Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

These D#@% Fish!

Hobbies are supposed to be relaxing. A few issues here and there.. but over all.. fun. Raising show quality Bettas has been.. fun.. up to the move to Texas. The move itself wiped out most of the fry we had at the time. All the juvies except about 20 – gone. The young fry made it but because we stopped feeding the baby brine shrimp, all but the  hardiest died out in the weeks after the move. White worms – gone. The micro, walter and banana worm cultures were almost gone. Vinegar eels, again, barely hanging on. Then we moved again to the apartment. We were sooo excited to set up and breed again. Then spawn after spawn failed.. didn’t hatch… fry never became free-swimming.. dad ate eggs/fry. The adults started to look off.. then definitely had something wrong. For the first time ever I had fins rotting. So we started to look at everything.  Discovered water here is very hard. So we searched the net and discovered filtering through peat. It changed the water enough the fish should be fine. But no change. We ran the fish room through a 10 day treatment of nitrofurazone. It helped with the fin issues and most everybody seemed to perk up. The ones that didn’t will get a treatment for internal parasites in a separate tank.

With the water better and the fish healthier we decided to spawn again. Since the fish were happier and rested we put a pair in the spawn tank. Dad was great! Huge nest, lots of eggs and dad was very good about tending to them. I left one morning and I had lots of fry bouncing from bottom to top of the tank and was so excited that I was finally going to have some fry. But I came home to dead fry on the bottom of the tank. GRRRRRRR! Now what was wrong? Water, health.. what else was there?? Had fry so parents not sterile. How could I tell if they were producing defective fry or something was affecting them at that stage? I was at the point of throwing everybody in the Oscar tank and raising cichlids. After some pouting and grumping I decided to break the tank down, clean it and set up another pair. When I started to take the tank apart I noticed the heater had risen above the water line on one end and had turned itself off. The tank was set to 82 and the house is warm.. about 78 during the day so water temps would be around 74 degrees. The water had cooled but no more than would happen in the wild at night. I’m hoping the failed spawn is just that simple.. I don’t want to have to research any more. Would just like to feed and enjoy the fish for a bit.

So I finished cleaning the tank and setting it up again. I actually set up 3 more spawns. As I am typing I have one that hatched earlier today and I will remove the male in the morning. Another young pair, a cross with my first double tail, spawned today and I have a small bunch of egg. That is his spawn pictured. Another pair was spawning when I left this morning but there is nothing in the nest and she is still full of eggs. They did not get it figured out so I guess they are taking a break. He had this problem of wrapping before.. will give him some more time before trying another male as I’d really like some offspring from him. But with better water, a full moon and a good cold front that moved through I’m hoping we finally will have some fry around here. I am wanting to continue my lines and they are easier to breed when they are younger. As I see fish mature I get excited thinking about the next generation and the direction I want to take our breeding. It would be a shame to lose what we have acquired so far. We also need to get some spawns soon to have fish ready for the Spring shows. We did not have much to show this fall and most of the ones we did show got tore up in the shipping.

This move and all the troubles have taught me more about my fish and made me rethink some things. I have come to the conclusion that even with the issues, I enjoy raising these fish. And, when that day comes when I have bettas every where, I will remember these days and be ever so thankful I have to find yet ANOTHER container for my fish.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Breeding Bettas, Day 2 Day, Fry, Info You Can Use, Spawning, Water Quality | , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Coast Betta Show Results

Our fish are safely back in their containers and here are the results of the show in Florida.

Photograph is not of the show but one of GreatBettas spectacular Halfmoons. See link sidebar for more of his fish.

Division A1: Halfmoon Non-iridescent Dark Solid Color ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A1. Red STM Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez 3
A2. Black STM Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez 2
A3. Red or Black STF Mohan Balakrishnan Jon Limhengco Sieg & Judy Illig 6

Division A2: Halfmoon Iridescent Dark Solid Color ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A4. Blue STM Mohan Balakrishnan Jon Limhengco Ben Rodriguez 4
A5. Steel STM Leo Buss Leo Buss Robert Pearre 3
A6. Green / Turquoise STM Sherolyn & Reno
A7. Blue STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Jon Limhengco 6
A8. Steel STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 4
A9. Green / Turquoise STF Leo Buss Sherolyn & Reno Karen MacAuley 5

Division A3: Halfmoon Light Solid Color ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A10. Clear / Yellow / Orange STM
John Leach Kendra Watson 2
A11. Clear / Yellow / Orange STF
Karen MacAuley Mohan Balakrishnan Kendra Watson 3
A12. Opaque / Pastel STM
John Leach Jay Keating 2
A13. Opaque / Pastel STF
Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 7

Division A4: Halfmoon Metallic Dark or Light Solid Color ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A14. Metallic Dark Solid STM
Jon Limhengco Jon Limhengco 2
A15. Metallic Light Solid STM 0
A16. Metallic Dark Solid STF
Karen MacAuley Jon Limhengco Jon Limhengco 6
A17. Metallic Light Solid STF
Sherolyn & Reno Jon Limhengco Kendra Watson 3

Division A5: Halfmoon Patterned ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A18. Multicolor STM Karen MacAuley Karen MacAuley Jon Limhengco 10
A19. Multicolor STF Karen MacAuley Karen MacAuley Joe & Amy Becerra 8
A20. Dark Body Bicolor STM Jon Limhengco John Leach Ben Rodriguez 3
A21. Light Body Bicolor STM Michael Randall 1
A22. Dark Body / Light Body Bicolor STF Joe & Amy Becerra Michael Randall Joe & Amy Becerra 6
A23. Butterfly STM John Leach John Leach Jay Keating 8
A24. Butterfly STF John Leach Michael Randall John Leach 5
A25. Marble / Grizzle STM Robert Pearre John Leach Karen MacAuley 10
A26. Marble / Grizzle STF Jay Keating Joe & Amy Becerra Jay Keating 5

Division B: Halfmoon DT
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
B1. Dark Solid Color DTM Ben Rodriguez Ben Rodriguez Sherolyn  & Reno  3
B2. Light Solid Color DTM 0
B3. Dark or Light Solid Color DTF Sieg & Judy Illig Mohan Balakrishnan Leo Buss 3
B4. Metallic Dark or Light DTM 0
B5. Metallic Dark or Light DTF 0
B6. Patterned DTM Ben Rodriguez Jon Limhengco Karen MacAuley 9
B7. Patterned DTF Mohan Balakrishnan Jon Limhengco Michael Randall 10

Division C: Crowntail ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
C1. Dark Solid Color STM Ben Rodriguez Jay Keating Ben Rodriguez 5
C2. Light Solid Color STM 0
C3. Dark or Light Solid Color STF Jay Keating Jay Keating Jay Keating 6
C4. Patterned STM 0
C5. Patterned STF Joe & Amy Becerra Joe & Amy Becerra Joe & Amy Becerra 4

Division D: Shortfin ST
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
D1. Traditional Plakat Male Michael Randall Sieg & Judy Illig Ben Rodriguez 5
D2. Show Plakat Dark Solid Color Male Sieg & Judy Illig Sieg & Judy Illig Lori Green 7
D3. Show Plakat Light Solid Color Male 0
D4. Show Plakat Patterned Male Sieg & Judy Illig Sieg & Judy Illig Mohan Balakrishnan 6
D5. Halfmoon Shortfin Solid Color Male Mohan Balakrishnan 1
D6. Halfmoon Shortfin Patterned Male 0
D7. Traditional Plakat Female Jay Keating Jay Keating Joe & Amy Becerra 11
D8. Show Plakat Female Joe & Amy Becerra Joe & Amy Becerra Jay Keating 10

TRIAL CLASS
Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
D9. Doubletail Plakat Male Wayne McLain 1

Division E: Breeders Division
*Note: For pairs total the number of entries in each class, not the number of fish.
Class winners in E Division are considerd for BOV appropriate to their respective gender and variety.

E1. Color or Form Variations Michael Randall Michael Randall Michael Randall 10
E2. Form and Finnage Karen Macaley Leo Buss John Leach 7
E3. Pairs* 0

Division F: Wild Type Betta Pairs

Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place

(Not Eligible for BOS)
F1 Small / Large Bubblenesters* Dick Houston Dick Houston Dick Houston 3

F2 Small / Large Mouthbrooders* Dick Houston Dick Houston Dick Houston 3

Best of Variety Name & Class Winner

Halfmoon ST Male Karen MacAuley – A18
Halfmoon ST Female Leo Buss – A13
Halfmoon DT Male Ben Rodriguez – B1
Halfmoon DT Female Sieg & Judy Illig – B3
Crowntail Male Ben Rodriguez – C1
Crowntail Female Jay Keating – C3
Shortfin Male Sieg & Judy Illig – D4
Shortfin Female Joe & Amy Becerra – D8

Best of Show Name & Class Winner
BOS Male Karen MacAuley – A18
BOS Female Leo Buss – A13

Division G: Optional Classes (Not counted as Regular Entries)
(Not Eligible for BOS.) Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
G1 Photography Joe & Amy Becerra Jeana Earn Joe & Amy Becerra 8
G2 Illustration 0
G3 Crafts 0

Group B: New Breeder Classes Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
NB-1 Singletail Male C. Bailey Susan Horlick Susan Horlick 4
NB-2 Doubletail Male 0
NB-3 Crowntail Male C. Bailey 1
NB-4 Plakat Male Susan Horlick 1
NB-5 Singletail Female Susan Horlick Susan Horlick Susan Horlick 6
NB-6 Doubletail Female 0

New Breeder Best of Show Name & Class of Winner
BOS Male Susan Horlick – NB4
BOS Female Susan Horlick – NB5

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Betta Shows, Show Results | , | Leave a comment

Filtering through Peat

While we are still looking into reverse osmosis units, we are filtering through peat. It did take a while to get the Canadian peat that was recommended. The stuff I was finding at Lowe’s was a fluffy peat mix that was not like the compressed and finely shredded stuff I was looking for. A local garden center where my mother lives was able to provide me a bale of what I needed. I got 1 cubic foot and it was about $10. A bit more expensive than the 2.5 cubic bale of stuff from Lowe’s that cost me $6.

To make sure I was on the right track, I rigged up a milk jug with a   in the bottom. Over that I put some coffee filters then filled the jug up with peat. I then hung it over the trash can I use for water storage with an ‘S’ hook and put my kitchen sprayer into it and started the water. The peat started to swell and over flow the container. So, I ended up removing about half the contents of peat as it continued to swell. Eventually I got an amount of peat that was staying in the container and I filled up about 1/3 of the trash can.. about 10 gallons. It took much longer than just running water into the container as the hole was not big enough to handle the full volume of water. But a test of the water showed much lower GH and KE readings.. as well as lowered ph. So, we were on the right track.

A trip to the grocery store and I picked up a bucket. I drilled several holes in the bottom and once again put some coffee filters over the holes. On top of that I put some filter pads I inherited from my brother and then a 3-4” layer of wet peat. I needed a way to hold the container over the trash can so used an old chair and lined up the holes with the spaces in the back of the chair. Everything worked but once again, the volume of water coming out of the container was too slow. I am thinking the coffee filters really slow down the water that filters through. My next plan will be to remove the filters and just use a good layer of filter floss above the holes. I want water to run through fairly quick but not have the particles of peat in the water. Again, a test of the water showed lower levels of ph, gh and kh.

Over time I plan on using proportionately more of the peat filtered water in my water changes. I am hoping to lower the ph over the course of a few weeks to a much lower level. My fry tanks are already using the softer water.. and I will continue to keep them topped off with it. It really sucks to have to jack with water this much to enjoy your fish. But to get good spawns and the perfect fins needed to show.. it is a necessity. My goal is to use 1/3 tap water, 1/3 peat filtered and 1/3 reverse osmosis when I get it. I don’t like the idea of wasting all the water the r/o units do.. for every 25 gallons you get you put 75 gallons down the drain. And, pure r/o needs to have SOME minerals added back in for the health of the fish. My water diluted down I am hoping will be fine. Using some of the peat filtered will give me lower ph, gh, and kh without the waste. Will keep you updated as I get it worked out.

Edited to add: My original values were Ph 8.1; GH 358 ppm; KH 286 ppm. Running the same water through the peat gave me readings of Ph 7.2; GH 232 and KH 179. Not bad for a quick fix.

I removed the coffee filters and the water did flow through a lot faster and I did not lose any time filling the trash can through peat over just running the water into the trash can. Still looking at reverse osmosis units…

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Fish Room, Info You Can Use, Water Quality | , , , , | 4 Comments

Shipping Bags

People are often amazed we ship fish to shows and out to people who purchase from us. We get asked about how the fish handle the process as well as what we use. No, ziplock bags don’t work and bags from a local fish shop are not ideal for shipping bettas. We use a bag that is 2 mil thick and 4″ wide by 12″ or 14″ long. My favorite place to get these bags is ULine. They ship quick and you can get a bunch of bags at a very reasonable cost. Another hobbiest recommended Mid-State Plastics.

 I got the photo HERE and there is some very good info on shipping Bettas.

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Info You Can Use, Shipping Bettas | , , | Leave a comment

Water.. Ugh!

The fish have been set up for a month now and are not as perky as they should be. Fin rays are crimping and the fins are fraying. I also have had 4 spawns where the eggs did not hatch, 2 where the fry never got free-swimming as they just swirled around for days and died and several spawn attempts where nobody was interested. Time to look at the water.

The water where we were in Ohio was hard.. but fish reared in it were just fine. I never had issues with the eggs not hatching or fry just doing poorly. But here in Texas the water is even worse. Very high GH and KH readings. So we are looking into eventually getting a Reverse Osmosis unit to make pure water for mixing into what we have to lower these levels to something we can live with. In the mean time I am searching for Canadian Peat to boil for tannins. I have been crock potting my Indian Almond leaves and adding the “tea” from it and it has not budged the GH or KH levels. So after cruising the net I learned the Peat will be a stronger tannin that will hopefully lower my levels. Unfortunately, all I am finding at my local Lowe’s is Sphagnum Peat.. not the Canadian that was said to work. I know now why there are Cichlid clubs here and nothing else. Guess nothing else will take the water.

So for now we are not trying to spawn anything. I have been adding some distilled water to dilute what I have.. but that will get expensive very quick. I am easily going through 30 gallons a day.. and 1/3 of that would need to be distilled to make a dent. That would be about $10/day. Time to search the net for peat.

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Fry, Spawning, Water Quality | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABS Show Results

Well, the fish went to Connecticut this weekend for the Astral Betta Society show and here are the results:

Group A: Regular Classes
Division A1- Halfmoon Non-Irid.Dark Solid Color ST

Class: A1-Red STM # in Class: 6
First: Greg Engler
Second: Mohan Balakrishnan
Third: John ( Jay) Walsh

Class: A2-Black STM # in Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: A3-Red or Black STF # in Class: 4
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Mohan Balakrishnan
Third: Mohan Balakrishnan

Division A2- Halfmoon Irid. Dark Solid Color ST

Class: A4- Blue STM # in Class: 4
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Greg Engler
Third: Greg Engler

Class: A5-Steel STM # in Class: 1

First: Leo Buss
Second:
Third:

Class: A6-Green/Turquoise STM # in Class: 2
First: Sherolyn & Reno
Second: Sherolyn & Reno
Third:

Class: A7-Blue STF # in Class: 8
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Mohan Balakrishnan
Third: Jonathan Limhengco

Class: A8-Steel STF # in Class: 5
First: Leo Buss
Second: Leo Buss
Third: Leo Buss

Class: A9-Green/Turquoise STF # in Class: 2
First: Jay Keating
Second: DQ
Third:

Division A3-Halfmoon Light Solid Color ST

Class: A10-Clear/Yellow/Orange STM # in Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: A11-Clear/Yellow/Orange STF # in Class: 1
First: Mohan Balakrishnan
Second:
Third:

Class: A12-Opaque/Pastel STM # in Class: 1
First: Jay Keating
Second:
Third:

Class: A13-Opaque/Pastel STF # in Class: 10
First: Leo Buss
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Jay Keating

Division A4-Halfmoon Metallic Dark/Light Solid ST

Class: A14-Metallic Dark Solid STM #In Class: 2
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Sherolyn & Reno
Third:

Class: A15-Metallic Light Solid STM # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: A16-Metallic Dark Solid STF # In Class: 4
First: Sherolyn & Reno
Second: Sherolyn & Reno
Third: Karen Macauley

Class: A17-Metallic Light Solid STF # In Class: 5
First: Sherolyn & Reno
Second: Sherolyn & Reno
Third: Jonathan Limhengco

Division A5-Halfmoon Patterned ST

Class: A18-Multicolor STM # In Class: 7
First: Karen Macauley
Second: Karen Macauley
Third: Karen Macauley

Class: A19-Multicolor STF # In Class: 6
First: Karen Macauley
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Jay Keating

Class: A20-Dark Body Bi-Color STM # In Class: 4
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Jonathan Limhengco
Third: Nicole Williams

Class: A21-Light Body Bi-Color STM # In Class: 1
First: Nicole Williams
Second:
Third:

Class: A22-Dark/Light Bi-Color STF # In Class: 12
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Jonathan Limhengco
Third: Nicole Williams

Class: A23-Butterfly STM # In Class: 7
First: Leo Buss
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Leo Buss

Class: A24-Butterfly STF # In Class: 9
First: Jay Keating
Second: Michael Randall
Third: Karen Macauley

Class: A25-Marble/Grizzle STM # In Class: 2

First: Jay Keating
Second: Jonathan Limhengco
Third:

Class: A26-Marble/Grizzle STF # In Class: 4
First: Jay Keating
Second: Joe and Amy Becerra
Third: Leo Buss

Division B-Halfmoon DT

Class: B1-Dark Solid Color DTM # In Class: 1
First: Greg Engler
Second:
Third:

Class: B2-Light Solid Color DTM # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: B3-Dark/Light Solid Color DTF # In Class: 2
First: Mohan Balakrishnan
Second: Leo Buss
Third: Mohan Balakrishnan

Class: B4-Metallic Dark/Light DTM # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: B5-Metallic Dark/Light DTF # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: B6-Patterned DTM # In Class: 3
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Michael Randall
Third: Michael Randall

Class: B7-Patterned DTF # In Class: 6
First: Jonathan Limhengco
Second: Michael Randall
Third: Mohan Balakrishnan

Division C: Crowntail ST

Class: C1-Dark Solid Color STM # In Class: 13
First: Hermanus Haryanto
Second: Hermanus Haryanto
Third: Jay Keating

Class: C2-Light Solid Color STM # In Class: 1
First: Hermanus Haryanto
Second:
Third:

Class: C3-Dark/Light Solid Color STF # In Class: 13
First: Hermanus Haryanto
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Jay Keating

Class: C4-Patterned STM # In Class: 2
First: Hermanus Haryanto
Second: Hermanus Haryanto

Third:

Class: C5-Patterned STF # In Class: 1
First: Hermanus Haryanto
Second:
Third:

Division D: Shortfin ST

Class: D1-Traditional Plakat Male # In Class: 1
First: Michael Randall
Second:
Third:

Class: D2-Show Plakat Dark Solid Male # In Class: 8
First: Mohan Balakrishnan
Second: Nicole Williams
Third: Hermanus Haryanto

Class: D3-Show Plakat Light Solid Male # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: D4-Show Plakat Patterned Male # In Class: 4
First: Mohan Balakrishnan
Second: Hermanus Haryanto
Third: Hermanus Haryanto

Class: D5-HM Shortfin Solid Color Male # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: D6-HM Shortfin Patterned Male # In Class: 1
First: Jay Keating
Second:
Third:

Class: D7-Traditional Female Plakat # In Class: 18
First: Jay Keating
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Jay Keating

Class: D8-Show Female Plakat # In Class: 7
First: Joe and Amy Becerra
Second: Joe and Amy Becerr
Third: Joe and Amy Becerra

Class: D9-DT Plakat Male Trial Class # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Division E-Breeders Division

Class: E1-Color Or Form Variations # In Class: 4
First: Michael Randall (CT/PK)
Second: Michael Randall (CT/PK)
Third: Michael Randall (CT/PK)

Class: E2-Form and Finnage # In Class: 4
First: Greg Engler
Second: Karen Macauley
Third: Michael Randall

Class: E3-Pairs # In Class: 2
First: Michael Randall
Second: DQ
Third:

Division F-Wild Type Betta Pairs

Class: F1-Bubble-Nesters # In Class: 3 pairs
First: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Bellica)
Second: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Brownorum)
Third: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Rutilans)

Class: F2-Mouth Brooders # In Class: 3
First: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Unimaculata)
Second: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Patoti)
Third: Hermanus Haryanto (B. Strohi)

Division G-Optional Classes

Class: G1-Photography # In Class: 27
First: Jeana Earn
Second: Jay Keating
Third: Jena Earn

Class: G2-Illustration # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Class: G3-Crafts # In Class: 0
First:
Second:
Third:

Group B-New Breeder Classes

Class: NB1- ST Male # In Class: 3
First: Ben Lee
Second: Ben Lee
Third: DQ

Class: NB2-DT Male # In Class: 2
First: Ben Lee
Second: Ben Lee
Third:

Class: NB3-CT Male # In Class: 1
First: Ben Lee
Second:
Third:

Class: NB4-Shortfin Male # In Class: 2
First: Jessica Hahn
Second: Jessica Hahn
Third:

Class: NB5-ST Female # In Class: 2
First: Jessica Hahn
Second: Jessica Hahn
Third:

Class: NB6-DT Female # In Class: 0

First:
Second:
Third:

BEST OF VARIETY AWARDS-

BEST OF VARIETY HM MALE:
Jonathan Limhengco – A4 A14

BEST OF VARIETY HM FEMALE:
Leo Buss – A3 A13

BEST OF VARIETY DT MALE:
Jonathan Limhengco – B B6

BEST OF VARIETY DT FEMALE:
Mohan Balakrishnan – B B3

BEST OF VARIETY CT MALE:
Hermanus Haryanto – C C4

BEST OF VARIETY CT FEMALE:
Hermanus Haryanto – C C3

BEST OF VARIETY SHORTFIN MALE:
Mohan Balakrishnan – D D2

BEST OF VARIETY SHORTFIN FEMALE:
Jay Keating – D D7

BEST OF SHOW AWARDS-

BEST OF SHOW MALE:
Hermanus Haryanto – C C4

BEST OF SHOW FEMALE:
Hermanus Haryanto – C C3

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Show Results | , | Leave a comment