Hi everyone! I thought I would give a go at betta breeding a couple months ago, and I did a ton of research but I have a specific situation I need help with. I conditioned a pair and had them see each other until the female showed breeding stripes, then I put them together. The problem is, the female apparently wasn't ready for the male's advances, so she tore up his fins. He's in his own little tank with salts and is doing well, but now the crazy female (who is brown) is filled with eggs. I got a new male and a new female as well recently, both blue. The question is, who do I pair together? And also, the blue male is slow with bubblenests, even when he can see a female around. Should I put them together when they feel ready anyway, even if there is no bubblenest?
btw if any of this isn't clear (I feel like all of it isn't ) just ask me and I can clarify
It's up to you who to pair together, but if you decide to put the brown female in again then you'll have to watch for her aggression. If she is too aggressive with the new male then you should probably use the other female.
As for the bubblenest, some males don't make make nests until the female is in the tank with them. Some males dont make nests at all. If they both look ready then, I would float her in the tank and see what happens. :)
How did you condition them and with what foods?
What tail types are your bettas?
What is your spawning tank set up?
Do you have a grow-out tank?
What are you going to feed the fry when they become free-swimming?
Ok and as for the female releasing. I think you let her go too early. You need to also be looking for the 'wiggle dance' that both fish do. They move in a 's' like pattern, and this shows that both pairs are ready to spawn. Also, only let the female out when she shows submissive behavior: clamping her fins, and swimming at a 45 degree angle with her head down.
As Kato stated- some males don't make nests at all! If this is the case, he should make a small nest once he has spawned. If not, he will still take care of the eggs.
Don't worry if he eats them either- if it's their first time breeding. Not all first-timers get it right the first time ;)
And keyword here- Be Patient. I know it's nerve racking and you really want to raise fry, but take care into what you are doing and eventually your patience will be rewarded.
Breeding is a lot of work! I have to take days off work so I can raise fry. I can tell you how I do it but everyone kinda has their own thing about how they breed. I can teach you the basics ; ) I am working on a spawn myself and I cant stress enough to be prepared: Make sure before anything your breeding tank is all set, your cultures are ready or at least set to be prepared ( infusoria- a week, vinegar eels- 2 weeks, microworms- few days to a week, and BBS- 24hrs ) make sure everyones water is warm, about 82F.
Get at least a 10 gal tank or larger, fill it about 6 inches of safe dechlorinated water. Add natural plants so the female can hide and for infusoria-fry food! Please- make sure you have a sponge filter! That way no fry get sucked up and infusoria build up on it and the fry can pick at them when they are free swimming. I keep a lid on my spawn tank to trap humidity, keep the temp 78-80 F, and to prevent dust and hair from getting into the tank. Add aquarium salt if you want- I do just in case! Do a chem test on the water if you want to be extra sure. Size matters too with tanks :) Bigger, the better!
Condition the female with high protien foods: beefheart, bloodworms, etc. for about 2 weeks. Keep her water very clean and warm, try to make sure she doesnt stress out during water changes. She may gain some weight when her eggs are "rich" and ready. Also, add some of the males water which contains his pheremones to get her in to "mood". I usually condition 3 females as back up :P Torward the end of conditioning, put the male in the breeding tank so he can establish territory. I perfer to use leaves and half of a foam cup so he can build his nest for later. Add the femalè by using a clear container ( I use a glass vase from dollar tree ) this prevents her from getting torn up by the male and motivates the male to make his bubble nest! So they can see eachother without touching :P I leave her in for a few days or until shes ready to spawn. The male will shimmy and flare. If the female is interested she will not flare, swim downwards with her head tilted, try to chase the male, and present vertical pale lines on her body. If not, take her out, try a back up, or try again later. If she is ready:sStay clear and pay attention-have a net at hand. Release the female with the male.
He will instincly chase her and nip at her. This is why plants or decorations are handy, so she can hide. Lots of plants help! If shes all torn up, take her out and heal her in a quarantine tank. When she is ready he will lead her to the nest ( if he made one ) They will move in a snake like pattern, circle, and embrace. Its ok if the female becomes " frozen" The male will squeeze at her belly, releasing her eggs as he fertilizes them in a stream of sperm. He will go to the bottom, pick up the egg, and plug them to the surface of the water either in his bubblenest or on some plants. The female may try to eat the eggs!!! Expect a couple more embraces.
When they are done they will stop embracing and she will get chased by him. Take her out. Place her in a quarantine tank with warm water and aquarium salt so she can rest and heal.
DO NOT take the male out!!!! He will keep the eggs safe ( cleaning them, rebuilding the nest, picking up falling eggs, etc ) until the fry are free swimming.
The eggs will hatch in about a day so keep daddy in there!! He may not eat at all during the next few days, thats normal. Make sure there isnt any harsh light on the eggs. Please make sure your cultures are ready by now.
The fry will hatch and the will be vertical. They will be like this for another day or so. They survive off of the nutrients from the yolk for about 2 days. Their labyrinth organs are not developed yet. Daddy will take care of them and help them- he might eat them! o. 0 Dont try to feed them just yet.
Day 3 you will need to feed them! They are free swimming ( horizontal ) and are hungry hungry hungry! If they are free swimming before day 3 thats ok, some are early bloomers! Feed them infusoria or microworms ( or both!) for about a week ( BBS are kinda big for them to eat at this stage). I use an eye dropper. Sometimes if you use the powder at the bottom of the bloodworm containers thats helpfull but can pollute water. Daphnia eggs are yummy too!!! Make sure their bellies are pink and full! Take daddy betta out and let his reat- his job is done :)
Near day 7 they can eat BBS hatchlings now! Using a nylon BBS net, scoop em out and rinse them with spring or dechlorinated water ( get the salt off of them!!! ) Then add these lil guys to the tank. They will sink because there is no salt. They may eat small daphnia, larvae, and tiny worms. Do this for about 3 weeks or so? Then feed them small pellets and larger foods. Separate all males in their own containers after they are sexed :P Im gonna stop here, my thumbs hurt!
**the cleaner your water is and the larger your tank is, the more likely your fry will survive and grow big & healthy :) Water changes help big time. Size matters. i hope this helps you...
Agreed, very well put Larsa. This is all the research I did all over the internet in one place! To answer the questions above, I have a 6ish gal heated tank with one half heavily planted and bare bottomed for spawning covered in plastic wrap with holes poked in. I also have a plastic tub type thing for growout purposes (we just moved, lots of plastic tubs everywhere that can be turned into tanks). The male is a blue bodied, clear tailed dragon scale, and the female is a bluish reddish VT. I'm not really breeding for perfect looks or anything, I just want this awesome experience and I have some homes lined up with responsible people if this actually works. The food I have prepared are a marimo moss ball ( I heard the fry like to nibble the microorganisms off of these), mosquito larvae I'm preparing outdoors and also have available to me by the lake and river, and I'm OK with feeding them egg yolk cause I'm doing regular water changes anyway. Also, I have plenty of time to commit to this because it's summer vacation and I'm not doing much.
Sorry, I forgot the first question! I'm feeding both of them flakes to start out, they are warily eating pellets as of recently too. For an occasional snack I crush up freeze dried bloodworms (they are pretty big for my bettas whole, they'll just spit them out), and I'm trying to get them to eat frozen brine shrimp, but that's not going so well. I'm also going to give them peas.
Hmmm do you know how old your fish are? 4 months to a year is the ideal breeding age :) If they are too young or too old, they may not spawn. Eww flakes :0 Ive never had a betta that ate flakes. I suggest new life specrum pellets, freeze dried bloodworms, and "frozen dinners" like daphnia, brine shrimp, emerald worms, beefheart, etc that is thawed in warm spring water. :) PEAS!? whaaaaaat noooooooooo bettas are carnivores, dont believe those lies that bettas eat plants or plant roots XD even as fry they eat paramecium and larvae :) pellets are an exception lol.
I know it's weird but they love flakes so much it's ridiculous! I can't get them off flakes! I think our pet store fed them only flakes, so it's a pain in the neck to try to get them to eat anything else! They won't eat the brine shrimp I got them -_- I think they're too big or something but they spit them out and ignore the rest. So far it's only BettaMin flakes, a pellet or two that they hold in their mouth and stare at me with for a while XP, and the freeze dried worms. I want to branch out into more frozen foods but since they didn't like the shrimp I'm not sure
also I'm not too sure how old they are since they're pet store fish, but they were both new shipments, I bought them the first day they came into the store. They both seem around the age you mentioned but maybe towards the young side.
Update!: female appears to be filled with eggs and is eating like a fiend, male... not as much