Chronicles of the Reluctant Breeder
At the start of January, I received a pair of wild-caught Betta brownorum. In the past, I had six Betta brownorum , but unfortunately had to euthanize them after they failed to recover from a nasty velvet infection.
While one of my previous pairs would spawn once every week or so, it seems that this pair is much less enthusiastic about getting it on.
The closest they got was when I found six or so eggs in the nest and them spawning beneath it. For whatever reason the eggs disappeared not long after that and their most recent attempt ended in disaster when I don’t think the female expelled her eggs properly and she became rather bloated and sick for a couple of days after.
There doesn’t appear to be anything physically wrong with either fish, it just seems like the male is not all that interested in the female.
The female on the other hand, looks like she is very eager to spawn as she bars up, displays to the male, and tries from time to time to entice him up into the film canister. However, instead of reciprocating the challenge, the male will clamp his fins and swim off. This is extremely frustrating, as he will flare at and display to his reflection if you hold a mirror up to his tank, so he is obviously not a complete pacifist.
I have tried doing frequent water changes, tried doing infrequent water changes, tried turning the temperature up and tried turning the temperature down. I’ve tried water changes with cold water, and I’ve tried water changes with warm water. Everything that has worked on reluctant partners in the past, has failed with these two. The only thing I have up my sleeve now, is to do what I did with my palangkarensis pair and completely cover the bottom of the tank in leaf litter several inches deep and see if that won’t trigger anything.
If this fails, then I will be looking at replacing the male the next time our wholesaler gets this species back in stock. While my previous pair gave me dozens of fry, every single one ended up getting predated before I could get them out of the tank. Therefore, brownorum remain one of the only species to date that I have kept and not been able to rear at least some fry from.
If anyone has any tricks or tips on how to get these two into the mood, I am open to suggestions. I've never had such stubborn fish before.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.