Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

Brine Shrimp at Last

I started trying to hatch brine shrimp before I actually had a spawn to get back in the swing of things and have time to adjust before a bunch of little fry depended on it and I had more troubles than I care to admit. Poor hatch rates. I researched and made sure my salt was the correct amount added to water. I added light overhead and still poor results. By now I have fry.. yikes! I was feeding my vinegar eels and the fry were doing ok.. but the eels would not last forever so I needed to get the hang of this quickly.

I went to a recommended place for brine shrimp, Brine Shrimp Direct.After some reading I decided to buy their highest hatch rate eggs. I figured I  needed all the help I could get. Since the hatchery was set up in my work shop and it can get a bit cool in there at night.. I put the hatcheries in a box and put some bubble wrap around them and the temp came up closer to 80 degrees. Yesterday, the eggs I had ordered came and I mixed up a new batch with those and today.. I have shrimp!

I have had a small light along the right side of the spawn tank. the few shrimp I had been hatching soon migrate up against that side and the Betta fry were just hanging out and snacking as the day went on. this morning, I  noticed the fry on the left side of the tank were not quite as big and seemed to have not discovered the shrimp. So, I moved the light and it wasn’t long before they too were snacking on the fresh shrimp.

The fry are still too small to really get any good pictures of. I need a macro lens for the camera and hopefully will find time next week to do some shopping for one. Right now it is just real cool to watch the little fry eat and grow.


March 27, 2009 Posted by | Feeding, Fry, Live Foods | , , , | 1 Comment

First Feeding

Well, this morning, most of the fry are horizontal and swimming around. Some are still hanging around the bottom and there are a few that are still kinda tail down hanging on the edges of things. I have no idea how long the spawn lasted, but it makes sense some may be a bit behind in the their development by several hours.

I tried to get a picture but nothing came out. I guess I need to get a macro lens to take picture of new baby bettas. I also need a magnifying glass. Can’t see anything. Probably due to old age but I want to blame it on the amber colored water and the plastic tub I used as a spawn tank.

Last night before I left I put some filter floss in the neck of the bottle I have vinegar eels in and added fresh water. This morning the clear water was full of lots of wiggly little worms. I added a small dropper full of eels in with the fry first thing and also around lunch time they got another small dropper full. Can’t see if the fry are eating the worms, but with a bright light you can see the worms wiggling around in the water. The baby brine shrimp have not really hatched out as planned.. may need to figure out how to warm the water a bit.. so good thing had the eels. I hope before heading to the house tonight I have some bbs to feed. I have a light over the shrimp but I’m not sure it is warm enough for a 24 hour hatch. Time for more research..

I just had a shipment of wax warmers come in so I need to go back to being a shop keeper.. and leave the babies alone till later tonight when my work is done.

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Feeding, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

They’re Everywhere

img_0271_2Well, we walked into the shop and a quick peek reveled no bubble nest. Bummer.. the male must have eaten the eggs. But upon closer examination.. there are Betta babies EVERYWHERE! There is no nest to speak of and the fry are hanging on the side of the Styrofoam cup, the thermometer, a few are hanging on the sides of the spawn tank and tons of them are all over the bottom.

img_0273_2As you can imagine, Dad is busy picking the little guys up and blowing them back up under the cup. But, with no bubbles for them to stick to, they eventually just fall down again. Poor guy is going to be really tired when this is over and done with. I thought about pulling him out so he doesn’t get too tired and start munching.. but he had looked in the past to be eating the eggs and has managed to get this far.

img_0276_2I did drop the water about an inch so it is a little over 2″ in depth. Hopefully, the fry will be able to swim up to the surface a bit easier and Dad won’t have so much water to swim up through as he returns these guys to where they belong. All the little black dots in the picture on the left are fry. I sure never expected this many babies with the few bubbles and eggs I saw. I hope Fred, the dad, does a little better with the bubble nest the next time we do this. Now I’m getting all excited and wondering about all the beautiful fish we are going to have soon. Hopefully, if feeding the little things go well, we should have several very nice fish.

img_0151_2I added a few more pictures of all the little fry. It ia amazing that they start out so small.


March 23, 2009 Posted by | Fry, Spawns | , , , | Leave a comment

First Spawn

I had been conditioning the Copper male and the female arrived in good shape so a weeks worth of good feeding and I put her in with the male Thursday morning. Fred, the Copper male, got busy with a bubble nest and chasing the female, Wilma, all over the tank. I had things to do here at the shop so I kept an eye on them. Wilma was getting some torn fins but she was pretty cheeky. She’d flare and come right back at Fred. I kept thinking I’d walk back there and they’d be spawning.. but alsa.. at 8 pm I left for  home.

The next morning Wilma was in the corner of the tank and much trimmer. I gently scooped her out and started acclimating here to another tank that was cooler than the spawn tank. A check on Fred and there were not as many bubbles but there were eggs! Through out the day I checked on him and was a bit concerned. The bubbles kept dissappearing untill there were very few left. Fred spent a lot of time swimming up and down the side of the spawn tank instead of under the nest. My fears were he was eating the eggs. But, he did not seem to be getting any bigger around so I really wondered what was going on. I kept the lights in the workshop off and hoped I’d get at least a few babies out of the whole deal.

Today I came in and checked on Fred. The nest was bigger and a bright light shined up into the nest showed several eggs. So, I am much relieved that he did not eat the eggs. Now, I am hoping to get some of those eggs hatching soon. Will start the baby brine shrimp and I have a vinegar eel culture. We should be ready to feed when it’s time.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Spawns | , | Leave a comment

More new Fish

090205_345_2I fell in love with the Coppers and ordered a pair of Coppers from This is the male I got.. and got a lovely female. She was my favorite over the male. Already full of eggs and had vertical barring, she was feisty and appeared ready to breed the moment I get them settled into their new home. But alas, the trap on end of the filter suction tube came off in the night and she was sucked up into the filter. Although still alive, her spine was bent and appeared damaged and she passed in the night. So, having this lovely Copper male, I set about to find a replacement female. Not so easy a task in this color anyway.

0801008lMy search led me to . He had a lovely Copper Female. I really like her tail, seems very sturdy and branches nice. Both Copper fish have long anal fins and will have to watch and make sure this fin length on the fry do not get out of control and balance.

0101023lAnother color I like is the solid blue/green body and the creamy fins. I think many call this a Mustard Gas coloration. So, since I had to pay shipping anyway, I got this guy as well. To my untrained eye, his tail is a bit cleaner than the first male I got. The edges on top and bottom are sharper rather then rounded. He also isn’t as ‘frilly’ looking.. my preference in a tail.

0801001lTo go along with him I got a female. From this picture her tail does not seem to be as close to 180 as the other female, but is branched well. I like the length of her anal better than the first female and overall feel she is better balanced. But then again, I am very new to all this and will probably look back a year from now and wonder.. what was I thinking??

But, all these fish come from some very nice breeders of quality Bettas. I am hoping that by starting with quality stock, I have solid conformation and some purity in the genetics to start my own lines. I learned with horses.. it costs just as much to feed the $300 horse as it does to feed the $3000 one. Buy as much quality as you can afford and go from there. Looking forward to some nice fish from these 4. I expect these 3 new ones to be here mid week next week.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Fish | , , , | 3 Comments