Hi everyone! First time posting in the breeding forum. I think every betta owner after awhile starts getting the urge to breed these fantastic fish. The past few weeks, I've been lurking and reading spawn logs, and looking at my resources to possibly rear my own fry. My fiance and I have been collecting 2 liter coke bottles as a cheap way to isolate males, but we're also looking at jars, and I found an awesome 36 (I think) package of 16oz "betta bowls" if I plan on selling some of them to my LPS.
So, I remembered that I have a spare 55g tank in the other bathroom that I'm not using, and I thought today that it would make an AWESOME growout tank, because it would be the only one I need. I also have a spare 10g tank and heater for spawning and a spare 5g tank for possibly housing a breedable male. I know that there are a few privately owned pet stores in the area that I could possibly sell bettas to and once I get my voice back I plan on going and talking to them. I'm also interested in shipping bettas, and I plan on making a list of costs it would take me per betta (box, popcorn, bags, heat packs, etc) just so that if I ship a betta, I know how much it'll cost.
So here's what I'm thinking! This is the list of things I still need:
1. Sponge filter for 10g
2. Filter for 55g and heater for 55g
3. Frogbit for 10g
4. Hidey holes for 10g
5. Brine shrimp hatchery
6. Microworm culture
7. Large flat tupperware bin to hold jars & water to heat said jars
8. New heater for my 30g tank to use current heater in tupperware bin
9. Tank to hold a sorority full of breedable quality females before breeding
10. More Atison's Betta Food
11. A snail
12. Cups to store bettas in when they're ready for sale
13. Lots of hiding spaces and plants for the 55g
What I plan on doing, is once the fry outgrow the 10g, move them to the 55g, and then as the fry grow add more and more water to the 55g until it's full. Isolate males, and just use the 55g as a farking huge sorority until the girls are ready for sale. :)
The questions I want to pose in this post are:
1. How do you conduct water changes while the fry are still in the 10g tank?
2. What water conditioner do you use?
3. Any medications I should have on-hand before breeding?
Anything that you breeders (succeeded or failed) out there can tell me? Anything you can suggest or change in my plan? I want to hear what everyone thinks. Also, favorite tail types and colors to breed. :)
A few initial questions I have for you are these - Do you know that they can have up to 500 babies in a single spawn? Are you comfortable with any or most of those babies sitting in cold, small cups in a store? Are you comfortable having them potentially die in shipping? Are you comfortable culling deformed or undesirable fry? What will you do if the pet stores are not interested in your bettas? These are just a few of the uncomfortable, but necessary considerations when deciding whether or not breeding is right for you.
To answer your questions -
1. I use airline tubing and simply suck the leftover food/snail poop/etc into a 5 gallon bucket, careful not to suck up any fry. Inevitably, you will suck up fry, especially for the first 4 weeks or so. So I check the bucket (or whatever I siphoned water into) for fry with a flashlight and turkey baster. Then simply suck them up and put the fry back in the tank. This can take a long time! This is the only way I know of doing it (airline tubing.) You can avoid the painstaking catching with a turkey baster method though. OFL uses her thumb as a sort of stop valve for the airline tubing, so if she sees a fry being sucked up, she can manually control it and try to avoid it. Having a sponge filter helps water quality a lot! So do moss balls. They act as sort of a natural filter for the water, as well as provide a place for fry to rest and eat little nibbles off of.
I use Prime water conditioner, and I use stress coat for the male and female after breeding. To tan the water, I use decaffeinated green tea in my spawn tank.
In my opinion, you should have marcyn 1 and marcyn 2, both available at petsmart, for emergency situations requiring medication. Epsom salt for swim bladder issues, aquarium salt for parasite issues (which I am unfortunately having with just day old fry due to improper cleaning of a heater.) I am also a fan of betta revive, which is cheap at petco, but I would not recommend using it for fry.
My learning tips so far include: doing water changes every day as soon as fry are eating. DONT feed crushed pellets in a pinch when they are too young (killed 90% of my first spawn. ) Keep tank temps consistent. My favorite tail type is marbled halfmoon plakats, which I am breeding.
The only issues I see with your plan are this - Fry often grow at various rates (some 4x bigger than others) and can be difficult to sex, even up to 3 months. If you go with halfmoon bettas, females can have long fins to and it can be hard to tell them apart. What if some fry become aggressive much earlier than the rest? Will you be able to heat one jar? How will you deal with this? I think having a few 10 gallons on hand or 5gs or something might be helpful if you are going for a big spawn for that 55 gallon. Also remember it can be harder for fry to find food in a bigger tank.
Is it a 55 gallon breeder, with a wider base and shallow volume, or a tall 55 gallon tank? Wider, shallower tubs are better for bettas.
I know that they can have that many babies, yes. :) If the LPS agree to buy some bettas off of me, I won't be giving them huge numbers of cups at once. The two places I'm thinking about right now are less than 5 minutes away, so if they do buy some bettas off of me, I'll be supplying them in low quantities, keeping the bettas jarred at my place and if they need more supply, THEN move them to cups and take them to the store. I would feel better that way. I do understand that some bettas die in shipment. I can cull deformed/undesirable fry, yes. If the stores do not wish to buy bettas off of me, and I still wish to breed, I'll most likely still try, and do the method of scooping out some of the eggs before they hatch so that the spawn number is greatly reduced. That way I won't have as hard of a time finding homes for them. :)
The 55g tank has an incredibly wide base, and it wouldn't be used until the fry are much, much bigger, as in outgrowing the 10g tanks. When I do start using the 55g tank it's not going to be completely full, but instead add water as the fry grow so that they don't get lost. But I was discussing this with my fiance, and I mentioned actually selling the 55g bowfront (because its a tempered glass tank and worth quite a bit) and use the money to buy the supplies, and huge, long, shallow tupperware bins instead. :) We're still tossing around the idea.
I do like the idea of having more 10g tanks, but my tiff with that is, with more tanks come more heaters, and more filters. XD I'll keep an eye on Craigslist and see if people are just dumping their smaller tanks and gear. lol
I'm a Biomedical Sciences major on a Pre-Medical track. I'm fascinated with genetics and science, and fish. Over these past few months I've become more and more fascinated with betta genetics and excited to read spawn logs that go all the way to 4 months, seeing how the parents affected the babies. Unfortunately, there aren't enough spawn logs that go that far, so I want to start one myself, and enjoy the genetics of rearing fry. :)
I really do like this bowfront and wish I could keep it, but the problem is that to buy a stand for it, and a bowfront hood for it, and the gear, would cost more than breeding bettas. We were going to sell it to a guy at the petshop for like $30 and a 10g halfmoon tank but he quit before we could.
I'm can't give you a long response about fry, tanks and spawning becaise I'm on my way to work but I do see one flaw in your initial plan.
Potential breeder females shouldn't be housed together. They should be isolated while conditioninig or you might end up with a female who doesn't want to breed and might not be conditionex properly.
Just wanted to add that there are many ways to breed these species. If you use a big tank for breeding, you wouldn't have to move them and will not need to do WC for a while. Simply add a few gallon of water daily until the tank is as full as you want it to be. Then begin siphoning .... fry should be big enough to easily be spotted and some should be able to avoid the suction.
During their early days, I only siphon water and leave poo, gunk etc. When they,re bigger I begin to siphon what ever waste (usually 1 week after free swimming). And for 5mm and + fry I sort of "sweep" what ever I want to siphon out with a stick to a certain area (takes more time). Then siphon in that area only. Oh my siphons are slightly bigger than an airline tube, attached to a bamboo stick for easy .... maneuver(?). I have 3 different lengths of bamboo to siphon in different sized tanks.
You can adjust the suction power(?) by adjusting the height between the water level of the tank and the "waste bucket". The more distant, the greater the suction. It would be a good idea to use as little distance when fry are still tiny.