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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, so my roommate has this BEAUTIFUL crowntail male. We found him in the pet store I work at... I've never seen another betta like him! Anyway, a few months later I fell in love with a gorgeous silver female and before I could resist, I brought her home. And then my roommate got to thinking, what if we bred them? I figured, why not? I've helped an old friend breed bettas before... I've always been curious about doing it myself, and I have LOADS of free time this summer! But, before I jump into anything like that, I wanted to do as much research as possible and make sure I'm fully prepared. I've done lots of reading and now I'm just asking for tips and advice from everyone else here. Some specific questions I have are:

1) What's with the aversion to breeding pet store bettas? I intend to breed pet bettas, not show bettas, so does that make a difference?
2) I've posted pictures of my pair below, assuming they successfully breed, any ideas what kind of colours we'd get?
3) After I breed them, I want to set up my female in a nice sorority tank. What's the minimum tank size I'd need for that?




(Apologies for the picture quality, neither of them wanted to sit still.)
 

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Personally, even if you were breeding for only pet quality fish, I would not be inclined to cross a CT onto anything but a CT. It results in messy looking fins, and even pet buyers tend to want a 'pretty' fish.

I don't mind if people breed pet store fish, as long as the fish themselves don't have any glaring faults or deformities, and as long as the breeder has a goal in mind beyond simply wanting fry. Some people don't like pet store fish because there is a hodge podge of genetics behind them, and so you don't know what you are getting. Others don't like to see poor quality fish being used to produce more poor quality fish when the market is already saturated.

However, if you can find a pet store fish of reasonable quality (everyone will have a differing opinion on what this entails), there's nothing wrong with using it to breed. Everyone has to start somewhere.

I have absolutely no knowledge relating to colour genetics and Betta splendens, so I will leave that to someone else to answer.

However, for a sorority tank, I recommend a minimum of 15-20 gallons. In the past I did use to recommend a minimum of 10 gallons, but over the years my opinions have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hm, I'm not actually sure what tail type she is... She does have spikes on her fins, (they're hard to see in the picture) but they're less pronounced than other pictures of CT females I've seen. Might be interesting to see what happens...?

As far as their health goes, Amber (the male) has had no problems in the three or so months we've had him. He eats really well, flares well, and hasn't been sick even once. I've got Narcissa (female) quarantined in a bowl for now until I can determine her health and eating habits. She's a good colour though, and eats well so far. She's active and doesn't seem to be too stressed by the move. I won't even try to breed her for at least a month, I think. Make sure she's doing okay before I go and stress her out like that.

The batch of bettas both of these ones are from did really well in the store, actually. Relatively low mortality rate, hardly any fungus or bacterial infections in the cups, and most of the ones sold didn't come back dead in the first week.

Rats, all I've got is an extra ten gallon for a sorority. Will she be okay on her own, do you think? I'm not too experienced in the keeping of females yet, Narcissa's my first one.
 

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Yes, she will be fine on her own. It's actually easier to keep a female betta happy and healthy on her own than it is to do so with a sorority, from all I've read. As a disclaimer, I've never tried a sorority. But I do have a female on her own, and she is super happy, healthy, and active. Honestly, I just treat her the same as my males, and she's doing awesome.
 

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1) What's with the aversion to breeding pet store bettas? I intend to breed pet bettas, not show bettas, so does that make a difference?

I have no problem breeding pet store as long as you know what you are doing - specific goal and plan on achieving it.

Tiny protruding rays doesn't mean it is a CT. Non CT often have them. So your female may not be best for your male. . . . unless you plan to breed for 4-5 generations. As stated by LBF, even pet seekers want nice looking fins.

Crossing a CT to non CT will produce uneven web reduction at a later age, which isn't too attractive. You will need to breed further to get them to either full CT or full non CT. It would be best to breed CT to CT or non CT to non CT - regardless pet store or show.

Notice how the fins of the CT curls. He needs softer water than regular fin types. If your water is hard, add some RO water. You will need to understand more about water if you want to work with CT.

2) I've posted pictures of my pair below, assuming they successfully breed, any ideas what kind of colours we'd get?

Turquoise x copper:
Copper is an irid based metallic. Therefore you should get lots of turquoise and some copper. If their genetics are fairly pure, you will literally have very few (if any) coppers.
Not sure how the orange butterfly feature will effect fry. If the pair are regular color (non dragon), your should get mainly red fins, very few orange/yellow. But if they have dragon background, you will have better chance of getting that feature on fry.

3) After I breed them, I want to set up my female in a nice sorority tank. What's the minimum tank size I'd need for that?

Both male and female can be treated similarly in solitaries. But females can also be kept in sororities of 4 in a 10g. The smaller the more fish per gallon water, means more water changing. Plants or anything for hiding would do wonders. . . . . If they were bought (even siblings often go through fighting), they will initially fight to establish the alpha. How long or how bad they tear each other depends on you. And there will always (most often) be flaring amongst them. Remember that every injury can be infected which in turn may spread through out the tank - be prepared.
 

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Rats, all I've got is an extra ten gallon for a sorority. Will she be okay on her own, do you think? I'm not too experienced in the keeping of females yet, Narcissa's my first one.
She'll be better off on her own than in a sorority, IMO.

I keep my females the same way as I keep my males - in divided sections with nothing but plants and pots to hide in, in other words, no tank mates with the exception of another betta on the other side of the divider. That was they're not stressed by having to estabish and upkeep a pecking order and nobody gets bitten or injured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I'll probably keep her on her own then... That'll save me the money of having to buy others!

So the game plan so far is this:

1) Right now, my ten gallon is occupied by 2 corydoras, a dwarf pleco, and my half-moon, Sirius. Once my 56 gallon tank is fully cycled and ready to go, I well be moving them all into it. This should take about 2-3 weeks.
2) I'm going to locate a divider for my ten gallon so I can put both Amber and Narcissa in it so they can see each other and acclimate to it.
3) Once (if) Amber builds a bubble nest, I'll remove the divider and hope for the best... :/

Narcissa will likely go back into her 1gal bowl after, so I can treat any injuries and keep an eye on her. (I'll be saving my pennies in the mean time for a decent 3-5 gal I can heat and filter for her.)

Anything anyone would like to add? And I may as well add this little bit to this thread, since I'm actually getting responses here:

I have 4 males. 2 of which are in tiny bowls right now as temporary homes... My boss has a 180gal with 8 male bettas that seem quite content living together. What I'm wondering is, would it be possible to put all 4 of them into my 56 gallon with a LOT of plants and hiding places? Even just getting 2 in there might help a lot space wise... Sirius (HM) and Toothless (CT) are both fairly docile so I though I'd start with them and see how it goes, then possibly add Cedric (CT) and my still-unnamed-veiltail? Anyone have any experience keeping multiple males together? (Anyone have name suggestions for my VT? he's blue and pink)
 

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Personally I wouldn't. Even in a 56 gallon tank, if one male takes exception to another, he is going to hunt the other male down and attack him. I've seen it happen when I introduced two females that had previously been living in a sorority tank, into a 46 gallon tank. They found each other within minutes and I had to separate them because they would not stop fighting. Just because you give them enough space to get away from each other, doesn't mean they are going to make use of that space.

I'm not a fan of keeping males together, particularly if they are mature and unrelated. Too much potential for violence in my opinion, and I think it only works on very rare occasions. IME based on videos and photos I've seen online, it seems that in most cases, males that are kept together end up with ragged fins and show signs of discomfort and stress.

Other than that, I was wondering if you understood the costs involved in breeding bettas? I know you say you helped a friend breed their fish so I assume you do, but I only ask because you mention two of your males are being kept in 'tiny bowls', and that you are going to have to save money to purchase a 3-5 gallon tank for the female.
 

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Absolutely not. Your boss is very irresposible by keeping male bettas together in one tank - excuse me if this sounds rude. I hear the "oh it works for me and I've been doing it for x years so it's obviously okay" a lot. No. Just, no. It doesn't work like that. Jsut because it "works" for said person doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, and while there are many ways to keep bettas, this is not one of them.

You can't breed your fish if they live in tiny unheated bowls. You need to condition them before breeding which means good food and warm, clean water.

If you need to "save pennies" to provide your existing fish with adequate housing then you're not ready to breed. Breeding bettas is an expensive hobby and you need a ton of supplies; breeding tanks, grow out tanks, jars, heaters, filters, live food cultures, BBS eggs-- the list is awfully long. There's no cheap way to do it.

I don't think that your fish are a good pair, for the reasons mentioned by other members - CT should ideally only be bred to CT as the offspring will have messy finnage otherwise. You'll struggle to find homes for the fry, which is something you obviously don't want. Either pair your female up to a different male or buy a CT female to go with the male.

I would also like to add that you need more cories. At least 4 should be added once your fish move into the bigger tank.

I apologise if I came across as rude or whatnot ^^
 

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I hate to pile on, but I tend to agree with everyone else here. Even if looking for pet fish, you shouldn't breed a CT to a non-CT. You will have more difficulty rehoming the fry if they don't have "pretty" fins and your fish probably won't produce that in the first generation. We don't want you to be stuck with tons of fish you can't find homes for, and although rare for first time breeders, bettas can produce 200-300 fry per spawning. You would need to be prepared for the possibility of taking care of and rehoming anything from 10 to 300 fry.

Also, as mentioned, if their bowls are not heated, it is unlikely they will be conditioned to breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually Kisiel, you do come off as very rude.

Though I think there's a misunderstanding here somewhere. The two bettas I have in bowls are in warm locations with thermometers which I monitor carefully to make sure they aren't over or under heating. They're both sitting at a very healthy 79F. The betta I was intending to breed is in a 2.5 gallon filtered and heated tank and is fed a variety of foods including pellets, bloodworms, brine shrimp, mysis, and daphnia (as are all my bettas.)

Upon consideration, I have decided perhaps those two are not the best pair, however this will not discourage me from perhaps breeding a different pair in the future. All I asked for was advice, not people judging me for how I keep my bettas. Believe me, I love them and I would never intentionally hurt them.

As for the multiple males in tanks thing... I think it's rather unfair of you to call my boss irresponsible. I've seen his tank, and his bettas are beautiful and healthy. I asked him how he managed to keep them from fighting and he said as long as they all have they're hiding spots, they're fine. Occasionally one might take a nip out of the other but is this not true of how bettas in the wild behave? They don't all get one pond to themselves out there... I'm not just going to randomly toss them in and hope for the best... if I do this (and I intend to at least try, because I would rather them not live in bowls longer than they have to) I will be taking it slow and observing their behaviours very carefully.

As for my financial situation, I don't need to explain anything to anyone. I know the costs, I have a plan, and I'm going to stick to it. I can't go blow all my rent money on betta tanks, because they'll be even worse off if I end up homeless.
 

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Wild bettas, even those species from the Betta splendens complex, tend to be less aggressive than the ornamental form of Betta splendens. You can't really draw a comparison between the two, without taking into consideration the decades of selective breeding that has gone on to create the Betta splendens most hobbyists are familiar with.

The reason I personally disagree with keeping male Betta splendens together, or keeping a male and female together long-term, is that they seem to be incredibly unpredictable fish. They can turn on conspecifics very suddenly, and without much/if any warning. You can go from shredded fins to dead fish in a matter of days. This is not me being overly dramatic either, I have witnessed such behaviour in my own fish.

It's why I no longer condone sorority tanks.

I had a male plakat killed by a group of females he had been in with for around a year. I hadn't seen any concerning behaviour from my females. I simply found my male horrifically injured. I have no doubt he suffered immensely, and he passed not long after in spite of my best efforts.

So personally, I would strongly advise against keeping your males together. It would be different if they were spawn siblings and had never been apart. But these are mature, unrelated males that have been living solitary lives since being removed from the grow-out tank.

You have to remember, people can only respond to your posts based on the information you have provided. Based on your OP, I also questioned whether you had the necessary finances to breed your fish. Underestimating the time, cost, and effort of breeding bettas, is a common theme on this section of the forum. Therefore, I can understand where Kisiel and Kevinap2 are coming from.
 

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There are so many bettas in cups already...maybe if you contact a local pet store and see if they are willing to sell them before pursuing. I have some pregnant platies and I breed Apple snails and I already have homes mapped out with families, other hobbyists in case I get too many. The Platy mama eats her young when they pop out like a dang toaster LOL. The betta and both other platies were following her around this morning waiting for snack time!
 
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