Possible Breeding! A few questions :)

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Charlemagne

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Hi all! My parents have agreed to letting me try breeding Bettas with the conditions that 1) I pay for it all 2) There are ABSOLUTELY NO fish in my mom's kitchen and 3) I find out how I can dispose of the fry. Now, this is not set in stone by any means. It's more like set in . . . .Styrofoam . . . . .or maybe Playdoh. So, it will mean a lot of research and saving on my part. So, right now, IF I do breed here's the tenative plan: Step 1- I upgrade my 5 gal. (soon to be divided for my 2 Betta boys) to a 10 gal. Then, I buy a female. Step 2: I move Betta boy 2 to a spare 1 gal. and condition and breed the Bettas in the 10 gal. (with Betta boy 2 as a backup guy in case she doesn't like Betta boy 1) Then, when the fry need a grow-out tank, I will remove all (2 platies, 2 tetras) fish from our 30 gal., and put the daddy and fry in there, putting the 4 other fish in the 10 gal. Then, I'll leave them there until they grow up. Hopefully, a few of the betta boys won't mind each other, and I'll be able to have a beautiful (but closely watched) tank with several Bettas Now, for the questions:
1) What can I do with the fry? If 10 survive, they won't be much of a problem. I can give them to friends and relatives or you guys. However, if 80 survive, I've got a problem. Will Wal-Mart Petco or Petsmart take fry, or will I just have to ask my local store? Would you guys be interested in some veiltail fry? I'm not really experienced in selling stuff online, and I have no idea how to ship fish, so I could really use some help in this area.

2) Will 30 gallons be a big enough grow-out tank for the fry? And how soon will they need to be moved there? It's got a pretty rough filter in one area, so IDK how soon they will be up to facing it. Also, could I leave my brother's 2 fiddler crabs and mystery in there? I was thinking I could leave them in to clean up, but I'm not sure.

3) Is it realistic to hope that some of the males will grow up and get along with each other? I've read about some that did. Is this the very very rare exception to the rule, or can I realistically hope for some to put up with each other?

4) How many fry can I expect to survive? This being my first breeding ever(if I do it), and everything, I expect a very high mortality rate. How many can I expect to survive out of a normal sized spawn?

Thanks so much for all your help guys! You're awesome! I'll probably think up some more questions later, but that's all for now.
 

Red1313

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I know you're in the planning stages but there are a couple of issues with your plan that you might want to address...
  1. You can't condition and Spawn in the same tank (you want the tank as clean a possible for the fry)
  2. Betta Breeding is expensive - High Quality foods, Containers, time, stock, etc.
  3. Conditioning breeders in a divided 10 gal could backfire on you. (Habituation)
  4. If you're planning on the father in method you'll want to spawn and raise the fry to maturity in the 30 gallon. At 2 fry/gallon you're looking at potentially 60 fry. However when this method has produced that many in a 10 gallon, you're most likely going to find that the whole spawn may survive.
  5. How are you going to heat the individual containers after 2 months when you need to separate the fry?

While I applaud and encourage your interest in breeding betta's it's not really something that can be done cheaply. MM's first spawn cost her up wards of $2000 dollars, and the HM stock she started with wasn't a big factor in that. You're asking the right questions, and you're doing the leg work but I think, that if the part you're looking for is the boys togeather during grow-out you may want to try something like fancy guppies instead. You'll get the colour without the eventual expense of trying to individually house, and heat the males and females afterwards....

But onto your questions:
1) What can I do with the fry? If 10 survive, they won't be much of a problem. I can give them to friends and relatives or you guys. However, if 80 survive, I've got a problem. Will Wal-Mart Petco or Petsmart take fry, or will I just have to ask my local store? Would you guys be interested in some veiltail fry? I'm not really experienced in selling stuff online, and I have no idea how to ship fish, so I could really use some help in this area.
You can sell them, keep them, or (if you can handle it) use them as feeders. You're local shop may take them if you talk to them.

VT's may not sell very well if that's what you're looking for. I chose HM's because there's less then 30 betta breeders in Canada registered with the Betta Breeders of Canada and even assuming that there are other non registered breeders there really isn't much in Canada (and especially in my area) for Half Moons.

2) Will 30 gallons be a big enough grow-out tank for the fry? And how soon will they need to be moved there? It's got a pretty rough filter in one area, so IDK how soon they will be up to facing it. Also, could I leave my brother's 2 fiddler crabs and mystery in there? I was thinking I could leave them in to clean up, but I'm not sure.
For a grow out tank you'll want a bare bottom setup (easier to keep clean) and you'll be doing alot of water changes on it to try and encourage as much growth as possible. I don't know if you can leave the crabs in or not but I don't think so.

3) Is it realistic to hope that some of the males will grow up and get along with each other? I've read about some that did. Is this the very very rare exception to the rule, or can I realistically hope for some to put up with each other?
No. I'm sorry but there is no way two (or more) betta spelden males can be left in a tank togeather. I've read otherwise as well but they're called fighting fish for a reason. The best you could hope to try is a sorroity of the sisters but that would mean you're tetra's etc. would never get their tank back. With the father in method of grow out and spawning you can sometimes leave the males in longer (closer to the 3 month end) but that depends on the personality of the father and the boys in the tank. In the end they still must be removed and housed individually.

4) How many fry can I expect to survive? This being my first breeding ever(if I do it), and everything, I expect a very high mortality rate. How many can I expect to survive out of a normal sized spawn?
0-300+ and everywhere in between...
I can't say anything about this being you're first breeding attempt (I'm there as well so it would be hypocritical of me) but trying some of the other species just to get a handle on the fry would be a great idea. Betta's like to be complicated all the way through the breeding process, from parents through spawning, raising the fry, and growing them out.

I don't want to discourage you from trying to breed betta's but there is alot more too it then it first sounds. Karen spends over 8 hours a day taking care of the fish and fry in her fish room. And (as I've seen in pics) it doesn't matter who the breeder is or their intentions, eventually the betta's invade everywhere including the kitchen (where else are you going to wash all the jars for the boys every couple of days?).

I'm not saying that you can't do it but you'll be making a huge investment of time money and energy to do so. If you really want to do it that's great and we'll be here to help. But I'd really really recommend holding off for a few years until you are set up to do with without having to take over existing tanks, read and research everything you can so that when the time comes you're walking into this thing with your eyes wide open.
 
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Charlemagne

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Thank you so much Red!!! As I started going through all the questions I began to have doubts. Your post confirmed what I was starting to think. I'm realizing I don't truly have quite enough space for it, and I certainly don't have $2,000 to lay out on Betta breeding. I didn't quite realize the expense part of it. So, until I have the time/money/space to do it, I'll just keep reading
 

Red1313

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Good Choice

If you do want some experience breeding maybe try looking into guppies or another species that catches your eye
 
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