If you have observed betta fish in a tank, you have surely noticed that they make these tiny bubbles that appear at the surface of the water. If you are anything like us, you can stare at this colorful fish for hours at a time. No one can deny their beauty.
Now, are you thinking about purchasing one of these and designing a stunning aquarium?
If your answer is affirmative, you should continue reading this article. We will not only unravel these mysterious bubbles, but we will also tell you everything you need to know about betta fish.
It’s a bubble nest
That’s right. Betta fish build a nest with these bubbles. Why? Well, males do it to attract females. If you have both a male and female in your tank, you will notice this nest regularly when they are ready to mate. In a nutshell, these bubbles serve as the perfect place to guard the eggs and ensure they are safe. Think of the birds and their nests to understand what we are talking about.
We have already established that these bubbles will be located near the tank’s surface, and generally speaking, the fish will build it in the corner or under leaves at the surface, if there are any. Their main goal is to create an environment perfect for the new babies.
How do they do this?
Well, the truth is that this process is pretty simple. Bettas literally blow bubbles that then rise to the surface of the tank. Depending on the species you get, they may do this hectically and produce a lot of noise in the process. To ensure that the nest will be durable, betta fish use saliva to coat each bubble, and therefore, make them stronger.
What does it look like?
When it comes to the appearance of the nest, there are no specific guidelines, meaning that every nest may look different. It also comes down to the fish. Some include big bubbles and can be quite large in dimensions, while others may be smaller. Some have distinctive bubbles, while others look like foam. Some may be concentrated in the corner of the tank, while others can spread over the water’s surface.
How often do they do this?
Now, there isn’t a specific answer to this question. Generally speaking, when in the wild, they will do this during the breeding season. However, when kept in tanks that are temperature-regulated, they don’t experience this period per se, so we will discuss other factors that can affect this.
First of all, when it comes to male bettas, their breeding period is anywhere between the fourth and twelfth months of their life. Therefore, if your fish is not yet four months old, or on the other hand, it is older than a year, they are very unlikely to build the nest.
Moreover, the presence of a female is also a significant factor. If your little friend has a female companion, they will be inclined to build a nest and, eventually, mate.
Next, when it comes to the frequency of this, it is all individual. It may happen once a month, a week, or every day. There really isn’t a rule, so you shouldn’t be worried about their health if they don’t this regularly.
What if they never do it?
This is a burning question many owners have. They know that this is a natural occurrence, so if they notice that their buddy isn’t building a nest, they become worried that something may be wrong. The truth is that some bettas kept in a tank never do this. As already discussed, there are several reasons they may or may not do it.
On the other hand, the fish may have made one, but you just don’t notice it. How is this possible? Well, there are numerous reasons. Firstly, the fish may have built it under the décor objects that are floating in the tank. If this is the case, you can’t really see it unless you are looking for it specifically. On the other hand, you may expect to see large bubbles, but there is also foam. Yes, foam is also a nest your fish made.
Can you encourage them?
The answer to this question is an absolute yes. There are several things you can do to encourage the fish to build a bubble nest. Naturally, most of these are regarding the tank and additional factors, so you should read more about these requirements before you even purchase one.
The very first thing you have to do is ensure that the tank is cleaned regularly. Obviously, the frequency of this depends on the aquarium’s size since the smaller ones have to be cleaned more often. Generally speaking, you should do this once a week, but make sure to consult a professional when you order it. In addition, you should change the water bit by bit so that your fish has time to adapt. Finally, make sure to check the pH levels regularly to ensure your friend’s health.
Next, you have to create the perfect conditions, and when it comes to these, the temperature is crucial. When it comes to betta fish, the ideal temperature is between 78° and 82° F. The best way to ensure it stays within these limits is to get a tank heater. Once again, the tank’s size plays an essential role when choosing this device.
Furthermore, since bettas build their nests in still water, you have to purchase an appropriate filter. Due to this reason, you should avoid devices that make strong currents. Yes, you can go with an adjustable one, but make sure to set it correctly.
Finally, décor is imperative. As already stated several times, bettas use objects at the surface as a base for their nest. Therefore, the best way to encourage them to build one is to add several decorative items and let them choose the best one. Plus, these will greatly improve the overall appearance of the tank, so it is a win-win situation.