I had three Betta uberis siblings; two were obviously male while one I believed to be female but wasn't quite one-hundred percent on. As I wanted to sell all three, I had to determine whether what I had was indeed a possible breeding pair and spare male rather than just three males (pretty much worthless from a breeding perspective).
I put in some film canisters and thought at best I might see some courtship behaviour or get a better look at the 'female' fully coloured up.
Well the other day I noticed the male had built a rather impressive nest in one of the film canisters and he seemed rather agitated. I had a look in and discovered that he was guarding a nest of eggs.
Tonight I had another look as he seemed more defensive than usual and I can see that they have hatched and we have some tails hanging from the nest!
I am really pleased as this is the first time I have had a pair of fish I have completely bred and raised myself spawn. He is being a really great first-time father, and I will be sad to see him and his siblings go.
I have quite a number of Betta hendra juveniles, both in the tank with the original pair, and in a separate grow-out. The ones in the tank are growing at a much faster rate than their grow-out siblings, which I have found is a perfectly normal occurrence.
The hendra juveniles in the grow-out have been plagued by problems with their health and water quality. I will admit I had been slacking with their care, and this has been obvious in their slow development. However, after culling 25 of the smallest and sickest fish from the tank, and increasing both water changes and food intake, I have noticed a marked improvement in the behaviour and appearance of the remaining juveniles.
I am hoping to get a number of females from this batch of fish, as I want to keep on a small group of females, and a couple of males to replace the father. The rest will be sold on as soon as they are old enough.
Well this afternoon I culled out 25 of my burdigala and hendra fry. Those culled were either runts, or had problems with their swim bladders that failed to correct.
The remaining fry and juveniles are going to be undergoing several weeks of treatment for ich along with all my other grow-outs so I can finally get rid of this nightmare parasite. After a week of 'woe is me' I decided to be proactive and do something about the problem rather than just procrastinate over it.
In a way I am sad, because I don't think there are any betta breeders out there that particularly like killing fish they have bred and raised. However, I don't have the space or resources to waste on a group of fish that clearly weren't thriving. In a more natural setting, those fry would have been culled by their siblings long ago.
I will be making another tough decision after the treatment is complete, to see if any further culling is required. However, I am hoping that once I get everything under control and start paying more attention to them, the runts from this group will start to catch up with their siblings. I think the ich has really inhibited their growth and if I can get rid of it for good, I think it will give them a much better chance.
I have quite a number of Betta burdigala juveniles growing out in a tank alongside the original pair. Most of these are identifiably male, with several at nearly full size. Because they are siblings, I rarely see any fighting. There may be the odd torn fin, but most bouts rely heavily on display rather than physical violence.
The other day however, I did notice a very unusual behaviour among three sub-adult males.
It looked like two of them were trying to embrace, with the third following the pair and occasionally flaring and circling one or the other male.
There was no nest, and no eggs were produced from what was essentially a spawning embrace even though I witnessed them stunning each other a couple of times.
One other difference I also noted, was that the males involved barred up horizontally in what is commonly referred to as 'stress striping'. This makes me think this was perhaps some kind of bizarre dominance display rather than a confused attempt at spawning.
They did this for several hours, and the same three males were the only ones involved. I did get asked by a forum member if I had perhaps misidentified a female as male, but due to the colouration, ventral shape and fin size I am fairly confident all three fish are indeed male.
I have never seen this kind of behaviour before, and I haven't seen them doing it today. Just goes to show that even after a couple years of owning these fish, they can still surprise me!
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.