Table of contents:
- The cockerel is one of the most beautiful and most beloved fish by aquarists. A rounded, somewhat elongated body in aquariums reaches a length of 6 centimeters
Video: Cockerel, Or Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens)
The cockerel is one of the most beautiful and most beloved fish by aquarists. A rounded, somewhat elongated body in aquariums reaches a length of 6 centimeters
In the so-called veiled fighting fish common in Moscow, the dorsal, caudal and especially the anal fins are greatly expanded and elongated, reaching very large sizes in males. The pelvic fins are elongated, filiform.
The color of the cockerels is different: blue, green, red or red-blue, red-green, blue-green, red-steel …
Betta fish can be kept in a jar with all of the indoor fish described above. For a pair of cockerels, an aquarium of 8-15 liters is enough. Having densely planted it with plants, letting some riccia on the surface of the water, you can observe the most interesting spawning of fighting fish.
Having seated the male and the female in separate aquariums or banks, they feed them abundantly with bloodworms for seven to ten days, maintaining a temperature of 22-25 ° C degrees. When the female's abdomen becomes noticeably rounded, she and the male are allowed into a pre-prepared spawning ground, where the temperature is maintained at 27-29 ° C.
As soon as the male sees the female, his usual slowness will disappear immediately, he begins to chase after her, shining in the light with his spread beautiful fins. The color of both fish becomes very bright. This continues for several minutes, and sometimes hours.
Finally, after swimming, the male rises to the surface and, having chosen a suitable place, begins to build a nest. Capturing air bubbles with his mouth (often together with debris of Riccia), the male spits them out side by side, creating an even circle out of them. When it reaches a diameter of 4-5 centimeters, the male begins to build on the middle of the circle, gradually creating a cap above the surface of air bubbles glued together with saliva. If there is a lot of Riccia debris in the aquarium, the nest looks like a hat, rising 2.5-3 centimeters above the water. If there is little Riccia, the nest spreads out, becomes wide, flat.
So the male works tirelessly sometimes for many hours. When the nest is ready, the female swims up to it and spawning begins. The male, and often both fish, picks up the swept caviar, grabbing it in his mouth, and spit it out into the foam of the nest. Inexperienced aquarists are usually intimidated: it seems to them that the fish are eating foam. But this is not the case. Every single egg will be picked up and placed between the air bubbles, where larvae develop from them under conditions of abundant oxygen.
But here the last portion of eggs is spawned, and then the male threateningly rushes at the female, driving her into the corner of the aquarium. The female must be planted immediately, while the male must be left at the nest. If the female is not removed, the male will be very worried, he may even kill her. This, of course, does not happen in natural reservoirs, where the spawning female swims away from the nest.
Every now and then, adding bubbles, day and night for two to three days, the male guards the eggs. How menacingly he inflates his gills at this time, how he rolls his eyes, how he puffs up his fins! Try to lower a glass jar with some fish into the spawning ground. The male will immediately throw himself on the glass, trying to drive the fish away.
Finally, the larvae hatched, and the male's worries immediately increased. Tiny, not yet able to swim, cockerels now and then fall out of the nest. Each must be picked up, shoved back.
On the fourth or sixth day, the larvae take a horizontal position and spread over the aquarium. The male must be removed immediately, since the instinct for protecting offspring ends there. Swimming around the aquarium, by moving the fins, he can kill the larvae, and what good - and eat.
Male and female
In the litter, there are from fifty to eight hundred larvae. When there are many of them, it is possible to feed most of them only in an aquarium with a capacity of three to four buckets. In the early days, while the larvae feed on ciliates, it is necessary to maintain a high temperature (25-27 ° C), then gradually it can be reduced. At first, the larvae breathe only oxygen dissolved in the water, therefore, for three to four weeks (until the maze develops in small mazes), you need to take care of the purity of the water in the aquarium.
Males become adults at the age of four to six months. Spawning is easier to get from young fighting fish - six to twelve months old. After a year, the males, although they spawn, are usually poorly looked after the offspring.
Two adult male cockerels cannot be kept in the same tank - they become pugnacious with age. When two males are together, they color brightly, unfold their fins, protrude their gills and begin to swim in a circle, gradually drawing closer. After a few seconds, the battle begins. The fishes tear off each other's fins, strive to knock out their eyes, sometimes even tear off the gill covers. If they are not separated in time, one of the males usually dies. Because of this exceptional pugnacity, they got their names for cockerels and fighting fish.
Cockerel (Betta splendens). © Photo by Sophia Netreba
In Southeast Asia, the fights of these fish are one of the favorite shows. Two males are placed in a narrow aquarium, divided into two parts by glass. As soon as the males notice each other, they take fighting poses. After that, the glass is removed and the battle begins. Locals value the best fighters very much, get offspring from them, raise them carefully, improving the fighting qualities of their fish.
Source: F. Polivanov "Underwater world in the room"