I'm thinking since males don't always do good their first time would it be worthwhile test breeding him to another female and seeing how he does with A. Embracing, B. caring fro the eggs, and C. aggression levels towards girls. That way when I go to breed him to the female i want he has a better chance at fertilizing eggs and already has some experience for caring for his offspring so I know the pairing I want will have a better success rate. Chances are with the test breeding it would be with another female I get someplace, perhaps someone who would still compliment him but isn't as nice as my planed female. If he was successful in raising his first spawn I would likely cull down to top 10 and find them homes as pets.
Is it worth going through this? Also it would be my first time spawning and I guess I wouldn't want to be green when spawning the 'good' fish. I'm going to be setting up a 20 gallon spawn tank cycled and live plants with IAL this summer and am getting a few girls and boys from AB and a great betta shop that imports nice fish from Thailand. I am thinking of test breeding my male in spring or possibly doing a test spawning on myself to make sure my setup will be nice around March with other fish and massively culling down so I have a handful of pet betta's. Hoping if i test spawn my male I have (MG HMPK from Thailand) I can get another HMPK female to breed him too. I was also thinking of just using my vt girl but...eh...mixing tail types no one would want them even as pets. And hey if I end up with a nice good looking surprise from the spawn that would be a plus right?
Honestly, The only real point I see in doing this is if you want to see how it goes now before you have any nice females to pair him with, just in case he turns out to be a bad dad or something them you wouldn't have "wasted" money on a female you don't have use for. (I hate to say wasted cuz she'd still be a good pet, but you spent money there where you could have put it towards something else)
But, if you were planning to wait a while till you tried a spawn I don't see why you shouldn't wait a while longer to get a good female and just spawn multiple times if the first doesn't work out the way you planned.
For me:: I'd rather wait. I would get attached to all the babies and would have a really hard time culling down to 10. (I can't even cull my guppy babies that are 2 weeks and the size of newborns)
Sorry for my rambling, I'm trying hard to make a point but My mind is too tired to let me word it in the right way!
that is a good idea. But, i dont think i have the patience to wait til summer to breed the real pair . I guess that works if you have time to observe the male carefully. But, if you're unpatient like me then i dont think there's anything wrong with breeding them on the first try. I think if you already love the male and is set on him, then might as well give in on the first try. Otherwise, if he fails the test, you can always re-condition them and try again a week later, right?
I'm running into the complete opposite dilemma. It's the female that i'm worrying about. I was thinking of having two females for my male. I think choosing the female is just as important. But let us know what you decide, and keep us updated.
I would be getting the female for his pairing around the same time I got the other female for test breeding. Likely will both be Thailand imports so it's not that his babies with the tester would be crapy. They just not be the color and or scale match I want for him (I want a dragon female for him). I would just hate for him to have no idea what he is doing with my female (who it would also be her first time) and have two inexperienced fish trying to breed.
The other female I get would also likely be purchased with getting her a mate as well off AB, something I want to breed but have to get a male for so even the other female would be something overall useful to me.
The only risk in putting any unknown pair together is that if he is too aggressive he can kill the female.. But he will kill any female if he is that way; not just a tester girl..
I agree that it is best to just breed the pair you most want to work with, and only when you are ready for it. Some males fail for their first spawn, but many are successful. I have had 6 spawns so far that have resulted in babies, and 4 of those 6 were to first-time couples.
If a male is ever going to fail to spawn in his lifetime, in all likelihood it would be his first time that fails. But it doesn't mean that the same pair cannot be bred multiple times once they get the hang of it. :)
You watch them, their behavior before you introduce unknown pairs - use the glass chimney so they can see one another.. there you can see whether the male is interested in mating by his actions - making a bubble nest, dancing for her and trying to get her to follow him to the best. Then watch the girl's actions.. she can be tricky, she can show all the right things but not even be close to ready to breed...
Basically to ensure the best chance at the fish not killing each other the females needs to be literally ready to pop with eggs. If she isn't ready the male will go after her.. or vise versa, the female will go after the male. If they aren't ready then after a couple days you will know whether to pull and recondition, or let them stay together longer depending upon their behavior. I've had pairs stay together for a week+ with no problems or harm done.
So you should be able to tell within 24hrs whether or not the female is ready/willing and whether they can stay together or should be pulled. Chasing/biting/fin ripping is common, you just don't want one to get to the point that the stress is killing the other. I've had my share of really really aggressive females that even my most aggressive male can't control her. So keep that in mind.. females are just as deadly as the males.
Virgin fish - especially females - are not fun to work with. Half the time you will be pulling out your hair at their lack of interest, the other half you will be playing Barry Manilow because it looks promising they will breed.. and then not. I have one virgin girl that has only dropped her eggs when she is away from the male. :eyeroll:
So all in all.. either breed 2 bettas you aren't in love with to see if you can breed the fish and raise the fry.. or just breed the ones you want, because it's not just about the male being aggressive.. he could be gentle but the girl will want to still kill him. So may as well figure out whether that pair is going to work or not sooner rather than later. You can't judge how a pair will be by seeing how one breeds with another.. there are some fish who just will not like the mate, even for something simple as they do not like that color. Stop laughing, it's true :P
What happens, and in my worst fear if he is an egg eater? Should I just pull him and artificially raise the eggs next time? My biggest fear isn't his aggression to a girl though he is aggressive he's not nearly as bad as the boy in the tank over (Hollow will attack everything that moves even floating specks), my fear is a new father not knowing how to care for his nest and eating all his eggs or killing all the babies before they are free swimming.