SIXTH SPAWN: An account of spawning a white opaque veil tail to a white opaque fan tail betta
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On 28 August, 2002, I put Bianca and Snow into the spawning tank in an other attempt to produce a white opaque veil tail betta. The last two attempts have only produced three fry, mostly due to my mistakes, but have taught me a lot about dealing with spawning problems. I'm hopeful this spawn with go better. Here's why:
1. My first spawn had several disease problems. From that I learned how to identify and treat them and more importantly, developed the Micro-Killer 3000 filter system to prevent diseases from getting a foothold. This system is being used for this spawn.
2. Disease prevention is more effective than treatment so I carefully sterilized or replaced every component of the spawning tank by soaking everything for two hours in a five percent bleach solution. I ran this water through the pump system to make sure that all of the internal parts were sterilized as well. Of course, this was in addition to a thorough scrubbing and rinsing.
3. My last three spawns have been plagued with brown algae. Hopefully the sterilization took care of that problem. As an additional safeguard, I treated the spawning water with Algae Destroyer by Jungle. This product has quickly cured previous outbreaks so it should work even better at preventing algae from starting.
4. I believe mold or fungus attacked many of the fifth spawn's eggs. Therefore, I've increased the amount of Maroxy, a preventative, by 25-percent.
5. If Snow, the male, again fails to take care of the eggs I plan to use two techniques to try and save them. First I'll stir most of the eggs every hour to help prevent mold from clinging to them. Second, I'll transfer the remainder to a wine glass in the spawning tank and set up a bubbler to keep them in constant, gentle motion. Hopefully one of these will help increase the number of fry that hatch. I know from the last spawn that less then five percent hatch if they are left alone on the bottom of the tank.
Having said all this, it'll be interesting to see what new problems turn up with this spawn. Please check back soon for the latest developments!
Now for the details of the spawn:
28 August, 5:30 P.M. Bianca and Snow placed in the spawning tank
29 August, 5:30 P.M. Bianca was released from her confinement. Twenty-four hours may not seem long enough but they had been side by side in their jars for three weeks prior to this so they should have had enough time to prepare. Bianca was certainly ready. As soon as she was released, she swam over to the bubble nest and positioned herself under it. (She's such a hussy.) Snow was so shocked by this unrestrained behavior that he retreated to a corner and hovered there, pondering how to deal with such unbridled passion. After an hour, she started acting coy and they assumed more normal behaviors with him guarding the nest and her hiding behind plants.
30 August, 10:30 A.M. No action yet other than Snow starting to increase the size of the bubble nest.
30 Agust, 1:00 P.M. They began spawning and by 1:30 they were producing eggs.
30 August, 10:30 P.M. They were still spawning although they had produced only twenty or so eggs.
31 August, 5:00 A.M. They had completed the spawn but only produced 80 eggs. However, Snow seems much more adept this time at keeping the eggs in the nest. So far everything's looking good!
31 August, 2:00 P.M. Everything is still going well. Snow is maintaining the nest and doing a good job of keeping the eggs in it. One thing that concerns me is that in my previously successful spawns, the male spent a lot of time moving the eggs around in the nest. It seemed that he was constantly cleaning the eggs and checking to dispose of any bad eggs. Snow appears to be leaving them on their own and only touching them to return any that fall. The real test comes in the next 24 hours as the fry start hatching and falling from the nest.
I offered Snow some blackworms on a cotton swab and his response was interesting. He readily ate worms that remained on the surface while they clung to the swab. But, he refused to eat any that were falling or on the bottom of the tank. I think this is because he's hard-wired not to eat anything that's falling or on the bottom because it might be an egg.
1 September, 6:30 A.M. He ate all the eggs.
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