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Crabby’s Betta Bonanza


Crabby
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So, I’m not quite at the stage of being able to technically call this my ‘betta bonanza’ yet… but I like alliteration, so I’m gonna call it that and say it’s wishful thinking. And maybe my wishes will come true. 
Those wishes being to breed bettas, and raise a decent amount to sell or breed or give to mates. And share the fun along the way. And to learn as much as I possibly can about these beautiful fish.

So far my betta bonanza consists of just one fish, a female red koi/galaxy HMPK I purchased yesterday. I got her from a local breeder, and it was cool to see his setup for breeding and for raising fry. As she was being kept with his females that he’s conditioning, my fish is fully conditioned, and she’s ready to breed (fully coloured up, showing her ovipositor and she’s full of eggs), which is exciting! 
She’s in a 5 gallon with my blue dream shrimp and a female endler, and I thought if anything, the shrimp might be in danger. But no. He’s fine. She just beat up my endler. I seem to be cursed with vicious female fish. 
Stemming from this, I rigged up a little DIY tank divider that I’m awfully proud of, so hopefully everyone can be happy.

I’ve also got a male coming in the mail this week, so I’ll grab some photos of both of them and their tanks when he arrives. Unfortunately my account is running out of available media attachments, so I’ll have to figure something out to keep posting images. Maybe I’ll just take the effort to get good photos, and pop them in the gallery. 

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So the male arrived a couple days ago. He’s been really shy, but I finally just got him to come out and interact with me. He seems really interested in the guppy fry that are in a breeder box, but I’m not sure if he’s interested in them as friends or food 😄

I have noticed he swims rather vertically, in comparison to my female, at least. Not sure if that’s somewhat normal? He spends most of his time (when he’s not being skittish and chilling at the bottom) between 30° and 70° diagonally oriented (mouth up). He kinda looks like me when I try to float on my back in a swimming pool; when he stops moving, his tail just kind of falls. Whereas my female has complete control of her body and when she stops moving, she’s just perfectly still.

The male also makes these odd occasional twitching movements. I have no clue what that’s all about or what it means. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, but I don’t want to miss anything that could be a worry. 
 

Anyways, besides all that, I’ve finally got both of them eating, and they seem pretty happy. Unfortunately, the female endler ended up passing away, which I was pretty devastated about.  
On a lighter note, I also got some Darwin nerites, and a microworm culture. I’m loving the nerites, and my fish are loving the microworms. I think they’re looking forward to summer, when I can feed them mosquito larvae again.

I’ll start up an album in the gallery and pop in some pics of my pretty little bettas and their nerite friends, and link it here, if anyone is interested. I’m partially writing this just so I can have it as a bit of a fish diary for my bettas, to keep track of everything and make sure I don’t miss patterns etc.

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Hopefully the male betta is just settling in as it must all be very stressful, new tank and layout etc.

Looking forward to seeing pictures soon!

Let us know if you have problems posting the pictures?

Smon

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42 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Hopefully the male betta is just settling in as it must all be very stressful, new tank and layout etc.

Yeah I’ve noticed even just throughout the day today he’s been more active, less shy, and he’s starting to recognise me and react positively towards me like my female does (…and every other fish I have). I must say, they’re such a rewarding fish. Very similar in personality I feel to apistogramma. Although seemingly they’re more aggressive, which I didn’t expect. 
 

I’ll get to the photos, I promise. Some ones from my phone coming later tonight when I have time, and I’ll grab some pics on my camera on the weekend to upload.

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Betta have more of a personality than most fish, EVERYTIME anyone goes near mines tank, he is there watching! They LOVE live food, mosquito larvae, daphnia. My male usually starts building a bubble nest when he is given live food, especially mosquito larvae! I use a wooden skewer to feed mine commercial food and they are remarkably strong for a small fish, it feels like he is trying to eat the skewer so I have to hold on really tight to it?

It sounds like yours is just settling in nicely?

Simon

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14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Betta have more of a personality than most fish, EVERYTIME anyone goes near mines tank, he is there watching!

Haha that’s awesome, sounds just like my apistos. Not even just wanting food, but they even seem like they just want human interaction, which is the most fascinating thing, and I think bettas are the same.

14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

They LOVE live food, mosquito larvae, daphnia. My male usually starts building a bubble nest when he is given live food, especially mosquito larvae!

Definitely gonna keep that in mind for the breeding!

14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

It sounds like yours is just settling in nicely?

I think they both are now. Slowly but surely.

 

Here are the pics by the way. Jupiter was my betta that passed away, and he’s in the album, but the two new ones are the Red Galaxy and the Koi (I’m not quite sure what she’d be classified as to be honest, but I’ll stick with koi for now).

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Both fish are now doing amazingly! Both eating well, very outgoing and happy, so I think I’ll try a spawn this weekend on the full moon. Any tips on starting my infusoria culture?

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23 hours ago, Crabby said:

Any tips on starting my infusoria culture?

Lettuce leaves - crushed and blanched,

Yeast - a pinch or two,

Tank/Aquarium water,

Glass jar.

Optional - net, or old pantyhose, or kitchen paper towel and rubber band for the top of the bottle.

Place jar on a window seal. Then wait patiently and stir occasionally. This can take 2-4 weeks, so start the infusoria culture now.

 

Edited by jayc
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I started one yesterday as an experiment using a plastic bottle, some aquarium water, blanched kale and peas, duckweed and some rotted aquarium plants. It’s sitting directly under a lamp for 14 hours a day cuz we’re getting pretty much no sunlight right now in Melbourne.

Will this work? I’ll try one like what you described too.

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55 minutes ago, Crabby said:

I started one yesterday as an experiment using a plastic bottle,

I find the plastic drinking bottles too narrow at the top to let enough air/oxygen through.

It might work however.

 

 

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Could I run air into it? Like an airline with a slow bubbler?

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You are making it more complex that it should be. 🙂

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7 hours ago, jayc said:

You are making it more complex that it should be. 🙂

I happen to be very good at making simple things unnecessarily complex 😄

I saw someone do it with an airline so I figured that might be quicker for me to setup than having to find a jar, and it might provide more oxygen to allow for a quicker culture. But I want the best chance for success so I think I’ll do two, one in a bottle with airline, and one in the setup you described. I’m sure yours will work better, but the other one has a 2 day head start so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best. 
Thanks jayc.

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Throw a handfull of leaves and/or lawnclippings into a bucket and leave outside in the garden under a tree uncovered.  Make it part of your morning routine to grab a fine fish net and wave it through the water in the bucket.

If you want smaller food than the net will catch (rotifers and paramecium) then buy a super fine brine shrimp net on ebay and decant some water through that.... or better yet just take a litre from the bucket and pour it into your tank.

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A bucket outside is a good idea too. You will get bloodworms and mozzie larvae for sure, even in winter.

I also have Walter worms (Panagrellus silusioides), if you want some. Just pay postage.

 

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I think I used to have a bucket outside for live food at my old place, but never set one up once we moved. I’ll set one up today. Would it be better if I used a shallow tub for catching the bloodworms more easily?

I also have a pond at this house, which has a little waterfall type feature that involves a couple pools of water, and I’ve noticed I have some little worms in there of different sizes that like to stick one end of their body in the substrate and wave in the water. They look a bit like tube men with their flailing. Any idea what these are? They look like they have a pinkish colour to them.

On 7/23/2021 at 9:51 AM, jayc said:

I also have Walter worms (Panagrellus silusioides), if you want some. Just pay postage.

That’s so kind of you jayc, thanks for the offer! I recently found out that microworms (which are my only culture I have going consistently) can cause ventral fin loss in betta fry if fed too often, so I might take you up on that.

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I tend to get mainly mosquito larvae and daphnia from a pond that has no water movement, do you get those in your pond or does the water movement prevent them? I did try the microworms in a yeast mixture once and that worked ok, I assume that is what you are already using? It was a bit fiddly for me and the adult fish weren't keen but it may be better with young fry? Is the fin rot something that clears up once they grow and are on to different foods?

If you have both type of tub and bucketI would try both and see what works more successfully and you will probably also get more obviously. The shallow tray would need a regular top up I assume with the heat out there!

Are both fish still doing well? I assume you haven't yet tried to breed them, or have you?

Simon

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22 hours ago, Crabby said:

They look a bit like tube men with their flailing. Any idea what these are? They look like they have a pinkish colour to them.

Blood worms.

 

22 hours ago, Crabby said:

I recently found out that microworms (which are my only culture I have going consistently) can cause ventral fin loss in betta fry if fed too often, so I might take you up on that.

Send me a Private Message with your name and address.

 

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5 hours ago, jayc said:

Blood worms.

Ooh okay! I had a hunch but wasn’t certain, and was apprehensive to feed something to my fish if I don’t know what it is. I am okay to feed them to my fish, right?

21 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

 

I tend to get mainly mosquito larvae and daphnia from a pond that has no water movement, do you get those in your pond or does the water movement prevent them? I did try the microworms in a yeast mixture once and that worked ok, I assume that is what you are already using? It was a bit fiddly for me and the adult fish weren't keen but it may be better with young fry? Is the fin rot something that clears up once they grow and are on to different foods?

 

I tend to not use the filter very much unfortunately as the outflow runs through a waterfall feature and I can’t use it at night due to noise, so I often forget to turn it on during the day. I haven’t seen any sign of daphnia, mosquito larvae or anything else besides the bloodworms. 
I’m using oats for my microworm culture right now, don’t have any yeast on hand but I need to grab some to add to the culture. I’ve seen it done without yeast but I think it works better with some. 
From what I’ve heard, the ventral fin loss in bettas from microworms isn’t actually a fin rot at all, but a developmental issue that causes the bettas to have underdeveloped or missing ventral fins, especially if fed solely microworms from a very young age. So they won’t grow back.

21 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

If you have both type of tub and bucketI would try both and see what works more successfully and you will probably also get more obviously. The shallow tray would need a regular top up I assume with the heat out there!

I’m tempted to try that as a bit of a test, but I found the perfect tub in my garage the other day, it’s a large rectangular storage tub that’s as tall as a bucket but considerably wider, so I can easily harvest bloodworms or mosquito larvae. 
It might surprise you, but in Melbourne we haven’t had temperatures higher than 15° for the last 3 months (with regular 5-10° days), so I hadn’t even thought about evaporation in summer. With that in consideration, my perfect tub is even more perfect than I thought!

21 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Are both fish still doing well? I assume you haven't yet tried to breed them, or have you?

I actually did try to breed them twice last weekend (well, once 8 days ago, and once from Saturday to Monday), but I forgot to make a post about it.

Essentially, I added the male to her tank on the 20th using a divider. They were both super excited; in fact, they got so excited that while the male was making his bubble nest, the female was producing eggs at a prolific rate. So much so that she got ‘over-full’, and started dropping unfertilised eggs all over her side of the tank!!! Naturally, I freaked out a little bit, and created a spawning tank in my laundry on the spot. I put them together maybe 5-6 hours after she had started dropping eggs, and I think it was just too late because she was exhausted and after 20 minutes of watching them I could tell she wasn’t in the mood. I removed her, kept the male in there, and called it a night. That was on the 22nd, and the full moon was on the 24th, so I figured I’d give them 2 days to recover and try for another spawn. This time I let them get used to each other in the spawning tank with a divider for a few hours, and once the male had made a bubble nest, I let the female out. The divider idea came after trying a plastic bottle, which my female HATED. She reacted very positively to the divider, so that’s my number one tip so far. 
Anyways, I gave it a go, and they seemed like they could spawn, but for some reason every time the female got close to the male’s bubble nest (which I think was more like a bubble mansion, seeing as he spent so much time adding to it and expanding) he would flare at her, she’d flare back (and I’d go ‘OOH YAY, PLEASE?’), and then he’d chase her away! He was just being a dingus! He spent hours working on this bubble nest that he wouldn’t even let her use!!! He didn’t want to hurt her, just to keep her away from his bubble nest. So after a few days she was clearly fed up with him, and I took her out on the 26th. I’m hoping to try again tomorrow. They’re both very very energetic right now whenever I walk up to their tanks, so I think they really want to go back together. The male has let his bubble nest break apart, which is a bit sad, but I’m sure he’ll start it back up again once I put the female back. I’m thinking of giving them about 36 hours with the divider this time. 
 

ALSO, I dunno if I’ve already said this, but they have names now! The male is named Bear and the female is named Tessa, or Tess for short. But for the sake of simplicity I will refer to them as ‘the male’ and ‘the female’ when I’m describing the breeding process just in case someone comes along some time in the future and wants to learn from my successes and failures (mostly failures).

Anyway, apologies for the long and rambling message. I wish I could write posts with the clarity of jayc, but unfortunately I’m destined to use an unnecessary amount of words to get a message across.

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Crabby said:

I am okay to feed them to my fish, right?

Absolutely!

 

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I expect those worms are bloodworms, a friend tried the bucket a couple of years ago for mosquito larvae and ended up with bloodworms in the bucket! No idea how they got there?

I had heard australia was suffering some extreme cold this year, but there is extreme weather everywhere this year?

I thought mating bettas was usually quite aggressive, I did see damaged fins and a lot of chasing when I got baby betta, that should probably have been a clue to me that they weren't all females in my tank?

Simon

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1 hour ago, jayc said:

Absolutely!

 

See, that’s the kind of conciseness in a post that I completely lack 😂

1 hour ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I thought mating bettas was usually quite aggressive, I did see damaged fins and a lot of chasing when I got baby betta, that should probably have been a clue to me that they weren't all females in my tank?

Yeah I’ve also heard it can be. Luckily no damaged fins, besides a teeny tiny tear in one of Tessa’s fins. 

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I think the fins will healquite quickly if they do get damaged, it just looks a bit worrying to the owners eye!

Simon

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1 hour ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

ended up with bloodworms in the bucket! No idea how they got there?

Bloodworms are larvae of midges (mosquito-like flies without the "pronger")

The adults lay eggs in the water that look like little sacks of jelly.  You sometimes see them hanging from the water surface or stuck to the edges of the bucket.  You can wipe the "jelly" off and put it in your tank and when the larvae hatch they are great fry food.... but if you dont have enough fish to eat them they may live in the tank and emerge to fly around your house.

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