Back in May, I got a pair of Betta uberis from Joty. They were (and still are), quite small, measuring maybe 3cm total length. However, while the Betta miniopinna pair that arrived at the same time quickly settled in and started spawning, my Betta uberis male spent much of the first couple of weeks here being aggressively dominated by his female. Even if he initiated a fight, he would end up being attacked and chased by the female because he yielded very easily.
My least preferred option, was to temporarily jar the female, leaving the jar in view of the male so he could build up his confidence and aggression levels that way. Preferably though, I wanted to see if there was another way I could encourage my male to become more dominant, in the hope that a change in attitude might result in a spawn.
Basically, what I have done, is provided him with daily flaring sessions using a small, hand-held mirror. Fortunately, my male is very outgoing, and so it was easy enough to lure him over and let him 'discover' this rival male in his territory. The response was immediate and as the days went on, I noticed a shift in his behaviour.
Whereas, before he would hold his ground against the female only fleetingly, after a week or so of flare training, he would hold his position for longer and longer periods of time. In the past week, he has become the dominant fish in the tank, alternating between aggressively pursuing the female, and patrolling his territory.
In recent days, he has also built a nest. With daily flarings and a plentiful supply of live foods (namely mosquito larvae, artemia and grindal worms), the male is definitely showing an increased interest in spawning - an attitude the female seems to be reciprocating. Today she was displaying prominent vertical barring, and the male's aggression was limited to display as he attempted to lure her to the nest.
He still remains very eager to flare at the mirror, and will engage with his reflection for several minutes. This response surprised me, as while most of my males will flare at a mirror, their response is usually much more lackadaisical, missing the ferocity that is displayed by species from within the splendens complex.
I'm hoping that by the end of the month I will have my first successful spawn with this pair. They are simply too nice a pair not to breed from, and it's been such a long time since I've had Betta uberis fry in my tanks.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.