Since there is no wrong or right way to breed, I thought it would be interesting if everyone could share a brief summary of how they like to condition/breed their Bettas? This can be anything from tips, spawning tank setup, conditioning methods, fry foods used, ect. I have learned so many useful things by listening to other breeders methods, so I thought it would be awesome to start a thread dedicated to individuals explaining the way they go through the process of breeding their fish. I hope this thread takes off and I can learn some new things!
Congrats on taking initiative and wanting to learn! It's actually quite afflicting after you begin. I don't necessarily condition my fish... They are always fed a variety of frozen food twice a day. The closer to spawning day I may add extra but in general the fish are fed well anyway. I set the tank up with live plants, heater at 84-86, and then let it age for a week or two. I use a bigger tank 29 gallon-35 gallon to set the spawn up with. I also have a sponge filter on during the initial set up but turn it off when I introduce the pair to the set up... I place a smaller container in the large spawn tank setup in which I release the male and female (sometimes at the same time,other time I float the female awhile, it depends on the pair). I usually introduce them in late evening so the male can get to work on his nest. By early morning there is usually a big nest and as the morning progresses usually a spawn. Just depends. I actually got the small container in the spawn tank idea from a member on here named Myates. She is very knowledgable. :) so then I leave everything alone. The fry hatch. Daddy puts them in the nest. Finally they free swim. At this point I take daddy out. I wait til the next morning and release the babies from the small container into the big open tank. Start my sponge filter on a very low trickle. Drop in a mix of VE, MW, BW, and WW. Every 2nd or 3rd day I fed BBS. Watch out feeding frozen or live food too large for the fry.. I did lose four fry to choking. :( At this point I have about 30 fry at 5 weeks if age. Coloring up every day! Good luck to you!
I'm just starting out so I likely won't have a set spawn style until I figure out what works best for me. So far I am going to be testing out a few things this year and have a few things I already tried that has worked well and some not so well.
What works best for me was keeping my fish in two separate tanks next to each other with a card between them. Fed 4 times a day, smaller meals of two frozen foods a day. Normally mixed bloodworms and brine shrimp and the next day black worms and mysois shrimp, some bugs here and there, and some bug larva such as mosquitos. For 15 minutes a day I would pull the card and let them see each other and they seemed to get breed ready very quickly. Also changed half the water in their tanks every day and replaced with slightly colder water at a trickle to help imitate the rainy season....REALLY seemed to work as my male blew a nest even when he couldn't see the female.
Divided tank doesn't work at all...female just released her eggs early and ate them all so yeah <.<
Tried breeding virgins in a 10 gallon tank and after 3 days nothing happened, they were constantly being distracted by things outside the tank so you can bet I'll never do that again.
Bucket: This has been working MUCH better as their is less runaround space and the fish start getting to work faster, only setback is I can't see the nest from my point of view as it is under a leaf and with the top down view it's hard to know if they are blowing the nest still or already breeding. Also I am thinking it will be hard to see if their are eggs in the nest and when the fry hatch. I'll have to get creative with that one...and moving the fry will be a pain.
Some methods I want to try out is certainly the one above that Jayloo mentioned. However keep some of my idea's such as the half cut cup which I got from a lot of breeders here in MN to help encourage the male to build his nest under that.
Another thing I want to try is something I got from a breeder in MN who breeds outside from June to August. He sets up small pools that are all naturally planted and breeds in them (not doing this with virgins). He covers the tops with large mesh lids he makes himself for bugs to lay their larva in the water and releases his pair after 5 days conditioning. After the fry are freswimming he removes the male and lets the fry grow up in the pools feeding off larva and MW and BBS. He's had great luck with it and I have been interested in trying it myself.
Last edited by LadyVictorian; 05-01-2013 at 03:45 PM.
There definatly is a wrong way to breed- but also many right ways.
EVERY single breeder does things at least a little bit differently (which I think is really neat). Here's how I do it-
Conditioning: For two weeks, the future parents (hopefully) are fed new life spectrum pellets three times a day to total twelve pellets, and they get one serving of fresh or frozen food. For the first week, the female gets to see the male for 10-15 minutes a day, and for the last week they are isolated. It is usually suggested to expose them to each other for the full length of conditioning but I find and have read that basically, lonleyness makes the heart grow fonder. Water changes are also increased to mimic the rainy season, which is when they naturally breed.
Spawn tank: Basic ten gallon tank half filled with an adjustable 100w heater set to ~82 degrees. It should have hiding spots, but not to many hiding spots. I have talked to another breeder and we both agree that the female needs hiding spots to escape from the male, but to many hiding spots make it take longer. Also, ial is added.
Introduction and spawning: The male is let into the tank in the morning, the female is introduced via glass chimney or open bag floating in the evening or at night, and the next morning, if both are ready, they are allowed together. I make everything is going well and watch them carefully but am also careful not to disrupt them.
After spawn: The female is taken out in the least disruptive way possible. If she is beat up, she is qt'ed and treated if necessarily. On my last spawn the male was very gentle, only ripping the anal fin a few times, so I added her strait back into the sorority. The male is left alone with the eggs, the light is left on during the day and a flashlight (torch for the Australians and British!) is left on the nest during the night. My "fish room" is really my bedroom, so obviously I can't leave the lights on 24 hours a day. Even covering it with a towel let to much light through. After the eggs hatch and fry are free swimming, the male is lured out from underneath his nest and then carefully acclimated back to his original tank. First feeding is provided but at this point they are mainly living off infusoria from live plants, etc.
Fry rearing: I feed microworms, banana worms, and baby bring shrimp but mainly the first two due to convienience. (I wrote a good 'article' on the worms. I will link to it if you would like me to.). They are fed three or four times a day. I don't add water for the first week but after week one I start carefully dripping in same temperature treated water a little bit at a time. By week two the tank is filled and water changes begin, 30%-50% every single day. Fry rearing is still something I'm figuring out lol.
So yea. That's what I do, but it varies greatly person to person. Good on you for doing your research! That's one thing that you can not do to much of! There are a lot of more experienced people out there but hopefully I helped.
I love reading these! I have already learned some things from each of you that seem very useful! I think it would be great if we could have all of the breeders on this forum to collaborate and share their methods/tips. Keep the posts coming! I'm enjoying learning from all of you!
I condition anywhere from 3-7 days, usually don't let them see any other betta the whole time. Sometimes I'll let the pair see each other off and on, and some they don't see each other at all. It depends on which pair it is for me.. some need that time alone to become aggressive, otherwise they will be too docile or basically "bored of the other fish" as they usually see each other 24/7 when not conditioning.
Fill up a 10g with a few inches of water, place in a plastic tub about the size of a shoe box with holes in the sides to allow a flow of water (fill tub with water.. it's a balancing act to get enough water in tank and in tub so tub doesn't float away, but there is enough water in tank to cover heater.. yet not too much water in tub so female can jump out).
Turn sponge filter on very low.
Live plants on the outside of the tub but in the tank.
Heater set to 84-88F
2 large IAL leaves in the 10g outside the tub, broken into 4s. One large IAL leaf broken in half in the tub (large = 8-12")
Place male in tub that's in the tank, then immediately place female in a chimney in the tub.
6-24hrs later (depending upon female) let her loose..
Usually this method I have eggs anywhere from a couple hours to a day, one time it took a virgin pair a week to breed doing it that way.
After fry are free swimming will gently tip them into the tank and that's that. Usually I remove the male then, but that also depends.. currently one spawn has no male, the other has a male in with them.. they are both about a week and a half old.