• NOTE: opaque color in photos below was altered by pink film above them and by dim lighting, giving an orange hue to fish below it.

    flaring pair spawning.jpg (102754 bytes)
    above: my mean opaque male thinks he can boss her around. They flare at each other NOSE TO NOSE.

    LABS meeting 2 018.jpg (100137 bytes)
    my opaque female is teaching a lesson to Mr Macho betta. 
    GIRL POWER!!! LOL (Click on photo to see the full version)

    LABS meeting 2 014.jpg (100929 bytes)
    now he is doing the S dance for her (S as in Smitten) and still she is flaring at him (females do hold grudges ;) ) LOL 

    I guess the last question here is: How to locate a mean man eater of a female? :) Favor a large female, as large as you male can handle (wrap around), select a female that flares at other fish. Having her jarred for a while is best as it will make her more territorial and aggressive. Make sure you provide TONS of hiding places and bushy plants for her to hide (or him LOL) in the spawning tank, and last, but not least SUPERVISE the whole time until the spawn is over (might want to pitch a tent in your fishroom LOL). You may not currently have in your possession the right female for him, if so you will need to look for one, ask for an older female, large and MEAN. :) Most breeders would be delighted to unload one on you ;). If you cannot locate an opaque one, you might want to outcross him to another aggressive female (regardless of strain) for the sake of spawning him and teaching him a lesson. The next time around, he might treat his opaque female with a little more respect and gallantry. Remember that a solid steel blue female would still be genetically quite compatible with an opaque male, so you have more options and more places to look. I hear crowntails are very aggressive, so maybe a steel crowntail female would be a good bet. If you can't find steel, then go for royal blue or even green. More than likely it will ruin the purity of your opaque line, as most crowntails carry a good amount of undesirable genes (red washes etc), but you might still get a few good fry out of the batch, and the spawn would be only for the purpose of educating (and doing a brain adjustment to) your male.


    Q: I have a 1-yr-old DT opaque male that's unusually vicious and attacks the female relentlessly, even after weeks of seemingly good acclimation to each other. Any suggestions on how to make him more conducive to mating? He's been enjoying a pleasant 10-gallon abode all to himself for his entire life . . .

    Question submitted by Joanna, Honolulu - Hawaii

    A: Hold on a moment while I take off my betta nurse hat and put on my betta psychologist hat. ;)

    The biggest challenge for a betta psychologist is keeping the betta patient laying down on the couch. Invariably, they flip flop around and end up on the carpet!! LOL Makes it hard for me to focus on their childhood and repressed angers... :)

    OK, but seriously now: Sounds like a bit of valium may do the trick :). (that is a joke btw) Ooops, sorry, I did say "seriously" didn't I? ;P

    Well Joanna, some males are more aggressive than others and can be hard to spawn because they will slaughter anything in their tanks. What to do with this Macho Betta?

    your betta has been in a 10 gal tank all to himself: This did not help his mean tendencies. Sounds like a die hard bachelor to me ;). Time to make him understand there are other fish in the sea and that sharing your toys and playing nice is important and necessary in life. Putting him in a smaller display hanging inside a community tank will desensitize him some to the presence of other bettas around him. After a while he will ignore them. Might take a few weeks, even maybe a couple months. This will take some edge off.
    It is vital to pair up bettas properly. By pairing them up I mean selecting compatible mates, personality wise. Does this sound ridiculous? Don't be so fast at shaking your head and laughing about this comment. I once had an opaque male DT carrier that was very mean. Killed two females. Could not be spawned. I paired him up with a large, nasty, mean, man eater of a female. She set him straight real fast. He tried to pull off his #*@ on her but she just wouldn't take it. On and off they squared off, flaring at each other nose to nose! In the end, he figured he had met his match and spawned with her. Neither of them suffered major damage, she did get some scales torn off and the usual nips in the fins. She went in a bath of bettamax afterwards and made a prompt full recovery. I got a big spawn out of them and it yielded beautiful opaques. :)

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