Well today I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my Betta hendra F1 females was wrapping with the original male under a bubblenest. Based on the purchase date of the original pair, the oldest this female could be, is 6 months. I am quite happy with this rate of growth considering the 'hands-off' approach I took.
However, while I was pleased about this most recent spawn, I was curious as to what had happened to the eggs from a spawn between the original male and female, that took place on Friday. Let's just say it did not take me long to find out...
It turns out the other male and female juveniles/sub-adults in the tank were eating them. Any time the pair were wrapping, another fish would sneak in and grab the eggs out of the nest. Similarly, if they were too slow to pick up the eggs that fell to the bottom of the tank, these would also be consumed.
If I want to continue working with this species, I know I am going to have to separate the breeding pair from the main tank. There has definitely been a drop in survival rates of fry over the past couple of months because of predation by older siblings. Ideally, I would like to have a tank dedicated to breeding and a tank dedicated to the housing of immature fish. Unfortunately, present space constraints make this all but impossible, so for now I am going to have to put up with cannibalism.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.