So... this is what I'll do but divided in my 20g... I'l make it a 10g :) One big IAL for a bubble nest floater? Or will I need styrofoam? And I believe that plant is Java Moss, correct? I am getting some for food and tank cleaning benefits.
Either styrofoam or IAL will work, but most breeders prefer IAL because they add beneficial nutrients to the water that help get the two in the mood, makes everything more natural feeling, tints the water a bit, helps heal wounds from spawning, and helps fry grow stronger against diseases. The downside is that the leaf will get waterlogged and sink and collapse after a couple days.
Also, with your heater, be sure it is a fully submersible heater and not a regular one with a water line. Otherwise you risk having a malfunction and end up with a broken heater and hot Betta-Soup. :/
Java moss is great, and dirt cheap. You can find it on ebay, Aquabid, and other breeders sometimes sell it.
lol my bettas does the same thing .. @_@ he ignored all the created spots i made for him (cup .. ial leaf) and decided to make his nest between some floating cabomba .. which then i put a cup over his nest since he choose a spot where water would from the lid and on the nest every time i opened the lid to feed him .. lol !!
The AB male you bought has excessive overlapping rays (caudal). And his anal is a bit long for my taste. BUT HE HAS GORGEOUS OVERALL FINS. Next time look for a betta with smooth and even spread (safer genetically - overlapping/folding may carry rose genes). Don't worry, you're lucky your female is 4 rayed thus should help reduce ray branching on fry.
Look for fry with overall fins like daddy (preferably 4 rays) plus smaller anal and breed back to daddy to keep his dorsal form (dorsal form is often hard to maintain). Or breed siblings with overall fins like daddy.
Originally Posted by Thomasdog
2. Start conditioning. Put them far away from eachother and let them see eachother only once or twice a day for about 5 minutes.
I'd rather not move their tanks every time you want to flare them. I'd place their tanks side by side, divided with something dark. Then lift the divider to let them see each other.
I DO NOT wait for the male to build a bubble nest because some males don't bother with them. Instead look at the way they swim - they will stay put when they fight but will swim all over their tank when they want to breed (both male and female).
3. Plan #1 Breed them in my 20gal. Someone told me to just breed them with 3 or 4 inches of water in my 20gal so I would'ent have to move them.
Plan #2 Breed them in a tub, then move them over to the 20gal when they are 1 month old or something. But I'm thinking that would be too stressful.
There is no right/wrong size tank - it's personal preference (I've bred in a 1g - 50g). BUT remember the bigger the tank, the more space fry need to cover to find food.... your choice.
If you go with a divided 20g, I'd lift the divider after spawning is complete, when you take out the female - less stress on the male.
For what ever reason - do not move fry under 3mm. They are more sensitive and will often die (I don't move according to age - but size)
4. Feeding -
While you condition your pair, put a 5g bucket of water with whatever plants outside (it should be warm in the US), under a shade - gets direct sunlight about 1 hour each morning. Cover the bucket with mesh or something to keep dragonfly or frogs out. When you're ready to breed, use the top 2/3 of water to fill your tank. Add more (new) water until the level you desire. Then introduce your pair.
This water should supply fry with infusoria to sustain them for a few days after freeswimming - enough time for you to prepare BBS. DO NOT rely on infusoria for too long.
5. When they are arund 1 month old (is this correct?) Start intorducting them to pellets. If they look too big, crush them up.
Approximate the size of their mouths to the size of the food you offer.
6. When they start causing SERIOUS damage to eachother, seperate and sell. I am taking some more pictures of Sunny today, so ya'll can see how she looks (the other pics are kinda old)
NO!. If you're breeding for fins, separate them when you see any aggression - DO NOT wait until they tear each other apart. Once their fins are torn, it would be pointless to separate because fins NEVER heal properly 100%. You only need to separate the males, because females fins aren't usually "shown" so a little damage is OK.
If you have the space, time, and money, separate them after they reach 2 months. If you don't - wait until aggression starts. I prefer to use a square/rectangle (not round) container so their fins won't touch the wall that much when they flare. Remember, separating mean tons of extra work.
I've never had a problem with an IAL that was used for bubble nest building sinking. The bubbles will keep the leaf afloat.
To make sure the leaf floats in the first place, pick one that has no holes and it's a little curved. Then place in the water curved side up so you trap an airbubble in the center of the leaf.
What I've found that is better with styro than IAL is that, although my fish usually will go for the IAL when building nests, the styro will only allow a thin layer of bubbles and the IAL allows for the male to build a very thick nest if he's known for that.
Thick nest bulders will place so many bubbles in the same spot that they might lift some eggs from the water surface, those eggs will go bad and never hatch.
Now, there are issues also with the styro as well. You have to watch the sides of it when you have fry because they will wiggle themselves up the sides between the air bubbles and get stuck there.
No setup is flawless and you will only learn what works best for you with experience. The best thing is not to be discouraged by failure.