Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breeding Betta Macrostoma

Betta Macrostoma is one of the most beautiful betta. Because of its small geographical(Malaysia and Brunei) habitat. Wild specimen is rare and command a very high price. On the other hand, because the fish is very sensitive, keeping it alife is a challange, let a lone breeding it.

I had tried keeping Betta macrostoma twice before and failed. This is my third time trying and I finnally able to keep it alife. And manage to breed it. Yes!!!!!!!!!!

Since the wild betta is getting rare. I hope this post will help others in breeding this species and keep the strains going on.

Colorful Male

Macrostoma prefer soft and acidic water. pH 5 is what I aim for. Higher pH will lead to skin infection and often fatal. I lost two fishes because of that. Peat filter medium is good way to reduce pH. Alternatively you can use ADA Amazonia II soil. The fish prefer lower temperature. I used to keep them in room(28-30C) temperature, they survive but never thrive. I am now living in a service apartment with 24 hour aircondition. The temperature is kept at 25C with a heater.

Colorless Female
Most of the report on the web tell you that Macrostoma need space to breed. On contrary, mine breed in very small space. Because of space constrain in Hong Kong(which I am currently posted in temporary), I only have a 24"x14"x8" tank. To make it worse, I divide the tank into two with a divider and keeps a pair on each side. The tank has ADA amazonia II as substrate and is heavily planted. The current is slow with small powerhead filter.

Courting pair
I got these two pair from Andrew(my Malaysian friend). The fish settled in quikily and almost instanting court. Within a couple of weeks, the fishes spawn, both of them. The first two spawn was like a practice round. The male incubate the eggs in thier mouth only for a few days then swallowed all of them.

Courting dance
Subsequently the male learned how to brood the eggs properly. During this period, if you feed the fishes, the male might try to eat and I suspect while doing it, some eggs are accidentally swallowed. Learning that, I seperate the pair when the male is brooding. Oh. The female do help carries the eggs when it is a large spawn. But I never manage to get the female to complete the brooding because I feed them after the laid eggs.
Brooding male. Its color turned pale.
Not all fries mature at teh same time. After about 3 -4 weeks, the male release the fires in batches. Only free swiming fries are released. Once I tried harvesting the fries by plying open the mouth and found that they are at different developmental stage. Some free swimming and some still carries thier yolksac.
Each brood yield about 20-30 fries. Plying actually harvest more, I suspect I lost some fries to the filter in the natural method.


The fries is able to survive in the heavily planted aquarium without feeding. I suppose there is plenty of macro-organism in the tank. For those that I harvested, they accept newly hatch brineshrimp readily. Once they accepted brineshrimp, they readily accept frozen brineshrimp/dapnia and dried food.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

? Bullosa

Got this crypt from an aquarium owner today. The crypt is growing very well in his display tank(Summerged). Asked him what crypt it is and he had no idea. He thought it was the affinis I passed to him earlier. I have doubt as that affinis was growing next to it has different leaf color. Spotted a plantlet and asked him to sell me. He gave me for free instead. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!.

Very bullated leafs. Olive green color on the top and bottom. Although it is a plantlet, the leafs are about 3 cm long. The mother plants has more then 10 leafs and each leaf are bout 5 cm long. Imagine how beautiful it is.

Substrate used is:
ADA Amazonia II: 20%
ADA Malayan: 20%
Baked Clay: 20%
Coco Fibre: 20%
ADA Power Sand: 5%
Pelite: 5%

H5 lights x2
Temperature 27-28C
Humidity >90%.
4cm deep water.
Emerse grow
Looking at the shape ad color of the leaf plusthe heavy bullation, I suspect it is a bullosa. If it is a bullosa, I might not be able to confirm it as this strain is extremely disfficult to keep and flower.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Purpurea Nothovar purpurea Tasek Bera

Collected this specimen in Tasek Bera two months ago. We have to paddle a boat to collect this specimen. With black water and high water level, we wouldn't have found the plants without the help of orang asli(Aborigin). Even with help, I only able to collect a few specimens. I planted the few plants in different substrates. The plant proved to be tough, surviving all type of substrate I tried. Even more amazing is in less then 2 months, this plant grew 3 new leafs and spathed.

The spathe.
It took a week from the time I spotted it to the blossum.
This plant grows well in substrate of
30% baked clay
30% garden soil
30% peat
10% ADA power sand
Love the bright red color limb and orange red throat
Note the incomplete fusion of the tube. This is typical to Tasek Bera variant.

A close up. The limb has rough surface and the throat is smooth.

Potrait of the spathe. The tube is not completely fused close to the limb.

Potrait of the beautiful kettle. The valve is pale yellow in color. The ovary is light brown.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crypt striolata "Maradong" green

Recieved this plants six months ago. Planted in both emersed and submerged method. Submerged plant all became fertilizer. Luckily the emersed one are growing very well and finally flowered for me.

This is how it looked like six months ago.

Six months later.. Walah..........................
I have plugged out two plants to exchange with other crypt lover. The remaining two plants are growing well for me. Most of the orginal leaves have been replaced by the new leaves with shorter stem(Looks nicer).

Top view. Very small flower. doesn't have bright color but I am not complaining. Its always exciting when I see my crypt flowering.

The inflorescence has light yellow limb very thin purplish collar.linear purplish red marking. The throat is light yellow in color with linear purple marking.

One day later, the slender tail started bending downward. The inflorescence lasted for 5 days. I still dont have the heard to slice the inflorescence open. May be next time

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cryptocoryne Schulzei "Mersing"

Cryptocoryne Schulzei "Mersing"

Collected some schulzei on one of the trip. The stream discovered was covered with the C. Sculzei. some of them were flowering. You can imaging how excited I was when I saw these. The specimen here had dark green color leaves with red color tiger like marking.

However, when these plant was brought home. Thier color reversed, the base color became brown red and the righer marking are jade green in color. Impressive change in color.

One of the specimen collected had a spath bud on it. Withing a few days after planting, the bud opened up and the flower blossum. Schulzei flower is one of my favourite because of its bright and contrasting color.

Crypt Schulzei flower has its throat opening perpenticular to its tube. The throat is bright red and the collar has a very nice contrasting yellow color.

The leave color of schulzei vary with location collected and planting condition. Most of them the specimen I have seen have green leaf with minimal or some marking. This is by far one of the more interesting color variant. Can't wait for the new leafs to grow out. Wonder what color will it be.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Johor Crypt Hunting Trip

Didn't make any plan on the Medeka(Independence) day weekend and organised a crypt hunting with a friend at the very last minute. Got delayed by usual wardround and leave KL only by 10pm. After 3 hours drive we reached Panti, a small area near infamous Kota Tinggi Johor. We went to a schulzei site which my friend visited years ago. We were glad to find that the site is still well preserved. The water level was low, the crypts were very healthy and it was flowering.
Crypt schulzei at the bank of small creek. Substrate consist of clay, sand and leaf litters.

Typical schulzei flower, yellow limb with red throat. Didn't realise there was a fresh water crab beside the flower until I review the photo at home.

After a quick lunch at a local mamak store(not tasty at all), we move on to search for new location. My friend was looking for blackwater fishes and I was all geared for crypts. God of luck must be on my side as we found a few new crypt sites. Not much luck(or rather not much time) in fish hunting though.

We found a new site with crypts that looks like crypt graffithis. Unfortunately we didn't find any flower to confirm it. We also found some blue color mini shrimps(adult size about 1cm). Unfortunately I didn't take any picture and Ngiam have all of them. I was too excited collecting crypts.

Crypt biotope. Substrate are loose mud mixed with leaf litter. Very dangerous area. a wrong step and you will sink til hip level and possibly deeper. They are as dangerous as quicksand.

? Crypt Graffithi

A smaller plant have leafs that is brown in color and elongate shape. ? Crypt graffithi

This area also have healthy growth of nepenthes ampullaris. They are everywhere. Never seen so much ampullaris before.

Nepenthes ampullaris speckle. The grows in bundle on the grow or hang in a bundle. No wonder ampullaris are nick named "Apple".

Nepenthes ampullaris green or "Green Apple" growing on ground.

We then moved on to Mersing area. This seem to be a crypt day. We spotted crypt population repeatedly. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Most likely crypt schulzei. tiny plant that is at the bank of very fast flower stream. They grow between the roots of bag trees. Mud was the main substrate.

Submerged crypt schulzei in fast stream

Another spot with crypts. If you don;t look carefully, you might pass it on as collection of death leaf as the leafs were reddish brown in color.

Most likely schulzei. But some expert think it could still be nurii or affinis. Affinis has never been found this so far south though.

The crypts are huge, up to 2 feet high. They burrowed themself deep into the substrate composed mainly of sand and leaf litters. It was difficult to collect this specimen as we have to dig deep into the sand.

I planted them into by aquarium and notice that they have very beautiful and rare red marking on the leaf. This is first time I see so intense red on crypt.

Just before dusk. We made another stop and found yet another healthy grow of crypt schulzei. Some were flowering.
Although these photos showed green leaf with red marking. when I brought them back home, the leaf are light brown color with jade green tiger marking.

Schulzei flowers

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sp Marup engkelili

After catching crypt fever and collected crypts for months, one of my crypt flowered. This is my 2nd crypt flower. Saw the flower when I came home for lunch. quickily take some pictures in case I missed it like I missed the crypt lingua's picture the last time

Bought this plant from a East Malaysia collector a few months ago. it was a big plant to start with. As you can see from the old leaves, it was covered with mud. The new leaves are nice and clean but their color are light. wondering whether this is due to lack of nutrient.

The plant was planted in the following substrate.:
Peat 10%
JBL substrate fert 5%
ADA power sand 5%
ADA amazonia 40%
ADA Malaya 40%
It is grow emerse with water of 1 inches deep.

Dark red spade/flower