I'm making my 4th attempt at breeding bettas. My first spawn was flawless, my last three all of my males eat the eggs.
Anyway, I have a vernal tank full of nifty little tank critters that gobble up everything in sight. They consist of very tiny fairy shrimp, seed shrimp, and common snails who are multiplying constantly.
Their primary diet is... anything, and they are extremely efficient at cleaning their tank. I have a pile of dead leaves at the bottom, and I feed them pulverized betta pellets weekly.
Now I currently have an estimate of:
10 Snails (100+ eggs)
30 "Seed Shrimp"
20 Fairy Shrimp
With that number, they can turn roughly 20 full sized (dead) maple leaves into skeletons within a week.
20 crushed betta pellets will be undetected within 12 hours, and the water is always crystal clear.
My real question is, could this be potentially harmful to any betta fry I may have? I haven't really heard of introducing any of these guys into their tanks.
Okay, what about the seed shrimp and fairy shrimp?
My fairy shrimp feed on micro-organisms, but they are terribly hard to catch, too small for a net, and they don't live long. If I spend a few hours I could possibly transfer over 5 or 6. They're extremely fast!
The seed shrimp, I know they feed off of the rotting stuff in the tank, but they're not fast, and they're only the size of a betta egg when fully grown.
I'm just paranoid of anything that may pollute my tank. My first spawn I lost a dozen-or-so fry due to a bacterial bloom from me probably over-feeding. I'm just looking to prevent that and get the most out of my spawn.
All right, thank you! I just want to make sure everything goes smoothly if I do get little babies. My first spawn died around 3 weeks old. I had a family emergency and had to go out of state. When I came back a week later, they were all dead and the person I left them with said "Oh, there were fish in there?" ;_;
I breed in filthy aged water, hoping it housed lots of micro critters and common pond snails. But I know they don't prey on my fry (except for bloodworms - occasionally). I often put in a cup of daphnia around spawning day - free swimming day, hoping they would reproduce and feed my fry.
I have never used seed nor fairy shrimps and DO NOT know their feeding habits. You would have to look into that. If they are known to hunt for food, take them out or let an adult eat them - unless you don't want to get rid of them, in which case you would have to move them..
Well, I have two species of fairy shrimp. One species is roughly .5" long when fully grown, the other species appears different and they are no-larger than newly-hatched betta fry.
They eat the particles in the water-column, and I have never seen one eating anything actually. They swim around upside down and collect debris with their legs and eat it. However, they're currently dropping winter eggs, but I might have a new batch of hatchlings by my next spawning attempt.
Though I believe a newly hatched fairy shrimp is small enough for bettas to eat (These things are about 75% smaller than newly-hatched BBS) I think they'd be too fast for betta fry to eat. I have problems catching them, and when they're fully grown, they're far too small for any net I've seen.
Now I don't have daphnia, I have seed shrimp. I have seen them eating the remains of dead snails, sunken food, and the like, but they swim very slow and very awkward.
All together, this little vernal cleaning pool has kept their tank crystal clear for over 2 months. I threw in an aquarium plant that was covered in thick algae and they cleaned it up in under 1 day.
They seem like they could help my betta fry; I just don't want to chance them catching something from them (if it's possible.) I don't think they'd be running around eating my babies.
I swear by snails in the grow out tank!! But dont add them right away, I've had snails in my tank, and watched them eat the fries! It was awful. I suggest for the first 3 weeks, don't add anything, after 2-3 weeks of age add some snails (trumpets are asexual but clean the tank) could be added, just look for TINY snails. I add them at night as sort of a clean up crew.
I've heard of breeders adding ghost shrimp to the grow out, along with trumpet snails (they are moved to the grow out 2 weeks after free swimming) but I've never tried it, so im not sure if it would work or not.
As long as your grow out/spawning tank is heavily planted, with places for the fry to hide, it may work.