Alright, so after conditioning my pair I went on ahead and threw them in the spawning tank last night. I was going to wait a little longer, but they were both doing & eating so well, the female has been eggy since she arrived, and my dad (who also breeds various freshwater fish, and bettas as a child) assured me that it would be alright.
Anyway, so far everything is going amazingly. Put Zira in a clear plastic breeding trap last night, and she barred up nearly the moment she hit the water. Rafiki also is doing good as gold so far, and started working on a nest not even a half hour later. They rested last night, but the moment that light turned on this morning he's back to nesting. I would like to wait until the nest is slightly more sizeable before I release, just to avoid distracting him for a bit longer! My plan is to release in about an hour.
Zira (First two photos before her marbling changed)
In the spawning tank: 10g, loaded with live plants, floraglow lightbulb, 83f temp, IAL, wax paper nest anchor, floating driftwood.