The results from my previous attempt to breed Betta livida were disappointing to say the least. Only five fry survived, and the sex ratio was heavily skewed towards males, with only one of these five being female. This meant I had a paltry two females to six males. These are definitely not the sort of results you are after when long-term species maintenance is your goal!
My interest in working with this species waned, and for many months now, there has been no spawning activity. Which is not surprising considering that the breeding pair are living not only alongside an unrelated adult male, but also their five offspring, all of which are rapidly reaching sexual maturity.
However, in recent weeks, my interest has been renwed. Betta livida is listed as 'endangered' on the IUCN Red List, and I've always been of the belief that if you are to take a rare species of fish from the wild, you had better do your best to breed and distribute it to fellow hobbyists. At present I know of one other hobbyist in Australia that has this species. There may be others quietly working behind the scenes, but if not, it won't take much for this species to disappear from Australia.
Therefore, my current 'breeding project', is going to be Betta livida. In preparation I've set-up two new tanks. The smaller of these tanks will not only house the breeding pair, but will also act as a temporary grow-out for fry. The larger of the tanks will house the rest of the group, none of which I will be using for this project.
Because my aim is to produce a large number of fish (between 50-100 individuals), I am going to be utilising a grow-out tank to maximise survival rates. It's important that as many fry as possible survive, because I need to have a larger pool of females to draw from.
If I can avoid it, I don't like to inbreed too heavily. Unfortunately, in this case, my options are limited. However, I'm hoping that out-crossing my young females onto the unrelated adult male (this male is from the same locality as my pair), will increase genetic diversity, even if only by a little. I may also try a breeding with m
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.