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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I knew bettas, well enough for having them as tank pets, at least. I got two yesterday, male and female, and put them in a 30g tank with plants and rocks and hidey holes. I've kept bettas in this tank before with a sinilar set up and had no issues, so I didn't bother with any research before buying them.

Oh. Looks like they ought not be kept together according to many sources on the internets. OK, I'll deal with that next, but right now they are thinking about spawning. Less than 24 hours after being freed from the Dixie cups, they apparently feel up to breeding. After they spawn, will the male take out the female, or will he be busy enough looking after the nest to leave her alone (assuming she stays away)?

I don't want babies; should I assume that their efforts will fail or do I need to remove any eggs? The tank is uncycled and the bettas (plus a few tiny ghost shrimp) are the only residents.

What should I do with them? Thanks for any advice.
 

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If I were you, I would leave them alone. My guppies had their first spawn a few weeks ago, and as soon as the female guppy finished, my female bettas were hunting and eating them. But, if you have alot of caves and such, a few will more than likely survive. Don't ghost shrimp eat eggs?( I assume bettas are egg layers). Just my 2 cents, correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
These shrimp are so tiny, they're more likely to be betta food. :) The eggs are in a bubble nest floating at the top of the tank and are being guarded by a surly male betta. I'm mostly concerned the female will get in trouble with him. Sure, they're all cuddly now, but....
 

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Children Boogie
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I've bred some bettas..

You should have more than one females with the male.. The male will pick on that one too much.. If you give him a hareem, things will be more calm..
And the girls will fight amongst themselves too but it should settle down with time...

If you don't want fries, you can destroy the bubble nest now. The male will take care of the nest and the fries. He will fight anything that will come near it.

If you have other fish in the tank, they might pick off the fries when they become free swimming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks mrgreen. Do you think that while there's already a nest it would be OK to leave just the two fish in? I was sort of hoping to cycle before adding more, but if I need a distraction I guess I could change the water that much more.
 

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The male will be highly aggressive while he guards the nest. I'd give the female plenty of hiding places away from the nest...that way she does not feel compelled to hide under the nest. The male may see her and attack...in some cases (never happened to me), the female will help tend the nest. If this is not your case, in a 30g I would think that there is enough room for the female to stay safe. In about 24/48 hrs, the eggs will hatch, and the fry will "swim" up and down with Daddy trying to keep them in the nest. After about 3 days, the fry will become "free swimming". At this time, the dad my start to eat them because he can't keep them in the nest, and is just tired and hungry (I always removed dad before this happened)...I think, once the fry are free swimming, that the male would not be as aggressive, and the female would be out of danger. They both will start to actively hunt and eat the fry. The Ghost Shrimp should clean up any dead fry on the bottom of the tank. You can feed the fry microworms, and use the fry as "natural" food for the Betta. If not fed, all the fry will be dead in a week (maybe 2).
 

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Children Boogie
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I have left the male in with the fries... still... He's not the greatest of dad but they're all co-existing.. I started with 30 fries but there's 6 4 months old fries with him now... He was the culler, not me. The female fries are taking advantage of him... The dad is aggressive toward the boys but leave the girls alone. But the girls will nip at his fin when given the chance.

they're pretty funny. They always jump for their food.

And raising fries is a dirty business. That's why you raise them in a pretty bare tank so you can clean it weekly or daily even.

oh. ps.
SuzieQ,
do you leave your shrimps in with your bettas?
I know bettas like to kill things even if they don't eat them.
 

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I'm sorry, I don't understand why you would keep a male and female together if you don't want babies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks y'all. I guess I'll leave her in there and maybe add some extra cover. If he gets rough I can send her to live with some large but mild-mannered fishies.

Is it normal for bettas to spawn often? I've never had bettas spawn before but I've never stuck them in totally unused water before now.
 

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he will most likely beat her up. if he is not ready to spawn, he will most likely run her away. if they spawn, he will run her away too. a female can mate with a male a week or two after previously mating. the same male will be too busy guarding the fry.
 

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SuzieQ,
do you leave your shrimps in with your bettas?
I know bettas like to kill things even if they don't eat them.
I have not bred Betta this yr. I had a major problem with my females over the winter. I lost all of them...2 to Dropys, and one from unknown reasons. I have yet to find any that "I just can't resist". I have just gotten the GS, and keep the 3 adult I have left with a male VT Betta. He does not bother them at all...as matter of fact when I fed this morning, he was just hanging out with them (so funny to watch). I have not decided if I want to experiment and keep GS with a nesting male or not. I'd be afraid the GS would actively hunt the fry before they become free swimming. I don't like the idea of "culling" the fry myself, so I have thought about adding the GS to let "nature" cull, kinda like the way you did. That way only the healthiest survive.

Addition:

With only 1 breeding pair, it will take about 4 weeks for the female to develope more eggs (or at least that was my experience). I have read somewhere that a breeder kept a breeding pair together all the time, and let them "free spawn" (when ever THEY were ready), and this male had several different spawns in the same nest. If the male is passive, then it should be ok to leave the female in the tank with him, and like you said you can always remove her if he gets too aggressive. Betta spawning is aggressive, so expect the female to get beat up a little.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the tips. This male doesn't seem too aggressive. A slight tailfin tear on the female from spawning, but right now she's checking him out pretty close and he's not getting excited. Meanwhile, he has slid his eggs behind the heater and filter spraybar. He's not exactly being the showpiece I expected, but he seems pretty dedicated. :)

It might be nice to have a few of the toughest fry make it. I can't dedicate more tanks to males though, so they had best be girls!
 

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I HAVE heard reports of a few males be able to live together IF (and only if) they are raised together from fry and are never ever ever ever ever seperated. ever. like, seriously, ever. one gets sick, they all gotta be treated in the same tank.

Never tried it... but I heard of someone who did.
 

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I HAVE heard reports of a few males be able to live together IF (and only if) they are raised together from fry and are never ever ever ever ever seperated. ever. like, seriously, ever. one gets sick, they all gotta be treated in the same tank.

Never tried it... but I heard of someone who did.
One of the lfs had a 29g (I think...maybe a little bigger) with 3 unrelated male Betta in the tank. They were the most passive of the shipment they got in...none of them would flare when set next to another male. They got along fine...there was a pecking order, but the domenant male did not pick on the lower ranking male. They all swam close to each other, and none were flaring. I thought that was cool. My BF VT "Rover" is passive like that. He will not challage my other male "Splash", and Splash would like to eat Rover alive. Rover is a passive spawner also...he had never torn a female up during spawning...Splash on the other hand is aggressive when spawning...I have to make sure I stay by the tank during the entire spawn, or he might kill his female (Splash is the male that I have with the GS, so he is not aggressive, nor does he "KILL" just because. Betta are (IMO) the most miss understood fish (that I have kept). Most people think they "KILL" just to kill, and that they will fight to the death...so not true...they only fight to be "top dog" and have the right to breed with any female...just like most things in nature...ever watched elephants during mating season?...Deer?...Lions? They don't kill, granted the loser may die from injuries, but the winner did not keep fighting until they died...sorry, I think I put more thought into this than what was needed...
Enjoy your beauties, and good luck with any fry that live!
 

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Children Boogie
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One of the lfs had a 29g (I think...maybe a little bigger) with 3 unrelated male Betta in the tank. They were the most passive of the shipment they got in...none of them would flare when set next to another male. They got along fine..
hmm. I wonder if they're not a hybrid bettas of some sort. That's not typical male behavior. I keep my one adult male betta with my fries and the adult would flare and chase the male fries just a little bit at least.
 

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Hmmmm. You know, this makes me wonder if it would be possible to breed fairly passive bettas? I'd always assumed that if they were passive they probably wouldn't breed well, but this seems to put the lie to that. Wouldn't it be great if you could get several males in a tank? I just always thought it would be so beautiful to have a "school" :hihi: (tongue firmly in cheek here, I know they wouldn't school,) of male bettas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think most modern betta lovers don't want them to fight and would be pretty pleased with passive bettas. You could trademark them and call 'em "Siamese Loving Fish". Might need to pull in some wild types to get enough genetic variation to work with but hey! It's a worthy goal. No more cups!

I'm just amazed at how much natural behavior they still have after all the selective breeding. It's nice they haven't gone the way of the turkey industry yet...
 

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Oh, trust me.. the bettas you have now, (CT, VT, etc..) are the the tame ones.. They have been bred to be less aggressive in addition to the finnage.. The wild/fighting bettas are ferocious.. The closest to a wild betta splendens if there is such a thing any more is the khun/cambodian variety.

Theoretically, you can breed the aggressiveness out of the bettas but how fun would they be? Their attitude would be gone and they'd turn into Danios or something.

And i'm sure there would be genetic defects from inbreeding.


There are other species of 'non-aggressive' bettas.. I'm surprised we don't see more besides just betta splendens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I see some genetic defects in my bettas from inbreeding. To start, they are pretty darn brightly colored.
 
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