Last Updated on November 29, 2020
One sign a Betta fish is healthy and happy is when it makes bubble nests. Another factor is that the male betta fish is getting ready for reproduction. He will stay under the nest to wait for a female betta to mate with.
So, if the male does, do female betta fish make bubble nests? We will discuss this in this article so better read on.
Table of Contents
What is a bubble nest?
Male bettas can build bubble nests when they are old enough to reproduce between the age of 8-12 weeks. After mating, the male betta will capture the eggs in his mouth and place them in the nest. Similar to other animal nests, bubble nests are used to protect the eggs during incubation.
The male betta fish stays under the nest to guard the eggs against potential predators. He keeps the eggs intact and in case an egg falls; he takes it back. Rarely do females stay to protect the nest unless she is an aphrophilus species.
Most females eat their own eggs. Thus, the male betta ensures the eggs are protected from female predators.
The bubble nest provides a clean, damp, and oxygen-rich environment that will make the baby betta fish thrive.
Building a bubble nest
Bettas are labyrinth fish, which means they can use their labyrinth organ to breathe in regular air. This is unlike other fish that process their breathing through their gills. A male betta not only uses it for breathing but also in building bubble nests.
He takes gulps of air at the water’s surface and blows out bubbles. The saliva strengthens the nest and prevents it from popping. The male betta will do this for hours until the completion of the nest.
Not only this is interesting to watch, but it will also catch your attention because of the noise. Nest-building activity is a lot of work.
Now, do female betta fish make bubble nests?
While a female betta has a labyrinth organ too, they do not use this to build bubble nests. When joined by a male betta for breeding, she sometimes helps build the bubble nest. But if placed in the tank alone with no male, she is not one to build.
However, if you noticed that a female betta is producing its own nest, it could mean two things.
One, if the nest looks weak and scattered, then it is probably not a bubble nest at all. It only means that the female betta uses her labyrinth organ to breathe surface air. These are bubbles that were formed as she gulped for air.
Second, if the bubble nest is well-developed, then it is not a female betta. You chose a short-finned male betta by accident. Male bettas are the only ones that can produce a well-built and purposeful nest.
Frequency of bubble nest building
It depends on the betta fish, on how often he will produce a bubble nest. If your betta is not building a nest at all, then it is fine. This is not unusual for bettas who are not staying in the wild.
Some male bettas build bubble nests daily or weekly. Others have a monthly cycle, while there are those which do not build at all without outside stimulus. These patterns can also change over time, remember that it is all a common thing.
While there is no standard time frame in building a bubble nest, there is no normal size. The size and thickness of a bubble nest can vary. Sometimes the nest contains few bubbles whereas other times they are inch thick and can spread on the entire corner.
Tank condition, water parameters, and age are some factors that can affect the nest building.
Stimulate nest building
Choose the right size of the tank
Make sure that the tank is at least 2 to 3 gallons to ensure that your betta can move with freedom. Small and tight-spaced containers stress your Betta and affect their health. If given ample space to swim around, you will also enjoy watching your Betta more.
If you keep your Betta in an unfiltered tank, perform 30-50% water changes every week. For filtered tanks, change 20% of the water every week. This also depends on how small or big your tank is.
Also, remember to use water free of chlorine and other contaminants. Use a betta water conditioner to ensure your Betta’s safety. Do not use distilled water as this no longer contains minerals essential for your Betta.
Bettas prefer their water’s PH between 6.5 to 7.5 (7 being neutral). Test your water before adding it to your Betta’s container. It is better to purchase a pH kit to guarantee a healthy range of acidity levels.
This also ensures that your Betta has a clean environment to build his bubble nest.
Mind your filter
While you can use filters for bubble nest building, remember to watch over it. Maintain a low level of bubbling, especially on the water surface to not distract your Betta fish.
Monitor water temperature
For 2 to 3 gallons, keep a temperature between 78F to 82F. If your room temperature is below this standard, use a heater. Your Betta is at his happiest at this temperature rate.
You can also purchase an aquarium-safe thermometer to check on your water’s temperature. An adjustable heater and has a thermostat feature can also do the tricks.
Place decors and floating objects
Non-toxic materials floating on the surface provide Betta an opportunity to build his bubble nest. These will secure the nest by holding the bubbles in place. You can choose plants like Indian Almond Leaves or Amazon Frogbit.
An ample number of plants and places to hide help create a safe and relaxing environment for your Betta fish. Live plants are ideal for added cleaning benefits. If you opt for fake plants and leaves, it should be silk and not sharp plastic.
Ensure proper lighting
Place your Betta away from windows as this could affect the water’s temperature. Direct sunlight can increase the temperature and cause unwanted algae production.
Consider artificial lighting so you are in control of the regular day and night pattern.
Feed your Betta the right amount
Work on a feeding schedule so your Betta is getting a sufficient amount of food.
Bring in female betta into the tank
The presence of a female betta can trigger the male betta to build a bubble nest. Remember that males should not be with female bettas if not for breeding purposes. Once that happened, remove the female immediately.
While a bubble nest shows a healthy and happy betta fish, this is unnecessary. Especially if it is a female betta fish.
Do not also stress out if your male betta is not building a nest. Following the tips given in this article, it is likely to have a happy and content betta fish–female or not. You can observe this through their color, swimming habits, and feeding behavior, among others.
However, if you are breeding, a bubble nest is an important factor.