hi moderators! im new here, ive got a couple questions to ask. first, im preparing for my first attempt at spawning my bettas and i had wanted to start a new thread to kind of just ask EVERYBODY about what im stuck on but i cant figure out how. im wondering if maybe im not able to yet because im new? second (and in the event i cant post a new thread because im new) i wanted to ask your advice, in hopes that one of you pros has some solid answers. its kind of a long intro, so im going to condense it as much as possible. ive got an orange/red pineapple male ct im planning on spawning with a opaque/white bodied, red finned female ct (she has a red splotch on her head, too! its cute...shes a redhead) and so far ive done my homework...and then i did it again, but there are a few areas in which i still have questions i cant find answers to. ive got the breeding tank set up properly, ive got prospective owners lined up for at least 40 fish. ive got individual canisters en route to seperate the males when the time comes, my breeding pair are currently being conditioned with hikari frozen brine shrimp with spirulina, daphnia, tubifex worms, bloodworms and their standard hikari betta pellets. theyre looking great! my first questions are about fry food. this is my first experience breeding OR raising live food so im a bit scketchy. i just started microworm and vinegar eel cultures, those seem pretty idiot proof, so no questions there (although advice will be greatly appreciated) i have brine shrimp eggs en route to set up a hatchery. my question is about infusoria. ive scoured the net and come back frustrated. it seems like there are 2 schools of thought on infusoria, breeders either cant live without it or theyre scared to death of it. i wanted to have some on hand though so i made a culture (just last night) theres a million ways to start this stuff it seems and everyone thinks their method is gospel. i just picked the one that made the most sense to me (shredded lettuce leaves boiled for 2 to 3 mins to speed breakdown, tank water from my planted community tank, put it in quart sized clear jug, covered it with foot of pantyhose (my idea) to keep bugs out and let oxygen in, set it in the light next to the breeding tank because i dont have any really sunny windows) now, heres where i want to pull my hair out, everyone disagrees about how to tell when the infusoria has bloomed. some say the infusoria will look pink, others say cloudy gray or green but look for suspended particles in the water, ugh. thats not even my main concern. my biggest worry is how long a shelf life it has...i figured if it reeks throw it out but is there a golden rule? and can i start a second culture from an established one or do i need to start from scratch again? i cant find these answers anywhere. Second, i am trying to get a fishie first aid kit together. i want to know if its a good idea to treat the breeding tank with something before spawning to minimize the risk of bacterial infection/fungal infection? i also want some advice on what products to have on hand for the afore mentioned problems. i know better than to use maracyn, i did a ton of research and i ordered seachem kanaplex from ebay (gotta love ebay) i also have on hand "jungle" brand "lifeguard all in one treatment" but ive never used it. the active ingredients are tetramethyl & imidazolidinine. it claims to be effective against fungus and bacterial disease but i got it at wal mart and my general rule of thumb is "if wally world has it, its crap" so again, i dunno. i really would sleep better at night if i could treat the breeding tanks water with an anti fungal/bacterial before spawning but then again ive never done it so what would i know? so anyway i ordered the kanaplex because a lot of breeders swear by it, but im thinking i might need something else in addition in case of emergencies....? other than those things im feeling pretty confident. im sorry it was so long winded but honestly, its a long story! please let me know about the posts and answer some of these questions if you can. Also, you guys are doing a great job here, i love this website! Thank You!!