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.

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