Last Updated on December 13, 2020 by Anne Thynne
If you own bettas for several months at least, you would probably see bubble nests inside the aquarium. These nests are built by betta, particularly male bettas, for mating purposes and caring for the eggs. However, sometimes you might see bettas not making bubble nests inside the aquarium.
It might happen for several reasons. But if you want to breed bettas, you must know how to get your betta to make a bubble nest. When bettas build a bubble nest, it signifies their comfort, health, and readiness for mating.
Hence, it is natural to be restless as a betta owner if you see bettas not making bubble nest, likewise the frequency it should be. So, how do you boost the betta and motivate it to make a bubble nest?
We will bring exclusive tips on motivating your betta to make such a bubble nest and take care of the nest once it is built. Furthermore, the discussion will have a glimpse of the betta nest, making frequency and its necessity and validity.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Bubble Nest for Betta?
- Why and For What A Betta Builds Bubble Nest?
- Frequency of the Betta Nest Building
- Why Does Not Betta Make A Bubble Nest?
- How To Get Your Betta To Make A Bubble Nest
- Final Talks
What Is A Bubble Nest for Betta?
Simply putting, bubble nests are the bubble clusters created by the male betta for reproductional purposes. In fact, the bubble creation is the first step of the male betta to build the nest when it reaches sexual maturity.
When a male betta is ready for mating, it will build the bubble cluster to draw the female’s attention. It is a signal that the male betta is prepared for mating and looking for the female partner.
The bubble nests are also known as the foam nests. A male betta engulfs air when it breaths. Then it blows the air along with the oral secretion, aka, saliva, to form the bubble cluster. The nest is created right on the surface of the water.
Why and For What A Betta Builds Bubble Nest?
Although most betta owners think that male bettas build the bubble cluster only for the mating purpose to attract the female betta, these clusters have a more profound sense. The bubble nest helps the betta eggs for incubation and works as a safe haven for the female betta’s recently laid eggs.
Also, when the betta hatches the eggs and new fry is born, the bubble clusters safeguard the fries. They remain inside the nest until they can swim on the surface and can feed on their own. Also, the bubble nest is full of oxygen. Hence it supplies the necessary oxygen to the betta fry so it can breathe easily.
The identification of the bubble nest is pretty straightforward. When the male betta creates such a nest, you will see bubble clusters right on the aquarium water surface.
What’s more surprising is that——
A male betta will continue creating the bubble nest with or without the presence of its female partner. That’s why even if your aquarium doesn’t have any female betta, the males will build the bubble cluster. The male also creates the nest even if it hasn’t seen the female betta in its entire lifetime.
This astonishing fact about the male betta nest creation brings us to one eminent question?
Does the bubble nest serve any other purpose?
The answer is a BIG YES- the bubble nests are built to acknowledge the betta’s territorial supremacy in a specific location besides serving as a haven for the betta fries.
Bettas are highly territorial fish. And they will fight for their life to establish territorial supremacy over the other males and females both. When a betta wins a fight and shows his dominance over a specific location, it will build the bubble nest. It is found under a leaf or closes to rock right on the water surface.
What’s more, even if the bettas are in the aquarium where they get ample food ad space to thrive, they will still get engaged in the fight. Then they will build the bubble nest.
If a female is present near the nested bubble and ready for mating, she will deem right on the nest. Then the male betta will coax the female underneath the nest until the female partner submits.
But there’s another surprise for you.
After the spawning is over, the female will lay the egg and just leave the place. The male must collect the spread eggs on its mouth and safely place them inside the bubble nest. The father will take care of the eggs and fries until they can live on their own.
Fun Fact: A male betta will drive away from the female once she lays an egg. He does so because the female betta is infamous for eating the egg and even his fries. So, the male chases it away once the spawning occurs. You should also remove the female betta from the aquarium if you genuinely want to breed the new betta fry.
Frequency of the Betta Nest Building
Well, this is a tricky question. As humans, all bettas are unique, so their bubble cluster making frequency is unique too. A betta might build the nest regularly, while another betta in the same aquarium might not build it at all.
The bettas’ actual frequency creating the bubble nest might vary from day to week, even month. Also, some bettas will not build those nets at all in their entire lifetime. Moreover, the size of the nest also varies from the large to the tiny ones.
The size of the nest, however, doesn’t depend on the size of the betta itself. Nonetheless, when a betta regularly creates a bubble cluster, it signals that the aquarium’s water parameter is appropriate. It also indicates that the betta is healthy and happy inside the aquarium and is ready for mating.
Why Does Not Betta Make A Bubble Nest?
When you see a betta creating the nest timely, it is a happy sign.
But what happens if you see the male betta not making a bubble nest frequently or at all?
Well, you shouldn’t feel panicked even if you don’t see any bubble nest in the aquarium for an extended period. There’s no practical utility of the bubble nest for you unless you promptly want to breed the bettas to enhance your aquarium.
Also, it doesn’t inevitably mean that your betta is unhealthy and unhappy. Some common reasons for the betta not making the bubble nest frequently might be-
- If a betta has grown too old or hasn’t reached sexual maturity.
- Strong filtration set up inside the aquarium that will create a strong current. It will blow away the nests even if the betta makes one.
- Poor cleanliness of the fish aquarium. If the water parameters are inappropriate, a betta won’t probably prefer building the nest there.
- If the aquarium water temperature is too hot or cold. The ideal water temperature for the betta aquarium is 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the aquarium lacks any plants, debris, decorative surface on which the nest can be built.
How To Get Your Betta To Make A Bubble Nest
When you don’t see your betta making a bubble nest for a long time, you might feel worried. So, you might want to motivate your betta to make the bubble cluster. Luckily, it isn’t rocket science.
You can follow the steps mentioned below to motivate the betta to create a bubble nest shortly.
Controlling the water temperature:
At first, check the water temperature inside the fish tank. The suitable temperature for the betta fish tank is 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. You must ensure that the water temperature inside the tank remains suitable for the bettas. When the water is too cold, the betta will feel lethargic and won’t build the nest. Also, hot water deters the betta from building the bubble cluster. You should check the heating source and make sure it is working correctly.
Offer plant surface inside the aquarium:
Most bettas won’t build a bubble cluster even if all the water parameters are right due to the lack of a proper surface. Hence, we recommend arranging at least one silk or live plant for the male betta.
In the wilderness, Bettas use a plant right on the water surface to accommodate its recently built nest. The bettas in the aquarium haven’t forgotten this even today. So, you can trigger the nest building frequency of the male betta by offering him a live or silk plant.
Slow down the aquarium water current:
Male bettas love calm and peaceful water conditions. When the water flow rate inside the tank is too fast, a male betta will feel discouraged to build the bubble nest.
If you find the water flowing inside the aquarium too fast, you need to slow down the aquarium water current. You will have to set the flow rate of the aquarium filter at its lowest setting. Alternatively, you can manufacture a filter baffle to reduce the current.
You can quickly place an aquarium sponge right in front of the filter outflow for the purpose.
Maintain water parameters:
You will have to maintain the water parameters inside the fish tank with the highest possible quality. So, check the water parameters carefully. It includes checking ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite mostly.
You need to change them once a week, at least. The best way to maintain the right water parameter inside the fish tank is to replace 10% to 20% of its water weekly. If the tank size is small and accommodates less than 5-gallons of water, you need to change the tank water up to 50% weekly, or even more.
When you change the water, dechlorinate the new water from the tap before adding it to the fish tank.
Place a mirror:
Although the idea seems funny and weird, placing a mirror inside the fish tank really motivates the betta to quickly build a bubble nest. When you set up a mirror inside the fish tank, the male betta will see its reflection on it.
So, it will think that another male has intruded into his territory. So, it will start developing the bubble nest to showcase its territorial supremacy. You just need to place the mirror inside the tank for only 5 minutes per day until the betta decides to make the nest.
Seeing your male betta willingly creating a bubble nest inside the fish tank is joyous and awe-inspiring. So, every betta owner wishes to see its betta creating the bubble nest timely. However, if the water parameters, temperature, and cleanliness are inappropriate, it might not build the nest.
Our discussion and tips on how to get your betta to make a bubble nest will help you significantly in such cases. Also, you shouldn’t feel worried if you don’t see the betta creating the nest since it doesn’t necessarily mean the betta is unhealthy and unhappy.