Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

Brown Algae and Silicates

 Just when you think you have something figured out, a new twist appears. The move to Texas brought with it water issues. If you have not read previous posts, we had 12 spawns fail. Either the male ate the eggs or fry and the young never got free-swimming if they made it past dad. Instead of getting horizontal and growing they spent days twirling up from the bottom of the tank till they eventually died. It was finally determined that there was something wrong with the water.

We got a reverse osmosis unit and started mixing the r/o water with 25%  tap water run through peat. Everything was working well raising the fish. Since I was going through so much water I decided to use more of the tap water and made the mix 50/50. Within a short period of time I get an over abundance of brown algae. I had barracks running for 6 months and did not have a problem, then over night I had a mess. I headed to the internet and found this type of algae thrives on silicates. Some one had suggested a fine particle might be causing problems with the fry when they became free-swimming and it almost makes sense.

 I went back to a 25% mix instead of 50/50 and spent the next several days scrubbing the barracks. The algae became reduced but I really could not get rid of it all together. So, I have finally given up and now use 100% reverse osmosis with ro right by Kent to add back in minerals to the water. The change in water has pretty much gotten rid of the algae and using the Kent ro right has improved the health and growth of my plants. So far I am happy with the results. The next thing on my agenda to improve my water will be a uv sterilizer to get rid of parasites and disease.

Photo from HERE.


April 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized, Water Quality | , , | Leave a comment

Reverse Osmosis

The reverse osmosis and DI filter arrived yesterday from Filter Direct. I had ordered the sink attachment but I found I needed an adapter to attach it to my faucet. I picked that up tonight after work and got the unit hooked up, turned the water on and waited for pure water. It does NOT come running out the end. Trickle is more the word to describe the water coming through the unit. The waste water is a better stream.. but it is what it is.

So, I found it takes 15 to 20 minutes to get a gallon of pure water. I will be making pure water every minute I am home to get the amount needed around here. I filled up the 2 empty gallon jugs I had then put the hose into my 32 gallon trash can I use as a water holding tank. The waste water end is running through the peat setup I was previously using for my tap water into another 32 gallon trash can. I will be testing it to see what kind of values it returns as I am hoping I can use it in my Oscar tank. I will also try to use it to water the plants.. but I am going through more water than I have plants. Ever conscience of paying a water bill and also being responsible for water usage as we get droughts down here, I am looking for ways to use the waste water. I saved some that has not been through the peat and will check and see what kind of gh and kh values I get there as well. I am wondering how hard the water will be and if the concentration of minerals will make it useless for other things. Will report my findings as I go.

I do have 2 spawns going right now that I used r/o water I got at Wal-Mart. The fry hatched this morning so tomorrow is the day they need to make it through to see if we have solved our problem. The fry seem to be staying in the nest better and both dads are taking great care of the fry. It is just them or is the water more conducive to breeding behavior? I had males eating eggs that took very good care of the nest.. all the way to hatching the fry.. when I ran the water through the peat and softened it up. Now, with even better values I have males doing an even better job of raising fry. I’m beginning to wonder if some of the egg eating we get breeding bettas may be to less than ideal breeding/water conditions. The high ph I had seemed to have affected the fertility or viability of the eggs. They did not hatch and dad ate them. Lowering the ph, gh, and kh resulted in better interest in breeding as well as eggs hatching. Even the bubble nests have held together better. Something was still off with my water though as the fry were weak and never made it to the free-swimming stage. Chlorine, chloramine and the heavy metals are supposed to be neutralized with the Prime water conditioner I use. Something was still in the water in an amount that affected the fry to the point of killing them. If we get fry living past tomorrow.. not only will I be ecstatic.. but I can safely say that water conditions affect our fish breeding a lot more than expected. The other concern would be that what ever was killing fry was still in the water in levels that did not kill adults.. but would it affect their ability to reproduce in the future? Only time will tell me that one. To be safe we will be using the pure water in our fish room as much as possible.

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Breeding Bettas, Fry, Info You Can Use, Spawning, Water Quality | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Verdict is in..

Water here SUCKS! All the spawns have failed. It is heartbreaking to get a spawn, watch them hatch then slowly die. The fry never got to the horizontal free-swimming stage. Some of the hardy ones went for days trying to swim right only to finally perish. So, we are done messing with it. I have a reverse osmosis unit coming from Filter Direct. I am also getting an attachment to hook it to the kitchen faucet as living in an apartment I do not want a permanent installation. Right now I have 2 spawn tanks set up with r/o water from Wal-Mart. Everything once again was torn down, cleaned and everything set back up with this water. I sure hope this does the trick. If so, we will use pure r/o for spawning and a combination for adults and grow outs.

I read an article the other day that said bettas raised in water softened by a water softeners had issues as adults breeding. Seems the male could not get a good wrap on the females. They assumed the salt used for the softener had some sort of effect on the fish as it grew. Since my fish lived in this type of water for about 8 weeks as juvies and some of my males are having the same issue.. I want to make sure my fish are in the best water possible as they grow to ensure little problems as adults. As a breeder one has to think of the long haul. Raising a spawn is only part of it.. we need to continue to breed a line to establish the traits we are looking for. Right now, having to jack with all the water  and breeding issues, we are not getting the fish we want to cross crossed. As a result, we are not getting the characteristics we are wanting in our offspring. Having your first pick male unable to wrap and having to use the 2nd or 3rd choices just to get a breeding does not move a breeding program forward to a goal. And for us, growing them up with all the food and water changes only to have average fish is just not worth the time or effort. But, we will eventually get this worked out and our breeding program back on track. Till then.. grrrrrrr.

Photo above from HERE.

October 5, 2010 Posted by | Breeding Bettas, Fry, Spawning, Water Quality | , , , , , | Leave a comment