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Discussion Starter #1
I bought 4 bettas (2 males, 2 females) 2 days ago, and another female today. I keep the females in a conditioned 10 gallon tank with a heater, filter, and lots of decorations. The 2 males are in 1 gallon bowls, which are in the sun so they are heated accordingly (I only put them in the sun when the temperature in the tanks go down). They all have great appetites and I have prepped them all with bloodworms. The females have the egg sticking out of their abdomen, and the males are young and ready to breed.

My question is: How long should I wait until I can breed them? The females have a few faint stress lines, but they should clear up soon. I only bought them a little while ago but I have people waiting for fry. Could I rush them a little bit, or should I wait. Remember, tell me whats best for the Fish, not me. Thanks again! :-D
 

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I say this only to help you. I'm not trying to be overly critical.

It sounds like you have three females in one 10 gallon, right? That's pushing things a bit. Ideally, you would split a 10 gallon between two fish only, and have a divider down the middle. Females can live together, but they should be in groups of at least 5 so that one isn't constantly picked on. Even then it is a bit tenuous. If something provokes one of the females, she could start a big fight which ends with several fish hurt or dead.

Female bettas have eggs all the time. An egg spot is not a sign that they are ready to breed. They need to be both full of eggs and have VERTICAL stripes. For this to happen, a female must be healthy, happy, and interested in a male. To get these criterion, you must:
1) Allow the female to be fully settled into her habitat. 2 days is not enough time.
2) Fully condition the female on a diet of frozen foods for TWO WEEKS
3) Let her see the male from a distance. Like putting her in a jar and setting her near the male or vice versa.

1 gallon is the absolute bare minimum size for a betta imo. Many people will say it is too small. You have to do 100% water changes every other day with 1 gallons. Super clean water is a key component to conditioning.

Steady temperatures are also key to conditioning. Do you have thermometers in the 1 gallons? How do you know what the temperatures are? Putting the males in the sun when the temperature gets low is a really inconsistent method of heating. It's also generally a rule to keep any sort of aquarium out of direct sunlight.

Males will be ready to breed when they build a massive bubblenest and flare and display for the female. Again, they need to be seeing each other from a distance for a little while.

Do you have a breeding tank? The male and female need a separate tank to do the nasty and allow the male to care for the fry. Breeding tanks have very specific components.

Betta fry eat specific live food. Can you cultivate and keep cultures of live food?

Bettas can produce tons of babies. 30-50 babies is probably the most common. Do you have space for what could be 150 babies? Can you change 150 jars until the babies sell?

Bettas are usually pretty beat up after breeding. Do you have the means to care for a betta that has been beaten up?

If you rush them, there is a good chance one of them will not be ready to breed and one of them will kill or seriously hurt the other.

It doesn't sound like you are fully aware of the process of breeding bettas. I don't say this to be unkind at all, just to instruct. If the bettas are not being cared for properly, how can you care for the fry? Breeding bettas is very difficult under the best circumstances. Here is a link on breeding: http://bubblesandbettas.blogspot.com/p/breeding.html

If you are still dead-set on breeding (which is fine), I would recommend first getting the bettas you have into suitable living spaces. I personally would split the 10 gallon with a divider and put the males in there. I would then get 2.5 gallons for each female and also get an adjustable heater for each tank. Then learn to set up a breeding tank and after a month or so to settle down and then 2 weeks of conditioning, give a pair a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!

I sounded a little bit foolish in that post...

I talked to my Aquarium Store specialist and she referred my to a large package of frozen baby brine shrimp. I have enough for 150 fry, and I have access to cups/small tanks to separate them. I have a 10 gallon breeding tank with a heater, thermometer and sponge filter with a lot of plastic vegetation.

Would it be ok to keep the females together? I spent almost 200 dollars on supplies yesterday and I don't think I could afford extra tanks at the moment. The Males seem to be doing fine as well, and they are not in DIRECT sunlight. They are behind blinds.

I am completely familiar withe the breeding process, and I feel that I can handle what the process will throw at me.

I also think I'll wait to show the female to the male until she gets settled into her habitat and the stress lines fade.

Thanks again! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I say this only to help you. I'm not trying to be overly critical.

It sounds like you have three females in one 10 gallon, right? That's pushing things a bit. Ideally, you would split a 10 gallon between two fish only, and have a divider down the middle. Females can live together, but they should be in groups of at least 5 so that one isn't constantly picked on. Even then it is a bit tenuous. If something provokes one of the females, she could start a big fight which ends with several fish hurt or dead.

Female bettas have eggs all the time. An egg spot is not a sign that they are ready to breed. They need to be both full of eggs and have VERTICAL stripes. For this to happen, a female must be healthy, happy, and interested in a male. To get these criterion, you must:
1) Allow the female to be fully settled into her habitat. 2 days is not enough time.
2) Fully condition the female on a diet of frozen foods for TWO WEEKS
3) Let her see the male from a distance. Like putting her in a jar and setting her near the male or vice versa.

1 gallon is the absolute bare minimum size for a betta imo. Many people will say it is too small. You have to do 100% water changes every other day with 1 gallons. Super clean water is a key component to conditioning.

Steady temperatures are also key to conditioning. Do you have thermometers in the 1 gallons? How do you know what the temperatures are? Putting the males in the sun when the temperature gets low is a really inconsistent method of heating. It's also generally a rule to keep any sort of aquarium out of direct sunlight.

Males will be ready to breed when they build a massive bubblenest and flare and display for the female. Again, they need to be seeing each other from a distance for a little while.

Do you have a breeding tank? The male and female need a separate tank to do the nasty and allow the male to care for the fry. Breeding tanks have very specific components.

Betta fry eat specific live food. Can you cultivate and keep cultures of live food?

Bettas can produce tons of babies. 30-50 babies is probably the most common. Do you have space for what could be 150 babies? Can you change 150 jars until the babies sell?

Bettas are usually pretty beat up after breeding. Do you have the means to care for a betta that has been beaten up?

If you rush them, there is a good chance one of them will not be ready to breed and one of them will kill or seriously hurt the other.

It doesn't sound like you are fully aware of the process of breeding bettas. I don't say this to be unkind at all, just to instruct. If the bettas are not being cared for properly, how can you care for the fry? Breeding bettas is very difficult under the best circumstances. Here is a link on breeding: http://bubblesandbettas.blogspot.com/p/breeding.html

If you are still dead-set on breeding (which is fine), I would recommend first getting the bettas you have into suitable living spaces. I personally would split the 10 gallon with a divider and put the males in there. I would then get 2.5 gallons for each female and also get an adjustable heater for each tank. Then learn to set up a breeding tank and after a month or so to settle down and then 2 weeks of conditioning, give a pair a try.
Thanks for the reply!

I sounded a little bit foolish in that post...

I talked to my Aquarium Store specialist and she referred my to a large package of frozen baby brine shrimp. I have enough for 150 fry, and I have access to cups/small tanks to separate them. I have a 10 gallon breeding tank with a heater, thermometer and sponge filter with a lot of plastic vegetation.

Would it be ok to keep the females together? I spent almost 200 dollars on supplies yesterday and I don't think I could afford extra tanks at the moment. The Males seem to be doing fine as well, and they are not in DIRECT sunlight. They are behind blinds.

I am completely familiar withe the breeding process, and I feel that I can handle what the process will throw at me.

I also think I'll wait to show the female to the male until she gets settled into her habitat and the stress lines fade.

Thanks again!
 

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Frozen baby brine shrimp might be alright... Someone with more experience will have to come along. I searched for what to feed betta fry and this is pretty much the answer I found on all sites: http://www.bettas-jimsonnier.com/feedingfry.htm

The females could be okay, could not. Imo housing females together is always a gamble.

If you don't have a thermometer in the males' tanks, it's safest to get some in there. That way you at least know the exact temps.

The breeding tank sounds good. Make sure it's cycled though.
 

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You can house the females safely in the same tank if you divide the tank 3 ways. There are plenty of DIY tutorials out there. A 3 way split on a 10g still gives each fish 3.3 gal of space - which is doing OK. But yeah...3 females is not a proper sorority.

I agree that the males are going to need daily water changes in the 1 gal tanks. When you can, getting a larger tank and dividing it would be an easy option for them as well.
 

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Keep in mind:
There is no right nor wrong way to keep, breed, or raise this species. Anything that works for you is RIGHT. The difference mainly lies on work load - More water changes vs less, faster growth vs slow . . . and so on. But if done correctly all methods work.

That being said, you may get different opinions. You need to workout which suits your conditions best. You may need to tweak other people's methods to work for you. And this hobby can be cheap or expensive, depending on your creativity. One thing most of you can't avoid is heaters. You need to find a way to heat your water, specially during winter.

Personally, I don't like keeping my males in constant sight of other bettas - specially my breeders. Females can be kept together but keeping them solitary will get them in breeding mode faster. Most of my breeder females are also in solitary. This method allows me to breed them anytime I wish - no introducing, just get the tub ready and release both at the same time.

To answer your question; the fastest way to get them in breeding mode is by isolating both male and female. Feed 2-3 times daily (I mainly feed frozen bloodworms until they begin to bloat - different amount for each individual, ranging from 10-30 big frozen bw). How soon they will breed also depends on the previous keeper. Petstore fish usually need longer conditioning time because they weren't fed properly in the store. To be safe, give them a 2 week conditioning period, feed well in solitary tanks. Breeding takes a lot of energy. If not in top condition may kill either one.

Females will always have a white dot under her belly. It is not a sign of readiness. I don't rely on bubble nest (male) or vertical bars (female). I rely more on their body language - swimming all over thier tank, in a wriggling "S" style. And when I release them, they will swim all over the tank in the same manner, one following the other.
 

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fry will not eat things that don't move. There is a much higher survival rate when they're fed live foods. Feeding them otherwise, you'd be lucky if you had at least ten fry survive on non live food.
 

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I always wanted one of those big ear HM and so I ordered one-I had him ready to spawn in 3 days from the time I got him by feeding mass amounts of live mosquito larva several times a day-Dropped in the female-I only had her for 10 days and this would be her second spawn for me-I spawned her with a different male 4 days after I got her in the mail (BEHM) She was fed mass amount of live mosquito larva too. I like to give the female at least 3 days between spawns.

I spawn using a natural method in full to the top 10gal heavy planted soil based systems-The first spawn was in a mature system and the second spawn was in a 5 day old system (When setup correctly they are safe to use the same day IME)

I feed the fry live food newly hatched BBS 2-3 times a day and will add in microworms on day 3-4 and by 2 weeks I feed nothing but live mosquito larva-generally I get really fast growth with the ability to spawn these fry within 6-7 months.
Since these are NPT's, water changes are limited to weekly, however, in a standard system I would make them daily

Like indjo stated-a lot of different ways to spawn and rear fry-it finding what works best for you.
 
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