While at a fish store the other day, I picked up a packet of 'Ocean Nutrition Black Mosquito Larvae'. I've not seen this particular variety of frozen food stocked in any of the aquariums I frequent, so I was quite excited to try it out. Hopefully, this will provide a suitable alternative to the 'real thing', during the colder months when live mosquito larvae is harder to come by.
My wild bettas can be very 'hit and miss' when it comes to frozen foods. So far however, I've fed this food twice, and both times it has met with a very enthusiastic response from my fish. Each cube contains mosquito larvae of varying sizes, which makes it a suitable food not just for adults, but also for juveniles and sub-adults. As many of my tanks contain fish of different ages, it means I don't have to feed multiple foods.
Personally, I think Ocean Nutrition provides some of the highest quality frozen foods in Australia. I've always been impressed with the quality of their foods, and this product is no different. I like the fact that when I thaw a cube out, I get whole mosquito larvae, rather than broken pieces of larvae that my fish don't want to eat.
If you keep or breed smaller species of wild betta, I strongly recommend giving this product a go. I don't know how cost effective it would be, if fed to larger mouthbrooders, but it is a perfect supplementary food for the coccina complex species.
Today I woke to find my F1 pair of Betta sp. api api spawning. There's a very small number of eggs in the nest, but considering both male and female are only about an inch total length, I am surprised that they were able to spawn at all
Only time will tell how well the male handles the challenges of fatherhood. Hopefully the fact that he has been actively protecting his nest from the pair of Betta coccina in the tank over, bodes well for both present and future success.
If there's one species I have in abundance, it is Betta sp. api api. From my three wild-caught pairs, I have just under thirty fish, surprisingly, with a good number of females among them. I also have a small group of juveniles growing out alongside their parents (the other two wild-caught pairs were sold on), which likely brings my numbers closer to forty.
Because I've been focussing my attention on other species, my breeding plans for Betta sp. api api were put on hold. However, that's all about to change, and starting this week, these fish are going to move to the top of my priority list.
My goal for May, is to have at least one successful spawn from an F1 pair of Betta sp. api api. Is it achievable? I believe so.
I've been watching the group closely over the past few days to figure out which fish are likely candidates. Most importantly, I want fish that are healthy, and free from any physical deformities (these include missing or incomplete fins, bodies that excessively short, and toplines with anything more than minor bumps or dips). I also tend not to go for the most aggressive male and female in the group. I want a pair that is going to put their energy towards reproduction, not fighting. Especially as they will be cohabitating long-term, and not just together for a single spawn.
Although I try not to let aesthetics play too much into my choice, I still have my preferences. I prefer fish that are balanced, in proportion, show clear sexual characteristics, as well as good colouration. With Betta sp. api api, my preference is to select males that display the distinctive spade-shaped caudal, but if I find a male that ticks all the boxes save for the fact his caudal is round, it's not going to stop me using him.
Once the breeding tank is set-up (hopefully before the end of this week), I will be separating out a pair and chronicling their progress.
As an aside, the fish featured in the photos above, is a young Betta sp. api api female. Sadly, the camera flash, in combination with the bright light over the tank, washed her colour almost completely out.
Hi, I'm a betta enthusiast and breeder from Melbourne, Australia. I keep and breed wild bettas from the coccina complex.