Most of you out there dont know me. I will give you a brief summary of who i am, and how i began my passion for breeding.
I was always an animal lover and through the ages had multiple different animals ranging from birds, mice, lizards, turtles, ducks, cats dong, and the list goes on. The only experience with fish i ever had was a few simple goldfish, and my turtles.
A few years back in December, days before Christmas, me and my girlfriend at the time would always go shopping at pet stores to get her dog some food, treats, ect. while she shopped, i would walk around and explore the animals. One day i wandered into the fish section and spotted the hundreds of bettas stacked against the wall. That was the day i fell in love. i spotted an all black Crowntail male. my ex noticed my attraction to him and secretly bought him for me. That Christmas i became the proud owner of my first betta (named him snuggles)
I loved snuggles, but i was very ignorant with care (much like many new betta owners). snuggles was in a tiny tank because i thought bettas "can live in anything" he had no heater and i rarely did water changes. Living in such a tiny container of cold dirty water, can you guess what happened next? NO, snuggles did not
die! However he did get very sick, and i am grateful for this. This moment was when my entire betta hobby changed. I went right to the internet, researching bettas, health, care. i was desperate to save snuggles (research, something i should have done right away when i first got him, not once i realized something was wrong... Forgive me Snuggles..)
This is when my story gets better; I cured snuggles, got him a 5 gal heated tank, life plants and a good light, variety of food. He was such a happy boy after that. Showing off his fins, and dancing around in the plants, i always figured that was his thank you.
Now as we are all well aware, if you Google something, they give you soo many options. so when i typed the word betta, my interest was tweaked when i saw "betta breeding". No harm in just looking right? after watching a few videos, and reading a few articles, i was hooked.
--This is where im probably going to make a lot of betta breeders look down upon me, dont worry i think i redeem myself later--
i went to work buying supplies, looking up steps and all that stuff. went out and bought another male and 2 females. an all red male CT ( named -Cortez) and a all red female CT (named her Red) also had a small green CT female (named - Midget). I built a gorgeous spawning tank. My first attempt (Midget + Cortez) can you guess how it went? Yup, you probably guessed it, it failed horribly and i began to realize maybe its not as easy as i thought (just like soo many hobbyists hat decided it would just be a fun way to kill time) after a little more planning and research i tried my luck with Snuggles and Red. they were such a cute couple and instantly had a bond. They made babies... i was so happy seeing all the fry going crazy in the enormous bubble nest Snuggles made (he was a real pro at nest making). Again im sure you can guess what happened next. lack of research = diseased dead fry after 2 weeks.
I decided to take a break, not breed again until i have researched everything there is to research. Thats when i joined this site. i ordered a few more bettas. Cortez died due to unknown causes (possibly stress from the spawn attempt) i Bought a beautiful red and blue male CT to replace him, as well as 6 more females.
i had a 20 or 30 gal tank (dont really remember exactly) i made a simple female sorority and they got along swimmingly. pun intended. it was a beautiful, well planted tank. i had each male in his own 5 gal.
Back in action. so with fresh stock and lots of knowledge, i began to try again. try after try i conditioned, introduced and watched my pairs. time after time i failed. Was i beginning to get discouraged? Oh yeah, discouraged doesnt even describe the least of it. finally after about 10 tries my new young male found a female he really liked, built a huge nest danced his fins off to win my girls heart and when i released her..... instantly they went at it under the nest. i was shocked. i was still in the process of removing the glass barrier that protected the female and they were already in their first embrace.
This is where i tell you a little bit about myself. Im in the army, and shortly after this successful spawn i learned that i was being shipped to Afghanistan. after a month of raising my fry, i was gone and had to trust my family to care for the many lives i brought into this world.
This is the part of my story that brings a tear to my eye every time.
A few months into my deployment, i saw on the news that a huge storm was heading for the East cost. Superstorm sandy. I live in NJ, north and close to the ocean. my house was rendered without heat or electricity for 2 weeks. Despite the many things going wrong with the house, my family tried their best to keep my bettas warm. But theyre attempts were Futile, the water became dirty, the temp dropped too low, there was no light and the plants began to self destruct and decay. Every betta, adults and the few month old fry, got sick... Fatally sick.. i lost them all.
I wrote a lot here, and i guess its my way of blowing off steam.
i will bring this to a conclusion. i get home from afghanistan soon, and i have been doing a ton of planning and research, this summer i will pick up where i left off, buy some new stock and continue to have success? i hope so.
moral of the story is, 1) Research. its very important and i recommend every new person to breeding or betta keeping should do a lot of it 2) talk to people who have been there and done it. you can read 1000 articles but a successful breeder can tell you tips and secrets. 3) even when everything goes right- things can always find a way to go wrong.
R.I.P Snuggles, you were the one who opened my eyes and lead me to my passion. you will always be remembered.