The Allure of the Film Canister
Of late, I have found there is nothing as exciting to my wild betta males, than a simple black plastic film canister ... except perhaps a female to share it with.
It is something that must be carefully inspected from all sides by both male and female. It is then entered and exited several times over the course of a day, as its appropriateness as a nesting site is considered.
At least this was how it went when I dropped a innocuous looking film canister into the tank of my Betta burdigala pair. A day or so later, my male constructed quite an impressive nest and invited the female in for some 'alone time'.
This was the first time I had used a film canister to try and spawn my coccina complex species in. Being submerged bubblenesters they like to build their nests in terracotta pots or PVC pipe. However, this makes it frustratingly difficult to monitor the progress of the eggs as the males are usually quite secretive and choose a nesting site furthest from the front glass.
With the film canister I was able to check on my male and his nest daily, and the enclosed environment made it less likely for newborn fry to fall out of the nest and be lost in amongst the leaf litter.
Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to get the fry into another tank while they were still in there, so now I am going to have to wait until they are big enough for me to find without needing to tear the tank apart.
Now the only problem is that I have one film canister and three or four pairs I would like to use it with. They seem quite difficult to source at a decent price and somehow the idea of importing in a pkt of 100 from South Korea wasn't all that appealing.
Having seen the results, I definitely recommend looking at using film canisters if you are interested in spawning coccina complex species. Even if you don't have any pairs, your fish will still enjoy having somewhere private to hide out.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.