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Old 12-30-2011, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

I had some fish, when I was a kid and then, for many years, I had a business importing fish, and selling them to pet shops. Bettas were always one of my favorites. For the business, I used to get my Bettas in Bangkok. The air freight was expensive. Where Bettas come from, they live in places like rice paddies, etc. The water is shallow, and heats up quickly, so Bettas are used to it being warm. The water can sometimes be somewhat polluted also. Warm, polluted water holds little oxygen, so Bettas have developed the ability to take a gulp of air from the surface. Because of the expensive freight, we decided to breed some of our own. We got 100 clear plastic shoe boxes, and set them up with a rock (for the female to hide behind, if the male got too agressive) and a floating plant, to anchor the floating bubble nest. 80F is a good temperature for breeding. 100 little test tube heaters would be impractical and, since the water is a little cooler, due to evaporation, we kept the room temperature at 85F.

More tomorrow.

Jarred's Aquarium Forum.Aquarium Forum
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

wow..topics brought up here..
my mom raised bettas when my dad was in military in DC
and was all over.. she bred and sold babies to fish stores ..i think
mostly for fun..
i did couple yrs when i was in college and had a big flat..
i was a member of the IBC too.. internation betta congress.. wow..
thats along time ago..sigh..LOL
great to see others here have so many commom intersts..
we nanner growers sure are interesting folk!!!!
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

I believe that an interest in fish, or other animals, is a natural for hobbyists who have an interest in plants as well. Seems an appreciation for the diverse life in nature goes hand in hand. Ive had aquariums since I was a child. I now find myself with 12 freshwater aquariums and a 75 gal saltwater which houses Seahorses and lots of different types of Macro algaes which are beautiful saltwater plants. My interests have narrowed into breeding and developing rare strains of Swordtails, and keeping freshwater shrimp. Although, all the freshwater tanks are heavily planted and I have amassed quite a collection of aquatic mosses and semi rare aquatic plants as well (forever the insatiable collector!) All of it is for fun and enjoyment, although I have sold to LFS and online. Im currently working on developing 3 new swordtail color/fin forms.
Last year I bought a pair of young Platinum Halfmoon Bettas and put them in a 10 gal where I grow some variegated forms of Anubias emersed in only about 2 inches of water. I went on vacation for a week and when I came back I noticed something very tiny darting around in the gravel. I couldnt believe it when I got my spy glass and saw the tank was full of baby bettas! They had spawned and there was enough plants and places to hide that the parents hadnt managed to eat too many of them. I took the parents out immediately and the fry had managed to find enough live zooplankton to live on while I was gone! At the end of about 4 months time I had 6 females and 4 males. Here are links to see some of my tanks if you like; (In the first link, under the photo titled "Poison Dart Frogs" you can see the tank and father where they spawned!) Click on the first photo, then it will open larger; then just click on the arrow to the right to move to the next photo>>ENJOY!
aquariums pictures by miamimax - Photobucket
Seahorse Tank pictures by miamimax - Photobucket

One of the "baby" males below;
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File Type: jpg betta.jpg (40.5 KB, 4 views)

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Old 12-31-2011, 12:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

Wow! Those freshwater tanks are gorgeous with all that moss. Are all those shrimp fresh water? I've never seen anything other than the ghost and bamboo shrimp (although I know there is a large freshwater shrimp being farmed in Asia). Those colors are amazing! I'm also impressed that you have the dart poison frogs. Those aren't the easiest things to feed (and they are so rare in the wild now...I'm guessing you can't just order them up off of a wholesale list anymore).
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

Glad you enjoyed the pix. Yes, all the shrimp photos are of freshwater species. All of the ones listed as coming from Sulawesi have only been discovered in the freshwater lakes of Sulawesi in recent years and they are still discovering more! Most of the other types, such as the Crystal Reds and Cherry came from mutations which have then been specifically inter-bred for better coloration and patterns-these color forms do not exist in the wild. Depending on coloration and patterns, some of the Crystal Red shrimp sell for a $1000+ per shrimp! You can order a lot of different Poison Dart frogs from breeders in the US.

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Old 12-31-2011, 03:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

Wish my wife could figure out why her betta die after about six months or so. We have well water with no chlorine, she still treats it, etc. She's just had a lone male the last two times which was fun to watch while it lasted.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

I've heard that some people actually stage fights with the fish, and wager on them, but I was never into that; I didn't like to see them get hurt.
Many people talk about cycling tanks, and things like that. We never did any of that. When we were getting new fish in, we just filled the tanks a couple of days in advance and let them sit, so the chlorine could evaporate out.
If you want to breed the fish, you have to provide the proper warmth, and you also want to make sure they're in top condition. That means lots of live food. This could be in the form of brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex worms, white worms,etc. Brine shrimp, in the U. S., come from the Great Salt Lake, and San Francisco Bay, among other places. Most pet shops, or aquarium stores sell it. Some shops also sell the other things , and daphnia can commonly be found in duck ponds. Another good thing is mosquito larvae. Just make sure they eat all of it, so you don't have mosquitoes flying around the house. Nothing beats the live food, but an occasional substitute could be (human) baby food like beef or chicken.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

I used to have bettas scattered all over my kitchen...now I have just one. I love bettas! Our oldest betta lived almost 4 years. I would LOVE to see pics of the seahorses! We used to havea 75 gallon freshwater tank in our living room...and my all time favorite fish was the black ghost knifefish. They are really cool, and actually really do have quite a personality! So fun to watch....
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

Awesome planted aquariums!

I have had planted aquariums over the years but they were not to your caliber. I have a 55 gal that I have had set up since 1993. It had about ten species of plants but is down to two now. Java moss and the "banana plants". It is a minimalist tank. By that I mean it is almost self sustaining. There is no heater, no real filter, it has a twin 40w standard shop light that occasionally works and a recirculating pump. I have a thick 4-6" thick gravel base and the background is granite rocks stacked to form many caves. The front of the aquarium is loaded with driftwood. All the rocks, gravel and driftwood are colonized by billions of beneficial bacteria that allow his tank to work. The inhabitants consist of two 8" catfish (they have large veiled fins), 4 or 5 tiger barbs, several Buenos Aires tetras, some black finned barbs and a kuhli loach. Oh I almost forgot hundreds maybe thousands of small gravel burrowing snails that come out at night and perform sanitation duties. I have lost power several times (hurricanes) for as long as 6 days with no ill effects. The java moss, snails and fish all work together happily. I'll occasionally add a few fish and if they are a quick study they may live. If not the catfish smile. They are feed every couple days or so and occasionally I'll add a hundred feeder guppies which don't last long. All of the fish have very good color and seem to be happy. Some of the Buenos Aires tetras are over six years old. The catfish are original inhabitants from the nineties. The only maintenance I perform is a 70% water change every two to three weeks. The room temp regulates the tank. In all these years I have had a couple of Ick outbreaks and that is it. When I retire I hope to get a >500g tank and grow plants with more fish.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

its truely like our love of plants.. you get started..and pow.. your
hooked.. LOL
i bred freshwater angelfish for several yrs.. still have many tanks..
but i had no free time.. missed seeing my family..or just getting away..
but i sold angels to all the local pet stores.. mine were stronger/healthier/by
far better quality than they could have shipped in.and loose half what they
bought..and they were water conditioned to water in our area..
totally on the fresh food too.. i even started(dont have set up anymore) but
growing adult brine shrimp too.. for the adults..they ate them foraciously..and they put on great size from them..
still was good experience.. similar from raising bettas..
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by nannerfunboi View Post
its truely like our love of plants.. you get started..and pow.. your
hooked.. LOL
i bred freshwater angelfish for several yrs.. still have many tanks..
but i had no free time.. missed seeing my family..or just getting away.
That's exactly why I created my tank. My craving is stifled and I can enjoy it when I can. When the tank was at it's prime (many plants a more fish) I made a video and occasionally will pop it in and view it.
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Last edited by Darkman : 12-31-2011 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

When the fish are ready to breed, (the female should be bulging with eggs) we put the pairs together. We used plastic shoe boxes, set up as stated above. The boxes were good, because they were light, and you could pick them up, and float several hatches off together into a larger tank, depending on how many you got in each batch. (Sometimes, it was only a few dozen; other times, it could be close to 500.)
If you're only doing one or two pairs, probably a better method would be to put the pair in a tank, separated by a glass partition, so they could see each other but not have physical contact, Let the male get his nest built, before putting them together. The nest is made of floating bubbles, (the bubbles have a kind of sticky coating, so they last and stay together, not like bubbles in soda or beer) and can be an inch, or more high.
When the actual spawning takes place, the male positions his body perpendicular to the female, and kind of wraps around her. The eggs come out, and are immediately fertilized, As they slowly sink to the bottom, the male scoops them up in his mouth, and blows them up into the bubbles. This procedure is repeated several times, As soon as it is completed, the female shold be removed. The male stands guard under the nest and replaces any eggs that fall from the bubbles.

Next: Hatching and feeding the young.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Betta splendens, Siamese Fighting Fish

The eggs should hatch in a couple of days. The young are very tiny and, for the first couple of days after hatching, they remain, like little eighth inch long hairs, hanging from the nest, while they absorb their yolk sacs. The male will retrieve any that fall out, and return them to the nest.
When they become free swimming, the male should be removed. I use a coarse net for this, so any of the little ones that get caught up can swim through. Now they are going to need to start getting some food. The first food should be infusoria, little one celled animals, like paramecium. You can start an infusoria culture by placing some pond water in a jar (I used a 1 gallon mayonaise jar) and adding some greens, like grass or lettuce, with an airstone in the jar.. This should be started before breeding the pair, so you have the food ready when you need it. The animals are attracted to light, so if you turn the air off, and place a desk lamp near the jar, they will congregate near it. With good eyesight, you can see them, like powder in the water. Siphon them off through a very fine net, and add the to the tank with the young. If you don't have a fine enough net, you can place a piece of a bed sheet, or a tee shirt in a regular net.
After a few days of this food, they're ready for something a little larger, like newly hatched brine shrimp. The dry shrimp eggs are obtainable in a pet shop. Place some eggs, in salt water, in a jar, with air, as you did for the infusoria. They hatch in about 2 days. Like the infusoria, they are attracted to light, so get the old desk lamp. Siphon through a fine net, rinse with fresh water, and add to the tank.
As a food supplement, you can mash up the yolk of a hard boiled egg in some water, and freeze in an ice tray. Chip off a little piece for feeding.
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