Okay, sorry guys but I switched females...Originally I was planning on using the girl in my avatar, but ended up deciding I'd rather not play with marble my first spawn...so I'm playing it safe and got a red copper CT girl to breed to my red copper HM boy.
SO, fish sorted, I have my 29 gal growout cycling (with help from 8 ghost shrimp and three cobra endlers, as well as that copper girl) and a hornwort from petco that's growing like a weed.
The tank will be MOVED before the spawn, so I will add the sand to it then, as I want a thicker subtrate for the plants.
Now, I have the male, female, growout, supplies to make the sponge filter, and I've started collecting jars.
My question for you is, what food do you find works best for spawns? I'm not doing a TON of breeding and I'm not aiming for the largest possible spawn, on the contrary I want smaller so they get good homes, but I do want HEALTHY babies, but an easy to culture food.
SO what do you use, and where do you suggest getting it?
I use microworms, BBS, grindal worms and white worms (the last two are for when they get bigger) for my fry and never had any issues. Apart from the BBS, all the others pretty much take care of themselves. I just chuck a few pieces of cat food in with my white worms and grindals every couple of days and re-culture my microworms when they get smelly.
I think microworms and BBS are two of the more popular foods for betta fry. Only thing I hate with BBS is you have to be consistent with your hatching to get the most nutrition for your fry.
I got all my cultures from my LFS. You could probably do the same. Or some people on here may have some starter cultures they can send you. It does not take long for microworms to be ready for harvest.
Only thing you do have to watch with them is that you avoid overfeeding and be very thorough with siphoning the bottom of your grow-out. Feeding exclusively/almost exclusively microworms is thought to be linked to missing ventral fins.
Pretty sure the theory is that because microworms sink, the fry spend a lot of time down on the bottom of the tank. If you overfeed or don't clean your grow-outs thoroughly, the excess microworms then die and rot, and there is a lot of nasty bacteria forming down there. It's this bacteria that causes the ventrals to be missing/deformed.
Overfeeding of BBS is also thought to cause swim bladder disorder in fry, so really as long as you are cleaning the bottoms of your grow-out tanks and feeding in moderation you shouldn't run into too many issues with whatever food you choose.
I feed mine a mix of BBS, microworms, walter worms, vinegar eels, banana worms.
Question... what type of filter are you using in your grow out tank? Since you will be doing large, frequent water changes it may be easier to go with the standard sponge filter (will also create less of a current), which doesn't need to be cycled (may crash the cycle with the daily water changes, etc). But, that is just a suggestion :)
This is how I have my set-up. Because I want a very fast hatching time, I put my BBS jar in an old fish tank and run an aquarium heater to heat the water up. However, if you have a warm spot in your house to put it you shouldn't need to do that.
All I do is add 1-1.5L of water to the jar, mix in roughly a tablespoon and a bit of plain table salt, put in a couple of pinches of baking soda to boost the pH and then just stir in my BBS eggs.
I make sure the airstone is putting out as much current as it can to cirulate the eggs, and then in around 18-24 hours I harvest them.
To harvest I remove the airstone, put a torch up against the glass about halfway up the jar, and then leave it all to settle for five or so minutes. The unhatched eggs sink and the hatched eggs float. The BBS will congregate directly in front of the light making it easy to siphon them off with some airline tubing into a cup with a coffee filter over it.
You are supposed to make up a new batch every 24 hours or so as BBS tend to lose a lot of nutrition the older they are and the more molts they have been through.