Spawning Mouth Brooders and Bubblenesters (Betta Fish)
by, 04-17-2014 at 02:29 AM (1009 Views)
Your guide to spawning your Betta.
Mouthbrooders grow to be larger than bubblenesters at maturity, and therefore require larger tanks. Breeding tanks for the larger mouthbrooders (B. pugnax) should be at least 20 gallons, whereas the smaller mouthbrooders (B. picta, B. edithae) will do just fine in a 10 gallon.
Mouthbrooders are too large to be housed in jars, as they depend more upon the use of their gills than the labyrinth organ for breathing. In the wild, they are accustomed to running water with high levels of oxygen. They therefore need filtered or aerated water in their tank.
Most mouth-brooding Bettas will be fine in dechlorinated water and no heater. Most mouthbrooders are from cooler upland streams, and tap water is very similar to the water in these areas, as it is usually neutral to alkaline and semi-hard to hard depending on the water supply and its limestone content. Some of these mouthbrooders are stimulated into spawning following a massive water change of 50%-75%.
Breeding tanks should be dimly lit. Some minimal sun exposure is acceptable, but the tank should be kept shaded most of the day. Mouthbrooders with a constant light source are much less likely to spawn than those kept on a cycle of no more than 12-hours of continuous light daily. Though there is evidence that fry growth is increased with 24-hour illumination, water changes are far more effective than this method.
Hiding Places and Plants
It is highly recommended that an enclosed space be provided for breeding to occur, such as a flower pot, log, cave or other shady spot to hide. If a flower pot is used, plug the hole in the bottom so that Bettas cannot get trapped.
Live plants are also highly recommended in all breeding and fry-tanks. Plants remove nitrates, pollutants, and enhance overall water quality. Java moss, java fern and anubias nana are all low-light plants you can use for this purpose.
Do not feed any food to a brooding male, or add any foods to a tank containing a brooding male. The male does not eat at all during the incubation period. The fry will have enough natural food in the tank to subsist on once released, but will need to be fed shortly thereafter. When fry emerge, you should begin by feeding them small amounts of live baby brine shrimp or live daphnia.
References: http://bettafishcaretaker.com and www.drfostersmith.com