Recent Spawns: Colgate - Salamander - Copper - Butterfly - Giant PK
The Colgate Spawn
Purchased in Late April 2013 from Jodi Lea (Fishchick) This double tail platinum half moon sibling pair had arrived in good health to the Melbourne Betta "stables." After a year off breeding, I saw this pair and fell in love straight away, so after their arrival the fish were conditioned for 3 weeks on live and frozen high protein food. The male was also treated for a split in his dorsal and caudal as fin rot often sets in after stressful shipping.
I used Tetracycline, Aquarium salt and Indian Almond Leaf for a 7 day treatment.
The spawn/holding tank was set up on May the 7th and the introductions began.
Many breeders have different techniques, however this is typical of the MB style setup, I prefer to have longer tanks with more coverage and visual barriers, along with open 'space' for the wrapping and ease of egg collection. For this reason, spawn tanks are often recommended to be bare bottom as eggs are easily lost in substrate.
In a small 40 litre tank, temperature is to be kept a stable 28-29 degrees with a 55 watt heater, along with some live and mostly plastic fabric plants.
Both male and female had ample space, and were able to see eachother through the mesh divider, further enabling them to see one another. There is a delicate balance with the introductory process, as you want to habituate the male (and aggressive females) to seeing other fish without ripping their fins off. For me, the courting process has taken up to 3 months with some pairs, and in this case as quick as 24 hours.
(right) You see both male and female displaying through the mesh in a very relaxed, slow moving manner (the faster and more agitated, the less likely I am to release them)
Sir had built a more impressive nest over night, so I decided to work on a few introductions during the day (May 9)
It's unusual to have such an easy courtship, but I had a feeling about this pair, I released her for 5 mins every half hour around 4 times. They were both extremely calm and she had shown quite a bit of interest in the bubble nest, following him around the tank and clamping fins and dipping her head in submissive gestures.
On the right is an illustration of the spawn tank setup.
I have a 55 watt heater set at 29, I like to keep this low and off the ground for easy cleaning down the track. This setup has no filtration at this stage (sponge filter is on it's way) I also like to use a dense area of plastic plants for both parties to retreat during the courtship, there would be some Java fern in there if I had some, for infusoria. There are also multiple Indian Almond Leaves floating in this tank
It's around 25 litres and filled to around 20 cms at this stage, if I felt the pair were about to spawn I would usually drop this water level to around 15 cms.
I decided the pair were courting exceptionally politely, with very little fin damage so I decided the next day to leave them in together. Choosing to do this is risky if you don't understand the behaviors of the courtship, while I was confident, I still added more coverage if either party decided they didn't want to participate. I believe visual barriers are important during the courtship so the female can hide and the male can concentrate on maintaining the bubble nest (also resting so he dosen't become fixated on wrapping an often pushing her too hard so she becomes frightened)
The female was enjoying the extra furnishings (pictured right) I am quite happy with her form, she's quite well balanced. The double tail females should be quite symmetrical if divided horizontally, her caudal lobes are even (this shot below isn't very useful to show that) her peduncle is strong but not twisted or thick and while the anal fin is a little long, when she's in a correct flare (as shown in the image above) it appears quite even.
At this stage the fry are free swimming and fed a progressive sequence of Vinegar Eels, Microworms, Baby Brine shrimp and Grindal worms as they grow.
Photos will be updated as the fish progress.