First Betta Breeding Project Questions

HannibalXavier

So, I’ve decided to try my hand at breeding bettas I have my couple chosen and I’ve had my tank cycling for the past 2 months and all the levels and everything is looking good. The pair is basically ready to go all that’s left is for me to introduce the female. But before I do so I have some questions about fry care, especially for feeding them. So I have some planaria in the tank and I haven’t done anything about it because I was assuming the fry will be able to eat it? Is this a correct assumption? Also I don’t quite have the space for a BBS hatchery, what are some good alternatives? For raising angelfish fry I’ve used instant bbs and they did good and ate it. Would this work for betta fry as well? I also have micro worm and vinegar eel cultures that I’ll be ordering. Anything else I should get before I put in the order? Also will leaving Indian almond leaves in the tank for an extended period of time generate some microorganisms for the fry to feed on? Ive raised angelfish fry and they were surprisingly low maintenance so I’m looking forward to being more involved in the rearing of fry. Any tips are much appreciated, in a bit I’ll post pictures of my chosen pair and you guys can tell me what you think.
 

Dewclaw83

I just bred some fry recently, though I am no expert. I started my fry off on live rotifers, because that was the only thing I could get my hands on at the time, and they loved them. I have since switched to instant baby brine shrimp and hikari’s first bites “pellets” (more of a powder) which the fry seem to enjoy both.

As for planaria, the ones I’ve worked with in lab would be like triple the size of the fry, so they probably couldn’t be eaten by them. Though I’m not sure what variety you have.
 

HannibalXavier

I just bred some fry recently, though I am no expert. I started my fry off on live rotifers, because that was the only thing I could get my hands on at the time, and they loved them. I have since switched to instant baby brine shrimp and hikari’s first bites “pellets” (more of a powder) which the fry seem to enjoy both.

As for planaria, the ones I’ve worked with in lab would be like triple the size of the fry, so they probably couldn’t be eaten by them. Though I’m not sure what variety you have.
What age did you start feeding the HikarI and instant bbs? And did any of the fry not accept it?
 

Dewclaw83

What age did you start feeding the HikarI and instant bbs? And did any of the fry not accept it?
I started feeding them around 3 weeks, which was when the rotifer culture was no longer living lol (and were getting too small for the fry, I think)
I’ll admit, while I did watch and make sure that they knew the new stuff was food, I didn’t watch enough to know if any didn’t “accept it”. I’m sure if any didn’t, they probably got over it and started eating it rather than starving to death
 

PascalKrypt

Fry can be raised on MW, VE and infusoria, no need for BBS if you don't want to use them. However, they will grow a bit slower (I'd say about 20% slower, as in at the same age they will be about 15-20% smaller).
From about 1cm (slightly under half an inch) I start feeding powdered shrimp and fishmeal in addition to MW and kick their growth back into gear. It is tailor made for an LFS so I have no brand name, unfortunately.

Addition of live plants work really great and something I would recommend.
Yes, dried leaves are also a very good addition both for food and water quality. Put them in a few days before the planned spawning.
 

Dewclaw83

Fry can be raised on MW, VE and infusoria, no need for BBS if you don't want to use them. However, they will grow a bit slower (I'd say about 20% slower, as in at the same age they will be about 15-20% smaller).
From about 1cm (slightly under half an inch) I start feeding powdered shrimp and fishmeal in addition to MW and kick their growth back into gear. It is tailor made for an LFS so I have no brand name, unfortunately.

Addition of live plants work really great and something I would recommend.
Yes, dried leaves are also a very good addition both for food and water quality. Put them in a few days before the planned spawning.

I also had live plants and almond leaves in my tank. The babies love poking around on them for things, and enjoy swimming around and resting on them too. I also highly recommend
 

HannibalXavier

How necessary are live plants? What about mossballs? And I have some Indian almond leaf litter that I’ve had sitting in there hoping it would produce some lil snacks for the babies. Also I’m using a 5 gallon for the breeding/fry should I fill up half way or more like three quarters? I was thinking half and then as the fry get older I can just add water rather than doing water changes while they’re still really young.

I also had live plants and almond leaves in my tank. The babies love poking around on them for things, and enjoy swimming around and resting on them too. I also highly recommend
And do you have photos of your pair and their babies? I’m really fascinated on what the turn out of my babies will be.
 

PascalKrypt

How necessary are live plants? What about mossballs? And I have some Indian almond leaf litter that I’ve had sitting in there hoping it would produce some lil snacks for the babies. Also I’m using a 5 gallon for the breeding/fry should I fill up half way or more like three quarters? I was thinking half and then as the fry get older I can just add water rather than doing water changes while they’re still really young.
The additional advantage of plants (on top of providing shelter and food) is that they absorb nitrates from your water, keeping it closer to the ideal 0/0/0 for fry. Mossballs do not provide as much shelter, and don't absorb a lot of nutrients as they are extremely slow growers. Ideally, go with something that grows very fast and is very sturdy (so it won't die and decompose and foul your water). Best is to get some clippings from established plants in other tanks, or use floating plants.

Edit: Water level no more than 6-7".
 

Dewclaw83

How necessary are live plants? What about mossballs? And I have some Indian almond leaf litter that I’ve had sitting in there hoping it would produce some lil snacks for the babies. Also I’m using a 5 gallon for the breeding/fry should I fill up half way or more like three quarters? I was thinking half and then as the fry get older I can just add water rather than doing water changes while they’re still really young.

I used a 10 gallon, as it gave the adult fish more room for the actual breeding process, and then as the fry age I’ve slowly been adding more water, and this kept me from having to move them to a grow out tank (I mean I’ll move them around as they continue to get bigger, etc).
6” is an ideal water depth for egg retrieval (I’ve added 1 inch of water every 3 weeks so far, so they’re at 8 inches right now)

Of all the plants I have in their tank, the fry’s favorite seems to be some Dwarf Baby Tears I have in a pot (no subrate)

And do you have photos of your pair and their babies? I’m really fascinated on what the turn out of my babies will be.


9CAABFD5-8A64-47F1-B6FC-2CE87B0F44B6.jpeg
Here’s my pair

876C77FA-F702-4BD9-B0C8-6BADABB145B1.jpeg
Here’s a better pic of the female

326DDBA9-6F83-47EA-8211-0A7B7F804C1C.jpeg
Here’s the male when he was younger (Marble change color a lot)

13761140-218C-424F-BFA1-22F7C8FD40C3.jpeg
Here he is now

The fry haven’t really started to show much color yet, but here’s a few:

1113985B-2C58-47B6-95C5-1D6FA2E55952.jpeg

609B4DFF-B034-40A0-9C67-9F76C0C4BAB4.jpeg

83E25F0A-5BB1-44CD-9322-96BFA73937A3.jpeg

If you’re interested in color genetics, I’ve got some stuff out together here: Color Genetics

It may not be 100% correct, just fyi
And potentially tomorrow I will be making a video on all the potential colors from this cross
 

HannibalXavier

Here’s my pair.
 

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Dewclaw83

Here’s my pair.

Those are gorgeous! You’re going to get some beautiful babies
 

HannibalXavier

So my male (Kimchi) is very interested in my female (Pip) going and showing off for her not in an aggressive way though but more excited. Pip also seems very interested as well they’re both very mellow fish so I don’t think I’d have any problems if I released her now. But KimchI won’t make a nest, he’s darting around and looking at the surface as if he’s trying to choose the perfect place to build a nest, yet he won’t actually make one. Is there anyway I can give him a bit more encouragement to build one before I release pip or should I just release her and see what happens? She’s very eggy so I have no doubt she’s ready to breed, but I don’t want her to release the eggs and then kimchI has no where to raise the fry. Do guys think If I let her out the male will then build a nest or they’ll just get right down to it unprepared?
 

PascalKrypt

So my male (Kimchi) is very interested in my female (Pip) going and showing off for her not in an aggressive way though but more excited. Pip also seems very interested as well they’re both very mellow fish so I don’t think I’d have any problems if I released her now. But KimchI won’t make a nest, he’s darting around and looking at the surface as if he’s trying to choose the perfect place to build a nest, yet he won’t actually make one. Is there anyway I can give him a bit more encouragement to build one before I release pip or should I just release her and see what happens? She’s very eggy so I have no doubt she’s ready to breed, but I don’t want her to release the eggs and then kimchI has no where to raise the fry. Do guys think If I let her out the male will then build a nest or they’ll just get right down to it unprepared?
Did you turn all surface agitation off? Did you have a secure lid/clingfoil to make sure the air above the water is very humid? Is your water level lower than 7"?
If yes to all of these, and if the female is showing interesting (as in, wanting to follow him + breeding bars), you could release her. They'll do a bit of zooming around the tank. Stay and watch the tank. The moment he turns on her, catch her and put her back in the jar.
During the zooming she should be indicating to him that she wants a nest (if she is interested). Normally the female will hide while he expands his nest, I've found this chasing will sometimes trigger a hesitant male to build a nest after all. Separate the female though to make sure he doesn't focus on harassing her instead, your tank doesn't have enough cover + space to leave her in there if there is no nest at all yet (or that's what I would do).
If the male stays pleasant throughout the chasing you could leave her in.

The female will almost never initiate spawning if there is no nest, I don't think you have to be worried about it. I've even had one of my females get frustrated with my male once and she built a nest in her jar, I moved it to the tank and they used that

(Edit: forgot to ask, but have you conditioned them well?)
 

Dewclaw83

So my male (Kimchi) is very interested in my female (Pip) going and showing off for her not in an aggressive way though but more excited. Pip also seems very interested as well they’re both very mellow fish so I don’t think I’d have any problems if I released her now. But KimchI won’t make a nest, he’s darting around and looking at the surface as if he’s trying to choose the perfect place to build a nest, yet he won’t actually make one. Is there anyway I can give him a bit more encouragement to build one before I release pip or should I just release her and see what happens? She’s very eggy so I have no doubt she’s ready to breed, but I don’t want her to release the eggs and then kimchI has no where to raise the fry. Do guys think If I let her out the male will then build a nest or they’ll just get right down to it unprepared?

I agree with all of what PascalKrypt said. One other thing you can consider is he may want something to build a nest under. I did something similar to what this lady explains at 1:36:
Except I had no bubble wrap so I just straight up taped the leaf to the tank, so it did sink but it held long enough cause I taped it in two places (I don’t have a picture of the taping I did).
 

HannibalXavier

I currently have a piece of styrofoam plate and some almond leaves taped to the side of the tank and I have some cling wrap over the top to keep the humidity up. By get rid of surface agitation do you mean turn off the sponge filters or turn them down very low? And the water level is slightly under half.
 

Dewclaw83

I currently have a piece of styrofoam plate and some almond leaves taped to the side of the tank and I have some cling wrap over the top to keep the humidity up. By get rid of surface agitation do you mean turn off the sponge filters or turn them down very low? And the water level is slightly under half.

Yeah, like really low. When I did it, I turned my sponge filter so low it was the tiniest string of single bubbles, so that there wasn’t the slightest disturbance. As for your water level being half, just grab a ruler and measure it, as we said, 6” is ideal
 

HannibalXavier

I turned the sponge filters super low and I’m giving him till overnight to see if he makes a nest, I’m leaving the female in a holding container over in the breeding tank as well for a bit of stimulation in hopes to encourage him even further to build one. If he hasn’t made one I’ll do one more small water change then I plan on releasing the female either way tomorrow to see what happens and monitor them closely. Now I’ve been letting the planaria multiply and I have a reasonable amount in there now I just ordered my micro worms and they should be here on Friday at the latest. But if they’re not I'm really hoping the planaria can tide them over for a day or two. But in an emergency what are some foods I could whip up pretty quick? I also have some more instant bbs coming by Tuesday (but I’m assuming these will obviously be too big for the newborns to eat, Yes?)and vinegar eels coming around Monday next week. I’m super excited to see the fry grow and what they’ll turn out as. I’ll be either using this thread as like a journal or possibly make a new one dedicated to the fry progress.
 

Dewclaw83

I turned the sponge filters super low and I’m giving him till overnight to see if he makes a nest, I’m leaving the female in a holding container over in the breeding tank as well for a bit of stimulation in hopes to encourage him even further to build one. If he hasn’t made one I’ll do one more small water change then I plan on releasing the female either way tomorrow to see what happens and monitor them closely. Now I’ve been letting the planaria multiply and I have a reasonable amount in there now I just ordered my micro worms and they should be here on Friday at the latest. But if they’re not I'm really hoping the planaria can tide them over for a day or two. But in an emergency what are some foods I could whip up pretty quick? I also have some more instant bbs coming by Tuesday (but I’m assuming these will obviously be too big for the newborns to eat, Yes?)and vinegar eels coming around Monday next week. I’m super excited to see the fry grow and what they’ll turn out as. I’ll be either using this thread as like a journal or possibly make a new one dedicated to the fry progress.
How big are the planaria??
Also, if you got the same brand of instant bbs as I did, they'd likely be small enough for the newly hatched fry
 

HannibalXavier

This the the brand BBS I got.

2FD182BE-0084-409C-B3D4-930DCFD9CDA8.jpeg

And here’s the planaria it’s stupid small. They’re the little specs on the water surface and glass.

68E197B9-35C1-42A7-8CC4-BEC70DE4290C.jpeg
 

Dewclaw83

Ah, those may be small enough then. Did you find any literature on if they're safe for the fry to eat or not? Also, that's the brand of brine shrimp I got Pretty sure they're small enough to feed whenever. But be sure to refrigerate them!
 

HannibalXavier

Ah, those may be small enough then. Did you find any literature on if they're safe for the fry to eat or not? Also, that's the brand of brine shrimp I got Pretty sure they're small enough to feed whenever. But be sure to refrigerate them!
I haven’t found anything on the planaria. I’ve been scouring around trying to find some information on feeding them to fry but it seems no one has intentionally let them flourish for the sake of feeding fry. And Oh for sure I will I’ll most likely freeze a portion as with my experience with them in about two weeks they smell like death Lol.
 

Dewclaw83

I haven’t found anything on the planaria. I’ve been scouring around trying to find some information on feeding them to fry but it seems no one has intentionally let them flourish for the sake of feeding fry. And Oh for sure I will I’ll most likely freeze a portion as with my experience with them in about two weeks they smell like death Lol.
Good idea! Mine are okay at 3 weeks, they're supposed to last 6 weeks. That said, it's never out of the fridge for more than like 30 seconds lol
 

HannibalXavier

So after some further research I don’t believe these are planaria. I can’t see eyes, They don’t appear to have an arrow shaped head, and they seem incredibly small to be planaria
believe they are rather Rhabdocoela Flatworms?
 

HannibalXavier

So I released the female this morning. They’re doing great My male is not nipping at all or anything just showing off. He now seems to be actually attempting to make a bubble nest as I taped a new leaf to the other side. And he likes that area better apparently (picky picky ) My female is following him around and looking under both the leaves as if to say “Hey! where are we supposed to put the kids? Let’s get this show on the road!” It’s hilarious actually as he kind of freaks out as she follows him haha.
 

PascalKrypt

Glad to hear it is going well

Sorry, I've got nothing on the worms. How are they moving about, crawling slowly on the glass or moving in short bursts, very abruptly and quickly? I'm not so sure they are worms at all from just the picture, but it is incredibly hard to see.
 

HannibalXavier

Glad to hear it is going well

Sorry, I've got nothing on the worms. How are they moving about, crawling slowly on the glass or moving in short bursts, very abruptly and quickly? I'm not so sure they are worms at all from just the picture, but it is incredibly hard to see.
Some are crawling on the glass, some are at the waters surface, and a few are swimming around but in each location they’re all the same worm I do know that.
 

HannibalXavier

We do indeed have a nest being built. Nothing that impressive but he’s doing his best lol.
976EED78-B42C-4CCD-B0A7-5513C918D1B0.jpeg
 

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