Friday, 23 May 2008

Halfmoon Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish.
So you've some experiences keeping betta fish and breeding hundreds of them, are you ready to go for the trophy in betta fish rearing?

Halfmoon betta, one of the most sought after betta strains in the market anywhere, is perhaps the most fascinating and gorgeous breed you can ever spawn. One reason is because this strain of betta has many challenges for the breeders and keepers alike. Listed below are just some of them:

1. About halfmoon betta fish finnage - what is considered a true halfmoon?

Most layman will consider any betta fish with tail shaped in the form of a half-circle to be of halfmoon strain. While this can be used as the basis to determine if you've got a halfmoon betta, the experts will tell you that there is more than meets the eye. A more critical definition of a true halfmoon betta is one which forms an almost complete full circle where the dorsal fin (top), anal fin (bottom) and caudal fin (tail) overlap each other and forms a complete circle. Some may even classify this as a "fullmoon" betta.

The halfmoon betta's caudal fin should spread more than 180 degress when flaring and the best halfmoon bettas are those with both edge of caudal fin as straight as possible. The last condition is perhaps the most difficult to fulfill by most breeders since majority of the so-called halfmoon bettas have "rounded" edges and corners at the caudal fin.
2. What about color of halfmoon betta?Technically, finnage itself defines what's a halfmoon betta, but most savvy breeders will shoot for exotic or even colors too. Frankly, to get a desirable finnage pattern together with scarce color combination in a halfmoon is difficult. Most breeders could only have success in either one of the other, but seldom both. Indeed, there are real secrets in getting both traits at the same time.

These could be trade secrets that allow some well-known betta breeders in the world to price their stocks at a premium. Just imagine viewing an active halfmoon betta with flaring in full finnage in one of the purest single tone color without any other color spots? These strain of halfmoon bettas routinely fetch sale amount in the four-figure range easily. What's more, wait till you ask about the price of the female halfmoon betta to mate the pair - that is, if the breeder ever put any on sale at all!
3. About female halfmoon betta?

This leads us to discuss a little on mating the halfmoon pair and associated genetics. Have you wonder why there is almost no sale of female betta for special strains like halfmoon? Look around and you'll discover that sales of these betta are almost non-existence for prized strains. Reason is simply because that is the most critical "ingredient" to the reproduction and further genetic manipulation of such line of betta!

There are however some alternative breeding techniques that will enable you to breed trophy fullmoon bettas without starting with an equivalent female. This involves some time and a lot more attention in mating pair selection. What are the criteria to consider when starting a line of fullmoon? How do you choose a female to produce the right genetic combination that caters to both finnage and color?

These closely guarded secrets are not found anywhere even on the internet, at least not easily. Over the years of breeding special strains of bettas like halfmoon bettas, I've seen such knowledge being disclosed sparingly and perhaps accidentally by chance from experienced breeders all over the world.

Breeding Betta Fish

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Breeding Betta Fish - Discover How to Breed the Most Astonishing Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish is such a vast topic in itself, and you could write a whole book on the subject – Indeed some people have! However, I’m going to give you a brief overview of the breeding process by answering 2 very important questions…

1. How Do You Know When Your Betta Fish is Ready to Breed

In my opinion the ideal time to breed your Betta Fish is when they are between 6 to 12 months of age.

You will know when a male is ready to begin breeding because he will begin making his bubble nest, this usually takes 1-2 days until completion of the nest. You can’t miss the bubble nest when it starts to happen, it is as its name suggests, a nest that looks like a group of bubbles that floats in the water.

To tell when a female is ready to spawn you will notice vertical stripes appearing on her sides. Don’t get vertical stripes mixed up with horizontal ones, because horizontal stripes mean they are stressed. Also, a female will start to become swollen near the white spot on her belly (ovipositor) when she is getting broody! :-)

2. How do you Breed Betta Fish?

Start, by creating a separate breeding tank. The water in the tank should be about 5 to 6 inches deep and at a temperature of (75-80 Fahrenheit). You will also want to add some large leaves to aid in the building of the bubble nest and to help the female hide when the male gets aggressive.

You then want to gradually introduce the fish. To do this either put a divider into a tank separating the two fish, obviously, a male and a female Betta! ;-) or keep them in different tanks but so they can see each other.

Whilst introducing them you should begin feeding the Betta live food to prepare them for breeding. Such food could be live brine shrimp, freezed blood worms or black worms (also known as Tubifex worms) – I must admit this isn’t my cup of tea but Betta’s love this stuff! After 10-14 days of doing this you can place them in the breeding tank together…

However, make sure you supervise when you do this otherwise the male might become too aggressive towards the female. There will obviously be some aggression and nipping as they get to know each other. However, if you think it gets too serious then remove the female and try again in a couple of days.

Once, your Betta’s have gotten to know each other and decide to breed the male will wrap himself around the female, often called an “embrace”. The female will then release her eggs into the bubble nest or the male will collect them and put them into the bubble nest. The female can release anything from 500-750 eggs so the embrace is usually performed several times.

When the female has finished laying her eggs remove her from the tank shortly afterwards because the male Betta will become very protective of his bubble nest and aggressive, and she could become fish food (kind of like brine shrimp if you know what I mean!?).

After this process has finished the male will takeover fertilizing, cleaning and looking after the eggs by keeping them within the bubble nest. Approx. 2-3 days later the eggs will hatch and the Fry (Baby Betta’s) are released.

Another 3-5 days later the Fry will begin swimming. At this stage you should remove the male Betta from the nest to avoid the Fry becoming fish food. You should feed the Fry with baby brine shrimp or daphnia three times a day. After 14 days you can begin feeding them flake or powder food but in small quantities until they are big enough.

Around 4-5 weeks later you will be able to identify the males and the females. Separate the males from each other before the fighting begins because there is always a loser!

This article should have given you a good overview of the breeding process and with this information you will be well on your way to achieving astonishing Betta Fish displaying the most magnificent colour and fin structure that will make your Friends gasp in amazement when they see your tank!

Breeding Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fish
The best breeding fish are between six months and a year. During the courtship time of the male betta fish he continually makes funny bubbles on the top of the aquarium; this is just his way of making a nest. The male betta fish when in the wild makes bubble nests so that when the female happens by he does his tribal dance with his fins flashing to suitably impress her, when she is suitably so impressed she will spawn after which he will fertilise the eggs.

It is highly recommended that you purchase a breeding tank if you wish to breed betta fish. A ten gallon bare bottomed tank will be sufficient, but if necessary you can do it with a smaller tank. It is not a complicated chore, but you should condition your betta fish before the breeding commences. This is simply introducing them to live foods.

Introductions are necessary and to do this you must place your bettas in adjoining containers or purchase special tank dividers so that they can see each other without coming into contact. Don’t want them disgracing themselves on their first date do we ?

The male will be doing all the one liners whilst the female will turn her back on him in disgust - playing hard to get really, that is of course unless he is really handsome devil. This usually lasts between 3 and 5 days, sometimes a little longer. When they have got to know each other you can put them together in the same tank.

Don’t forget that betta fish like shallow water, so the water should only be about 5 inches deep. In order to help the male make his bubble nest is to put a large leaf in the tank. The pH level should be around 7.0 and the temperature slightly higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The breeding tank should be about 5 inches deep. Place a large leaf or a piece of foam in it to aid the male in building the bubble nest. When you are selecting the pair of fish you want to breed, take into consideration your favourite shaped fish and its colour that appeals to you. Also take into consideration that the male should be larger than the female and have lots of energy and the more vibrant the colour the better. You will know when the male is ready; he starts to make the bubble nest.

The female can lay upwards of 500 eggs and you will notice when she is ready, her stomach will distend and will culminate at the ovipositor - this is the white egg spot that protrudes from the abdomen. When you see vertical stripes on her flanks you will know that she is ready to lay the eggs. If they are horizontal stripes it will mean that she feeling stressful.

It should only take the male betta about 1 or 2 days to blow his bubble nest. Make sure there is a hiding place for the female so that she can make herself scarce after she lays her eggs. Place plants in the tank and this will provide shelter for her. The reason she needs this hiding place is because the male can become very aggressive during the courtship. Typical man really ?The two of them circle each other under the bubble nest during the courtship, the male displaying his intense colouring and puffing his fins out to make himself more enticing. For the female to have her fins frayed an losing a few scales is not unusual during the spawning period.

The female will turn over and the male will literally wrap himself around her as she lays her eggs. The female is apt to become sluggish and lethargic, floating to the surface, so don’t be alarmed. This laying her eggs is an exhausting job. The female takes a while to finish the process and this will happen a few times before the job is done. The eggs being fertilised will sink to the bottom. This is when the male will take over and scoop up the eggs in his mouth in order to carry them up to the bubble nest. It is the male who will then become broody and look after his young.

The eggs are fertilized and will sink to the bottom of the tank. Then being the perfect dad he will pick the eggs up in his mouth and place them tenderly into his bubble nest. That’s it; interlude over it was their ‘Brief Encounter’. If the female doesn’t then turn tail and get out of there as quick as possible, the male, just like the female black widow spider will turn on her male partner, the male betta will turn on the female. It is the male beta who cares for the eggs until they hatch, after which he may or may not choose to devour some of his young, so much for being the perfect dad!!

As soon as the mating is over you must remove the female and return her to her own tank or partition of the tank. Please be careful when you do this so that you don’t disturb the nest. It is whilst he is tending to his young that he will show greater aggression to the female. If any of the eggs fall out of the nest the male will scoop them back up and return them to the nest. Within a couple of days the eggs will hatch and the fry (young fish) will hang from the nest with their tails pointing downwards. The fry will live on the yolk sack of their eggs for another couple of days. If they fall out of the nest, just as when they were eggs, the male will scoop them up and put them back.

It takes the fry 3 or 4 days to start swimming, it is when they start to swim freely that you should remove the male or he will EAT THEM. The fry will need feeding twice a day, you can get a supply of baby brine shrimp or a very fine baby food called Daphnia from your pet stores. Alternatively you can feed them a dry mixture called Tetra. Tetra is designed for egg-laying fish, but is very good for the fry. This can also be got from your pet store.

At 2 weeks old you can start changing the water, but be extra careful because they are still very small and fragile. Remember they are still very small and fragile. Remember to be extra careful becasue fish or a very fine baby food called Daphnia from your pet shop.

You can also feed them Tetra. Tetra is normally for egg-laying fish, but is very good for fry. When the fry reach 2 weeks you can begin small water changes but do be careful as the fry are still very small. Remember that you must never over-feed your fish as the water will become foul very quickly and can be lethal to your fry.

Breeding Betta Fish

Betta Fish Breeding for Fun

Breeding Betta fish can be very difficult. You can not just put the two fish together, then expect them to mate and everything to be just fine.

The male Siamese fighting fish are known to be aggressive and will fight with other Bettas. It is best to keep the two fish separated, but in tanks next to each other for several days, just so they can see one another and get used to each other before you try to breed them.

There are several things that you will need to make sure you have ready and set up before you can even begin the breeding process. These include things such as keeping the water temperature a comfortable 80 degrees, and making sure that you remove the female and male Bettas at the right time.

You will soon be the proud caretaker of up to 1000 baby fish! Not all of the fry live, but there will likely be several hundred and you will need to think about where to put them all.

These few things may make it slightly more difficult for the average person to breed Bettas at home for fun, they are very picky fish and will need close monitoring. But those who do breed these beautiful fish soon learn the extra efforts are worth it as breeding Betta fish can be a lot of fun, and even profitable too. So, just make sure that you know what you are getting into before you decide to dive into breeding Betta fish.

Breeding Betta Fish

Breeding Betta Fishes

Breeding Betta Fish
Betta fishes are in reality very sociable fish as long as you don't place two males together. They can be very easily kept with most other fish, and what you truly have to watch out for is the fish that bothers bettas.

Betta fishes are slow moving fish with incredibly long fins, so they can't be placed with any fast moving fish that is being known for it’s fin-nipping, like zebra danios. They get along in a very good manner with most breeds of tetras, and you can let your baby betta fish grow with baby neons.

When you place bettas in a community tank, the most significant thing to keep in mind is that they are fish that initially came from an area with slow moving water. So any kind of big filtration on the tank will shock a betta and make him conceal in a corner away from the current. You have to create a sense of balance in this case with the other fish in the tank that have need of the current and bubbles for the oxygen in the water for them to survive. Alternatively, once a betta fish gets accustomed to the current from a filter, you will every now and then see the betta playing in it for fun. Simply take care that there is an area with slow moving water or still water in the tank for the betta to move to when they are exhausted.

Normally you can’t place a male and female betta fish in the same tank if
* The two fish are not very babyish (more than a few months old generally won't work)
* They are not prepared and ready to reproduce,
* They have not grown up together from a very young age, and
* You do not have sufficient hiding places for the female.

This is a sweeping statement - your mileage may differ on this one!

Generally, even for usual breeders, getting the silly small fish to breed can be either an effortless joy or a royal pain. They're not as good as the humans on blind dates. Many a times one couple will take to each other right away and you'll have eggs spread here and there in the tank, and sometimes they can swim around the tank for weeks and in no way look at each other. Or in certain cases one will be attracted but the other won't. So don't ever get depressed about not being able to breed the fish.

As a universal rule, for a female betta fish, give her sufficient time for her to recuperate and start looking prepared again; Sorry, that won’t help out a lot, but every fish is unusual just keep an eye on your betta fish. If she had a despondent initially, it'll take her a while to recuperate. If the whole thing went well, she can be hot to trot again within a week.

Generally the second mating produce less number of eggs as compared to the first one, but it's never debilitated the female yet. If the female betta fish hasn't been fed, high-protein food regularly, then it takes normally a minimum time of 2-3 weeks after starting that food that she'll be prepared for breeding. After having been bred, if the female fish has been put on that same food again, usually within 2-3 weeks she'll be prepared again. However, it would better on your part to maintain a gap of one month in between.

Look carefully while placing the fish together. If the female is trying to attract the male aggressively and the bubblenest, and hanging her head down in the water, she's prepared. If all she does is swim away worriedly trying to run away, she's not.

Males also have to be conditioned as they use up a lot of exertion in tending the fry, but they're time and again more prepared than females. Though, keep an eye on the fish. From time to time the male is just so eager to be with a female that he's more involved in either fighting or showing off to truly doing anything about it. Or he's been around females so much that being lonely with one just isn't a delight anymore. Make use of your decision.

Normally after a fish is beaten up, it's fine to give them sufficient time to recuperate from whatever wounds they received, but torn fins aren't generally a trouble.

Breeding Betta Fish