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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was advised to post this article that has been sitting for about half a year.
As always, I'm open to opinions, changes and what ever . . . . so feel free to criticize like crazy.

BREEDING BETTA SPLENDENS

So, you want to breed your bettas? Why do you want to breed? What are you trying to achieve? Do you have the time and money to care for them? What do you plan to do with the offspring? In short DETERMINE A GOAL and PLAN ON HOW TO GO ABOUT IT AND WHAT TO DO WITH THE OFFSPRING.

First of all read this and make sure you have all the needed supplies – both for the breeders and the potential fry.
Breeding Bettas - Considerations and supplies

How many possible fry are we talking about here?
I counted an average of 700 fry from smaller females and over 1300 fry from full grown females. . . . fry, not eggs. So they probably lay more than that. On average most breeders can produce about 300 fry to adult, while better breeders can produce over 700. Beginners often produce less than 100 fry to adult – a good manageable number.

Sex outcome ratio can vary. There are a few myths on this topic. One thing is definite; the ratio is not 50-50. So you need to prepare solitary jars for 75% of the total number of fry, in the least.

1. Age of breeders - more males if male is younger (4 months),
- more females if females is younger (4 months).
2. Temperature - lower temps will produce more females and higher temperature more male.
Lowest advised temperature is 25C/77F – ideal 28C/82.4F – Highest is 31C/87.8F
3. The first three spawn (female) will produce more males, thus many breeders retire or cull their females after her third spawn.

I rely on belief 2 and 3. A first spawn during the hot season may produce 90% males (my highest). 2nd and 3rd spawn during hot season may produce 40-60% males. 4th spawn during hot season = below 30% male. A 4th or more spawn during the cold season may produce 90% females.

The above myths were countered by Basement Betta who posted on August 14, 2012

BASEMENT BETTA – august 14 2012
sex ratio of spawn myths

I'm the QUEEN of all female spawns. Have had most of mine here in TX be 200+ fish and ALL girls. Close to 10 spawns all girls.. and the others were very few males. Amazing I finished 3rd over all on my girls.. lol. I'm getting a lot more males now.

Difference.. I use RO and was reconstituting with RO Right. After some issues and I started to test my water I found the RO Right was just repackaged sea salt. I had no gh. ph was below 7.0 and kh was like 3 and the TDS was 250. Bleck!!

Sooo... changed how I add minerals. My ph is now 7.2, gh is 3-4 and kh is 5-6. TDS is around 150. Add a splash if mico nutrients and much happier plants and fish. BIG plus is now I have males.

Other consideration is ammonia in a spawn tank. Could be it gets high and affectes the fertilization or early formation of the fry. Had issues with that too till now I keep ammonia next to zero.

My experience with the all female spawns didn't make a difference on fish size or temp.. as had them with variables there.

That’s what you will possibly face. Do you still want to breed?


Water Parameters

There is neither a right nor wrong way to keep, breed and raise this species. Probably, the only “absolute” necessity for them is water chemistry – there is a certain requirement for these fish to survive and thrive. But even this can vary because they are fairly adaptive. Remember;
TO BE A GOOD BREEDER YOU MUST LEARN TO BE A GOOD FISH KEEPER. TO BE A GOOD FISH KEEPER YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO KEEP YOUR WATER.

Fahrenheit
75,2
77
78.8
80.6
82.4
84.2
86
87.8
89.6
91.4
93.2
95
Celsius
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35


Since they are tropical fish, consequently they need warm water between 75-86F (24 – 30), 82.5F or 28C being ideal. They can survive, though not thrive, in the extreme low and specially high ends. In lower temperatures they are less active and often become lethargic. It is not advisable to breed them in the lower end. They are more tolerant with higher temperatures and will readily breed. The down side is that egg/fry development is increased thus may create weaker specimens.

Like most fish, they ideally need a pH of 7 (neutral) but can tolerate between 6-8.5. Most spring, well, or tap water sources have a pH in this range. Low or high pH (in that range) doesn’t seem to affect egg/fry development, not enough to cause problems in their development.

Water hardness is the concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water. The more minerals, the harder the water. Most tap water around the world is adequate for bettas. But Spring and well water in certain areas may have to be tested. The ideal water hardness is between 5-20 dGH or 70-300 ppm. An easy testing method (if you don’t have water testers) is by adding detergent to the water. If the detergent immediately disperses, the water is soft enough for your bettas. Otherwise pure water (RO) need to be added to the water.

For further reading on water, take a look at this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...water-hardness-ph-freshwater-aquarium-188705/

Water hardness within the acceptable ranges should not influence egg nor fry development. But in the long run it will affect fin development and maintenance - mainly modern fin types. Halfmoons need rather medium water hardness while Crown tails need softer water. Otherwise their fins won't spread to the maximum potential and may curl instead.

The most important aspect about water is STABLE parameters. Fluctuations in an attempt to acheive ideal conditions may do more harm than good. A stable temperature of 77F with a pH of 8.5 and hardness of 200 ppm is better than fluctuating conditions which will probably kill the betta.




UNDERSTANDING YOUR BETTA - Choosing your breeders

Breeding age vs size
We are talking about Betta splendens, a species that has many different forms and colors. All of which can be bred/cross bred to each other. But it is unadviseable to just take a pair of bettas and toss them in the breeding tank. Determining a goal will help you choose which pair to breed.

How old can they be bred? Most bettas become sexually mature after 4 months. Some, specially females, will breed at a younger age. This is in part influenced by their growth rate. Often, the faster they grow, the sooner they will breed. Nevertheless it is unadvised to breed them too soon unless there is a specific goal to be achieved. For example, planning to breed daughter/son back to father/mother.

Breeders have their own views on breeding age. Some have no problem with breeding young bettas while others prefer to wait until they are older. But most will agree that they can be bred between 4-12 months, while the ideal breeding age is between 5-8 months.

To my experience young males, though sexually mature, may not be mentally mature enough to care for their eggs and fry. In fact some will eat the eggs instead of rearing them. Breeding young females is easier since their duty end after releasing eggs. Whether breeding young males or females, sometimes the problem lies in their form. They haven’t fully developed yet thus we can’t see any genetic flaws they may carry. This is important when our goal is improving their form.

What about the bettas we bought? We don’t know their age. In these cases I rely on size. I will readily breed them if their bodies are a minimum of 3cm (about 1.2”). I would breed smaller females, but never smaller males. The downside of breeding smaller females is the number of eggs laid. The smaller the female, the less eggs it produces. Further, though many breeders do not share the same belief, smaller females may sometimes produce smaller eggs which to my experience has lower hatch rate and or higher mortality.

Understanding Rays
This should give you a general idea on how to choose the breeding pair for form breeding, which is often related to ray breeding.

Rays are the “ bone structure” of fins. Large rays will make the fins look thick and firm while thin rays make them look wavy when they swim. Webbing is the tissue between the rays which also influences fin spread. Crown Tails have reduced webbing – their webbing doesn’t extend to the end of the rays, allowing rays to protrude beyond the webbing,

Most VT and traditional PK (and fighters), plus some CT only have primary and secondary rays (2 ray). Meaning their primary rays branch once (secondary ray) giving them 2 end rays.

HM’s rays branches twice or more – primary (11 rays) branches into 2 secondary rays which then branch into 2 – 4 rays each (tertiary rays). So when talking about a 4 ray betta, people are referring to the end ray – from 1 primary (base) branches into 4 tertiary (end) rays. And 8 rays means that the secondary rays branched into 4 rays each, totaling 8 tertiary (end) rays.

DT’s caudal and dorsal can reach to 16 or more primary rays, while the anal can exceed 24 rays. The secondary and tertiary ray branching depends on the type of DT (DTVT, DTHM). This fin type is often used to increase the number of rays in modern types.




Illustration of HM rays



Rays - copy.jpg End ray -copy.jpg


Choosing color
Betta color do not mix like paint colors. Each color has its own genetic codes. Some of which cannot combine and form a new color mix. Instead they exhibit two or more different colors.

For more details read
Color Genetics Guide


Inbreeding
When breeding for certain traits (color and or form), inbreeding is often required to fix the desired traits into the line. That is breeding brother to sister, daughter to father, son to mother, etc. Unlike mamals, bettas are safe to be inbred. Some even say it’s safe to inbreed for 8 generations, though many say 6 is the limit.

With luck you should produce your desired trait in the third generation and get it fixed in the fourth. In reality inbreeding for certain traits may take longer because their actual genetic codes aren’t always visible thus we might not breed the right pair or the ones with the expected traits didn’t survive.

In such cases and when only one parent’s trait is desired, offspring can be bred to their parent – daughter to father or son to mother. This should genetically strengthen the desired trait – reducing the number of generations needed to achieve goals. If it is possiible, breed F2 (second generation) to the original parent. Usually by F3 the original parent would be too old to be bred so you would have to continue your line by inbreeding siblings.

Breeding daughter to father shouldn’t be a problem because bigger males can easily spawn with smaller females. But when breeding son to mother, sometimes the son is too small to embrace his mother properly, thus can’t fertilize her eggs. Many breeders facing such probabilities will often deliberately stunt the female’s growth by housing her in small jars/tanks, feeding and water changing sparingly. This should be done as soon as breeding plans are set, before the female has a chance to grow too big. On the other hand, her son should be allowed to grow as rapidly as possible by keeping him in a larger than usual tank, given highly nutritious food plus more water changes.

When both parents carry desired traits, it is unadvised to breed back to parents. Back breeding will enhance one parents trait while weakening the other. It is best to inbreed siblings instead. With luck, if you have the desired traits and if you sellected the siblings correctly, you should achieve your goals in 3-4 generations.

EXAMPLE : DT X CT (two recessive traits)
For The Punnet Square calculation
Read post #4 of Form Breeding

Let’s take creating DTCT as an example – A betta that shows an extended dorsal, two caudal lobes with even 50% web reduction on all fins; The parents are;

DT - extended dorsal, two equal caudal lobes
CT - normal sized dorsal, single caudal lobe, and 50% web reduction on all fins.
· The offspring should all be Crown Double Tail genos, meaning they are neither perfect CT nor DT but a mix of both. They would show uneven web reduction, single or 2 uneven caudal lobes and or long dorsals.

Since we want both of the parent’s traits, we cannot breed the offspring to their parents because that will make one trait genetically stronger than the other. The best way to breed for F2 is choosing a pair of offspring that has an extended dorsal, two caudal lobes and has web reduction. If luck favors us, this should create a few better looking CTDT in F2. It is unadviseable to inbreed DT more than once. So breed a single tail with a long dorsal and web reduction to a CTDT to make more and even better CTDT in F3. In F4, the CTDT should breed true and you can introduce new unrelated genes to the line.


Traits that should not be inbred nor bred to the same trait :
the double tail and rose tail.
These traits carry defected genes which may be passed on to the offspring. Double tails usually can safely be bred to another double tail once (it’s best not to inbreed 2 DT – but to an unrelated DT). But for the following generation, the double tail should be outcrossed to a single tail.

Rose tails, which can be produced by breeding a pair of 8 ray HM, are less tolerant. Breeding 2 rose tails, specially siblings, will most probably produce deformities – small dorsal and ventral fins, bad scale alignment, small and curled caudal, pale color, etc. It is best to breed (if at all) rose tails to an unrelated betta with less ray branching like a delta tail. Once defected genes get into a line, specially the “rose affect”, it is very hard to clean out. Consequently it is wiser to cull literally every single betta from that line. Hopefully the defective genes won’t become fixed to your line.
 

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PREPARING YOUR PAIR
Conditioning
Now that you have chosen your pair, it is a good idea to prepare them for breeding. In general, a healthy betta (or any other fish for that matter) will naturally and instinctively want to reproduce. Therefore keeping them in top health is a must.

Coditioning is a term used for fattening up your bettas before they are bred. This is essential because they use up a lot of energy in the breeding process. The male will most probably fast during the whole courtship - spawning - egg and fry rearing process which could take between 5 to 14 days, depending on how soon they spawn. And the female will have to endure some beating which often can be rather severe. Low health could cause failure and even death to either one.

There is a myth which believes betta’s stomachs are so small that they only need 1-2 foods (pellets, frozen bloodworms, etc) per feeding. Mainly for breeding purposes, I am busting that myth. YOU MUST FATTEN THEM UP which can only be achieved by frequently mass feeding them, 2 – 3 times daily, all they would eat, for about 2 weeks. Use higly nutritious foods; whether pellets, frozen foods or even better, live foods.

Breeding Signs
While you are conditioning your breeder pair, it is a good idea to prepare your breeding tank. Aging the water will allow it to settle, along with live/plastic plants and everything else. This will make the water more stable. Further, aged with live plants will allow infusoria growth which is a good first day meal for your potential fry. Breeding set up will be discussed later, comparing different methods used by breeders.

Within the conditioning period your bettas should become fat and healthy, ready to breed. The male should build a bubble nest. Unfortunately not all males are diligent nest builders. Some males make their nest after they see a responsive female. Some do so during the courtship period. Some after they have spawned or after the eggs are laid. And some never bother making a bubble nest. There are also cases when they make a huge bubble nest in their isolated tanks but won’t make them once they are moved into the breeding tank. Will males breed without bubble nests? We’ll get back to these males in a while.

While males signal us with bubble nests, females show vibrant colors with white-ish vertical bars at their midsection area to indicate their readiness. Unfortunately light colored females will not show these breeding bars because they blend in with the betta’s color. So how do we determine if they are ready? Do pregnant females look different?

There is no such thing as a pregnant nor “eggy” female. ALL females have an ovipositor (white spot under their belly) regardless of age or breeding condition. Whether they are thin and long or fat and short, sexually mature females ALWAYS carry eggs. Like most fish, bettas carry two egg sacks which are always filled with eggs. During the courtship period one of the egg sacks will “ripen” and the eggs become ready to be released (at this point the female’s midsection will look bigger). Only one egg sack will be emptied during each spawn.

Technically speaking, female bettas can be bred every 5 days. They will immediately “refill” their empty egg sack and use up the second sack on the following spawn. By 10 days the first egg sack will be ready for reuse. BUT this practice is not advisable. Considering the injury she received during the first spawn, it would be best if she were given a one month interval between spawns. This will enable her to fully recover before the next beating.

A sure determinant I have always relied on is their body language. Like most fish, if not all, bettas swim differently during fighting mode and breeding mode. They will aggressively flare in both modes, but in the former they will do so and hold their position. If the “opponent” is in a cylinder container, he will flare and circle the cylinder, trying to find a way through to attack the betta on the other side of the glass wall. If they are separated by a flat wall, he might swim left-right for the same reason. He may “whip” his body/fin from time to time during the whole flaring vanity.

In breeding mode both males and female will flare, show off their vibrant colors, and swim in a flirting manner. They will show this behavior even though they are flaring against the same sex. They will flare and swim all over the tank in an “S” fashion. Vigorously wriggling back and forth, hoping the other will follow. After a while the male will try to bite his opponent. So if two males in breeding mode are flared, they may change into fighting mode. This is normal – males often beat the females into submission. Bettas showing this behavior are ready to breed, regardless if males have bubble nests or not or if females show breeding bars or not.

PLEASE REVIEW FOR CLEAR MEANING Nov 11 2013

BREEDING METHOD
As mentioned earlier, there is neither right nor wrong way to breed them. They can be bred in a 1g bowl or 50g tank, in 2” (5cm) or 20” (50cm) water depth. They can be bred in bare or densly planted tanks. Each breeder must find what works best for him/her in accordance to their time, space, money, and availability of fish foods and fish related resources, plus their betta’s character of course. That being said, I will only discuss the basic idea of the method so each breeder can tweak it to suit their own needs and preference.

Breeding Containers
All sorts of containers could be used for breeding. Some prefer glass tanks because it is easier to see everything in the tank; spawning, eggs/fry and daily developments. The downside of glass tanks is that they are more expensive and hold less stable temperature. Since glass is a rather good heat conductor, temperatures in the tank may fluctuate in accordance to changes in the surrounding air temperature. But these fluctuations are actually not significant enough to cause problems, unless the surrounding temperature drops significantly and remains low for days. Either way, this condition can be fixed by using adjustable submersible water heaters.

Plastic containers, tubs, buckets; is cheaper and is said can maintain temperature better. The downside of using plastic containers is the inability to view the contents thus more difficult to see fry development, uneaten food, fry wastes, and possible problems. Even when using clear plastics, view is rather limited.

Clay containers are by far the best in terms of temperature stability. Unfortunately it is inefficient for most other things; storage, view, cleaning, etc. Therefore only small clay containers are easily manageable which could only be used for breeding and fry must be moved soon after free swimming.

Breeding set ups are best bare bottom. If you must use substrate, use fine grained substrates such as sand. This will make egg collectiion easier. Eggs caught inbetween pebbles will rot and foul the water to a certain level.

Hideouts are optional. They will breed with or with out them. But the more hideouts, the safer it is for the female – specially if the male is very vicious.

Nest area can be determined by providing something floating where you want them to nest – whether a half styrofoam cup, plastic bubble wrap, IAL leaf, or simply adark cover above the area.

Introducing the pair could be done by floating the female in a jar, lamp chimney, or even an open clear plastic bag. You could also put her in another tank beside the male, separated by card board or anything dark. Separate introduction is safer for the female because the male can’t get to her until you release her. But it also poses the disadvantage of early egg laying if late releasing the female. If you know she is willing to breed, you could put her in the breeding tank at the same time as the male. But the risk of the female getting hurt is higher because the male could attack her anytime during the courtship period.

Small container method
1. 6 x 6 x 10” (15 x 15 x 25cm) filled 2/3 full
2. 10 x 10 x 3” (25 x 25 x 7.5cm) filled 2/3 full
3. 12 x 12 x4” (30 x 30 x 10cm)filled 1/2 full . . . . . or whatever small container.

The advantages of smaller containers are faster courtship and spawning time. The limited space will put both in sight at all times, thus more focussed on breeding. It definitely is less stressful for the male as he needs less energy due to the limited area to search for scattered eggs/fry. And he doesn’t need to dive deep to retrieve eggs/fry. Smaller containers also makes it easier to transfer fry to bigger grow outs. After acclimating the water, simply pour everything into the grow out tank.

Smaller containers will allow the pair to focus on breeding. Unfortunately the smaller the width, the less protection can be given to the female. Vicious males can easily kill the female.Though the container can be densely planted with stem plants like anacharis, but they will make swimming difficult for both male and female. Thus the male may not be able to properly care for the eggs. This may induce fry culling by the male, leaving you with a smaller number of fry.Further, removing the parents without disturbing the eggs or fry would be more difficult too. This may become annoying if the parents are more skitish. The disturbance may in turn cause egg eating by the male. Installing heaters may also be a problem.

A wider width, though small in terms of water volume, will make several tasks easier; more feasible for using hide outs for the female and easier to remove the parents when the time comes. But installing heaters may still be a problem for cold areas.

Populer Method(Advised method for first time breeders)
A more popular method is using a 10g tank/container filled about 4-6” (filled to the top is also common practice). Some breeders prefer a bare tank method while others use hideouts in the form of live plants densely placed in 1 half or corner of the tank. Plastic caves can also provide protection for the female. More choices of plants can be added, whether for protection purposes, nesting areas, or micro critter cultures as first day fry feeders. Nest areas can be provided like the above method.Be sure to set up the nesting area opposite to the hideouts.

Heaters and filters of choice can easily be added, heaters to keep the temperature stable since the day the pair were introduced and filters for later use, once fry are either free swimming or big enough to withstand little current.

Though this method may cause a longer courtship period, but it is far safer for the female because she has more space to run and more hiding places can be provided. The available space should make the male comfortable enough not to cull his fry. 10 gallon tanks/tubs is ideal for fry – not too small but not too big as too much space may make it difficult for fry to find food.

Another advantage is not needing immediate water changing which should also be easier since there is more space. If filled 4-6”, you can add 1g of water daily until it is full enough. By then fry should be stronger to avoid mild siphoning. To be safer, always use a drip system method to refill water. Slow changes in water parameters will be much safer for fry.
 

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Methods Successfully Used By Breeders
Here are a few examples – same basic idea but tweaked to suit each breeders preference.

Myate’s Method
I condition anywhere from 3-7 days, usually don't let them see any other betta the whole time. Sometimes I'll let the pair see each other off and on, and some they don't see each other at all. It depends on which pair it is for me.. some need that time alone to become aggressive, otherwise they will be too docile or basically "bored of the other fish" as they usually see each other 24/7 when not conditioning.

Fill up a 10g with a few inches of water, place in a plastic tub about the size of a shoe box with holes in the sides to allow a flow of water (fill tub with water.. it's a balancing act to get enough water in tank and in tub so tub doesn't float away, but there is enough water in tank to cover heater.. yet not too much water in tub so female can jump out).
Turn sponge filter on very low.
Live plants on the outside of the tub but in the tank.
Heater set to 84-88F
2 large IAL leaves in the 10g outside the tub, broken into 4s. One large IAL leaf broken in half in the tub (large = 8-12")
Place male in tub that's in the tank, then immediately place female in a chimney in the tub.
6-24hrs later (depending upon female) let her loose..
Usually this method I have eggs anywhere from a couple hours to a day, one time it took a virgin pair a week to breed doing it that way.

After fry are free swimming will gently tip them into the tank and that's that. Usually I remove the male then, but that also depends.. currently one spawn has no male, the other has a male in with them.. they are both about a week and a half old.
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LadyVictorian’s Method
Tried breeding virgins in a 10 gallon tank and after 3 days nothing happened, they were constantly being distracted by things outside the tank so you can bet I'll never do that again.

Bucket: This has been working MUCH better as their is less runaround space and the fish start getting to work faster, only setback is I can't see the nest from my point of view as it is under a leaf and with the top down view it's hard to know if they are blowing the nest still or already breeding. Also I am thinking it will be hard to see if their are eggs in the nest and when the fry hatch. I'll have to get creative with that one...and moving the fry will be a pain.

Some methods I want to try out is certainly the one above that Jayloo mentioned. However keep some of my idea's such as the half cut cup which I got from a lot of breeders here in MN to help encourage the male to build his nest under that.

Another thing I want to try is something I got from a breeder in MN who breeds outside from June to August. He sets up small pools that are all naturally planted and breeds in them (not doing this with virgins). He covers the tops with large mesh lids he makes himself for bugs to lay their larva in the water and releases his pair after 5 days conditioning. After the fry are freswimming he removes the male and lets the fry grow up in the pools feeding off larva and MW and BBS. He's had great luck with it and I have been interested in trying it myself.
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Mattsbettas’ Method
Conditioning: For two weeks, the future parents (hopefully) are fed new life spectrum pellets three times a day to total twelve pellets, and they get one serving of fresh or frozen food. For the first week, the female gets to see the male for 10-15 minutes a day, and for the last week they are isolated. It is usually suggested to expose them to each other for the full length of conditioning but I find and have read that basically, lonleyness makes the heart grow fonder. Water changes are also increased to mimic the rainy season, which is when they naturally breed.

Spawn tank: Basic ten gallon tank half filled with an adjustable 100w heater set to ~82 degrees. It should have hiding spots, but not to many hiding spots. I have talked to another breeder and we both agree that the female needs hiding spots to escape from the male, but to many hiding spots make it take longer. Also, ial is added.

Introduction and spawning: The male is let into the tank in the morning, the female is introduced via glass chimney or open bag floating in the evening or at night, and the next morning, if both are ready, they are allowed together. I make everything is going well and watch them carefully but am also careful not to disrupt them.

After spawn: The female is taken out in the least disruptive way possible. If she is beat up, she is qt'ed and treated if necessarily. On my last spawn the male was very gentle, only ripping the anal fin a few times, so I added her strait back into the sorority. The male is left alone with the eggs, the light is left on during the day and a flashlight (torch for the Australians and British!) is left on the nest during the night. My "fish room" is really my bedroom, so obviously I can't leave the lights on 24 hours a day. Even covering it with a towel let to much light through. After the eggs hatch and fry are free swimming, the male is lured out from underneath his nest and then carefully acclimated back to his original tank. First feeding is provided but at this point they are mainly living off infusoria from live plants, etc.
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Jayloo’s Method
They are always fed a variety of frozen food twice a day. The closer to spawning day I may add extra but in general the fish are fed well anyway. I set the tank up with live plants, heater at 84-86, and then let it age for a week or two. I use a bigger tank 29 gallon-35 gallon to set the spawn up with. I also have a sponge filter on during the initial set up but turn it off when I introduce the pair to the set up... I place a smaller container in the large spawn tank setup in which I release the male and female (sometimes at the same time,other time I float the female awhile, it depends on the pair). I usually introduce them in late evening so the male can get to work on his nest. By early morning there is usually a big nest and as the morning progresses usually a spawn. Just depends. I actually got the small container in the spawn tank idea from a member on here named Myates.
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Oldfishlady’s Natural Planted Tank Method
The natural spawning method I use that has worked well for me

10g tank, full to the top with water- natural planted with soil/dirt substrate and sand cap, 80% of the floor planted with stem plants, 5% rosette plants, 10% moss on driftwood and floating plants that cover 10-15% of the top. The NPT needs to be at least 3-6 month old-mature and stable

Half full tanks are for the male-not the eggs/fry-if the male is well conditioned and healthy he should not have any problems retrieving eggs during the spawning act. Once eggs are in the nest they should not fall unless they are bad and hopefully he will eat them to prevent spread of fungus to healthy eggs or if the nest is disturbed and healthy eggs can fall.

As the eggs hatch-some may fall, after hatch the healthy wigglers should be able to get themselves back to the nest with occasional help from the father

Eggs hatch at different times in relation to when they had been placed in the nest during spawning. It is common to have different size fry at different stages of growth and development.
An hour or two difference in age can make a big difference in the fish world.

I use lots of common snails-ramshorn, pond, trumpet-they help in the production of infusoria a great live food for the fry, they also clean up any bad eggs and dead fry that fall. I also keep shrimp in the spawning tank. Both the snails and shrimp are part of the natural set-up and have other jobs not related to spawning

I use water that has been steeped in native oak leaves, so the water is a nice amber color

The Betta will use either the floating water lettuce or a sword plant leaf for his nest

I don't add anything artificial in the tank

I keep the water temp at 80F for spawning and fry rearing-I found that at this temp I get hatch within 24-28 hours.
At higher temps my fry hatch too fast and tend to be weaker

I don't use any aeration or filtration

I add both breeders at the same time, the plants in the tank will work as a natural divider to prevent premature egg drops and injury to the female
Spawning will start from a minute to 3 days
Longer than 3 days and I start over

I don't wait on a nest as a sign for breeding readiness, often a male will not make a nest until he has eggs in his mouth

I condition them with live foods, usually mosquito larva, I feed them together in the spawning tank as well and I also feed the male after spawning and during egg/fry care.

I usually remove the female after spawning is completed

I leave half my lights on at night until the fry are free swimming and then I turn them off as usual, my lights are set on a 12 hour photoperiod-due to the plants.

I usually leave the male with the fry the first month or so-this depends on the male and known habits and how important the fry are as well
If the male is a known egg/fry eater I remove him once the fry are free swimming, if he is new and unknown to me I will sometimes leave him and watch unless I really need that clutch of fry.
Males that are known egg/fry eaters are given a chance to change this behavior, if not, they are culled after the third attempt.

I place a plastic veggie wrap over the top of the tank to keep the air above the water warm and humid for the labyrinth organ development
. . . . . . . . .

Oldfishlady’s Outside Breeding Method
Outside in a 5g bucket that collects rainwater and that I keep native oak leaves in that also had a massive amount of mosquito larva.
I also placed some live plants in this bucket-hygrophila, water lettuce, ludwigia from a trimming to give them something to hide in.
I placed 2 female bettas to condition them for breeding after two days I placed the male betta with them and they started the spawning dance the second I placed the male in the bucket
Within 30 min he was spawning with both females
This bucket gets about 6 hours of sunlight, water temp in the upper level is 82F
You can even see some eggs on top of the leaf
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Indjo’s Method
I use all sized tanks/tubs; from 1g tall, 1g shallow, 3-5g plastic or glass tanks, 50 cm diameter black round plastic tubs, 24g (60 ltr) plastic storage tubs, up to 50g glass tanks - depending on the male’s character and free space/tub, either filled half way or full. What is different in my method is conditioning the water.

I used to breed similarly to OFL, except for the soil substrate (I only used dried leaves) – densely planted with stem plants evenly distributed, water surface covered with floating water lettuces and some pond snails. Let the water age then spawn. The problem with this method is control - the floating plants and dried leave substrate make it difficult to control fry growth (I used dark round plastic tubs with this set up).

Now I only use stem plants (anacharis), packed together half of tub which I reduce or distribute once spawning is complete and some pond snails. What is important for me is the water. I have never succeeded breeding with new clean water (my water source is unstable). I have better results using aged water..... perhaps cycled, IDK. I simply let the water age for at least 1 month. Or to speed up the process I dump a lot of daphnia in the tub and let them die out, foul up the water and wait until the water clears on its own (usually 2-3 weeks). I siphon out the floor from what ever gunk (including blood worms) then refill with new water. All I want is the micro critters. I put in some live tubefix and sometimes daphnia (mainly for the parents), if they don't die (tubefix need a high concentration of oxygen), I introduce the pair.

I don't condition the pair because I always excessively feed live or frozen foods.

Believe it or not, I don't really need to do wc nor feed the fry for the first 2 weeks. But I do anyway - once in 2 days, 10 - 30% (siphon the floor - refill), and feed egg yolk. After 2 weeks I feed daphnia (I make sure there's always some tubefix in there). I recently realized that, everything must be cleaned after 3 - 4 weeks, otherwise I will get diseases. I sometimes use air pumps after 1 - 2 weeks since free swimming (IMO, it helps reduce the need of wc).

I move the fry to a glass tank (sometimes fully filtered) after they've grown about 1 - 1.5 cm and feed adult food.

I have never considered myself a successful breeder. I produce very few compared to others I know. My results on average is 30-50 if I neglect, 150-over 300 if I tend to them. My minimum is 0 (water issues) and maximum is >300.
 

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MANIPULATING BREEDING
This species is by far the most interesting fish I have ever bred. They show different characters, and one individual may behave differently during each spawn. Sometimes you cannot treat every breeding pair the same way and must choose a method that suits their character and behavior tendencies.

One example is an aggressive but non-violent male versus a vicious female. If the male doesn’t attack the female, she will tear him to shreds. Though this is rather rare which I have yet to experience, but I often hear other breeders pulling their hair out trying to breed these kinds of females. Beautiful males are always shredded when bred. I could advise people to use extra vicious males in smaller containers for these kinds of females, but this has been proven futile. No matter how vicious the male is, when courtship moves on to embracing, the male will be more docile. This is often when these females take their revenge.

A similar but different situation is when the female takes sucker bites – hit and run fashion. There is no sollution I know of to avoid this other than breeding her in smaller containers. But this too has been proven futile by several friends of mine whose males often end up with torn fins.

What if they don’t show flirting behavior nor show any other breeding signs? Or what if they would flare against other colored bettas but won’t flare against the color you want to breed them with? Since they are “fighting” fish, they must be made aggressive (both male and female). The best way to manipulate aggression is by totally isolating them in a dark place for a few days. The higher their mentallity, the sooner they will become aggressive.

Betta Character
Let me break up their characters a bit further. This applies to both males and females. I differentiate mentality, aggressiveness, and viciousness. Mentality is their mental state which is often established according to their social possition in their sorority. A betta with high mentality will not easily be intimidated by other bettas. They will flare and are ready to fight for their territory – some to the bitter end. Bettas jarred since a very young age will usually (not always) show higher mentality compared to those bullied in a sorority. Even those who were once stressed will regain aggressiveness sooner than those with low mentality. Mentality has nothing to do with aggressiveness nor viciousness. Low mentality may kill less aggressive bettas (vicious). On the other hand, high mentality and aggressive bettas, may leave less aggressive bettas alone but will fight when ever challenged.

Aggressiveness is the reaction when they see another betta. An aggressive betta will immediately flare when they see another betta or “opponent”. They will take the initiative to “attack”. Less aggressive bettas sometimes will only react if they are threatened. This doesn’t mean they won’t fight for their position/territory. Aggressiveness is not determined by the level of mentality. A betta may initially be very aggressive but after so many minutes of flaring, it may stress. Nor is this related to viciousness. Though an aggressive betta may often be vicious but I have often had highly aggressive males that are very gentle towards females or younger / smaller bettas. Often they become less aggressive as they get older (over 1 year).

Viciousness is their willingness to attack and kill other bettas. These bettas will readily bully and kill others. As stated above, viciousness isn’t related to both mentality nor aggressiveness. Low mentality and less aggressive bettas can often be very vicious and will readily kill the female they are being bred to. But they will never fight it out against another aggressive betta, well not for long anyway. Vicious bettas will often repeatedly bite on the glass wall when flared against other bettas.

An individual betta may encompass all three characters – High mentality, very aggressive, and very vicious. It may also show only one of the three characters. What ever character an individual shows, it is always helpful to understand its character, which is often over looked or taken for granted by many breeders.

Aggressive but reluctant
Let’s say that the male is aggressive but not in breeding mode. Assuming water conditions are perfect and they have been properly conditioned, these males can be manipulated by means of rivalry. Since they are highly territorial, rivalry often induces them to breed. Flare these reluctant males for a much longer time; say between 30 – 60 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you use as a sparring partner – male, female, or mirror. The main point is tiring them through “fighting”. After a few flaring sessions, they should shift to breeding mode – either make a bubble nest or only flirt swim.

Remember to flare low mentality males to females, preferably a small young female. Flaring to another aggressive male or even an aggressive female for that matter, may cause stress, making them more difficult to breed.These males may take longer (not always) to shift to breeding mode. The key is not to rush them. Shorter flaring time (if the sparring partner flares back) is better. Eventually they will flirt and make a bubble nest. When moving these males to the breeding tank, allow them longer time to get settled.

Stressed Male
How do you breed a stressed male? Whether stressed due to over flaring or health related issues, basically he can be manipulated to breed by building his aggressiveness through total isolation, the longer the better. Isolate them for about 3 days then try flaring him. Once he regains aggressiveness, he could be manipulated to breed using the low mentality method. Low mentality males, specially those once stressed, should be flared against small young females. Once he regains his confidence another smaller male could be used for sparring. Never flare to larger males, specially with colors that stressed him in the first place.

Manipulating Females
What about reluctant females? Females previously living in sororities sometimes aren’t willing to breed. They need to gain more mentality and aggressiveness through isolation. Some only need a few hours of being alone but some may need days to weeks. In any case, first try showing them a flirting male. If they respond by either flirting or show breeding bars, they can be bred. If not, isolate further. After a few days, flare them to a female. If they flare, show them a flirting male the following day. If they respond, they can be bred. Otherwise continue her isolation and flare regularly to another female every morning. Gradually increase her flaring session until about an hour. Within or soon after the conditioning period, she should become receptive.

Sometimes the female will not flare against the color we want to breed her with. These bettas can’t be rushed. Total isolation (3-7 days in the dark) should increase their self confidence. Then flare them daily, slowly increasing flaring time each day. Flaring to an aggressive female may stress them.If possible,use a smaller and passive female of the said color as the sparring partner. You have to slowly rebuild their cconfidence and make them aggressive against that color. Usually such males will be willing to breed sooner than such females. Again, never rush them. Only introduce the breeding partner to be after they are aggressive.
For females – DO NOT use the floating jar method as it will stress them. Let them flirt in separate tanks for a few minutes each day then cover with dark dividers. If the female remains responsive after a few days, release her in the breeding tank. Always use densely planted method, where she could totally hide from the male.

Tank size based on male’s character
Since it’s the male that care for the eggs and fry, breeding setups are more based on males than females. Breeding will use up a great deal of their energy. Using unsuitable setups may cause failure or worse, the breeders may end up with health issues.

Vicious males should be bred in bigger setups with many hideouts. Most suitable females are high mentality females that doesn’t easily get discourraged by his beating. Low mentality females, specially those once stressed by the male’s color type, often result in failure. To my experience do not use floating plants so the female wont rest on the surface (specially in deep set ups). Attacks from the bottom to the midsection are more damaging and may kill the female. It is better if the male attacked the female’s fins instead of her midsection area.

Aggressive males can basically be bred in all sized containers with any set up – since aggressive doesn’t necessarily mean vicious. What is important is the level of his activeness. Younger males with everlasting energy can be bred in larger set ups. But the older ones, specially long finned types, should be bred in smaller tanks or shallow water. This will help reduce the energy needed to care for eggs and fry. Remember; they will most likely fast during the whole ordeal. Less active males may suffer from fatigue which in turn compromises their immune system and eventually kill them.

Egg and Fry Care
Wooohooo . . . . They spawned!!! There are lots of eggs!!!
Don’t get too excited just yet. Getting them to spawn is the easy part of the breeding process. The real challenge lies in raising the fry to adult. NOW THE REAL FUN BEGINS!!!!

Egg care and fry rearing is the male’s job. They keep eggs clean from mold and feed their fry by mouthing them every once in a while. Well they are supposed to anyway. Unfortunately no one told nor taught them about their parenting duties. And since many breeders choose to breed very young males, many haven’t matured enough to understand responsebilities. Lol
Let me break up parenting characters;

Very good fathers will care for eggs and fry until they are big enough to venture on their own. He will feed fry by initially eat something, then call on his fry by vigorously vibrating his pectoral fins. When fry gather, he will release food debris from his gills and even mouth some fry. These males can be left with fry until a much longer time. Removing him after fry are free swimming may stress him more than other types of fathers.

Fairly Good fathers will only care for eggs until fry are free swimming. He wont eat his fry but neither will he feed them. These males can also be left with fry for a much longer time. He may stress when removed from fry tank, but usually not too long.

Bad Fathers – Egg eaters
There are a few types of egg eaters; These males should immediately be removed when spawning is complete.

The most common are the males that help pick up eggs during spawning and will look as if they are caring for the eggs but usually eats them the following day.
There are also males that neither pick up nor care for eggs and usually eats them soon after spawning is complete or the following day.
Finally the severe egg eaters that gobbles up eggs as he picks them up. Usually very little to no eggs will remain when spawning is completed. If you want fry from these males, you must gather the eggs during the spawning, before the male and female eat them.

Young bad fathers MAY change behavior when he is older. Give him a long 1-3 month rest (from breeding). Keep him in a bare tank. Set up the breeding tank/tub differently to his tank, use plants or ornaments in the breeding tank (totally different environment set up). Then give him another try. If he remains to be an egg eater, either cull or retire him. If his genetics are important to you, you can artificially hatch the eggs.

There is no way to tell the type of father a male is until we see his behavior. Egg/fry eating doesn’t always mean bad fathers. Males will cull weak or deformed fry. He will also cull fry if he feels there is limited space and food supply. And males will also devoure eggs/fry if he feels threatened – too much disturbance from excited breeders.


Artificial Hatching
Not all egg/fry eaters are young males. Some mature males are also psycotic egg eaters. If that male’s genetics is important to you, the eggs can be hatched artificially. Basically good eggs will hatch if they’re not overcome by mold/fungus regardless of egg care.

There are a number of ways to artificially hatch the eggs, but there are two basic principles.The first method is by removing both male and female when spawning is complete, leaving the eggs in the breeding tank. It would be best to use extra clean tank and new clean water because hatch rate will partly be determined by a race against mold. One bad egg may quickly infect others. Though uneccessary, I personally prefer to use shallow water for this method. And I usually use covers to avoid debris covering the water surface.

The second method is removing the eggs instead of the parents. Simply cup or spoon the eggs and move them to a clean bowl or tank. Some prefer to use air pumps set to a minimum, believing that this will avoid fungus. Personally I don’t think it makes any difference.

Out of the two methods, I prefer the second one – moving the eggs. Below are two similar methods use by Oldfishlady and myself.

Artificially Hatching Eggs
Oldfishlady’s method
“The way I artificial hatch my Betta eggs...I use a small cup that I can float in the heated tank to maintain a water temp in the 80F range, cover the top with plastic veggie wrap for heat and humidity, I add floating plants like water lettuce and/or frogbit, in 12-24h I add one small common snail...I want the snail to start eating any bad eggs to limit pollution/decay....I don't want to add it too soon or the snail will eat the good eggs too...I will have hatch in 24-32h usually.....once hatched...I tip the container and add small amounts of tank water every day until they are about a week-10 days old and then I release them in the tank.....I usually will add a few newly hatched BBS twice a day at about day 4 from hatch or once they are free swimming for 24h...”

Somebody put white stuff in my bubble nest nest
Oldfishlady
“When I have a known egg eater and need to artificial hatch the eggs-I either remove the male as careful as possible so not to disturb the nest causing the eggs to fall and allow them to hatch in the spawning tank or .......”



 

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My Method:
I use an ice cream bowl; a 1ltr oval plastic bowl or a round plastic cereal bowl (about 15cm in diameter). Put in about 2cm of new, clean water, carefully spoon the eggs into the bowl. Spread them as best I can - to avoid bad eggs ruining good eggs. (btw, eggs that have been picked up by the parents will float - IDKW). Then place the lid on top to reduce bacterial growth (not secured - so it's easy to take off without disturbing the eggs).

I don't need heaters (I live in a tropical area). If temps are low and unstable I simply place it in a warm tank or place it my room. If you place it in a heated tank, make sure the bowl floats evenly (not tilt). Then I cover the whole tank to reduce debris getting into the bowl.

After 24-48 hours, they begin to hatch. I pick up the rotten eggs with a small stick like a tooth pick (you could use tweezers). Sometimes good eggs get caught in rotten eggs but will hatch so I don't immediately throw them away..... Then I slowly add 100% water to the previous water using a drip system ..... don't make the water drop. Make it "flow" from the side of the bowl. Hopefully this will reduce ammonia.

Sometimes I feed a drop of eggyolk once they’re free swimming. 1-2 days later, I acclimate them to a grow out tank. Then release. The percentage of hatch depends on how good the eggs were in the first placeand how clean the bowl and water are. I've had 0% hatch. But have also had 100% hatch. My average is around 60%.

If all that is too troublesome, you could leave everything in the breeding tank - use lower water level (about 3" or so - actually this has little affect except it makes me feel better. LOL). Take out both parents when they're done spawning and hope for the best. ..... Good eggs will hatch. And strong fry will survive. But you might not get that many with this method, specially if you have tons of snails in there.

Foster parent method
Another way to overcome bad parents is by letting another male rear the eggs. The foster father must be a known good father, otherwise you may lose both batches. And both pairs must spawn in the same day. Some people simply add the eggs to the foster parent’s nest. Others get rid of the foster’s original eggs and replace them with this batch of eggs.

Some say that the best foster parents are traditional fighters – traditional PK’s used as fighters. It is believed that this type are in general better parents compared to newer betta types.

Fry Care
Wow!!! Look at the swarm of fry!!! Now what do I do?
When fry hatch (vertical tails hanging down from the bubble nest), they still have their egg sacks thus do not need to be fed. At this time, they can not really control their movements.. They will swim in circles, often in a spiral pattern. The male will constantly catch stray fry and return it to the nest.

You need to decide whether to remove the male once fry are free swimming or leave him with his fry and risk his eating them. If the fry are important to you, it would be best to remove the male and eliminate any risk. Although a known good father can be kept long term with fry, but there is alwyas a risk – they may behave differently during each spawn/fry rearing.

Once they become free swimming, they will need to eat. There are many choices to choose from (personal preference – refer to fry food supply). A good first meal is infusoria – micro critters often found in aged water with live plants. Adequate amount of infusoria may sustain them for three days, after which they should be big enough for other food types. Many Asian breeders use hard boiled egg yolk for the first few days to a week – dissolve a very small amount (about 5 x 5 x 5 mm) of hard boiled egg yolk in a cup of water. Use an eye dropper or a small spray to feed fry. Most US breeders prefer live foods.

The day you start feeding them (what ever food), you should begin to either add water (if using a shallow method) or do partial water changes. When adding water, it is best to do it very slowly. A drip system – siphoning in water using airline tubing from a bucket placed on top of the tank. Water flow is controlled by a valve, set it to 1-2 drops per second (the bigger the tank, the bigger you could set the flow).

During the first week, fry is too small and too weak to avoid siphon suction. In fact, very young fry tend to approach anything vibrating in the water, adding the risk of sucking them out too. Siphoning the tank floor would add to the risk of sucking out fry. Siphoning out water must be done very carefully. Since the main issue is water parameter, therfore the floor doesn’t need to be cleaned during the first week. Siphon out water only and an air stone could be attached to the intake end to avoid sucking up fry. Place the waste bucket as close to the water surface as possible. This will reduce suction power, thus safer for fry. Then refill with new conditioned water using the drip system.

The percentage of water change depends on tank size compared to fry count. The smaller the tank, the more water needs changing. 1g tanks should be given 50-90% water change daily during the first week, while bigger 10g tanks could take 30-50%. Remember that they will need more space and water changing as they get bigger.

When is it safe to move them? 5mm fry can be safely moved to bigger grow out tanks by means of netting (soft and small mesh holes). Moving smaller fry may risk injuring or even killing them since they are very sensitive. If for some reason smaller fry needs to be moved, I recommend cupping them or if possible pour them into the new tank. Remember to make the water temperature in both tanks fairly equal, if not exactly the same.

After about 4 - 6 weeks fry will begin to show aggression. Usually it starts with “play” flare where they don’t pursue their siblings. But as they get older this will develop into nipping. For show purposes, it is advised to jar them as young as possible, before they become aggressive. This will avoid their fins from being damaged which might become a show flaw. But for hobby purposes, fry can be kept together as long as they remain docile. Jarring should be done to only those showing aggression.

Usually if they are never stressed in any way – whether by moving to another tank, moved for tank cleaning, or overly disturbed by water change – without stress of any kind, they can usually remain docile for a longer time. Placing an adult male in their tank may also reduce aggression. By the time aggression develops, it should be time to rehome them.

Sexing Fry
This can be a problem for new breeders. Even experienced breeders sometimes get a few of them wrong. Below is a few tips on how to determine their sexes.

In a batch of 1 type spawn (HMxHM, PKxPK, CTxCT etc.) you could look out for:
1. Eggspot - though sometimes what we think are eggspots (ovipositor) are actually something else. Young males may sometimes show what seems to be eggspots.
2. Color (only works for dark color) - the males usually have darker color while females show sort of breeding bars and are less vibrant.
3. Body - males are usually slimmer and looks longer than females who looks shorter and wider at the midsection.
4. Head – male’s head looks short, big, with a blunt (bigger) mouth. Females have smaller heads, looks a bit longer with pointy mouths (viewed from above).
5. Fins – male’s usually are larger (incl. PK fry) and longer (specially apparent for long finned types).
6. For all types - male's ventrals are usually wider and longer/larger.

Just compare one and the other. If they're the same, they're probably the same sex.




YOU DID IT. YOU RAISED YOUR FRY TO ADULTS. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
 

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Sorry for the "Book". Thanks for taking a look at it.

P.S. . . . I was in a hurry posting everything. TBH, I haven't reread it. Hope everything is there, in the right order.
 

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Thanks for posting the first OFFICIAL member(okay, mod!) submitted article into our RT submissions mailbox - and what an article it is!!! O.O
You've obviously put a lot of time into this - THANK YOU!
I love that you've referenced the methods of several of our other members in here - very well done!

RT will take a look at it and be in touch if they have any questions/concerns/suggestions for you, and of course we'll put it through the proof-reading ringer to scan for any grammar/spelling errors. You already know that we're still working these things out, so I ask for your patience with us - it may be a bit before anything gets posted - but we will be sure to let you know!

Thanks again, Iim!!! Job well done!!! *hugs*
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
ADDITION - AFTER "TANK SIZE BASED ON MALE"S CHARACTER" BEFORE "Egg and Fry Care"
Page/post #4

BREEDING
Horay!!! You have made it this far. You have chosen the breeders and have conditioned them adequately. They are now in breeding mode, showing all the right signs. You also have chosen a breeding method and have set it up accordingly. Now it’s time to actually breed them.

As shown above, some breeders simply release both male and female at the same time. Others prefer to be safe and use the jar/chimney method for the female. In the former they will go through a courtship period where they play “follow the leader”. Bothe will flare and swim all over the tank, showing off bright colors. Either male or female may take the initiative to lead. Eventually the male will (most males) nip or even bite the female and send her to hiding. During the this ritual, the male will tend to his nest from time to time.

The courtship period may take hours (jar method and or veteran females) to over a week (virgin females and densely planted method). As long as both are active and showing all the right signs, you should let them be and let nature take its course. The down side of this method is the female may get severely hurt. This is why sufficient hideouts are recommended.

When using the jar/chimney method, separating the male from the female, they may immidiately embrace soon after her release, skipping the courtship ritual. The downside of this method is late releasing the female, specially veteran females since they don’t need long courtship period – she releases unfertilized eggs in the jar. Another disadvantage is unsincronized timing. The female may be ready to release her eggs but the male is still in courtship mode. Inevitably the female will release unfertilized eggs. Otherwise, the process should be similar to the former method.

When both are ready, they will move on to the spawning stage. The female will approach the nest carefully with her head down. Some impatient males may whip his body and tail against the female – as if fighting – this is normal. They will eventually embrace. Sometimes it takes them many attempts before getting the embrace right. And it may take many embraces before eggs are released. This is most common with the more fatter females or younger pair. If the female is too fat, her egg passage might be blocked. But after the first few batches of eggs are released, it should rain eggs.

After each embrace, both male and female will (usually) float, paralyzed for a few seconds. The male will usually gain consciousness first and retrieve falling/scattered eggs. The female shortly follows and helps the male. They will keep doing this; embrace – pick up eggs – embrace . . . and so on. . . . until spawning is complete.

It is believed that females will eat eggs. This is true in many cases. But during breeding, most females will help gather eggs. In fact some females will care for her eggs more than the male, well at least during spawning. Some lazy males will just float under the nest while the female retrieves fallen eggs. He will only “rearrange” the eggs. These types of males are usually bad fathers – though might not eat eggs, but not tending to them neither. If they do care for eggs, usually only very few will hatch.

How do we know if the male and or female are eating eggs? There is no sure way to know and there is nothing we can do to avoid it. If we see male/female spitting something under the nest, rest assure ther will be eggs. Otherwise we can only hope for the best.

When to remove the female
When spawning is complete the female might search for any remaining eggs and put them in the nest but because she no longer wants to embrace, the male will chase her away. This is the time to remove her as she may get seriously hurt (specially in smaller tanks). Simply scoop her out either with a net or hand. Try not to chase her around the tank and disturb the nest too much. Wait until she becomes still. (jan 27)

Another reason for removing the female is when she is being beaten too badly – torn and missing fins and scales. When the female remains in hiding for too long (hours), motionless, and often looks like a sick betta, it is time to scratch the breeding and remove her.

Sometimes the female looks intact but motionless, even when the male approaches her – no reaction. Remove the female and treat her. This condition is very rare but it happens. The male attacks the mid section which is damaging compared to biting off chunks of fins.

For More Experienced breeders - When using the multi spawn method, female can be left in the breeding tank to re-spawn in 3 (if eggs are scooped out) to 5 (if male rears egg and fry) days. It is advised to densely plant the tank and use a known less vicious male. (Jan 27)
NOT SURE IF THIS SHOULD BE PUT OUT THERE - YOUR CALL

When to remove the male
This is personal preference in accordance to the male’s character. To avoid fry eating, most breeders remove the male once fry are free swimming – regardless of male’s character. But some chooses a more natural method and leave the male until fry can be jarred.


(22 Jan. 2014)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The addition was due to threads in the forum which made me realised I forgot to explain what's suppose to happen during breeding.

Any more ideas???? I need feed back.

Could you guys do me a favor; This article lacks videos and picture to clarify what is meant - eg. flirt swimming vs flare fighting (video). Breeding bars, bubble nest etc (pics). Or anything that will help understand this article. So could someone please complete that part.

I don't have a good camera. I only have an old cellphone and most pictures show blurry reflections.

Thanks before hand.
 

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Thanks for being our first official test subject, Iim! A lot of insanity going on right now - lol, you may have noticed ~.^ Bear with me/us, we'll be back in touch as soon as I get a chance to breathe!

We'll definitely do our best to dig up some images that you can use for this. Have you spoken to LBF or Red, or any of the other's who's methods you've illustrated in this article? I KNOW LBF has some fantastic shots - not sure if that's what you're looking for, exactly.

I love that you included some of our most renown forum breeders on this - really well done, in depth article (though I can't claim to know much about the subject - I feel like I know a lot more now!). I'm sure this will help a lot of people on BF. . .
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Don't worry. Take all the time you need.

Another thing; I forgot how to post tables - The farenhiet and celcius is suppose to be a table. Could someone fix that please.

PS: I made additions as new posts because I exceeded word limit in the post. To slip the addition in its place would mean editing all the posts after that. . . . too lazy. LOL
 
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