Hey everybody! Been lurking around the site for a few months now, finally have a subject I feel brave enough to post about.
I'm hoping to set-up a unit study on Betta's for my siblings, my parents have homeschooled all 6 of us from the start and all the way up through highschool. I'm at college right now, and come home almost every weekend. The Betta bug bit at our house recently after roommate and I decided to get our boys Alejandro (hers) and Jazz (mine, in profile pic) for the dorm. Now 2 of my sisters each have their own boys, and me being the way I am with small pets just got a gorgeous red vt boy as an impulse buy at the walmart by my school.
Sooo, I asked my mom what she thought of doing a unit study on Betta fish, since we've finally gotten back into fish-keeping, and trying to include a breeding set-up. She really likes the idea! As long as I'm the primary teacher! (
) They recently kept tadpoles and loved that, and I started explaining more about Bettas, how they breed and how the fry develop, and shes really fascinated by all of it. I'm really excited about this project, and I've been looking through all the great breeding info people have posted here even before we decided to try it. But I still have a lot of questions, and I'd love to know what more experienced Betta parents think about this.
None of us actually have a female yet, and obviously I'm not going to buy one and just throw her straight into the baby-making process. But how long should I be waiting between store and spawning? Are they usually at a healthy age for breeding when they're for sale? Are there any signs I should look for in the female before we even try to put them together? I know you should keep them separate in the tank with a vase or jar and see if they react the right way with each other before actually having them together, but do either of them need to be showing signs that they're ready before that?
Is it alright to try breeding them in the fall/winter if its an indoor setup? As long as the conditions inside and in the tank are right we shouldn't have to wait for warmer seasons in the real world, right? I'm happy to wait if we really have to.
I'm sure that all of us will learn a lot and get a lot of enjoyment from this whole experience, but this whole project is going to be mainly for my 5yr old brother and 12yr old sister, at least the more formal learning parts will be. How involved in the whole thing do you think they can actually be? Do you think they could handle supervised feedings for the fry, or should they just keep their hands out of it and observe? I'll be teaching them way more then just breeding and development, I'll be packing in as much Betta info and history as I can! (I'm really excited about the research part too!)
Classes will be starting again for me before the end of August, but like I said I'll be home for the weekends. Now, by the time we'd actually be ready for the babies, my mom and the oldest of my little sisters (17), at least, will know as much as possible about the whole process too, so I'm not going to end up being the only person who knows whats going on. But this is still my project and my idea, and I'm the one in charge and responsible for it. Is it a bad idea to try and spawn them while I'm home for the weekend? Or should I wait until one of our breaks to get this going?
We're also trying to do this as cheaply as possible, without really cutting any corners. We want to do this right! But if anyone has any ideas or advice on thrifty SAFE ways to set this up and keep the fry properly fed, I would be VERY appreciative!
I think those are all of my questions, for now. Thanks for having such a great community here! Please let me know what you think of this whole idea, and let me know if you think its a good idea or not! If I really get this going I'll probably be back with a lot more questions! We wouldn't be breeding for anything specific or perfect, just for the love of learning and of fishies!