Betta Fish Bubble Nest

Betta fish are truly specific fish. Not only because of its aggressive nature or vivid fins but also because of its relatively unusual appearance – creating bubble nests.

Although in principle it is related to mating, it is logical to conclude that Betta fish females take care of the nest and eggs – in Betta fish it is the male.

Betta fish males make a nest out of bubbles by literally inflating them and making enough to create a nest. When they are in the wild, they are usually hidden under plants or debris near the surface of the water, because they need air.

Also, they are hidden so that predators would not destroy them or eat them when the female lays eggs.

Why Betta Males Create A Bubble Nest?

It is a love call, a kind of silent signal that he is ready for some love.

When the male Betta fish feels the urge to mate – he will start creating a bubble nest. It’s a natural process and nest creating pattern is the same as when Betta is in the wild. They will carefully blow bubbles and with the help of saliva and mucus – tie bubbles together to make a form of nest.

Betta males build these nests at the top of the aquarium because this position leaves them space to hide below, where they will wait for a suitable female. After mating, he will transfer the laid eggs to the bubble nest in his mouth.

Bettas often make a nest out of bubbles and beyond the mating season. It is simply part of their instincts. This is especially common in home aquariums, where people either keep only the male or female Betta fish. 

Whether mating or not – building a bubble nest is considered a sign of good health Betta fish. His metabolism and biological rhythm work well and that is why he had a healthy need to do bubble nests.

Some males make them regularly, once a week, some once a month and some do so several months apart. Even if your Betta male never makes a bubble nest – it doesn’t have to mean that he is sick or that the water is dirty, it may simply be of that character.

For the male to make a bubble nest, the water in the aquarium must be clean, that is, ideal for the Betta fish to feel safe. Since oxygen is needed to create a bubble nest, males create them at the top of the aquarium.

What Is The Purpose Of A Bubble Nest?

When in the wild, Betta fish cannot rely on owners to provide them with perfectly warm and clean water. Like all babies, betta fish babies require a cleaner and safer environment to hatch. Bubble nests are safe, protected, and clean places, where small Betta fish hatch. In the wild, they will often be under rocks or leaves of plants, to hide from predators.

The male keeps the nest and the “dad” is the one who is most responsible for the offspring in Betta the fish.

The nest must be close to the surface of the water because the air must oxidize them. Males literally blow bubbles and stack them next to each other to make a nest.

To keep the nest going, mucus also helps them, and if water dissolves a few bubbles in the Betta the male will rush to create new ones.

This process looks very gentle and arouses emotions in anyone who sees how carefully male Betta builds the nest and cares for the offspring.

However, only during mating and the act of love male and a female Betta fish can be together. Otherwise – they are very combative towards each other and should never be kept in the same aquarium. Also, after dropping the eggs, the female must be immediately removed from that aquarium, because she could eat the eggs or the male could kill her.

What Does An Act Of Love Look Like?

When the male assesses that the bubble nest is large enough, the game of seduction begins. A female that is ready to mate will darken her body color and swim near the nest. The male will also try to impress with the size of the nest, but also by fighting with other males.

If you know that the female is ready to mate, put her in an aquarium where the male is and you may notice how much the presence of the female can speed up the construction of the nest.

The female who accepts courtship approaches the act of mating, where after a short act of fertilization, the female releases eggs in the so-called water column. Then the male in his mouth transfers the eggs to the nest. After two to three days, the eggs hatch, and the baby Bettas are born.

Betta Fish

They are not immediately ready to swim, but for that, they have a nest to learn and get used to life.

Until Bette hatches, the male is vigilantly guarding the nest, as well as until the babies are mature enough to live independently.

 If an egg accidentally falls out of the nest – the male will return it immediately, and if someone attacks – it will defend the nest to the point of blood. When they hatch, the young stay in the nest for a maximum of one week, and when they leave, and that nest disperses – some males immediately start creating a new one.

This is not the rule, some create a nest right away while others not. It is assumed that the frequency of mating and the construction of the bubble nest are related to the age of the Betta fish, although that is not the rule either. It is important that Betta fish is healthy.

Betta fish are not the only ones that make bubble nests, and the common name for all fish species that do this is aphrophilus.

When it is mating season, males are additionally inspired by females. If they are nearby they will build a nest faster. It is enough that during the mating season, it swims around the male a couple of times. Also, if more males cast their eyes on the same female, mutual tension, and often fights – will make males build nests faster.

How To Encourage a Betta Male To Build A Bubble Nest?

You have to come to terms with the fact that not all Betta fish behave the same. Building a bubble nest is a sign of the good psycho-physical health of a Betta fish, but it is not the rule.

Betta males can live a maximum fish age of 5 years without ever making a nest. There are many reasons for this and it does not always mean that as the owner you are not doing something properly.

In the wild, mating and nest building is a natural process and Betta males are inspired by a larger number of females as well as an enhanced instinct for survival. The situation in the aquarium is different. The male and female in such a small space cannot be together for long, except when it is mating time.

That’s why people who breed Betta fish let the male and female be together only during mating. If you especially care about your Betta male building a nest or you want him to mate regularly, you can try to encourage him. Here are a few things you can do. Some are taken for granted, not just for nest building or mating, but for the health of Betta fish.

  • The chances are higher that male will dare to create a bubble nest if the aquarium is bigger. So a minimum of five gallons aquarium. When there is enough space, Betta fish do not feel constrained or anxious, which is a basic prerequisite for pleasure, but also for mating and creating a bubble nest.
  • Take care of the tidiness and cleanliness of the water and the aquarium. Do not overdo it and make a sterile environment for Betta fish, but follow the recommendations of experts. Although Betta fish in the wild cannot affect the purity of the water, thanks to instinct they manage to find a water corner, which is cleaner and calmer, where they can create a nest and hatch young Betta fish. So change 25% water once a week. That way you won’t shock Betta fish and he will be in cleaner water without experiencing stress. If you destroy the nest when you change the water, don’t worry – Betta will probably rebuild it. However, you can also gently transfer it to another container and return it to the aquarium after changing the water. If you damage it, Betta will add endorsed bubbles.
  •  One of the main reasons why Bettas avoid creating nests in an aquarium is the speed of water flow or a filter that makes a strong current. A bubble nest can’t be maintained when the water is restless. Betta fish are native to tropical, stagnant waters. When the water in the aquarium is calmer – they will feel more relaxed and instinctively know that they can create a bubble nest. 
  • Water temperature is always important for all life functions of Betta fish, including mating and bubble nesting. You will best control the temperature with a thermostat and heater and don’t forget that it must always be between 78 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • As funny or strange as it may sound, Betta fish love the beautifully decorated interior of the aquarium. It probably reminds them of tropical waters, which are rich in vegetation and stones. That’s why it is good to put plants, various decorations in your aquarium, and you can even add special lighting. It is important not to overdo it and not to do the opposite. Remember that Betta fish also like to swim, but also to hide and explore. Also, darkness is necessary for them to rest and relax. Always turn off the lights for 5-8 hours a day. 
  • You can even put some easily floating objects in the aquarium; plastic jar lids or anything similar. It is important that it doesn’t release chemicals and that it cannot injure the Betta fish. Such ornaments will associate Betta with the natural environment and will trigger the instinct for reproduction. 
  • The simplest and fastest way to stimulate a male Betta fish to build a nest of bubbles is the presence of a female. Almost, the moment he sees her – the male can start creating a love nest. However, if you don’t want Betta to mate – you have to put the female in a transparent divider or glass and after the male sees it – remove it from the aquarium. Otherwise, the loving couple might find ways to reunite after all.


Bubble nests are a natural and beautiful phenomenon. They are a sign of the renewal of nature and happiness of your Betta fish. When you see a Betta male building a nest, do not touch it or intentionally destroy it. Support him and help him to always have a healthy and appropriate environment so that he can build his bubble nest in peace.