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Old 05-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #1 
Seki's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Future breeding plans... could use help!

Hey all. I've decided a would like to pursue a new hobby in the future, and since fish are very important to me, I'd like that hobby to be breeding bettas. We have a LFS near me which buys only from local breeders, so I do have somewhere I could sell the fry, and I am also willing to sell on Aquabid eventually. But all of that is far in the future. First, I have several questions about breeding. I have done some research, but I always prefer to have some input from our members here as I know we have some top-notch breeders in our midst!

1) I would love if you could give me a list of supplies I might need. I know I'll need at least a 10 gallon tank (or tub... do kritter keepers work well?), a heater, a sponge filter, food for the babies (suggestions?), and jars for the males as they get older (what works best for this?). There must be a huge other list of supplies I'll need, no?

2) I know most everyone says to breed you must buy fish from other breeders. I also know petstore fish are not considered breedable by most. But my new CT seems to have amazing fins (unless I am wrong), and I adore his color combination. Would it be out of the question to breed him? Am I missing some major flaws in him? This is Kai...

3) How many babies might I expect out of a single spawn? I'm assuming the male to female ratio would be right around 50/50? What age is appropriate for the bettas to go to their new homes?

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I think more about this. No worries, I'm not planning on breeding for quite a while, just looking to get information so I can know what all I'll need when I feel ready to take on the endeavor. :)
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:06 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ok! Sounds like you are off to a good start in your research.

10g tank (critter keepers are too small)
Grow out tank... Depends on size of spawn. You may not even need one, but assume that you will.
Jars (2l pop bottles... Cheap, easy, and works well. Or you could go with jars or beanie baby containers.) Make sure it is at least 1/2g.
Foods... You must have live foods like microworms (I will link you to a thread I wrote on them), baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels,etc... Then you should have a small pellet like NLS grow on hand for when they get bigger.
Airline tubing (to siphon and drip)
Other general fish keeping supplies like buckets and water conditioner.

Nothing is inherently wrong with pet store fish... I have a few I will breed. It is, however, very hard to find the right female. A flaring pic will help us properly assess him.

3) 10-300. It's unpredictable. Also remember that 200 eggs doesn't mean 200 fry that make it to adulthood. Assume the m/f ratio will be 50/50... It will likely be close. But it can swing either way and I have seen it lots of times. You also have to accept that it's probability... You can toss a coin 100 times and get heads every single time even though the chance of that is 1 in 200. But it is possible.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:52 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
+1 Matt

The only problem with breeding pet store bettas is not knowing their genetic background - whether to determine fry outcome or to know health history. But unless they show physical deformities, it is safe to assume they are healthy enough to be bred.

Number of fry as Matt stated is really unpredictable. They can lay over 1000 eggs. But the average rate would be around 300 fry. Often beginners only get around 20 fry, which is a manageable number.
As for sex ratio - there are few myths about it. Some believe the first 3 spawns (females) produces more males (my highest was 90% males). Some believe higher temperatures produces more males. . . . it's actually impossible to give an exact number. Plus the fact that most fry will not make it to adult (1000 eggs - only 2- 300 to adult) . . . this too makes it difficult to predict fry form/color outcome. All we can tell you is "probabilities".

One way of going around getting lots of pop bottles is by not disturbing the fry too much thus they can probably stay together til a later age. By then you can start selling your fry (3-4 months) given that they grow normal-rapidly.

Good luck on your research and future breeding.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:21 AM   #4 
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Matt - thanks for the great advice! I read the stickied thread about culturing live food for your fry and it doesn't look too terribly difficult to do. I would have to get it figured out before I started breeding, of course. But I think it's doable for me!

Indjo - wow, that's a lot of fry! I will have to make sure I really am prepared for breeding before I attempt it. I owe these animals every bit of care I can possibly give, their lives depend on me. It would be super convenient if they could stay in the tank together until I started selling them. Is it common for them to be able to do that?

Also, here is a flaring pic of Kai. Best I could get with my phone!
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