When the fry are swimming horizontally it is time for action. We remove the male and begin to feed the fry.
There are several approaches to feeding fry. We use all of them depending on the purpose of the spawn and the size of the spawn.
If the spawn is a particularly
important one, we take a "what ever it takes" stance and do just about anything
to get enough food of the right sizes to the fry. If the spawn is from a pair that is
known to throw a large number of fry, we might take a different approach.
Betta fry are small and rather undeveloped compared with other fry from different types of fishes and their smallness compounds the situation. Feeding any type of fish fry is walking a fine line between flooding enough food in front of the fry in order to keep them in a rather constant state of fullness and creating an environment that is decaying too quickly to be healthy. As you feed more and more food the fish do what fish do and the water quality changes rapidly. This is particularly true with fish kept in higher temperature tanks such as Bettas.
So while we might be giving you some guidance in the feeding arena, we want to remind you of the critical nature of monitoring the water quality as you raise the fry to that point where you can make good decisions about the fishes future. We will continue to ramble on about feeding now, but read on as the next section will be talking about techniques to take care of the water.
All of the labyrith fishes that we have had experience with have had one rather peculiar thing in common. The fry all seem to grow at some pretty significantly different rates. We have had situations where a fry of perhaps 1/4 of an inch was residing in a tank with a sibling of perhaps 1 inch. Why some fish grow so quickly (or some so slowly) is open for debate, but it happens. If you are interested in keeping the maximum number of fry you will need to take some extraordinary steps to mitigate the growth rates.
If tank space is not at a premium for your situation (sure), you can resort to the sorting by size technique. Sorting works for smaller batches of fry and can be an effective way to mitigate the various growth rates. However, when the spawn is large, sorting can take a significant amount of time.
We choose to feed a variety of foods to the fry and and continue that policy through the sub-adults stages...right up until the time we jar the feisty fish.
If the first days, the food menu might consist of greenwater, paramecium and vinegar eels. At about a week or so the greenwater and the paramecium might be changed for microworms and/or baby brine shrimp. In another week we will change the diet, dropping the smaller vinegar eels from the menu (they may have been dropped earlier, depending on the size of the fry).
When the fish become about a half inch long we feed them baby brine shrimp (as you can tell in the photo by the pink stomach) and Grindal worms.
At about an inch they fish are onto blackworms and Grindal worms, daphnia and...yes...flakes and pellets. While we are known for our live food regimen, we do succumb to dry products. It would be nearly criminal for us to grow fish that could not survive in other peoples environments. All of our fish are trained to eat dry foods for this reason (and a couple of other reasons like time).
When the fish are jarred the feeding becomes much more labor intensive. It's also a time when some better observations can be made regarding the eating habits of each particular fish. Observing your fish is an important part of better fish.
A couple of paragraphs back we were talking about feeding lots of food and the effects that might have on the water parameters...well...read more about techniques for keeping the water in top condition...
Good notes help.