Research Paper to Read: (2004) Effect of feeding frequency on growth and fecundity in an ornamental fish, Betta splendens (Regan)

Source: ResearchGate.

Takeaways
(1) Two meals per day is the optimum frequency for growth, gonad (a testis or ovary) development, and fecundity (fertility on producing eggs).
(2) Don't overfed (three times per day) your female Bettas as it will increase it's mortality rate and reduce eggs production.
(3) 14 days is sufficient enough for subsequent spawn for a female Betta.

Why this paper?
One of the question when rearing and breeding Betta splendens is how frequent we should feed the fish to achieve optimum growth and speed up breeding. There are many inconsistent advice given by different breeders on the number of times the fish should be fed. Nevertheless, going through scientific literature will give us a baseline to feed our fishes at the optimum level without unnecessary food waste. However, this does not discounts the vast years of experience of master breeders as typical scientific research was done once compare to years of multiple trials and errors of some breeders.

Material and Methods
This experiment includes 375 juveniles Betta of 30 days old with weight of 0.045±0.01 g and lenght of 14.43±2.2 mm (not sure full length of just body only). The fishes were grouped into 15 groups of 25 each with three sets of each feeding frequency as shown below:

(1) One meal in three days (at 6:00).
(2) One meal in two days (at 6:00).
(3) One meal in one day (at 6:00).
(4) Two meals a day (6:00, 18:00).
(5) Three meals a day (6:00, 12:00, 18:00).

Breeding conditions for 77 days, roughly 2.5 months.

(1) 110-l circular cement cistern with measurement of 53.34 x 45.72 cm (the rounded container typically used by Thai Betta farm).
(2) 50l unchlorinated well fresh water. Tank were drained bi-weekly (didn't mentioned how much water)
(3) Temperature averaged 28±1C,
(4) pH 7.8±0.05.
(5) Water hardness 316±15 mg CaCO3/l, ammonia 1.01±0.12 mg/l and DO 4.04 ppm.
(6) Fresh minced beef liver (protein 35.44%, fat 3.86%, ash, 13.91%, and nitrogen free extract 46.79%)

Calculation of each type of measurements as follows:

(1) Growth. Calculation initial dry weight using electrical monopan balance. Five fishes were sacrificed (not sure how). Weight is determined every 14 days.
(2) Gonad. Calculation initial gonad weight using electrical monopan balance and gonadosomatic index (GSI). Three female fishes sacrificed (not sure how) every 14 days.
(3) Spawning. Upon attaining sexual maturity (did not mention when), two pairs of male and females where selected to spawn in a plastic container with water depth of 15cm. Eggs (hatched or unhatched) counted using sterilized needle.

Results
While the growth rate was expected for those with higher frequency feeding, there was no significant differences between two meals and three meals per day. Interestingly result of spawning size. As the result below shown, if the female Betta was overfeed (three meals per day), the eggs production will decrease. We're quite surprised that second and third spawn yields even more eggs after every 14 days.



Discussion
It seemed what we did with our breeding project was significantly not helpful to our female Bettas. To increase eggs productions, we've fed both male and female Bettas four meals per day. The result have shown that overfed actually decreased the eggs production and can cause bloating and dropsy. We've observed some of our female Bettas experienced such symptoms after mating.

Further Questions
(1) The paper did not address the impact of different meal plans for juveniles fish from 1st till 30th day. It only accounts for fish starting for 30 days old.
(2) Why not jar each juveniles fish and measure its growth, gonad development, and fecundity individually in separate container instead of one large 110-l circular cement cistern.
(3) To prevent bloating, some breeders skip Sunday meal so that the fish can fast to clear out all its waste. Will this have any significant differences to the result for those 3 meals per day?

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 3: Quality Characteristic Determination - Angelfish & Schooling Fish

Continue from previous post.

Discussion on quality characteristics for Angelfish and Schooling fish.

Angelfish. If you're are a beginner aquarist, there is nothing wrong to start with Angelfish or also known as Pterophyllum. Buy juvenile fishes as it's cheaper and they grow very fast. Furthermore, Angelfish is a good addition to your community tank.

On standard, there is one, a conformation (shape or structure) standard of Angelfish by the The Angelfish Society for hobbyists and breeders. The quality characteristics includes (1) Bodies, where round and slightly higher is preferred, no bump in head, appropriate eye to body ratio (2) Un-paired fins, regardless the length, needs to be straight, (3) Colours and patterns, stripes should run through the whole height of the body, (4) Size, bigger is better, (5) Deportment (behaviour), bold, alert, and active is a sign of good health.

For a list of different strains of Angelfish, see the video below.


Schooling fish, a group of fish that stay and swim together. Typical ornamental fishes are Tetra, Barb, Rasbora, and Minnow. As these species are rather on the smaller size, for example, Tetra, there isn't much individual aesthetic characteristics besides the usual sharp colours and symmetry body shapes and fins.