Home Forums Betta Breeding Spawning & Raising Fry Unfortunate spawning incident

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  • Abhijit S
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Hi,

    I have been a beta lover since I was a child. I had to drop this hobby last year because my job required me to move. I picked it up again this year as things stabilized and set up my first spawning pair for the season.

    I bought the male (multicolor HMDT) from a local pet shop and female (Platinum White HM) from Ebay. The female arrived nice, healthy and full off eggs. I set her up in a 2.5 gallon tank for a week to settle her down. I had the male in another 2.5 gallon tank. After a week I moved female’s tank next to the male’s, so that they can see each other. The male built a bubble within a day so I released the female with him. In my experience, it has taken about a day for most of my pairs to spawn so I only remove the female after 24 hours if they don’t spawn.

    In this case, I checked on them after first 12 hours and everything was fine, but no signs of spawning. I left for work and when I got back, I was horrified to see the female in such a bad shape, her left eye was damaged (outer transparent membrane was gone), some of the fins were torn but there were no eggs in the nest. I removed her immediately to avoid further damage.

    When I put her back in her own tank, she released all her eggs. I moved her to a separate container and released the male with the eggs. He started tending to them but ended up eating all by next day.

    Its been 3-4 days now after the incident and female is still alive and eating well.

    I had a few questions:
    1. Was one week too little time for female to settle down?
    2. Keeping male with female for 24 hours for spraining, is this a reasonable time?
    3. I never had a blind fish before, any extra information about their care is appreciated…
    4. Has any one had any success spawning a female with a missing eye?
    5. I am assuming male ate those eggs since they were unfertilized?

    Thanks,
    Abhijit

    Stacy Fenhaus
    Moderator
    Post count: 614

    Hi Abhijit!

    Yikes! How worrying to find your female damaged so. I find that using the “chimney” method by putting your female into the same water as the male but preventing contact is the best route. The female’s body responds to the hormones a nesting male releases and it helps her prepare for spawning. The male typically needs the presence of the female to finish his nest, he will chase her away until he is ready as well. This can take a few hours but typically both are ready to spawn within 12 to 18 hours. In a situation like you’ve described, it would seem that the male was not ready and damaged the female because she would not “go away”. You do not mention whether you had any thing for her to hide in or behind in the male’s tank. Some people do not put anything and find success, but I always suggest something to help the female hide (plants, Indian Almond leaves, the container she was separated in, etc).

    The reason she released her eggs in her own tank is that during the time she was with the male, her eggs went through the process of vitellogenesis (sort of like a ripening). You can find more information about vitellogenesis in Flare! Issue 50-2 (on this page:Flare! Issues

    To answer your questions, as best as I can:

    1. No, one week to settle in your care is fine. However, if possible you should “condition” your fish for spawning for 2 weeks to give them time to gather the extra nutrients needed to successfully spawn and to be sure that they don’t harbor any rapidly moving illnesses. The female’s egg production cycle is roughly 2 weeks as well, so this amount of time allows you to boost the quality of her eggs through healthy feeding.

    2. Most breeders find that healthy and ready fish will spawn within 24 hours of being in the same water. Some fish take only a few hours, others can take a few days. Closely monitoring their behavior without disturbing them is important. A male chasing a female relentlessly is a sign that you need to separate them and start the conditioning process over again.

    3. I don’t have experience with blind fish– hopefully someone will be able to comment here.

    4. I cannot say whether the male might reject a female that is missing an eye… however, I would urge you to ensure its fully healed and she has no secondary bacterial infection before attempting to spawn her again. A course of antibiotics might be a good idea.

    5. Yes, your assumption is correct. The male would have eaten any eggs that were unfertilized and if they developed fungus on them (which unfertilized eggs tend to do).

    Siegbert & Judy I
    Participant
    Post count: 61

    Just my thought and I could be wrong. The problem might be that light bodied females don’t show stripes. The female was ready to spawn but the male seen her as an intruder rather as a female. Maybe the male needs more time.

    Abhijit S
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Good news, I set them up again yesterday and they are spawning right now as I write this. Male does not seem to care about female missing an eye. I don’t see male eager to pickup the eggs and put them back into the nest however female seems to be doing it. I do see some eggs in the nest but time will tell if male will tend to them or eat them until they hatch.

    To answer Stacy’s question, I did have 3 giant (2-2.5 inch) moss balls as a hiding place.

    I’ll post whatever the outcome of the spawn would be in two days.

    Thanks for all the info!

    Stacy Fenhaus
    Moderator
    Post count: 614

    Good luck!! Keep us updated. 🙂

    Abhijit S
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    The male did care for the eggs and they hatched this morning! Male is caring for the fry. Due to lack of his spawning experience, I think, a lot of eggs were left unfertilized and eaten later. About 40-60 were left in the nest that hatched.

    Abhijit S
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Male ate all the fry.

    Bill L
    Participant
    Post count: 42

    This makes for BAD news and GOOD news. The bad news is the male ate the eggs! The good news is the injury to the female did not prohibit her ability to spawn with the male. It also appears he did not abuse her this time around either. The other good news is you know you had fertile eggs and the hatched. So, the next time you remove the female once the eggs are safely in the nest. Once you see you have wigglers with tails and they begin to drop from the nest I would immediately remove the male. The other thing that may be true is you have a very immature male and he may or may not eat the eggs the next time around. I wouldn’t take the chance the next time around. Once you have your initial successful batch of fry growing up and might consider trying to leave him in the tank. Good luck and hope you have a complete success the next time around!

    Abhijit S
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    For the male, on his third attempt at spawning, although with a different female, he did care for the eggs and the fry for 5 days after hatching. Unfortunately not a single fry became free swimming and I lost the entire spawn due to starvation. (The male did not give up caring for them until I removed him after loosing all the hope.) I read an article somewhere in technical assistance library that this may happen due to quality / hardness of water but I am not sure.

    For the female, she is still doing fine with one eye and I had her spawned successfully with another first timer male. This spawn also suffered from not all fry becoming free swimming and could have lost entire spawn if I had not noticed that male had just started eating the fry one by one on day 3. By this time a few fry were free swimming so I decided to removed the male and managed to save about 30-35 fry. They are 3 weeks old now and about 25 of them are swimming normally. The remaining ones are alive and eating but they are showing the swim bladder problem. Not that I over fed them but they never reached the free swimming stage since they hatched.

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