Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Breed Betta Fish (Ikan Pelaga @ Ikan Karin)

1. Step 1
  1. You will need to acquire both a male and female Betta fish. Females are often hard to find. There are several good sources online to acquire quality fish, much different then what you see at your local pet shop. Bettas ship very good, do not be afraid to have the fish shipped to you.


    Step 2

  2. Once you have your Betta fish pair you will need to condition the fish for breeding. This is a 2 week process of feeding your Bettas high quality foods. Live food is best, but if you want to use dried foods use Frozen Bloodworms and Daphnia. Feed the fish as much as they will eat during this time.


  3. Step 3

    During the conditioning of your Betta fish pair you will want to setup your breeding tank. Make sure your tank is clean. Washing it with very hot water is a good precaution; do not use soap to clean your tank. Add 5-6 inches of water to your tank; add your sponge filter and finally your heater. Set the heater between 80-82 degrees. Add the recommended dose of an aquarium bacteria starter and water conditioner. Turn on your sponge filter for now.


  4. Step 4

    Next you will want to prepare the inside of the tank. Take your Styrofoam cup and cut it in half. Place the cup halve in the front corner of your tank, it should float nicely on top of the water creating a "tunnel" of air between the cup and the top of the water. Next you want to create hiding spots for your female Betta fish. Live plants are best, but fake plants will work as well. Place them on the opposite corner of the floating cup. Add you tank divider or hurricane glass away from your half cup as well.


  5. Step 5

    After the 2 week tank and fish conditioning is complete you are ready to introduce your fish. Turn off your sponge filter at this point. Add your male Betta fish in the main tank area first. Give him a minute to look around and explore his new surroundings. Then add your female Betta into the divided part of the tank or into your hurricane glass. The female and the male MUST be separate at this point, do not add them both to the tank where they can have direct contact with either other.


  6. Step 6

    Now you will need to judge if your Bettas are ready to breed. The male Betta should be flaring his fins out around the female and building a bubble nest, most likely under your half cup. The female will develop vertical bars on her body, this is difficult to see on lighter colored fish. The female Betta should be released at this time, normally 24-48 hours after initial introduction into the tank. It is best to release the female just before "lights out" in the tank.


  7. Step 7

    Once your female Betta is loose in the tank the chase is on. The male Betta will chase and nip at the females fins, this can often be violent. This aggression is normal and some fin and scale damage can and likely will occur on both fish. The fish will "dance" with each other for short periods and then the male will chase the female off. If she is ready to breed she will approach the male and the nest in a head down position and generally be more interested in what he is doing. This process again can be as much as 48 hours. If the fish have not spawned in this amount of time you may want to remove the female and try another time. During this time you should attempt to not bother the fish as much as possible. You should not feed the fish while they are both in the tank together either.


  8. Step 8

    When both parties are ready to breed the female Betta will position herself under the nest and the male Betta will wrap his body around the female. The fish will appear paralyzed for a short period of time. This embrace will be repeated several times until the female Betta has expelled all her eggs.


  9. Step 9

    Once the fish are no longer embracing and the female has moved away from the nest she should be removed immediately. Take care not to disturb the male and his nest of eggs. Put your female in a warm quite spot to rest and recover in clean water.


  10. Step 10

    Your male Betta will now tend to the eggs on his own for the next 24-36 hours, catching them and placing them back in the nest as they fall out.


  11. Step 11

    After around 4 days the baby Betta fry will become free swimming and your male will be struggling to keep them all near the nest. The male should be removed at this time.


  12. Step 12

    Once your male has been removed you can turn on your sponge filter, very lightly at first till the fry grow a little and can handle the current. You should be able to control the air flow with your valve.


  13. Step 13

    It is now time to start feeding your tiny Betta fry. Microworms are a good first food choice. You can find live cultures online, make sure to have these ready to go before you start your breeding. Put some Microworms in a cup of water and use an eye dropper to place them in your breeding tank. 2-3 drops should be good. If you watch closely you will see your fry eating the Mircoworms, there bellies will become white when they are full of food. The baby fry should be feed every 4-6 hours, a very demanding schedule. If you can't feed that often your fry will grow slower. If you still see Microworms on the bottom of the tank when you go for your next feeding skip it. Microworms in the tank for more then 24 hours should be removed carefully with a siphon, don't suck up any fry. Continue this feeding process for 3-4 weeks.


  14. Step 14

    Once your baby Betta fry begin to grow they will need larger foods. Cutting up frozen bloods worms into tiny little pieces is a good second food. Frozen Daphnia work as well. At first you should combine this new food with the Microworms till it appears all the fry are starting to eat the larger foods.


  15. Step 15

    As your Betta fry continue to grow you will need to start adding water your 10 gallon aquarium, slowly raising the water level over time to give the fish room to grow. Continue to keep adding larger and larger pieces of food to your breeding tank. The fry are quite good at tearing up larger pieces of food as they grow.


  16. Step 16

    Around 8 weeks you will want to start separating the male Bettas into their own containers. Females can continue to be housed together. Most male Bettas will begin to show elongated fins at this time and will often be somewhat aggressive to the other baby Bettas. They will be fairly easy to spot.


  17. Step 17

    Now that you have a bunch of new Bettas it is time to find good homes from them. If you live in a warmer climate outdoor ponds are a good spot. Give them away to friends and family. You can often get credit at local pet shops as well for future supplies. You should have places for your fish to go before you breed them.

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