You purchase your first betta and do your best to create the perfect home for him – after two days of admiring his beauty, you are stunned to wake up to a tank covered with a mass of floating bubbles. Is this normal? Will it harm him? How do you get rid of it?
To simply answer these questions: yes – no – you can’t.
The bubblenest, in addition to other things, is one way to tell if your betta is happy. A male betta that is capable of breeding is capable of making a bubble nest. If the male feels good enough to breed, he begins creating the home for his fry – the nest.
Usually the nest is built when there are no other distractions in the room that is why it generally “appears” overnight. No one is around to distract him so he begins construction on the nest.
I have had the pleasure, however, to watch my betta DOS build one heck of a nest! They are very diligent at creating the nest. Intently, the betta will take in surface air and move over under his nest and place a single bubble. After many, many bubbles, they can create extremely large, extremely thick nests.
Another question I have been asked is “is it ok to remove the bubblenst when you clean the tank.” Yes, it is ok as the male will just begin again. It is not discouraging to the male to recreate the bubbles. Actually, I think it gives him something constructive to do. It is part of his natural instinct to build the nest. I do know owners who will save a teaspoon full of the bubbles to add back into the freshly cleaned tank. Either way, you are not hurting you betta.
The true purpose of the nest is for harboring the eggs. The male and female will produce and fertilize eggs then the male will carry each egg up into the bubble nest and place it in very carefully. This is important as this is how the fry (babies) develop their labyrnth lung.
Just remember – a bubblenest is a sign of health but not a sign that definitely says your betta is healthy. You must look at all the signs your betta gives you to accurately determine is health and happiness.