So I'm currently on my fourth attempt to breed my bettas.
I have two CTs, an inexperienced male and an experienced female. (I've spawned her once before with another CT, who just ate every single egg she dropped until he was so bloated he floated at the top of my tank for two days.)
Now, I use the base of styrofoam plates, and poke several holes into them with a fork. I then drop it in my aquarium hole-side-down, which seems to trigger my bettas to build nests faster than a cup.
I have one submersible heater, and one small aquarium plant. Turns out my male doesn't care much for the plants and rips them apart. I also have a very small new sponge filter in my tank, and the air moving through it barely ripples the surface. This is all in a half-filled 10 gallon tank.
Now I conditioned my pair for a month, feeding them pellets and daphnia. They are perfectly healthy and have never shown any sign of illness since I have owned them. (3 months for the female, 2 months for the male.)
I had the male in the spawning tank for roughly 24 hours before introducing the female, who was placed in a jar and set in the corner of the tank. I kept her there for 2 days. The first day of introduction, she started showing vertical bars.
It took almost 24 hours after her release before they initiated spawning. During that time my male CT has inflicted little damage on her. The only noticeable damage I can see on her are her pectoral fins are slightly red. (He bit her fins and actually held her in place for a few seconds before letting her go.)
Around 5am they started embracing. She dropped roughly 50 eggs before I decided to go to bed.
When I awoke, I immediately checked on them, and seen my female hiding in a corner, and my male attacking her every time she got near him.
However, when I netted her out of the tank, I noticed she was still showing vertical bars. I placed her in her clean tank and checked the nest to see if I could see anything, which I couldn't.
I checked back a few hours later, to see the male on the opposite side of his nest lounging in the corner. I attempted to feed my female, but she refused to eat, and was now displaying horizontal stripes like I had never seen. I have seen her become pale, and show two thin stripes on her side, but now, her lower stripe took up 1/4 of her width, and was bright red.
At first I thought something was wrong with her, she was swimming frantically into the side of her bowl and jumping towards the surface, almost out of her tank if it wasn't lidded. I decided I'd check on her later to see if she was still acting the same way.
Now, my male is still no where near his nest when I finish with the female, and now almost his entire bubble nest is gone, and there are no eggs.
I decided that the spawn was a flop, so I removed my male and found no eggs. I placed him back in his clean tank, next to the female, and cleaned the spawning tank.
When I finished, I noticed my female, who was losing her mind just a few minutes ago, is now flashing once again at the male, showing her bars, and he's flashing back.
As an experiment, I cleaned their spawning tank, added a new piece of plate, and moved the tank to a new location in the corner of my bedroom. I plopped my male back inside, and the female back in her jar.
He has now produced a massive bubble nest, bigger than the 3x3inch plate, and my female is vertical barred hidden in the corner.
What I don't understand is; when I watched them spawn the first time, they were eating some of the eggs, and putting the others in the bubble nest. When I woke up, they were all gone. But they're still attempting to spawn, thought it's only been an hour; they haven't embraced.
Has anyone else had a problem similar to this? Am I doing something wrong?