Venla x Wild Card - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Venla x Wild Card

Venla (Sire)


Wild Card (Dame)



As it turned out, my crowntail decided that she was too good for Venla and would rather alternate aggressively flaring and ignoring my male. I had wanted Wild Card to be Venla's second spawnmate, but on a whim (she's been eating the same yummy frozen foods Jezebel has) tried her out, and she almost immediately vertically barred!

Their flirtation started last night, but the spawn finished mid-afternoon today. I'd put a small piece of bubble wrap face down in a clearing opposite the heater and all of the live floating plants as recommended in every piece of advice I'd ever seen; Venla decided to stick it to the man and build his nest on the opposite side of the tank, directly over the heater.

Thankfully this morning it looked like Wild Card had made him move it a few inches away to the front wall so that they had room to embrace underneath it. They looked so awkward at first I was afraid that they weren't going to get the hang of it, but soon enough they clicked, and eggs started falling! I wasn't there for all of it, but they went for a good few hours, and a good 10-13 eggs were dropped during each embrace once they were in the swing of things. Of course, I won't know how many fry I have until they hatch!



See? As close to the heater as he could get. He's a contrary little fish...



Wild Card and her mating stripes.


The whole thing was more gentle than I'd braced myself for; Venla had a few tears in his dorsal fin and Wild Card has two small splits in her caudal. They're clean, partial splits, so I'm not sure if it came from nips or just flaring and displaying at each other for just over 24 hours.

They spawned in a heavily plant (er, floated) 20 gallon tank, so I'm tempted to try the father in method if a huge number of fry make it to the free swimming stage. I have the time in my day to maintain water quality, keep him stuffed on adult food, and suction up excess food and waste that will accumulate, as well as keep an eye on him and see if he's just culling the poor ones that didn't form well, or is going hog wild and needs to be scooped out.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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About at the 24 hour mark for the spawn, and the nest is considerably smaller. Venla hasn't abandoned it; he's simply maintaining a small portion. This was both Bettas first spawn; perhaps only a small portion of eggs were fertilized. Will a male sometimes tend an empty nest? I'm sure I see a few eggs..
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Still tending the (smaller) nest
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: WE HAVE FRY!





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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Don't worry, I won't post every day!

I just wanted to post another picture on their second day out of the egg because I can finally see their little eyes! They're being very well behaved and I've only seen one fall out of the bubble nest and wiggle back up. I'm guessing that maybe because it's a small spawn, they don't knock each other loose, and Venla doesn't have a hard time keeping a small bubble nest strong enough for them to float in.

Speaking of Venla, dad's been having a super easy time with his first spawn. He'll patrol the tank, nose up to the nest and put some more bubbles in if any have popped, then continue on his way. I know I said that I'd only try the father-in method if I had a large number of fry, but he's having such a stress-free time with them I think that unless something big changes with his behavior I'll leave him in after they're free swimming.

I can see several of them horizontal in the nest here, but I watched them carefully after checking the camera, and they all still appear to be dangling. Maybe they'll be free swimming tomorrow?

Their papa made the nest right in the middle of all of the java moss, hornwort and anacharis that's been in the water for nearing four days, but I went ahead and started two infusoria cultures the day that spawning started so I can supplement what's been growing in the tank.

I want to start raising the water level so I can do gentle daily water changes with the drip method that hrutan outlined in their spawn log. as soon as I can. I'm going to go float the question over in the Breeding Bettas forum after this; I've seen people saying that they leave the water alone anywhere from two weeks to a whole month, and that seems like an awful long time to me, especially with an adult in as well.



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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:30 AM
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I don't leave the water for more than a week after free swimming. It gives me the fidgets, even with a cycled filter running. If you don't have a cycled sponge filter in the tank, the ammonia's going to spike long before 2 weeks. But, changing the water is a delicate process. I'd turkey baster Dad's poop out, and use a white bowl to take out water in general. That way you can see if you have any fry and put them back before you dispose of the water. It's too difficult to worry about the junk on the bottom until the fry are big enough to avoid the siphon.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! Only saw this after I made a thread over in breeding, whoops.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:38 AM
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Haha, sure thing. The first spawn is so nerve wracking. It's hard to keep from messing with things, isn't it?

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! I thought I'd calm down for the few days that they were just hanging around the bubble nest, but nope! Venla's much much calmer about the whole thing than I am...everything seems to have gone right so far, but I've read a lot of people's spawn logs here (yours is amazingly helpful btw), and it seems like these first two weeks of development are when things can tip one way or the other from the smallest things.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I know I said I wouldn't post every day, but there has been a development with the "father-in" track that I think is interesting


During the hanging and egg stages of the spawn (heck, even the actual act of spawning itself) Venla was very calm and accepting of me poking my nose into things with my camera and flashlight. Up until today, he's even left his nest at the sight of me to come beg for food on the far side of the tank, leaving his fry only momentarily, but without any signs of stress or defensive aggression towards my encroachment.

However, now that all fry are free swimming, rather than turning on them to have a snack, his "dad mode" has kicked into high gear. This morning I was marveling at a little fry who had come close to the glass, when a very aggressive Venla popped up as well, grabbed the baby, and shot it back into the safety of the bubble nest. He then went on a round-up, finding any fry he could find that were close to the unwelcome intruder and spitting them back to safety as well. He will still accept food from me on the side of the tank opposite the nest, but his defensive aggression and protectiveness of the fry remain amped up even when he's stuffing his face. Tonight he left some bloodworms in favor of checking in on his brood, only coming back to retrieve them from the tank floor after he'd made his rounds and shored up his nest.

I just thought this was an interesting reversal of all the behavior patterns I read about while researching and getting ready for my own spawn. The usual story was " loving and devoted till free swimming, then all bets are off."

The plants may help make him feel more secure in his environment, but they aren't needed to help "hide from dad." Several fry are enamored with the drip site, which is at the bare, far end of the tank with only one stray branch of anacharis to hover by. I was watching three fry swim there and, when dad noticed, he swam straight over and I was once again treated to a full, threatening flare while the little tails with eyes flitted around his head.

The only two factors that I think helped encourage this attitude have been a steady supply of adult food for dad, as well as spawning in a 20 gallon tank that gives them plenty of space. Maybe Venla doesn't feel like there are too many young for his territory. Save for mealtimes, I think I will try backing off entirely and sacrifice my enjoyment of watching the babies to lower dad's stress levels.

I'm very happy that, with this particular father at least, I've decided not to remove him as soon as the fry were free swimming. He's so engaged with and defensive of his young, I'm afraid that he might have sunk into a post-spawn depression rather than just a small sulk and ended up wasting away.
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