diet, including some live foods. Their water must be changed daily, and they can't see each other until day 12. I prefer to condition my males in the actual breeding tank. The water level should only be 5" deep maximum. The temperature of the breeding tank should gradually reach 80F. The half styrofoam cup should be open end to the glass. (a piece of scotch tape will help hold it in place)
The male will make his nest under the cup. On day 12, you should see the female getting rounded as she fills with eggs. Place her container next to the males tank so that he can see her. On day 14, place the glass hurricane into the breeding tank. Place the female into the hurricane. The hurricane will protect her from the male's advances. I like to remove the hurricane at night, after the lights are out as bettas usually breed with the sun rising.
The male wraps his body around the female and fertilizes the eggs as they fall to the bottom. Together the pair will go to the bottom, pick up eggs, and place them into the bubblenest. The eggs look like tiny grains of rice. They are white and take 24 hours to hatch at 80F.(one drop of methyline blue will prevent egg fungus when dropped beside the cup) When the fry hatch, a yolk sac is attached to them that will feed them for about 24 hours. Once they are swimming around, they yolk sac is pretty much used up. They will need a diet of infusoria for 4 days until they are large enough to eat freshly hatched brine shrimp. (natural infusoria is created by using the live plants and a black mystery snail in the breeding tank)
Brine shrimp take 24 hours to hatch, so you need a hatchery by the time your betta fry hatch. A homemade hatchery is simple. You will need:
1 2 liter soda bottle some air line
1 air pump 1 box kosher salt
1 tube brine shrimp eggs 1 drill
Drill a hole into the lid of the bottle. Insert the air hose into the lid. Fill bottle a little over half full with dechlorinated water, 1 Tablespoon kosher salt, and 1/8 t. brine shrimp eggs. The air hose should be long enough to go to the bottom of the bottle. Attach other end to air pump. The eggs must be moving around to hatch. The "hatchery" should be placed in a warm well lighted place.
When they have hatched, they are tiny and orange. It is important to use only shrimp that are 24 hours old or less as the yolk sac of the shrimp is the most nutritious. Turn off the air supply for 10 minutes. The empty shells will float to the surface. The easiest way to harvest the shrimp is to syphon them from the bottom of the bottle into a coffee filter lined funnel. (a little bit goes a long way) The shrimp should be rinsed with dechlorinated water before feeding. Using a new clean medicine dropper, suction out the shrimp and water from the filter. Shoot it into the tank, and the fry will go on a feeding frenzy. You can tell they have eaten as their bellies become orange.
They will eat the bbs until they are a couple of months old, when you can start introducing flake and other foods to their diets. It is a good idea to keep 2 hatcheries going so not to run out at any time. The fry need 5 times daily feedings. The 1/8 t. of brine shrimp eggs should be sufficient for 24 hours of feeding.
The dad should be removed when the fry are 4 days old. Cover the tank in plastic wrap to keep a humid environment for labrynth developement. They develope the labrynth around week 4. Starting week 4 you can also gradually increase the water depth by 1" per week. Water changes should be done at least every other day for max growth. (30% starting at day 4) You can add a small sponge filter when the fry are a week old. To replace changed water, place dechlorinated water into a bucket or jug and place it above the tank. Syphon it back into the tank (as drastic movement can be harmful to the fry)
Good luck, and email me with any questions you may have.