If you ever see your male Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) making a bubble nest, be glad. This is a sign that your Betta is healthy and hopeful. He thinks his territory is good enough to make baby Bettas and (no matter how small the tank or bowl) he is positive that a female Betta will suddenly materialize and wish to spawn with him.
What Is The Bubble Nest For?
A Betta's bubble nest is both his bait for the female and a home for the bouncing baby Betta he hopes to create. A female Betta will not spawn with a male who does not have a bubble nest, because he does not have a home provided for the fertilized eggs to go into. This is very wise of the female and is a lesson that we humans can certainly learn from.
After Bettas spawn, each egg does into one of the bubbles, sometimes courtesy of the male Betta placing the ferilized egg inside of each bubble. The bubble acts as a shell. Considering that Bettas live in still water, there wouldn't be any rough waves to rip the bubble nest part. The male then guards his fertile nest with all of the fervor that he possesses.
A couple of fish families make bubble nests. The Betta is in the family of Anabantidae, which are very determined bubble nest builders. Technically, fish that use bubble nests in order to raise their young are called aphrophils.
How Does He Make It?
A Betta makes his bubble nest using his own spit to basically create big spit bubbles. He makes the bubbles by gulping at the surface of the water as oppposed to blowing a bubble like we would do to make bubbles. The eventual bubble is water trapped in fish saliva. Although that doesn't sound like much, it makes a surprisingly firm nest. If you do want to breed Bettas, you must not use a water agitator that will make big enough ripples to break up the bubble nest.
Some Bettas get very frantic and almost seem to be rabid with foam coming out of their quivering bodies. Then, there are other Bettas who are more calm and methodical about the whole matter. Sometimes, you will even hear a slight noise as the bubbles are being made.
There are a variety of factors that can cause a Betta to begin building his bubble nest. These include the presence of a female Betta; being able to glimpse another male Betta (even if in a separate tank); a sudden temperature change; changes in barometric pressure and, quite possibly, the phase of the moon. (OK< that last one was a joke).
Some males Bettas will not make bubble nests. Of course, these seem to coincide with the ones so beautiful and rare that you want to breed them. What you have to do is get another male Betta to make a bubble nest and then carefully transport that nest to the male you want to breed.