Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Betta

Hello everyone! My name is John and I am Vanessa’s bf. We are jointly creating this blog to exercise our creative side and to do something cute together . . . awww ;) Her posts will be mainly directed at (but not limited to) her knitting projects and her emotions about said projects which are usually positive but may swing towards insanely frustrated; her bunnies; and whatever else she deems worthy to include. My posts will focus on my fish hobby and may include other noteworthy things if I think others will find them interesting. My first series of articles will follow the life of my newborn bettas, through their adult years. I hope to include a pictorial history as they progress through their lives.

As mentioned a second ago, I have a fish hobby. Hobby is a nice word but is not entirely satisfactory in describing what I have. Most days I feel that addiction or obsession hits closer to the mark. I collect and spawn halfmoon betta splendens (simply known as bettas).
As I never tire pointing out, halfmoon bettas are far above the ordinary Wal-Mart or local pet store betta in finnage quality and beauty. There is little comparison between the length breeders go to in order to perfect the ideal fins and color in a strain of halfmoon and the thoughtless spawning of hundreds of thousands of the lesser veiltail (Wal-Mart brand) bettas. Some people think I get a bit pretentious talking about my fish, judge for yourself ;) Although I am quick to promote halfmoons, I need to admit that my hobby began as a simple Wal-Mart betta named Artulious (after his favorite movie, King Arthur). I also spawn angelfish, but to a small extent as of yet.
SO, introduction aside we can get on with the main topic of this post, my newborn bettas! Although this is not my first successful spawn, I feel that I know enough now through trial and error (error, meaning all the fry passed to the great pond in the sky) that I will be able to keep most of them alive and thriving. The parents, black and gold in honor of my alma mater, the University of Iowa, were conditioned and placed in the spawning tank last Tuesday (see picture of the male). There are TONS of boring details about the ideal conditions of the water, how long they are able to see each other per day, and so on that I will leave out. Suffice to say that the process needs to be done correctly; a failure could mean the death of one or both of the fish. In case you didn’t know, bettas are FIERCELY territorial, which is why only one betta can be kept in a single tank. This is a self-fulfilling rule, if you put two, three, four in an aquarium you will end up with only one (who will probably die from his battle wounds).

In any case, after proper conditioning they engaged in the elaborate spawning practice and resulted in 100+ eggs that turned into the tiniest fry you can imagine. Imagine a size 11 Times New Roman font comma, that is about how big they are (the picture should give you some idea). More like swimming gnats than fish. At this point in their development they remain in the bubblenest the male has built. I have removed the parents so the fry do not turn into snacks, and they have the tank to themselves. However, they remain floating under the nest for a few days.
Two days later they have almost doubled in size and now explore the tank. They zip to and fro looking for a tasty morsel which I add 3-4 times a day in the form of brine shrimp. The only thing smaller than baby bettas is baby brine shrimp, which are perfect fry food because they swim all over the tank and allow the fry to snack as they get hungry. If you have wondered if baby bettas get along, they do! Although not exactly socialable, they enjoy chilling out by the tank heater and chomping on any brine shrimp that flitter by. Not a bad life!
Next post will detail the fry’s one week birthday! As of now almost all of the 100+ fry are alive and well, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that they all remain healthy and happy!


  1. That's a really sweet looking beta. I've never seen one that color. :D

  2. Have you ever thought about dying yarns inspired by the beta colors? That could be cool.

  3. You know, I hadn't thought about it! I don't have much experience dying yarn or a lot of time, as we are both grad students, but I will definitely take this into consideration!

  4. This is a very pretty betta. Where did you get him. I am very interested in a black and yellow betta. Thanks


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