Caring for Siamese Fighting Fish

 

Breeding Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese fish breed most successful before they reach a year of age. (Siamese fish are usually bred between 6 months and 1 year) They breed in bubblenests and do not require a special tank (a breeding tank is recommended however) or equipment. In fact the male Siamese fish takes care of almost everything.

Bare bottomed siamese fish tank

A bare bottomed tank, 5 - 10 gallons (20 - 40 Ltrs) or so is sufficient but, if need be, you can get away with smaller tanks. However, you must condition the Siamese fighting fish before breeding. This is not complicated and simply involves introducing them and feeding your Siamese fighting fish with live foods.

To introduce your Siamese fish, place each fish in adjoining containers where they can see each other. Use either separate jars or a barrier so that they can not intermingle. This should last between 3 to 10 days depending on their state of readiness. Once introductions have been made you can place them in the breeding tank together.

The breeding tank should be about 5 inches deep. Place a large leaf or a piece of foam in it to aid the male in building the bubble nest.

Note:

Several readers have sent emails asking which fish should be bred and how to tell when the fish are ready. In general you should select a pair that has the color and shape that most appeals to you. The male should always be larger than the female and you might want to choose one that has a great deal of energy with a vibrant color. The male is ready as soon as he starts making his bubble nest. The female will have a distended stomach culminating at the ovipositor. (white egg spot protruding from her abdomen) You will also see verticle stripes on the females flanks when she is ready to spawn. (If the stripes are horizontal this is a sign of stress) The female is capable of holding upwards of 500 eggs.
 
 
You should test your water's acidity. Ideally you want a PH level of about 7.0. The temperature of the tank should be 75°F (24°C) or slightly higher (80°F) (27°C).

When ready to spawn, the male Siamese fish will blow a bubble nest. (This should take 1 - 2 days) Be sure to provide the female Siamese fish with a place that she can hide in. (Placing plants in the tank will provide shelter) This is to protect her from the male who can become aggressive during the courtship period.

It is not unusual for the female Siamese fish to lose a few scales or have her fins frayed during spawning. Spawning will cause both male and female Siamese fish to display intense colors and begin circling each other under the bubblenest.

Siamese Fish Mating
Siamese Fish Mating

Next, the female Siamese fish will turn over and the male Siamese fish will wrap himself around her as she expels the eggs. Don't be alarmed if at times the female gets lethargic and floats to the top, this is hard work for her and can be exhausting. The whole breeding process will be repeated several times until the female has finished laying her eggs.The eggs are fertilized and will sink to the bottom of the tank.This is when the male Siamese fish takes over. He will scoop up the eggs in his mouth and carry them into the bubble nest. The male will tend to the brood from here on.

You should remove the female as soon as the male drives her from the nest. (Do this carefully so you do not disturb the nest) The male can become quite aggressive towards her as he tends his young. Any eggs that fall out of the nest will be put back by the male. Within a day or two the eggs will hatch and you will see the fry hanging from the nest, tails pointed downward. The fry are fed, for the next day or two, from their yolk sack. If the fry fall out of the nest during this time the male Siamese will continue to put them back in the nest.

The fry will start to swim in 3 - 4 days. When the fry begin to swim freely, you should remove the male or he will begin to eat them.

Feed the fry twice daily. Use baby brine shrimp, daphnia or very fine baby food. You can use a Tetra dry mixture specifically designed for egglaying fish. Most pet shops carry frozen baby brine shrimp.

When the fry reach 2 weeks you can begin small water changes but do be careful as the fry are still very small.

Remember - do not overfeed your fish. The excess food will foul the water and can quickly prove lethal to the fry.

Siamese fighting fish fry
Siamese Fish Fry

Please keep in mind that these are just guidelines for breeding your Siamese fish.

If you are serious about wanting to breed your fish then you shoud really invest in a more intensive course and learn all the necessary tips and techniques. This is especially true if you want to sell your fish. There are not a lot of guides that specifically deal with breeding Siamese Fish but I have found an excellent publication that is reasonably priced and deals exclusively with Siamese breeding. For those who are interested in becoming a Siamese breader you can find the link below.