Why do Betta Fish Make Bubbles at Water Surface?


Betta Fish Makes Bubble Nest

Have you experienced bubble clusters on the water surface in your aquarium tank? Many aquarists wonder if their betta is still okay when there are bubbles on their fish tank water. These are clusters, and they are entirely normal among betta fish. The bubbles are also a sign that the fish is happy and healthy.

Understanding your betta fish is necessary to know when everything is okay. There is no need to freak out if you first find that your betta fish is creating bubbles.

Instead of thinking that you are a terrible fish owner, read on to find out what a bubble nest is and why they are formed.

Reason Betta Fish Makes Bubbles

Creating bubble nests is a collective behavior of the betta fish and is mainly a sign that the fish are healthy and comfortable in the tank. On the other hand, bubble nests are made by male betas under floating debris and on the water surface. The male betas then guard the nests until they find a suitable female to spawn with.

Soon after spawning, the female betta releases eggs while the male betta swiftly captures the eggs with its mouth and places them into the bubble nest. This means that if your betta is making bubbles, it is usually the betta male looking for a mating partner. It is a sign that your betas are feeding well and are now ready to interbreed with a suitable partner during that season.

Betta Fish Mating Behavior

Betta fish occasionally fight each other, and one might wonder how they mate. At the pet store male betta are placed in their containers because they are naturally aggressive. A group of female betta fish can live in their tank, but males need to be alone until the mating season.

When male betas are ready to mate, they build bubble nests on the surface of the water or under other objects in the fish tank. The male betas use saliva to form the bubble nests and then guard the nest until they find a suitable female mating partner. After this has been noticed, many pet store owners put mature female betta in the fish tank to encourage spawning.

To encourage breeding among the betta, sufficient food with the required nutrients and minerals is needed. Aquarists can also use a breeder tank with a mature female to stimulate the male to build a bubble nest. Another breeding tip is putting the male and female betta in the same tank with lots of hiding places such as rocks or aquarium plants for the female. Once the two are done mating, you can remove the female as the male will tend the eggs.

The male ensures the eggs remain clean and also have a chemical in their saliva to release baby betta from the eggs. Once the baby betas hatch, the mature male betta can be removed. Once the babies start maturing, one should select all the males and place them in their individual containers to prevent them from fighting with each other.

How to Get Your Betta Fish to Make Bubble Nest?

Encouraging your betta fish to build bubble nests is quite easy, but it requires one to consider several factors.
Below are factors that will encourage your male betta fish to build bubble nests.

– Suitable Fish Tank Conditions

The first consideration is ensuring the fish tank has suitable conditions for your betta fish. This involves ensuring that the fish tank’s filter is flowing gently without causing water currents. Betta fish are naturally tropical fish and the water there is clean and still, which needs to be applied to the home aquarium.

– Floating Debris or Plants

If you want to encourage the building of a betta fish bubble nest, the other thing to do is to put floating debris in the fish tank. The floating material could be plastic lids or even artificial seaweed. The betta male is more likely to build bubble nests under floating debris more than the water surface.

– Warm Water

Other considerations include ensuring the water temperature is 25-26 degrees Celsius. Betta fish being a tropical fish thrives typically in warm water, and the same is needed to encourage mating and breeding. Warm water is an essential requirement for betta fish and should be considered if you intend to breed your fish.

– Presence of Mature Female Betta Fish

The last thing to do to encourage your male betta fish to build bubble nests is to offer the presence of a female. The urge to build a betta fish bubble nest will most likely increase if the male betta is in the company of a female fish. After the mating, it is advisable to remove the mature female to let the male tend to the eggs.

Do Female Betta Fish Make Bubble Nest or Only Males?

Under normal conditions, only the male betta fish will build bubble nests. The male betta fish uses saliva to create bubbles on the water surface and under floating debris. The purpose of a male betta fish bubble nests is to invite the female fish to a spawning session. On rare occasions, female betta fish can blow bubbles in the tank when they are alone with no mate in the tank.
If you find your female betta fish occasionally blowing bubbles, it is because it might need a mating partner. You could try bringing in male betta to try mating the fish.

How often do Betta Fish Make Bubble Nest?

Well, if you have learned the reason for betta fish creation of bubble nests, the next important thing is to know how often they make them. Most often, male betas can create bubble nests for no other reason that a natural urge to do so. The fish can blow the bubble nest from time to time provided the tank’s conditions are suitable.

If the betta fish are provided with enough food, warm and clean water, they can build nests occasionally. However, there is no set time frame for a mature betta fish to make a bubble nest, and each betta could portray a different pattern.

Can you destroy the Bubble Nest of Your Betta Fish?

There could be instances where you destroy the bubble nest, whether intentionally or unintentionally. On other occasions, one could be having a filter that is creating too much water current. Too much water current will probably destroy the bubble nests even without your knowledge.

Again you could destroy the bubble nest out of curiosity of what would happen. The truth is that the male betta will not be intimidated by the destruction of a bubble nest. The male betta will create a new bubble nest immediately, especially when there is the presence of a female betta fish. The male will repeat the process of creating the bubble nest until it is successful in finding a suitable female partner to spawn with.

Other Fish Species that Make Bubble Nest

Apart from the male betta fish, other species that build bubble nests include the Gouramis. The Gouramis have a labyrinth organ that allows them to blow the air bubble on the surface of the water for breeding purposes. After mating the Gourami, the male tends to the eggs, and the female does not have any other task.

Other fish such as the Siamese fighting fish also build bubble nests for breeding purposes. This type of fish is tropical and relates to the same fish family as the betta fish. One thing to note is that only male fish build the bubble nests and tend to the eggs after spawning with the female fish.

Reasons a Betta Would Not Build a Nest

In some cases, your betta will never make a bubble nest, and this is something you should worry about if the fish is not female. One of the reasons a betta male will avoid making a nest is poor health. It may be that it is not getting enough food, or the water is cold below recommended levels.

Another reason is that your tank does not have floating debris. Betta males are more likely to build the bubble nest under floating debris because it is easy to guard the hidden nests. Too cold water could be another reason your betta male does not have the urge to build a bubble nest. Any uncomfortable environment could result in your betta fish, lacking the urge to build a nest.


If you were wondering why your betta fish are creating bubble clusters on the surface of the water, you now know that it is normal. Fish that build and guard bubble nests are known as aphrophils, and betta fish are one of them. The male fish is responsible for making the nests, finding a partner to spawn with, and looking after the eggs for dirt and maturity.

Bubble nests are made from blowing air mixed with saliva on the surface of the water to make bubbles for storing breeding eggs. Female betta fish rarely blow bubble nests unless they have no mate in their aquarium tank. The frequency of blowing bubble nests among betta males could vary according to the conditions of the tank, such as availability of food, warmth, and clean water.

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