In 1960 I got some fish for my aquarium. I had many different varieties and spent a great deal of time watching them I had one particular record which I would use while watching them and loved them.
My favorites were the Siamese fighting fish also known as the betta. I even hatched some but was not able to get them to an adult...I did see them and I watch the way they bred and the way the male fish would squeeze out the eggs out of the female and catch them and put them into a bubble nest until they would hatched. The little guy would swim about catching the eggs if they fell and carefully put them back in the next....then they would to try to eat them...
Anyway it was incredible to witness, Here is their story.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), also sometimes colloquially known as the betta, is a species in the gourami family which is popular as an aquarium fish. Bettas can be territorial fish and are prone to high levels of aggression towards each other. Two males in close proximity will almost always attack each other, if they do not have the ability to escape this will usually result in the death of one or both of the fish. Female bettas can also become territorial towards each other if they are housed in too small an aquarium. It is typically not recommended to keep male and female bettas together, except temporarily for breeding purposes which should always be undertaken with caution.
Reproduction and early development
Male bettas will flare their gills, spread their fins and twist their bodies in a dance if interested in a female. If the female is also interested she will darken in colour and develop vertical lines known as breeding bars as a response. Males build bubble nests of various sizes and thicknesses at the surface of the water. Most tend to do this regularly even if there is no female present.
Plants or rocks that break the surface often form a base for bubble nests. The act of spawning itself is called a "nuptial embrace", for the male wraps his body around the female; around 10–40 eggs are released during each embrace, until the female is exhausted of eggs. The male, in his turn, releases milt into the water, and fertilization takes place externally. During and after spawning, the male uses his mouth to retrieve sinking eggs and deposit them in the bubble nest (during mating the female sometimes assists her partner, but more often she simply devours all the eggs she manages to catch). Once the female has released all of her eggs, she is chased away from the male's territory, as she will likely eat the eggs. If she is not removed from the tank then she will most likely be killed by the male.
The eggs will remain in the male's care. He carefully keeps them in his bubble nest, making sure none fall to the bottom, repairing the bubble nest as needed. Incubation lasts for 24–36 hours; newly hatched larvae remain in the nest for the next two to three days until their yolk sacs are fully absorbed. Afterwards, the fry leave the nest and the free-swimming stage begins. In this first period of their lives, B. splendens fry are totally dependent on their gills; the labyrinth organ which allows the species to breathe atmospheric oxygen typically develops at three to six weeks of age, depending on the general growth rate, which can be highly variable. B. splendens can reach sexual maturity at an age as early as 4–5 months.
...Betta splendens feed on zooplankton, crustaceans, and the larvae of mosquitoes and other water-bound insects. In captivity they can be fed a varied diet of pellets, flake food and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia and many others....
Some people of Thailand and Malaysia are known to have collected these fish prior to the 19th century from the wild.
In the wild, betta spar for only a few minutes before one fish backs off. Bred specifically for heightened aggression, domesticated betta matches can go on for much longer, with winners determined by a willingness to continue fighting. Once a fish retreats, the match is over.
Seeing the popularity of these fights, the king of Thailand started licensing and collecting these fighting fish. In 1840, he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Theodor Cantor, a medical scientist. Nine years later, Cantor wrote an article describing them under the name Macropodus pugnax. In 1909, the ichthyologist Charles Tate Regan, upon realizing a species was already named Macropodus pugnax, renamed the domesticated Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens.
In 1892, this species was imported to France by the French aquarium fish importer Pierre Carbonnier in Paris, and in 1896, the German aquarium fish importer Paul Matte in Berlin imported the first specimens to Germany from Moscow.
Males and females flare or puff out their gill covers (opercula) to appear more impressive, either to intimidate other rivals or as an act of courtship. Other reasons for flaring can include when they are intimidated by movement or change of scene in their environments. Both sexes display horizontal bars if stressed or frightened. However, such colour changes, common in females of any age, are rare in mature males due to their intensity of colour. Females often flare at other females, especially when setting up a pecking order. Flirting fish behave similarly, with vertical instead of horizontal stripes indicating a willingness and readiness to breed (females only). Betta splendens enjoy a decorated tank, being a territorial fish it is necessary to establish territory even when housed alone. They may set up a territory centered on a plant or rocky alcove, sometimes becoming highly possessive of it and aggressive toward trespassing rivals. This is the reason why when kept with other fish the minimum tank size should be 45 litres (about 10 gallons). Contrary to popular belief, Bettas are compatible with many other species of aquarium fish. Given the proper parameters bettas will be known to only be aggressive towards smaller and slower fish than themselves such as guppies.
The aggression of this fish has been studied by ethologists and comparative psychologists.These fish have historically been the objects of gambling; two male fish are pitted against each other to fight and bets are placed on which one will win. One fish will arise the victor, the fight continuing until one participant is submissive. These competitions can result in the death of either one or both fish depending on the seriousness of their injuries. To avoid fights over territory, male Siamese fighting fish are best isolated from one another. Males will occasionally even respond aggressively to their own reflections in a mirror. Though this is obviously safer than exposing the fish to another male, prolonged sight of their reflection may lead to stress in some individuals. Not all Siamese fighting fish respond negatively to other males, especially when the tank is large enough for each fish to create their own designated territory