...was a complete failure. I selected two white opaque bettas. The spawn went off like clockwork, just like all the books said it would. Hundreds of eggs were laid, but by the next day the male had eaten almost all of them. Only six fry hatched and he tried to keep them in the bubble nest but couldn't seem to be able to spit them out in a bubble. They'd just come out of his mouth and immediately fall to the bottom of the tank. I watched the male repeat this procedure dozens of times over a period of half an hour and never get it right. I assume that all this handling may have damaged the fry and they died, with the result that he eventually ate them.

This was the first spawn for this pair of fish and I plan to try again on February 28, which will be four weeks after their failed first attempt. This time I plan to feed the male during the spawn. I figure he's already proven himself an egg-eater so it's hardly likely to encourage him to eat more. It may even slow him down a little. Also, I'm going to take half of the eggs and distribute them into three different artificial incubators to see if they'll hatch and the fry survive to be free-swimming without the aid of a male. The results of this second spawn and the male-less rearing tests will be posted early in March so if you're interested, be sure to check back then.


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