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  1. #1
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    Betta albimarginata

    Anybody have experience spawning wild bettas? I know a few people have had them. I picked up a pair of Betta albimarginata while at the ACA from Aquatic Clarity. They are in a 10 gallon tank with lots of java moss and naja grass. The water is a mixture of hard tap water and rain water (hard to come by this Summer...). They were fairly lethargic when I first brought them home but seem more active after a week. The female is more bold than the male; the first one to eat and always exploring the tank. Sometimes I can't even see the male when he gets into the plants. He's coming out more and more. I finally saw him eat a bloodworm yesterday. I have them in a bare bottom tank and they seem to like to pick at food on the bottom. I also put a lot of grindal worms in there but they don't seem to eat them with much gusto.
    Should I separate the male and female for a while before I try to spawn them or just leave them together and let nature take its course?
    Should I try to get my water softer and more acidic? Almond leaves maybe?
    Let me know your experience.
    Thanks,
    Roy

    PS - No, I don't have any pictures of them yet. I've tried but haven't gotten any good ones. If I get one I'll post it.

  2. #2
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    Im no expert on these but I would say live foods would be your best bet for getting these in breeding condition.

  3. #3
    they're not a very active fish. your should have no trouble spawning them in our water. bloodworms and brine shrimp worked for me. separate the female when you think the male is done brooding and pull him after he spits, otherwise leave them together.

  4. #4
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    Here's some pics I just snapped. The male is about 1 1/4" body length. The female is slightly larger.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    http://www.ibcbettas.org/smp/species/albimarginata.html

    check out this site, it is maintained by the IBC.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the link, Robert.
    Well after doing a quick water change this morning, I came back by a few minutes later to see the male and female slowly dancing around each other. There was definitely some smooth moves going on; the male wrapped himself around the female at least once that I saw. I didn't observe any eggs though and a little later I saw the male eating so he obviously wasn't mouthbrooding any eggs. Maybe they were just practicing. They might still be young; not sure. I also think they need to fatten up more but I definitely feel like I'm on the right track with these guys.
    Roy

  7. #7
    They are old enough to start going. The pair you got from me cam out of a small breeding group were at least one of the males has already carried a spawn. I stripped him 4-5 to early though and the eggs (with the starts of heads and tails) didn't make it though.

    Slightly softer water (100-150ppm) and a pH in the 6.5-7.0 range will help a lot. Live foods are almost a must to get the female into good condition. I use live baby brine shrimp 2x a day and live black worms a few times a week.

    Good luck with them! They are a pretty easy mouthbrooding Betta (B. channoides has been a little easier for me, but not by much) and this batch of wild caught ones were about the best I've ever seen.

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info Jeff! I'm really enjoying these. I'm feeding them frozen bloodworms and live grindal worms and frozen brine shrimp.

  9. #9
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    OK, I'm reasonably sure that the male is holding now. I've watched him the last 2 days and he will not come out of the thick Java moss and eat like he had been. He's also lost all color and I think I can see a bit of a bulge in his throat; it's hard to tell for sure.
    Here he is:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a picture of the overall 10 gallon tank. I just moved the female from the main part and put her in the hex tank inside the 10 gallon. This will prevent her from harassing the male which I've been told can be a problem.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Roy

  10. #10
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    very cool how you got them set up.

  11. #11
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    FYI.... Im a little jealous

  12. #12
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    Still not sure if my male is really holding or not. He has become extremely reclusive and barely comes out of the java moss so I take that as a good sign I guess. He has regained some of his red color. Not sure if he’s eating since I don’t see much of him. The thing that bothers me the most is that I really don’t see that his throat is bulging like I think it should but I’m not familiar with this species to know what a holding male should look like. From what I’ve read, the male will hold for about 12 days so I’ve probably got another 5-7 day before I would see any babies if there are going to be any.
    Roy

  13. #13
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    Well I’ve been convinced that my male was holding for a while now but my faith was beginning to waiver. According to what I have read, these guys are only supposed to hold for an average of 12 days and it had been 19 days yesterday since I first saw spawning activity and 15 days since I removed the female. I got so frustrated yesterday that I finally scooped the male up in a net and took him out of the water for a few seconds just to see if that would spook him enough to spit anything out. He didn’t spit so I figured “Well great! He’s not holding but he’s not eating so what the #@! is wrong with him.”
    So it’s Monday morning and I’m trying to quickly feed the fish before I go to work and I notice that the male is acting strangely animated and actually seems to have a visible bulge in his throat for once. I look a little closer around the tank and finally spot one little baby sitting motionless just above the bottom glass. Babies are a little smaller than I thought they would be and are not much more than ”. Being the idiot that I am, I have no live baby brine shrimp going so I swirl some microworms into the tank and some frozen baby brine. Hopefully there’s some goodies living on the plants and stuff around the tank too. I’ve been told that males will not eat babies so I hope that’s true. Can’t wait to get home and see how many are in there. I bet there’s only 4 or 5 at most. They have small broods and I just can’t imagine that he was holding very many.
    Roy

  14. #14
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    Awesome. I hope you come home to a nice group.

  15. #15
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    that's great new!

  16. #16
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    news

  17. #17
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    OK well... I'm pretty sure I don't have any more fry left in there. I'm not too discouraged though. It's a learning process and I can see some things I want to do different next time. I'm sure they'll spawn again once I re-introduce them to each other as they are both healthy and vibrant. I just want to wait another week or so and let the male get in peak condition.
    Problem #1: From what I had read on the Internet, it is safe to leave the male with the fry. I don't think that's true as I'm almost certain I saw the daddy chomp down on a little one. Subsequent reading on the Internet has some people saying it's safe and other people saying it's not safe to leave fry with the father so there seems to be mixed info on that. I'm going to say that it's not safe. Next time I will remove the fry as best as I can to a safe place.
    Problem #2: I think a 10 gallon tank is too big to raise a few tiny fry in. I have to load the tank with BBS to get enough in there for the few little ones to see it. Next time I will put the fry in something smaller so they can find food easier.
    As I said, I'm not discouraged and still enjoy these fish. They are interesting and beautiful. It helps that I have them in a 10 gallon that is about 5 feet off the floor so right at eye-level where I can really see them. They are not shy and stay right up front even when I'm ogling them. They are mostly calm and methodical in their movements and always seem to be prowling for morsels like little hunters. Beleive me, if I can ever have some succes with spawning them then I will be excited to share them with all of you.
    Roy

  18. #18
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    Keep trying! I hope you get enough for BAP.

  19. #19
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    Keep them in a small plastic container and feed micro worms. Siphon out the left overs daily. And Roy I have gift for you!

  20. #20
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    I put the female back in with the male this morning and there were immediate sparks. This is a pretty happy couple here.


    Bradley, I definitely plan on doing that the next time I get fry. What do you have for me?? Did you visit with Mike Downey?
    Roy

  21. #21
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    pair of barbatus

  22. #22
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    Ok folks! I finally have babies. It has been 20 days since they spawned but he finally spit them out. Whoever said on the Internet that they hold for 12 days was crazy or my fish just didn't read that article. Unfortunately he picked a bad day to finally spit because I'm really busy today. Isn't that always the way? I had just enough time to catch the tiny babies and put them in a bowl with some green water and microworms before I ran out the door. Will check on them tomorrow. I think I have 14 of them.

  23. #23
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    Those are some awesome looking fish roy. And congrats ont he fry!! Good luck with them bub!

  24. #24
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    Well it's been one week and so far things are OK. I haven't wanted to post anything and jinx it so we'll see... After a thorough count, I actually started with 17 babies and I've had one die early on. I counted this morning and have 16 so I think that's pretty good. My main concern at this point is that they are very inactive and I don't see them gobbling up any food. I think (hope!) that they are slowing picking at food when they get around to it during the course of the day. I'm putting lots of microworms in there and some greenwater and live baby brine shrimp when I can get it. I also put some grindal worms in there today but I don't think the fry are big enough for them yet unless the worms are still small/young. I still have them in a bowl and changing most of the water each day with pure rainwater. So that's the latest.
    Roy

  25. #25
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    Thought I'd share this pic of my baby albis. Here's what one looks like close to 4 weeks old. They are finally getting big enough to start eating some grindal worms and they are becoming a little more active. I believe I've only had one die so I believe there are 16 in my little set-up. And I just put the feamle back in with the male today so they can get started on the next batch.
    Roy
    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #26
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    Cool looking fish. Glad everything is going better.

  27. #27
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    they are getting some nice size on them!

  28. #28
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    This thread has sort of become a blog... But anyway, wanted to share my latest frustration. After 3 weeks of holding his 3rd batch, the male spit out babies and then immediately ate them. I've been watching him closely knowing that it was time for him to spit and between last evening and first thing this morning he spit them out and ate all but one. So I have one tiny fry saved from this latest batch. Great parenting skills there stupid fish!!

 

 

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