Monday, April 28, 2008

System Down

Sorry for the late updates and unreplied mails. My PC went down last Tuesday, only managed to be back online this Sunday. Built a new computer, my most powerful one yet, lol a little off topic. I basically ran dual channel for every important component in my system. SLI, Dual Channel, Dual Core, Raid 0, and it kicked ass! Hehehe.
Once again sorry for the delays and unreplied mails.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

11 Weeks Old Betta Fry

11 Week old betta fry. Not much day to day changes in the fry appearance. Their growth is now focus in their body, the males are getting stout. Now they look just like the adult, but slightly smaller. Heres a picture of one of the fry chilling out on a leaf of the nana. They like going to the spa once in a while.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Betta Fungus Attack One Week Later

Finally all 3 of them are eating. Not much just a little, but they are finally eating. They still look very weak with very very pale coloration. But it is a great relief that they are finally eating and swimming around.

I am guessing that you cannot leave them overnight in a 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt/0.5 gallon during treatment, it will weaken them seriously. I have been doing daily 50% water changes for them with a 3ml of ketapang extract in 0.5 gallon after day 4, maybe the ketapang helped in soothing them?

The rest of the jarred fry is now cleared of fungus. From now on I am going to add 1% salt concentration during water change to prevent an outbreak of fungus attack and take greater note of the condition of my ketapang extract.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fungus Attack Day 4

The fungus on their body is more or less gone. I've been doing 50% water change daily since day 3. Did not add anymore salt or medication. All 3 of them are very lethargic, with very bad scaring of the body. Only the rightmost and the leftmost ate 1 or 2 bloodworm today. I'm most concern about the center one, it has not ate anything since day 2. Well I hope I can consider this an improvement; it was floating on it's side yesterday, today it's floating upright. Hopefully the center one will recover from this fungus attack.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

10 Week Old Betta Fry

Not much changes from week 9. Their body has growth a little larger, closing in to an adult betta size. I will be reporting their growth till week 12. The pictures posted here is my favorite butterfly, not sure if it can still be considered a tri-ban betta, but I'm contented to get a butterfly out of this spawn.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fungus Attack Day 3

Only 1 fry seemed to be recovering and gaining back its strength. The other 2 seemed to fared worse than yesterday, floating at their side on the surface. Did a water change for those 2 without adding anymore medication and salt.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Betta Fungus Attack Day 2

1 of the 3 fishes has recovered, a little weak but eating. The fungus on the other 2 has reduced a lot but they are lethargic and not eating. Hopefully they will start eating by tomorrow.

Betta Fungus Attack Updates

The 3 fry seemed to be doing a lot better after 12 hours into the treatment. Did another 100% water change tonight and added 1 teaspoon of salt and 8 drops of OceanFree External Bacteria and Fungus Away to 0.5 of dechlorinated water, same dosage as the last treatment except; No more ketapang extract, I suspect the fungus are thriving in the extract itself.

Bad news is that ALL the other jarred bettas are suffering from mild case of fungus infection. Add the medication to them, hopefully that will cure the fungus attack. I don't want my whole community tank to come down with the infection too, so I added the medication to the tank, now all tanks are neon green, not nice....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Betta Fungus Disease

I did a wrong diagnose of the disease my fry is suffering from. It is not fin rot but a severe case of Fungus attack. I am wavered between slime disease and true fungus. Anyone able to help?
All 3 fry seemed to be doing worse than early this morning. A lot more stringy strands hanging off their fins and their body is very moldy looking. I have increased the salt concentration in the tank and hopefully they get better.

New Layout

Got a little sick of the old template. So I switch to a new one to liven up the place.

Betta Fin Rot

As always, when I return home, I will take a look at my precious fry. Then I notice something about 1 of the 3 tri-ban butterfly which I removed from the community tank 3 days ago.
FIN ROT! And a very bad case of fin rot for this fry, I must add. This is weird considering that the fry in the community tank are all healthy and well and free from disease. Never mind the cause, the matter at hand calls for an emergency.
Immediately (and I mean immediately, with wallet, phone and all the nonsense items still in my pocket) I did a 100% water change. Add 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt, 100ml of new Ketapang Extract and proper dosage of OceanFree External Fungus and Bacteria Away. Of course it will be best to shift them to the shelf with the aquarium light, and that's what I did. I then look at the other 2 tri-ban butterfly and realized that both of them got a minor case of fin rot. Did exactly the same treatment for the two of them. With the treatment for fin rot given, I can now only wait and see if there's any improvement.
The next step will be to check every single jarred fry for fin rot with a flashlight. Fortunately all of the bettas are healthy and well and free from disease. I suspect that the fin rot might be caused by an expired batch of ketapang extract. It was the last bit of the extract and it was full of sediment. I tend to give a heavier dosage of ketapang extract during jarring, therefore only the 3 newly jarred fry suffered from the contamination, while the rest (with normal dosage) are unaffected. Well, learn from my mistake, if you are near the last bit of ketapang extract, discard it and start a new batch.

Note: The extract was about 2 month old, I am guessing that towards the end when there are very little amount of extract in the container, the extract starts to expire rapidly (because of the increased volume of air in the container), causing a boom in bacteria. So it is wise to filter and transfer your reminding extract to a smaller container to extend the shelf-life.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Anubias barteri (Nana)

Went to Darwin today and got myself an Anubias barteri or better known as "Nana" (actually nana is the dwarf version of this plant). Hardy aquatic plant from Africa, just second to algae in terms of hardiness.

The spawn seems to be really interested in the plant the moment I introduce it to the tanks. They are swimming around it and resting on and beneath it's leaves. It seems as though they have calm down. Well for some strange reasons I am actually pretty fond of this plant, maybe I've been staring at an empty tank for too long.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

9 Weeks old betta fry

I have separated all the males (hopefully) from the community tank and jarred them. Contradictory to popular beliefs, female bettas or at least plakats do not live well in a community tank. Fins are torn and nipped, some to great extend, and the wounds never got a chance to heal. I had to jar a badly injured female plakat with the whole dorsal fin ripped off from its body.

Feeding them heavily helps a little, but once they get hungry, they (female) start getting very aggressive again. I will try to add some live plants in to create more hiding places for the less aggressive females and see if it helps to ease some of the fighting. I am seriously considering jarring most of the female but space is really limited.

So far I've sold 10 fry, Dad and Sis had adopted 7 in total. I've managed to jar 42 fry which leaves 49 in the community tank. From the picture above you will notice that bottom left of the shelf holds a covered tank. That's the new home of the badly injured female I had mentioned earlier. Covering a tank up does help speed up the healing process. I had a badly injured male covered up and its fins grew back (not fully recovered but very vast difference from the day it was jarred) in 2 days. Its counterparts did not heal as well in that 2 days and has not fully recovered since being jarred a week ago. Thicker Ketapang and salt solution is recommended for healing damaged fins.

Jarring the fry allow them to develop to their true potential. This is one of my favorite male fry. Believe it or not, from my reviews this is actually a tri-ban butterfly betta. Very sought after, very rare, talk about beginner's luck. But fry at this age undergoes many changes, so I'm hoping and praying that the white band stays white, the black stays black and the blue stays blue.

This is another of my champion. It has the whole package, body, finnage and color. The flash from the camera destroyed the color of this fry. When viewed with aquarium light, it is actually blue. Noticed how stout and short the body is and how even the fins are when he flares. As long as it starts in this proportion when it grows, this is one fry worth breeding my F2 generation from.

The previous champion of my week 8 post has not grown ideally. Its fin has grown so huge that it is no longer proportional to its body. Notice how huge its dorsal fin is even when not flaring. I'm not able to take a good photo of it as it was sleeping and unwilling to flare, talk about star arrogance.

Monday, April 7, 2008

DIY Aquarium Lamp

From my shelf layout, I can squeeze a maximum of 28 0.5 gallon tanks into it and still be able to maintain the fishes. But 28 tanks is not enough, so I spend some time taking measurements and designing a way to fit more tanks into this shelf.

If you take note of the lowest level of the shelf, I've managed to squeeze in 7 more tanks into one level. I did a little carpentry and build myself a simple tank bench which slot neatly into the rear of the shelf. By doing so I double the capacity of a single level. The good thing about this bench is that I can now fix a DIY aquarium lamp beneath it. I am not trying to be stingy, but due to the limited space between the lamp and the betta, slotting a commercial aquarium lamp beneath the bench will kill the fishes as the heat generated is very high. So the only solution is to DIY my own aquarium lamp that does not generate too much heat.

One piece of component that is hidden from most fluorescents lamps is the electric ballast. Without going into too much detail on how this ballast works, just take note of this when you DIY your own aquarium lamp.
  1. Connecting a fluorescent tube directly into the wall socket without a ballast WILL CAUSE AN EXPLOSION!
  2. The electric ballast produces a huge amount of heat and should be kept away from the fishes and other flammable products.
Now that we got the warning out of the way let me continue with the guide.

So you need a switch to give you some control of the lighting, hook it up to the ballast.You can get a fluorescent tube connector from any good hardware store and an aquarium fluorescent tube from any LFS. Hook everything up, all components basically runs in series (ask your hardware store for detailed instructions). For best results, the base and the surrounding area of the lamp should be reflective or at the very least white. Get any reflective objects are place them all around, used and out-dated CDs are good substitutes.

Although the lamp works when place on ground level, it doesn't seem too pleasant to the eye when viewing the fishes. Safety wise; heat from the tube might melt the CDs beneath it.

The obvious solution is to hang the tube up, preventing it from melting the CDs. Hanging the tube up will also allow light to be reflect from all the CDs, generating a softer and more consistent glow. A big difference in the lighting quality can be seen from this picture, a softer but fuller glow is produced just by hanging the tube.

Because of the close proximity, direct light from the tube is very harsh, causing great discomfort when viewing the fishes. So a white shade is used to soften the light further. Simply cover your DIY lamp with a white cloth to soften the light.

The DIY aquarium lamp worked perfectly when all the tanks are put in place. Nice pleasent soft light that bring out the colors of the fishes, especially the tanks on the bench.

An immediate "WOW" effect is achieved. Look at how dull the other shelves are.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Betta (Plakat) for Sale Singapore

I believe in karma and will not cull any fry. Since there are only so much fishes a single person can provide care for, I am putting up my F1 betta (plakat) spawn (DOB: 06-02-2008) for sale.
  • 1 Fry for $3
  • Male and Female Pair for $5
  • 4 fry of any sex for $10
If you track my posts on the blog, you will understand that these prices are mere token and do not yield any profits. If you wish to purchase the fry just drop me an email to arrange for viewing:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

8 Week old betta fry

8 week old and still counting. The growth in the fry are not as drastic as they used to be. The fins are growing in size and colors and they are starting to get really aggressive. Some of the fry still have some catch-up to do in terms of size and coloration but overall all is fine.

It is still very hard to differentiate males from females in the spawning tank. Some jarred males has a white spot at the stomach, something that only female has. Up till now the only way to confirm the sex is to jar them and wait for a bubble nest.

I am still refining the process of differentiating males from females in the spawning tank. Flaring and aggressive behavior is not a good male indication (I've jarred around 30% aggressive females), neither is coloration. Finnage can be used to sex the fry quite accurately, females have fins that are less full; much smaller and shorter anal and tail fins. They also tend to run away when flared upon. Most females in my tanks have fins that are almost perfect, i.e. not nipped or broken.

Males have fuller and broader anal and tail fins. Their fins also tend to be nipped and damaged quite badly compared to the rest. When flare upon, they usually return the flare and start a fight with the loser running away for its life. This is a pretty good indication that the fry is a male.

Like I said earlier, at this stage, the only way to confirm the sex of the fry is to jar them and wait for a bubble nest.

Now jarring is becoming a problem with limited space. I've jarred most of the better ones during the 7th week. Since then it has been a mad rush trying to get hold of containers and 0.5 gallon tanks. I've 15 glass tanks coming this Friday and had just collected 7 plastic tanks today. Since I've jarred the better ones and space is a luxury I don't have, I've only jarred those alphas males/females (they're super aggressive; nipping, striking and chasing other fry) and those with badly damaged fins. So far I've jarred 26 fry and sold 4 of them. That leaves about 85 fry in the tank.

To prepare for jarring, first of all you need jars, containers or tanks. 0.5 gallon is good if you do water change every 2 days, 1 gallon is good for 3-4 days. Since I am using 0.5 gallon, the following proportion of ingredents are based on a 0.5 gallon tank filled to around 70% water level.

I condition the tank by adding a third teaspoon of aquarium salt with 20-30ml of Ketapang extract. Let this mixture sit overnight. The thick ketapang and salt mixture will help heal the fins. I then net the desired fry and transfer it gently into the tank.

I will net at least 2 and not "curtain" the two tanks so that the fry can see each other. This is to calm them down as they have been in a community tank all their life. Once they become real active and flaring constantly at their neighbor (usually within 2-5 hours), I will curtain the two tanks partially; leaving some gap so that they can still see each other. I'll leave them in this state overnight and curtain them fully the following day.

Now you will notice that some fry have fins that are really damaged. My suggestion is this:
  1. Do NOT allow the fry to flare. Just feed it as usual and leave it alone until the FIRST water change.
  2. Do a 70% water change and add 30ml of ketapang extract with a third teaspoon of aquarium salt.
  3. Cover the tank up, leaving only a gap for feeding.
  4. Feed twice a day but slightly lesser. My suggestion will be to feed only frozen bloodworms. This feed is high in protein, filling and relatively clean.
  5. Do not remove the cover until the next water change. When it is time for a water change, just remove the front of the cover to check if the fins have heal, if it did you can remove the cover totally and carry on as usual. If it is still not heal, just repeat step 2 onwards until the fin has healed.
Well that sums up my jarring suggestions. This is a picture of my favorite male and most likely the dad of my future F2 generation of fry. At 8 weeks old he's showing so much potential, great finnage, strong royal blue with black base, stout body and no red wash. Pretty lucky this fry has most of the mother's gene. Enjoy, I'll be posting more updates regarding this champion and my selection for the mother for my F2.

Since there is only so much tanks/fishes a single person can handle, I am putting up some fry for sale. I believe in karma and will not cull any fry. If you are interested in getting some plakats, just drop me an email:
  • 1 fry for $3
  • Male and female pair for $5
  • 4 fry of any sex for $10.