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Breeding Betta Fish Parent Selection

So you are hooked on Bettas and want to breed them? Ok, let's begin where it all starts - with the parents! That's the first and most important step. Without a healthy and compatible Betta pair, you won't have any little ones...

Both prospective Betta parents must be healthy, of course, but they also must be compatible.

Age and Experience

You may be surprised to learn that Betta's sex drive decreases dramatically after its first year of life!

Since Bettas are rather thin and small for the first 5-6 months, pet stores usually start selling them after that point.

It's best to combine fish with the same experience in mating.


Bettas are gorgeous fish. It is their intense and vibrant coloring that makes them such popular pet fish.

Most pet stores don't sell Bettas that are younger than 6 months, mostly because their coloring is not yet developed then.

Stay away from Bettas without bright and intense colors - that might be a sign of disease or inferior genes.

Betta Gills and Scales

Observe the gill area on the Betta. It needs to be smooth and free of any bulges.

A gill area that is too thin could mean malnourishment or excessive stress.

On the other hand, a gill area that is bloated could mean constipation or some other problems.

These may not seem like major problems, but when it comes to finding potential mates, you have to find fish that is as close to perfect as possible. Otherwise you risk rejection by the other partner.

The scales on the Betta, just like the gills, should be slick and smooth as well. If the scales are bulging, the Betta might have dropsy.

Next let's talk about the fins. You want to be sure that they spread fully while flaring.

The fins also need to be free from any tears or holes.

Betta Eyes

Betta's eyes can also reveal some hidden problems or diseases. In a healthy Betta the iris is pitch black, the eyes themselves clear, proportional and not protruding too much from the body.

Betta Beard

Have you ever heard of the Betta beard? Both males and females have it, although it's barely noticeable on the females, because it's transparent. It will be prominently displayed during flaring.

Look for a male Betta that reacts to external stimuli by displaying its beard.

Betta Behavior

After you have screened your potential breeding partners for physical health, you need to notice their behavior. Watch for any signs of laziness. Your Betta needs to be active and responsive to any external stimuli. If the Betta does not become more active with you there, it's best to look for another.

Final test

Even after selecting the best possible mates, it still can happen that this "arranged marriage" won't work.

After you select the breeding pair, you will condition them, set up the breeding tank and finally introduce them to each other.

If the pair does not spawn within three days from the time you put the female in to the breeding tank, they are either incompatible or just not ready.

Ready to get started? Why not get your guide to breeding betta fish from a pro at
About Author Mischa Hill :

Mischa Hill is a Betta fish enthusiast. He likes to contribute to the well-being and betta fish care information at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Saturday, October 17, 2009
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