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Let's talk- Missing Ventrals

619 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  indjo
So, as quite a few breeders know or have found out, bettas can go without developing their ventral fins (for those that may not know- ventral fins are the two dangly fins that protrude downwards from the abdomen, in between the anal (bottom) fin and the head). This thread is meant to be a discussion on this topic- Have you experienced it? Have you stopped it from reoccurring? If so, how? Have you never had this occur? If so, what kind of environmental conditions are he fish being raised in? Etc.

He microworm theory is the big one in the missing ventrals discussion. The theory is essentially that the over feeding of microworms leads to the growth of a bacteria on the bottom that stops/stunts the growth of ventral fins.

I have had a related theory in my head for a while now; that water chemistry plays a role in the condition (perhaps by influencing the bacterial growth). For example, I have hard water with a very high pH (8.2) and I am yet to experience any significant occurrence of missing ventrals, despite my heavy handed microworm feeding. On the flip, amphirion, who feeds less microworms, has experienced missing ventrals. His water is 6.5. A picture (all credit to amphirion) of one of his fish that lacks ventrals follows-
View attachment 363314

So, please do post, input would be much appreciated! Here is a quick form that I would like to be filled out if you are a breeder:

Have you raised fish that lack ventral fins?
What is the pH of your water?
What are they fed, in what amounts, and at what times (ex- from 1-2 weeks)?
Do you keep snails, and/or clean the bottom regularly (at least ever second day...- and it's fine to admit that you don't. I don't.)?

Please feel free to add any other theories or discussion material.
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1) yes
2) 6.5
3) microworms for 1.5 weeks, 3x a day (rather heavily to ensure all fry had enough to eat), then bbs.
4) no snails, did not clean out bottom of tank till bacterial infection wiped out 50% f the fry-- wish i did. not repeating the same mistake this time.
I used to get it when I fed microworms as a main diet.
Ever since I started feeding bbs earlier (like asap/few days after free swimming)Ive had little - no missing ventrals
I fed them heaps, like over feeding, almost everytime I walk past them and clean their water once a day (suck everything off the bottom)
Never kept snails because I hate them

My pH is quite high like around high 7s-8 if I remember. It comes out of a well so is quite high.
I think the main differences I did for with ventral spawns was more frequent and huge water changes, more feeding and giving them bbs asap and only using micro as a backup if bbs fails me... those are the only things I can think of that I did differently

Water pH should have been the same in all spawns since I use the same tap and dump it in

Would be interesting to set up an experiment with a bunch of side by side spawns and feed one spawn only micro, one spawn bbs, more spawns in different water pHs, qualities, snails vs no snails
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First time with ventral issues. I've always used bbs in the past. Thought microworms were a decent and easier substitute (daily resets for hatching shrimp was a pain)-- doesn't look like many other cultures can substitute for it
Never used MW - never had missing ventrals. But I sometimes have smaller than usual ventrals - even though parents had quite long pairs.

My breeding tanks/tubs are usually aged for 3-4 weeks - Dump lots of daphnia (works best) and let them die out and foul the water. There are live plants and lots of common pond snails in them. After 3 weeks or so water will clear on its own. There will be lots of gunk, bloodworms, and other micro critters. Add some live tubifex worms and place a male in. After the 4th week I siphon out some gunk/bloodworms (don't want too many) and water change 50-70%. Then put a female in.

In short, my tub/tanks should be filled with bacteria - quite dirty. I never clean the floor nor the walls until 1 month later. I might siphon gunk when fry are big enough to avoid suction, but that would only be once a week. I feed eggyolk for 1-2 weeks, depending on fry growth. Add about 1 Tsp daphnia daily and tubifex when needed (snails eat tubifex too).

It seems bacteria causing missing ventrals is specifically associated to MW. Maybe like how tubifex often carries certain bacteria. So it doesn't really matter how "clean" the worms/tanks are - they will still affect the bettas/fry. . . . not sure.
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