7 Reasons Your Betta Fry Keep Dying (& What To Do)

Betta Fries have a survival rate of 90%, so if yours are dying, it’s not a very common thing. With that being said, if you’re having trouble keeping your Bettas alive, you’re definitely doing something wrong, and something has to change, so let’s explore the possibilities. 

Though it’s not a common thing for Bettas to perish, there are several reasons that it may be happening to you. Poor maintenance, the condition of your tank water, and improper feeding habits are the three leading factors that you need to be concerned about. 

Why Do My Betta Fry Keep Dying?

If your Betta Fry is dying, it’s likely that it’s not too late, and things are still in your control. If you have other fish swimming around in the same tank, they are immediately suspect, but unless you have actively observed aggressive behavior, it’s not something that’s automatically assumed. 

  • Poor water conditions
  • Poor feeding habits
  • Maintenance issues
  • Parasites
  • Chemical toxins in the tank
  • pH levels are off
  • Ammonia and Nitrates are up

These are just a few of the problems that could be occurring within the tank, so we’ll start from the beginning and work our way through each one. 

Poor Water Conditions

There are a variety of ways that your tank could reach a point where the water conditions are no longer suitable for your Betta fish or Betta Fry. Of course, it’s easily reversible, and if you’ve ever considered an aquaponics system, now would be the time to embrace it fully. 

Ammonia and Nitrates

Ammonia levels are your primary enemy, and you want to do everything that you can to keep those levels down. The act of reproducing and the waste created by your Betta(s) are the leading factor in ammonia uptick within tanks. 

You can eliminate this in a few ways. First, change your water and keep it fresh by changing it at least once a week. This is especially helpful if you have an ailing Betta and/or it’s a recurring problem. 

Straighten Out the pH

Raise your pH level to the appropriate rate, which is between 7 – 7.4. If you have a lot of Bettas in the tank, this is especially important because the waste byproducts from both the fish and the food that you put in the tank will build up over time. 

Poor Feeding Habits

You should never overfeed your fish. For one, it makes them unhealthy, and they produce more waste if they consume more food. Also, the residual food that isn’t eaten decomposes in the water, increasing the levels of toxins and contamination.

Maintenance Issues

The tank needs a thorough cleaning periodically. The more Bettas you own in a single tank, the more often the tank needs to be cleaned. You should consider cleaning it once a week, regardless.

When you clean the tank, it involves scrubbing every surface and using a mild detergent and a thorough rinse on all of the rocks or pebbles that you have on the bottom. Also, if the tank is aerated, check and replace your filters on time. 


The most common parasite that affects a Betta or Betta Fry is the Gill Fluke. You need to treat your Betta Fry or Bettas with PraziPro (dose according to the instructions). You also need to do a thorough cleaning of the tank.

Chemical Toxins in the Tank

This can happen in a variety of ways. Perhaps you got something on your hands, something spilled, or one of the kids got a little reckless. Either way, the best method to right the situation is the same as that listed above, a full and thorough tank cleaning. 

Can Betta Fry Survive?

Assuming that all of the conditions in your tank are ripe for survival, then a Betta Fry will likely survive and thrive, growing into a healthy young Betta. Of course, if they hatch into a hostile environment, their chances drop significantly right off the bat.

If you’re breeding Bettas, it’s that much more important to go through the list of things above and make sure that the tank that they are born in has all of the qualities that any fish would need to survive. 

If you’re regularly cleaning your tank or changing the filters on the aerator (if applicable), testing the water routinely to ensure that the nitrates and ammonia levels are low and pH is good, then Betta Fries have great odds. 

How Do You Save a Dying Betta Fry?

If your Betta Fry is dying, it’s not too late to do something about it. In fact, the survival rate is quite high if you take care of business immediately.

Get the Tank Cleaned ASAP

The first thing that you need to do is get it into a compatible environment. If it’s been a little while since you changed the tank water, you need to do so immediately. In fact, it’s a good idea to change the water before the female lays eggs.

Do a Deep Cleaning

You should also do a deep cleaning of the tank, including everything that’s in the tank and the small rocks at the bottom. Once everything is thoroughly cleaned and put back in place, replace the water and get your pH levels back up to where they need to do. 

If You Suspect Parasites

If you even think there’s the possibility of parasites in the water, you should start dosing the Bettas, including the Betta Fry, with PraziPro. Anytime you suspect parasites, you should have the tank thoroughly cleaned and the PraziPro administered while they are waiting to go back in the tank. 

Go Easy on the Food

So long as you are not overfeeding, keeping up a good routine when it comes to cleaning the tank, and closely monitoring the pH levels in the tank, you’re Betta Fry should be absolutely fine. 

Waste Products

The material at the bottom of the tank is absolutely essential when you do a deep cleaning. This also includes all of the items or decorative plants that you have in the tank as well. You need to thoroughly clean all of it. It helps if you use a strainer for whatever aggregate you’re using at the bottom. 

You can clean all of the decorative items in warm water with a mild detergent. Just make sure that you thoroughly rinse them off, as you don’t want any of that detergent transferred into the tank. 

Stay on Top of the Temperature

You want the temperature at a constant, anywhere between 76° and 86° Fahrenheit. Bettas will suffer under conditions that are too warm or too cold. 

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How to Keep Your Betta from Dying

The most important thing you can do to supply a safe and healthy environment for your Betta Fry is to stay proactive in taking care of your tank. Of course, there are a few tips to make it easier.

Consider Aquaponics/Hydroponics

Adding live plants to your aquarium environment not only cuts down the level of maintenance that you have to take part in, but it also increases the healthy environment your Bettas need to flourish. 

You can also turn it into a project that supplies you with herbs and spices like you would from your garden. For a small batch, like a handful of Bettas, you won’t need a plant that’s overly large, just something that will drop its roots in the water and suck up all of those annoying ammonia and nitrate byproducts. 

Set Up a Schedule

It’s not easy to always remember to clean—or remember if you’ve already cleaned—your tank. If you have an aquaponics or hydroponics setup, the level of maintenance is reduced but not eliminated. Set yourself a schedule and stick to it no matter what. 

Even with plant roots in the water, you’ll still have to keep track of the ammonia and nitrate levels within and periodically clean the tank as well. Instead of doing it once a week, you’ll only have to do it once every two weeks or so. 

Stay on Top of the pH, Ammonia, and Nitrates

Without an outside system actively reducing these byproducts for you, you’ll have to keep track of it on your own. Ammonia and nitrate increases will usually coincide with the murkiness of the water. You’ll see a noticeable decrease when it comes to visibility. 

You’ll also notice trash or other small debris floating around near the aggregate at the bottom of the tank. If you start to see too much of this stuff, it’s time to clean out the tank thoroughly. 

Feed Them Appropriately

Thankfully, a Betta Fry doesn’t have an extremely limited diet. They thrive on certain things such as:

  • Fairy and baby brine shrimp
  • Micro worms and banana worms
  • Vinegar eels, Infusoria, and Daphnia

Feel free to try Walter worms and Grindal worms if you’re having trouble getting any of the other types of worms. The feeding instructions should be followed meticulously. You don’t want to overfeed or underfeed your Betta Fry because that could result in exactly what you want to avoid here. 

Lighting Requirements

Like people, Bettas—including their young—need darkness at night. It’s a good idea to install LED lighting for them to have throughout the daylight hours. Always remember to switch it off before you go to bed so that they can do the same. 

If they don’t get the kind of rest they require, it will have a detrimental effect on their health and could cause other cascading events that will only exacerbate the problem. 

Don’t Overcrowd

You want a solid twenty gallons of water available for every 100 Betta Fry that you have. They need some wiggle room for certain, but the most important reason is that the more constricted they are, the more difficult it will be for all of them to find food. 

All Things Considered

When Betta Fries have a problem, it’s usually our fault for missing the important things that they need to survive. In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to forget to change their water, always keep it clean, provide them with just the right amount of food, and check the pH levels.

Staying on top of all of those things, including doing a deep cleaning every so often to remove any clingy ammonia and nitrates, is also essential. The best chance that your Betta Fries have is your willingness to be proactive. 

So long as you keep up with cleaning the tank regularly, know how much they should be fed and when, stay ahead of the curve with aquaponics or hydroponics systems, and keep the waste levels down, they’ll survive because they’ll have nothing to threaten them.