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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Breeding Bettas (mouth brooders)
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Breeding Bettas (mouth brooders)

Planning on breeding fish or already breeding them.

Breeding Bettas (mouth brooders)

Postby Mick » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:04 pm

Talk to anyone about keeping Bettas and they will almost certainly think of a male Betta Splendens with its long colourful fins and its ability create a bubble nest for breeding. This has the detremental effect of the mouth brooding species of Bettas being pushed to one side, in fact many keepers have never heard of them. These species of Betta have evolved this style of breeding as they live in faster flowing water thus making building a bubble nest impossible. Another advantage of these are the fact that several males can be kept together with no problems at all, unlike their cousins who will not tolerate another male in the tank.

One of the easiest species of these to breed has to be the Betta pugnax, other species of this fish are the Betta prima and Betta simplex. Females can be distinguished from the males as they will have a smaller head shape, be smaller overall and have shorter fins with drab colouration to the body.

Setting up the tank
Mouth brooding Bettas love soft, acidic water with plenty of tannins present. This can be acheived by adding blackwater extract or using almond leaves or banana leaves. Add several pieces of bogwood to the tank and use well filtered water that has been matured in an established tank. As with all breeding tanks, I use air driven sponge filters as this will also oxygenate the water.Plants can also be added if you want but not compulsary. Always add a lid to the tanks, these fish are great jumpers.

The spawning process
The female will start off the spawning process unlike most species of fish where the male does all of the work.The parent fish will embrace at the bottom of the tank and once the eggs are laid both fish will attempt to pick them up. The female will spit any eggs she has collected at the male so that he can get them into his mouth for brooding.THis whole process can take many hours and the female will stand guard over the male once he is holding. Remove the female once spawning is complete or the male may swallow the eggs in the hope that he can spawn again.

Raising the fry
The male should release the fry 10-11 days after spawning but it is quite common for spawns to be eaten until the male is experienced with fatherhood. When he has released the fry for the first time he will be very nervous, under no circumstances should you disturb him, it will mean the end of the fry as he will probably eat them. Darkening the tank slightly may put him more at ease. Once all of the fry have been released, remove the male carefully and the fry can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp or daphnia. They should be fast growing and reach a length of 1 inch after 4 weeks.

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Re: Breeding Bettas (mouth brooders)

Postby Getthejist » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:26 pm

Thats some good info Mick. I wanted to keep a few of these bettas but I cant find a store that sells them I liked the fact that they wouldnt rip each other a part thats always a good thing with fish :)
When in doubt get another tank.
I keep water the fish are just for decoration.
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