Breeding and Raising Crowntail Betta Fish
I have some question that have been asked by my pals, what different treatment when we breed crowntail betta fish than other betta form? So, is there a difference between breeding and raising a good crowntail betta fish as opposed to, say, a Halfmoon?
According to Phil Ngo of Singapore –-where i get this reference from bettysplendens.com—and based to my experience on breeding crowntail betta, there are basically no significant differences in the breeding process. The breeders should be well conditioned to the presence of each other. This could be done by placing a separation between the male and female, be it a compartment or an additional bottle. Leave them together for between 2 to 3 days before releasing them together. However, it is wise to observe that both bettas are really in breeding condition before releasing. This is usually evident from the male building its nest and the female color darkening and showing stripes. If one or the other fails to show these traits, it would be better to abort the breeding as there is a risk that you might lose one or the other.
But what about the reputation of increased aggressiveness when spawning crowntail betta fish? Is the temperament due to the crowntail gene itself, or are there other mitigating factors that should be considered? It is quite normal for the crowntail males to be much more aggressive than the halfmoon betta fish because they do not carry the load that the halfmoon usually carries in its finnage, especially its caudal, that is Ngo explaination. As such, the crowntail are much faster swimmers, but nature will take its course if both pairs are properly conditioned, and the female will usually survive the mating.
So you bit the bullet and put your finest crowntail pair together, and are now proud to report that you have a tankful of new fry. Well, congratulations! Now what? Do crowntail require special water conditions? PH? Additives? Do they have different dietary needs? What’s all this about ‘curling’?
It is widely recognized that the best crowntail betta fish in the world come out of Indonesia, and has it has been said only half in jest that it can be attributed to ‘Magic Indonesian Water’. Notwithstanding anything in bettas to be taken for granted, we can analyze this claim as follows:
Indonesian City Water supply is generally soft water, registering a 3 in a test for General hardness and Carbonate hardness. The water collection points are in the mountain areas of Bogor. Speculatively, the legendary superiority of Indonesian water could also be because there are no indications of limestone caves in the West Java region. Water from the mountanious regions in West Java is mainly made up of alluvial deposits, especially in areas around the reservoirs. Waters in Jakarta, in particular, have a reputation for being good for crowntails.
In addition to soft water, space and consistency are key ingredients to breeding quality show crowntail betta fish. More so than even the halfmoon, Crowntails require ideal water quality to be maintained throughout their entire lives, or they will be prone to ‘ray curling’, the #1 bane of crowntail breeders. Water quality is best maintained in larger containers, and most of the major crowntial breeders do not recommend anything smaller than a 2.5 gallon tank per single male, with regular water changes and attention paid to perimeters. The fragile ray extensions of the CT are particularly vulnerable to differences in ph, swings and nitrate/ammonia spikes and will quickly begin to deteriorate in form if optimal conditions are not maintained.
Another important factor in raising good Crowns is food. All Breeders in Jakarta use live food for their bettas, and one in particular shared his method of feeding crowntail betta fry: When the fry hatch, no feeding is done except from what is derived naturally from plants like water lettuce. Daphnia is being fed from as early as a week old. Then when the fry are about a month old they are fed with Tubifex Worms. Tubifex Worms are being given to the fry twice daily up to 2 months of age, in small proportions. Once the fry are above 2 months, they are only fed once on TBW. The second feeding is being replaced by mosquito larva. Once the fry are 3 months of age and above they are only fed once a day on mosquito larva. There is high usage of Daphnia, Tubifex Worms and mosquito larva because these are basically free – Nature’s gift to betta hobbiests. Bloodworms are rarely used because they are not in abundance in Jakarta.
We mentioned earlier the Bane of crowntail Breeders: Curled Rays. Yes, crowntail curling does occur in Indonesia as well, despite the water condition. My Indonesian gurus professed that this is due to the water being too cold or cool. Whatever it is, at the first sign of curling, the first treatment to be administered is to use the sun. Simply expose the curling betta to sunlight for about half an hour daily. If the fish is in a very small container, be sure to monitor his water for overheating.
A more effective treatment, however, is the one touted by the aforementioned Phil Ngo: A water flow system. Phil maintains that somehow the current in the water helps prevent the rays from curling.