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.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.