How Do Betta Fish Mate without Killing Each Other?

Betta fish serve as great pets due to their beautiful and colorful fins. However, rearing a male and a female betta fish in the same aquarium can be very demanding. Will the two stay together without attacking each other? How do betta fish mate without killing each other.? The answers to these questions will help prepare you for the experience.

For betta fish to mate safely, conditions such as continuous food resources, adequate space, a separate barrier, and a proper plantation are necessary. Also, separating the male from the female betta fish after the mating period is paramount. Male bettas are tough to control.

A male betta fish prefers to be a loner. As a result, it is hostile and difficult to accommodate an aquarium mate. So, putting a male and a female beta in the same tank for a long duration is not a good idea. This idea also applies to putting a male betta fish in the same tank as other fish species.

Keep reading to learn more about betta fish mating

How Do Betta Fish Mate without Killing Each Other?

Before mating, the male beta creates a space for breeding in its residing aquarium. This space is guarded diligently by him. Also, male bettas are responsible for creating a safe bubble nest for their little offspring during breeding.

How do betta fish mate without killing each other

When a male betta fish starts forming a bubble nest, it is ready for mating. Insert the female betta fish into the same tank as the male when that happens. Meanwhile, the male beta fish wraps around the female during the mating process, squeezing the ovipositor to release eggs. The male betta uses their mouth to blow the eggs to a bubble nest to enable the hatching of eggs.

The female bettas are not as hostile as the males. They are usually calm and more tolerant. In addition, they are capable of coexisting with other species of fish in a sorority.

Ways Betta Fish Can Mate Safely

A good way to prevent bettas from killing each other during mating is to always keep an eye on them. Also, when you notice them fighting, separate them before one of them gets killed. Different ways to follow include,

Ways Betta Fish Can Mate Safely

1. Prepare separate aquariums

Before breeding a male and female betta fish, it is important to have separate aquariums for them for safety reasons. Both aquariums should have up to 12 to 15 gallons of water each. You can put bettas in different aquariums until they are ready to mate.

When a male betta fish is ready for mating, he starts building a nest, and his color gets darker. This is to enable him to attract the female. Also, a male beta shows he’s ready for mating by biting the divider differentiating the male from the female aquarium.

When using the separation method to control the safety of bettas, keep both aquariums facing each other. This is to enable the bettas to attract each other by looking at themselves. Meanwhile, the female betta should be put into the male aquarium when both bettas are ready for mating.

2. Add a plantation and a barrier

If you cannot afford to buy two aquariums, then a demarcation of the aquarium is not a bad idea. This barrier should come with some plantations to enable the female betta fish to hide occasionally. But also remove the barrier at intervals to allow the male and female bettas to attract each other for mating.

3. Betta Fish Nourishment

Bettas feel very eligible for breeding with a suitable temperature of 80ºF. Extra meals in little portions are necessary for easy digestion during this period. So, make a healthy diet and a favorable environment available before and after the mating period.

The duration of mating can last between 10 to 14 days. However, a healthy meal should be enough to fill both male and female bettas during mating.

To know more about how to breed betta fish step by step, watch this YouTube video.

Reasons Betta Fish Kill Each Other During Mating?

Reasons Betta Fish Kill Each Other During Mating?

There are several reasons for the aggressive behavior of betta fish. Below are some of them:

Stressful Conditions

A stressful condition can trigger aggressive behavior in a betta fish. However, a betta fish can get aggressive because of loneliness. This loneliness is seen when they rub their body beneath the aquarium.

Protection of eggs

Male bettas protect their eggs aggressively when someone tries to touch them. They even go as far as killing their partners for trying to eat the eggs.

Fight for food

For the sake of survival, all organisms fight for food, and bettas are no exception. When there is high competition and low resources amongst two bettas, one must die.

Less privacy in a little habitat

Bettas fight when there are no plantations and hiding spots in their aquariums. This is because they want some privacy. When so many bettas are in a single aquarium, they start showing aggressive behavior and kill each other.

Territorial behavior

Male bettas often show territorial behavior when they dominate a particular habitat. So, when a new betta is introduced into the same habitat, the old one might kill the new one.

To find out why betta fish fight, watch this Youtube video.

When Is It Time to Breed a Female Betta Fish?

A female betta fish should be 5 to 10 months old to mate efficiently with a male partner. You must consider the health and age of a betta fish before mating. An unhealthy betta fish with a poor immune system will pass down the same trait to newborn bettas. The demerit of this is that the new bettas will have very low chances of survival.

When is it time to breed a female betta fish

Also, when a male betta fish is infected or has injuries, it becomes non-ideal for mating. Moreover, the female betta fish will not want to mate with an infected male partner.

For more knowledge about betta fish breeding step by step, watch this Youtube video.

How Does Betta Fish Kill Each Other?

Betta fish fight till their death by attacking each other with their fins. Open injuries are often targeted when fighting, and this causes so much pain and exhaustion.

How Does Betta Fish Kill Each Other?

The temperature change in the betta fish environment causes a mood swing and makes them aggressive. Hence, some species of betta fish are grown for the sole aim of fighting, which can last for an hour. However, it takes 10 to 12 minutes for betta fish in the same aquarium to fight to the death.

How Long Does the Mating Between a Male and Female Betta Fish Last?

Mating duration varies between a couple of hours and days. Sometimes, it takes 2 to 3 hours for the male betta fish to squeeze out the eggs from the female’s ovipositor. Other times, it can take days for this process to be completed.

How Long Does the Mating Between a Male and Female Betta Fish Last?

But, it can take between 36 and 48 hours for the male betta fish to build a strong surface to support the egg. Afterward, the male betta fish starts looking for a female for mating. Also, the male betta needs to build a solid nest for hatching eggs, which takes time.

Watch this Youtube video to learn how to remove female betta after breeding.

The Beta Fish Mating Dance

When a female betta fish is ready for mating, the male goes very close to her until he can turn her upside-down. He then wraps himself around her and tightly embraces her for the release of eggs. This squeezing may take several attempts for the eggs to be released.

The Beta Fish Mating Dance

However, the male and female bettas would either stay afloat or sink to the bottom of the aquarium. They will begin the squeezing process again until the female betta starts releasing eggs with every embrace.

During the embrace, the male and female ventral will be close to each other to increase the chances of fertilization. Meanwhile, when the female betta drops the last eggs, she appears almost dead and floats sideways. This is a perfectly normal procedure, so there is no need to worry when you see this.

The male betta starts picking and transferring the eggs to the nest one egg at a time. When the female betta recovers from the strain, she assists the male in egg gathering. Meanwhile, some female bettas are capable of eating their eggs.

For more information on Betta (Siamese fighting fish), watch this Youtube video.


Breeding your bettas is a fun hobby. However, the hostile nature of the male betta fish can make breeding seem challenging. This is why some people ask, how do betta fish mate without killing each other? You must be ready to remove the female fish after mating or create a barrier between them. Also, make sure the space is adequate and also provide enough food.

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