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Breeding roosters – selection, spawning, fry

Cultivation of cockerels (Betta splendens)

Almost all labyrinth fishes have an interesting, but not always a pleasant feature – females spawn periodically, and if spawning does not occur, the calf is transformed into a cyst, which is unlikely to get rid of, and the female dies. You can try unless a long hunger strike until the cyst resolves. But it usually helps in the early stages of cyst formation.

If the fish has gained caviar, and there is no opportunity to spawn, you can try to pump caviar. But this is fraught with damage to the female, and in general is not so easy.

Thus, the long absence of spawning is more destructive for the female than for the male. And for the health of the female it is necessary to spawn her periodically.

It is also useful for males to spawn from time to time and get rid of genital products. If you keep cockerels and are not going to breed them, you will still have to either periodically plant them for spawning, or create conditions for spawning in an aquarium where they live.

It is absolutely not necessary to grow the fry, you can simply release them into the old aquarium overgrown with plants, where there is always an infusoria, and some of the fry have a chance to grow to an adult state. Exact intervals of preventive spawning cannot be determined.

It depends on many factors. First of all, from the female herself: someone picks up eggs faster, someone is slower, and someone doesn’t gain at all or can get rid of her own. In addition to the individual characteristics of the female, factors such as feeding and caring for fish also play a role.

In general, it is necessary to spawn when the female has a well-visible “belly”, noticeable even before feeding. The minimum interval between spawning for the female with abundant feeding can be considered a period of 2 weeks.

For the male, these boundaries are more blurred, but more often than once every two weeks, spawn, and it should not, so as not to deplete the male.

As a rule, the owner of a pair of cockerels, watching their often spawning pets, comes up with the idea: why not grow fry? Then, first of all, you should take care of the aquarium in which you will grow fry, and feed for them. It is better to feed the fry with live food, which is easy to dilute.

Begin feeding should be with the infusoria, taking care of her breeding already when they decided to plant a couple to spawn. To do this, it is better to take a jar (two liters better) and fill it with water from the aquarium siphon.

There you can add a teaspoon of milk and a piece of dry banana peel 1 × 1 cm in size. The water becomes cloudy, and in a few days it will brighten, there will be visible “clouds” of infusoria, they can and can be collected with a hose and given to fry.

Spawning is better to take the size of about 15 liters. For spawning, it is possible to pour water at a height of 10 cm and put shelter for the female. I usually use a ceramic snag with several openings, a bunch of plants such as a hornpole for the same purpose, and in order to make it easier for the male rooster to build a nest — a paint or water paint.

The equipment needs a heater (it should be set at a temperature of 25-26 ° C) and a cover so that the fish do not jump out. After that we plant a couple of cockerels to spawn. But … Before such a responsible event, you need to pick up a couple.

It’s one thing if you have only one pair – then you should only look at the fact that the female has caviar. But if you breed cockerels and would like to try their selection, then the pair must be selected.

Cockerels differ in the shape of the fins (voileae, crowntails, two-tailed, short-tailed, semi-lunar, rosy-tailed) and in color (it can be absolutely any: from white to black, one-color, two-color, multi-color …). And all this magnificence belongs to one kind of cockerels – Betta splendens. There may be a different combination of the forms of the fins of one species of fish – for example, halfmun and coronatail may be short-fin or long-fin.

But there can be a short tail or a crown of the tail. It is logical that in order to maintain a good shape, pairs of males of the same shape should be selected: a pair of short-tails, a pair of veils … Crossing any long-fledged form (veil, crown) with a short-tailed cockerel will give a significant deterioration in the quality of the fins, which will not be so long and magnificent. Crossing a crown-tailed rooster with any other will impair the quality of the crown – it will be gentle.

It is generally undesirable to cross two double-haired cockerels: in the offspring, many individuals with a deformed spine may appear. Do not use in breeding producers with the same defects.

For example, uneven scales, shortness, short crown, uneven fin ends. Matching pairs and color. The most prized monochrome, without the slightest impurity of a different color of the cockerel.

Of the colors of the cockerels, red dominates, and the colors blue, green, and copper are also strong. That is, it is better to pursue a monochrome pair and a monochrome offspring, resulting in a clean line of work: a certain shape of fins and color, which are consistently passing on their qualities.

It happens that there is no opportunity to choose a good pair, for example, often only short-tailed or coronary males are commercially available. In this case, they can be sprouted with an ordinary veil female, preferably a color close to the male.

In the first generation you get fish are not very good shape and color. Of them choose females, the most suitable in color and shape, and spawn with the father.

This is the so-called back-crossing. If there is no such possibility, then they make the F2 crossing: they cross the most outstanding in quality of a brother and sister.

In the progeny both in that and in the other case fish appear with a good tail shape and color. Further crossings are carried out according to the same scheme, choosing the most “correct” individuals.

For spawning (except for color and shape), of course, you need to select healthy fish and suitable for each other (not younger than 4-5 months, but not old, because the old fish often cannot fully spawn and care for offspring ).

It is better to prepare the pair selected for breeding for spawning: hold it apart for a week or two and feed abundantly with live food. The spawner is first planted a male.

As a rule, he immediately builds a nest. That’s when a female is brought to him.

You can immediately put a couple of fish. If the male does not build a nest or does not pay attention to the female, to stimulate spawning, you can apply almond leaf (just add it to the water), water softening (half of the water volume in the spawning grounds), peat (it is advisable to soak it in a separate container). soaked with water, put it in the spawner and his, and the water in which it is wet), you can add to the water ToruMin.

Of course, all these tools should not be used together. But … Water softening can be combined with some other way. If in a spawning room temperature (and often cockerels spawn even with it), then to stimulate spawning it can be increased by 2-3 ° C. If the cockerels did not spawn immediately, you can hold them in the spawning ground for several days.

It should be remembered that feeding the fish should not be, as this greatly pollutes the water in the spawner. But … for a few days the males didn’t spawn yet. Then they need to sit down and re-prepare for spawning.

True, usually cockerels spawn without problems. By the evening of the day when the fish are planted to spawn, the nest is ready for the rooster, and a day later it has caviar.

It is interesting to observe the process of spawning itself. The male “embraces” the female and “squeezes out” the calf from it, simultaneously releasing milk and fertilizing the calf.

Then he will release the female, and she, being completely relaxed, sits on the bottom, while her color fades. The male, on the contrary, is painted very brightly. Rooster calf sinking, white.

The male collects it and puts it in the nest. Then everything repeats: “hugs”, “spin”, fertilization, picking up caviar. Usually spawning ends when the female has no eggs.

But sometimes the male does not “squeeze” all the eggs, and the female has to spawn again. The signal that the spawning is over is that the rooster winds around the nest, straightening the eggs in it, and the female sits in the shelter.

If the female does not settle on time, an aggressive male can “slaughter” her to death, as she is a threat to her calf (simply, she can eat). Therefore, after spawning, the female needs to be deposited.

Although it happens (albeit rarely) that the female not only does not try to eat caviar, but even helps to care for her.

Further, the male takes care of the caviar, and now the main thing is not to interfere with it, not to feed it.

Even the light at night leave optional. In a day, the larvae will hatch, in a day or two they will float horizontally, they will dissolve the yolk sac.

Now it will be possible to deposit a male and start feeding the fry with infusoria. You can try to feed with dry food (if there is no infusoria) such as Sera micron, having previously diluted a small amount of water in water and pouring this suspension into the fry. In the aquarium, you need to install a sprayer from the compressor, since at this stage the labyrinth apparatus in children has not yet developed.

To eat up excess food in spawning can be put a few snails (ampoule or coils). Gradually, in a few days, reduce the temperature in the aquarium to room temperature.

But … If you feed the fry dry food, 80% of the water needs to be changed daily, if you feed it with live food, you do not need to change the water. Feed in spawning should be constantly present. 3-4 days after the start of feeding, fry can be transferred from the infusoria to artemia.

It is taken out of eggs, which are sold in pet stores. Pour water in a 2 liter bottle, add 1.5 tsp of regular salt and 1.5 tsp of Artemia eggs, and include a strong aeration. A day later, the aeration is turned off, empty shells accumulate at the top, and at the bottom, the Nauplii of Artemia are swarming.

They are sucked off with a thin hose and fed to fry. It is better to put 2 vessels with a difference of 24 hours so that the crustaceans are constantly available.

Usually for fry it is enough to feed twice.

After a week or two, you can add decapsulated Artemia, microplankton, micro-cherries, and a week later – shredded tubers. You can also use dry food like Sera micropan.

As soon as the fry begin to take artemia, the water level can be gradually raised, and then changed by 50% of the water daily to the settled water.

If you want to grow more fry, they need to be sorted so that the older ones do not eat the younger ones. When the males start fighting among themselves, they are seated in separate cups, it is better to feed them with live food, change the water daily or every other day.

By the age of three months, males are usually painted and begin to try to build nests, and at the age of 4-5 months they can be spawned.

Alexander Chabotaev (Aquaterra №6 / 2009)

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