Originally Posted by Valentino14
So, for anyone caring for little store bought fry, my first suggestion would be to get a heater! You don't need a huge tank or a filter necessarily. But i'm the only person I know who has successfully kept a baby alive for a number of months. For the majority of that time, Zeus was in just a bowl and recieved a water change every two days. They like their water around 80... I convinced my roommates to turn the heat way up!
I feed him a simple diet called "the smallest damn pellets you can find"- live food isn't necessary, but something with a higher protein would make em grow a little faster. DON'T OVERFEED THEM!!!! Yes, they are babies. But they still have teeny tiny stomachs! three pellets 2-3 times a day is plenty. Modify the diet when their color comes in to 2 feedings a day. DO NOT get impatient and try to add hormones to the water to get them to grow faster. Your result will be a tiny dead fish :(
I can't stress the water changes enough. It is the number one thing that would stunt growth... in the wild, these little guys are competing with their 500 siblings to survive, so they excrete a hormone to stop the growth of the other babies. But in a tank, that hormone only negatively impacts your fish!
While I admire your want to write this up, you do have a few information that is wrong here, some of it almost right though lol.
Babies should be fed every 3-4 hours which is roughly 3 times a day but four times a day is great as well. You are right, overfeeding isn't very healthy so you want small but frequent meals. Feed your baby until their tummy is nice and round but definitely stop feeding if their tummy becomes excessively bulging and looking like it will pop. I will try to find pictures to reference the difference later. I am currently writing up a care sheet for Baby Bettas so I will make sure to include that since we all have differing ideas of what 'fat' looks like.
Do not stop feeding three times a day until the baby is sexually mature, not just when their color comes in. Basically feed them like this until they are adults. Frozen foods are one of the best things but is not a complete diet, I recommend New Life Spectrum Grow formula for optimal results, however any NLS pellet will work fine. Grow is a .5 mm pellet just like the Small Fish Formula so that can be used as well. Yes, live food isn't necessary but it is surely a step up from everything else they are being fed and it is one of the best things for them if you are feeding the right things like BBS and Daphnia.
In the wild, 500 fish do not survive lol, they have predators both in the water and out of the water so I really doubt more than 50 or so fish will survive at a given time, not counting when the father or mother may eat their babies as well. I cannot say for sure what their numbers are in the wild of course, sometimes their spawns and large and sometimes they are small, sometimes all of them survive by miracle and other times the entire spawn is eaten or destroyed. So these fish aren't competing with large amounts of siblings there, at least not that I could ever really think of. I could be wrong about that though.
If the baby is alone in the tank or at least has no other Betta fish even through a divider, the baby won't excrete as much growth stunting hormone as it would being with its siblings.
And as for temp babies would like temps up around 82-84 ideally, this will run their metabolism faster and so they will be hungrier more often and actually use the nutrients given to them in their food. The faster their metabolism as well, the faster they will grow more or less. However babies can survive in temps from 70-90, yep that's a big range and baby Betta's arent exactly as delicate as we think they are, however keeping the temperature stable will be very beneficial to your baby. The lower the temperature though, the slower your baby will grow and he will become more lethargic, same as an adult Betta.
Originally Posted by tisci
I'm just wondering if any of the veterans here might have any ideas on how to attempt to pick out a female baby. If their ovaries haven't shown up get & they're just little grey babies, can you try to tell by their fins? My baby boy is doing SO well, I'd like to try & get a female. I have a sorority & could eventually add her in there. I could always put a divider in the little dude's 5 gallon if it ended up a boy, but I'd rather try to get a girl. I do realize it may be completely impossible, but figured I'd ask for any advice.
Look for the larger babies first and see if you can spot any ovaries. If not then fins will be much shorter, ventral's shorter. As a general rule, baby boy eyes are larger than female eyes, this isn't always true but mostly it is.