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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m a bit hesitant to post a spawn log because I’m afraid I’ll jinx the luck of the spawn, but I wanted to share it with you guys and maybe get some pointers along the way… so here it goes!

Father: Constantine
Age: Exact age unknown, about 8 months
Tail type: Halfmoon (8-ray)
Color pattern: Marble (blue and white)

Mother: Pie
Age: Exact age unknown, about 7 months
Tail type: Halfmoon (8-ray)
Color pattern: Black with iridescent layer; originally a black and white marble

Goal: To produce halfmoons with sharp edges on their caudals and evenly balanced fins (especially the anal). I’d also like to preserve the 180 degree spread, though I know it can be risky breeding 8-rayed fish. Neither of the parents show fin folding from excessive rays or “feathertails”. I’d also like to experiment with the marble gene a bit, so that’s why I paired these two; the father is a marble and the mother is definitely carrying the genes (she was a marble before she turned solid).

Setup (a picture of the breeding tank is attached below):
  • 5.5 gallon tank, filled up halfway so there’s ~3 gallons of water.
  • The heater is set to 82 degrees fahrenheit
  • Half of the tank is covered with natural hiding spots for the female; in this tank I used a pile of Indian Almond leaves (already soaked out most of the tannins in a separate bucket so the water didn’t become too dark), java moss and a piece of driftwood
  • The other half of the tank is bare so that the male has plenty of room to make a nest, chase the female and can find fallen eggs easier
  • The IAL and driftwood sit in the tank for a few days before adding fish so that microorganisms have the chance to begin populating
  • The female was introduced in a homemade chimney that’s made out of a disposable water bottle with the bottom cut off
  • I put a piece of saran wrap underneath the lid to keep humidity in
  • An LED light is attached to the lid.

Breeding: The exact day of eggs being laid is unknown, but I believe it was on 3/14 since they hatched on 3/17. I am horrible at noticing when (or even if) eggs are in the nest, so the female stayed in the tank until the 17th, long after the eggs were laid. I took her out when I saw little tails at the back of the nest (whoops.) For anyone wondering: it’s recommended to take the female out as soon as the eggs are laid to prevent aggression from the male and egg-eating from the female. Since they were both first time parents, I thought it might take them a little longer to lay eggs… turns out, they did it quickly and the male just decided to hide the eggs underneath the fold of the Indian Almond Leaf. Luckily, the female didn’t eat all of the eggs/babies when she was in the tank, and there’s about 25-30 fry. (I’m glad I got any, especially considering the mother was left in the tank). But, if you’re reading this and considering breeding, just know that this is a very small spawn and first time parents can yield upwards of 200 eggs (it’s happened to me before, lol). Another lucky thing: the male didn’t kill the female in the process of protecting his nest, and didn’t eat his eggs like many first-time betta dads do. The babies all became free swimming on 3/18 and the father was removed that same day.

Aftermath:

Pie has quite a bit of caudal and anal fin damage and is going to get some meds to help with the healing process. Since she was in the breeding tank for much longer than she should have been, she hadn’t eaten in quite some time, so she’s been on a high-protein diet for a week. Her fins seem to be healing fairly well.

Constantine has some tail damage too, but that’s because he had a habit of tail biting prior to breeding. He’s gotten better with it as he’s become more mentally stimulated, but he still occasionally gives himself a couple of nips. He was obviously exhausted, so I'm giving him some nice R&R time, and he’s also been on a high-protein diet.

Pictures: (I apologize for the quality of some of the photos, the lighting where this tank is is really weird and my camera isn’t the best…)

Breeding tank (sorry again for the weird lighting):


Dad after doing some tail biting, his fins are outstretched in this picture so you can see his balance, but he’s not flaring (I picked him because he has nice sharp edges on his caudal and his anal fin is not too long. I just love his form and finnage in general, lol. Hopefully I'll be able to get a pic of him flaring soon to show you guys):


Mom after marbling into solid colors, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures before she marbled (her tail reaches 180 degrees, I promise! I just can’t get her to flare…):
Fin Fish Marine biology Fish supply Tail



Dad looking after his babies (3/17):


Fry, 1 week old (I think the growth rate is okay? They seem to be a bit small compared to other spawns I’ve had, but I’m not really interested in trying to power-grow them. I’d rather they just make it to adulthood and live long and healthy lives):



If you guys have any questions about anything, feel free to ask! I’d be happy to give information about feeding, water changes, etc., I just didn’t want to bore everyone with a huge first post lol. Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats!! The parents are beautiful and the fry soooo cute!!
Thank you so much! 😊
I absolutely love the male… it took me weeks before I finally found the female to breed with him. While I am a bit worried about her irid layer being present in majority of the fry, I’m not too worried about it because I was mostly looking to preserve the caudal fin shape and anal fin length in this generation. I’m really hoping for some marbles to show up though, even if it’s just a couple! (Marble/ koi my favorite color pattern in bettas, lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today is day 10 since hatching, and so far everything is looking good (knock on wood). I took out about 25% of the water yesterday using a turkey baster and have since been slowly raising the water level with a drip system. It’s up about 1.5-2” from where it originally was, I’d say there’s between 3.5 and 4 total gallons of water in the tank. Since the fry are still fairly small, I’ve been feeding them vinegar eels since they were free swimming (and they have quite a bit of infusoria in the tank as well). I started feeding bbs yesterday but not too many of the fry seemed interested in it. I’ll continue with the bbs but so far these guys look like nematode-lovers, lol!

I’d say that on average they are about 1/2 inch long from mouth to tail…
And speaking of which, they have little tails! Here’s a picture of a single fish so you can get an idea for size, as well as a “group photo” of them. On the photo with the single baby, you can see the outline of the tail. How exciting is that?! I know these photos aren’t the best, but hopefully you get the idea 🙂
Brown Tints and shades Sky Tree Meteorological phenomenon

Amber Wood Tints and shades Font Tree

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found the first dead fry today 🙁 it did appear to be on the small side, but otherwise looked fine. This was concerning to me, even though I know losing some fry is normal in the first few weeks. I did another water change today, just to be safe, and I raised the water level about an inch from where it was (again using the drip system). Fingers crossed that fry died due to something that won’t affect the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Today is day 17 since hatching (do we base their age on day since eggs were laid, or since they hatched? I’ve always used age since hatching but that may not be the right way to do it). The fry from this spawn seem to be a bit behind on development, the biggest is only about 1/4 - 1/2 of an inch long. I’m not too worried about this… yet. I’ve been doing consistent water changes and feeding them bbs and occasionally nematodes as well. They seem to be interested in the food and their bellies get big and orange after feeding, so that’s a good sign. I’m wondering if I should transfer some to a bigger container so that, if space or GIH is the issue, a bigger area might help. They’re still so small though, I’m afraid of accidentally shocking their systems by putting them into new water, even if I slowly acclimate them. It’s something I’ll definitely be thinking about though, especially if they don’t seem to be growing as quickly as they should. Since this was the first spawn for both parents, stunting might be an issue in the fry (but I’m really hoping it’s not).

I also found 2 more dead fry today, but they were both very small so I’m wondering if their size was the issue. Maybe they weren’t eating enough or were too weak to survive. Either way I’m pretty upset about losing them. I guess I’m also thankful Mother Nature is taking her course though, in case those babies had deformities. This was a small spawn to begin with, so I’m just hoping I don’t lose many more.

Thanks for reading!

Edit: I am also planning to re-spawn the parents in the next few weeks… both recovered very quickly from spawning and the male has been building bubble nests for the last week. The female still has a tiny bit of tail damage but it’s healing well and she should be ready to go in a couple of weeks, if not sooner. I’d do a respawn in hopes of getting more fry from these two, mostly to widen the gene pool to see what they’re capable of producing. If I’m being honest, I’m a bit worried that this current spawn will only end up with a handful surviving. Either way, these little ones are still my top priority and I will do everything I can to raise as many as possible into adulthood.
 

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For future breeding:
1. Fixing/maintaining caudal and anal fins are easy. Ventrals . . . 50:50. The dificult fin to maintain is the dorsal. I suggest you try preserving that once you achieved ideal dorsal form.

2. Its a good idea to breed one pair more than once. Later cross the offspring and keep doing so. By the 4th generation, though all from one single pair, you should have relatively unrelated individuals which you can freely cross. Hence, when you've achieved desired form, you won't need to add new genes (buy new fish) which could ruin your achievements.

*** Since you bred a pair of 8 rays, be ready to cull hard - those that show deformity. You can eventually create safe roses, but it will take several generations of selective breeding.

Congrats on your successful spawn. I count age since hatch. . . . But then again, I always forget who's who once I begin mixing/grouping according to size
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For future breeding:
1. Fixing/maintaining caudal and anal fins are easy. Ventrals . . . 50:50. The dificult fin to maintain is the dorsal. I suggest you try preserving that once you achieved ideal dorsal form.

2. Its a good idea to breed one pair more than once. Later cross the offspring and keep doing so. By the 4th generation, though all from one single pair, you should have relatively unrelated individuals which you can freely cross. Hence, when you've achieved desired form, you won't need to add new genes (buy new fish) which could ruin your achievements.

*** Since you bred a pair of 8 rays, be ready to cull hard - those that show deformity. You can eventually create safe roses, but it will take several generations of selective breeding.

Congrats on your successful spawn. I count age since hatch. . . . But then again, I always forget who's who once I begin mixing/grouping according to size
Thank you so much for your reply! I plan on spawning this pair again, hopefully a couple of times throughout their lives since I really like them as a pair. Although rosetail/feathertail is not my goal (mostly because of deformity risks), I know that breeding 8 rayed fish is risky and I will probably end up with some culls. It’s nearly impossible to find halfmoon bettas with any less than 8 rays in my area so I chose the two with the least overlapping fins to breed. I’m aiming to create a line of halfmoons from this pair. I think the fins on these two are pretty good, but they can use improvement in a couple of areas. I’m interested to see what the offspring look like. I’ll continue using their age since hatching, thanks for clarifying that for me 😁

Thanks again for all of the information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s day 20, and so far I haven’t lost any more fry! Some of them are starting to darken up, while others are staying fairly light/translucent. I’m really hoping this means the marble gene is at play!

Growth rate seems to be slow when compared to other breeders who post spawn logs on this site, but according to this growth chart, they’re at a fairly normal size for 3(ish) weeks. So, I’m not really sure how well they’re doing in terms of size. Like I mentioned earlier though, I’m not necessarily looking to power-grow them, if it takes longer for them to become adult sized then that’s fine with me, so long as they’re healthy.

Here’s a quick pic I managed to get of the fry, I’m still trying to improve with taking pictures so I hope you don’t mind the quality. There are 3 fry in this picture, but one is just a smudgy looking blur, lol
Brown Atmosphere Cloud Sky Feather
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quick question for anyone who might know… is it harmful for there to be unhatched bbs eggs and/or empty shells put into the tank when feeding? I manage to separate the bbs from the shells pretty well, but there are always some that get in the tank. I’ve seen some of the babies go after the eggs/shells but they usually spit them back out. How harmful would it be if they swallowed something like this? I haven’t seemed to have an issue with this in previous spawns but I’m worried because I’ve seen these guys go after the shells when feeding (and I’ve never really seen that before).

I’ve begun feeding the babies more frequently in hopes they’ll catch up in size, which is also why I’m worried about the shells (more feedings = more opportunities to swallow something that will harm them). I’m also starting to notice some size differences among the fry, and I might have to separate out the bigger ones soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Day 29, and so far we’re still going strong! I haven’t found any dead fry and they’re all hitting pretty good growth spurts. I’d say the average size is just below a half of an inch. Almost all of the fry have developed visible dorsal and anal fins. I’m feeding them almost exclusively BBS, but once in a while I’ll give them some nematodes too, just to add some variety. I’m doing 50% water changes every other day, but I’ll probably start doing them every day now that they’re growing so fast. Gosh, I love these guys so much…
Water Purple Liquid Violet Fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Today is day 31, and I’ve been noticing significant growth over the last couple of days. On the bigger fry, I see some of the “racer stripes” coming in and they’ve all been fattening up pretty good during the bbs feedings. Here’s a picture of one where you can see the stripes, and another one whose fins are now distinguishable (except I’m not sure about ventral fins yet, they’re still too little to tell)
Plant Liquid Water Tints and shades Grass

Reptile Fawn Tail Amphibian Snout

Thanks for reading! (And Happy Easter to everyone)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Day 35…
The babies started taking non-live foods (yay)! Of course I will continue feeding live bbs but it’s going to make my life a lot easier now that I can use dry foods if I need to. I introduced Hikari First Bites as their first solid food, in case anyone was wondering. I fed it to them at a time when they’d normally be getting a bbs feeding, so they were ready to eat. I didn’t feed bbs at the same time as the dry food because if they had a preference they’d probably choose a live food. This food has good nutritional value and works well as a first non-live food (it’s also what I use for my newborn guppy fry, lol). I’m hoping that now they’re able to take dry foods, I’ll be able to increase the frequency of feedings even more to really increase their growth rates.
Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Day 37

I have been noticing some "belly sliders" develop over the last couple of days. While I've only noticed 2-3 have this issue, I'm worried that it might be reflective of a bigger problem going on. I have gotten a bit behind with my water changes because life has been extremely busy lately. I plan on doing a large (75%) water change tonight, which will be the biggest one I've done on this fry tank so far. I'm hoping that will help at least a little bit, and that it may prevent other fry from developing this problem. Since this was a small spawn to begin with, I'm afraid any little problem will ruin the whole thing. But, I'm staying positive and doing whatever I can to keep these little guys healthy and strong.

As a side note, I know I mentioned re-spawning the parents but I've decided to wait because a vacation has been planned during the time when the second batch of fry would still be eating live foods. By the time we go away, these fry should (hopefully) be weaned off of live foods, and maybe even be completely on frozen foods. The good news is I've already got them taking some dry foods so it shouldn't be a problem. I'll have someone coming in to take care of my fish while I'm away, but asking them to maintain BBS hatcheries and feed the babies with it isn't something I feel would be fair, if it could be avoided. So, the re-spawn will have to wait for a little while.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I’m curious… I know almost nothing about breeding bettas,… what’s a belly slider?
Hello! A belly slider is a betta that stays near the bottom/has trouble swimming because of a swim bladder issues. You’ll notice the affected fry won’t be able to swim normally, so they’ll just stay on the bottom of the tank and “slide” along. A betta fry that stays at the bottom and/or can’t swim up easily is known as “belly sliding”. (Sometimes they’ll swim in very “jerky” patterns, in circles or in spirals to try to get to the top.) This indicates a usually irreversible issue, though sometimes with measured feedings, and shallower and clean water, the problem can resolve itself. Most likely, belly sliding fry were born with a swim bladder defect and it starts to affect them as their swim bladder starts to grow and develop.

I’ve heard that feeding too much BBS will increase the number of bettas that end up with a swim bladder issue, but I’m not entirely sure about that. Overfeeding is not a good thing, especially because the tank can get dirty and cause water quality issues quickly. I just don’t know if feeding BBS, specifically, is a cause of swim bladder issues (or if it makes it worse). But it’s just something I’ve heard other people say so I thought it was worth mentioning.
 

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Hello! A belly slider is a betta that stays near the bottom/has trouble swimming because of a swim bladder issues. You’ll notice the affected fry won’t be able to swim normally, so they’ll just stay on the bottom of the tank and “slide” along. A betta fry that stays at the bottom and/or can’t swim up easily is known as “belly sliding”. (Sometimes they’ll swim in very “jerky” patterns, in circles or in spirals to try to get to the top.) This indicates a usually irreversible issue, though sometimes with measured feedings, and shallower and clean water, the problem can resolve itself. Most likely, belly sliding fry were born with a swim bladder defect and it starts to affect them as their swim bladder starts to grow and develop.

I’ve heard that feeding too much BBS will increase the number of bettas that end up with a swim bladder issue, but I’m not entirely sure about that. Overfeeding is not a good thing, especially because the tank can get dirty and cause water quality issues quickly. I just don’t know if feeding BBS, specifically, is a cause of swim bladder issues (or if it makes it worse). But it’s just something I’ve heard other people say so I thought it was worth mentioning.
Thanks! That was very informative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Day 38

I found one of the belly sliders dead this morning :( The other one doesn’t appear to be struggling as much anymore, but it’s still worrisome. Growth seems to still be lagging a bit behind, but it’s still not anything too concerning yet. If it takes them a bit longer to reach adulthood, that’s completely fine with me. I’ll upload some photos when I’m able to get a good shot of them

Thanks for reading!
 
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