Breeding Plakat Betta Fish - Experience, Tips, and Tricks

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By Linh Nguyen Updated on 22 Feb 2023

Since moving into my own home, I’ve been so excited to make some of my dreams a reality. One of those dreams has been to breed fish on my own and after significant research, I decided that the Plakat Betta Fish was the perfect choice for me. Breeding these vibrant and beautiful fish requires time and effort, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when you see the offspring emerging from their eggs! In this blog post, I will share with you all about my journey learning how to breed Plakat Bettas; what worked for me as well as what didn’t work out quite like planned. From selecting compatible pairs to raising healthy fry - I’ll discuss every step along the way in hopes of inspiring others who may also have an interest in breeding fish.

A Plakat Betta Fish

A Plakat Betta Fish

1. Prepare

To prepare for breeding betta Plakat, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your fish have the best chance at producing healthy fry. Here are some things to do.

  1. Of course, the tank is the first thing you need to prepare: Styrofoam containers, plastic tubs, cement tanks, and glass tanks.
  2. Indian almond leaves help fish make foam nests easily, especially in anchovies.
  3. Cages: Plastic bottles, partitions, etc. Let the male and female fish get used to each other, avoiding biting at first sight.
  4. Place of the aquarium should be cool, avoiding noise and strong collisions.

2. Choose brood fish

Breeding Plakats can be one of the most rewarding things, but it is a challenge at first. However, there is a degree of hardness that drives many prospective breeders away from the betta. The fry is so small it can be hard to keep alive and oftentimes books give incomplete or wrong information or do not even cover enough information about fry care. 

I encountered this when I was just beginning to keep and breed bettas. One thing that I must say now is that there are many ways of keeping and breeding bettas and what works for me may or may not work for you. All I can tell you is to try many things and pick or make a way that will work for you.

The first step in breeding bettas is choosing your pair. Look for what is as close to what you are wanting in your strain. If you're looking for reds, look for the best color reds that have no blue wash or iridescences. Make sure that both the male and female have good body structure, have no bent fins, that they have all their fins, make sure they're not ill, that they are the right age, and carry good genes. A helpful tip is to try breeding pet store bettas before going out and spending a ton of money on the more expensive ones so you don't wind up finding out that you're not cut out for bettas after spending a small fortune.

Choose high-quality breeds that meet the criteria for your breeding purposes. Here are some notes:

  1. Choose breeds of parents from reputable places.
  2. Betta fish reproduce well at any age, ideally between 4 and 12 months old.
  3. In the wild, female bettas will observe how males fight and win territory in order to choose a winner to mate with. Therefore, the more aggressive and healthier males are typically selected.
  4. Never underestimate the female, as it will affect the brood more than the male.
A Plakat female with many eggs

A Plakat female with many eggs

3. Conditioning

After you have your pair you will need to condition them. To condition, Plakats means to get them ready to breed and produce more Plakats for you. In conditioning, there are certain points to keep in mind such as how long to condition the fish and what to do when conditioning them.

Let's begin...Conditioning your Plakats should take at least 1 to 4 weeks maximum. The reason why it is so long is that the fishes need time to recuperate and recover from certain conditions. If you've owned them for say about one to two months, then probably about 1 or 2 weeks is good enough for conditioning.

Feeding is the most important factor in conditioning Plakats for breeding. Live foods are the best choice, but in some cases where live foods may not be available, dry or flake foods may be considerable. Mosquito larvae are very good, but the disadvantage is that during the season when there abundant only can you get them. After that period of time, they're unavailable, but my Plakats love mosquito larvae. Freeze-dried bloodworms are the next best choice for your Plakat. You can feed your Plakats 2 to 4 times a day, but in small portions for the conditioning period.

Keep in mind that your water must be clean all the time. The cleaner the water, the better shape your Plakat will be. It also reduces health problems that could arise during this time. Depending on how big of a tank or bowl you keep your Plakat in, you should change the water from once or twice a week to probably only once a week.

Also, a little tip is to let the male flare with another male through his jar for about 2 hours every day for two times a day. Another tip is to keep your female out of the committee tank and by herself in a jar so she will get fatter with eggs. 

The conditioning period is a time to prepare for this occasion. You do not send out a soccer player that has not had his training yet out in the field and expect him to do well. This is where I'm getting at. Even at times when we all think that we did everything right, it turns out to be unexpected. As for the female Plakat, this time is more towards her health and vigor of the pair than for egg development. During this time, your female will most likely produce more eggs.

Breeding Plakat Bettas in Outdoor Tub from Kaimuki Backyard

4. Spawning

Setting up the spawning is a fairly simple task that is made hard by wrong information. For beginners, many books tell you to use a two-gallon tank to breed your bettas in. But what most people will find when they use such a small tank is dead fry. The problem with using such a small tank is that the ammonium builds up faster and either more water changes must be done or less fry per tank. Also, Plakats can have up to 100 or more fry per spawn, and as the fry grows they will need to be moved and this can hurt the fry if they are less than a month old. So the solution to this is to use larger tanks. Five gallons and ten gallons make much better spawning tanks.

Take the tank and fill it up halfway with water or so the water is about 1 inch above the top of the sponge filter.

Next, take a cup and cut it in half both. Take this cup and tape it to the side of the tank so that 1/2 inch to one inch of it is below the water. This is where the male will most likely make his nest. In the wild bettas make their nest under leaves and I believe this mimics that. 

The third thing to do is add plants. I prefer to live but the plastic one works too. If you use live plants you will need to debug them. You can do this by taking a pot of water that is about 80 degrees F and one that is about 60 degrees F, and then dip the plants from one pot to another about 7 to 8 times. The hot to cold will make most if not all bugs come off.

Last but not least, take a bag or something and put it over the top of the tank so that will keep cool air from hitting the surface of the water.

Introducing the pair can be tricky. Put the male into the tank and then put the female in a jar inside the tank. The male will flare at the female and you might see them make 'S' motions with their bodies or the female will take on vertical stripes. But do not let the female out until the male has a nest. If the male is slow or is new at this you can take a spoon and remove some nest from another male and put that under the cup. The male should then get the idea and get to work on a nest. Once he has a nest let the female out and keep an eye on them. The male should go after the female but she can hide in the plants. If the female goes after the male then you should try again with another male or female.

Do not be worried if the male tears some of the female's fins or if the male gets his fins torn. Spawning is rough for these fish and torn fins will happen. It may take up to a week or more till they spawn. Most people will tell you not to feed them while together, but as for me, I think they should be fed every day until they spawn. Then after that don't feed the male till after he is taken out.

When they do spawn the female will come under the nest in a nose-down and tail-up position. The male will flare at her and you will see a little white dot between the female's ventral fins. This dot will stick out farther than ever before when about to spawn. The male will come up and begin to make 'S' shapes around her. He might mess up many times before he gets the embrace right and he squeezes her eggs out. After she drops her eggs and the embrace is over the male will go after the eggs and get them in his mouth and then spit them into the nest. The female will lie motionless at the top on her side for a little while. Then she might help in getting the eggs and putting them into the nest.

Betta birth control is something that can keep you from ending up with so many fries that they all die. Simply take the female out after she has spawned a few times and you see eggs drop each time.

After spawning is complete, take the female out or the male will kill her. Then let the male stay in the tank until the eggs hatch and the fry are free swimming and remember no food for dad during this time!


All in all, breeding Plakat Betta fish has been a highly rewarding experience and opened my eyes to the many different options available for aquarists. From beginner betta breeders to experienced experts, there’s something for everyone interested in Plakat Betta fish. The first step is to purchase healthy specimens of the Betta fish and select which mutations you would like, followed by meticulous cleaning and maintenance of their habitat. Moreover, when choosing their environment and identifying their genders it is important to pay attention because any mistakes can disrupt the cycle of breeding them. During the process, I learned more than I ever thought possible about these species, making me even more keenly aware of how much life expands within such a tiny being. Lastly, if anyone who reads this blog post has prior knowledge or ideas when it comes to breeding Plakat Betta Fish or has any questions regarding what I have written please feel free to let me know in the comment below!

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