I had something of a disastrous end to my fish keeping year. Due to a tragic error on my part, I lost my entire group of Betta sp. apiapi. This was one of the hardest losses I have had to face in my entire time in this hobby, and it was further compounded by the unexpected loss of my Betta miniopinna group shortly after.
Fortunately, I was able to purhase three pairs of Betta sp. apiapi and two pairs of Betta miniopinna not long after losing both groups. There was a shipment recently into Australia, and I'm not certain whether my fish were on it. However, I'm trying not to get too excited, as DOAs and deaths in quarantine, have been an issue for me in recent shipments.
Because of the new laws that may potentially be coming into effect in March this year, I am trying to import as many coccina complex species as I can afford, just in case I will not be able to do so in the future. I'm definitely hoping to include a pair of Betta brownorum in the February shipment, but am still debating on what others I want to bring in. I just wish the whole process wasn't as expensive as it was. Once you add import fees at $22 a fish, and the additional cost of local postage, it becomes quite the costly business.
Turning back to my own fish, I have fry from my Betta coccina, Betta livida, Betta rutilans, Betta uberis, and Betta brownorum pairs. I'm particularly interested in the fry from my Betta brownorum pair, as they are from an F0xF1 cross. My main focus for this species, is on retaining the characteristic lateral spot, as this was something of an issue in the F1 offspring. I didn't have the intention to breed my Betta uberis pair, but it seems like a small number of fry are eking out a living alongside their parents so I've been helping them along with freshly hatched artemia.
With the start of the new year, comes some changes in my fish room. For species that are especially rare, or more difficult to acquire, I will now be separating out the breeding pair from the main tank once I get 4-5 successful spawns. I'm still working on the details, but the plan is to house my adult fish separately in 8L tanks, unless they are needed for breeding. Not only will this hopefully prevent the loss of a whole group or species of fish if something goes wrong, but it will also allow me to keep a better record of the ages and growth rates of my fry. At the moment, I don't even know the average length of time it takes for my fry to reach sexual maturity.
Plans for the immediate future, include purchasing and installing a third rack system that will hopefully be able to house a further 12 tanks. More importantly, I also want to improve the way in which I currently perform water changes and maintenance on my tanks, so as to lessen the risk of me transferring pathogens from one tank to another. It's no use purchasing new fish if my current methods are only going to make them sick.
Other than that, I realise it's been about two years I first started this blog. Sometimes it can be difficult to find inspiration, and sometimes my fish refuse to cooperate for photos, but as long as there are people reading, I will continue doing my best to remain an active posting presence.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.