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Pugnax complex


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#1 Theta Sigma

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:24 AM

So. We have some B. pugnax at my shop and I'm very strongly considering bringing some home. However, my manager is fairly sure that our most recent batch is more likely to be B. raja. I did find, somewhere on this forum, that raja has 9 dorsal rays -- having examined some images, apparently pugnax proper has eight? How are other pugnax complex species identified with regards to each other? I know that some have slightly different care requirements -- I like to know what I'm getting myself into!

What we have in the display tank looks, to me, strange -- we have several small, colorful pugnax; they show a lot of that beautiful green color with flowy ventrals and their cute lil faces... but we have a couple that are a good inch or so longer, don't show much if any green, and have two black spots on their chins -- kind of like the pi marking, but without the upper curve. They sport lengthwise body striping and they are just SO MUCH BIGGER. They may just be full grown females, perhaps? Anyways, I don't really know, I doubt it's anything.

Any advice = appreciated, may be able to get additional crappy pictures tomorrow, but for now, this is the 'official' pugnax picture...

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#2 Theta Sigma

Theta Sigma

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:39 AM

dug around our store photobucket and got some more pics.

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#3 Namor

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:53 AM

I've never worked with either of these species. If no one here can help with identification, you might try Gerald Griffin over at the IBC Species Maintenance Program, or perhaps Ted Judy of Ted's Fishroom. I know he has, and still works with some wild bettas.

On another note, please tell Anthony that the 6 B. coccina and single B. albimarginata I received from the WetSpot have all been great, healthy, and are spawning on a regular basis now.

Steve

#4 Theta Sigma

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

Thank you, Steve. :D I've been working as Anthony's assistant for several months now, so I'll be seeing him in a couple hours to ship out more fishies to happy parents all over, haha. I'll be sure to let him know that he has eight satisfied customers.

#5 Solitarianknight

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

They do have a very Raja like appearnce.

#6 Namor

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:30 PM

Theta Sigma,

If you all get any B. brownorum in, please let me know.

#7 OwenL

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:12 AM

Hey I saw the aquabid listing for the pugnax. I was actually thinking of bidding on some but I've been doing some reading and I keep getting 2 schools of thought when it comes to the males; one that says males are aggressive to each other and the other that says they're relatively peaceful species. :-/ How are your guys doing? Do they display aggression towards each other? If I have to house multiple males in many different tanks I might have to look at another option lol.

#8 Theta Sigma

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:25 PM

Sorry, Owen; I wrote a really long reply to this last nite from my phone but it didn't post. Now I have to write it again. :(

Okay. I totally know what you're talking about. I've also read, somewhere, that the females are more aggressive than the males! I shall explain my experiences.

We've had the same group of pugs at the store for some time; we had them in a small tank (~20 gal) and later moved them to a 40 gal with even more pugs and the mystery bettas -- the two that looked like that last picture. In the small tank, one of the males was holding at some point -- the female was defending the space he'd chosen for himself in a clay pot. She'd glare at the other three pugs and just hang out near the opening of the cave. In the large tank, the three males would decide at the same time to have a flaring competition and do a little chasing and fin nipping. That was the entirety of aggression they have featured since they arrived in our care. So yes, they are relatively peaceful and incredibly laid back. They often hang out at the front of the tank and watch the customers -- they aren't afraid of people and aren't afraid of -large numbers- of people with their face pressed up against the glass. This makes them totally awesome.

I very much agree with the general feasibility a group setting. I would probably go for a 50/50 mix, even though I've heard more-females-to-males. I'd follow the IBC SMP's suggestions for tank size and go for a long tank option if available/feasible (ie a 33 long instead of a standard 30 gal). Provide enough 'homes' for all the pairs and then a couple spare and plenty of plants, and I think they'll be super happy. I also very much agree with the SMP's listing of Betta pugnax (tho ours are probably raja, I think this holds still true) being suitable for community settings -- they are incredibly gentle in their aquarium at our store and never bother the other inhabitants.

As for getting some from us, we have several large B. pugnax complex members (as I said, probably raja) and a new shipment of itty bitty babies. We don't yet know the likely candidate species for these guys, but they're super cute. I brought home the two mystery bettas, the second picture on the auctions -- the actual females look like smaller, browner versions of the males -- not as boring as the mystery bettas. They're darlings, though very shy, especially compared to the pugs. Anyways, enough rambling -- my point is, you may want to contact Anthony in person if you want to be able to choose the large or small pugnax. :D He can be reached at sales@wetspottropicalfish.com or 503-719-7003. Also note that to make the minimum purchase with only betta pugnax, you'll have to buy four or more. They're so cute though, they're totally worth a swarm. :D

-Theta

#9 OwenL

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:40 AM

Thanks for all the information Theta! It's very helpful. I still want to get some pugnax but I do have to make preparations for them first, a change in plans as far as housing goes and what to house them with, which will probably just be themselves. I hope you all will still have some left by the time my tanks get cycled! :) Can't wait! How big did your stock get? It says on the ibc website that they can grow up to 4.7 inches long? that's pretty big. I will contact Anthony once i'm ready. :) Thanks again!

#10 Theta Sigma

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:06 AM

Owen --
Agh! lost another post! What the hey is up with that?
The big stock we have right now is probably in the 3.5-4" range, with the females on the smaller side and males on the larger. I wouldn't be surprised if they reached 4.5". They're beautiful big fishies. :D The little ones we have are only around 2-2.5 inches right now and so very very cute, and a bit more shy. They're new and young though, so I'm not too surprised. Given the quantity of small guys we have right now, I don't think we'll be running out any time soon! :D

#11 OwenL

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:22 AM

Thanks Theta! I contacted Anthony. I'm just waiting for him to reply back. I can't wait! woohoo. hehe :) I'm not sure which group will travel best.. big ones or little ones, ultimately I want the big ones but if the little ones get that big eventually, it doesn't matter. I saw someone else's pic of their pugnax and it looked so cute...even if it doesn't catch everyone's attention. hehe.

#12 OwenL

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:58 PM

Woohoo I got my new babies! Thank you Theta!! I got the message too! hehe These are some big a** babies lol. :)




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