Since the first fish I bred was a pair of bettas,(siamese fighting fish) I thought
it would be cool to actually breed a pair and photograph it here so you can watch it happen,,kind of cool eh? I want
to thank Kathy Waters for bringing me some nice strains of bettas.
I am going to do this pairing in a 5 gallon aquarium. It has about 3 1/2 gallons of water
in it, the water is hard,,the pH is very high,,thank you florida aquifer for that! The tank has been set up with java moss
in the bottom for about 10 days,there is already a film of bacteria on the bottom and lots of micro-life, including little
annoying worms,,all future food for the newborns. There is no heater in the tank, just a 25watt incandescent bulb on the tank.
I must tell all of you prospective breeders out there,,breeding is like cooking in the kitchen. I LOVE to cook. If you look
in a cookbook it will say things like 1/8 tsp of this or that, 1/2 tbsp of something or another,,but don't you know that good
cooks NEVER measure things? It's a feeling thing,,you just KNOW how much to put in.
I approach breeding much the same way. Books will prescribe a certain pH,,or hardness,,or
temp. I confess,,ranges can be important sometimes, but exact measurements will confound you and you will get bogged down
with useless meddling and the breeding thing becomes a burden at that point. Use your instincts,,that is what works.
I am setting up a male red combtail from cambodia. that's a mouthfull. The female will be
just red from cambodia. The offspring will be who knows what,,,I am not a rigid genetesist. I am only interested in getting
sellable young,,,if I were showing bettas for trophies I suppose I'd be a bit more into the genetics.
Anyway, it is thursday 7-15-04, 11:30am,,I just introduced the male into the tank and the
female will go in in a little while.
It is still thursday, around 12:30pm,,the female has been introduced in a small plastic
tank floating in the main tank. Once again I am using intuition here. Admittidly(sp), I generally just dump the female in
without isolating her, in fact, I generally put the female in the breeding tank first,,then the male. I'm faced with a different
situation here because the female in this case is a very LARGE one and she is quite capable of hurting the male.
In a classic betta spawning the male is usually larger and more aggressive. He will tear
and tatter her during spawning,,and in some cases kill her. Kind of like people in trailer parks. (just kidding),,well,,maybe
not,,just watch COPS. Lol.
In this case the bigger female may deter the male from spawning, they both seem quite ready
though. If you look at the female in the photo at the top of the page you can see a white spot near her belly. This is her
ovipositor and it is extended, indicating her readiness for spawning. I need to be carefull having her in the small plastic
tank because she may just dump her eggs before she is released.
I added some floating water sprite and a small flower pot on it's side to provide shelter
for the one that gets the worst of the pairing. The water sprite is to coax the male to make a nest in that particular spot.
Betta purists will generally use a small styrofoam cup,,cut in half lengthwise, and floated
on the surface instead of live plants. I like live plants of course because they provide the very small newborns with microscopic
food. The male will blow his bubblenest in this area and the mucous that he uses to produce the bubbles will feed the protozoans
in the plant area and they will be in large numbers by the time the fry feed. This assures a good start for the fry. More
on that later.