Breeding and Raising Crowntail Betta Fish

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By Linh Nguyen Updated on 14 Feb 2023

Crown tails are some of the most beautiful bettas in existence, thanks to their delicate fins and intricate patterns. Keeping your own crown tail can be a rewarding experience – but it's important to know how to breed and raise them correctly! In this blog post, we'll look at what essential elements go into breeding high-quality crown tail fish, along with tips on providing the best care for these unique fish once you have them. With just a little bit of time and effort, you'll be well on your way towards growing an entire colony of healthy and vibrantcrowntails!

Crowntail betta fish - Thrones

Crowntail betta fish - Thrones

1. Breeding crowntail betta fish

So, is there a difference between breeding and raising a good crowntail as opposed to, say, a Halfmoon?

According to Phil Ngo of Singapore, there are basically no significant differences in the breeding process. 'The (breeders) should be well conditioned to the presence of each other,' he says. ‘This could be done by placing a separation between the male and female, be it a compartment or an additional bottle. Leave them together for between 2 to 3 days before releasing them together. However, it is wise to observe that both bettas are really in breeding condition before releasing. This is usually evident from the male building its nest and the female color darkening and showing stripes. If one or the other fails to show these traits, it would be better to abort the breeding as there is a risk that you might lose one or the other.’

But what about the reputation of increased aggressiveness when spawning CT? Is the temperament due to the CT gene itself, or are there other mitigating factors that should be considered?

'It is quite normal for the CT males to be much more aggressive than the HMs because they do not carry the load that the HM usually carries in its finnage, especially its caudal,' explains Ngo. 'As such, the CTs are much faster swimmers, but nature will take its course if both pairs are properly conditioned, and the female will usually survive the mating.'

2. Raising crowntails betta fish

So you bit the bullet and put your finest CT pair together, and are now proud to report that you have a tankful of new fry. Well, congratulations! Now what? Do CTs require special water conditions? PH? Additives? Do they have different dietary needs? What's all this about 'curling'?

2.1. Water quality

It is widely recognized that the best CT in the world come out of Indonesia, and has it has been said only half in jest that it can be attributed to 'Magic Indonesian Water'. Notwithstanding anything in bettas to be taken for granted, we can analyze this claim as follows:

Indonesian City Water supply is generally soft water, registering a 3 in a test for General hardness and Carbonate hardness. The water collection points are in the mountain areas of Bogor. Speculatively, the legendary superiority of Indonesian water could also be because there are no indications of limestone caves in the West Java region. Water from the mountanious regions in West Java is mainly made up of alluvial deposits, especially in areas around the reservoirs. Waters in Jakarta, in particular, have a reputation for being good for crowntails.

In addition to soft water, space and consistency are key ingredients to breeding quality show CTs. More so than even the HM, Crowntails require ideal water quality to be maintained throughout their entire lives, or they will be prone to 'ray curling', the #1 bane of CT breeders. Water quality is best maintained in larger containers, and most of the major CT breeders do not recommend anything smaller than a 2.5 gallon tank per single male, with regular water changes and attention paid to perimeters. The fragile ray extensions of the CT are particularly vulnerable to differences in ph, swings and nitrate/ammonia spikes and will quickly begin to deteriorate in form if optimal conditions are not maintained.

2.2. Diet

Another important factor in raising good Crowns is food. All Breeders in Jakarta use live food for their bettas, and one in particular shared his method of feeding CT fry: 'When the fry hatch, no feeding is done except from what is derived naturally from plants like water lettuce. Daphnia is being fed from as early as a week old. Then when the fry are about a month old they are fed with TBW (Tubifex Worms). TBW are being given to the fry twice daily up to 2 months of age, in small proportions. Once the fry are above 2 months, they are only fed once on TBW. The second feeding is being replaced by mosquito larva (ML). Once the fry are 3 months of age and above they are only fed once a day on ML. There is high usage of Daphnia, TBW and ML because these are basically free - Nature's gift to betta hobbiests. Bloodworms are rarely used because they are not in abundance in Jakarta.'

We mentioned earlier the Bane of CT Breeders: Curled Rays. Yes, CT curling does occur in Indonesia as well, despite the water condition. My Indonesian gurus professed that this is due to the water being too cold or cool. Whatever it is, at the first sign of curling, the first treatment to be administered is to use the sun. Simply expose the curling betta to sunlight for about half an hour daily. If the fish is in a very small container, be sure to monitor his water for overheating.

A more effective treatment, however, is the one touted by the aforementioned Phil Ngo: A water flow system. Phil maintains that somehow the current in the water helps prevent the rays from curling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, crown tail betta fish are a wonderful addition to any aquarium and they offer a lot of joy to those looking to breed or raise them. Breeding bettas is a fun and rewarding experience if you properly prepare yourself by researching the right methods - such as water quality, temperature, diet, and more. If you decide to proceed with getting a crown tail betta fish, make sure that you invest your time in learning every aspect necessary in order to ensure its health and well-being. It’s important to remember that like humans each betta will have its own personality, so be prepared for some unique challenges when raising these beautiful creatures. Overall, the effort that goes into owning and caring for a crown tail betta will be worth the reward of watching them thrive for many years. If you have any further questions about what it takes to raise and breed these remarkable little fish, let me know in a comment below!

References

For writing this article, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the renowned betta breeder Phil Ngo of Singapore. Through his tireless efforts in researching, breeding, and developing these beautiful creatures, he has left an indelible mark that is sure to be admired for years to come. We are thankful for this generous dedication; it truly makes a world of difference!

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