I've been lurking here for a while, reading information, and have been able to find answers to most of my questions.
I spawned my two bettas, and got 9 or 10 fry as a result. (Could never get a good count, they kept hiding behind plants.)
Unfortunately, I decided to try feeding them only packaged food (Hikari First Bites and Instant BBS ordered from IBC). They seemed to be doing okay, as there was a lot of infusoria in the water from the plants. However, I needed to put a lot of food in there to make sure they all ate it (if I put it one spot, they would not come to it, it would just sink to the bottom and sit there. If I stirred it in, they would see it floating past and eat it).
Well, long story short, I did not keep up on water changes and removing the uneaten food as well as I should have. On one weekend in particular, my girlfriend's family visited us, so I kept feeding them, but didn't bother to remove the uneaten food. Monday I found a few of them dead, so I immediately spent the next few hours cleaning the bottom with a turkey baster (all I had at the time), but a few more still died throughout the week. I wound up with two survivors, one which has been growing pretty steadily, (his belly always looked orangeish with the instant bbs) and one little guy who seemed pale...belly always looked clear, I don't think he was eating the instant bbs.
This was (I think?) 3 weeks ago. I've been keeping their tank very clean, doing moderate water changes just about every day. The bigger guy has been growing, but the smaller one hasn't grown much.
Last week I finally decided to stop being hardheaded and order BBS eggs. Got them saturday, set them all up, and now I got to feed my babies live food. They went crazy for it! They both gobbled them up until their little bellies were completely stuffed. I even gave a few to the parents, and they both seemed to enjoy devouring them.
So, some lessons I learned (the hard way):
1) The instant products are okay in a pinch, but are not a good long-term solution. I'm not sure how many of my fry died of starvation, and how many of them died due to poor water conditions, but I'm 100% sure that the smaller of my two survivors would not have lasted this week had I not finally started feeding them live food.
2) Water quality! I know other people stress this, but even lapsing over a long weekend (granted, using packaged, non living food) resulted in the death of a bunch of my fry.
Sorry for the long post!
Cliffs: Spawned my bettas, tried to use only packaged food to feed them, wound up putting way too much in over a weekend, and most of them died. Hatching my own BBS now and they are loving it.
Now, on to a few questions (if anyone is still reading)
1) Is 10 gallons too much for two fry? Or am I good to continue using that, even to let them grow out in?
2) What do I do with all these brine shrimp?? I put a small amount of bbs eggs in there, and have way way way more than enough. They only live for about 12 hours after hatching, right? Should I feed the rest to the parents? I know they wont provide enough nutrition for a full grown fish, but it's a good snack, right?
3) Do most of you just put a small amount of bbs in the tank near the fry, or do you scatter it throughout the tank? Should I do that until they get big enough to easily find and feed?