Jason SParticipantJune 22, 2019 at 10:29 pmPost count: 11
So I am new to breeding bettas, but is it just me or does it seem like female koi betta are more aggressive then other female betta types? The few I’ve owned all seem excessively aggressive so much so I don’t try to breed with them. Any thoughts?
JasonJackie HParticipantJune 24, 2019 at 6:03 pmPost count: 52
It’s probably just a coincidence. Females of all types and colors can be aggressive and there doesn’t seem to be a correlation to color. How are you keeping them? Females kept carded and flare trained will be more aggressive than ones that are not carded. You can alternatively build up the confidence of the male you wish to breed with you koi females by carding and flare training him to build up his aggression.Jason SParticipantJune 24, 2019 at 7:12 pmPost count: 11
Thanks for your reply Jackie. I am new to breeding what is carding? I just put pairs together right away with no acclimation time. I do this because there are no separate tanks in the wild. I realize this may not be the best method but I am learning as I go.Jackie HParticipantJune 24, 2019 at 7:16 pmPost count: 52
Carding is what we do when we separate our bettas so they can’t see each other. Usually we have several jars and put an index card or other opaque object between them so they cannot see one another. Once or twice a day (usually just before feeding) the cards are pulled and the fish can flare at their neighbors. This is how we build aggression and teach them to display properly for shows.
You said you toss them in the spawn tank together, do you do anything prior to condition them for breeding?Jason SParticipantJune 24, 2019 at 8:02 pmPost count: 11
Ok that makes sense. No I don’t know about conditioning…I just put them in together with an Indian almond leaf and let them go for it. If you have any conditioning tips I would love to learn!Jackie HParticipantJune 25, 2019 at 9:11 amPost count: 52
Ah we may have come to the root of the problem 🙂 I recommend conditioning your breeding pair for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to spawning. The only exception is if you do the following on a regular basis anyways which would mean your fish stay in breeding condition at all times. Females (and males) that are not in breeding condition can often be more aggressive or unwilling to spawn. Most show breeders are in the habit of maintaining this level of care at all times because show fish must be well fed and robust in order to handle travelling to and from shows as well as displaying during the show. As such, show breeders can just pick a pair and toss them in a spawn tank at any time because they are always ready.
Here is how I condition my fish:
First: Feeding. Feed as much food as your male and female want to eat at least 2x a day or several smaller meals throughout the day if you are able to do that. They should have full bellies after each meal, don’t believe the “feed only as much as the size of the eye” myth, they can eat much more than that and need to in order to build up energy reserves to breed. I highly recommend feeding live or frozen foods during this process as because of the amount of food you’re feeding you will want to feed something that is easily digestible. Many pellet foods have fillers which bettas do not absorb, basically taking energy to digest without giving much nutritional value. I usually condition my breeders on a diet of frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp and live grindal worms when I have them available. The feeding is the most important part of the conditioning process as it allows females to build up eggs and males to have energy reserves for spawning and caring for fry.
Second: Water. Make sure their water quality stays good throughout the conditioning process, extra water changes are never a bad idea. Since you will be feeding more the fish will be creating more waste so you may find you need to do more frequent changes than normal. Also make sure to clean up any uneaten food after each meal so that it does not foul the water.
Third: Flare training. If you are able I highly recommend flare training your breeders. Not everyone does this but I personally find it very beneficial. Block your fish’s view of any other bettas and then once or twice a day for 10-15 mins at a time remove the card or whatever you use to block them and let them see each other and flare. They do not have to flare against the fish they are going to spawn with, any betta will do. I usually have my males on one shelf and females on another so they just flare with their neighbors and don’t actually see their spawning partner until I introduce them into the spawn tank. The purpose is to give them exercise and build up the aggression a bit. This is especially important for males because females look for those aggressive displays as part of the mating process.
After the 2 weeks are up you can then introduce them to the spawn tank and I think you will find they should spawn more readily for you 🙂 I hope this helps!
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