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Old 03-08-2011, 12:48 AM   #1 
carzz's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Utah
Breeding issues.... :(

Hey! :D First thread on here, so don't kill me if I'm doing this wrong!!
Okay, so I have 8 betta's. Four males, four females; all married and happy! So I decided that I'd start breeding my fish. I chose my strongest pair, also the couple whom I dearly love the most! Benny & Lady. Though they aren't my prettiest, I was sure the fry would be great. They've both been in good health. No ick, no popeye, no funky swimming... Benny has always been my little bubble-nest builder. Lady, I bought her due to her vertical stripes (this was before I was aware of the stripes and the meanings of them).
Anyway, I bought a nice ten gallon tank (no vents, not filters, nada). When I placed them in it the first time, I had a small fish bowl that Lady was in, in the ten gallon, where Benny was, with three styrofoam cups (just the top ring). This gave Benny to build his bubble nest (it turned out massive! About the size of a normal pancake) while Lady didn't interfere. But it gave them the chance to get used to each other (but they live next to each other, always.). Anyway, this spawning was a fail, due to my idiot-ness, I ruined his bubblenest. :( So I fixed some problems, and tried again. This time leaving her right next to the ten gallon, so they still could see each other. I kept him covered, and the water temp. just right. Every thing was going well. He build a bubble nest, not as large, but about the size of a normal palm. When I put Lady in the ten gallon, they swam around for a hour or so, and Benny was massive! He was so beautiful! He would circle her, stop under his nest, swim the tank, go up to her, go to the nest, swim more, then work on the nest for a bit, and repeat. After about a hour, when Lady decided to sit at the bottom of the tank, he got mad, flared up really large, with his gils, went right in front of her, opened his mouth huge, and slowly approached her, until she freaked out! She swam faster then I've had any fish swim, she sorta messed up his nest, was trying to jump out of the water, then cowered in the corner. And they repeated this like three times, before I removed Lady for an hour. After an hour, I tried again, but Lady was so tried, and Benny stared to scare her again.... So I finally took them out, tried Rose, but they tried to fight, so I removed her, and put them in their original homes.
Anyway, I guess my question is:
Did I miss something? She had vertical stripes. He had a bubble nest.
Unless I was doing it right, and should have left her in there........ But I really just can't come up with a reason why it didn't work!

Why won't my profile picture show up?
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:59 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Savannah, GA
Do you have any hiding places in the tank? Its normal for the male to chase the female and vice versa which is why it is important that they have places in the tank to hide.

Breeding is more than just vertical stripes and a bubblenest. Do you have food to feed the fry? Do you have jars to separate the males into when they begin to fight? Do you have time to do several water changes a day? Do you know where your fry are going to get new homes? It is extremely hard to find homes for VT fry because 1) they don't look as good until they're around 6 mos old and have fully finned out and 2) because they can be bought cheaply at any local pet store most people will not pay to ship them.

How long did you condition the fish prior to breeding? Also, what sites did you read prior to attempting to spawn? It sounds to me like you may need a little more research first.

This is not to try to scare you away or make you not want to breed. Quite the contrary.. I want you to know as much as you possibly can before breeding so you can be successful.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Yeah you need some hiding place, at least one. Place the stryofoam cup far from the hiding place. The male will sometimes build nest at stryofoam cp. My male do that. I dont knw yours. The important things is patience. You must wait until the male and female is ready. The male should ready at the tank 2-3 days. and then you can put the female in glass jar. Then wait again.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:39 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Utah
I have the rest of the process down. I've got future homes for the fry. I've got temp. homes for aggresive males. I've got multi food choices for fry (all live). I've got the space. I'e got a specific schedule for the fry, that works perfectly with my job. Feeding. Cleaning. Baby sitting. I've got supplements to help the parents recover. My fish I've had since october, where they have lived next to each other ever since. Sometimes in a tank w/ separator. But while they were in the breeding tank, they were in it for 4 days, before I moved her to the tank. I did lack a hiding spot.... maybe this is my problem.
Thanks :D
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:19 AM   #5 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
If the fish are ready, don't bug them when they're trying to spawn. Mating in many animals is an aggressive act, and any breeder will tell you that chasing and nipping is quite normal. In fact I'd be worried if they weren't doing that. You'll start to notice the difference between normal chasing, and "I'm gonna kill you" chasing soon. For example I freaked out when my first spawn pair started chasing each other, and I broke it up. Now I know I should have just let them be, they would have sorted themselves out; the male needs to assert his dominance, and he does this by attacking the female.

But I also learned what the signs of a deadly chase is; I put my male and female together for 2 minutes. Within that time span, the female had completely shredded his tail, and when I turned back around she had a firm grasp on his dorsal fin and wasn't letting go. I had to shove the little brat off of him >.> Now his tail looks like crap.

So yeah just leave them be. Taking her out will just restart the ritual and will take even longer and make them more pissed. Put a towel over the tank if you have to, and check on them once every few hours.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:26 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lismore, NSW
maybe they just are not a suitable pair :)
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:28 AM   #7 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
In other words, they need their privacy.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:11 AM   #8 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Similarly to Panthera's post; try to understand betta body language. Many possibilities may occur - a pair may look willing at first but after the first bite, the female may freak totally out. If you understand such language, you can avoid severe injuries. Most of the time, once they flirt swim they will spawn (I don't look for vertical bars or nest).

And as 1f2f said, the female needs a few getaways to avoid the male's aggression. She may dash into hiding when attacked/approached, but will come out again when she feels confident.

Finally, don't disturb them too much once they are in "the mood". Let nature take it's course. The female will be torn up - that's how they are. As long as she is not .... too badly hurt (swims normally), you should let them be.
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