Yesterday, I introduced my Betta brownorum pair to their new tank. They have coloured up more than my Betta persephone did, and have been following each other around/going in and out of the film canisters so that is a good sign. No photos, as the java moss did not show up and they have been swimming around with clamped fins because there isn't much cover in the tank.
For that reason, I haven't put my Betta 'tussyae' (I really can't tell if they are tussyae or livida at this point) together. Because they had such tatty fins when they arrived I am concerned this might mean they will be aggressive towards each other. There aren't nearly enough hiding places in the tank for that, so for now the male is in the tank, and the female is in the plastic jug, but in the tank so I don't have to run an extra heater.
My Betta persephone male is being aggressive towards his female so they are definitely going to have java moss added to their tank once it arrives. He also still hasn't coloured up, which is a shame as this is such a beautiful species. I think he wants more cover and the water darker.
The rest of my fish are doing well. I think Zig-Zag my crooked spine Betta brownorum juvenile may actually be a male! It's hard to tell because the horizontal striping goes right over where the lateral spot would be, but on both sides, that area looks darker than the rest. 'His' sibling isn't showing the same marking, so I think that one might be female. I was hoping they would both be females, but now it looks like I am going to have three males again! Watch now as Zig-Zag turns out to be the only male as spectacular as his grand-father. I will definitely be using his sister as breeding stock. I will probably pair her up with my biggest male. He is much more mellow than his smaller brother, who seems to have inherited his mother's nasty streak. It's like a fish soap opera in that tank.
So far only one or two of my Betta coccina juveniles are showing a blue lateral spot. I definitely want to try and squeeze a tank in for them, so I can separate them out of the main tank. I think without the presence of the adult pair, they are going to colour up marvellously. It would be great to have a wide selection of females to choose from for once.
My Betta livida and uberis 'families' are also doing great, and it turns out, one of my other Betta sp. apiapi pairs spawned when the male pictured in the posts above did. I give the fry in both tanks a very dismal chance at surviving once they leave the nest. They have a hoard of hungry siblings waiting for them.
I am still struggling to sex my Betta rutilans juveniles and sub-adults. I would like to get the adult pair into their own tank again but it's just a matter of space and money. I'm short on both, and I'm running out of places to plug my heaters into.
Our electricity costs can be insane here in Melbourne. I'm really worried how high the bill is going to be over winter as my heaters will be on so much.
Anyway, enough writing. I took some photos of my Betta hendra tank tonight. My male is showing signs of regaining his former glory. He is probably one of my most 'famous' fish. I have seen photos of him when he was younger posted in a number of places. Him and his female really do seem to be a bonded pair. He has several daughters, but I've only ever seen him spawn with one of them. Every other time it has been with his original female, and she follows him around the tank chasing off the rest of the fish in the tank. They've been flirting a lot lately, but I am not going to put a film canister in because there is still copper in the water and I am afraid there might be deformities with the fry. One of their sons is an absolute ripper. I definitely want to use him, and this tiny but feisty female, as breeding stock in the future.
My replacement male fighting with his mother
That is her on the left
My male pondering what happened to his good looks. He still looks really nice when he flares and has his fins more open.
Then this is my biggest Betta miniopinna fry from my 'ugly' pair. They are definitely getting sold in the next few weeks. Their fry all seem to be growing out well enough, and I could do with some extra fish money.
Well I've been thinking it for a while, but after speaking to the original owner of my Betta tussyae pair, we have come to the conclusion that they are not Betta tussyae, but likely his Betta burdigala. I've had Betta tussyae before and the colour and body shape was different to my previous fish, and fish pictured online.
I'm sort of disappointed because I really would like to have had Betta tussyae again. As I would rather focus more on the rarer species of wilds, I doubt I am going to hold onto them. If they are gone, it frees up a tank I could use for another pair of wilds (at this point likely Betta persephone), or for some of my young fish.
Here is the troublemaker in question.
In other news, my parcel containing my peat moss/java moss/BBS eggs arrived at 6:30pm tonight. I paid for express shipping and the satchel it came in said 'guaranteed overnight'. It being Monday here, I am wondering if perhaps it got stuck in the post over the weekend. Thankfully there weren't any fish in there.
I've got some peat moss soaking in hot water, so hopefully that will be ready to go into my Betta persephone tank tomorrow morning.
I also think my new Betta brownorum pair spawned. I have not seen the male out at all, and there are bubbles visible in the back film canister. Fingers crossed I get some fry out of this pair after the disaster that was my last foray into breeding this species.
Because temperatures have been struggling to reach the high teens here in Melbourne, I'm noticing a dramatic drop-off in the numbers of mosquito larvae in my tubs. Especially larger larvae. Today almost everyone got fed frozen brine shrimp. Many of my fish (especially the young fish) have never had frozen foods before, so it was fun watching them try this new food out. The brine shrimp and bloodworms I have in the freezer at the moment has some pretty bad freezer burn. So I think I'll pick up some replacements this week.
Finally, I thought I'd share a couple of photos of my Betta rutilans male.
He was probably least enthused about the frozen brine shrimp. However, he did get stuck into it once he saw the juveniles/sub-adults eating it. His female is still being kept separate and has finally regrown her fins and regained her condition. I think unless I can get her and the male into their own tank, I'll leave her separated. She just can't compete against her unruly offspring.
Today I sent a sibling pair (or at least I hope it is) of Betta hendra off to their new home. Their new owner lives about fifteen minutes away and is the breeder of Atlas my plakat male and owns/has owned my fish before, so I know they are going to a good home.
I think I might try and move a few more of them on. I could do with some extra cash, and I would ideally like to whittle their numbers down to the original pair and then the sibling pair I plan on keeping. My original pair are still showing an interest in breeding, so even if the sibling pair turned out a dud, I'm sure I could get fry from them again.
Yesterday afternoon, I overhauled my Betta persephone tank in the hope the male might show some interest in breeding and colour up. So far nothing seems to have changed, but it's only been a day. I might add some IAL tea to their tank to make it even darker.
I added the rest of the java moss to the Betta brownorum tank, and they seemed happy enough with that. Male still seems to be guarding a nest, so crossing my fingers for fry.
Meanwhile, I am worried I am going to lose my Betta rutilans female. I have no idea what is wrong with her, but earlier today I found her upside down at the bottom of the container. I thought she had died until I saw her move. I tested the ammonia and it was 0ppm. Her appetite has been excellent, there's been no change in behaviour, and her colour is still really strong. Fins aren't clamped and I haven't seen her scratching against anything, or seen any indication of external parasites with my torch.
The rest of the fish in the main tank are perfectly healthy.
I put her into a breeder box with the water level much lower, and at first she just sat on an IAL at the surface breathing heavily. She is ignoring the mosquito larvae I put in, but she has moved off the leaf and gone to the other side of the box. She doesn't look in distress, just her respiration rate is faster than normal.
I said my fish room has been quieter than usual. I knew all my good fortune would run out eventually.
My male and female Betta rutilans are both alive. The female doesn't seem to be 100%, but she has been moving around and I'm going to try her with some mosquito larvae to see if she still has an appetite.
I don't really have much to write about today. I just finished giving my water aging tub a scrub with hot water and white vinegar, and now I have it refilled and ready to go. Some of my tanks haven't had water changes in them for 3-4 weeks now, so I want to get them done on Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.
My plan was to put a stocking of peat moss in there along with the rooibos, but the peat moss is very fine and started leeching out through the stocking and into the water, so I'm going to purchase some Eheim Torf Pellets and use them instead.
I also did a much needed water change of my goldfish tank. Changing out 60L of water manually with a bucket and siphon is pretty backbreaking. They also have run out of pellets so I threw them in some frozen krill this morning. I suppose I will have to pick up a tub of NLS large fish formula this weekend.
Otherwise, the rest of my post is going to be about my Betta uberis male. He was looking very nice this morning so I took the opportunity to get some photos. You can really see how dynamic his poses are! The black thing is the film canister where he builds his bubblenests.
That's his female in the background.
Betta uberis is not my favourite species, but this pair are two of my favourite fish. Unfortunately, it looks like all their fry are going to be male. Not sure what I am going to do with them all, as one male Betta uberis is ornery enough. Poor female. I hope there is at least one daughter in there to keep this line going.
My female Betta rutilans is looking much better. There also doesn't seem to be any lasting damage done to the male. I had a closer look at him today and the wound is only shallow and healing cleanly. He was coloured up and trying to get at the mosquito larvae in the female's container so I think those are both good signs.
I have definite eggs in my Betta brownorum tank. He built the most pathetic nest. It's seriously only big enough to hold the eggs and that is it. His female moves way too fast for me to get a decent photo of her. This was the best I could manage under the lights.
I still have some work to do on this tank, but it will wait until the fry are free-swimming.
My male hendra is still guarding his nest. I can't see any eggs in it, but he's been incessantly guarding it for a couple of days now and no one is going anywhere near it. So I'm not sure what is going on there.
I'm having one of those days where I look at my tanks and think "ARGH" because they look terrible. My mum put my debit card in her bag the other day, so as soon as she returns with that tonight, I'm going to be ordering a whole heap of plants. I can't find Brazilian pennywort here, but Cardamine lyrata looks very similar and can be grown floating so I'll use that as a substitute.
I've also decided I want to try apistogramma at some point in the future. Apistogramma panduro would likely be my first choice. I have a two foot tank, sand, a whole heap of IAL and melaleuca root, and floating plants. All I need to buy is the fish and I could have a tank set-up. But then I really want another pair of Betta persephone. Decisions, decisions.
To wrap up my post, here is a photo of my Betta miniopinna pair. This male is so docile. I have tried increasing his aggression levels using the mirror like I did with my Betta uberis, but he refuses to even look at it. I'm hoping that the one breeding quality offspring they have managed to produce is a male so then I can back-cross him onto the female.
Just sharing photos of some of my youngsters. They are mostly Betta coccina. So far I think I have one male. The rest look to be female as the biggest juvenile is the only one that shows a blue spot like his father.
This is one of my Betta livida juveniles. I'm going to be moving my biggest juvenile who I think is female, into a divided tank with my spare Betta livida male. If she does turn out to be female, I'll introduce them as soon as she is large enough to hold her own. Hopefully, I can get a second group of Betta livida going.
Then this is Zig-Zag my brownorum juvenile. He's still small but he's been fighting with his sibling lately. This group is so feral. I blame their mother.
Also, because I almost never show photos of my plakat male Atlas, I thought I'd post this one up because he's put so much effort into it.
He had a complete tank overhaul the other day and in the process, I destroyed his previous bubblenest, so he had to make a new one.
Finally, here is my Betta rutilans male. The small white mark on his back is where he got himself stuck in the breeder box hole.
Sadly, I lost one of my Betta persephone juveniles in a way which was 100% avoidable, so I'm pretty cut up about that.
Otherwise, things have been going okay. The brownorum eggs have hatched and the male is doing an excellent job tending to the fry. My 'supposed to be tussyae but really are burdigala' male also built a nest in one of the film canisters and has been coloured up and flirting with a receptive looking female. My persephone male has also coloured right up and has been showing off to the female more. I'm hoping to eventually coax them into spawning. Especially since I lost one of the juveniles and the remaining juvenile looks male.
The heater in my brownorum group tank wasn't doing the job properly, so I'm using my spare heater in their tank. Because of this, I'm going to order another two or three heaters. I want to set up a tank for my young coccina, and possibly my rutilans pair now they both seem to have made a recovery.
One fish I don't post a lot about in my journal, is my single Betta livida male. His female died coming to Australia, and I never bothered to replace her because of the cost of importing and shipping. I did try him with my livida female, but she attacked him so badly I had to remove him from the tank for his own safety. Now he lives in a 2 gallon tank next to my plakat male. He's the only one of my wilds to take pellets, and he flares at a mirror just as well as any Betta splendens. He is who I want to cross with a daughter from my livida pair. I thought if the female is younger than he is, there is less chance of her dominating him.
For some reason he doesn't show the green colouration on his body like my other male. That may be because he is more submissive, and lives by himself.
That is his tank on the left, and Atlas's tank on the right.
Not much been happening with my fish. My burdigala pair have fry and I did some water changes today.
However, yesterday we drove almost two hours to visit my mum's breeder friend and her puppies.
We have three dogs. Ares who is too badly conformed and oversized to show, Nike who has hip dysplasia which ended her show career, and Eos who mum has been trying to breed, but who has thus far failed to carry any puppies to term.
While I detest it, mum enjoys conformation showing, and as she doesn't have any show dogs at the moment, she mostly tags along and helps her friends out with their dogs. Because of this, her breeder friend has very kindly offered to give mum a puppy to show.
The breeder has two litters, and there are two female puppies she has picked out as potential choices for us. One is 'Red Collar Girl' and the other one is 'Little Dark Girl'. There was a beautifully conformed female puppy (sister of Little Dark Girl) who was very feisty and who I would have taken home, except for the fact she has a crooked tail so it rules her out of being competitive in shows. She maintained eye contact almost the entire time I was in the pen with the puppies, and seemed very switched on. I told the breeder she has to find this puppy a good home as I think she will make someone a great pet.
Out of the two puppies, I preferred Little Dark Girl. She has a beautiful face with dark eyes and a nice broad muzzle, and just had more presence IMO than the Red Collar Girl. I like my dogs with a bit of spunk, and she had that in spades. Her favourite past-time at the moment seems to be leaping up and snapping at your face when you bend over, while the rest of her siblings hang off your clothing and skin with their teeth. I forgot how bitey German Shepherd puppies are. It's like being mauled by a pack of adorable sharks.
After they stopped trying to eviscerate me, Little Dark Girl fell asleep on my lap with all her siblings curled up around me. She really stole my heart when she started wagging her tail while she was dreaming.
She was also the pick of another breeder friend whose kennel has produced several National winners/placers. So unless she suddenly becomes hideous in the next couple of weeks (they are six weeks at the moment) she will be coming home with us. Her show name will be Hot Damn Funk, and her pet name will be Clio to go with our Greek Mythology naming theme.
Me and mum are going to build a small dog yard down the back of our block and put gates up to divide our backyard into sections. German Shepherd females can be aggressive towards other females, so it is likely Clio won't be able to run with Nike or Eos once she is a certain age either. Hopefully in a few years we will be able to move onto a bigger block where we can have proper dog runs built and more space for everyone.
I was angry when mum wanted to get a fourth dog, but she wears you down after a while and it is her house and I do live here free of charge aside from helping out with gardening/housework/the dogs, so it's not like I have much of a say anyway. Plus seeing the puppies the other day did do a lot to change my mind.
Dealing with Nike's fear issues and lack of tractability, I'm hoping that we can get a better foundation on Clio. All the puppies seemed to be very bold (the breeder showed us how she throws a metal bowl at their yard fence and they just want to get after it), and we are going to enroll her in a mixed breed puppy class as well as the German Shepherd specific one. I told mum Clio has to pass at least level one of obedience classes at the club because Nike is the only dog of ours that hasn't done any formal obedience classes and I think it didn't help.
So a lot of work ahead with four German Shepherds, but hopefully we can manage it. I did tell the breeder I think mum is deluding herself if she thinks she can give Clio back if she turns out to be a dud show dog. The breeder agreed. Mum is such a softy. After spending the afternoon with the puppies yesterday, I don't know how any breeder does it.