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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I'd share this link to a blog page that lists and pictures a lot of wild betta species.

http://orcabetta.blogspot.com.au/2008/06/wild-betta.html

My favourite's the macrostoma. I really hope to keep these fish some day (and I've found a local breeder with some fry that will ready to be sold next year.. oh, bettas how you tempt me! ..) but check out the CUTE little B. persephone. How adorable is that? :B

I also like breviobesis.. and burdigala... picta .. and unimaculata. And channoides, which are also really beautiful.

If you could keep any wild betta, which would you choose?
 

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Betta channoides Peaceful Betta
Wine Red Betta Betta patoti
Maragd Fighting Fish

they are all so beautiful in there own way but my favorite would have to be the peaceful betta.... i love its neon natural beautiful colors that pop out.. on the other hand they would be easy prey because of the pop out colors!
 

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If I had the kind of space that most of the wild bettas require for happiness and good health, I'd definitely take Burdigala. What a lovely fish.
 

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I just got a burdigala male (female was DOA so getting a replacement). He is stunning in full colour but still very small. Also getting a pair of persephone delivered today. They are one of the most beautiful betta species and it's a shame they are so endangered. I think there is only 1-2 spots left they can be found.

I will have 9 species of wilds once my persephone arrive. Hope to bump that up to ten with a pair of uberis.

A pair of burdigala could do fine in a 30cm cube. I have a breeding colony of 6 brownorum in one and the dominant male has spawned several times with his dominant female partner.
 

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Wow, I never knew some of them did fine in alkaline water. LBF do you know if any of them do well in medium hard water? I always thought these guys were all out of my reach.
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Most of the bigger species should be okay in slightly harder water (species such as ideii, unimaculata, ocellata). I think channoides and albimarginata are also quite tolerant. They might not spawn for you, but they shouldn't suffer any health effects from it.

If you get something wild-caught then it's probably going to be much more sensitive to water parameters, but some species have been bred in fairly large numbers by wholesalers and are more adaptable.

For something like a burdigala you want very dark, very soft water with lots of cover and subdued lighting to get the beautiful burgundy colouring. I just let my leaf litter decay as this provides plenty of micro-organisms for any fry (this complex will not usually eat their own fry) that might be born.

They can be fussy with food. I am just weaning some of mine off a sole diet of frozen/live and onto pellets.

These are not the kind of bettas that do well in tanks with rainbow coloured gravel and sparse decorations. I've gotten the best colouration and behaviour from my wilds in biotope style set-ups.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LBF, knew I'd see you here! XD

Wow, nine species.. I'd love to see some pics of the persephones.

I am seriously thinking of keeping no more splendens once my current bettas go to fishy heaven. Well, maybe just one.. loving the plakats atm.. >> But I think I'd much rather keep some wilds. There's just something about them that's more appealing to me. Plus, endangered and all..
 

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Just make sure your tops are gladwrapped and completely covered. My unimaculata male fell 2 metres yesterday and nearly broke his neck landing on my bottom shelf.

If there is the tiniest gaps wilds will find it and get out.

The culprit himself (he went stripey because I put the light over his tank)

 

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He looks so.. Guilty.
Are any of yours mouth brooders? I don't know any of them that well.
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Discussion Starter #11
Holy cow.. I think if I fell two meters I'd not be getting up very quickly.. that little fish is tougher than I am. ><

I've heard they're real houdinis, I intend to keep firmly lidded tanks. Glad wrap - for the humidity, I take it? Have the wilds a bigger requirement than splendens for that?

Love the biotope look, as well, it'd be neat to have a Thai native planted tank, with whatever's not on the ban list/Aussie equivalents.
 

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These wild-type fishes are intriguing. What is the avg. lifespan for some of them? Are they "friendly," like splendens kept as pets? I saw some of these different species at MN Betta Shop (mnbettashop.com) when I visited earlier this month; the muted tones are lovely, like the "organic" notes of fine wine (I would guess). The quasi-natural, planted tank is appealing, too. John Tullock wrote a book on bettas, fishes and fish-conservation being a great interest of his, and another book on growing hardy orchids, and it seems to me that it takes a similar effort, or sort of effort, to welcome something wild into one's home.
 

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Unimaculata and ideii are mouthbrooders. Although my brownorum and rutilans will also mouthbrood. My rutilan male will now usually hold the eggs for a couple days and then spit them out into a bubblenest. He used to just mouthbrood the whole time and have one or two fry.

The gladwrap is because I have open tanks with no lids/hoods and it can cover any areas your lids don't. They don't require anymore humidity than splendens and most species actually prefer a lower temp.

I assume their lifespans would be on par with the average betta (around 3 or so years). My rutilans are over a year old now and only slowed down their spawning once their fry reached juvie age.

As to tameness, my rutilans were wild-caught and I didn't see them for a month or so when I first got them. Today they are as tame as any of my splendens and spend most of their time out of cover.

Hand-feeding with tweezers is the easiest way to tame wilds down. All my bettas know to come at a tap on the front glass as it's the easiest way to check on them all.
 

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Well persephone went into the tank at 1pm this afternoon. Straight away they both coloured up and started courtship. They are now under the IAL I floated at the top and they are trying to figure out what they are supposed to do next. Hopefully they will spawn tomorrow.

Love this species and so glad I managed to snag a pair after my last ones died last year.

Will try and get some photos tomorrow.
 

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What do you do with all the babies? Sounds like you get fry by the bucket load.
 

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I don't bother removing as they practically raise themselves on whatever is in the tank until they are large enough to take small pellets, frozen foods and live blackworms. My water is literally crawling with micro-organisms in my wild tanks.

It's sort of a survival of the fittest. My original rutilan fry would wait until dad finished guarding his nest and then eat all his siblings.

Sometimes, they will actually stop spawning and can become quite withdrawn once fry reach adult colouration. It wasn't until I removed their adult offspring and then put it back in that they spawned again. I now have 5 (could be more they hide in the moss) juvenile fry that are perfectly coloured and formed at around 1/2 an inch to an inch in size.

I just want enough fry to have a continued family line. I purchased a new rutilan pair to provide some different blood to my original pair but unfortunately the female somehow managed to escape.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow, glad the persephones settled in so quickly! Can't wait for the pics. And spawning already! What size tank do you have them in, and how long has it been set up to have developed good stuff at the bottom?

The fellow who's breeding the macrostomas has just had them spawn again, and has 30 or so fry from the last one as well.. I'm very hopeful about having a pair from him later this year or early next (maybe sooner as he's worried about running out of room if they keep up the spawning, ha) so I suppose I'd better get about setting a tank up and learning how to raise live foods..
 

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I set it up on Sunday or Saturday. I don't cycle my wild tanks as the pH is too low for beneficial bacteria to thrive. Instead I do 25% water changes every two days with conditioned tap water.

Their tank is 60x18x30 (cms) with sand substrate, peat moss over the sand and an IAL and riparian leaf (from Aquagreen) litter on the bottom. They have a pvc pipe hide and a piece of root wood that I covered in java moss. Water is very dark which makes their colours pop.

Make sure you have something heavy over your macrostoma tank. If they jump they can hit the top quite hard and if it is only flimsy they can get through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cheers for the tip. They're quite big fish compared to splendens, the males anyway, and hefty with it, so I can imagine the possibility of jumping disasters.

Interesting about the ph. Will be hassling you for tips, when that tank's ready to set up, ha. They need around 100L, apparently, which I don't mind if we don't have to move house.. glad the macro spawn won't be ready for a while yet, we'll be settled either way by then. Plenty of time to organise a proper set up for them.
 
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