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Culling


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I know this is not the nicest topic in the world but I would rather know a bit more about it before I start breeding.

What is the best and most humane way to cull your spawn and when do you think it's neccissary. Oviously you would do it if you have a deformed or seriously injured fish, but do any of you do it because there are simply too many spawn to look after? I'm just curious as to what breeders usually do and what is considered acceptable in the breeding world.

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Yes a lot of serious breeders CULL heavily, as spawns can reach up to around 300 fry, where will you keep them all, do you have the time to do water changes for them especially when jarred? etc... There are many ways, I usually feed them to larger fish, it happens in nature a lot, the larger will eat the smaller.

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Although it's not nice to cull, sometimes it's necessary.

As Chi said, Bettas can have spawns up to 300 fry. Most breeders I know don't have enough room or resources to cater to each fry needs.

I like to think of it this way: Would you rather cull, and have 30 odd Bettas that you care for well, and have them grow to their full potential, or not cull, but have 300 stunted fish?

As for ways to do it, I hit them with a brick. Sounds harsh, but it's the quickest and cleanest method I've tried. Not fond of freezing them. Clove oil is another popular choice, but I've found giving them a big hit does the trick. They're only out of the water for a few seconds, and are dead straight away.

Hope this helps. You could also do a search in the forum, there are lots of threads on this subject.

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One must remember to call Sarah, Master. She is an awesome weapon of distruction with a kind nurturing soul.

I use what Sarah usess. A brick for single or up to ten any higher and its clove oil. It all goes into the compost bin so recycle is the word hear and never flush.

I cull large numbers. I might start with 300+ fry but by the time I have selected what has met all my requirements I might only have about four or six fish.

I breed for improvment so I dont see any reasone to keep anything that hasnt improved on the previous generation, if it hasnt then it is culled. With very stringent selection a line will conform to the breed standard quicker and in time you will find that you have more fish at the end of the culling process that meet the standard. It is the excess of what you have selected you would breed with that should realy be sold not all the crap you should have culled along the way. Remember hard work at the start pays off in the end.

Cheers

les

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Depending on how many I have to cull I use different ways. Usually I use the freezing method. I have tried clove oil but I can't seem to get the dosage right. You're suppose to start with a small amount that anaesthesizes but I somehow always use too mich and the fish jerks around which is quite alarming. I one had to cull a bucketful of adults. I gave it to a friend who had a duck pond. The ducks liked them a lot apparently.

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I'm all about it.

Sounds awful, but I'd rather have 20 fish I can keep than 80 I stunt (done it, won't be doing that again)

Methods are good to discuss, generally freezing is the easiest - I steer clear from clove oil as I'm stupid enough to accidentally dose my water conditioner container.

I freeze and throw them on the garden in the morning.

-Ness

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What age do you cull them at, once you can pick out the ones you want to breed or scoop out a net full of tiny ones? Will gold fish eat them if they're young enough? I just dont want them to go to waste.

And thanks for all your help, you've given me some great options, I'll see what works best for me.

Edited by BettaBreedersPerth
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LOL @ Razzi, That would spin me out as well. I use one drop in a ltr of water

@ Ness I got the clove oil on my hands and had a tank of stunned Endlers but lucky only a few died.

As you are just starting out, I would suggest that after you have decided what style of Splendens you wish to keep, that you get a pair of fish from an established line. read up on the standard for that style. when the pair have spawnd grow out as many as you can and take notes or post on the forum regular updates of changes that you observe in the fry. Different lines will progress in different ways, ie some are slow to mature whilst others may show good finage to start but it may decline later and that straight top line may just start to look like it belongs to a hump back spoon in just a week.

Ie you decide on a pair of Milano HM PKs, study what the standards are for a HM PK and what standard a milano black should be. and use this as your guide line for the end result.

Take the time with your fisrt three or four spawns to observe changes and how they progress "experience is a great teacher". this will give you the confidence to know what should be culled and when it should be culled from your future spawns spawns.

Cheers

Les

PS Rome wasnt built in a day and you have a lifetime to learn

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As you are new to all this, I would suggest getting a few pair of "cheapies" first and gain the experience from them, rather than getting a pair of $100+ betta and cursing when you see the female is on her side, all shredded gasping for air because she has just been bashed by the male (mind you it could be the female that bashes the male), just an example of many things that may happen due to inexperience. Good luck with your ventures!

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If you're working on the patterned colours eg marbles, butterflies etc it can be difficult to choose which ones to keep until later. When you're working with solid colours the variation isn't going to be all that great so you're just looking at form. You can start culling deformed fry very early, usually at 2-3 weeks. Bent back ain't gonna straighten out. I then wait for some of the fry to grow bigger than the others and I keep most of those plus a few of the runts just in case and cull the rest. At this point I might still have about 60 to choose from. My goal is to keep reducing the numbers until they're down to about 20 at jarring time by which stage you should be able to tell the good ones. Jar those 8 or 10 and get rid of the rest. Of course best laid plans don't always work out and my emotions often get the better of me and I find myself with 60 poor quality adult bettas that no one wants and I don't have the heart to cull.

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