Raising A Baby’s Female Betta With An Adult Male

Reefer guy
  • #1
Hey guys and gals, first post. Just some background on myself, I’ve been keeping reef tanks for almost 2 years now, so I have a pretty good idea of basic husbandry. Now, onto my question. I’ve had a fluval spec 5 gallon setup for about 2 months now with a male Betta. Yesterday, I bought a baby female, and put it inside of a ~.5 gallon critter carrier inside of the fluval spec. I have the critter carrier higher up so that the water line is near the top. I keep the lid open during the day for better gas exchange, and close it at night so the baby doesn’t escape into main tank. I always make sure that there is a solid layer of air at the top, and there’s are slits in the top sides for water flow and gas exchange. I want to breed these 2 eventually, so I thought that raising the female with the male could possibly reduce aggression in the future. Male is interested in the female, but doesn’t seem stressed, and isn’t flaring very much or aggressively. I did a 30% wc yesterday and plan on doing those every other day. I guess I was wondering if the baby hormone will affect the male at all. Any other insight welcome. Tia
 
KimberlyG
  • #2
Welcome to fishlore!
She needs her own tank. When mature, you will want them to see each by putting the tanks side by side. You do not want her in that tank now.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Welcome to fishlore!
She needs her own tank. When mature, you will want them to see each by putting the tanks side by side. You do not want her in that tank now.
Any specific reason for not wanting her in there now? I did some google searching, couldn’t find much, and people don’t really state reasons for their answers. If this practice is detrimental to either, I would gladly spererate them, but I haven't found anything on the web or seen in person why this would be bad to do. I find that when we go against the grain of the norm, we either make great breakthroughs with husbandry or find great examples of why not to do things. I couldn’t find an exact replica of my situation, just people wanting to throw babies in directly with adults
 
david1978
  • #4
Well there are many reasons.
1 female can get egg bound
2 bettas will fight in such a small space
3 even when breeding one or both betta can get badly hurt.
The list could go on
 
KimberlyG
  • #5
I don't breed bettas. There are those here who do and will probably be on tonight.
From what I have understood, (The breeders will correct as needed) males and females are always kept separate and females only put in with the male for the actual act of breeding. The female is removed after this. The male will be quite aggressive to a female he wants to breed with. Even though your female is a baby, the male will know it is a female. At some point before your female is ready to breed, he will try anyway. Your female will not be ready for a few months if it is one of those baby bettas and she will need her own tank anyway. It's better to raise a healthy, unstressed female and then gradually let them see each other longer and longer to condition them for breeding.
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #6
Any specific reason for not wanting her in there now? I did some google searching, couldn’t find much, and people don’t really state reasons for their answers. If this practice is detrimental to either, I would gladly spererate them, but I haven't found anything on the web or seen in person why this would be bad to do. I find that when we go against the grain of the norm, we either make great breakthroughs with husbandry or find great examples of why not to do things. I couldn’t find an exact replica of my situation, just people wanting to throw babies in directly with adults
Shes way to young to be breed. When she is a adult you can put her beside in another tank. When you want to breed then you put her in a breeder box in the tank a couple days before hand. But you still have awhile. Photo please? She would be to small right now to be with the male and could end up getting beat up.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Well there are many reasons.
1 female can get egg bound
2 bettas will fight in such a small space
3 even when breeding one or both betta can get badly hurt.
The list could go on
Female is in critter carrier, so they can’t fight. Female is immature, I don’t believe it can become eggbound. Fish aren’t breeding yet
 
KimberlyG
  • #8
Thanks david1978, I take too long to type.
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #9
Female is in critter carrier, so they can’t fight. Female is immature, I don’t believe it can become eggbound. Fish aren’t breeding yet
She can become egg bound from seeing and being near the male. and also it could stress her our.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
She can become egg bound from seeing and being near the male. and also it could stress her our.
Can a female become egg bound at 6 weeks of age approximately? Also, I agree, fish CAN become stressed, but from what I am observing, fish are not stressed
 
david1978
  • #11
She will need a tank of her own any way since the critter keeper will be too small of a space. Why not just get her a tank now. And yes she can become egg bound before shes ready to breed.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
She will need a tank of her own any way since the critter keeper will be too small of a space. Why not just get her a tank now. And yes she can become egg bound before shes ready to breed.
I understand the critter carrier will be too small, as for why not get her her own tank now? Refer back to my original post
I want to breed these 2 eventually, so I thought that raising the female with the male could possibly reduce aggression
and also

I find that when we go against the grain of the norm, we either make great breakthroughs with husbandry or find great examples of why not to do things.
Ladies and gents, I am a man of science. I love making discoveries, and expanding my knowledge. If there are research papers that someone could link, I would love it. So far, it sounds like becoming egg bound early is the most serious issue, with tank size being the second issue. I planned on seeing if they could live peacefully together when she’s bigger, if not, I planned on sectioning off the spec or getting a new tank
 
BReefer97
  • #13
No. You have loads of issues here. The baby female is going to need a tank of her own to grow up in regardless. You can’t cycle a critter carrier, so it’s not a viable option to leave her in there. She cannot go in with the male because he will most definitely murder her, even if he isn’t showing any aggression to her that you can see (a 5 gallon is too small for anything else with a male betta anyways). Finding a breeding pair of betta fish isn’t easy, so raising this female to pair with your male may not even work (a lot of the time, it doesn’t, it’s trial and error). You also can’t do a divided tank because she WILL become egg bound eventually, and the fluval spec isn’t the sort of tank for that.
 
david1978
  • #14
I have both together and they need way more room than a 5 gallon tank can offer. A male controls about 10 gallon of a tank and chases off everything else. Females need 3-4 gallons per fish and 5+ to spread out aggression. Dont be fooled the females are just as aggressive and don't have the big fins to slow them down. If you continue on this path it will not end well.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
No. You have loads of issues here. The baby female is going to need a tank of her own to grow up in regardless. You can’t cycle a critter carrier, so it’s not a viable option to leave her in there. She cannot go in with the male because he will most definitely murder her, even if he isn’t showing any aggression to her that you can see (a 5 gallon is too small for anything else with a male betta anyways). Finding a breeding pair of betta fish isn’t easy, so raising this female to pair with your male may not even work (a lot of the time, it doesn’t, it’s trial and error). You also can’t do a divided tank because she WILL become egg bound eventually, and the fluval spec isn’t the sort of tank for that.
Thanks for this info, critter carrier itself isn’t cycled, but spec is and they essentially share the same water, and I have good flow through carrier
I have both together and they need way more room than a 5 gallon tank can offer. A male controls about 10 gallon of a tank and chases off everything else. Females need 3-4 gallons per fish and 5+ to spread out aggression. Dont be fooled the females are just as aggressive and don't have the big fins to slow them down. If you continue on this path it will not end well.
thanks for the fish to gallon ratio
 
BReefer97
  • #16
Thanks for this info, critter carrier itself isn’t cycled, but spec is and they essentially share the same water, and I have good flow through carrier

thanks for the fish to gallon ratio

Regardless, they can’t be housed together and it’s cruel to raise a fish in a critter carrier.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Regardless, they can’t be housed together and it’s cruel to raise a fish in a critter carrier.
I’ve seen full grown Bettas in tiny, probably .25 gallon or less bowls. The cups they are sold in are tiny. I see this as cruel. Bettas can live in extremely shallow and small environments, but they won’t thrive. I do not see keeping a 1 inch< Betta in a critter carrier for growout in a cycled system with 5 gals total water with 30% water changes every other day as cruel
 
BReefer97
  • #18
I’ve seen full grown Bettas in tiny, probably .25 gallon or less bowls. The cups they are sold in are tiny. I see this as cruel. Bettas can live in extremely shallow and small environments, but they won’t thrive. I do not see keeping a 1< Betta in a critter carrier for growout in a cycled system with 5 gals total water with 30% water changes every other day as cruel

It is cruel. It has no room to swim. Critter carriers are less than a gallon, only around 0.5 - 0.7. They need at least 2.5 gallons to THEMSELVES. Just because you’ve “seen” it, doesn’t mean it’s correct. For this Betta Fish to have adequate space, she would need at least half of the Fluval Spec.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
It is cruel. It has no room to swim. Critter carriers are less than a gallon, only around 0.5 - 0.7. They need at least 2.5 gallons to THEMSELVES. Just because you’ve “seen” it, doesn’t mean it’s correct. For this Betta Fish to have adequate space, she would need at least half of the Fluval Spec.
Fish looks like it has plenty of swim space to me. Did I mention it’s just for growout, and said fish will not spend all of eternity in critter carrier?
 

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BReefer97
  • #20
Fish looks like it has plenty of swim space to me. Did I mention it’s just for growout, and said fish will not spend all of eternity in critter carrier?

Lol. Grow out or not, this is not the correct way to do this. That female shouldn’t be in the same tank as the male, critter carrier or not. That tiny little box looks like a cruddy place to grow up in, especially when a tank of her own wouldn’t be very costly/time consuming. I’m not sure what you’re asking advice on if you somehow have an answer for everything. Good luck pal.
 
david1978
  • #21
So why not get a tank now? Trust me it won't drown in a proper tank.
 
Buganjimo
  • #22
One question, why are you posting this on the form if you disregard all suggestions? You asked for info and suggestions, and you got them. It’s a bad idea to keep the small female with the bigger male. Critter keeper or not. It’s quite difficult to tell fully if a fish is stressed or not, and even people who have been breeding and raising fish for years can’t fully tell when they are stressed. Just because it is not obvious to you, doesn’t mean the fish aren’t stressed.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Lol. Grow out or not, this is not the correct way to do this. That female shouldn’t be in the same tank as the male, critter carrier or not. That tiny little box looks like a cruddy place to grow up in, especially when a tank of her own wouldn’t be very costly/time consuming. I’m not sure what you’re asking advice on if you somehow have an answer for everything. Good luck pal.
I came here looking for some advice on specific things, like “will baby growth hormone affect the adult male” which still hasn’t been answered, and may not be able to be answered. I know that my situation is taboo, not normal, and would not be greatly accepted. I didn’t come here looking for compliments or the feeling of being accepted. I came here for cold, hard, facts. If there is a strong possibility this will be detrimental to the fish, or have a near 0% chance of achieving my goal ( which is reduced aggression with a pair of fish due to a baby being raised with an adult), then I would not go about this experiment. I specifically want to raise saltwater fish, and I’m learning as much as I can about growing live foods and raising fry. This is another step in my journey, and whether success or fail, I will have come out of this experience with knowledge. Like said, if someone has research papers or links to FACTS, please post them, I would love to read them.

One question, why are you posting this on the form if you disregard all suggestions? You asked for info and suggestions, and you got them. It’s a bad idea to keep the small female with the bigger male. Critter keeper or not. It’s quite difficult to tell fully if a fish is stressed or not, and even people who have been breeding and raising fish for years can’t fully tell when they are stressed. Just because it is not obvious to you, doesn’t mean the fish aren’t stressed.
I really appreciate this info, trust me. I’m soaking it all in. I just feel like going about this is my own way, for my own knowledge, and maybe, just maybe, I can make a break through. Like I said, I really appreciate the info. Also, your one question can be answered by my response in an earlier post about going against the grain and possibly making breakthroughs in husbandry
 
BReefer97
  • #24
I came here looking for some advice on specific things, like “will baby growth hormone affect the adult male” which still hasn’t been answered, and may not be able to be answered. I know that my situation is taboo, not normal, and would not be greatly accepted. I didn’t come here looking for compliments or the feeling of being accepted. I came here for cold, hard, facts. If there is a strong possibility this will be detrimental to the fish, or have a near 0% chance of achieving my goal ( which is reduced aggression with a pair of fish due to a baby being raised with an adult), then I would not go about this experiment. I specifically want to raise saltwater fish, and I’m learning as much as I can about growing live foods and raising fry. This is another step in my journey, and whether success or fail, I will have come out of this experience with knowledge. Like said, if someone has research papers or links to FACTS, please post them, I would love to read them.

From reading over some other forums and articles, there have been a few people that have kept a female baby with a male adult, but they had the same questions you did and were advised to remove the female because babies release a hormone that apparently stops/slows growth to other babies (including themselves) and need more water changes than an adult. I would assume that this horomone would have an adverse effect on the adult male because I don’t see it doing anything else but causing harm/stress. And like mentioned above, just because it doesn’t SEEM like they’re stressed, they probably are. Even with the female in the critter carrier, they’re sharing the same water. Her hormones are in the water too, and they’re both extremely territorial, and smelling another betta’s hormones in his territory is more than likely making him stressed out/angry.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
From reading over some other forums and articles, there have been a few people that have kept a female baby with a male adult, but they had the same questions you did and were advised to remove the female because babies release a hormone that apparently stops/slows growth to other babies (including themselves) and need more water changes than an adult. I would assume that this horomone would have an adverse effect on the adult male because I don’t see it doing anything else but causing harm/stress. And like mentioned above, just because it doesn’t SEEM like they’re stressed, they probably are. Even with the female in the critter carrier, they’re sharing the same water. Her hormones are in the water too, and they’re both extremely territorial, and smelling another betta’s hormones in his territory is more than likely making him stressed out/angry.
Water changes should cover the hormone, I can go more aggressive if needed. fish were interested in each other at first, but now the male just does his own thing, checking up on her a couple times a day. Neither fish has any visible signs of disease, and I will watch for that. I would think stress would look something like, constant aggressive swimming, constant flaring, being obsessed with the other fish, trying to poke at fish through the carrier. I haven’t noticed any of this
 
david1978
  • #26
You can ask anyone that has bred them. This has a zero percent chance of working out. I daught it can be done in anything under a 55 gallon tank.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
You can ask anyone that has bred them. This has a zero percent chance of working out. I daught it can be done in anything under a 55 gallon tank.
So you think growing a baby female out in same tank as an adult male has a 0% chance of reducing aggression in the future when I try to breed them?
 
david1978
  • #28
Yep. My male and 4 of my females grew up together in a 75 gallon tank. If he has a grumpy day he will chase them all the way across the four foot tank. He controls a big castle and all the water around it. He chases off anything that gets near it. The tetras, cories and even tries to chase off the Pleco. If they didn't have room to get away they would be dead.
 
Reefer guy
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Yep. My male and 4 of my females grew up together in a 75 gallon tank. If he has a grumpy day he will chase them all the way across the four foot tank. He controls a big castle and all the water around it. He chases off anything that gets near it. The tetras, cories and even tries to chase off the Pleco. If they didn't have room to get away they would be dead.
Noted. However, just like people, fish have different personalities
 
luckdown
  • #30
I agree that all fish have different personalities. And don't always follow the norm for their species.

I had a male platy that killed 2 of his tank mates and even after fixing the population by adding a bunch of females waiting for them to establish territory then readding him in he went straight back to trying to murder the other fish. He also ate half of one of the fish he killed. From everything I read this is bizarre behavior for the typically peaceful platties.

Meanwhile I have instead added in one of my male bettas with them and everyone in the tank couldn't be happier. He's extremely friendly and leaves everyone alone but there's two specific female platties that he will snuggle with at bed time (he's not always the one that snuggles them. They also search him it to snuggle and sleep). Which again. Odd behavior for the typically aggressive betta (especially a male)
 
Mcasella
  • #31
Male and females should not be kept together because of the reasons stated above, but I will add some reasons too. Males can and will cause stress the females because of their scent in the water (unless you are completely changing the water in the whole tank this does not go away but is diluted), even if the fish is not showing stress generally they are still stressed (I have had several that show no signs of stress but their behavior is not what it normally is, I have a male that is stressed by community fish, I have females that are fine with other bettas and others that go crazy and try to kill them, ones that are good with other fish and ones that go after other fish without warning). Betta are unpredictable, plus the baby betta are mislabeled half the time (so you might have a male baby) - until the fish is sexually mature you will not know its personality that it will keep the whole of its life. It may turn out to be a murderer, I have had a female that was highly aggressive to the point she literally jumped into the tank of a male and beat him so badly that he passed from his injuries because he didn't want to breed with that female. You will not be able to tell what will happen with the fish you currently have by speculation, but you also don't know what the personality of the baby fish you have will be, meaning you are at a crossroads to finding what female is best suited for your male.
The baby betta needs a tank to itself so it can grow up without outside fish influence, it needs more water changes and a better food source than the adult fish so it can grow properly and without it's hormones affecting the other fish (because they will, as the fish matures it will cause issues either with the betta becoming aggressive and agitated because it can't reach the other fish or becoming very stressed over the setup because it doesn't enjoy being around other fish/is stressed by the sudden attention of the other fish because its hormones say it is able to breed even if the fish itself doesn't want to breed with the particular fish that is fixated on it).
 

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