Many people who own a properly cared for male Betta fish notice that there are times when they blow bubbles. This is yet another strange behavior that is fairly unique to this already strange fish. The blowing of bubbles by male Betta fish is not a sign of illness or other problems, quite the contrary, this is actually something that only healthy and happy Betta fish will do.
Though for most Bettas that live in people's homes, the behavior is useless, as it relates to breeding, it is a deeply ingrained behavior that many Bettas partake in. For people who witness it, it is a bizarre and fascinating performance.
In short, a Betta fish bubble nest is a tightly packed collection of bubbles blown by a male Betta fish. The bubbles create a dense pocket of bubbles, generally found near the rim of the bowl. In the wild, Bettas will create bubble nets under dead leaves and other debris. These are very efficient at holding in eggs that have been fertilized, and serves to protect the eggs from danger.
How They Are "Built"
Betta fish, as oxygen breathing fish, can blow bubbles for a wide variety of reasons. However, when building a bubble nest, male Bettas will stridently work on their bubble nests, carefully blowing bubbles near the rim of the bowl in order to create a tightly woven nest of bubbles. They can spend hours creating these nests and will diligently create a large bubble nest in one afternoon.
What Are Bubble Nests For?
Several species of Betta fish build bubble nests, including the common variety most have as pets. In the wild, and in breeding tanks, Bettas will spawn under the bubble nets. Once spawning has occurred, the eggs are released and fertilized, the females job in "child rearing" is complete. The male cares for the eggs until they hatch into what are referred to as "fry". The males will place all the eggs in the protective bubble nest and guard it against predators. Should an egg fall from the nest, the males will ensure the safe return to the nest.
While for many of our Bettas, a bubble nest is just an evolutionary endeavor that does not really serve much purpose, it is an interesting form of behavior that many immediately notice about their Bettas - and many wrongly assume that there is something wrong with a Betta displaying this behavior. This is a natural phenomena that is actually a good sign that your male Betta is happy and healthy. If you are looking to breed Betta fish, this is a great sign to look for when trying to determine the best time to actually start breeding your Bettas. The building of a bubble nest is a behavior that indicates the male Betta fish is ready to spawn.