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Old 07-31-2011, 08:57 PM   #1 
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KitLaurie's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Carolina
Breeding for educational purposes?

Hey everybody! Been lurking around the site for a few months now, finally have a subject I feel brave enough to post about.

(Incoming life-story )

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!
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:58 AM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and what a neat idea......

I think your younger siblings can be involved in the process..hands on.........

Not just in the breeding process, cleaning tanks, feeding the fish...but culturing the live foods for the fry

I would start hitting the thrift stores for supplies: this is a great way to get the thing you need....low

I would get several small containers, a 10gal for spawning and 20gal or bigger for grow out, heaters, small mesh nets and brine shrimp nets, lights, hoods, airline hose, pump to hatch BBS....some thing you may need to buy new.....

And live plants....

Start researching and when you come to something you don't understand...just ask...we will be happy to help you out.....

One big question....what are your plans for the can have up to 100 or more...this varies......

Keep us posted
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:01 PM   #3 
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Hi, welcome to the forum.

I double OFL. Read the stickies as a general guide and ask what you don't understand - we'll help anyway we can.

Make sure you can rehome the fry - you may have hundreds but usually first time breeders end up with around 20 or so.

Both, bro and sis can fully take part in the whole process .... with supervision of course (specially your bro). So if possible, begin when you can spend a whole week at home (the breeding process may take a few days). Then you can show them what and how to do things (feed, partial WC, etc).

Breeding during spring/summer can be cheaper because you can culture micro organism in your back yard (free food). You also don't have to worry about heating every single jar because by the end of summer, you can rehome your fry..... ask OFL about her natural planted tanks - a mini ecosystem - another thing you can teach your siblings.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #4 
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Hello and welcome to the forum.I think this will be a fun project.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:42 PM   #5 
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Thank you guys! I'm honestly really relieved to hear that other people think this is an interesting idea!

Finding homes for all of the babies is the only part that I'm really worried that I won't be prepared for. I've been talking to my mom about it again, and all I'd planned for was making a big noise about it at college, scouting, facebook, our different homeschooling communities, her blog, and anything else I can come up with, and by the time the fry are ready to go we'd have a decent number of people interested in home-grown Betta fish. She did bring up some of our local pet stores that would probably buy some Betta's from an independent source. Although, if it ends up being closer to 20+ or we can't find homes for some of them I could definitely see us just keeping a bunch. Nobody who knows our family would be too surprised if we ended up with a few dozen of some animal or another, but its probably not the most responsible thing to do right now.

Natural planted tanks sound really cool! But I have to admit I find live plants kind of intimidating. I've taken great care of all the critters that have come and gone in my life, but all the plants I acquire die pretty quickly. I might bug you about those later though, if you don't mind OFL.

I'll definitely keep you posted on everything! Right now I'm pretty much just working on getting all the basic stuff together, and making sure that we know what we're getting into.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:59 PM   #6 
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You could also put them up for good homes if you have too many.
i like this idea and i have planted tanks they are not so scary if you get a good idea on what plants need what light :)
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:36 PM   #7 
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There may be some members here that might be willing to take a few.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:22 PM   #8 
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This is a really great idea. I really wish someone had done this for me when I was younger.

And I do second on what indjo and OFL said about the Natural Planted tank. It is a very cool way to introduce ecosystem into the project. And you don't have to fear the idea of live plants, there's plenty of species out there that require very little attention and are very hardy, which a lot are easily found at your local Fish store.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:24 PM   #9 
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I'll definitely be trying to get all the fry the best homes possible. If anyone from the site want any of the babies that'll result from this project, I'd be happy to give/sell some Betta's to them!

We will definitely be looking into live plants and planted tanks in more depth then! I'm going home today (Been doing travel/work/recruitment for my school all summer. Lots of camp counseling and random office work.), and I'll be able to make some more definite plans and really start trying to get things together once I'm back with my family.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:12 PM   #10 
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That sounds like a great idea!! I am glad that you are doing your research and doing it responsibly. :) I would agree with OFL on what she said about getting things at thrift stores. You can find some great things there for very cheap!
Live plants aren't that difficult if you do your research and have enough light and fertilizer for them.

PS. yay for homeschooled kids! (me being one of them.. LOL)
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