Below, is a 40 litre tank that contains a group of Betta coccina. To many hobbyists, I'm sure this tank looks like it's in dire need of a trim, but for a tank housing coccina complex species, it's close to perfect (admittedly I would like the water a shade or two darker).
These plants not only remove excess nutrients from the water column, but also provide valuable areas of cover, break up lines of sight, and encourage the growth of infusoria. All of which are important when breeding a territorial, and sometimes intensely aggressive, species of fish.
Many hobbyists only witness the true beauty of their wilds during courtship and spawning. With my planted tanks, I see it everyday. My fish are brilliantly coloured, and brimming with confidence in these set-ups. They don't need to feel threatened, because there is enough plant mass that they are safe from potential predators or aggressive conspecifics.
My Betta uberis have long been overlooked in favour of rarer, more challenging species. I'd always planned to put an F1 pair together at some point, but whenever it came time, there'd invariably be another species demanding my attention, or no tanks left to fill (the bane of a small fish room).
Finally after months and months of being put on the back-burner, I had a free tank. As the tank was 'move in ready' (having recently been vacated by my group of F1 Betta brownorum), it was a simple matter of catching the pair and moving them across.
I've personally found Betta uberis one of the easiest species from this complex to spawn, and my sibling pair were no exception. Within a couple of days of being separated from the group, they had successfully spawned. As I've mentioned previously in this blog, I don't believe in artificially hatching eggs. My breeding pairs have to be able to rear their fry without any human intervention, and so a first time spawn with a virgin pair is always an anxious time.
Happily, this pair performed like old pros. In fact, they were so eager to repeat the process, they spawned before the stragglers from their first spawn had completely left the nest.
As it looks like I have two further females in my F1 group, I'll likely separate out a couple more sibling pairs of Betta uberis to ensure this species remains a firm fixture in my fish room.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.