Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

Too Many Bettas

So, you got a successful spawn and the fry are developing nicely. They get about 8 to 12 weeks of age and they start squabbling. As you pull males every day and jar them individually your life now becomes busier. Each of those containers will need every other day water changes. As they grow and mature you are now faced with what to do with all those fish. They are fun for a bit.. but hours of water changes will quickly put you in the mood to find homes for your extra fish.

Betta breeders have several options to rehome their fish. Friends and family quickly come to mind. I have given several bettas to friends at work and they are getting a lot of enjoyment out of them. Fish that did not get full half-moon, have some mis coloration or any other fault that would keep them out of the spawn tank or show ring has no effect on bringing joy to others. If your lucky you will have enough friends to give away all your bettas to. But, if your friends are starting to avoid you there are other options.

If you are on good terms with a local pet shop you may see if they want some of your bettas. I have found most of the major chains are not interested. A good relationship with a manager may create a situation where they may work with you.. but don’t count on it. A better place to start are a mom and pop type of shop. They don’t answer to the rules and regs of some of the chains so would be a better option. Pet shops like bright colors. My coppers were pretty.. but did not catch a buyers attention like the blue and greens I was breeding. Muddy and plain colors are not as marketable as the multi colors that show up in spawns. As for pricing.. I don’t care how nice the fish are or how well they are bred, you will be lucky to get $1 a piece for them. Since I breed half-moon and they were not common in the pet shop, the shop put a $10 price on them and they sold.. very quickly. Afer a few orders they raised my price to $3 each since they were able to make more on them than the bettas they were getting. Another thing with payments.. don’t count on cash. Payments are usually in the form of store credit. Being able to get more food and tanks is not too bad.. and my cat got a lot of free food and toys to boot.

My move to Texas disrupted my outlet for bettas. So I started to AquaBid some of the nicer fish. If you are going to be an AquaBid presence you must have a few things going for you or you will not sell much, if anything. First, you do have to breed nice fish. Super Deltas and pet shop types will not sell. It helps if you are an IBC member and are placing consistently in the shows. Else, why would a breeder be interested in your fish?? Second, try to come up with a polished look to present the bettas. I use publisher and created a template that is used over and over to brand my sales. Third.. and this is huge.. PICTURES! You MUST take a quality photo or again, you will not have much success. I prefer to have 2 to 4 shots of each fish, at least one of each side that is well-lit, true to color and high quality. A camera with a macro lens and a lot of patience to get the fish to flare are also needed. Good lighting and construction paper in various shades to set off different colors in the fish are also good to have. I spend an entire day taking photographs, then the next two cropping pictures and creating ads. So much for a weekend off work.. And when the fish sell there is the invoicing, creating an insulated box, packing and shipping.. all consumers of your time. You may think selling a fish for $30 is great money, but when the time to raise then sell the fish plus all the time in water changes not to mention the cost of food are figured.. I don’t think I break even.

As much as Aquabid has helped, it did not get rid of all them. I lucked out with someone local that contacted me thru AquaBid. She sells insurance and visits doctor offices as well as has clients. She came up with the idea of giving away my bettas with her business card attached to them as well as sets up betta bowls in the doctor offices. She comes by every week to change out the water and they all know her by name. It has been a great marketing tool for her and the bettas find good homes. Even the one that got sucked up the siphon sideways and got a crook in his back. He came with a story and someone was thrilled to get him. His only other option was to be destroyed. And, many of my females go out in her fish pond till they can go to another home. This outlet for the fish is unusual but if you are creative you might be able to come up with a unique way like this to rehome  your bettas.

Another option is not so much fun, but at times it is used by betta breeders. Many of us have a large fish-eating fish like an Oscar to handle extra bettas. We named ours Trash. One spawn for fun does not usually need a fish like this.. but a breeder doing several spawns and showing will often have more fish than can be homed and often there are genetic problems like bent spines. So we have a large fish eater to help control the extra bettas. Many buy goldfish or minnows for their Oscars and such.. but we use ours to take care of deformities and the runts that just never seem to do well. If they can be raised to be healthy I have an outlet even for defects.. but some just never thrive. So the Oscar becomes a humane way to quickly end the life.

Creating lots of pretty bettas can be fun, but one needs to be responsible for those lives once created. It is not fair to the fish to sit in dirty water and starve to death. A little creativeness and you can breed bettas for the enjoyment of many.


June 27, 2011 Posted by | Info You Can Use, Not Bettas | , , | 2 Comments

Culturing Daphnia

Daphnia makes a great live food for bettas. I have had success and failure with keeping cultures going. When I was in Ohio I had a tank by a window that produced a ton of green water. Every other day water changes produced plenty of food for my daphnia. Here in Texas I seem to have difficulty keeping the green water supply going so have been having issues keeping my daphnia culture going. So I have done some searching on the net to see what others do to keep their daphnia going.

Many people feed the daphnia dry yeast. It is dissolved in water and dropped sparingly into the daphnia container, The daphnia eat the cloud of yeast. You will need to watch not to overfeed so the culture does not crash. Other suggestions are a cup of manure in a 5 gallon pail of green water with a 50 watt light bulb over the top. The daphnia eat the bacteria that grow from the manure and whatever green algae they can find.

Several places on the net also recommended adding calcium for the daphnia shells. A nylon bag  filled with some crushed coral or something similar will increase and buffer the  ph and supply the calcium for their shells. Without adequate levels they will reproduce sexually instead of asexually and produce resting eggs instead of living young.

A fellow betta breeder uses lettuce straight into the daphnia container. As it disintegrates the bacteria that forms on it feeds the daphnia. This has kept a small amount of daphnia harvestable on a regular basis.

Daphnia are great foods.. if you can figure out how to keep a culture going you will have some happy bettas.


June 11, 2011 Posted by | Live Foods | , , | Leave a comment