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Old 08-10-2011, 01:42 PM   #1 
BetterBetta
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Question OutDoor Spawning?

What exactly do I need? I have plenty of those large plastic garbage bins that collect water, will those suffice? And if I understand correctly, we let nature take it's course? It would be good for me, living in southwest florida, and all the mosquito larvae we get. What would happen when it rains? I would just like to know some pointers and basic information on outdoor spawn. Thanks!

Last edited by BetterBetta; 08-10-2011 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:01 PM   #2 
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In my outside spawns-I use those tall 5gal buckets filled to the top with water-they are usually already somewhat broken on the top- but if not-I will break or drill holes in the upper 1-2 inches and use screen to cover the holes so water can flow through without the fish...lol......this way when it rains and overflows the bucket I don't have fish being washed out...

I place my buckets under the drip line on the shaded side of my house to limit too much sun and I have a couple under the drip line of a shed that gets more sun-water temp can range in mine up to 100F even in the shade-but it doesn't seem to cause any problems for the fish or hurt reproduction

I place slats-usually just one across the top so when it does rain and the water drips into the buckets-it will hit the slat or board first so the water doesn't mess everything up too much...kinda deflect the water a bit before it goes in the bucket...

I add lots of dried oak leaf and live plants...I let the live plants float since the substrate is leaf litter and debris that it creates as it decomps..I also add floating plants-water lettuce mainly for the bubble nest and lots of common snails to help eat dead material and produce infusoria for fry food

In some buckets I have a pair and in other I have trios....as I see the fry grow I move the fry to grow-out 5gal bucket and to a 250gal tank I have outside-but since it now leaks it only holds about 100-125gal of water

Water changes-I don't normally do water changes on my outside spawns per se....I let the rain do water exchanges for me, however, this year we had a drought......and I had to add water at least weekly to keep the buckets full....not just from evaporation but from animals drinking the water....

Feeding-due to the drought-we had limited mosquitos this year and what I normally used for most of the food for adults and fry...but the daphnia, seed shrimp and other aquatic critters did well but are so small I did supplement the adults with homemade food and I even bought some fish food this year to use...lol......thats how bad the drought was this year.....

*a side note....it rained...yea.....at least the drought- I hope is over.....rained 3 times in 5 days over 1 inch and going to rain again......so hopefully skeeters will start laying eggs.......

I can really tell a difference in growth/development in the fry with the limited live food.....

Problems you can have....monsters.......by that I mean Dragonfly nymps.....they can wipe out fry in a matter of days.....In the spawning buckets with the adults I don't normally have any problems since they will usually eat them...but in grow out buckets with only fry....I hope for the best and if I notice a decrease in fry numbers I will do a swap out and start a fresh bucket to move them to.......

I have a special outside container I am using this year for the first time....you can check it out in my album....it a little tyke baby bed...so far it is working out great.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 08-10-2011 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:33 PM   #3 
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Yay, thank you for posting this! I am going to try to spawn eventually like this...
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #4 
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Thanks OFL! And hahah Creat, you welcome, now you can get the same information(:

So for the original spawning container I think I'm gonna use a 7 gallon bucket with lots of frogs bit and water lettuce. For the growout I have a large garbage bin that will probably hold 50-70 gallons... Recently today I set out the bucket to collect rainwater so the PH won't differ too much when it does rain, and another container for mosquito larvae. If I, for some reason, don't get mosquito larvae, I'm going to have back up cultures of BBS and microworms. I'll probably throw them in there anyways for variety in the fry's diet.

I'll probably get a few snails as you said, would mystery snails suffice? Also, is the growth stunting hormone they release a problem, or will the rain do the water changes sufficiently as you said? Sorry for all the questions, I want to get everything as well as I can.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:29 AM   #5 
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I forgot to add this yesterday but do you keep the female in the whole time? Does it make any difference?
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:42 AM   #6 
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I keep the females and male together all summer to get multi spawns...this year I needed a lot of Bettas to be ready this fall...so I artificially hatched a lot more than I normally do...I would steal the nest and eggs or I would wait until they hatched and scoop them up and move to a grow out......I would have new nest full of eggs about every 3-5 days.....due to the dark water and mass plants....I don't have problems with them hurting each other or eating fry....

Good plan with food...more varied the better...

I don't have too much issue with stunting hormone-as the the fry grow I move them to grow out containers, sunshine, active growth of plants and flushing the bucket when it rains or this year the water hose....lol.....

I have never used mystery snails....I use common-pond, ranshorn and trumpet....but I don't know why they wouldn't work too.....
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #7 
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What do you consider outdoor spawning season? if you dont mind me asking. Sense I live in western wa our hottest day can be maybe 85 lol but the temp can drop at night to 55* does this mean that it is to cold for up here to do it... I mean I could run a heater out there to make sure the temp doesnt fall to much
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:16 PM   #8 
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First..ask all the question you need......

I start my outside spawns up once the danger of frost has pasted...In the beginning I try to keep my lowest water temp in the upper 50'sF and if I can't I won't start them outside- I want the water to be able to warm up to at least low 70'sF for the bigger part of the time...this is for both the start and end of season....

A healthy Betta can usually tolerate short term low or high temps...but once it start to go into a longer term low temp you can start to see some problems...water warms up fairly slow too-especially if it doesn't warm up outside very fast during the day.....

In your case you may want to place your containers in full or mostly sunny areas so the sun can help warm the water a bit faster and if you have cooler temps along with limited sun.....you may need a heater or do it in the house so you have more control......I do the same thing in the house year around in 5-20gal tanks...the only difference is the live food that will naturally be supplied...but in my case...I still get a lot of that in my inside setups anyway....lol.....one of the benefits of natural systems.......

Some areas may not be good for outside spawning.....like I said, a healthy Betta can tolerate short term cool temps...but long term....it may not work out.......if your highs are 85F and lows in the 50's and you have limited sun and/or lots of rain.....it may be risky.....I would collect rainwater-add oak leaves and setup a container that could be easily moved to sheltered area.....add the heater or setup a natural system in the house for a more controlled environment.....
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:32 PM   #9 
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I think I like that idea, collecting the rain water, I just have a hard time trusting the rainwater here... Do you test the rain at all and if so what do you test for?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:48 AM   #10 
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I test pH, KH/GH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia.....I trust my areas rainwater....but, in long droughts I don't collect the first rain fall....I wait until we get a second rain if it is within a few days of the first......
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