Breeding Crowntail Bettas

Breeding Crowntail Bettas – Spawn No 5

This is the story of my 5th Betta Spawn and I think it’s going to be a long one as both my previous spawns were ended when the male ate the eggs. Therefore because these spawns probably don’t warrant an article each, I’ve decided to incorporate them here as both lead into this article.

So hopefully if you’re new to breeding Bettas or even if you just like reading about it then you’ll get quite a bit out of this article, as I know I did.

Crowntail Female

Crowntail Female - I told she may have double tail genes due to the extended dorsal

So basically this is the story of trying to find a worthy male for my red and blue Crowntail female. I bought here from the Aqueus in St Kilda along with her original partner, a beautiful red Crowntail male.

So this pair first mated on 30 July 2010. The courtship went well and they were both suited (they didn’t try and kill each other).

Red Crowntail Male

Red Crowntail Male

Unfortunately though, dad ate most of the eggs after 1 day. He then tended to the Bubble Nest for another two days but it eventually dissolved.

A few days later I found 1 fry in the tank but it didn’t survive.

I then tried them again about 3 weeks later and despite her being ready, he just wasn’t interested at all and didn’t make a Bubble Nest.

So here are the videos below of the initial courtship and spawn.

Red Crowntails Courting

Red Crowntails Spawning.

So that was the female Crowntails first spawn. After she was introduced to the male for the second time she was quite despondent as he wasn’t interested so I paired her with a Black Lace male with melano genes.

During the courtship she seemed a lot keener than he was and if she’d just backed off a little I think they would have spawned without them trying to harm each other.

In hindsight though I probably should have let them get to know each other a bit longer. Although when I removed the glass he did have a small Bubble Nest which was obscured by the edge of the cup. I ended up separating them after a few minutes as I got the impression he was  trying to tell her to wait until he was ready. Maybe I misread the signs but I just wasn’t prepared to loose the female. Anyway watch the video below and make up your own mind.

Black Lace Male x Red Crowntail Female

Next up I tried to pair her with a Turquoise Halfmoon. She was way too dominant for him and in the end he basically just ran away from her. He was scared. Watch this, it’s a little long but I thought it would be better unedited.

Turquoise Halfmoon Male x Crowntail Female

In the end the male went and hid in the Java Moss so decided to call it off before he died of fright.

After these three failed attempts I then tried her with two other males but didn’t even get to the stage of removing the glass as their interest was negligible and their Bubble Nests were nearly non existent.

Finally I removed her and placed her in a container between two male Crowntails I’d been given. One of the males took a shine to her straight away so I conditioned them both for a week before placing them in the spawning tank.

In the meantime though, I drained all the water from the tank and cleaned it thoroughly. I then added the Black Lace again, this time with a different female. I’d been conditioning them for over a week and had placed them next to each other to get to know each other. He’d been building Bubble Nests and she’d developed vertical stripes.

Also just while I think of it, the female Crowntail never developed vertical stripes on any of the occasions she was with a male, despite being somewhat keen to breed.

Therefore the Black Lace’s new female was steel blue and the intent was to breed some Halfmoons with Melano genes. His father was a Melano and I was hoping she would also have some Melano genes as well. Therefore I placed the Black Lace and his new female in the spawning tank together. I placed her in a plastic container. Within about 3 hours she’s jumped over the top and the courtship began.

So there were a few interesting points about this pairing. Firstly, she was quite a bit smaller than him and despite my reservations with the match up I still decided to go ahead and try. Secondly his attitude toward her was totally different to what he displayed to the Crowntail.

He showed no aggression to her whatsoever. In fact he was nearly aloof and looked disinterested even when she was placed in the tank. This of course could most probably be attributed to the fact that she was subservient to him and was cautious approaching him due to her size.

Here’s the video below. You will notice that because of the size difference he had a lot of trouble wrapping around her. There is also one occasion where he had her the wrong way around. Therefore I suspect that maybe a lot of the eggs weren’t fertilised.

So what was the outcome of this spawn? Well the timing for me wasn’t great as we had some friends staying and just as we were to go out for lunch they started to spawn (no the fish, not our friends). Therefore I set the video going and off we went. About 3 hours later I returned to catch the male just finishing off the last of the eggs. Yes, he was my second egg eater. The Bubble Nest was also completely gone and yes you guessed it the video stopped after 1 hour so it didn’t actually capture what happened.

Therefore at 3:30 in the afternoon exit 1 Black Lace and 1 Blue Steel female and enter my Crowntail pair. That’s right I replaced them there and then. This pair were conditioned and ready to go. So just briefly here’s the time span.

Tuesday afternoon the pair were placed in the spawning tank separated by glass. Wednesday morning she was placed in a plastic container and the glass was removed. By lunchtime his Bubble Nest was well underway, so based on the fact that she hadn’t displayed vertical stripes in past and was never one to jump over the plastic and in with the male, I decided to release her into the tank.

These two turned out to be a good match and she didn’t dominant him like her previous potential partners. As you’ll see in the video below they did get a little bit rough under the Bubble Nest and managed to destroy it on a couple of occasions.

So by Thursday lunch time when they started to spawn there was practically no bubbles in the nest at all. This obviously worried me a bit as based on my last attempts it looked like it was heading for disaster again but he actually built the Bubble Nest as they spawned and in the end he managed to pack quite a few eggs all into one very small Bubble Nest in the back corner of the cup.

Spawning went for about 1.5 to 2 hours and by mid afternoon the female was back in her container getting pampered and fed.

What happened next though then surprised me again. I’d read about this before but still being relatively inexperienced in breeding Bettas I hadn’t yet witnessed it. I won’t tell you what it was though as it’s probably best if you watch the video.

Then late Saturday afternoon, about 28 hours after spawning the eggs started to hatch.

Late Sunday, most of the fry were then free swimming. There were still a few fry around the Bubble Nest but they seemed to be independent of the bubbles. Therefore I decided it was time to remove dad. He was mainly just sitting back watching the action.  There were now fry swimming all over the tank.

So my next problem was how to get him out without causing too much disturbance. I didn’t want to go fishing around in there with a net, plus dad just didn’t want to move away from the Bubble Nest, so here’s what I did.

I found an area of the tank where there were very few fry and floated a few bloodworm on the water surface. Poor old dad just couldn’t help himself. He looked at them for a few moments, torn between his hunger and duty. Then he couldn’t help himself. He swam up to them and being slow and tired he was easy to scoop up into a styrofoam cup.

So why did I use the cup? Well I figured that if I manged to scoop some fry they would be easy to see on the white background so I could then return them to the tank, via a syringe.

So finally, here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it.

So that’s pretty much how it went and just in case you’re wondering why I placed the plastic lid in the tank . . . ? ? ? Well all the previous males had made really small Bubble Nests. So not being sure if it was just coincidence or there was an actual reason/problem, I though I give him another option just in case.

As you can see he took the other option and shifted house (so to speak). What I didn’t count on though, was that he would be smart enough to move it. And no, it didn’t float up there all by itself as it’s still there now as I write this, 3 days later. Therefore he obviously knew where the warmest part of the tank was and just in case you’re wondering what the temperature was . . . ? ? ? Well the temp gauge on the front of the tank indicated 28.5 deg C (83 F), so who knows maybe it was about 30 deg C over the heater?

So now as I write this it’s Monday afternoon, 6 days after they were introduced into the tank. The tank is now full of lots of little black dots with tails and now it’s up to me to get them through the rest of the way.

So why not leave a comment below and tell me what you think.


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