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Old 01-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #1 
LyLy
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Controlling Number of Eggs Released?

My boyfriend and I are thinking of mating our betta fish, the female is a crowntail and the male is a double tail (labeled a double tail, half-moon from the pet store, but after looking up info, I'm not sure if this is possible as I have scoured so many betta sites and don't see this type covered, and whether it is possible or not, either way, he's a healthy male so that's all that matters ).

We have the female in a 1 gallon tank and the male in a 3.5 gallon tank sitting side by side to one another. He actually started forming a bubble nest before we even got the female, which is what led my boyfriend to think about mating him.

Since we've gotten the female they seem very active, they swim toward the same direction, both flare their fins and "dance" facing each other, and he's started building another bubble nest.

In this time my boyfriend is getting more and more tempted to move forward in mating them. I used to have males and females with the intention to mate them, but never did due to the amount of time and work that would be involved and ultimately decided that it wasn't something that I could dedicate my full effort to so I opted not to. During that time I had read about the process, checked out site after site and video after video, and basically know the whole jist of the mating process minus actually going through with it and knowing the time involved.

My question is, when the male and female are mating and they're interlocked in the embrace where she's motionless while the male is squeezing her to release the eggs, is there any time or period where she can be removed during? As in if the male squeezes some eggs out and swims down to retrieve them to put them in the bubble nest, can I remove her then into her own tank or must I allow the male to continuously go back to squeezing her so she can release eggs, deposit them to the nest, and onward?

I ask because I know bettas can produce anywhere from 500-600 eggs at one time, and frankly, I'm not ready to be a fish parent to that many babies. My boyfriend is sure in thinking we can just watch how many eggs she releases in the initial/first go-round of him squeezing, and remove her once we see enough eggs to our liking have been released. I'm not 100% sure we can do that or if it's safe as this is one part that I've never come across on the internet where any mention of whether this is appropriate to do.

I don't want to interrupt or disrupt their process if it has to go on longer than how we see fit with the number of eggs released, I would almost feel guilty or bad for not letting them make the process as long as they need it to be, but if it's safe or alright to do so then I just need confirmation as again, I've never come across anything that covers this.

Thoughts? Opinions? Anyone with their two cents?
Is it alright to remove the female during the mating process once we see the number of eggs we want released to prevent an over production of baby bettas?
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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First, welcome to the forum and it good that you have already done some research.
The Betta splendens different tail types can be spawned-with that said, IMO/E mixing tail types to create something special and unique is fine, however, it is really important to have a goal or plans-unless this is a one time thing to experience the spawning process and/or to see if you can do it.
Often with the mixing of tail type can result in messy fins that can take several generations to fix and often it can be hard to find homes for all these offspring. With that said, personally, I feel a new hobbyist should cull really hard and get these number down to more manageable levels anyway. One of the hardest things when breeding-is what to do with all the offspring you produce if you are successful. You only have so many friends, family that will take them-as well as how many you can keep yourself. Rarely will the chain pet shops take them and some private pet shop may or may not take them and if they do-you usually will only get pennies if anything for them-sometimes you may get store credit. Depending on demand and quality-the offspring might be used for feeders or sold. Then you have private sales but shipping is often involved. Point being...you need a plan for the offspring.

Lots of different ways to successfully keep, spawn and rear this species-its finding what works best for you, your breeders and what you have on hand. Spawning is usually fairly easy-its the rearing of the fry that can sometimes be a challenge.

I would read over all the sticky we have here as well as read over some threads of other member spawning and rearing to help give you a better idea of what to expect, needs, supplies....etc....

As for your question-IMO/E- I would allow them to spawn until they are finished and then either remove some of the eggs or better....allow some natural culling- then cull hard in the weeks to come.
The male doesn't squeeze the eggs out of the female per se-The embrace is so the vents will be approximated for external fertilization-both are stunned-the male awakes first and start to collect the eggs-then the female. It can take several hours for the spawning process to be completed and at that time the male will run the female from the nest area. IMO/E-by stopping the spawning process premature-you can risk the female becoming egg bound, however, rare, plus with more eggs- increases the odd of getting some fry in the end.

FYI-just because the male make a nest-doesn't mean he needs to spawn and by not spawning him-will not cause any problems for him either. Since nest building is instinct driven.

IMO-nothing wrong with spawning pet shop fish or mixing tails types-provided that you are responsible and have a plan for the offspring.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #3 
LyLy
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Thanks so much for the welcome and for all the info!

Even in the past when I researched breeding I never came across the practice of culling until now. I've already joked with plenty of my friends that if my boyfriend and I do mate our bettas they better be prepared for some pets! I've definitely put some thought and have pondered heavily over what to do with the babies, but I think it's about getting my boyfriend to think about it too. Though he used to have a betta of his own, before the one we got together he had never seen one even build a bubble nest so it's his first venture into the idea of breeding and it's super exciting for him.

I don't think the results of the fin/tail types is too much of a priority for us at the moment since it would be our first time breeding if we decide to move ahead, I think I would just be more concerned over making sure the process and set up goes well rather than what the babies would look like though I am super curious.

Thanks for weighing in on the matter of whether or not the female should be removed early or not. The mention about her possibly being egg bound is what I wanted to know. I wasn't sure if there was any specific term or phrase that could be applied to any after or ill-effects of cutting into the mating process too early.

I'll definitely mention all that you shared with me to my boyfriend!

I know that even if we do mate them it won't be any time soon, I want to make sure we're prepared for any number of fry and have a full plan on what to do with the offspring along with being sure there's proper time and energy that can go into all this.
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