copy paste this info from our betta club ABA
BETTA BREEDING 101, Betta Breeding Technique without FOOD
Here are the betta breeding steps I usually take in spawning a pair:
I. Conditioning the pair -- this is to prepare the pair to spawn, this takes about 3 days to a week depending on the readiness of the female partner. The dark vertical bars appearing on the female should be sign that it is ready (presence of eggs that can be seen in light-bodied females on the other hand is the signal). At this point in time, waiting for too long may cause the female to lay her eggs prematurely, so be vigilant to look for the signs of readiness.
1). Place male & female in their own separate tanks (4x6x8) with fresh aged water. Then put the tanks side by side for them to see each other.
2). Add Betta potion (Talisay extract) &/or Black water extract to enhance their spawning instincts.
3). Feed them both live food (Daphnia or Kiti-kiti) & Betta Pro alternately, just enough for them to finish in 5 min. at 3X a day. They are not to be fed during spawning ever, even the male parent, not until he is taken out from the spawning tank.
II. Preparing the food for the fry -- this is very important if you want your fry to survive at all or to have a successful batch with a higher rate of survival.
1). Prepare Green water - collect old aquarium water with fecal matter & pour a big amount to fill a 10-gal aquarium 3/4's full. The best is to use a fish aquarium's old bio-filter material that have the accumulated dirt & fecal matter on it, if you have one, then clean it out by wringing & squeezing it in the said 10-gal tank even with fresh water instead of the old aquarium water. This "dirt" is to speed up the green water culture. Then locate this tank full of "dirty" water where it can be heated by the afternoon sun. You will then see accumulation of moss like substances in 3 days. Cover the top of the tank with mosquito netting to prevent having kiti-kiti.
2). Prepare Microworm (MW) culture - This can be optional but I like to add MWs to feed the fry as well as to feed the Daphnias that I also put inside the fry tank.
3). Find your Daphnia source - this live food is important if you want to have a high rate of fry survival rate. Be ready to introduce Daphnias in the spawning tank at the proper time.
III. Prepare your Spawning tank -- this is my set-up.
1). Use a minimum of 10-gal aquarium, better if bigger up to 20-gal sized tank. Place a glass divider to decrease the spawning area to 1/3 of total area. Add 5 inches of Talisay extract-treated & aged water inside the tank. Place a chimney for the female & float a rectangular piece of stypor. Add a Talisay leaf if available as an added hiding place for the female. Place a small sponge filter in the other side/compartment of the tank but its air supply valve should remain closed so as not to disturb the bubblenest & not to be opened until the surviving fry are at least a week old. Note: I prefer a chimney with holes in it in my belief that bettas also release pheromones that will induce breeding interests.
2). Your spawning tank should be located in the warmest & dimmest part of the room with the least human traffic. If not, cover partially the sides of the tanks. Leave a dim light on in the room at night during spawning. Do not turn on aquarium lighting at this time.
IV. The introduction & spawning phase --
1). Place the male in the breeding compartment side of the divided spawning tank alone. This is to let the male get familiarized with the new territory & for him to "own" it. Place the tank with the female beside the spawning tank for the male to see her, this will cause the male to start building his bubble nest. (If by chance, the male does not show sign of interest to build a nest, then place another male's tank beside the spawning tank & near the female also where the 1st male can see the 2nd male as a threat. The male will build a big bubble nest before long. This technique usually worked for me.
2). With a bubble nest in place, carefully place the female inside the chimney for another day. Remember, no more feedings inside the spawning tank. Always cover the top of the aquarium with its glass cover to prevent possible gust of wind bursting the bubble nest. The next day, preferrably at dusk (6PM), remove or release the female from the chimney, being careful not to disturb the bubble nest. Leave the chimney inside to serve as hiding place for the female. In my experience, I usually find my pair already spawned in the morning after.
3). With eggs in the bubble nest, it is now time to remove the female with extra care not to disturb & ruin the nest. The chimney can remain inside. The eggs will hatch within 48 hours if fertilized, otherwise the male will eat them up. Do not worry if you see the male eating some of the eggs, he is not feeding but only taking out eggs that are not fertilised so as not to affect the other good eggs since the bad eggs will just fungused up.
4). Place an aquarium lamp on the spawning tank at this time & turn on especially at night.
V. Feeding the free-swimming fry -- 3 days from hatching, the fry will become free-swimming, i.e. in horizontal position vs vertical position with its tail hanging down when upon hatching. It is at this time that it is critical that sufficient amount of proper food be ready for them otherwise, a massive die-off will ensue.
1). Remove the male parent when fry becomes free-swimming. Remove the chimney as well as the glass divider. The spawning tank now becomes the fry tank. The free-swimming fry still has their yolk sac for self-feeding. Upon removal of the male, place a peso-sized amount of Daphnia in the fry tank. Add some green water in together with the Daphnia, about a couple of tablespoon of it or more. At this time, the fry will not eat yet for another 2 days since they are still feeding with their yolk sac. The green water with its micro-organisms are to feed the Dahpnias for it to survive & multiply. producing their own baby Daphnias the following day in time for the betta fry that are already seeking food to eat.
2). When the fry starts feeding after 2 days, add a little amount of MWs, about 2 earpick scoops into the fry tank, but DO NOT OVERFEED WITH MWs, or you may find your fry growing without ventral fins. This is to feed both the fry & the Daphnias. Add more Daphnias when the 1st batch appeared to be thinning. Also, don't forget to feed green water daily until you start weaning them to BBS on their 10th day from hatching.
3). Again read the related link as supplied above under II-3 in rearing/raising the fry.
Note: There are other Pinned Topics in Betta Breeding & Betta Fry in this forum for you to consider as well. Hope this help you with your breeding project--- Go breed bettas.
Author: FinsOfDarkness (Celso Gutierrez, ABA-USA)