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Posts published in June 2020

My Betta Fish Breeding – Taking the Mystery Out of Betta Breeding

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Betta fish are teritorial, this is why they fight. Most often the agression and fights occur between two male Bettas, however a new female introduced into a tank can threaten the existing male's dominate role and cause him to attack, so care must be taken when introducing Bettas.

Taking the Mystery Out of Betta Breeding

A good way to get a male and female together for breeding is to start with them in separate tanks that are side by side, or in the same tank with a tank-divider in place to keep them apart, just so they can see and become familiar with one another before being able to interact physically. It will take between 3 and 5 days before they're ready to be allowed to interact, and even still a close eye needs to be kept on them at first to ensure the male doesn't feel threatened and attack.

The best time for breeding is when your Bettas are between 6 and 12 months of age. Your male should be larger than your female, and the more energy and vibrant colors your fish have the better. These are signs of healthy fish.

The bottom of your breeding tank should be bare, and the water level kept at about 5 inches deep. Your water should also have a pH level of 7.0 and be constantly kept at just about 80 degrees fahrenheit. These are the most optimal conditions for breeding, and normal healthy living for your Betta fish.

When the male is ready to breed, he will begin making a bubble nest on the surface of the water by blowing tons of tiny bubbles together. You can aid him by making sure there is a large leaf floating in the tank for his bubble nest to stick to and build out from. It can take several days for him to complete his nest.

Even though the tank bottom should be bare, you will want to ensure there is some vegetation or tank decoration available where the female can hide. Male Bettas can get very aggressive during the courtship phase, so the female needs available shelter if he becomes too rough. She'll also need a place to hide out after she's laid her eggs. The male Betta will handle all the caring chores for the fertilized eggs.

Once the bubble nest is complete, and the courtship has led to the male impressing the female to stimulate her into laying eggs (up to 500), the female will usually turn over (belly up) and the male will wrap himself around her as she lays the eggs. Fertilized eggs will sink to the bottom which is why having it bare will help the male at this point, because once the female finishes she will retreat to shelter and the male will begin scooping the fertilized eggs from the bottom into his mouth, and placing them on the bubble nest.

It is a good idea to remove the female from the breeding tank at this point if you can without disturbing the bubble nest. Being a devoted father, the male Betta can view the female as a threat to the eggs in the nest and attack her. Also, you will want to discontinue changing out water in the breeding tank until after the baby fish are 2 weeks old. For this reason you need to be extra careful not to overfeed the tank in order to prevent the water from clouding too much.

The eggs will hatch within a few days into fry, which wil hang down from the bubble nest for several days as the fry feed from the yolk sack. In about 3 to 4 days the fry will begin swimming around freely, and at this point you must remove the male Betta (their father) from the tank or he will turn on his young and eat them.

At this point you should begin feeding the fry twice per day, either Baby Brine Shrimp or a special baby fish food called Daphnia. Tetra can also be given to the fry, but some think it is not the best starter food for Betta fish. Just remember not to overfeed the tank or your water will cloud up quickly and place the young fish at risk.

Once the fry are two weeks old you can begin changing out the water in the breeding tank again, but be very careful as the baby Bettas will still be small and fragile.

If all has gone right, you should have a tank full of young Bettas to either separate into multiple tanks for yourself, or to separate and sell to local pet stores, or to just give to your friends and family.

How to Feed Betta Fish in a Bowl

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Betta Fish can survive in almost any container of fresh water, and for this reason Brandy glasses and other small containters have been a popular "home" used by people over the years. However, Betta Fish will thrive much better in a full-size fish bowl or small aquarium (10 gallons is a good size, and perfect for breeding).

 

Also, it is a good idea to have some minor filtration in the bowl or tank as well. Sponge filters are popular and a good choice because they'll fit nicely into any space, are cheap and very easy to maintain. Plus, if you'll be breeding your Betta Fish sponge filters have no suction, unlike pump-powered filtration, so won't pull-in and harm the weak baby Bettas.

When cleaning your bowl or tank and decorations, never use soap. It is nearly impossible to completely rinse off and can harm your fish. Warm water and an untreated plastic abraisive brush will work just fine.

Bettas, much like Goldfish, are hardy pets and can live and thrive in nearly any sort of bowl environment provided the water temperature remains moderate and you keep their home clean of uneaten food and droppings.

Even a simple large glass, like a Brandy Snifter, can serve as a suitable home for Bettas.

Still, with such a beautiful animal it's really a shame to not show them off in a slightly nicer way. A simple, small fishbowl with some marbles and just one or two decorations will go a long way to providing you and your visitors with an even more pleasing experience when viewing the fish.

Also, to better ensure a healthy life for your Betta, it's wise to have them in a bowl or tank with an air and water filtration system.

While Bettas can survive by surfacing for oxygen when needed, this does place more stress on the animal that can have a negative impact on them over time.

Also, with no constant filtration system you will find yourself having to manually clean the bowl and swapping out water on a more frequent basis. So, not only is it better for your fish, but it's also easier on you in the long term.

....Betta Fish Care

In addition to the minimum filtration suggested above, you'll want to change out about a third of the water in your Betta's home every other day, replacing it with fresh water that has sat for at-least 24 hours since being poured from the tap.

A good tip here, is when removing water for the change outs, use a Turkey Baster and suck up water from the bottom of the bowl or tank. This way you'll also remove any uneaten food that has settled to the bottom, which will turn the water cloudy and can lead to potential illness for you fish if left laying there.

A lot of people like to put Lily roots in their Betta fish tanks. These are nice decorations and the Betta fish will even eat from them, but you shouldn't consider this the primary food source for your fish. Bettas eat from the Lily root out of desperation, meaning they're under nurished and at risk for their health, you wouldn't want to make your Betta fish sick or have to deal with Betta disease.

You should feed your Betta daily but don't give your fish food too much, taking care to use food that is clearly marked for Betta Fish. Freeze dried worms (mosquito larvae) and live shrimps are also good for your Betta, and they love them!

Buying Betta Fish, How to find the best Betta fish

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Unless you just happened to come across a Betta fish, or were given the fish as a gift, you’ll need to consider buying your Betta fish. This page deals with where you can buy yours and what to look for when buying Betta fish so that your Betta fish can live happily and provide you with what you’re looking for in the hobby.

 

Choosing a Betta fish to buy

Not all Betta fish were born equal and some are brighter, more aggressive and larger than others. Some may even be very old when you see them in the shop or perhaps carrying underlying health problems.

 

Age

When buying Betta fish we all look at their colour and their fins and many of us go for the biggest fish in the store. This is rarely a wise move as the most value for money can more often be derived from purchasing younger fish, Bettas that will grow in your tank and live longer after you buy them than older fish. Young Betta fish tend to be smaller and are more aggressive, often swimming more than older fish. They are also much better for breeding than grandpa Betta. The shop assistant or seller should know the age of their fish. Also look for fish that are swimming near the glass separating them from their neighbour, as this is a good sign of aggression and youth, sure signs that you are buying the right Betta fish.

 

Body to fins ratio

All body an no fins seems to defeat the object of buying a Betta fish. Some males can even resemble females, a mistake that could produce some interesting breeding attempts. A Betta fish with a large body and small fins isn’t necessarily unhealthy and can still display very vibrant colours however you should avoid Bettas with a thin body as this would suggest a weaker and potentially diseased specimen.

 

Fins

A Betta fish should ideally have full fins with no breaks or changes in bone direction which would suggest injury or disease. Slightly darkened or lighter fin tips are a good indication that the fish is set to grow longer fins over the next few months. The caudal (tail) fin should have a nice curve and contain no jagged edges.

 

Where to buy Betta fish

The best place to buy live Betta fish is from a breeder although these can be difficult to find. If you can find a Betta breeder and you are willing to either travel to pick them up or pay for postage, then this is a good way of getting good quality fish that are appropriate for breeding. However, you must be careful if you buy live Betta fish online or from a breeder that (a) they are sent via a courier service that will handle live fish deliveries – Royal Mail will not and (b) you have an honest description of the fish you are being sent.

Buying Betta fish online is a possible option as is using popular auction sites such as eBay. Classified ads are ok too if you spend a little while looking through them. If you do choose to buy live Betta fish online, you must ensure they are coming from a good, reputable breeder and always verify the age and condition of the fish.

The last option is to buy a Betta fish from an ordinary pet shop or aquatic store. This is perhaps the cheapest option as you can collect the fish yourself buy do beware that many fish shops don’t sell Bettas that are overly suitable for breeding and many simply stock a very limited selection.