I just went to the store and got two new betta fish! One is a female, I am not sure what species it is, but the other one is a little baby betta! I named the female Chloey, and the baby is named Aquifer. I wanted to breed Chloey and Richard, but I was not sure if they would even "like" each other. I really do not want them to kill each other, so I am taking it slow. Anyway, will bettas kill or attack there own babies? I want to know... and what do you feed baby bettas?
If you haven't had experience with bettas or breeding I would refrain from breeding this species. They are aggressive and should really only be attempted by an aquarist who has a good idea of what they are doing. Also on top of this you would need a whole separate group of supplies which includes but isn't limited to: Breeding tanks, Live foods, sponge filters and air pumps (once fry are free swimming) and other things that take time and money. Not to mention the amount of cleaning (carefully) and meticulous planning of live food hatches. All in all if you are really adamant and are sure of yourself all I ask is you take a few months, read up on the web, and ask some of our wonderful members who happen to be IBC members. And please remember these are living beings that deserve respect. Anyway good luck I hope you can decide if breeding bettas is really right for you.
Yes, they will kill their babies, at least the females will. The males care for the young and build bubble nests. A breeding pair needs to be conditioned to each other slowly, it could take months. They should only be kept together for short periods of time during conditioning and for breeding. As soon as spawning occcurs, the female must be removed immediately or she will eat the eggs and may try to kill the male. He may kill her trying to protect the eggs. There are many breeders on this forum who can help you, but I know they will tell you it's a difficult process for beginners.
The young must be kept in pristine conditions and just be fed live food for a while
Here are two basic forum threads, from this site, that you should have down pat before attempting to breed. I'm researching for my first time as well! I'm about to purchase my first male. I will take my time on finding the female, seeing as her permanent tank has plenty of time still since it just started it's cycle the other day. :P
Congratulations on the new fish. On breeding betta fish, it is only for the extremely experienced fish keeper. Also, it is very expensive. If you want to seriously breed them, do thorough research. You will also need to find homes for the fry, which is not always easy because there can be up to 200 of them, and pet stores don't always take the fry and if they do it would be for very little money. You will also need to be ready to cull any deformed fry. The fry need to be separated once they get big enough, so that means 200 jars. Also, the male and female should only be together while breeding, and removed immediately after. They need to be feed cultures while fry. The baby betta you bought is more likely a juvenile. Feed it live or frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms. Also, you would not want to breed pet store betrays because they have questionable genetics. Hoped this helped!
Both parents can, and do, kill their eggs/fry. Sometimes you have a good daddy that will take care of the fry until they are juveniles, sometimes the dad will eat the eggs.. sometimes a female will stay around and help care for the nest if the male allows her to, sometimes the male will chase her away. So it varies between each pair.
As mentioned, lots and lots of supplies are needed to breed.. breeding tank/s, grow out tank/s, containers to hold all the juveniles that become aggressive after a couple months - depending upon how many you cull (kill) can be from 10 to over a 100 males you will need to house in their own containers - and you would need to be able to keep each one heated appropriately, and you will need to clean out each one daily.. can easily spend a few hours a day just on cleaning alone.
There are cheaper ways to go about it - I personally went a little more expensive as I use actual tanks to breed (have small 1-2g bowls too) as I want to see my fry (eyesight isn't the greatest and want to see the fry to be able to cull the deformities out).
Also keep in mind the electric/water bill will go a lot higher.. I think for my set up I pay over $50 a month in just electric for just the breeding set up - possibly even more, but I'm not in charge of the bills.. I just remember my boyfriend mentioning it one time.
Minimal you are looking at a few hundred dollars to set up a spawn - if you go with used/plastic items.. from there it can go easily into the thousands.
Upkeep costs money..
I would also find out what types you have, fish wise, as you will need to know what to expect when it comes time to sell them and even breed them.. know which types sell for $3, and which ones go upwards of $30. Know how and where to sell them. Know the types you have as you don't want to cross some fin types unless you have a plan and are going to work on generations to reach that goal.
Throwing a female and male together without being properly set up or knowing how to condition them will end up in injury or death. I would do lots of research on those links that were provided to you by Hadoken.. start asking more specific questions in the breeding section of the forum rather than this section. Join groups on Facebook as you will find more breeders there that can help answer questions. IBC is another place you pay to join, but can provide you with good information on how to breed quality fish.
Breeding pet store bettas is fine as long as you are aware that you won't know what colors you will be getting in the fry - if colors aren't a big deal then go for it. Learning while using pet store bettas is a good idea as they are cheap.. better to spend a few dollars on a pair than spend closer to a hundred when you are just learning. But keep in mind again, the type of betta you have - VTs are very common, but you won't be getting many people purchasing them from you whereas you get some nice CTs, HMs, PKs going you will have a better chance at selling them. BUT there is nothing wrong with breeding VTs, just know what you are getting into before breeding them. Not many people are willing to buy the fish and then spend $35 on shipping for a fish they can pick up for $3 at Petco. So research what you are wanting - color (not a must), and fins.. and find out what to look for/not look for in the fish - such as the topline. Optimize your chance at being able to find homes for your fish by researching.
After everything is set up then go for it... you won't know exactly what works best for you and your fish until you actually do it. Just don't attempt it until you are 100% confident you have everything you need, know what to do with the babies once they grow up, how to sell them, etc.
Babies need live food.. lots of cultures out there to grow for newborn fry like micro worms, banana worms, vinegar eels.. baby brine shrimp is also a good one.. a can can run roughly $50-$85.. just have to hatch them yourself daily.