Why Betta Fish Make a Bubble Nest

Betta fish have various signs of letting you know they are happy and healthy. Betta fish will keep to a consistent pattern or routine unless something is wrong. To decipher your betta emotions, you will have to spend a portion of your day watching them.

Take note of their activities, their eating patterns, and even their resting time. If your betta is happy, he will have a good appetite, be energetic and interactive. Another way to tell if they are happy; they will build a bubble nest.

Why do betta fish make bubble nests? Males create the bubble nest to prepare for mating. This is an instinctive, natural process that can happen as much as every day or have a time frame of once a month. After the male makes the nest, he will hang out under the nest, waiting for a mate.

The nest will float on the top of the water. It looks like a big bunch of small bubbles. After the male makes the nest, he will hang out under the nest, waiting for a mate. The male generally makes bubble nests, but the female will try to produce a bubble nest on infrequent occasions. 

Bubble nests are normally made close to an object that breaks the surface of the water. This will form the base of the bubble nest. The bubble nest is created from air bubbles coated in saliva to increase its strength and longevity. If you have any type of floating decorations in the tank, the male betta will most likely build the nest under the floating decoration.

At What Age Do Betta Fish Make A Bubble Nest?

A male will reach his prime mating age between 4 months and 1 year old. During this time frame, your male betta may make a bubble nest once a day, once a week, or once a month. It all depends on his urge to build.

It is natural behavior when they are out in the wild. They get a sudden urge to build a nest, and that is what they do.

After your betta fish turns a year old, the making of the bubble nest will be few and far between, if at all. The urge to do so will go away because they have passed their prime mating age. Sometimes, even in their prime, they will not build a bubble nest.

This could be because of health, water parameters, and just the fish itself. Otherwise, plan to see anywhere from a dozen bubbles or thousands of bubbles clustered in the corner of your aquarium. 

Does A Bubble Nest Mean Your Betta Is Happy?

Bubble nests are just one way to ensure that your fish is happy and healthy. Do not be alarmed if your betta doesn’t build a bubble nest, ever. Other things make your betta fish happy, and he has many ways to show you that he is happy.

Building a bubble nest also shows that your fish is stable and feels safe in his environment. Adequate live plans will help create a calm, stress-free environment for your better. This alone will make your betta fish happy and healthy. 

Does There Have To Be A Female Betta Present For A Bubble Nest?

Interestingly enough, no, a female betta fish doesn’t have to be present for the male to begin building a bubble nest. Males create these nests instinctively. It is part of nature, as mentioned above.

Female or no female, male bettas will just get an urge to make a nest. The nests will vary in size and thickness, as mentioned above. Your betta fish’s personality can sometimes be a factor in the size of the bubble nest. 

Do Female Betta Fish Build Bubble Nests?

As I mentioned in the beginning, it is primarily the male who takes the job of building the bubble nest. On rare occasions, some females will take on the role of the nest maker. Every once in a while, as the male betta builds the bubble nest, the female will go over and lend a fin.

But for the most part, the female betta stays away from the building of the bubble nests. If you do have a female that seems to build a stable, well-developed bubble nest, chances are; it is not a female betta fish.

If a female is in the tank alone, she will never make a bubble nest. If you see bubbles in your tank, it is probably because your female betta has gone to the surface to take a breath or two.

Can I Remove A Bubble Nest From My Aquarium?

There are no known reasons to remove a bubble nest. They will dissipate on their own in time. It doesn’t affect the water chemistry in any way. If your betta happens to build his nest around cleaning time, you can scoop it out with a cup. Be extremely gentle when removing and replacing the bubble nest once the aquarium is clean.

The bubble nest will last about 2 weeks. If you do not have a female and feel that the bubble nest is an eyesore in your tank, you can remove it. But beware, your male will just build another one when he gets the urge again. That could be as soon as the next day.

Remember, we never know when or how often a male betta fish will get the urge to build a bubble nest. 

Reasons That Your Betta May Not Make A Bubble Nest

There are other reasons that your betta fish may not make a bubble nest besides his age.

  • FLOATING DECORATIONS: If you have floating decorations, your betta has probably built the nest under it. Out in the wild, betta fish will often build their bubble nests under floating objects.
  • WATER TEMPERATURE: Check the water temperature. Betta fish prefer their environment to be between 78 and 82 degrees. If your water temperature is over or under the ideal range, it could very well be the reason that your fish is not building a bubble nest. 
  • FILTRATION: If your filtration has a strong water current, they have probably tried to make a nest, and the current has destroyed it. If you can turn down the water flow, then you need to do so. 
  • WATER QUALITY: If your tank isn’t clean and your pH levels are elevated, your betta may not feel well enough to build a nest. Make sure you do regular maintenance and water changes on your tank. This keeps your aquarium healthy, and in turn, your betta fish will be happy and healthy.

Encourage Your Betta To Make A Nest.

You can do a few simple things to make sure your betta is happy, stable, and safe in their environment. In turn, it may prompt them to build a bubble nest. 

  1. If you have just 1 male betta fish, and that is highly recommended, you need to have him in at least 2-gallons of water. However, 5-gallons would be better. This gives you plenty of space to decorate, and it also gives your betta fish plenty of space to swim.
  2. Always buy the standard, rectangular aquarium. Curved or concave tanks will distort your betta’s vision, causing them stress and anxiety. 
  3. Your decorations are a huge factor in your betta being happy and healthy. Betta fish love live plants. If the leaves are large enough, they will rest on them or hide under them.
  4. You can add a plastic castle or ship, giving the betta hiding spots for their alone time. Add a couple of small items that float on the surface of the water. 

You can try to introduce a female to the tank, but you have to be very careful. You will need to have some kind of clear divider in the aquarium to see each other, but they can not physically be near each other.

Do not leave the female in the tank for long periods of time. This can place undue stress on both of the betta fish.

Betta fish are extremely territorial, especially the males. It is highly recommended to not have 2 betta fish in the same tank for safety sake. If you feel your betta is lonely, do some research and see what other fish are safe in the same tank as your betta fish.  


If this is your first time owning a betta fish, you may have found it strange to see a cluster of bubbles in your aquarium. It probably even worried you a little bit, unless you did plenty of research on the betta fish and their behaviors.

The betta fish are beautiful, active, and hard fish that are pleasurable to watch and interact with. 

To keep your betta fish and any other fish happy and healthy, keep your water temperature between 78 and 82 degrees, remember to do routine maintenance and regular water changes, and have plenty of decorations.

Unless you find fish that your betta can live with, he will be all alone in the tank. Just like any other pets, the betta needs decorations and toys to keep them occupied. 

Remember, just because your betta fish doesn’t build a bubble nest doesn’t mean he isn’t happy or healthy. Reread above for the reasons that some betta fish do not build nests.

As long as your fish has clean water, has an active appetite, and lots of energy, then he is happy and healthy. Enjoy his company and interactive nature. 

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