The first time I had betta fish eggs in my aquarium, I had no idea what to do with them. Should I let the betta fish do all the work? Do I have to intervene? As time passed, I learned what steps you should take to make them hatch successfully.
You can either grow the betta fish eggs and let them hatch or get rid of them. If you wish to grow the fry, you must remove the mother from the tank after she has done secreting her eggs. The father should be removed as soon as the fry start swimming.
As we move forward, I will elaborate on what you need to do if you wish to raise the betta fry. Then, I will discuss what options lay before you if you decide to get rid of the eggs. There is even an option you’ll be able to make a profit out of this situation.
Still curious? Feel free to check my complete guide on betta fish eggs. There, I discussed how to care for betta eggs, what they look like, how long it takes for them to hatch, what equipment to use, and much more.
What Do I Do With My Betta Eggs?
People ask this question all the time, especially when they realize that some bettas can produce up to 600 eggs in a single spawning session. Your options will depend mainly on your objective. Consider the following:
1. Growing The Betta Fry
Six hundred eggs are a lot. That much is obvious. Are you ready to raise 600 babies? Forget about your willingness for a moment. Do you have the resources? You need a sizable tank to accommodate all those fish.
With the proper care, 90 percent of them could survive. But is that what you want? Do you have the room for 500 new bettas? If the answer is a resounding yes, you can proceed with the following:
- Remove The Mother From The Tank
Start by removing the mother from the tank. First of all, she doesn’t do anything. Her role ends the moment she pushes the eggs out.
Secondly, she will eat her offspring. She doesn’t have any maternal instincts. The father is enough. He can stay, but she has to go.
- Allow The Father To Complete Its Bubble Nest
Can the father eat his offspring? Yes, he can. In fact, if you observe the tank closely, you may see him eat an egg or two. But you still need him, as the male fish will build a bubble nest before his children are born.
The bubble nest is part of the mating ritual. It shows that the betta is ready to mate with a viable female. But the nest is not for show. Once the mother produces the eggs, the father will fertilize them before carrying the eggs to the bubble nest.
You typically find the nest at the surface. This is important because surface water is oxygen-rich. In that regard, the bubble nest ensures that the eggs have as much oxygen as they need.
Along with keeping them moist, the nest will also protect the eggs. So, don’t be tempted to remove the father at this point. The eggs won’t stay in the nest, as some will fall out. He will retrieve and fan them to remove debris.
- Remove The Father As The Fry Start Swimming
Don’t blame the father for every baby that goes missing. The male betta tries to fertilize every egg. However, you shouldn’t expect every single egg to mature and hatch. Some eggs will go bad, and the father may respond by eating them.
This is good because it prevents the unhatched eggs from spoiling the water when they rot. But even with all he does, the father’s presence in the breeding tank is still temporary.
The eggs will hatch within three days. Once this happens, you can remove him. Some people even wait until the babies can swim.
Betta fry tend to sink when they first hatch. And even at this stage, the father will continue retrieving them and returning them to the bubble nest.
But eventually, the babies will reach a stage where they can swim horizontally. You have no reason to keep the father around at this point. Take him away and look after the babies yourself.
- Feed The Betta Fry Properly
The betta fry require food. I personally suggest giving them micro worms twice a day. You should also add infusoria to their diet, at least for the first week.
Aquarists can switch to baby brine shrimp after a few days. This can continue for a month, and then you can introduce bloodworms, daphnia, and the like.
Even after a month, you must add the food in tiny pieces because the betta fry is still small. The creatures can start eating pellets by week nine.
- Adjust The Tank For Betta Fry
These are the conditions you should aim for in a betta fry tank:
- Temperature: 78-80° F (25-27° C)
- pH: 7-7.2
- Hardness: 5-20 DH (70-300 ppm)
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Nitrties: 0 ppm
- Nitrates: <20 ppm
- Size: 10-20 gallons (depending on the number of fry)
To measure the pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrties, I personally use the API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT (link to Amazon). This bundle is a bit more expensive than average, although it is highly accurate and lasts for eight hundred measures.
I also suggest performing water changes (25 percent) once a week. Then, vacuum the substrate and remove all the pollutants you can see. If you don’t have filters, air stones, and heaters, you should think about installing them.
Air stones are crucial because all these betta fry will consume a lot of oxygen. You can simply go with the Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit (link to Amazon). It won’t bother you with its sound, and it can handle large volumes of betta fry.
If the creatures started in a smaller tank, make sure you move them to aquariums of 20 gallons or more after the first two weeks. Some people prefer to keep the males in the breeding tank.
If you took this route but made the mistake of keeping multiple males in the same aquarium, remove them once they start fighting. The babies won’t survive the aggression.
2. Eliminating The Betta Fry
Some people can afford to raise 600 betta fry at once. Admittedly, bettas do not produce that many eggs every single time. Yours is very likely to generate 30 to 40 every few weeks. But 40 eggs are still too much for some people.
If that sounds like your predicament, you still have options, including:
- Leave Them With Their Parents
The simplest option is to leave the parents in the tank, as the mother will consume the eggs. Better yet, rather than separating the breeding pair, keep them in a community tank. The other creatures will make quick work of the eggs.
- Introduce Predators To The Breeding Tank
Predators that eat fish eggs are pretty common in the wild. In fact, in some places, the chances of an egg hatching and the fry surviving to adulthood are less than 1 percent.
You can replicate those conditions by adding aggressive fish such as Bucktooth Tetras, Oscar cichlids, and Jaguar cichlids to the breeding tank.
You should also consider allowing the eggs to hatch and feeding the babies to the adult fish in the community tank. Fish love live food. You can save money by raising your own live food.
- Remove The Eggs Manually
Another option is to remove the eggs during your maintenance routine. Simply scrape them off any objects they are attached to and dispose of them the same way you would any other pollutant.
You can also neglect the hygiene of the breeding tank. Destroy the bubble nest to make the conditions as harsh as possible. The goal is to prevent the eggs from hatching.
- Try Selling Them To Fish Stores
Many retailers will be happy to have their hands on brand new betta fish. Adult bettas can be sold for up to $20. Therefore, a batch of 60 eggs can be pretty profitable.
As many eggs won’t survive a transition to a new tank, you can sell your entire aquarium as it is. Many fish stores will be willing to upgrade your aquarium setup. Maybe you’ll even get some brand new fish in return.
- Donate Them To Other Aquarists
If you’re not sure whether or not you want to raise the bettas, give it a few weeks. Let the eggs hatch and do what you can to care for them. If you decide that you cannot handle the responsibility, give the babies away to other aquarists.
If you found this article helpful, these may also interest you:
- Can Betta Fish Lay Eggs Without A Mate? Will They Hatch?
- How To Tell If Betta Eggs Are Fertilized? (With Pictures)
- Why Do Betta Eggs Not Hatch? (With Practical Solutions)
- Can Betta Eggs Hatch On The Floor? (And How To Ensure They Survive)
- What Do Betta Fish Eggs Look Like? (With Detailed Pictures)
Pro tip: If your betta fish has just laid eggs, you’ll need to know what to do with the fry. For that, feel free to check my complete guide on betta fish fry.
A batch of betta fish eggs can quickly catch you by surprise. If that is your case, there are two main courses you can take. You can either raise the eggs and the fry or eliminate the bubble nest containing the eggs.
Obviously, raising the fry is more challenging, as it requires your intervention. You’ll have to remove the parents at the right point. Then, you will be required to adjust the water parameters, tank size, and feeding schedule.
If you don’t want the eggs, you can simply leave the parents in the tank. They will most likely eat the fry at some point. Another option would be selling the eggs for profit. Many retailers will be glad to purchase a 60 to 600 eggs batch.