Blue & Bride
Years ago I got this advice from the great Ann Rogers Clark of the dog world, “Make them typey. Then make them healthy. Then make the pretty.” I never followed that advice. You see, when I was planning my first betta spawn, I got this advice from one of my Thai mentors, “Put the male and the female in a large clay pot. Add a reasonably clean leaf.” Since then I have applied that advice to breedings in fish, snakes, cats, and dogs. Breeding should be natural. Focus on the healthy offspring.
When starting a breeding a program, I select parents that breed readily without much human intervention. I’m very Darwinian in that respect. If they die easily, I don’t want them in my program. I set my tanks up, all planted, in my home without frequent water changes or super temperature controls. When I have spawns, I purposefully do not baby the offspring. What survives, survives. From the survivors I will select those with the best form (type) and then make them pretty. I have found this to be a very successful approach with a variety of freshwater tropical fish and have successfully raised Bettas, Angel Fish, and Jeweled Cichlids, using this approach.
Currently, I have a number of beautiful betta pairs. Which ones will I put together to spawn? Those who survive a winter in my family room.