Monday, 4 August 2008

Breeding Betta Fish -Breeding Tetra Fish Successfully

If you are keeping tetras, chances are you are breeding tetras, even if unknowingly. In the wild, tetras normally breed during the rainy season, but in the aquarium, they may breed year round. Female tetras are egg-scatters that typically fill with eggs every ten to fourteen days.

The female tetra indiscriminately sprays her eggs into clumps of fine-leaved plants. The eggs are adhesive and stick to the plants. However, tetras as well as other tank mates often find tetra eggs and small fry an irresistible delicacy.

If breeding tetras is your goal in keeping them, the best thing to do is to separate males and females. This allows you to keep control of breeding and improves your chance of achieving a successful hatch of fry. Smaller species of female tetras become sexually active at nine to twelve months old with larger species ready to breed at 1 ? to 2 years of age.

Male tetras are generally a month or two older than females for successful spawning to take place.

Males are typically slimmer and more colorful than their female companions are. When viewed from above, the female tetra is distinguishably plumper and rounder because of the build-up of eggs within her body.

Two weeks before breeding tetras, separate males and females within the same tank. This is done simply by putting a clear divider between them, which not only gives you control of breeding but also stimulates spawning behavior since the fish are kept within sight of each other. Breeding tetras is also encouraged during the pre-spawn period by feeding them with high-quality live foods.
When ready to breed tetras, you’ll get the best results by using a separate breeding tank, prepared with a peat filter and clean, aged water in which clumps of fine-leaved plants have been strategically placed. Three ways to complete your tank for breeding tetras are:

1. Drape the tank with nylon netting to allow the eggs to fall to the tank floor away from hungry adults.
2. Cover the tank floor with marbles to hide the eggs and protect them from cannibalism.
3. Plant fine-leaved plants or artificial spawning mops in seed trays filled with coarse gravel to trap the eggs and prevent them from being eaten.

Females should be placed in the breeding tank earlier than the males, usually the night before breeding. In addition to allowing her to settle in, it also puts the male in the position of having to court her on her own turf. This technique can deter any aggressive tendencies he may display. After introducing the male to the breeding tank, it’s best to watch his introductory moves.

Males often show aggressive behavior during spawning. If the male attacks a female, remove her and re-separate the pair. Another female can be tried or alternatively, two to three females can be introduced to the breeding tank to keep the male from focusing his attention on only one. Remove adult fish from the breeding tank immediately after breeding tetras.

Breeding Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish - Basic Information about Betta Fish

One of the really cool things about betta fish, is that they have extremely well-developed eyesight. Because of this, the betta fish will learn to swim to the surface when it sees your hand over the bowl to feed it.

Betta Fish are also called Siamese Fighting Fish. The name Betta is pronounced as the Greek letter beta, and because of this, the name is often misspelled in American English, with one t instead of two. The name is however unrelated to the Greek letter, and is derived from the Thai 'ikan bettah'. In Thailand, betta fish is known as pla-kad. Bettas live in freshwater. Betta fish are one of the most popular aquarium fish, mainly because of its appearance, since betta fish certainly are not one of the easiest fish to keep in an aquarium. Betta Fish originates from the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia.

Betta fish grows to about 6 cm, and its life-span is on average four years, but well-kept aquarium specimens can live longer than six years.

Sometimes, when betta fish are aggravated, they "puff-out". When they are "puffing-out", the fish puffs out the gill covers and fins to appear more impressive. They do it to either intimidate rival males, or as an act of courtship (to impress the female :-)

In Asian countries, the betta fish are often used in fights similar to cockfighting. These fighting fishes usually have much shorter fins than the betta fish we are accustomed to see in the west. Betta fish in the wild usually have very short fins, but breeders have developed brilliantly-colored and longer-finned varieties.

Betta fish creates bubble nests, which are floating masses of bubbles. They are blown with saliva bubbles. These bubble nests are meant as a place for fertilized eggs to be deposited. The bubble nest is guarded by the male until the small betta fishes hatch. The bubble nests built by the male bettas are made from air bubbles coated with saliva to increase the strength. When the male betta makes the nest, it makes a louder noise then it does when breathing normally.

After the betta fish have spawned, the eggs floats into the bubble nest from below, or the male betta carries them there while holding the eggs in his mouth, as if he were to eat them. The male betta will then guard the bubble nest for the next 24-48 hours until the eggs hatch. He also keeps a close watch, and retrieves any eggs or fry that fall from the nest. He will also repair the nest by adding bubbles where needed. After the fry hatch in 24-48 hours, the father will tend the fish for the next couple of weeks.

Breeding Betta Fish

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Betta Fish Care - Ten Tips for Caring for Your Betta Fish

Betta fish, also called Siamese fighting fish are one of the most popular types of fish found in homes across the world. Their vibrant color and active lifestyle seems to draw in fish fanatics as well as those who have never had fish before. Betta’s are relatively easy to care for and their low maintenance is particularly appealing to people who would like to have fish but don’t have a lot of time to care for them.

Once you bring your Betta’s home you should begin to familiarize yourself with their movements and typical behavior patterns. When you look at your fish after you’ve had them for awhile you’ll know if something is wrong, if they are not feeling well, or if the water in their bowl is not in the best condition simply by being observant.

1. Make sure the jar or bowl that you keep your Betta in is big enough so that he can swim around and not bump or tear his fins or scales. Also be sure there is plenty of surface area so that he can get enough oxygen.

2. Your Betta will thrive in the cleanest water that you can provide for him. He does not require a filtration system, but you should change out a third of his water every three days so it stays fresh and clean and keeps your finned friend from getting bacterial or fungal infections. Aged water (water that has set out for twenty four hours) is what should be used to replace the old water.

3. Do not put your Betta fish with other Betta’s. They are called Siamese fighting fish because they are, in fact, fighting fish. They will tear at one another, often causing the death of at least one fish before they stop. Betta’s can be coupled with algae eaters, guppies, or corydorus catfish safely.

4. Use a turkey baster to clean small particles of uneaten food or debris from the bottom of the bowl or jar. Allowing this debris to sit at the bottom of the jar will cause the water to become cloudy, unsanitary, and to smell awful.

5. The PH of your tank should be at exactly 7.0. You can get a PH testing kit at your pet store along with solutions to minimize or increase the PH of your water.

6. When you clean the plants, rocks, or decorations in the bowl you should never use soap on them. It’s very hard to completely rinse all soap from these items and the soap residue can harm or even kill your Betta. Instead, use warm water and an abrasive brush to clean his things.

7. Keep your Betta tank, jar, or bowl covered! Your Beta will jump and you don’t want him to end up flopping on the tabletop! Keeping the water level at least two inches from the top of the tank should also cut down on this problem.

8. Your Betta is a meat eater and likes live foods, such as brine shrimp the best. Frozen bloodworms are also a good choice for your meat eater. Most Betta fish will happily eat the Betta pellets sold at most pet stores. For a special treat every now and again you should offer some live food! You’ll have fun watching him eat it up!

9. Do not decorate your Betta bowl with rocks or marbles that may cause your Betta to get stuck between or under them. Be sure that they are a flat smooth surface that provides no risk to the health of your fish.

10. Remember that your fish is a living, breathing responsibility. You need to feed, clean, and care for your Betta just like you would any other pet. If he’s sick take him to the vet, if he’s hungry feed him, if his home is dirty, clean it.

That’s it! These ten tips for caring for your Betta fish will have you well on your way to keeping a healthy fish. Internet Betta Groups or library books can be a great source of information should you want to learn more about your finned friend!

Adam Short is the owner of Betta Fish Center and co-wrote the above article with Amanda Fenton. Amanda has been caring for Betta fish for over 25 years. She is a contributing writer to - site providing information and tips on betta fish care.

Betta Fish Care

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Breeding Betta Fish - Choosing Plants for Your Betta Fish Tank

Betta fish use plants as a defensive strategy in their natural environments. This allows them to avoid contact with predators and other male Bettas Nervous or threatened-feeling Bettas will squeeze through close together plants to escape danger. Because of this, it is important to include some kind of plant in your Betta's tank, to reduce stress and allow it to feel that it can hide. While some people prefer artificial plants in their aquariums, live plants help to take care of harmful chemical byproducts in the tank, such as ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. They also perform the important function of gas exchange, keeping the water more oxygenated than an environment without plants or with artificial plants. Soft and leafy plants are preferred, to prevent damage to the Betta's scales should it squeeze between leaves or branches.

Plants do require light, however. An aquarium with live plants should have either access to sunlight or a light built into the hood. Some plants which are recommended for use with Betta fish are the floating Water Sprite, Hornwort, and Elodea. Tiger Lotus is considered good for use in tanks with breeding Bettas since it puts out a lily-pad-like leaf that sits on the surface of the water. Male Bettas use this leaf to shelter their bubble nests. Be sure to keep an eye on your Betta tank’s plants, since dead and rotting vegetation can be bad for the water quality. Java Moss and Java Ferns can thrive in uncycled bowls without any filtration. They also require low to medium light, and are thus suitable for aquariums or enclosures that cannot be put close to a window.

Live plants for your Betta tank can be found locally from some aquarium stores or ordered from the Internet. All plants should be bright green and very healthy looking. They should also be quarantined before placing them in with the fish, to make sure that they do not carry diseases or parasites that could harm your Betta Be sure to acquire plants from a reputable source. It is wise to do some research into your supplier before purchasing live plants for your Betta tank. Bettas tend to interact more with live plants than with artificial plants. Many types of artificial plants are also rough and could damage fins and scales. Unlike fake plants, real ones will also sway attractively in the water as the fish swims through them. When the time comes to clean the tank, some plants can be gently removed and rinsed if this is desired. This is particularly easy when using free floating plants like the Java fern.

Breeding Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish - Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on Betta Fish Explained

Betta Fish, arguably the most popular type of fish found in the home today across all the world. This astonishing fish displays a vibrant personality whilst posing the most magnificent colour and fin structure helping to create a truly jaw dropping aquarium that you can show off to your guests!

Originating from the paddy fields of Vietnam, Betta are an astounding fish and I will be answering in this article the 10 most popular questions I get asked on a regular basis about Betta Fish. So lets get started…

1. How Do You Stop Betta Fish From fighting?

This is probably one of the most popular questions I get asked!

In my experience I’ve found a few ways that work…

One way is simply to get a bigger tank. With the bigger tank you can include a couple of new plants, bear in mind you don’t want to over do it with the plants otherwise you will ruin your fish display (not very appealing to your guests!). By making the tank bigger and introducing a few more plants it creates extra hiding places for your Betta when the aggressive one is on the war path!

A second way is to simply separate the aggressive fish from the rest. This can be done by putting a divider into your tank, or by taking the aggressive fish out and putting it into a new tank. I would personally recommend putting a divider into your tank, size permitting of course, as your Betta will know the other Betta Fish are there. It also helps when it comes to the breeding process because introductions would have already been made.

Thirdly, you must NEVER, I repeat NEVER put a male Betta in with another male Betta Fish, period! Otherwise, they will fight to the death (this is why they are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish!). So by not keeping males together this will reduce fighting astronomically.

Female Betta’s have been known to be aggressive and fight between each other, particularly if you have 2 together. However, this is just an “I’m the leader” thing going on between them and usually wears off , but a technique I’ve used and seen have great success to stop this happening is to add a 3rd female into the tank. By doing this any tension between the previous two is removed – try it, you’ll be surprised how effective it is!

2. Can You Keep Male and Female Betta Fish Together?

Yes you can. However, I would recommend keeping a close eye on the male Betta just in case he becomes too aggressive and the female needs to be removed. As I mentioned above having plants in the tank can help the female hide if the male becomes aggressive.

3. How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Betta Fish

I always remember the saying “It’s easy when you know how…” when I get asked this question because when I first started breeding Betta Fish it took me ages to recognise the difference between a male and a female…

You will tend to find that female Betta’s have fat bellies where as males tend to have a more streamlined structure. Also, you will find that males have a longer body and fins whereas the females are shorter in body size and fin length.

Also, male Betta Fish tend to have more colour and longer pointed anal fins compared to their female counterparts (sorry ladies!). You will also find female anal fins are more level to their body. The anal fin is the rigid looking fin coming from the bottom of the Betta Fish.

However, one giveaway of a female is her white spot on the underside of her belly. This white spot is called the ovipositor and is used during the breeding process.

4. What are the Best Caring Tips for Betta fish?

Lots of people have written books on the subject of caring for Betta Fish but I’m going to give you my best tips that I’ve picked up along the way…

- Test your water’s acidity level regularly. A PH level of 7 works best in my experience.

- Always try and keep the water temperature at around 75-80 Fahrenheit. I would recommend testing this regularly using a floating thermometer because big drops in water temperature can cause stress on your fish. Floating thermometers in my experience give the best accuracy reading because they are kept in the tank water.

- Always keep a lid/cover over the top of your tank with air holes in it because Betta Fish can jump and you might not be there to catch them!

- Any filtration system should be kept at a low level and you must take care not to put the air intake in such a position that it could cause your Betta to get hurt. Having your filter system at a high setting has been known to cause stress to your Betta.

- Try and clean your tank regularly, ideally twice a week. Remove bits of food caught under the stones, castles or leaves of your tank.

- As a rule of thumb I recommend 3 quarters of a gallon per Betta fish in your tank. Also, try and get a spacious tank to allow your Betta plenty of room to show off their personality, you’ll be surprised some are very exciting to watch!

I’ve always found if you love your Betta like you love your own then you won’t go far wrong, and with implementing the above you will be well on your way to having truly astonishing Betta Fish.

5. What Should I Feed My Betta Fish?

Surprisingly, Betta Fish are known to be fussy eaters (and you thought us humans were bad!). So it is best to feed them on a variety of foods, such as:

- Brine shrimp
- Daphnia
- Frozen Bloodworms
- Blackworms (Tubifex) worms
- Combination Betta Pellets from Pet Shops
- Powder Fish Food if feeding Fry
- Vegetables (such as green beans, not a whole one but in tiny portions)

I tend to find a regular feeding pattern of 2-3 times a day works best for Betta. Try as well to make portions eaten in one sitting otherwise any leftover food could lead to additional bacteria in the tank potentially causing disease for your Betta Fish.

6. What are Betta Fish also Known as?

Not a lot of people know this but Betta Fish are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. The name originates because of the males aggressiveness and their “Fight to the Death” attitude if two males are put in the same tank together.

Betta fish are often referred to as Betta Splendens but this is a type of breed of Betta, which leads us nicely onto the next question…

7. What are the Different Types of Betta Fish Available?

There are many types of Betta Fish available, the most popular types I’ve listed below:

- Betta Splendens (the most common type)
- Betta Bellica
- Betta Coccina
- Betta Picta

Some of the most popular Tail Types of Betta are:

- Veil Tail (this generally the most common tail type that you find at the pet stores)

- Delta Fish (normally any fish under the 180 degree tail span is considered a Delta)

- Super Delta Fish (normally any Betta with a tail span of 120-180 degrees)

- Fan Tail (the Betta’s tail displays a smoothly rounded edge)

- Half Moon (as it’s name suggest it’s tail is the shape of a half moon – a 180 degrees span, this is the fish most breeders strive to achieve and display a truly fabulous colour!)

- Pin (Spade) Tail (the Betta’s tail is pointed at the end)

Depending on what you are looking for this should hopefully give you enough information to choose a Betta fish at the pet store! ;-)

8. Can I Put Bamboo in With My Betta Fish?

Bamboo or Lucky Bamboo as it is also known, the type that is sold from pet stores, can be put into your tank with your Betta Fish. The bamboo can make your tank look more attractive and appealing to your guests, which is always a bonus!

However, what I recommend is that the bamboo is washed thoroughly before entry into the tank to help ensure there are no chemicals on it that could hurt your Betta. Also, it is a good idea to check the bamboo regularly just to see if it is rotting because it could release bacteria into your tank’s water that could potentially harm your Betta fish. Changing your tank’s water often will reduce the threat of bacteria happening.

9. What Ammonia Level Should My Tank Be At?

Ideally, you want an ammonia level between 0-0.5. By changing your water regularly (about 30-50% twice a week, if you have high ammonia) this will help reduce the ammonia in your tank.

It is a good idea to monitor ammonia levels on a regular basis, because a high level is not healthy for your Betta Fish.

10. Would a Father Betta Harm His Children?

Unfortunately, a male (Father) Betta would harm his children (Fry). Although, the Father is very protective of the Fry during the spawning process it is common for them to attack the Fry as they become bigger and able to look after themselves.

I recommend removing the Father from the tank once the Fry are able to swim freely, usually 7-10 days after birth because he can become very aggressive towards them and potentially cause them harm.

That’s the answers to the 10 most asked questions I get on a regular basis. I hope you found this information useful and are able to put it to good effect.

Breeding Betta Fish