Betta smaragdina have a graceful, sinuous beauty that is unrivaled by other bettas in the Splendens complex. They can be one of the largest in the Splendens complex - my foundation male was easily 3 inches in the body alone, and one of his daughters is close to approaching that size. They have a snake-like way of moving that is really gorgeous, especially during spawning. I tried to get spawning photographs, but it was before my DSLR camera and I only have sad shadows to try and capture their movement.
They are by far one of the easiest bettas to spawn. Both times I have bred this male to two different virgin females, they spawned within a day of introduction and were extremely gentle with one another. The bubblenests were large and full of eggs, and the father cared dutifully for them.
My last spawn, I experimented with keeping the male alongside the fry for an extended period of time. After 4 weeks of co-habitation, the fry seemed to grow larger and faster than when I removed the male after free-swimming. The male seemed to be protective of the fry even at later stages, and was resistant to being netted out.
I am hoping for more males in my second spawn, since my first spawn turned out to be all girls! Message me if you are interested in an unpaired female smaragdina, or to trade for males. Thank you.
Smaragdina males from Project 30 to match my females
Update March 2014: Upon my return from Germany, I've decided to ramp up my show betta breeding and drop this project. The males are almost as aggressive as splendens and require lots of jarring. One day I hope to return to smaragdina, particularly the copper variety - I bought a book in Germany by van Horst Linke that has absolutely STUNNING smaragdina photographs. Almost made me want to drop everything for these guys!