Water changes play an important role in successful fish keeping, which is why I will be writing about them today. It's a subject I have oft touched upon, but never really written about in any great detail (at least to my knowledge). Therefore, I thought it might provide a nice stopgap until I can put together some more 'fishy' related topics.
In my fish room, water changes are done every 1-2 weeks. With each water change, I will remove about 2-5 litres, depending on the size of the tank. Even though none of my tanks are cycled, the abundance of live plants ensures ammonia always remains at 0ppm. Typically, the only reason I do water changes, is to 'freshen' up my tanks, and replenish any lost minerals and trace elements. As an added bonus, water changes (particularly those done with slightly cooler water) have a tendency to induce spawning.
All the water I use in my established tanks, is water from the tap, which has been aged for at least 5-7 days. It's stored in a plastic container (shown in the photo above), which is kept heated and filtered. The introduction of water conditioners, and the presence of chloramine in many municipal water supplies, means aging water is no longer necessary or recommended. However, after the loss of a great many of my fish as a result of the oodinium parasite, I try to make certain the conditions in my tanks remain as stable as possible. Therefore, I hope that by aging my water beforehand, the parameters (particularly pH and temperature) will more closely match those of my tanks, than if I used water straight from the tap.
During this process, I use a combination of peat moss, IALs, and rooibos tea to not only keep the pH and hardness low, but also to darken the water. Within a day or two, the water in the container will usually be the same colour as unmilked tea. This means, I won't be stripping the tannins from my tanks when it comes time to do water changes.
Water is siphoned from my tanks using clear plastic tubing I picked up from the local hardware store. To refill my tanks, I use a couple of small, plastic watering cans. I personally find buckets too cumbersome when I only need to refill a few litres of water, or have to refill the tanks on my top shelf (which requires the use of a step ladder). The watering can is ideal because it's light, easy to hold onto, and doesn't create enough flow to disturb the substrate.
While Melbourne tap water is some of the highest quality in the world, I still use water conditioner. I know some fish keepers here that don't use it, or don't use it all the time, but it's not a risk I am personally willing to take. The brand of water conditioner I use, is Seachem Prime. It's most useful feature is its ammonia/nitrite detoxifying properties, and I find it extremely cost effective as only a small amount is needed to treat a large volume of water.
I hope this has proved a useful read for at least someone out there. I know it's not a particularly exciting topic, but sometimes I feel like I've discussed every possible topic in the few years this blog has been going.
My F1 pair of Betta persephone have spawned several times since I posted on the 20/6. Disappointingly, I was unable to find any free-swimming fry, and came to the conclusion that they must have been eaten by the other fish in the tank.
However, yesterday, I made the discovery of two free-swimming fry. Based on their size, they were likely from the spawn that occurred on the 20/6 or shortly thereafter. Hopefully, this means that other fry have also survived.
Sadly, my Betta persephone numbers have dwindled over the past couple of years. I did distribute a small number of F1 pairs to breeders in Australia some time ago, but I believe two or three pairs were lost, and I am still uncertain as to the fate of the last pair. At this point in time, I don't know how many hobbyists in Australia are even keeping these fish, let alone breeding them. Which is a great shame, especially if the stricter regulations regarding the importation of fish from this genus, come into effect next year.
The future of this species does seem rather grim, unless there are other hobbyists in this country actively working with this species that I don't know about. Which I greatly hope is the case.
Unlike the majority of my spawns, my Betta coccina pair have produced predominately females. In fact, I only have one male in the F1 group. I have moved the pair into another tank so hopefully they produce a few more males. However, even if this is the only male I ever get, I personally think he is developing into an exceptionally beautiful young fish.
My intention will be to separate him out into a tank with one of his female siblings. Betta coccina is one of the species I want to focus on, and having learned my lesson about what can happen when you put all your eggs in the one basket, I would ideally like to have at least two or three sibling pairs to work with in, in addition to the original breeding pair.
I do have a large number of free-swimming Betta coccina fry in my other tank, so it shouldn't be too many months before they colour up, and I can correctly sex them. As soon as they get to a more camera friendly size, I will be sure to take some photos and share them on this site.
Betta coccina were the first wild betta species I kept. That was just over four years ago, and it marks the time I've spent with these fish. During this time, I feel like I've learned a lot, achieved a little, and made a great mess of mistakes. But there's still plenty of time to make a whole mess more!
Today I discovered that one of my F1 Betta persephone males was guarding a nest of fry in one of the film canisters. The pair are three years old, so it was surprising to see a sizable number of fry. I think they have out-done even some of my younger pairs with the amount of fry they have produced. The male is quite distinctive looking, and as such, I believe he is the father of my other F2 fish.
Unfortunately, the pair I actually intended on breeding, have done nothing. The male has built a bubblenest, and that's it. I am starting to think this fish is a eunuch.
I'm not sure how the fry will survive with so many other fish in the tank, particularly the sub-adult on the other side of the divider. But hopefully at least a few might reach a size where they aren't thought of as food.
This pair have been spawning almost non-stop since arriving here, and there are a large number of free-swimming fry present in the tank. I want to maintain this species long-term in my fish room, so the goal will be to get at least one F1 sibling pair from this group .
This pair have spawned several times since arriving here, and there are a large number of free-swimming fry present in the tank. This isn't a species I'm particularly interested in, and the only reason I have them, is because there was a mix-up and I got sent the wrong species. My intention is to find someone to take the breeding pair, and then as soon as the fry are at a size where I can sex them, they will be sold.
I have split this group into two separate tanks. One tank holds a small number of F1 juveniles and sub-adults, and the other tank holds the F0 breeding pair. My intention is to get more fry from the F0 pair as thus far, they have only produced a single male offspring, and I will obviously need more than this, if I want to maintain the species long-term.
There are a disproportionate number of males in this group. My F0 pair did manage to successfully spawn once or twice, but I doubt the fry survived. The intention will be to sell/give way the excess males, and to have two separate tanks, one holding the F0 pair, and the other holding an F1 sibling pair.
My F0 breeding pair still spawns occasionally. They have produced a very small number of fry/juveniles, and the majority of these seem to be female. I will be introducing the biggest F1 juvenile into a tank with my spare wild-caught male some time this week. The intention is to avoid my group from becoming too inbred, as I am likely one of the only people in Australia working with this species at present.
The only pair I have of this species eat their eggs, so it's doubtful that I am going to get any further fry from them. However, I do have nine fry from a pair that has since been sold, so I will certainly be attempting an F1 sibling cross if possible.
Sadly the female from the pair I received has shown no interest in the male, and since arriving, has been suffering from poor health. However, I have since paired the male up with one of my home-bred females, and so far things are looking good.
Sadly, I lost my F0 female to disease. Fortunately, I still have the F0 male, as well as a small number of F1 juveniles and sub-adults. I am having some difficulty in sexing this group, but if there are any females, I will be using them to cross back onto my F0 male as soon as I have space for another tank.
Betta sp. api api
Two of my pairs spawn sporadically, and there are fry present in all three tanks. The biggest of the fry are starting to colour up, and as I only want to retain an F1 sibling pair from each tank, I will be starting to sell off the excess males and females as soon as they become sexable.
This pair still spawns on occasion. They have managed to produce a small number of fry/juveniles. Unfortunately, most/all of these fish look to be male, and aggression is becoming an issue. This week, I will be separating the breeding pair out into another tank so as to give any fry they produce, a better chance at survival.
Hi, I'm a betta enthusiast and breeder from Melbourne, Australia. I keep and breed wild bettas from the coccina complex.