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Old 04-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Breeding betttas

I want to try and breed my veil tails, this is just for fun, not for a business so it's not a tragedy if it doesn't work.

What I was thinking:

Put in a divider in my tank and have the male on one side and female on the other. The divider will be clear so they can see eachother. Then I would take out the divider if the male makes the bubble nest and see what happens.

I'm no expert so I'd like some tips on how to do this. I don't plan on changing there diet or anything, but tips is helpful ! Thanks
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Any tips ??? I'm doing this tonight so fast replies are appreciated
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by warrior13 View Post
I want to try and breed my veil tails, this is just for fun, not for a business so it's not a tragedy if it doesn't work.

What I was thinking:

Put in a divider in my tank and have the male on one side and female on the other. The divider will be clear so they can see eachother. Then I would take out the divider if the male makes the bubble nest and see what happens.

I'm no expert so I'd like some tips on how to do this. I don't plan on changing there diet or anything, but tips is helpful ! Thanks
You need to change their diet to condition them to breed. If they aren't getting the right diet, the female won't produce her eggs. You also want to wait until the female shows vertical breeding stripes (unless she is light colored, they won't show stripes) and she will be swimming with her head down if she is feeling receptive to the male's advances. Please realize that they stand a good chance of killing each other if they aren't ready.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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+ 1 to Alyxx PLUS the fact that, where are you going to put the parents IF you are lucky enough to have a spawning? Females need to be removed immediately after spawning then the male needs to removed once the fry have begun free swimming. You need to get a bit more info on proper breeding methods for Bettas. It's a LOT more complicated than putting a male and female together.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Also, what are you planning on feeding the fry when they hatch? Crushed flakes won't work for betta fry, they need small live food like brine shrimp or microworms. It's too late to try and get a microworm culture going in time, but can you get brine shrimp eggs in the next day or so?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
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Also, what are you planning on feeding the fry when they hatch? Crushed flakes won't work for betta fry, they need small live food like brine shrimp or microworms. It's too late to try and get a microworm culture going in time, but can you get brine shrimp eggs in the next day or so?
I thought even BBS was too big for baby bettas.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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I thought even BBS was too big for baby bettas.
That's what most people say, although I have heard of some people feeding brine to their newly hatched fry. Microworms are a much better choice, though.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #8
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If you just have them together with a clear divider, they're more likely to antagonize each other if they're not conditioned.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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New hatched brine shrimp are a no-no. for some reason or another they mess with the fry's swim bladders and cause problems. Use microworms. The parents HAVE to be conditioned and you must have an idea of the males age. It not an easy process. And some pairs will fight to the death. I put my current breeding male in with 4 females and let the fish make the choice. The was some heavy fighting as my big female took an instant dislike to the male and that battle had to be broken up with a net. He ended up choosing a red female and she choose him and all the other girls were removed. Now the pair are going through the courtship, nest is built and the male is trying to coax the female under. It could take a week or more to happen. and they will have to be under observation, cuz as soon as the mating is done, the female has to be removed as she will eat the eggs, or the male will bully her to death defending his nest. It's not as simple as it looks. So far in 5 or 6 attempts I have had 2 fry survive. But that was a long time ago before I learned more from the net and some good folks here ....Take a bow Alyxx and Oohitsae!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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New hatched brine shrimp are a no-no. for some reason or another they mess with the fry's swim bladders and cause problems. Use microworms. The parents HAVE to be conditioned and you must have an idea of the males age. It not an easy process. And some pairs will fight to the death. I put my current breeding male in with 4 females and let the fish make the choice. The was some heavy fighting as my big female took an instant dislike to the male and that battle had to be broken up with a net. He ended up choosing a red female and she choose him and all the other girls were removed. Now the pair are going through the courtship, nest is built and the male is trying to coax the female under. It could take a week or more to happen. and they will have to be under observation, cuz as soon as the mating is done, the female has to be removed as she will eat the eggs, or the male will bully her to death defending his nest. It's not as simple as it looks. So far in 5 or 6 attempts I have had 2 fry survive. But that was a long time ago before I learned more from the net and some good folks here ....Take a bow Alyxx and Oohitsae!
I've read about the whole bbs and swim bladder issues, too. Personally I don't plan on feeding any. For one, they are a pain to culture in comparison to microworms, and for another, I don't want to risk swim bladder issues. I might fire up a hatchery when I have month old fry, but I'm still not sure. And thanks!

Betta breeding takes patience! You have to wait for them to be ready, and you have to prepare them for a few days before it is even worthwhile to try putting them together. It's not like breeding other fish where you just have a male and a female in a tank and the magic just happens. If you try and force it, the best you can hope for is to get them separated before anyone gets badly hurt. Worst case scenario, they kill each other. I really hope you reconsider trying this tonight and put a little time into it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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I've read about the whole bbs and swim bladder issues, too. Personally I don't plan on feeding any. For one, they are a pain to culture in comparison to microworms, and for another, I don't want to risk swim bladder issues. I might fire up a hatchery when I have month old fry, but I'm still not sure. And thanks!

Betta breeding takes patience! You have to wait for them to be ready, and you have to prepare them for a few days before it is even worthwhile to try putting them together. It's not like breeding other fish where you just have a male and a female in a tank and the magic just happens. If you try and force it, the best you can hope for is to get them separated before anyone gets badly hurt. Worst case scenario, they kill each other. I really hope you reconsider trying this tonight and put a little time into it.
+1 Alyxx best advice! and do some research. It isn't like guppies or cichlids. Thats why I let the fish choose each other...I used to use the dividers but it isn't as good as giving the fish their choice. so far it has worked for me, they are not killing each other, and nothing more than some chasing and alot of flaring is going on. I am sure they are both putting on displays for each other. I see no real damage to either and the female is acting more receptive to the male. Alyxx is right this is one fish you cannot force....it will kill what it don't like. I have seen the fighting tournaments they have with them in Thailand, and trust me, sharks don't fight as hard as these little guys do! After all their scientific name "Betta Splendens" means Splendid warrior! Matter of fact I actually found a farm in Thailand that raises World class fighters....Not that I personally endorse this, but I realize it is a part of their culture, and many fights are not to the death, and a net separates the combatants when one is clearly winning.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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How exactly do I "condition them" ive been feeding hikari pellets, flakes, and blood worms as a diet. I put the female in her cup today,, and put a mason jar in the tank to set it on. I put the female in the cup and put rocks on it to hold it down. The male can't get to her. I did this as someone else recommended some globe type thing that I didn't wanna pay for so I figured this was a good substitution.

So far, the female has a few stripes like this
" | | | " idk if that's vertical or horizontal I always get them mixed up lol

I do have places to put the parents if they spawn. The female live in a sorority with 4 other bettas so I plan on adding her back to that after the spawning. I wanna keep her isolated for a few days before I add her back to the sorority tho so she can heal and the male has been living in my community tank.

I read on a site that the male will circle get container, flare, and maybe even bite at it(which he's been doing) and then he'd make a nest after about an hour of doing this.

So far, the girls been in there for about 1 1/2 hours and the males has been making bubbles with his mouth and it looks like he's starting a nest. I plan on leaving the female in her container over night and if the male has a nice big nest, ill release him that evening and watch them closely.

I was planning on feeding the fry the hikari first bite pellets. I was gonna out them in a bag and grind it to a power then out a small amount in the tank. Would this work?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by warrior13 View Post
How exactly do I "condition them" ive been feeding hikari pellets, flakes, and blood worms as a diet. I put the female in her cup today,, and put a mason jar in the tank to set it on. I put the female in the cup and put rocks on it to hold it down. The male can't get to her. I did this as someone else recommended some globe type thing that I didn't wanna pay for so I figured this was a good substitution.

So far, the female has a few stripes like this
" | | | " idk if that's vertical or horizontal I always get them mixed up lol

I do have places to put the parents if they spawn. The female live in a sorority with 4 other bettas so I plan on adding her back to that after the spawning. I wanna keep her isolated for a few days before I add her back to the sorority tho so she can heal and the male has been living in my community tank.

I read on a site that the male will circle get container, flare, and maybe even bite at it(which he's been doing) and then he'd make a nest after about an hour of doing this.

So far, the girls been in there for about 1 1/2 hours and the males has been making bubbles with his mouth and it looks like he's starting a nest. I plan on leaving the female in her container over night and if the male has a nice big nest, ill release him that evening and watch them closely.

I was planning on feeding the fry the hikari first bite pellets. I was gonna out them in a bag and grind it to a power then out a small amount in the tank. Would this work?
Sounds good other than your plans for feeding the fry. They will not take powdered foods, they *need* live foods. Something that moves. It triggers their feeding instincts. The hardest part of breeding bettas is raising the fry. Also, betta fry are beyond tiny, so they need super tiny foods. Microworms are best. There is a member here who is selling cultures but you need to set the cultures up a few weeks beforehand so they are producing worms for the fry. Also, where are you trying to spawn? It is best to do this in a bare tank, so the male doesn't have any trouble picking up the eggs. A 10 gallon with just a sponge filter and a heater works very well. Is this tank cycled? Also, it is best to have no more than 6" deep water in the spawning tank. Conditioning means feeding lots of rich meaty foods. I use frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. As it gets closer to when I actually start spawning I will probably hatch some baby brine shrimp to feed to the pair as well, but my spawning plans are put on hold until I can get a stand for my breeding tank built. I've kind of ran out of available table space! By the way, if the tank is properly filed (shallow water) you could probably just put the female in the jar instead of in a cup in the jar. It would give her a little more room. I plan on using a vase, actually.

Also, Bettas can have really big spawns - hundreds of fry. If you do manage to feed the babies, where are you going to house them all? You also need to consider how you will separate the males as they grow and start getting territorial.

And yes, those are vertical lines, lol. That's what you are looking for. Lines going the other way are stress lines, and mean she is pretty unhappy or scared.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:14 PM   #14
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Sounds good other than your plans for feeding the fry. They will not take powdered foods, they *need* live foods. Something that moves. It triggers their feeding instincts. The hardest part of breeding bettas is raising the fry. Also, betta fry are beyond tiny, so they need super tiny foods. Microworms are best. There is a member here who is selling cultures but you need to set the cultures up a few weeks beforehand so they are producing worms for the fry. Also, where are you trying to spawn? It is best to do this in a bare tank, so the male doesn't have any trouble picking up the eggs. A 10 gallon with just a sponge filter and a heater works very well. Is this tank cycled? Also, it is best to have no more than 6" deep water in the spawning tank. Conditioning means feeding lots of rich meaty foods. I use frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. As it gets closer to when I actually start spawning I will probably hatch some baby brine shrimp to feed to the pair as well, but my spawning plans are put on hold until I can get a stand for my breeding tank built. I've kind of ran out of available table space! By the way, if the tank is properly filed (shallow water) you could probably just put the female in the jar instead of in a cup in the jar. It would give her a little more room. I plan on using a vase, actually.

Also, Bettas can have really big spawns - hundreds of fry. If you do manage to feed the babies, where are you going to house them all? You also need to consider how you will separate the males as they grow and start getting territorial.

And yes, those are vertical lines, lol. That's what you are looking for. Lines going the other way are stress lines, and mean she is pretty unhappy or scared.
Can I buy micro worms anywhere ? I could possibly pick some up after school tomorrow. The tank has blue sand substrate, I know it's not recommended but I couldn't do it any where else other than a Tupperware container and that's an eye sore lol.the water is probably 6-8 in deep. Why should it be so low?

I guess I could have just putten her in the jar lol. I didn't know the water level had to be low tho. btw the tank is cycled, it has been since January

I have lots a bowls are vases to house the males lol, I do plan on culling some if I have a ton tho! I have a LFS that will take the bettas in for store credit one the outgrow their tank also. I also will add a few of the females to the sorority
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #15
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Can I buy micro worms anywhere ? I could possibly pick some up after school tomorrow. The tank has blue sand substrate, I know it's not recommended but I couldn't do it any where else other than a Tupperware container and that's an eye sore lol.the water is probably 6-8 in deep. Why should it be so low?

I guess I could have just putten her in the jar lol. I didn't know the water level had to be low tho. btw the tank is cycled, it has been since January

I have lots a bowls are vases to house the males lol, I do plan on culling some if I have a ton tho! I have a LFS that will take the bettas in for store credit one the outgrow their tank also. I also will add a few of the females to the sorority
I've never seen microworm cultures in stores. Some LFSs might have some, but it's a long shot. I've only ever seen them online. The cultures are cheap, but you will have to wait for it to get to you then wait for it to start producing worms. PM daileene on here, he sells cultures. If he has any left, they are $5 including shipping. Best investment you can make if you want to breed Bettas! The water should be low because the male will have to make lots of trips to the bottom to pick up eggs and place them in the nest. You just don't want to wear him out by making him swim so far for each trip. Hopefully the sand won't give him many problems, but the eggs are pretty tiny and he might lose some in the sand. What size tank is this that you are using? It will be where you want to raise the fry for the first few weeks, so be sure to keep that sand super clean. Bad water quality will kill your fry fast. You also don't want to be doing lots of water changes too soon. The fry are rather sensitive to temperature, you want to keep the temperature stable and the tank covered to prevent any drafts. Don't raise the water level for a few weeks either, as the fry will need to access the surface to start breathing air and you don't want them having to struggle to make the trip. It's a long way for an itty bitty fry!

Have you checked out bettatalk.com (or maybe it's .net, google it to be sure) yet? It is a great resource for betta info, especially breeding and fry rearing. Also, what kind of filter is on the tank? HOB filtration will be more trouble than it's worth! Too much current and surface agitation, plus the babies will get sucked in. Sponge or corner filters is best.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:40 PM   #16
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I've never seen microworm cultures in stores. Some LFSs might have some, but it's a long shot. I've only ever seen them online. The cultures are cheap, but you will have to wait for it to get to you then wait for it to start producing worms. PM daileene on here, he sells cultures. If he has any left, they are $5 including shipping. Best investment you can make if you want to breed Bettas! The water should be low because the male will have to make lots of trips to the bottom to pick up eggs and place them in the nest. You just don't want to wear him out by making him swim so far for each trip. Hopefully the sand won't give him many problems, but the eggs are pretty tiny and he might lose some in the sand. What size tank is this that you are using? It will be where you want to raise the fry for the first few weeks, so be sure to keep that sand super clean. Bad water quality will kill your fry fast. You also don't want to be doing lots of water changes too soon. The fry are rather sensitive to temperature, you want to keep the temperature stable and the tank covered to prevent any drafts. Don't raise the water level for a few weeks either, as the fry will need to access the surface to start breathing air and you don't want them having to struggle to make the trip. It's a long way for an itty bitty fry!

Have you checked out bettatalk.com (or maybe it's .net, google it to be sure) yet? It is a great resource for betta info, especially breeding and fry rearing. Also, what kind of filter is on the tank? HOB filtration will be more trouble than it's worth! Too much current and surface agitation, plus the babies will get sucked in. Sponge or corner filters is best.
It's a 2.5 gallon tank and yes it's a hob, u have the filter intake covered with one of the flu am filter covers tho so that they can't get sucked up. The little thing barely even moves the water and right now I have it off so that the male can build his nest. I'm gonna turn it back on in the morning.

Now the low water level makes sense lol, next water change I want add as much!

I've checked out lots of sights about breeding and most of them have said what you have! You've been very helpful!

I have a question...if this works, when exactly do the fry need to start being fed? I've read things about infusia or however you spell it. What is that? And do they have yolk sacs that they live off of for a few days?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:51 PM   #17
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It's a 2.5 gallon tank and yes it's a hob, u have the filter intake covered with one of the flu am filter covers tho so that they can't get sucked up. The little thing barely even moves the water and right now I have it off so that the male can build his nest. I'm gonna turn it back on in the morning.

Now the low water level makes sense lol, next water change I want add as much!

I've checked out lots of sights about breeding and most of them have said what you have! You've been very helpful!

I have a question...if this works, when exactly do the fry need to start being fed? I've read things about infusia or however you spell it. What is that? And do they have yolk sacs that they live off of for a few days?
Infusoria can work as a first food. I totally forgot about it, since I've never used it. You want to start feeding once the yolk sac is absorbed, which is usually around the time they become free swimming. They spend their first few days in the nest being cared for by dad. Once they start leaving the nest it is time to take him out, or he might start snacking on them. I wouldn't turn the filter on until they reach the free swimming stage, honestly, since it could break up the nest. Another reason HOB filters are not recommended! The fry don't handle current well at all, either. If you think you might want to try this again, get a sponge filter for future use. They are super cheap, and they work really well. Also, be extra watchful over the pair since they are in such a small tank. It will be hard for the female to escape if the male gets rough with her. You will also need to pay close attention to the water quality as the fry grow out. Do you have something bigger to transfer them to as they grow? A 40 gallon is the recommended size for a fry grow out tank. I plan on using a 20 and a few 10s to grow mine out.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:18 AM   #18
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Infusoria can work as a first food. I totally forgot about it, since I've never used it. You want to start feeding once the yolk sac is absorbed, which is usually around the time they become free swimming. They spend their first few days in the nest being cared for by dad. Once they start leaving the nest it is time to take him out, or he might start snacking on them. I wouldn't turn the filter on until they reach the free swimming stage, honestly, since it could break up the nest. Another reason HOB filters are not recommended! The fry don't handle current well at all, either. If you think you might want to try this again, get a sponge filter for future use. They are super cheap, and they work really well. Also, be extra watchful over the pair since they are in such a small tank. It will be hard for the female to escape if the male gets rough with her. You will also need to pay close attention to the water quality as the fry grow out. Do you have something bigger to transfer them to as they grow? A 40 gallon is the recommended size for a fry grow out tank. I plan on using a 20 and a few 10s to grow mine out.
How do I make infusoria ?? And if this actually works, id love to upgrade and make this more professional. I have a 26 gal community and a 10 gal right now so I could put a few on each once they get big enough that the other fish can't eat them.

I'll make sure to leave the filter off until they hatch.

How long should it take for the 2 to spawn? And will the female get a little fatter when she gets the eggs in her or will you not be able to tell the difference?
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #19
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How do I make infusoria ?? And if this actually works, id love to upgrade and make this more professional. I have a 26 gal community and a 10 gal right now so I could put a few on each once they get big enough that the other fish can't eat them.

I'll make sure to leave the filter off until they hatch.

How long should it take for the 2 to spawn? And will the female get a little fatter when she gets the eggs in her or will you not be able to tell the difference?
The female will look a little fatter and you will definitely be able to see her ovipositor, more than you usually can.

I would pick up a 10 gallon at least for the fry by themselves. Preferably something bigger, even a Rubbermaid tub. They will make a lot of waste and put out tons of hormones which can inhibit their growth.

As for making infusoria, put some lettuce in a jar of tank water (or a couple rabbit food pellets, or some yard clippings if you don't spray the yard with anything) and let it sit for a few days til it clouds up. Then feed the fry with a dropper. You don't want to put too much in the tank at once, as it will foul your water.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:52 AM   #20
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I am about 3 weeks from breeding my pair, right now I am working on the cultures for week 1,2 and 3. This is my list so far:

This is what I have lined up:

1-pre-conditioning: that's when you feed the male and female with special diet, raise the temperature and add almond leaves to prepare them to mate. I am considering the 2.5 gallon tank for this step;

2-conditioning: that's when you let male and female see each other, still with no contact. Male will reduce aggressiveness, start to make a bubble nest and female will start to get ready from a biological perspective. I know the water level must be 4 inches or so, to make the male task a little easier. When you look to the horizon, you see a HORIZONTAL line. Vertical line is what a rocket makes when it goes up. I hope this helps.

3-mating: if the male doesn't kill the female, they will mate and collectively place the eggs inside air bubbles from the male nest. For this part, it is nice to have objects to facilitate the female hiding or running away from aggressive male;

4-population control: as soon as the female is done with her initial role, she will turn aggressive and starts to eat some eggs. Female needs to be removed;

5-week 1: after hatched, fry has tiny small mouth, and during this time special, almost microscopic diet is required. Feeding must me often but controlled, otherwise the stomach distends, generating an atrophy of swim bladder. Father goes into population control mode and must be removed as well or will also eat fry;

6-week 2: swim bladder issues continue, feeding must be done every 3 or 4 hours. Infusoria and vinegar eels are too small for some, Artemia is recommended;

7-week 3 and 4: betta fry becomes normal fry. Regular carnivorous diet can be introduced, some culling starts to take place (the deformed, the ugly, the small and the slow are all removed);

8-week 5,6,7 and 8: females form seroroties, and males start to develop territorial behavior. Females are removed to 10g tanks (groups of 5), aggressive males are "jar'ed". Diet becomes important for maximum gene expression. Heart beef and live insect cultures are good options.
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