Everyone always wants to sell java moss in small portions starting at around $7. I really need handfuls of the stuff to provide my wilds with enough hiding places, but to buy it like that would cost a fortune. I really need to find someone who is selling it in bulk and not asking a ridiculous price. I mean it's not like java moss is particularly rare or difficult to grow.
ADA branded anything gets expensive fast. I just paid $45 for a 9L bag of Malaya. But it does a great job, and I think it's one of the best substrates for my wilds.
There are a few videos on Youtube of the wilds - usually the big mouthbrooders like macrostoma. Normally if you type in the species name you will pull up more results than if you just type in something like 'wild betta'. I have an old video of my burdigala group eating grindals on there.
I was very upset last night. As of now, I no longer have any rutilans sp. cf. green or sp. wajok in my fish room. My remaining group of rutilans green were getting dropsy one by one, while the F2 fry and my sp. wajok fry were slowly dying from velvet. There is nothing worse than having to euthanise your fish when you had no intention of doing so.
My uberis pair still have velvet, but their infection is much less severe. They are both eating, and still coloured up and active, you can just see the parasites on their pectoral fins and the male has some inflammation around his gill area. I'm now treating them with aquarium salt, darkness, heat, and Seachem Cupramine. Their hospital tank is wrapped in a blanket and they are in two clear breeder boxes as I don't want them attacking each other.
I'm crossing my fingers I can get them better as they are both so friendly. The female is always at the front of the glass or following my finger around.
I'm not going to get my camera back for another week, hence the lack of updates and photos.
Anyway, I should have a rutilans female, two pairs of livida, a pair of sp. apiapi and a pair of coccina coming in this October shipment. That's a lot of fish, and only one (the rutilans female) actually has a tank set-up.
Today I received my final package with my aqua soil, air pump, and heaters so I can get started on setting up my new tanks. I also have ordered some live cultures of moina. Apparently they are very similar to daphnia and I am keen to see if I can't use them as an alternate food source for my wilds. If anyone has cultured these before, please let me know how similar they are to daphnia in that regard.
The plants I have ordered are Amazon swords, wisteria, watersprite, milfoil, fontinalis moss, pennywort, duckweed, and six lots of hydrilla (this is seriously one of my favourite plants). I also picked up a couple of smaller anubias from a fish store near my house, just to see how they would go after my fiasco with the java fern. As always, I want low maintenance plants that will also quickly fill up a tank.
Now my soil has arrived the persephone group are getting downsized. Once they are moved the mammoth task of getting all my tanks ready will commence.
In other news, my uberis pair are still in the hospital tank. The male is not looking good at all and I am concerned I may lose him.
Sadly I have also read that the habitat of Betta sp. apiapi may already be destroyed even though they were only discovered very recently. If this is true, it will be a tragic loss for this species and I can only hope that there is enough in the hands of hobbyists worldwide that it is not lost entirely.
I don't know what happened. One moment I was browsing FB, the next moment I ha d purchased a pair of Betta sp. apiapi and Betta coccina. The seller had only very limited stock of sp. apiapi and wouldn't be getting any in for another couple of months. I was actually going to wait but I figured there's no difference between getting them now and then really. He only had a couple of pairs of Betta coccina left as well. I wanted a back-up pair of this species as my two are starting to grow on me, and at full maturity they are a stunning fish.
Hehehehe I TOTALLY know how that is. You are looking at stuff and suddenly you have bought it. No idea how that happens. "whistles and looks around innocently"
Sorry to hear that you had to put down those fish. I hate having to do that especially with wild species. Sometimes it is best though in the long run. I don't keep very ill fish around in my tanks either. I just don't have the time or ability to fight with tough stuff so illness is culled.
Tony -- There are lots of videos of wild bettas on Youtube. You just have to know how to look for them. LOL I have lots of videos of my wild bettas on my youtube channel.
P.S. How much you want for that moss? "wink wink" LOL
It's such a hard decision to make with particularly rare species. Species like uberis/burdigala/brownorum/hendra etc. I am less likely to attempt treatment for more serious maladies as they are much easier to acquire than something like Betta persephone.
Sadly unless the supplier I buy most of my wilds from is able to source wild-caught Betta sp. cf. rutilans green before March of next, this species is likely going to be lost from my fish room. I refuse to buy wilds through wholesalers/fish stores (except for Jodi-Lea), and rutilans green is not something that seems to come through the hands of overseas sellers a lot.
Yesterday I got to work sorting out some of my tanks. I filled up one of my 10 gallon tanks, and will be moving the persephone group today. I'm going to put my shallow 8 gallon tank, and three 10 gallon tanks on my top shelf, and that should give me enough tanks to house my new pairs if they all manage to survive through quarantine. I'm supposed to be getting two pairs of brownorum and a persephone pair or two in the future, so they will probably have to go on the bottom shelf because otherwise I am out of room. I already need to leave space for my potential monia culture and BBS hatchery.
I am rather OCD with the appearance of my tanks. Not in the sense that they have to be perfect, but that they all have to at least look similar to each other. It always makes me twitchy when something like the water colour or substrate is different, or if plants aren't doing as good in one tank as they are another. The source of my annoyance yesterday, was one of my miniopinna tanks. It has always looked messy and it just doesn't match any of my other tanks in the least. I was going to remove the spawning mop on the bottom and replace it with java fern, but the roots of the floating plants had grown down into it. Instead I siphoned out as much of the peat moss and muck as I could, and replaced it with aqua soil which makes it look 100 times better. I also put in an anubias plant and a small terracotta pot, which the fry and juveniles have been busy exploring.
The next tank to get a makeover will be my rutilans tank. Fortunately, it has not been set-up as long and the plants haven't established themselves as much. It's a lot harder when you have a blanket of duckweed and watersprite to work through. My fish love their jungles, but sometimes I wish they could be equally happy with just some PVC pipe and moss.
That's about it for today. I have my Nikon Coolpix charging so I am going to try and take a video and see how it turns out. I think videos are the best at showing off the beauty and unique behaviours of wilds, provided the quality is high enough so you aren't just looking at a pixellated blob.
Still no camera which is irritating as heck. I really hope we get it back this weekend as I want to take some photos and my journal is so boring without them.
I've moved my persephone group into a 2ft tank on the bottom shelf. They are still not 100% settled in, but at least they are moving around and showing off/sparring again.
I'm replacing my top shelf over the weekend, and then will be filling up and planting all the tanks on it in preparation for whatever new fish make it through the import process.
My empty persephone tank is going to be used as a temporary plant nursery until this occurs. I have it filled up with a heater and a thin layer of aqua soil. The duckweed will be sectioned off into a breeder box as it has an awful habit of getting everywhere.
At this point, I'm not sure if I've ordered too few or too many plants, so I will have to wait until my parcel arrives (which hopefully is soon). I figure at least if I have ordered too many plants I can always use them for the next lot of tanks I will be setting up.
My monia cultures should also be arriving today. I have set-up a small plastic tub with a heater and a piece of airline tubing bubbling very slowly. I added some Seachem Neutral Regulator since I'm not sure they will appreciate my extremely low pH, and hopefully I can keep these going long-term as I would prefer to use something like monia over the blackworms in the colder months.
I also printed off some more tank labels and labels for my live food cultures just so everything looks nice and neat. Other than that, not much has been happening. I've been doing some fish watching and pottering around in my fish room, but no exciting news like a new spawn.
My moina culture arrived along with my plants the other day. As usual Aquagreen (great business for those of you from Australia) gave me heaps of plants along with my culture. I think I am their biggest buyer of duckweed and hydrilla.
I have been feeding the moina green water and they still all seem to be alive in there so hopefully they are eating it. However, they are very small. In my head I pictured something the size of brine shrimp, but they are similar in size to baby brine shrimp. So don't think they will be replacing blackworms for my adult fish. But it will be a good food source for my fry and juveniles.
I've got one of my new tanks completely set-up and ready to go. I am just waiting for the stain on my replacement top shelf to dry fully and then I will getting to work tomorrow setting up the remaining tanks. I wish I could take some photos but the camera still isn't back!! It is driving me insane not having it.
I am going to order a 3ft T5 light tomorrow and an extra 6500K bulb (I think it comes with two 10000K ones). I've been meaning to do this for a while as then I don't have to keep dragging my 2ft lights around everywhere.
In good news my uberis pair seem to be on the mend. They were flaring up a storm in their little floating breeder boxes this afternoon, when I briefly took the blanket off their tank to feed them. I'm seeing much less clamping and my male's face has healed up where he scraped it trying to dislodge the parasites. They've got until Thursday, and then I will put them in a glass and check them over with my torch. I may do a repeat treatment just to be 100% sure it is gone and then I will just have them as my pets and permanently separated from each other so there is no chance of fry as their presence seems to 'reactive' the velvet in previously infected fish.
I haven't had any fry born. But I'm hoping once I get rid of all my hendra juveniles and sub-adults I will get some spawning happening in that tank again. My coccina pair still haven't coloured up fully, and the male shows no interest in doing anything but attacking the female and chasing her around. I even put in more plants and he still hunts her down. This is just a complex of evil little fish.
It pains me to put these photos up, but these are the three new tanks I have set-up for my new pairs. It seem like jumping the gun a bit as I don't even know about DOAs yet, but I like to have my fish going into tanks that have had time to settle if I can.
On the left is my Betta sp. apiapi tank. On the right are the two tanks for my Betta livida pairs.
This one is on my other rack and is for my pair of Betta coccina.
My rutilans female will be going into the tank with the male.
The plants are hydrilla, Amazon swords, java moss, watersprite, wisteria, milfoil, duckweed, and a smidgen of pennywort at the surface of each tank. As usual, they are not going to win any aquascaping contests, but the fish seem to love their tanks like this, and that is what is really important.
I will do a small water change on all of them tomorrow to remove any cloudiness, and then add rooibos. I find if I add it now while the water is cloudy it causes even more cloudiness and looks terrible.
At this point, I just need to connect my airline tubing to my air pump, add some Prime to my water and the tanks are done. I think my pairs will be sent out at the start of next week as they are still in quarantine.
All of my wilds made it safely through quarantine but my Betta sp. apiapi female. This is very disappointing, and I hope I can still replace her if news of their habitat being destroyed is true. I will just be putting an F1 apiapi female in with my male for now, but I would have liked for two separate wild-caught pairs to be the foundation of my species breeding program.
Jodi doesn't want to hold onto them for any longer than necessary, as wild-caught wilds can be delicate. They come out of quarantine today, and then will be sent out tomorrow for delivery on Friday. Hopefully the remaining fish make it through that final step unscathed.
I'm glad I got their tanks set-up when I did. Just need to add the rooibos and then they are ready to go.
My uberis have finished their two week treatment today. The male was let out of the breeder box and has been prowling around trying to work out how to get in with the female. I had a close look with the torch and couldn't see any obvious parasites on the pectorals, so I've got my fingers crossed that the infection is gone. I'll give it another few days, then I'll do a water change and start adding substrate and plants back into the tank.
Unfortunately, with that good news comes bad news. It looks like my brownorum group have come down with velvet now. I think it was caused by this F1 female I had who was attacked by the others. She was obviously stressed because of this, and then I think I added to the stress by doing a massive water change on this tank when I sold off the majority of her siblings. I noticed the velvet on her first, and so I think she has then infected everyone else in the tank. I was only going to be keeping this group as pets anyway so I am not as disappointed as I would be if it was a breeding pair, but I just hate how much bad luck I have with this parasite!
Sometimes these fish could make me go crazy. I feel like my whole fish keeping experience is just one big see-saw.
I can't take any photos of my fish with the Nikon, so I took some photos of my set-up instead. I told my mum she has to pick up the Canon this weekend as I hate not having it.
As always ignore everything but the racks and the tanks. Our house renovations stalled a while ago.
I've almost completely filled up both racks. Mum was talking about a pair of macrostoma, but I have no idea where I am going to fit them.
I'm going to be telling my mum she'd better go pick the camera up this weekend so I can take some photos of my new fish. It's too far away for me to catch a bus there and it's killing me I can't take photos.
Anyway, sad news is I lost my sp. apiapi male and one of my livida females. This means no sp. apiapi survived this shipment and I don't know if or when I can replace them. I've got to contact the seller of the livida but I don't think he'll have any females left to replace my one so I will probably be out of luck there.
The rest of my fish are lovely though. My coccina male has a green spot and green sides, and my rutilans female is such a character. I moved the male into the tank my sp. apiapi pair were going into and they were flirting almost immediately. Would not be surprised to see them spawning soon.
The livida are a bit shy and unsettled but that's to be expected. The lone male has the 30cm cube next to my hendra tank for now, but probably will be going into something smaller. The fins on these guys are amazing. Can't wait until they are fully coloured up.
Otherwise I started treating my brownorum tank for whatever they have, and pulled out about eight very young fry. I was so surprised so they are in a big container in the hospital tank. I have to check on them this afternoon. I'm not sure if they will survive treatment. I'm not sure what male they are out of. Be interesting to see if an F1 x F0 cross throws nicer fish than the F0 x F0 cross did and whether there are any deformities in this group.
I have all these empty tanks still. I'm thinking maybe of getting a couple pairs of killifish or some eggs. I do miss my killifish and there's something about picking the eggs and looking after the fry that is so therapeutic.