Bubble nests are created by Betta fish as well as a few other types of fish and even frogs. They are created with a mixture of air and saliva (to increase their durability). Male Betta fish will create these bubble nests when they are ready to mate. The bubble nest is intended to be a place for the female Betta fish to deposit her eggs, as well as a place to take care for the fragile Betta fish fry.
Bubble nests are often built connected to an object which actually breaks the water surface, which will usually form the base of the nest. These bubble nests can be very small and only consist of a few bubbles, or they may be up to an inch thick and take up a whole lot of space in the aquarium.
Why Do Betta’s Make Bubble Nests?
Male Betta fish create bubble nests because of their natural state of living. Betta fish often live in shallow and muddy waters which have a low oxygen content. Therefore, in order to keep the eggs and fry healthy and surrounded by oxygen rich water and air, they create these bubble nests. It ensures that the young Betta fish will have an adequate supply of oxygen.
They are intended to be like a safe haven for Betta fish eggs and the fry which hatch out of them. The eggs will be placed within the bubble nest as a form of protection and the male Betta fish will actually protect the nest and eggs from intruders, often even chasing away the female Betta fish which laid the eggs.
Once the Betta fish fry hatch, they will continue to stay under the protection of the bubble nest, which helps protect them from predators and ensures a good oxygen supply. It’s also pretty neat because the bubbles actually attract microorganisms which help to feed the hatched Betta fish fry, yet another reason for their creation.
When Do Male Betta Fish Make Bubble Nests?
Interestingly enough, a male Betta fish will make bubble nests from time to time no matter what. They do not require the presence of a female Betta fish to do it. Making bubble nests comes naturally to a male Betta fish and when they are ready to mate, female or not, they will make one.
When a male is ready to mate, it may make a bubble nest once a day, once a week, once a month, or at any other interval. When it comes to male Betta fish, the building of bubble nests seems to be quite erratic.
Encouraging Your Betta Fish To Make Bubble Nests
If you want to encourage your Betta fish to make bubble nests, either for fun or because you plan on mating them, there are a few things you can do to get your male in the mood. Here are some of the best ways to encourage your male Betta fish to make a bubble nest.
- A slow current helps to spur on a male in terms of bubble nest building. Make sure that your water filter is set to the lowest setting. Bubbles will wash away and break in a strong current, something which a Betta fish knows all too well.
- Put some floating debris like floating plants, plastic lids, or driftwood on the surface of the water. Betta fish like the protection which a floating object offers, and thus they like to make their bubble nests under these things.
- Make sure that your Betta fish tank is at the right temperature. The ideal temperature range a Betta fish needs to be healthy, which is between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You want the water to be closer to 82 degrees in order to really encourage bubble nest building.
- Betta fish can sense water impurities, something which is not good for eggs and Betta fish fry. If your water is not really clean and at the appropriate parameters a male Betta fish will not build a bubble nest.
- A male Betta fish will also be encouraged to build a bubble nest when in the presence of a female.