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Old 03-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #1 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States
Conditioning Betta Pair for First Time- Female Stressed Out

Hi, I am new to the forum and I would like some advice as a first time breeder. I ordered a female betta, especially good for breeding, and I purchased a male betta from the pet store. I know it's not ideal to get a pet store betta for breeding, but it is too much money for me to purchase a male online from an established breeder right now.

I just got the fish and I let them adjust to their environment the first day and fed them both frozen brine shrimp. Today, I just wanted to test the compatibility of the pair, so I took the female and place her in a half-full cup and floated her in the male's fish bowl.

At first the male flared at the female very much and the female just keep swimming against the cup like she was trying to get out to reach the male. The male hadn't yet built a bubble nest, but he was definitely blowing more bubbles once I put the female in.

I thought the female was just excited to see the male and it seemed to be going well, but when I went away and came back, the female seemed agitated and she looked a little different.

She had horizontal dark stripes going across her body and I knew that those weren't there before, so I looked them up online and it turns out those are stress lines. So, I removed the female from the cup and put her back in her own tank and the stripes went away.

Now I'm worried that the breeding pair is not compatible.

Mind you, the temperature in the male's bowl is a little cooler than the water in the female tank because her tank is heated, so maybe that was stressful to her.

But, someone please let me know what you think? Is this pair suitable for breeding and should I keep conditioning them while I prepare the breeding tank and grow the fry food or should i just pick another pair?

Thank you

Last edited by JJChocolate88; 03-14-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:53 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and soon to breeding...It can be a lot of fun and

What I would recommend at this point-keep the two separated-neither in the spawning tank. Mass feed with live food if you have any-otherwise good quality varied diet 4-6 times a day in small meals- Allow them to see each other for about 5min each day for the next 10-14 days. If you have any tannins-either IAL or Oak leaf-add some to each container and to the spawning tank.

In the mean time-research, make a plan, start your cultures for the fry and get the spawning tank ready
If you have any live plants-add them to your spawning tank-along with some common snails and mass feed them with leafy green to get some microorganism colonizing in the spawning tank to help out with fry food in the beginning.

What spawning method do you plan to use, what type of cultures do you have. It is too soon to know if they are compatible or not-Once you understand normal expected pre-spawning behavior-this will help you know if the two will work out or not....

Look forward to hearing about your spawning adventures....
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States

thank you for the welcome and for responding. I didn't know about putting the snails in the tank, I'll have to buy some. Is there a specific kind that I should purchase?

I wasn't aware that there was more than one spawning method to be honest. I just bought a book and looked up some information about breeding online and I have set up a tank with a heater and it's ten gallons but I still have to get some more stuff for it. I'm trying to condition the pair and after they were ready, I was just going to put the male in the breeding tank, let him build the nest and then put the female in when she was ready...and just you know let them do their thing and then take care of the fry.

Is there an alternative method?

"what type of culture do I have?"

I have a microworm culture and I'm growing infusoria and I am also going to try and use some boiled egg yolk and water in the first few meals in case the infusoria isn't ready.

What signs should I look for that tell me whether or not they're compatible?
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:03 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
IMO compatible or not depends on your goal and plan. Most pairs can be manipulated to spawn - compatible. But does it fit or will they produce what you want, both form and color wise.

For now, isolate both while you mass feed them and prepare supplies. Also read as many articles on breeding and fry raising because a number of unexpected events may occur. After a week or so flare the female to a mirror. If she doesn't flare take the mirror and try again the following day. But if she flares, let her flare for a minute or so and add flare time each day until 10 minutes.

By two weeks from now, you should have more knowledge on breeding and fry care, supplies that you need, and a pair of aggressive and healthy bettas. Place the male in the breeding tank and flare him to a mirror or to other males for about 5 - 10 minutes daily. He should build a nest anytime. But if he doesn't, when he flares, does he stay in the same area or does he swim all over the tank. He should flirt swim all over the tank.

Place the female in a jar that can be floated in the breeding tank. Give her time to settle then float her in with the male. Both should swim like crazy and the female should show breeding bars soon after. Then you can either wait another day or immediately release the female. Since it's their first time and they were just introduced, it may take a few days before they spawn. Usually mature females will spawn within 2-3 days. But sometimes it may take a week. Patience is the key here.

Good luck.
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