An article about arranging an aquarium for a cock was written by the breeder of these fish. It contains recommendations for the selection of soil, plants, equipment and the aquarium itself.
Siamese cockerel, or betta splendens - a very beautiful tropical fish, which has become widespread throughout the world. But far from always the handsome cockerel pleases the hosts for a long time. Often the cause of failure is myths, according to which the fish can live happily ever after in a glass, glass, vase, and other containers that come into hand. Let's figure out what an aquarium for a cockerel should be like.
Because of the absurd temper, the males are kept alone. On the shelves of shops you can see a large number of round aquariums, vases and aquarium-glasses for cockerels. But you should not take one of them for fish, because it is not in vain that in some European countries keeping fish in such dishes is prohibited.
The main disadvantages of glasses and balls:
• the volume of most round aquariums and aquarium-glasses is less than 3 liters, which does not allow installing equipment, keeping water parameters normal, does not allow fish to move, does not leave room for plants and decor,
• the shape of the aquarium makes it difficult to install equipment even in a vessel of an acceptable volume,
• cleaning curved walls is not too convenient,
• rounded glass distorts the aquarium dweller.
So, one cockerel for a comfortable life needs a rectangular or cubic aquarium with a volume of 8-15 liters, while the height of the aquarium should not exceed its width. Mandatory cap or coverslip. A filter and heater are also needed.
Females can be kept together. They also sometimes find out relations between themselves, but they do not even get to murder, as in males. Most conflicts arise when new adult fish are introduced. The aquarium for "hens" must have a lid or coverslip and shelter.
Sometimes bett is settled by a harem: male and 3-5 females. For them, you need a rectangular aquarium of 20-40 liters with a lot of shelters. However, the risk of killing females remains even in the presence of dense thickets.
Males cannot be kept together - once in the same aquarium they engage in mortal combat. But you can order a "hostel" with glass or acrylic partitions and settle several handsome in one vessel. At the same time, the volume of the section for one fish should not be less than 5 liters. Holes are made in the partitions for water circulation, heating is necessarily thought out (sometimes a technological compartment for the heating pad and filter is made along the back wall). The most popular are 2 and 3 section aquariums for males.
Soil and plants
It is better to take not dyed dark soil that does not react with vinegar. It must be run-in, because On sharp chips, the long-swimming forms of males can tear their luxurious tails. For plants, fine soil is preferable.
The pet store or bird market offers both artificial and living plants. Plastic ones do not require lighting and other care, but they do not contribute to maintaining the bio balance, can cause injuries, especially the long fins of the petals are especially affected. Poor quality products can release harmful substances into the water.
Living plants help establish and maintain biological balance. They look natural. But they need light, even not too whimsical species need to turn on the lamp for 5-8 hours. Moderate lighting is suitable for mosses, ferns, etc.
Betta is a tropical fish, so she definitely needs a heater. The temperature of the content of the males is from 24 to 28 ° C. Aquarium heaters are equipped with temperature controllers, but the readings are not always accurate. Therefore, it is better to put a thermometer for additional control.
It is advisable to put a weak internal filter by unscrewing the flute and adjusting it so that the flow is weak. Aeration of water is not required - labyrinths, including betta splendens, use atmospheric air for breathing.
Natural (sunny) lighting is not recommended for aquariums, as it promotes the development of algae and causes severe temperature changes. The light should not be too bright. If necessary, about a third of the surface of the aquarium can be attached to floating plants such as pistols.
The decor can be stones, driftwood, coconut shell, plastic and ceramic products. The main criterion for choosing is safety. The selected decoration should not have sharp edges. It is worth avoiding the purchase of cheap artificial decor, in the manufacture of which harmful components released into the water can be used.
A healthy fighting fish reacts very violently to an opponent - a cock spreads its gill covers, spreads its fins, and makes characteristic movements. This is not only a beautiful sight, but also a necessary “charge for the tail”. In a sectional aquarium, the betta splendens males threaten each other for a long time, but one cockerel may get bored. In long-fin forms, such a "sleepy" state contributes to the development of certain diseases. Therefore, a cockerel can put a mirror. It must be positioned so that areas remain in the aquarium from which the reflected opponent is not visible. If a small mirror is placed in the aquarium itself, then sharp edges will have to be polished - the cockerel can be cut during a flank attack.
You need to purchase and run the aquarium before the appearance of the fish. In good conditions, the cockerel will delight the eye for 2-3 years.
You can read more about keeping and breeding males here:
So, you can already pick up an aquarium, water and feeding for males and successfully keep them in favorable conditions. It is time to talk about breeding these fish. I want to note that this process is quite complicated, but also attractive. It is extremely interesting to observe the courtship of the male, the creation of the nest and the process of spawning.
The first thing to do is to choose the right pair for spawning. Choose for spawning males and females aged 5 to 18 months and always healthy and motile. I advise you to pay attention to the size of individuals (it should be approximately the same) and color (the brighter the color - the more beautiful the offspring you will get). It is also advisable that the fish periodically see each other - so they can get to know each other, and you will see their readiness for reproduction. The male will begin to open its gills and fluff its tail in front of the female, make dancing movements, the female will also begin to open its gill covers in response, but the main sign of the female’s readiness is a swollen stomach with an ovipositor and the presence of vertical stripes over the body.
For spawning, I advise you to take a forty-liter aquarium equipped with backlight, plants (including floating ones), a water heater, a filter and a thermometer. Floating plants will help the male to build and strengthen the nest. I also throw several almond leaves on the surface - while they are on the surface, the male builds a nest under them, and the substances released by the leaves have a tonic effect on the fish and color the water in a light brown color that mimics tropical.
The aquarium needs to be filled with water only halfway, the filter needs to be placed in the upper right corner (but you do not need to turn it on right away - it will be used in the future). Plant and place floating plants. Install a heater and achieve a stable water temperature in the aquarium within 28-30 degrees. Turn on the lighting and note - you need to light the aquarium around the clock until the fry are 2 weeks old.
Once again I want to note several important points. The 40-liter aquarium is ideally suited for spawning, as it provides enough space for shelter and maneuvers of the female during the period of active courtship of the male. Plants will also allow the female to take a break from the male’s sometimes too aggressive courtship. I highly advise against putting soil into the aquarium — it will make it difficult for the male to find eggs at the bottom during spawning. Therefore, it is better to leave the bottom completely without soil.
Let's get back to our pair. I place the female and the male at the same time in the spawning ground, but at the same time I close the female from the male with a plastic cube without top and bottom. Eye contact stimulates the male to build a nest, and prepares the female for spawning. It is necessary to keep the fish in this state for 1-2 days, feeding them four times a day. During this time, the male will have time to build a nest for the game.
When the nest of bubbles is ready, the females have distinct transverse stripes and their abdomen is rounded, you can remove the septum. By persistent courtship, the male lures the female to the nest. Often observed that the female at first immediately gets scared and hides from the male, but nature takes over and she still joins the male.
When a female swims to the nest, the male hugs her with his body. If the male is inexperienced, attempts will be repeated repeatedly until this succeeds. With a strong girth, the male squeezes the caviar and fertilizes it. The spawning process usually lasts several hours until the male squeezes out all the eggs. Do not forget that you should feed the fish during the entire spawning season.
After all the eggs are fertilized, both individuals stop moving, as if freezing - this is completely normal. After some time, the male picks up eggs that have fallen to the bottom of the mouth with his mouth and places them in the foam of the nest for protection and incubation. An experienced female often helps him with this. After all the eggs are placed in the nest, the female can be put out of the aquarium. The male will take care of the eggs until the fry appear (24-36 hours) and until the fry swims horizontally (48-72 hours).
After the fry begin to swim, I remove the male from the aquarium, otherwise he will start to eat them.