Many things can go wrong during the first 90 days of a betta’s life. Most people experience total failure with their first few spawns because of they make one or more fatal mistakes. So, if you just lost another spawn, if you have tied a rock around your neck and are standing on a bridge right now, ready to leap, out of sheer desperation, into the LA river (you’ll probably die of poisoning before your drawn anyway :)) ) , STOP!!! Read this page, it might save your life (and that of your fry) and save your family a costly legal battle over who is going to inherit your Pinto.



1. Spawning in too small a tank. Betta spawns can easily add up to about 200 to 400 eggs, so about 300 fries will soon emerge from that bubble nest and will overcrowd a small tank or large bowl in an instant. Too may fry in a small space = nitrite levels and ammonia levels up the roof = death.

2. Spawning without a filter. I told you once I’ll tell you again (and again). YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE A SMALL FILTER IN THERE!! Barely bubbling. Sponge or mini corner filter is perfect.

3. Leaving gravel in the spawning tank. The eggs will fall in there, the dad won’t find them, and even if they hatched, the fry would also get stuck inside the gravel and die there.

4. Feeding flake food to the fries. This is not the proper food for fry. Uneaten food will rot and kill the fry. Please refer back to my “feeding the fry’ section, and read about microworms and newly hatched baby brine shrimp.

5. Not having a submersible heater. You gotta keep that water at 80F. No fluctuation allowed. You must have a heater and it MUST be submersible (yes, it will cost you a few extra buck, so sue your fry !)

6. Not covering your tank. Although it has been said that around day 10 the fry's labyrinth will become filled with mucus if the fry breath cold air at the surface, this is greatly unfounded. A recent conversation with Dr. Gene Lucas, Godfather of bettas :)) revealed that this is not so. However, covering the tank is beneficial because it will prevent evaporation and keep the temperatures steady, and both are good for the fry, especially in the winter time when your fishroom gets colder at night. 

7. Not feeding twice daily. You can’t space out or slack off: They’ve got you by the you know what: They must eat twice daily or they DIE.

8. Not doing some tank cleaning and water changes. That is the most difficult thing because too much of a water change will kill the fries, but no water change at all will kill them too. It must be just the right amount of water, done just the right way and at the right time. One of those things :(.
9. Pouring non aged water into the fry tank. When adding new water to the tank, always age it and make sure it is the same temperature. DO NOT POUR the water. Let it DRIP very slowly into the tank.
10. Not removing parents. Don’t fool yourself. Just because daddy kept an eye on the bubble nest and tended his offsprings for 3 days does not mean he will not be delighted to devour them all later. You must remove the female and (later) the male. Basically, as soon as the fry are free swimming, they should be alone in the tank, no other adult bettas should be left in there.

OK, I’ve warned you now, so don’t come whining to me later on when you try to bend any of the above (strict and unbendable) rules :). Break any of them and you will find yourself on that bridge again, with that heavy rock tied to your neck, contemplating a dip in the LA river (or any other local suitable body of water). I hope that you would at least, to express your gratitude for all the effort I put in trying to warn you, will your Pinto to me (hehehehehehe).

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