Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ava at the Reef Tank interviewed me on my thoughts on evolution and fish husbandry. I confess that while I absolutely love aquariums, I don't have much by way of aquacultures at present. We've got a few really-easy-to-care-for Bettas and Telescope goldfish, but that is about it. I'm fairly lazy when it comes to maintaining animals in my lab and house, and try to chose animals that require minimal care (Leopard slugs anyone?). I did buy a female Betta with some breeding in mind, but it turned out to be a wild-type male. I was really disappointed since Bettas have such interesting breeding behaviors. Males make large bubble nests with their own saliva.

After female Betta has spawned, the eggs float up into the nest from below or the male Betta carries them there in its mouth. The male fertilizes the eggs and initiates embryo development. The male Betta will guard the nest for the next 24-48 hours until the eggs hatch. He also keeps a close watch on the eggs and will retrieve any eggs or fry that fall from the nest. He will also repair the nest by adding bubbles where needed. After the fry hatch (in 24-48 hours) the male will tend the fish for the next couple of weeks. How cool is that?

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