I was getting frustrated with my male's apparent incompetence at raising large numbers of fry to free-swimming. I finally decided to bite the bullet and try artificial hatching. My first attempt was an abject failure! Despite picking out the obvious bad eggs morning and night, the entire spawn eventually dissolved into some truly disgusting smelling goop. It was so sad to see the eggs with obvious back bones and eyes just go caput over night.
I'm happy to report that my next attempt appears to be a success! (So far). I bought some methylene blue and added one drop to a shallow cup of water floating in the parents' tank. Lots of little ones bobbing around today. It seems as if the larger the burdigala become, the BIGGER their spawns get...there must be at least 40 eggs in there. We'll see how many fry make it!
It's been a while since I've tried taking pictures with my point and shoot. I love taking it with me to travel - it's so compact, and takes quite good pictures actually. Especially things that stay still! For example, here is a macro shot of a little slender salamander we found.
Although the sharpness and resolution is quite good (after playing with the settings a little bit...macro setting (the little flower), adjust white balance, etc) the only problem is that trying to take pics of rapidly moving subjects is extremely difficult. Like bettas when they are in full flaring mode! As long as they are posing, it isn't too much of a problem.
I am SO excited to try this new little species! I obtained them at the recent Bay Area Killifish Association BBQ, where the wonderfully kind H. Mack brought them specifically for me :)
And when I say little, I mean LITTLE. Heterandria formosa is the 7th smallest fish in the world, and is the smallest livebearer. The males barely top out at 2cm, the females slightly larger. H. formosa are a United States native with a range from the Cape Fear River drainage in North Carolina to southern Louisiana . I am not sure what locality mine are from though. They are so tiny that the females superfoetation, where the females have kind of a conveyor belt of different embryos and then pop one out every day.
For more information on these little guys, check out the article at Seriously Fish. It is a great database that I often use for more unusual species.
It has recently come to my attention of how many people actually visit my site, and visit it often. I am so happy that this site is actually helping people with their fishkeeping endeavors, and hope to provide more information for you guys in the future. Thank you all!
These big mouthbrooders, often called the "Kings" or "Peacocks" of the betta fish world, are just a fantastic fish. I hope one day to be able to breed these guys :) Here is a wonderful video brought to my attention by Jolanda S.!
I am so glad that Meredith Y. adopted my babies! They are doing very well in their new home, and their first spawn has some really interesting colors - a possible orange in addition to the reds and yellow, and even a little black one!! Not sure how that one got in there lol!
Meredith said I could share her fishy photos of them. I'm just so proud *sniff*
After posting the "how to train show fish" video, a great breeder in Hawaii told me that she never cards her fish, and yet the flare very nicely at the shows. I decided to try partially carding my fish, so that they are able to retreat from the gaze of their neighbors, but also engage in when they want to. You can see that the card allows for the top 2-3" of the jar for viewing.
The fish seem to be even happier and more active. They can choose to rest at the bottom, or flare up top. They seem to flare periodically throughout the day, without exhibiting signs of exhaustion to stress. I still get an aggressive flare response when I remove the card, which is ideal for showing. I may still fully card them right before sending them to a show, but for maintenance purposes, this works very nicely!
I forgot to post in the blog that I re-worked the Show section on this site to include a "How to send bettas to a show" page. I am absolutely thrilled with the number of new breeders starting to show this year! After answering so many questions on how to send fish to a show on facebook, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a centralized location containing all the steps that I go through when sending a fish to a show. I hope this proves helpful to many people, and smooths the process of sending in those first precious bettas!!
Check out the new page in the Showing Bettas section!