One reason I like breeding wild bettas, is that barring any spontaneous mutations, you generally know what each and every fry is going to eventually look like.
Above is one half of my breeding pair of Betta hendra. The photo below, is of two of her female offspring.
You really couldn't ask for more consistency than that.
Also, if anyone was wondering why it is that I take so many photos of my Betta hendra, it is because not only are they one of my favourite species, but they are also the easiest out of all my fish to photograph. However, hopefully I can get photos of some of my more elusive fish to post up later this week.
I haven't posted here in a while. Rest assured that's not because anything disastrous has been happening. Here is a short recap of recent fish room events for those curious about what's been going on.
My pair of Betta sp. wajok have spawned, and the male is tending to a small nest of fry. This is the second they have spawned, the first resulting in all eggs being eaten - most likely due to the presence of the second male. Now the second male has been removed, my breeding male seems much more at ease, and hopefully subsequent spawns will prove much more fruitful.
Unfortunately, the spawn between the F1 Betta brownorum male and his mother ended in disaster. The eggs were eaten, but I did manage to save three of them. Of these, I successfully hatched two in less than a tablespoon of water. They are now free-swimming and have since been moved to a larger container. I'm hoping that they survive, as I was rather surprised they hatched at all.
Speaking of F1 fish, I have decided to move as many of my Betta sp. apiapi, Betta hendra and Betta brownorum juveniles/sub-adults into separate tanks as I can. There has been a cessation of spawning by the main breeding pair in these tanks, and a noticeable rise in aggression, particularly amongst the young males. Due to space and budget restrictions, I can't have separate grow-out tanks for each species I have. Instead I am going to using a bain-marie type system so that I only have to run a single heater. This is going to be a labour intensive task, so I have been putting it off for as long as possible. However, I hopefully should have these grow-outs up and running by the same time next week.
There seem to be more and more Betta miniopinna fry appearing with each day. The whole group has been undergoing heat treatment for suspected ich, so there hasn't been any recent spawns. However, there are at least a dozen fry of various sizes that I have counted, with the biggest sitting at around 1.5cm total length.
I also have paid for a pair of Betta uberis and a second pair of Betta miniopinna that may be arriving on the next shipment into Australia. At the moment I have to check dates and pay their import and local shipping fees, but I am excited at the prospect of having Betta uberis back after so long. The second pair of Betta miniopinna are from a different source as my original pair, and were purchased simply because it's only recently I've seen this species available, and I wanted to have a spare pair on hand to minimise my risk of losing it completely from my fish room.
To continue on from yesterday's post, my replacement 'replacement' female Betta sp. wajok arrived today. I was surprised to see how well she'd handled the trip down here. The luck I've had with this species thus far, I was almost expecting to open the box and find her DOA. Fortunately, she was very much alive, and was responding in a very aggressive manner to the two big males while the bag was being floated.
I definitely got a female this time. As soon as I put her in the tank she coloured up and is now showing very prominent vertical barring. She is also very interested in the male and is following him around. I'm hoping that as long as the male doesn't become too aggressive, I might be fortunate enough to finally get a spawn.
After a prolonged courtship and a slow first spawning, my biggest F1 Betta brownorum male now has a small nest of eggs in one of the film canisters. The female he spawned with, was his mother, and it was interesting to see the difference in behaviour between her and her son, as opposed to her and the original male.
If these eggs hatch, I'm going to pull the fry once they become free-swimming and raise them in a separate grow-out. I don't often do this with my wilds, but I don't want his effort to go to waste, and I am admittedly curious as to how fry from this particular cross are going to turn out.
Well after a long wait, I should be getting a replacement Betta sp. wajok female sent out to me. Unfortunately, my actual replacement female died in quarantine, but I was offered a replacement 'replacement' female by Jodi.
This female is getting shipped out today, so she should be arriving some time tomorrow. I will post an update when she arrives, and if she's not DOA, will try and get some photos of her in with the male.
Back in September 2013, I got my hands on the nicest example of a male Betta brownorum I have owned. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, after being viciously attacked by the female. He possessed a rather large lateral blotch, which I was hoping would be passed onto his sons, and possibly some of his daughters.
Unfortunately, only two out of about dozen young fish, display a lateral blotch. The sub-adult male pictured above, has a lateral blotch that is similar in size to the original male's, while his younger brother shown below, has only very small, lateral spots on either side. Oddly enough, this younger male is also a different shade of red to his brother, and displays iridescent gold barring on the anal fin (not as visible in this particular photo).
I have always wondered, what it is that determines the presence, size and shape of the lateral blotch. Is it purely genetics, or do environmental factors also play a role? I have read about Betta brownorum whose lateral blotches have changed shape and size over time. I've also noticed that in females, this spot seems more likely to be greatly reduced in size, if not missing altogether. Locality also seems important. I have heard fish from the 'Matang' locality normally have much larger blotches than those from the 'Sibu' locality. Is this the result of simple inbreeding, or are there major differences between these two habitats?
This is a subject I've always been curious about, because I personally prefer fish that display large lateral blotches - for me, 'bigger is better'. As such, I have been rather disappointed that so many of my young fish are simply red all over. At this point they look more like Betta rutilans, than they do Betta broworum.
I have been looking everywhere for a pair of wild-caught Betta coccina 'Jambi'. I am having difficulty in finding someone who a) has them, b) is not a wholesaler, and c) is willing to ship them to Thailand so they can be imported legally into Australia.
I figured maybe someone might come across this post, who can help me get my hands on a pair of these fish. Betta coccina remains one of only four species from this complex that I have not successfully spawned.
It would be unbelievably awesome, if I could achieve this goal before the end of 2014.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.