Following the loss of my original breeding pair and their group of offspring, I was eager to build up my numbers of Betta sp. apiapi again. At present, I have three breeding pairs, which were imported from Indonesia earlier this year. I don't think these six fish are as nice as my original pair, and they are certainly not as prolific, but at the very least, I have managed to get one or more successful spawnings from each of them.
This is not a particularly commonly kept species in Australia, perhaps due to the rather astronomical price for wild-caught specimens, and their requirement for soft, acidic water. Last year, I did read about the possible destruction of their habitat, which makes it even more important that their status is secure within the hobby. In Australia, we are facing tough new import laws that may have a devastating impact on the import of wild betta species into the country. Therefore, it is vital that there are dedicated hobbyists out there breeding these fish in large enough numbers that their presence in Australia can be sustained for many years to come.
I have fry and young fish in all three of my tanks, and they are developing at a surprisingly rapid pace, with the largest juveniles approximately 1.5-2cm TL. While I have a male guarding a nest of eggs today, there's been no spawning activity for some weeks. My previous pair spawned almost constantly, so it was interesting to see the difference in behaviour. In the future, I am considering swapping the females around so they are paired up with a different male. I'm trying to avoid my population of Betta sp. apiapi from becoming too inbred, so I'm hoping having three separate pairs, will add some genetic diversity to my line.
At the moment, none of the young fish are of a size and colour to correctly sex. However, I will be recording their progress on this blog, and hopefully it won't be too many months before I have the first group of F2 fry hatched.
Thanks to an incredibly kind gesture by a fellow hobbyist and friend, I received a pair of Betta brownorum, Betta persephone, and Betta tussyae earlier today. This means I now have ten species from this complex in my fish room, with plans to source a pair of Betta sp. wajok later this year.
Suffice to say, my focus will be on successfully breeding all three pairs. There likely won't be any photos for a while, as for the moment, all six fish are individually jarred. I believe they have been shuffled around a bit in the past few weeks, and I would prefer they have had some time to recover and put on some condition before I introduce them to their tanks.
Not long ago, I decided to move my Betta persephone group back into the 45 litre tank they were originally in. I laid down some ADA Malaya as substrate, and covered it with peat moss, sphagnum moss, and IAL. Every week, I add a couple bags of rooibos tea to keep the water dark, and I have some Mekong River driftwood in there to provide hiding places for the shyer fish. The only thing missing, are the plants. Mayaca fluviatilis, duckweed, watersprite, and hygrophila polysperma will be used to provide cover in the mid-upper levels of the tank. I'm just waiting on them to arrive from interstate.
It seems every time I look into my Betta uberis tank, I discover another one of their offspring swimming around. They've only spawned perhaps a handful of times since recovering from velvet, and until recently I never saw any of the fry once they left the nest and became free-swimming.
Nowadays, I have a (very) small hoard of Betta uberis juveniles that wait for me at the front of the tank every time they see me come into my fish room. Unfortunately, my male is quite aggressive towards his offspring, so they are much more cautious around their parents than young fish in my other tanks. This makes photos difficult and the above was the best I could manage. Because this tank is only small, and because my male is so territorial and aggressive, I will be moving the entire F1 group to a tank of their own, once they are big enough.
At the moment, I can only correctly sex the male in the photo above. I'm hoping there's a female in the group so I can work with this line further, as I likely won't be importing another pair of Betta uberis, and the majority of fish in Australia are from a different source to mine.
Hi, I'm a betta enthusiast and breeder from Melbourne, Australia. I keep and breed wild bettas from the coccina complex.