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oh my god!! i think my bettas are breeding. the male wrap his body around the females body and some eggs are dropping and they pick it up and put it in the bubble nest. what should i do next? i want the fry to survive. pease help!!!!ASAP...
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

If the pair is alone in a tank, when the female has stopped dropping the eggs, remove her immediately to another tank. Are there other fish in the tank with your male and female? If so, you need to remove the male and break up the bubble nest.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

Congratulations Alexcb, and welcome to one of the parts of fishkeeping that makes it so much fun :). We have on staff here the best Betta experts in the Nation. When Rose sees this post she will do a back flip, as Betta keeping is her specialty and she will im sure walk you through the entire process.


Sounds like to me though youre gonna be a proud Granpa *n1
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

Yes I hope you have removed your female so she and the male do not fight and injure each other and yes as sad as it might be if there are other fish in that tank you will need to do as was asked and break the bubblenest and destroy the eggs or the other fish will be in dire danger from the bettas. This is not fair I realize but necessary and perhaps for the best as you were not planning for this spawning and it would be much better if the whole of your tank could survive. If there are no other fish in the tank then and the female has been removed then here is what you do to start with.

FOR TODAY there is little to do but watch after the female is removed and the male is guarding the eggs. You can offer food but I am doubting he will eat. His full attention will be on those eggs. She will want to eat and rest so try to feed her and then let her rest. I am hoping she will not be in a community setting. Otherwise just observe and enjoy.

The male needs to stay with the eggs as it is his job to defend and protect the fry. You will need to watch closely though as when they begin to be able to survive outside the eggs in a few days he may go after them.

You will need to feed and care for the female like she was sick as she is exhausted I am sure so I am hoping she will not be put into a community tank even if she is in a clean plastic container of some sort with room to swim in.

When the fry are big enough to swim free of the eggs you will need to move the male the same way to a place of his own for the time being, NOT with the female. They cannot be together again until it is time to spawn again and that will not be for several months unless you want to work yourself to death.

No matter what happens though the main thing I need to tell you is that the male and female cannot be left together no matter what the situation is, whether the eggs survived or not, whether there are other fish or not, or whether the fry survived or not, those two fish need to be in seperate tanks.

Congratulations and I do hope for the best for you. You are going to have a full time job and much responsibility on your hands for the coming months and I envy you and I also in some ways would not trade places with you. Start collecting clean and I really mean very clean quart jars and running them through the dishwasher with no soap but at high temperature wash. This will sterilize them for the male fry when it becomes apparent which are males. If you do not have a dishwasher put them in a large kettle on the stove and boil them in clean water for 30 to 40 minutes and allow the water to cool to room temperature before removing them from the water and then air dry them ... no towel. Then just pack them away in a large clean box like you get from the grocery store until they are needed and dont crowd them so they get chipped. Don't wrap them in newspaper either.

You are going to need a grow out tank for the female fry unless you plan on using the tank you are now having fry in and the filter for the tank the bubble nest is in will need to be blocked somehow in the intake or it will suck the fry into it when they get freeswimming.

Try to get some filter floss and cover the intake by wrapping it with floss and tying it with thread or a rubber band or fishing cord or anything that will hold it. It needs to be completely covered but not blocked so much that the flow is totally cut off.

Ideally there needs to be sponge filters being seeded in the tank for your grow out tank so you need to get some sponge filters and have then gently bubbling in the background of the tank so they are seeding from your established filter. Then when you start your new tank you will have a cycled filter for it. Sponge filters work fantastically for fry as they are very gentle and there is no way the fry can be sucked into them or damaged by them. Then the original filter can be used for the male or female whichever you choose.

I think this is enough for you to digest for the moment and I will come back later to answer any immediate questions you may have but for now you need to be working on getting your little family settled.

Congratulations once again and do not worry too much. I will be here and we will try to get through this together. Be aware that sometimes first time betta parents do not know what to do and the first time the process does not work but it is not anyone's fault, just the way of nature.

Rose
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

thanks for the fast reply guys. they were in a 2.5g tank and i already removed the female. but i noticed that the bubbles are decreasing. i dont know why the male not making bubbles anymore. i saw a lot of eggs falling from the female and the male caught them and put in the nest. should i feed the male to avoid cannibalism? im very sad to see the thick and broad bubblenest decreasing. i already told the kids in our neighbor that ill give them all bettas if the spawning succed. ill be so sorry if i disappoint them. but im keeping my finger crossed. wish to have frys even just enough for the kids.
by the way, i didnt feed them since yesterday after introducing them coz i heard they must not be disturb not even feed them.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

Check the tank one more time and see if there are signs of eggs (any at all) in the bubblenest. If there are none then do as is follows. If there are some and you think you want to go on then leave the male for one more day and let him try to defend the bubble nest and if it disappears then you do as follows. If the male is working at the bubble nest there are viable eggs there if he is gone from it there are none. Remember that there are always going to be fry falling from the nest and him putting them back for the first few days so this is normal as long as they are alive.

Sometimes the first attempt by the parents is just not successful. there can be some eggs but they do not know what to do with them the first time. It is not going to be a cannibalism situation. Perhaps there were not any viable eggs or any that got fertilized properly or any that were properly cared for by the parents.

You have to remember that this is an exhausting process for the parents and they were neither conditioned ahead of time. This is usually a process that takes a long time before the pair are generally even introduced to each other building them both up with special food to build up their strength to help them to make it through the ordeal of spawning. I think that maybe they just were not physically ready to make it through this and none of the eggs survived.

This is the reason that you do not keep a mating pair together so you can have more control of them and make sure they are prepared when they do try this. It is not your fault because you did not know this but the next time you and they will all be wiser. For one thing there are a lot of things you will need to get if you are serious about this and some reading you need to do so you will be able to set up the situation to better meet your needs.

You need a minimum of a 10 gallon for a breeding tank and there is a set up that is needed for it ahead of time and you will need to be getting the sponge filters that I mentioned earlier and have them bubbling in the established tank so they will be ready for your breeding tank.

For today though you need to care for two devastated parents who are tired and discouraged. You need to feed them and you need to dispose of the remnants of the bubble nest so as not to keep your male riled up. Then you need to turn off any lighting and allow those fish to rest and get their bodies rejuvenated and see if they will recoup their strength and it may take several days for this to happen so don't be surprised to see them not themselves for a while. Do not overfeed but several small meals a day like small meals 3 or 4 times a day would be in order. Bloodworms would be the best not pellets.

You need to watch your water parameters of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tanks where they are very closely the next few days and when they need a small water change they should have one. If they show any sign of illness they need to be cared for as this is when they will be the most vulnerable.

I am so sorry that this has happened but do not be too discouraged as once it has happened it will happen again but the next time it can be done step by step and the fish prepared ahead of time and they will have better luck. I would not count my bettas before they are hatched though as nature does not generally work this way.

You do have my sympathies.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

If the male is putting the fry back into the nest then you need to feed the female and see that she has some darker conditions to rest. (daylight is fine just no artificial light) and do not bother the male. I am sorry to say that they should both have been getting special and extra foods for the last 2 weeks prior to trying this so they were strengthened and many males die from exhaustion as during the time they tend the nest they will generally not take the time to eat or sleep or anything else and should not be disturbed to try to make them do anything else. No do not try to feed or tend your male unless the nest is dead. He will be busy and it would make him vicious to be interupted. If he stops tending the nest then it is time to remove him from the tank and if there are fry there then you will need to have live BABY BRINE SHRIMP for them to start eating as it is all they will eat.

You can get the hatcheries online and at most pet stores and the instructions are with them. There is a product put out by Atison's (Ocean Nutrition) that is supposed to be a Betta starter food but I have not ever used it and do not know how well they accept it. Perhaps someone else who has bred bettas has and can chime in here.

You have a lot to accomplish in a relatively short period of time and my hopes are with you.

Rose
 
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Re: alexcb needs help

When I did breed bettas (just once), they were an inexperienced couple and young. The male did let the bubblenest reduce a bit in size to begin with. If you take a magnifying glass and look from the bottom of the tank up into the nest you will see if there are any eggs in there. After all the work, I had 23 surviving fry with a waiting list of people who wanted them. So, hopefully you will have some eggs in your nest. If you don't, you can try again after resting and conditioning the pair. They'll do a better job next time.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

Yes I think there are probably a few in there too.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

he still guards the nest and i think there are some eggs in there. is hard boiled egg yolk ok for the free swimming fry? and i conditioned them foe about 2 weeks by giving them mosquito wrigglers and earthworms cut small and pellets with vit E and fish oil for omega3. only experementing...
i have a 10g and 5g spare in case some fry survive and im now nursing the female. giving her food all the time but in small quantity and wc a little everyday with aged water that i prepare in a container prior to the spawning. i love these couple more now. with or without fry. i felt we have undergo a very dangerous situation and glad we came out alive hehehe.
thanks again guys
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

I only used liquifry, which I understand was basically boiled egg yolk, and then newly hatched brine shrimp. They will live at first off their egg sack, but you should be starting to feed liquifry or similar right away to build up the infusoria which they will eat at first. I tried boiled egg yolk on dwarf gourami's, it fouled the water too easily. But that's just me. I know Chickadee will have detailed instructions for you when the fry hatch about feeding.

One thing to remember, when the fry hatch, you need to lower the water level to about 4 inches. The fry are very tiny and labarynth breathers, so they need to make it to the top for air. Make certain a film doesn't cover the top or they won't be able to break through it to breath.

Congrats and please keep us informed.

P.S. Have two brine shrimp hatcheries going at once, started 2 or 3 days apart. So when you run out of the first, the second will be just hatching and you can re-load the first one. That way you will never run out of newly hatched artemia for the babies.
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

i noticed that as the bubbles decrease the males tummy is getting bigger. he looks pregnant already. i think he is eating the eggs slowly thats why i decided to remove him. is it possidle to have some live fry? they spawn last friday, will the eggs hatch tomorrow or on monday? im planning to feed them boiled eggyolk coz its hard to find bbs in our place even fbw. i will feed them wrigglers when theyre big enough. how may weeks before i can do that?

im really thankful i found this site!!!

geat site with great people!!!!

thanks a lot!!!
 

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Re: alexcb needs help

The problem with having no parent to tend the nest at all is that if the fry drop out of the nest there will be no parent to put them back in and they will die as they do not have swimming capabilities. I do not know if the male was eating them instead of helping them but it would seem that this is a possibility. It is so hard to make judgement calls when you are not there but I think you are just going to have to take chances with the call you made now that he is out of there I do not see a turning back.

You would start with the feeding when they become free swimming but until then they are being fed from their egg sac and getting all they need from it. If they are unable to maintain their place in the nest they are not going to survive. But once they can be wigglers outside of the nest and maintain their position they need to be fed. I do know that fishfinder is right though and you do need to get that water level down somehow but very carefully since it will disturb the wigglers. You cannot do much now as it will tear your nest apart but you must do it as soon as you note that they are starting to go free swimming as they will not survive for long with that much water in the tank.

This is why it really pays to do your homework ahead of time and while I am not scolding you I hope that everyone else who is thinking of doing this will please take note that some of these things need to be done before you introduce your fish not after.

If you ever do this again the breeding tank needs to be your 10 gallon with the recommended 4 inches of water in it from the beginning and then there will be no wondering how we will get the right environment for the fry. OK? The smaller tanks can then be used for the parents when they need to be moved out of the breeding tank.

The best recommendation I would give you would be to set up the 10 gallon and put the 4 inches of water in it as you would have to set up a breeding tank. When the fry become free swimming you delicately transfer them by gently dipping them out in a clean jar and gently moving them into the 10 gallon where they will be in the environment they should be in anyway. You are going to have to be very gentle but one way or another the fry are going to be buffetted by water rushing about them whether it be by removing water from the small tank or by being moved to the larger tank and I am thinking it would be easier to be gentle moving them one time than to take the chance in taking out the water from the other tank and really slosh it around them. But in the end I will leave it up to you as to whether you think it would be easier for you to do it the other way and simply try to remove enough water from the 2.5 gallon tank to get the water level down and leave the fry where they are. Like I said it is difficult to play quarterback when you are not there on the 50 yard line.

The big thing is there are going to have to be water changes starting with their free swimming status and I mean daily water changes. These are going to be ticklish situations as they are still very fragile fish and you will not be able to just go at it like you are filling a tank with full grown fish in it. This is another reason why I am thinking the move to a new tank would be good. Most breeding tanks that I have seen set up do not have substrate for the reason that it is cleaner and it is easier to maintain. You just do water changes ... period. The fry do not really have much in the way of waste so there is not any syphoning or anything like that. But their environment needs to be as pristine and clear of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates as possible to allow for good formation of body type and fins. Even small amounts of these substances will deform bodies and fins to the point of making the fish unhealthy or not even able to be allowed to live. Since they are going to have a sponge filter some of this will be handled but they are still going to need daily water changes of about 2 gallons per day in the 10 gallon set up that we spoke of. The way that I would accomplish this is to take a tank divider and move all the fry to one side of the tank gently with it and gently remove slowly the first gallon of water from the side where the fish are not and allow the water level to equalize on both sides then remove the second gallon from the side where the fish are not and slowly allow the first of the replacement gallons to pour gently into the side that the fish are blocked from. Never work into the side where the fry are in. Then add the second gallon in the side where there are no fry. When the levels have equalized you can remove the divider until the next day and allow them to have the run of the tank again. Or if you do not want to have the trouble of putting the divider up and down every day, put the divider up and leave it in the tank for the time being and don't take it down until the fry become bigger. They will have a lot of room to swim in and the water will equalize around the edges and through the holes in the divider fine anyway.
 
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Re: alexcb needs help

I'm sorry your male began eating the eggs. It happens, especially if the male feels his family is threatend or when he is young and inexperienced. But you do have one more chance at hatching any surviving eggs to the prolarvae stage (hatching) and then to the fry stage.

Hopefully you have a bare tank bottom which will make things easier. First, you will need to protect the eggs from mold by adding methyline blue (I believe I used 1/4 the does recommended). The Dad performed this task when he caught any falling eggs and spit them back into the nest.

Secondly drop the water level down to 2 inches instead of 4. This gives the babies a chance to make it to the surface easily. They will fall out of the nest and need to be close to the top of the water where it is more oxygenated.

I'd really advice against using egg yolk since it fouls the water. There is another product you may be able to find called first bites by Hikari. Its a powdered food. Or you may be able to start your own infusaria to feed them.

Please let us know if they hatch. By the way. When you drop the water level, do it with a tiny siphon, made of airline tubing with a small rigid airline tubing inserted into the end. Be careful not to get close to the eggs or the bottom of the tank where you might suck out the eggs.

So:
1. Add Methyline Blue
2. Drop the water level.

If these things do not work, you can try again in a few weeks. Hope this helps.
 

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If you go to the store and get a turkey baster and use it very carefully it will work too if you do not feel comfortable with a syphon in this situation but you just stay as far away from the nest as possible so as not to suck up the fry. You can slowly take the amount of water down this way and not cause an over movement of the water. Just go to the farthest corner away from the nest and do the removal very slowly.

You may want to remove your heater as the amount of water in the small tank will not be sufficient to keep that heater from overheating the water and cooking the fry.

The only other product that I know of that will work and I have checked with a friend who used it on her betta fry recently is the Atison's Betta Starter Food. It is a powder form of food and fry can handle it and it will not foul the water.

Rose
 
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Discussion Starter #17
eggs hatched! they are moving like yoyos. i lowered the water but some fry stucked to the glass. a lot of unfertilized eggs turning white. the water is bluish due to methylene blue. i will be looking for betta starter or microworm today in lfs. hope to find some. btw, no heater. Im here in the Philippines, a tropical country. when will they become free swimming and can start feeding?
 

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In 3 - 4 days. Have you tried counting the ones that you have yet? I know its hard, they keep 'hopping' and moving around, hiding in the plants, etc. Congrats on making it through the first hurdle.
 

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its not as easy as i thought but very challenging. i also learned a lot. but the biggest problem is the feed. btw, what should i do with the white eggs (dead)? the parents are in good shape now. they eat a lot and very active. the male keeps on making bubbles in his jar. wc daily the female and some methylene blue. really no problem with the parents. i just wish some of them survive and eat betta starter feed.
im planning to make a small shallow fishnet to catch the fry. maybe the size of a teaspoon.
 

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The fry will be way too tiny and fragile to catch in a fishnet. In several weeks, you'll be able to catch them in a clear glass. You can then put them each in their own quart jar for boys, and in a community tank for the girls. Since I had so few fry, I housed each of them in their own quart jars when they got big enough and/or agressive enough to be removed from the fry tank.

After the fry become free swimming and no more remain on the bottom, the bad eggs need to be removed. It takes a delicate touch. That's why I suggested a very precise little siphon that you can make very cheaply.

I'm glad to hear that mom and dad are both doing well. Sounds like you are doing an excellent job. And good luck finding the fry food. If they are in an established tank with plants, they should be okay for a day or two when they become free swimming because there will be some infusoria in the tank already. You may be able to grow your own infusoria if you have a pond or lake nearby where you can collect some water and water plants, as long as they aren't polluted. There will be tiny bugs in the water that you can't see. It would be better if you can find one of the powdered fry foods. Do you have friends or a local aquarium club who could help you out with some of the first foods?
 
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