Following the loss of my original breeding pair and their group of offspring, I was eager to build up my numbers of Betta sp. apiapi again. At present, I have three breeding pairs, which were imported from Indonesia earlier this year. I don't think these six fish are as nice as my original pair, and they are certainly not as prolific, but at the very least, I have managed to get one or more successful spawnings from each of them.
This is not a particularly commonly kept species in Australia, perhaps due to the rather astronomical price for wild-caught specimens, and their requirement for soft, acidic water. Last year, I did read about the possible destruction of their habitat, which makes it even more important that their status is secure within the hobby. In Australia, we are facing tough new import laws that may have a devastating impact on the import of wild betta species into the country. Therefore, it is vital that there are dedicated hobbyists out there breeding these fish in large enough numbers that their presence in Australia can be sustained for many years to come.
I have fry and young fish in all three of my tanks, and they are developing at a surprisingly rapid pace, with the largest juveniles approximately 1.5-2cm TL. While I have a male guarding a nest of eggs today, there's been no spawning activity for some weeks. My previous pair spawned almost constantly, so it was interesting to see the difference in behaviour. In the future, I am considering swapping the females around so they are paired up with a different male. I'm trying to avoid my population of Betta sp. apiapi from becoming too inbred, so I'm hoping having three separate pairs, will add some genetic diversity to my line.
At the moment, none of the young fish are of a size and colour to correctly sex. However, I will be recording their progress on this blog, and hopefully it won't be too many months before I have the first group of F2 fry hatched.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.