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Old 12-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #1 
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Question Fry food and other post spawning questions

Ok so my first question is regarding fry food. I never have raised a infusoria culture on my own (usually my friend does it for me). I've heard many things you can use like lettuce and dog food to start them. I want to know how do you tell if a culture is bad, how do you know its good and ready and what exactly am I looking for? I dont have any south facing windows so could I grow it under a light?
Also there are some powdered food out on the market like Ocean Nutrition Atisons Betta Starter have any of you tried it? Does it work the same as live food?
And even more questions...
How long should you wait before breeding the same pair again?
And is there a way to transport 2 week old fry without a massive die out by car (about 6 hrs)? I have to go back home and thought I had three weeks but the school is pushing us out or I have to pay $400 to stay a week more . I was thinking to use the same way I brought my other fish here is a put them in large plastic containers then put them inside a cooler to stay warm and dark. I'm also bringing the tank water with me to try not to shock them. My friend has a empty fry tank at home when I get back.
And the last one... Is it a fact or myth to leave a low light on when the male is guarding the nest so he can see and catch the eggs and fry that fall?
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:06 PM   #2 
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I use to always leave a small light on for the male with eggs/fry until the explosion this summer and the electric was out for a while until the fire was put out-I had a hard to spawn male with a more than willing female and because of the evacuation I didn't get to come home for 24 hours and when I returned I had a massive nest and eggs but no time to mess with anything had to get what I needed and leave the house...came back to bouncing fry and happy daddy, uninjured female-no electric so no lights and all was fine and the fry look great today...the only light was a little moon light and light from the fire so it wasn't totally dark...so I don't leave a light on anymore.....fish also have what is called a lateral line and this helps them detect movement in the water when it is dark....so IMO/E-you don't need a light but it won't hurt either...and with hard to spawn or bad father lights off may even help......

Infusoria-if it smells bad it is bad.....I make mine outside in 5gal buckets and I sometimes use water from a dirty filter box, wilted lettuce, hay, grass clippings I add common snails-full sun and when I see green water.... I collect with an eyedropper, brineshrimp net or cup and add to the fry tank all depending on what I am feeding and the container they are in

I feed my fry live foods for the first 2 months and then I start to add my homemade foods and then flake foods and move to pellets a week before they leave the house so they will know how to eat store bought foods...I wean them I guess you could say....

The male is ready to spawn at any time but I like to give my females at least 3 days between spawns

Fry transport-I would use something small with a lid-that will be a challenge...I have never transported really young fry so not sure what the best method would be.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:40 PM   #3 
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My problem is I'm stuck in a dorm room so I dont have access to outside thats how I usually made green water. And does the bucket method work in winter or do you just not breed then? Is there an easy method for growing infusoria inside?
And I will turn the light off and see if I can tell any difference in numbers of fry.
And what kind of homemade food do you usually feed?
Also thanks for answering all the questions :) I just want to be sure I get all information before I jump into breeding betta on a regular basis
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:43 PM   #4 
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I make green water in 1gal container that have live plants and snails in an east window along with a little dirt-My green water buckets still produce in the cold months but not as well especially once they freeze over but once it thawed I have a pretty good daphnia population-but mostly in the winter I rely on the spawning tank itself to create the micro-nutrient/organism for the fry first live foods for their first 7-10+ days of free swimming stage...But.....I use the natural method of spawning and natural selection......I only want the biggest and strongest fry to survive...I am not going for big numbers per spawn like I use to or the method I use in the warmer months-too much work-I want quality fry........

My 10gal spawning tanks can support 40-50 fry for several weeks without any added food, however, I usually add newly hatched brine shrimp by at least day 7-10+ from the free swimming stage on my special inside spawns and later I HUFA supplement the BBS and use other live foods as well...my method is not for everyone....my goals are a bit different than most.....I do spawn masses in the summer for re-sale to support my hobby along with other species of fish, inverts and plants......

I use soil based tanks and lots of live plants and since the soil is alive along with snails, shrimp, fish waste, decomp etc..... it help to create lots of microscopic organism or infusoria that feed off the algae, plants...etc.....that in turn feed the fry....as close to a complete ecosystem that you can get in a closed system...chain of life......
You can't make one of these systems over night it takes about 6 months at the very least for them to balance and become alive to the point of being self supportive with little intervention/help from the hobbyist

I know more information than what you want and most likely not something you will want to do...just sharing how I do it and how I can feed fry with what the tank/system can make naturally...its been 3 years going into the 4th year with this method and I have been very successful...but like I said it's not for everyone especially when you want big numbers or fast results........like I said my goals differ than most and I have lots of tanks of all sizes and keep my males and females together successfully of all different sizes and ages and still able to get them to spawn without problems or injury....I had to change direction because of my health and the fun was taken out of it with 80+ cup/carded males and the care they needed....it started to become too much work and took the joy out of it....lol........the half filled bare bottom tank method I did for many years- gave me more fry but it was more work, more problems and not as much fun....lol......natural method nearly self sustained less fry but bigger , healthier and less problems and lots of fun.....for me anyway.....

It all depends on your goal-are you wanting everyone of the fry to survive regardless of size, health etc.....or are you wanting to experience the spawning and fry rearing...do you plan to sell, keep, give away the offspring....in a dorm with limited space you also have think about what/how you are going to grow out the fish-larger tanks, cups etc...not just the feeding aspect but housing and that is just as important and more important is water quality-even with the best breeding pair, the best food-without quality water your fry will not do well, grow out well and often result in sick, stunted, poor fins, dead dying fry that will never grow out nicely....don't get me wrong I am of the opinion that everyone should try/experience spawning their favorite species of fish at least once...many do not agree...so I am not trying to discourage you in any way....more people in this hobby the better for the hobby itself is my stance on the issue....lots of spawning methods, feeding methods, rearing methods, housing methods....not one person will be the same.....or have success in the same way...okay.....enough rambling already...laffs......

I posted yesterday on my homemade food here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....364#post531364
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:07 PM   #5 
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I'm so glad people like you share their knowledge! I feel the same way. On all the other spawns I have had I let only the strong survive I'm not in it for the numbers. I enjoy watching a few fry grow in a large tank. And I enjoy all the information actually everyone has their own way of doing things. I always wanted to try a tank with soil in it I am to afraid to try it cause of cleaning. I always potted my delicate live plants in soil and peat moss though.
I think the method of an almost closed ecosystem to raise fry is amazing! Like no joke next year when I get my own place I will try to set one up. Slowly of course cause nothing good happens fast in an aquarium. I'm not a big fan of the bare bottom and lots of fry. I'm not into to it to showing betta... not yet anyway.
I have already thought about the grow out in the dorm I have gallon jars ready and the time to change the water every day. And the water here is has a lot of iorn in it but a carbon filter tends to remove that quite well. Once they are older the LFS said they could take like 5 and the rest I might keep or send back home.
And thanks for the recipe I will try that.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:32 PM   #6 
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Awesome....what a lot of people forget is that fish don't live/thrive in a sterile environment, you do have to keep ammonia, nitrite under control and nitrate at levels so that they don't affect immune response, growth and general healthy and in the world of fish- dirt/soil/sand/rocks/gravel is their natural habitat..but since it is a closed system we as the hobbyist have to control some things and soil based tanks are a lot easier to care for than most think-due to microbes in the dirt-it is alive and uses the waste/mulm for life/food-the plants use it for food the livestock keep thing moving and churned-you have your shredders that help with decomp and that in turn is CO2 for plant energy ...on and on.....circle of life...so much goes on in a tank of water that you can't see that is so important and many folks look at some things in a tank as bad when in fact it is good and can often be a sign of health and destroy it when is should be embraced yet controlled..its still a closed system so it has its limits....the chemistry and science is amazing if you just take the time to understand it........all-righty I will stop rambling...laffs.....I can go on and on sometimes...lol.....especially when someone else shares the passion for something......
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #7 
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Ha ha I know what you mean people who have never had fish always give me weird looks cause I'm passionate about them. And I tend to keep weird fish :p
Can you give me any recommendations about starting a tank with soil substrate? Or any good articles? I am interested now that you bring it up. I think I would prefer to raise fry that way versus a sterile environment where I have to be sure to feed and control everything.
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