Research Paper to Read: (2014) The Study of Different Foods on Spawning Efficiency of Siamese Fighting Fish (Species: Betta splendens, Family: Belontiidae)

Source: ResearchGate.

What are the key point here?
(1) There is no significant differences between live feeds (Artemia, Blood worm, and Gammarus) and artificial feeds in Betta sp. breeding.

Why this paper?
As fish diet is a crucial nourishment for the brood stock in conditioning Betta sp. for breeding. What are the possible best food available to obtain a large spawn? Having a large spawn increases the breeder farm profits as the farm owner sell more fishes. This question have been asked numerous time in online forums and the general consensus among the breeders is use live foods with high protein nutrients. However, obtaining and culturing live feeds do incur additional costs and labour. Thus, through this paper, we would like to know what are the significant differences in using different foods and if those differences worth using it. (Note: This is not a the best written paper but we are always curious about the materials and methods used in breeding. Either it reconfirm our understanding or raises further questions regarding our current approach.)

Material and Methods
This experiment was conducted in a commercial fish farm which produces 50000 fishes annually. The material used are 20 aquariums, 40 fishes, 5 different fish feeds with 4 replicates as shown below. The dimension of each aquarium is 40cm x 30cm x 30cm with water height around 15cm, which is 18 litres. (Note: Not sure about the 'mass', assumed it refers to a group of egg.)

(1) Artermia cyst x 4 pairs.
(2) Artermia mass x 4 pairs.
(3) Blood worm x 4 pairs.
(4) Gammarus mass x 4 pairs.
(5) Commercial food x 4 pairs.

The water parameters of the breeding tank as below:

(1) pH: 7.5.
(2) Air temperature: 30 - 35 Celsius.
(3) Water temperature: 26 - 28 Celsius.
(4) Hardness: 108 ppm.
(5) Dissolved oxygen: 6 mg / litre.

The breeding procedures as follows:

(1) The breeding tanks were disinfected with salt without iodine.
(2) Fishes were disinfected using solution of 5% Acrofelavin bath for 5 minutes.
(3) Once the brood stocks were added to the breeding tank, it's not feed for 24 hours.
(4) A glass screen was added between the pair of fishes.
(5) Fishes were fed twice (9 a.m. and 6 p.m.) on daily basis on ratio of 3% of body weight of the fish.
(6) Thick plastic with measurement of 10 cm x 10 cm was added to the side of male fish.
(7) The pair of fish was conditioned for 15 days.
(8) Female fish was released to the male once the bubble nest size reaches 500 bubbles.
(9) Once spawning is done, the female is extracted out from the breeding tank.

During the incubation period, the temperature of the breeding tank is controlled with a digital thermometer (VIPRO) with a 0.1 Celsius minuteness. The temperature is set at 27 Celsius. 10 eggs were randomly selected from each breeding tank and were measured using a digital micrometer (Leitz, model 621).

From the table below, it's shown that there is no significant differences (P >= 0.05) between different food treatments even though the pair fed with blood worms produced the most eggs and the lowest spawning time. (Note: Table below is not the best way to present your tabulated data).

While the feeds doesn't show any significant impact in affecting the eggs production. As the brood stock is fed twice per days, if the feeding frequency increased to 4 times / day, will it impact the result? While live feed like Blood worms are rich with protein, does artificial feeds with similar protein percentage may have the similar or better results?

What you're going to do with the knowledge you've gained?
(1) Conditioning for 14 days or 2 weeks is crucial to make sure the pair of brood stock breed. Thus, we will need get a good partition to separate both fishes instead of using plastic container to hold the female Betta sp.

(2) Where can we get Gammarus?

What are the further unsolved questions?
(1) What is the optimum tank size suitable for breeding Betta sp.?
(2) What is the optimum feeding frequency suitable for the brood stock?

Note to Self:
(1) Be careful when selecting papers to read. Always check the references section to determine whether this is a significant paper to read.

(2) Paper with plenty of grammatical and spelling errors is a good indicator to skip it.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 8: Principles of Water Quality Management - Water Filtration System

Let's proceed with the new topic. Topic 7 really took some times to complete due to myriad of unexpected events.

There are two goals for this module, which are (1) understanding the fundamental of water quality management for your aquarium and (2) look into the common practices and filtering that meet the requirement of the industry. (Note: if it works for the industry, the same practices should be applicable for hobbyist but on a smaller scale).

There are four main criteria for good water quality which are: (1) safe for keeping organisms, (2) crystal clear since ornamental fishes needs to be seen clearly to be appreciated, (3) free from floating and suspended objects, and lastly (4) odourless and refreshing.

A complete water filtration system consists of several components of mechanical filters, biological filters, temperature regulating system, aeration, and sterilization system. Common filtration system lack of temperature regulation and sterilization due to cost and size. For indoor aquariums with filtration system, the noise level should be at the lowest or acceptable range and enrich the oxygen content of the aquarium tank. In addition to that, chemical treatments like removing chlorine also used to ensure optimum water quality.

Mechanical filters are sponge of filter floss which captures finest aquarium particles. While these particles are captured in the filter floss, it's still part of the ecosystem within the aquarium as water still move through the filters and flow back to the aquarium tanks. For saltwater tank, additional mechanical filter called Protein Skimmer is used to remove additional organic waste particles from water.

What are the available filtration systems? There are two which are sand filtration, biological, and chemical filtration. Sand filtration is a simple filtration system where sand is used as a medium to clean the sand and allows continual bacteria growth. The sand medium used here must be of refine quality of silica or oolite sand, coarse sand is not suitable and effective here.

Meanwhile, biological filter works through converting toxic chemical compounds like ammonia to nitrite and later, to nitrate, which is harmless. Without the conversion, ammonia and nitrite, exceeding to a certain amount, is highly toxic to fishes. Below is a DIY filtration system which combines both mechanical filtration (sponge) and biological filtration (popular medium K1 Media) as shown in the screenshot (Source: UMTMOOC Ornamental Fish Culture) below.

Meanwhile chemical filtration typically used for marine aquarium. For example, to remove bad odour from the aquarium carbon filter is used. Similarly, Zeolite or polymer absorber is another chemical used to remove odour. Calcium reactor is important in a coral tank to replenish the uptake of calcium by the corals and reduce the acidity of the aquarium. 

Next component is the aeration system. Aeration ensures sufficient oxygen supplies and the most common method to achieve this is through water surface agitation. Typically, air stone and air pump is used to achieve this. However, air pump is very noisy. Note that oxygen exchange happens when the bubble burst in the surface and not within the water. Another way is to create agitation through water flow from the top or side of the aquarium tank, similar like a waterfall. For a heavily planted aquarium tank, aeration may not be needed as the plant will generate oxygen for the tank through photosynthesis.

This is followed by temperature control. For those living in tropical countries, regulation temperature within a aquarium tank may not be needed but for saltwater aquarium, it's needed as marine life need colder water temperature. Typical tropical countries temperature is around 25 - 30 Celsius. However, exposure to lighting and water pump, the temperature may be higher. Hence, water temperature regulation through water heater can achieve optimum temperature parameter. Most fishes thrive within the temperature < 25 Celsius.

Last component is the sterilization through UV light. Harmful pathogenic microbes like parasite, fungus, yeast, and bacteria will be removed when water cycle through UV sterilization system. Also, UV sterilization removes algae from the water that prevent greenish water in the aquarium tank. The efficient of UV sterilization depends on intensity of UV light, water clarity, and water flow rate.