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Marine Betta

Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
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ThRoewer

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Looks like the eggs are developing normally this time. End of day 2 and they are already starting to darken. Since they spawned I stopped adding kalkwasser to keep the pH from spiking too high.
And I should have plenty of Apocyclops nauplii by the time they hatch...

 
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Eggs developing this time. The egg mass is almost black by now. Next two days the eyes should become silver and then hatching should follow soon. Got to get a larvae tank ready...
 
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The male of pair #1 with 5 day old eggs.



The eyes of the embryos were already silver so I decided to play it safe and pull the eggs. The slight suction was already enough to hatch a good number of larvae before I even put them in the larvae tank and once I had them in the tumbler a lot more hatched:





The larvae still had a small yolk sack.

Unfortunately, I greatly overestimated the number of Apocyclops nauplii I had so I had to add some rotifers.
 

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Have you ever filmed the mating? Yesterday my female had the fins a bit torn. If they mate I won't be able to access the eggs because the male's cave is very difficult to get access.

Do the fry swim to the surface and are they attracted to light like clownfish fry?
 
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Have you ever filmed the mating? Yesterday my female had the fins a bit torn. If they mate I won't be able to access the eggs because the male's cave is very difficult to get access.

Do the fry swim to the surface and are they attracted to light like clownfish fry?
I got close to catching them in the act but they are rather shy and prudish and stopped when they noticed me. I will have to set up a remote camera to catch them.

The fry is not as strongly drawn to the light as Amphiprion larvae. In general, they behave very similar to the adults and are equally slow feeders, which is a bit of a problem. I have not tried to raise them in a standard tank or tub as they need more of a gentle, upwelling flow.

Unfortunately, the L rotifers I have are a bit on the large side for them so I have to hope I can get enough nauplii out of my Apocyclops culture to get the larvae over the first few days. I've ordered 50k of Parvocalanus nauplii from Reed and Isochrysis and Tetraselmis starter culture from Amazon. Unfortunately, the algae will arrive too late to get cultures going as feeds for this batch of Parvo nauplii, so they go straight into the larvae tank as food. When I got the algae cultures going I will have to order a new batch of Parvo...
 
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I am curious if 1 or 2 larvae can grow by themselves in a slow flow refugium. Don't they feed on copepod nauplii?
Unlikely. In a refugium you have too many things that will eat or cripple the larvae. You need to get the larvae through metamorphosis in a separate tank where they are the apex predators. Only after they settle they might be able to survive in a refugium.
 

ichthyoid

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It makes me very glad to see someone so dedicated to propagating marine fishes. Especially ones as beautiful as the Comets. Your insights & documentation are much appreciated. Spectacular work, well done!
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

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Just read all 8 pages this morning, awesome thread! My marine betta is second favorite only to my harlequin tusk. With 3 tanks and an interest in a challenge, I'm certainly going to consider an attempt of my own and start looking for a small one locally to pair. Thanks for the great information.
 
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All remaining eggs hatched during the night. These guys are not like Amphiprion where shining a light on the eggs will stop or delay the hatch until next night. With these guys, when it's their time to hatch they hatch, no ifs ands or buts...

Their yolk sac should get them over half the day today and hopefully they find enough of the Apocyclops nauplii I added last night. Unfortunately the L rotifers look like they are a bit on the large side for these guys.
 
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Marine Betta larvae one day after hatching:



Some of them had clearly fed on the Apocyclops nauplii and rotifers while others still had a little of their yolk sac left and seemed to rely on that.
By today (day 2) all will have to feed but my Apocyclops nauplii harvests are fairly slim so far. Tomorrow I should get 50k of various Parvocalanus stages from Reed. All larvae that make it to that point might have a chance...
 
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Are you still not feeding them any krill? If not, what are you using now?
Also, is your pair of starry blennys getting along?
At the moment I don't feed krill. I need to find a better type of larger shrimp to feed them.
Blennies are doing fine (but let's keep this thread about the Marine Betta and talk about the blennies in their thread).
 
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There must be at least a thousand larvae right now in the tank and a majority of them are feeding to various degrees on the rotifers and what little copepod nauplii I could give them. The ones with the fullest stomachs hav noticeably grown in height. Tomorrow I should have more copepods whic should improve the feed rate. Once they are over the first week ad take Artemia and Tigriopus things should get better. In the past I had most losses in metamorphosis but back then I only had yeast fed rotifers and unenriched Artemia... With enriched rotifers and Artemia and with copepods in the mix i hope to have less losses this time around.
 
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Marine Betta larvae 4 days after hatching with plenty of Apocyclops.

Top view:


Side view with flow temporarily turned off:


The live food arrived a day late, too late for a good number of larvae who already died or most likely will not be able to feed enough to regain the energy they lost. But there must be still hundreds of larvae that went after rotifers and the few Apocyclops nauplii I was able to give them before. Those larvae were able to grow and develop their intestinal tract to take on larger prey.


The argus have settled in and are eating live adult Artemia and Tigriopus.
I had to separate the largest (likely male) from the other two because it showed some aggression towards one of the smaller (possibly another male). They seem to have some bacterial infection going on their fins and there may be other parasites on them. They definitely need to be kept under close watch for a while to make sure they have nothing serious.

 
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