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Excellent Black genotype Butterfly pair preparing to spawn

SPAWNING BETTAS
My setup consists of a glass covered 10 gallon tank with 4 gallons of treated water (about 4") maintained at a temperature between 80-82 degrees by a 100 watt submersible heater. Plastic plants are included to serve as hiding places for the female. A floating 3x2" square of waxed paper is used for the bubblenest anchor. The anchor can be loosely stuck by one corner to the side of the aquarium in the location of your choice. It appears that bright lights inhibit spawning behavior, so subdued lighting is the best way to go. The male is allowed free movement in the spawning tank while the female is confined to a jar. Usually the breeders are introduced in the afternoon or evening. The male and female will usually begin to flare at each other through the side of the jar. Their colors will deepen and the female will show verticle bars on her sides. The bars appear right over the ovaries showing that eggs are present and this is a signal to the male that she is ready to spawn. The male usually then divides his time between flaring at the female and constructing a bubblenest. The next day, if a bubblenest has been built, the female is released into the spawning tank and the jar is removed. You should see an explosion of flaring and dancing as the breeders interact. Apparently male dominance must be established and the female can be chased, bitten, and have her fins shredded. The amount of violent behavior that you see will depend on the breeders you use. Some females do not submit easily and often end up with severe injuries that, on rare occassions, result in death. Some males are terrible bullies that hound the female mercilessly even when she is hiding and assuming the head-down submissive position. Only infrequently will you have a pair that are gentle and leave the spawning tank with minimal injuries.

The embrace and gathering of fertilized eggs

The spawning is one of the most beautiful sights in nature. The male and female meet under the bubble nest and engage in a circular dance. It is an absolute wonder! After a short while they embrace with the male curling his body over hers after turning her on her back. Some eggs are released from the female and some sperm from the male. The fertilization is in vitro. Both fish become motionless and appear to pass out. Many times the eggs can be seen cupped in one of the female's pectoral fins. The male awakens first and rolls off the female causing the eggs to fall. He scoops them into his mouth. He then blows a bubbles around each one and places them all in the nest. In the meantime, the female has recovered and the mating dance begins again. This ritual can continue for 2 or 3 hours until the female is empty of eggs. The bubblenest usually contains 100 to 300 eggs after the spawn. Some excellent spawning videos can be accessed at Kevin Pelletier's http://www.bubblenest.net/bubblenest/movies.html Once the spawning has been completed the female should be removed from the tank. The male will diligently guard and maintain the nest for the next 2 days. If any bubbles burst and eggs fall, he will scoop them up and reinsert them into the nest. He does not eat during this time. After 36 to 48 hours the eggs hatch and the babies can be seen hanging from the bubblenest. They look very much like commas and their attitude is vertical because their swim bladders are not yet fully developed. Many times they will lose their grip and go spiraling head-first toward the bottom of the tank. But the ever present male chases them down, gulps them into his mouth, and blows them back into the nest. If there are a lot of fry the male can really have his "fins" full for a couple of days. During the next 48 hours the frys' swim bladders complete development and they become horizontal and free swimming. Now the male may be removed and the spawning tank becomes a fry rearing tank. For fry feeding information go to feeding fry. Summary 1. Water temperature 80-82 degrees F. 2. Water depth of about 4 inches 3. An anchor for the bubblenest 4. Hiding places for the female

FEEDING BETTA FRY


About 5 days after the spawning it will be necessary to add suitable food to the spawning tank several times per day. These babies must have food often and it must be appropriate for the size of their mouths. Good first food choices include Infusoria, boiled egg yolk, and freshly hatched baby brine shrimp. Infusoria are microscopic animals that are present in most natural waters on the surface of the Earth. Ditches, ponds, and just about any standing or slow-flowing water will contain these Paramecia and their kin. These guys are already in your tanks but there are too few to adequately feed a batch of fry. They can also be found in the water around the stems in flower vases. Once you get some water containing the Infusoria you can cultivate them. Set up a gallon jar with some straw or dried grass and add the Infusorian rich water. Let the jar sit in warm air by a window that lets in plenty of sunlight. In a couple of weeks the water will become cloudy. The clouds are made up of

millions of Infusorians. Use a Turkey baster to harvest them for your fry. You can also buy starter cultures of Infusoria online. Boiled Egg Yolk is an ideal choice for the frys' first food simply because it is easy to prepare and maintain in our hurry-up society. It is also an excellent source of all the nutrients the youngsters need to be healthy and grow rapidly. Place a small piece of the yolk of a boiled egg in single layer of a handkerchief and swirl it in the water at the surface of the rearing tank. With a strong light and close-up observation you can see clouds of tiny yolk particles disperse into the water. Watch a little longer and you can see the fry eating those tiny bits of yolk. Another favorite method for feeding the yolk involves squeezing off a small piece of yolk between your thumb and fore-finger then swirling your fingertips in the water releasing the particles for the fry.

Fry with bellies full of Brine Shrimp Freshly hatched baby Brine Shrimp are probably used most often for first food. The key words are "freshly hatched." Time your hatchery process so that the shrimp are just hatching on the fifth day after the spawning. Harvest the baby shrimp in a cloth net, rinse them in fresh water that is the same temperature as the water in the shrimp hatchery, and release them into the spawning tank. Remember to be careful not to put in so many that some will die, decompose, and pollute the fry tank. You will need 2 brine shrimp hatchers so that you can alternate and have fresh hatches daily for days 5 through 10. On the 11th day you can safely go to the smallest sized dry food adjusting the amounts you feed as the fry increase in size. It is advisable to contine feeding the baby brine shrimp on an alternating basis, but care should be exercised as overfeeding of brine shrimp can lead to swim bladder disorders. Add other types of small foods as your spawn progresses. The more variety you have in your fry foods the more successful your spawns will be. Summary 1. Start feeding fry 5 days after the spawning 2. Feed fry several times per day 3. Use food made up of small particles (Infusoria, boiled egg yolk, baby brine shrimp) 4. Feed a variety of foods
Microworms are harmless nematodes that live in soil just about everywhere in the world. According to the "Encycloopedia of Live Foods," by Charles O. Masters (TFH, 1975), "It has been computed that the

top six inches of an acre of soil actually contain billions of these worms." Masters also suggests the following method for obtaining a starter culture: "A small piece of potato or a three-inch potato with a half-inch hole bored through it is buried in a garden or wood lot for about one week and then dug up for closer inspection. Any worms feeding on the potato can be collected by washing off the potato in clean spring water and filtering the water through muslin." (One inch = about 2.5 cm., so three inches is about 7.5 cm., and a half-inch is about 1.25 cm.) You could also look for biology labs or the biology departments of schools and universities around Kuala Lumpur. One of them might be able to provide you with a starter culture. Tell them you want Panagrellus silusiae or any similar species. Also, there are some commercial tropical fish farms in Malaysia, and one of them might have some microworms to sell you. Perhaps the place you bought your bettas? Once you have some microworms for a starter, you can culture them on cooked cereal, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, cornmeal, etc. Baby oatmeal (the kind made as a first food for infants) works best for me. Put about a halfinch (1 cm.) layer of the cooked cereal with a very small amount of yeast in a plastic dish with a tight-fitting lid (the lid is to keep flies and other bugs out). Add the starter microworms. Keep the culture at a temperature between 70 and 80 F (21 to 27 C) if possible. After a few days, you will see the surface of the cereal sort of shimmering as the worms slither around on it. If you have good vision, or use a magnifying glass, you can observe the worms themselves. As the worms multiply more and more, they will start to climb up the sides of the container. At this point, you can wipe them from the sides of the container with a finger or brush, and transfer them to the fish tank. A culture will typically last about one to two weeks before it starts to go bad. At that point (or before), start a new culture by setting up another dish with cereal and yeast and putting a teaspoonful or so of the old culture on top of the new one. Then discard the old culture (preferably in your garden). Microworms are a small nematoid often used as food for rearing baby fish. Microworm cultures are very easy to grow and care for once they are established. Things You'll Need * A Microworm Starter Culture * Small plastic container or disposable tuperware * Rice Based Baby Ceral * Baker's Activated Yeast Instructions * STEP 1: Obtain a Microworm starter culture off the internet. Doing a search will yield many sites that sell these. * STEP 2: Mix a small amount of rice based baby ceral with water until you get a thick oatmeal texture. The mixture should be moist but not runny at all. * STEP 3: Coat the bottom of your container with about a half inch of your mixture. * STEP 4: Sprinkle a small amount of activated yeast on top of your mixture in your container. * STEP 5: Add Microworms from your starter culture into your new container and mixture. * STEP 6: Put a cover on your Microworm culture and make sure to poke air holes in the top of the cover. * STEP 7: To harvest your Microworms take a Q-Tip and brush the side of your culture container. The Microworms will crawl up the side of the container making them very easy to harvest in this manner.

* STEP 8: To keep your Microworm culture going long term you should repeat this process every 5-7 days taking a sample from your previous culture and starting over. Doing this you will have an endless supply of Microworms. Overall Tips & Warnings * The warmer you keep your culture the faster it will grow. * You can put your Microworm culture in the fridge if you want to slow the growth. * Disposable Tuperware makes a great Microworm culture container * Keep your Microworm culture in a dark place if possible * Keep more then one culture container going at once, this way you lessen the chance of your entire culture crashing. * An aged Microworm culture will smell bad when the container is opened. * Do not keep your culture near food products and do not wash your culture container in the kicthen sink.

Imposing Blue Grizzled doubletail male

BETTA FOODS
Next to water quality, what you feed your Bettas is most important. The key word to keep in mind is variety. Another important point is that Bettas are meat eaters. They do not browse algae and other vegetable matter. Your fish will prosper if you feed them a wide variety of high protein foods. Live Foods: Mosquito larvae would have to top the list. In their native range Bettas eat mosquito larvae every day. It is their primary food. If you are lucky enough (or should I say unlucky enough) to live in an area with a high mosquito population you can collect them yourself, feed them to your Bettas, and even store them for up to 2 weeks in a covered jar in the refrigerator. Brine Shrimp are full of nutrition and Bettas love them. You will have to set up a Brine Shrimp hatchery, buy some Shrimp eggs and salt, and hatch them out yourself, but it will be time and effort well spent. Some people think that you need adult Brine Shrimp for adult Bettas but you can use baby Shrimp for adults too. It just takes more of them to make an adult meal. Worms of various kinds are good Betta food. Microworms are a good size for baby Bettas. White Worms are big enough for adult Bettas. You will have to set up cultures and raise them. The cultures do not take up much space and the time required is minimal. Earth Worms are an excellent food source that is often overlooked by many. You can collect Earth Worms in your own back yard. You can also buy them at the local fish bait store and store them in the refrigerator. You

will need to cut them up into bite sized chunks which can be tedious but, again, the rewards are great. My recommendation: Mosquito larvae and Earth Worms. Frozen Foods are not as good as live foods but they are better that dried commercial foods. The thing to watch out for with frozen foods is signs of thawing and refreezing. If the package appears to have been thawed and refrozen at some point, the food could be spoiled and not suitable for your Bettas. It could even be harmful to your fish if it was allowed to decay while thawed. You can buy frozen Adult Brine Shrimp and Baby Brine Shrimp both of which are excellent for your fish. Frozen Bloodworms and Mosquito Larvae are also readily available. Frozen Beef Heart is available but I am not sure how appropriate it is for you and your Bettas. The other frozen foods can be thawed in water and provide bite sized pieces, while the Beef Heart would probably involve a lot of trimming and cutting down to size. My recommendation: Frozen Brine Shrimp. Freeze Dried Foods are available in a wide variety of choices. Tubifex worms, Blood Worms, and Ocean Plankton seem to be the most readily available. The freeze drying process is quick and, therefore, traps most of the nutrients, making these types of food high in nutritional value. The storage life for freeze dried foods is quite long, even if the containers have been opened. Freeze dried foods are also cost effective and easy to feed. After all is considered, freeze dried foods are probably superior to frozen foods. My recommendation: Tubifex Worms and Blood Worms. Commercial Foods are, in my opinion, the least useful for raising Bettas. Many types and brands of flake food fill the retailers' shelves. You can get flake food made especially for almost any kind of tropical fish including Bettas. You can get flake food for any purpose such as color enhancing flakes, vitamin enriched flakes, and conditioning flakes. About the only flake food I use is Brine Shrimp Flakes, and then it is usually ground into a fine powder to feed to fry during emergencies when live brine shrimp production has failed. Pelletized foods are also numerous and inexpensive. Floating mini-pellets seem to be the most practical. Look for one that has high protein and low fat. Remember that commercial foods are made for convenience and most other types of foods are more nutritious.

How much should i feed my betta ?

One of the most common mistakes people make with their betta is either overfeeding or underfeeding their fish. A betta should be fed every day or nearly every day. (If you keep a betta in the office and you cant feed him on the weekends, he will be just fine as long as you feed him the other 5 days a week) It takes a betta about 2 weeks to starve to death so if your fish doesnt eat for a few days due to illness or adjusting to a new

home, dont panic. A good rule of thumb at feeding time is this A bettas stomach is about as big as his eyeball and should not be fed more that amount at a time. This translates to about 3 bloodworms or brine shrimp per feeding. If you feed pellets, this equals about 2-3 soaked pellets per feeding. A betta can be fed this amount once or twice a day. Fish pellet or flake food containers often say Feed what your fish will eat in 5 minutes or until he stops eating. This DOES NOT apply to bettas. In the wild their instinct is to eat as much as possible because they dont know when their next meal is coming. In a tank, however, we DO know when their next meal is coming. It is up to us to not overfeed our fish. Overfeeding can lead to water quality problems and illness not to mention obesity. DO NOT OVER FEED

Betta fish breeding tricks


1.Remove the divider. Once your male is ready to breed, he will build a large bubble nest. When this happens, turn off the filter and release the female into the tank, but be sure to keep an eye on the pair. The male will probably bully her some, nipping at fins and chasing her around. This is ok as long as neither fish's life is in danger. This courtship may last several hours or even days. Be sure there are plenty of hiding places for the female to escape the bullying, and check on the pair regularly to prevent serious injuries. 2 Let nature take its course. The male will finally get the female under his bubble nest and they will embrace. It may take a few embraces to produce eggs. Then the female will go into a 'zombie-like' state while the white eggs fall to the ground from her little white ovipositor. The male will swim down and scoop them up, putting them one by one into the nest. Some females will help with this once they recover, but others will eat the eggs, so watch carefully and remove her if she is eating them. They may embrace many more times, but eventually the female will stop releasing eggs. 3. Remove the female betta. Once the female is done releasing eggs, the male will bully her again, and she will hide. Gently scoop her out and put her into her own tank. Treat her tank with Maroxy to help her fins heal. It is a good idea to treat the breeding tank with Maroxy too, to prevent fungus from killing the eggs. 4. Leave the male in the tank until the fry can swim around . This will be about three days after hatching. Some breeders will not feed the male at all during this time. This is supposed to reduce the risk of the male eating the eggs and fry. Other breeders will feed him a small amount of food every second day. If you choose to feed him, do not be alarmed if he does not eat right away, but continue to offer the food, and gently remove uneaten food with a turkey baster. Keep the filter off to prevent any current from disturbing the fry, but keep the tank light on day and night.

earth worm culture for betta

*get some earth worms from your garden , not too big and not too small place them in a smooth surface.pour a bit of water to immerse the worms.let remain there for some seconds after some the worms crawl out of the semisolid mud.the healthy ones comes out first

*collect worms and put them is a cup of rain water or non chlorinated water

*put them in a glass jar

* the worms become pale as soon as placed in water it can be used to feed the fish or to start a earthworm culture

* add smooth sand and some rotten vegetables,fruits,do not use onions/chillies cover the top with a mesh and leave it in a shade and sprinkle water when the culture becomes dry. keep adding vegetables when the previous gets over

* this is mud and some weak worms it is useless and must be wasted

*harvest it monthly and redo the culture again to obtain healthy worms