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My Baby Blues

I love blue bettas. I always have. However, over time my focus has been drawn into the flashier multicolors and marbles because they are so colorful and abundant. I was lucky to have a gorgeous royal blue female fall into my hands thanks to a good friend and decided it was time to get back to my first goal which was solid blues. I found a very nice turquoise male on and imported him and now have a spawn between these two lovely fish. I’m extremely excited to find out what comes from this pairing.

Royal female bred by Sherolyn Craig

Royal female bred by Sherolyn Craig

If you haven’t read up on your blue genetics, or, like me, are a little rusty here’s a run down on the basic genetics. There are three types of blue; royal, steel, and turquoise. I should get 50% royal blue fish and 50% turquoise fish from this pairing. If I were to spawn a royal to a royal I should get 100% royals which is the direction I plan to head in my F2. In my experience though these fish don’t like to follow the genetic rules so we will see what actually does pop out. I know the female carries marble and has produced some nice patterned fish but I do not know what the male carries so I could end up with marbles or butterflies in this spawn.

Up until now my spawns have always had large die offs and I usually end up with 20 fish or less. Currently out of 3 combined spawns I only have 15 fish to show for it. My good friend Jay Loo of Hellacious Halfmoons who has the green thumb when it comes to growing bettas is putting up with me and my incessant questions on exactly how he does things from free swimming to jarring so I can hopefully keep this very large spawn of blues alive to adulthood. As of right now we are at day 7 and looking good. I will update periodically with how these guys are doing and eventually post pictures once they’re big enough for my camera to see.

Turquoise HM purchased from Siamimbellis

Turquoise HM purchased from Siamimbellis

I also have a spawn of multicolor marble plakats that are the same age as these blues. I plan to mix these two spawns at 2 or 3 weeks old and raise them together. Saves me tank space and water changes but the fish are easy to tell apart so I still know who came from whom.

Keep an eye out this fall for some beautiful blue Moon River Bettas hitting the show circuit! Until next time…

Just Keep Swimmin’

Halfmoon Maniac

Zombie Blog: Back from the dead!

Hola world!

I’m back in the breeding game and figured it was time to resurrect the MRB Blog from the internet grave it’s been lying in for the last year. I have tons of news to fill everyone in on and have lots of posts planned out. I’m excited to get things rolling again!

The first piece of news I have is about the new IBC chapter I recently joined. The Eastern Betta Society is a wide spread chapter for the Eastern United States. Members come from all over the East Coast including West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and beyond. We have a facebook group where betta lovers from all over can come and ask questions, share their spawns, and just chat with other fish lovers. We also have a website, Facebook Page, and Auction Page. I highly encourage all of my US readers to check out our auction page and bid on the items as all proceeds go to helping us reach our goal of hosting our first show this fall.

I will begin filling you all in on what’s happening in the fish room in more detail later but right now I have 5 spawns going. A sub-adult multicolor spawn, a juvenile green metallic spawn, a juvenile marble dragon short fin spawn, and just this past weekend two new spawns: blue HMs (hatched today) and a repeat of the marble dragon short fins (should hatch tonight/tomorrow). Things look very good for me to begin showing this fall which I am extremely excited about.

Much much more to come so check back soon and until next time…. Just Keep Swimmin’!

Halfmoon Maniac

The Importance of QT

Today I picked up some new stock for my planted 30 gallon sorority from my local petsmart. My haul included 5 black neon tetras, two mystery snails (one ivory, one blue), and 3 ghost shrimp. My hope is to add more to this group once this first group finishes it’s quarantine. I felt this was a great opportunity to talk about quarantine and how to set up a QT tank.

QT means quarantine in the hobby. It is probably the most important thing you need to do when keeping fish.  Anything new, be it fish, invertebrate, or plant should be quarantined away from your stock for a period of at least two weeks. Personally I try to go at least 3-4 weeks before integrating any new animals into my tanks. Plants can be dipped in a light bleach solution or potassium permanganate to kill any bugs so QT is much easier to do with them but still important! Skipping this step could be the difference between a thriving tank and one that is taken down by illness.

Most people hear this but still end up having to learn it the hard way. I was one of those people. I foolishly added a shoal of neon tetras to my 29 gallon planted tank without quarantining them. In less than a week my entire tank had gone belly up. Out of around 10 female bettas only one survived, none of the neons survived, and I ended up taking the whole tank down to disinfect. Once you go through an ordeal like that you learn just how important it is to make sure your new stock is healthy before letting it come into contact with your existing stock.

Now you might say to yourself “I don’t have room for another tank!” but a QT tank is meant to be temporary and very basic. It can be something as simple as a plastic bin which can double as equipment storage when not in use. I perfer to use a glass tank for QT however so I can better judge the health of the fish. My QT tank, and on occasion hospital tank, is a 5 gallon standard glass tank. For a larger group of fish a larger tank would obviously be needed. For my current needs, a 5 gallon suits just dandy.

So what do you need for this QT tank? Like I said before, these are basic, bare bones tanks. Keep it bare bottomed to better judge the health of the fish (you know what this means… poo checks!). A heater, thermometer, some plant cover (live or fake, your decision), and some type of aeration are all you need. Depending on the type of stock you have in the tank you may add some meds such as praziquantel to remove any parasites the animals may have. If you aren’t comfortable with meds, a warm tank with clean water will suffice just fine. To be on the safe side, I recommend QT-ing away from your current stock and do not mix equipment between the QT animals and your animals until the quarantine is complete.Quarantine Tank

Keep up with routine water changes on this tank for a minimum of two weeks, with a month or longer being preferable. If at the end of your QT period your stock is happy and healthy then you can go about introducing them into your larger tank. But that is a post for another time.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from today to better give you an idea of my QT set up. Keep your fish safe and just keep swimmin’!

Halfmoon Maniac

Fish Jan_Feb2013 026





*Creaks door open, clears cobwebs*

Hey everybody! Anybody??

Its been a long time! Too long. I started a personal blog recently and have actually kept up with it and thought to myself.. “You need to bring back MRB!” So here  I am. Let’s catch up shall we?

I am no longer breeding. Due to events in my personal life I had to cut back. Also, this spring I’ll be moving in with my older sister and will be severely restricted on fishy space. Not to worry however! This is not the end of Moon River Bettas. Until I can resume breeding again I’ll still update you all with the goings on of my hobby as well as expanding my topics to include product reviews, disease articles, etc, so on and so forth. I also still hope to continue rescue and fostering as I really enjoy that aspect of fish keeping.

I’ve got some great stories to tell you guys and TONS of pictures, so stay tuned!

Keep on swimming!

Halfmoon Maniac


Sorry for the long absence. Real life is trying to force me to be a grown up instead of staying home and playing with my fish! Here’s a few updates.


  • Back to breeding:     I have one 3 week old spawn of halfmoons currently and two spawns about to begin today or tomorrow! Keep a look out for updates. I should have a lot of very nice kids looking for new  homes towards the end of summer.
  • Email Woes:    I have been having issues with my email at so please leave comments here if you need to get in touch with me or comment on the Moon River Bettas facebook page! I promise I’m not intentionally ignoring anyone!
  • New Website!      I am working on a website that I will hopefully be able to link this blog to and vice versa. The stock shop page will be moving there and will be updated as fish become available. The build is going slowly due to my hectic schedule but will hopefully be finished in a few weeks.

Things are slowly revving back up for Moon River Bettas and this blog is on the list. Please keep checking back for updates on the spawns as well as other info as it comes to me.
Just Keep Swimming,

Halfmoon Maniac

Looking for a forum?

Bettah Bettas is in its infancy but would love new members. It’s goal is to educate on betta breeding and husbandry and advocate proper care. Stop by and tell us about your fish! We’d love to hear from you!

Ta ta for now!

-Halfmoon Maniac

Diseases and Treatments: Ich

Introducing our new disease series! Every Saturday I’ll pick a new disease and briefly cover the symptoms and treatments as well as try to include pictures (if possible).

Today’s disease is a parasite called “Ichthyophthirius multifilis” or more commonly known as “Ich or Ick.” It is a very common disease in tropical fish, including bettas. Your fish may become infected with ich if its immune system becomes compromised due to a sudden temperature change or a change in water quality. In my experience I’ve also seen a male become infected with Ich after being removed from a spawn. It is my opinion that this particular male was under a great deal of stress (although the spawn itself was quite peaceful) which affected his immune system enough for the ich to take hold. Mortality is very low with this disease if treated correctly.


The most commonly recognized symptom of this disease are white spots covering the body of the fish. These can range from just one or two spots to hundreds depending on how bad the infestation is. These spots look like grains of sand or salt. This is when the parasite is burrowed into the body of the fish, feeding off of its blood and dead skin cells. This parasite also spends part of its life-cycle in the water column.

Other symptoms can include scratching on rocks and other surfaces and lethargy. Occasionally this disease can attack the gills of the fish in which case flashing will be seen.



The number one thing you want to do when treating this disease is raise the temperature. An adjustable heater is a must. From my research and personal experiences a temperature of 84-86*F is ideal for treating ich. The reason behind raising the temperature is to speed up the lifecycle of the parasite. Ich can not be treated in its attached phase, only in its free swimming phase, which is why it is important to speed up the cycle and get the parasite to fall off of the fish.

Treat the fish in its regular tank. Remember, this parasite has both an attached and unattached cycle so there will be parasites in your water column as well as substrate/decorations. It’s best to treat the entire tank instead of removing the fish to a QT tank. However, if your fish is in a cycled tank that uses carbon filtration you will either have to remove the carbon or move the fish to a hospital tank.

The most commonly recommended treatment is 1/2tsp per gallon of aquarium salt. In my experience even up to 1tbsp of aquarium salt can be used. Make sure your salt is dissolved before adding it to the fish’s tank. There are also hundreds of medications out there that treat ich and most of them work pretty well. My personal favorite is QuICK cure which can be found at almost any petstore and I believe I’ve even seen it at local walmarts and grocery stores.

Once you have your fish medicated treat for at least 14 days. A good rule of thumb is to continue treatment for 1 full week after no longer seeing any white spots on your fish.


Ich is very treatable but like any disease the number one treatment is prevention. Keep up with water changes, feed a quality diet, and make sure you keep a stable temperature.


This concludes this weeks segment of Diseases and Treatments, tune in next week for information on my mortal enemy,  Velvet.

See ya!

Halfmoon Maniac

A Fall Spawn

Hello all!

First I want to apologize for the long absence. School, work, and pets have kept me extremely busy. It’s been a long hard summer here at Moon River Bettas. Many attempted spawns and no success. Velvet has been my mortal enemy this summer and going forward I’m attempting to prevent it by using Aquari-sol in my spawning and grow out tanks, as recommended by my favorite breeder.

In other news, in an effort to be more active in this blog I will now be instituting a weekly post on diseases frequently seen in bettas. Each installment will be posted on Saturdays and will include symptoms and treatments and with any luck some pictures to boot!

Moving forward, we have a brand-spanking new spawn :) The parents are a turquoise butterfly male (Rocky) and a red/turquoise multicolor butterfly female (Esmeralda). Spawning took place on Sunday and the babies hatched on Monday. Looks to be a good spawn of about 70 or so babies (probably more than that). Rocky is an excellent father and this is his second spawn (first one succumbed to velvet), at day 4 he is still with his babies because he is a proven non-fry eater. As long as he continues to not eat the fry he’ll  stay with his babies until I decide to spawn him again.

Here is a pair of the proud parents. The babies are only about 2mm long right now so I don’t have any decent pics of them yet.


Keep checking back for updates on the spawn and our new disease segment every Saturday!

Adios and until next time… Just Keep Swimming.


Halfmoon Maniac


One man’s trash….

We’ve all heard the saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well that couldn’t be more true for myself. I was lucky enough to find a complete tank set up in my community dumpster.

Some may have said, “I can’t believe someone threw that away, what a shame,” and walked on but I wasn’t going to let a little trash stop me. So I walked back to my car, drove it over to the dumpster, pulled the tank out and took it home.

A little elbow grease and I have a great tank that I can use for breeding or to delve into another species of fish. All that was wrong with it was a broken light strip.
So when your cleaning out your house and look at something and say  “I need to get rid of this piece of junk”, think twice. Someone may be looking for just that piece of junk. Instead of filling up landfills take your stuff to thrift stores, yard sales, craigslist or freecycle.

The other moral to this story is.. keep your eyes open. You never know when the one thing you really need will fall right into your lap!


Happy Dumpster Diving and Just Keep Swimming,

Halfmoon Maniac

The Moving Saga: Pt. 1

So within the next two weeks my fishy friends and I will be moving to a new location. As stressful as moving is normally, moving with fish is even more stressful. During the process I’ll be sharing what I do to keep my fish and tanks safe.

Preparation should start early. Take any extra stuff you can do without and get it boxed up and ready to go. This will save you time and stress when the time comes to start loading boxes.

When you have as many fish as I do you tend to pile on a lot of stuff that is not necessarily “essential.” Things like food, medication, unused tanks, decorations, etc can be boxed up weeks ahead of time. I’ll be packing as much stuff as I possibly can, basically only keeping out what I need for food and water changes. In two weeks I’ll be moving and will update on how to properly bag fish for transport as well as tear down tanks while still maintaining the cycle.

Until then, Just keep swimming.
Halfmoon Maniac


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