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When To Remove A Male Betta From His Fry!

The popularity of keeping betta fish just keeps in growing with each year that passes and as more and more people take to keeping pet betta fish in their tanks, the number of people looking to breed their betta fish is also increasing.

With the prices of the rare patterned and coloured betta fish falling so much recently, there really are some great betta breeding opportunities out there.

This has resulted in a wide range of different questions being asked from the community relating to breeding betta fish with one of the most commonly asked ones being when to remove the male betta from the fry.

This is a great question that we see asked time and time again as most beginners to breeding betta fish fail to realise their the parents of betta fish will actually eat their own fry if you give them the chance.

If you are trying to seriously breed betta fish then this will drastically reduce the yields available to you per pairing as the parents are able to eat a huge number of their fry.

This is why most people will use a standard 10 gallon breeding tank to try and keep the fry away from any other fish they keep and then remove the mother and father from the tank when required.

Will A Male Betta Eat Its Own Fry?

The male and female betta fish will eat their fry given the chance as their parental instinct seems to end as soon as the fry emerges from their egg.

Due to the male betta usually protecting his bubble nest with the fry in it, there is usually a larger chance of the male betta eating his fry than the female eating them.

There are a number of different systems that people have developed over the years to breed their betta fish without the parents of the fry being able to eat them.

If you implement one of the proven plans when breeding your betta fish then the chances of the male or female betta eating their own fry are drastically reduced.

You also have to keep in mind that if you don’t use a separate breeding tank then the other tank mates in your aquarium will also eat the betta fry too.

This can take a clutch of as many of 300 fertilised eggs that hatch down to 30 or less fry within a couple of hours.

When Should I Remove My Male Betta Fish From Its Fry?

Most people agree that the male betta fish should be removed from its fry after around three days of fertilizing the eggs. This is when the fry will start to emerge from the eggs and the male betta will usually start to eat the fry that he sees.

If the female betta is still in the tank at this stage then she should be removed if possible too as she will also eat the fry.

Some people have implemented fry hatchery into their breeding tanks very well to drastically improve the survival rate of the betta fish fry too.

With the price of a decent fry hatchery only being around $10-$15, these are well worth picking up if you are trying to seriously breed your betta fish.

It works out to be much cheaper than having separate tanks for breeding and then additional tanks for housing the mother and father betta fish when the fry start to emerge from their eggs.

If you are a beginner betta fish breeder then adding a fry hatchery can be a great way to improve the survival rates of your betta fry.

How Can I Prevent Betta Fry From Being Ate By Their Parents?

The most effective way to prevent betta fry from being ate by their parents is to make sure that both parents and any other fish that may eat the fry are removed from the tank after around three days of fertilization of the eggs.

This will keep the tank safe for the fry and prevent anything from eating them while they are so small.

As we touched on above, you are able to use a fry hatchery in your tank to try and keep the fry safe but it is not a guaranteed solution.

If you have to leave the fry in the same tank as other fish, this really can be an excellent option to take advantage of though.

Another alternative that is very popular with betta fish breeders is to use a betta breeding box as they are cheap and can help to keep the fry safe.

There are a number of ways that you are able to use the breeding box but the most common is to let the female release her eggs into it and let the male fertilize the eggs then either remove the parents from the box or leave the father in.

If you do choose to leave the father in then you will lose some of the fry as he eats them but they can find quick and easy cover in the bottom of the box.

How Do I Stop My Betta Fish From Eating Eggs?

Male and female betta fish will sometimes eat their own eggs, they may do this to unfertilised eggs or eggs that have problems with them but sometimes they will eat viable eggs, especially if this is their first time breeding.

The easiest way to prevent betta fish from eating their eggs is to remove the fish from the eggs once they are fertilised.

The female can usually be removed as soon as she has released her eggs as it is usually the male who will protect the fertilised eggs in his bubble nest.

If you are breeding your betta fish in a breeding tank or a breeding box that has no other fish in it then you can in theory remove the male betta from the tank too.

The main role of the male betta is to protect the bubble nest from other fish while the eggs develop and hatch. If there are no other fish in the tank then there is no need for this though.

Some eggs will also fall out of the bubble nest with the male betta usually putting them back in but again, if there is no other fish in the tank then there is no risk to a fertilised egg that is not in the bubble nest anyway.


That brings our article going over when to remove the male betta from his fry to an end. As we have explained above, there are actually a number of different ways that you are able to deal with the male betta once the fry start to emerge from their eggs. The majority of the time though, the male and female betta fish will be removed from them to prevent them from eating their own fry and to help give them the best chance of survival as possible.