Originally Posted by Basement Bettas
... I like to find a basically good fish so I can point out what is really good.. to train the eye to look for it. Then we get nit picky and show the faults. But these are usually really good fish.. so the flaws are minor. Again.. the idea is to get you used to SEEING those little flaws so you can evaluate fish for breeding on the internet and in your fish room.
Yes, your reviews are helpful for developing this skill. I see the gorgeous photo, then read your critique while studying the picture. If not for your comments, there's no way I would have noticed the anal fin or color separation, etc.
As for the red HM in the photo you posted: My first reaction was "Oooo! I want him!"
And I still want him - but from a show perspective, would the black outline be considered a fault? And if so, from a breeding perspective, how would you remove it?
How do you expect me to view a pet shop fish? Are they bad fish? No. They just are not show fish and really should not be submitted to this kind of standard.
Most fish anywhere are going to fall short in spread and condition. Then there are the stubby dorsal rays and the too short or bent tail rays messing up the edges. Then there are the color faults. As drop dead gorgeous as that red is I can still fault him. Stare at fish like this and compare them to others and you can start to see the basic form faults.. and then I can help you see the rest.
My mom adopted a rescue dog last week. She's going to be a great pet. But she's not a show dog. In fact, it wouldn't be fair to subject her to a critique against the breed standard. (I'm not a breeder, but even I can tell that her feet are flat, her eyes are too round, her body is too long, etc.) If I was a dog breeder, I wouldn't use my mom's rescue dog in my line. (Yes, she's spayed, if anyone is wondering.) That said, this dog will still be an excellent pet for my mom.
Likewise, petshop fish are wonderful pets. But they aren't show fish....
Originally Posted by Basement Bettas
Many people go to AB and get lost in all the color. If you are a serious breeder or even just starting out, you want to make good use of your money. A single fish can cost close to $70 to get to your doorstep.. and it gets more expensive if you get more fish. So far I have 6 fish coming and negotiating for more. So I am ruthless when I evaluate a fish.. he has to be worth me flying him halfway around the word. So I try to help others look for those little faults I didn't know about when I started. When you drop that $70 it need to be for more than a gut reaction of "he's pretty". He needs to bring sound form and balance to your breeding program or you are just going to waste time.
I understand this. Again, going back to dogs, I'm not a breeder but I wouldn't use a petshop quality dog if I wanted to breed a show-quality line. Yes, technically, I could weed out the flaws over time, but this would take too many generations. Instead, I'd look for the highest quality dog I could afford as the foundation for my line. And I'd want to give thought (before getting him) about how I'd be able to improve strengths and reduce flaws.
That said, if someone wants to take a petshop fish, and breed it with the goal of producing a quality line -- well, go for it! It'll probably take more generations, time and money to achieve a good result. It'll also require a REALLY in-depth understanding of breeding/genetics/etc - since the breeder would need to determine how to remove the flaws, improve strengths, etc. In the end, this breeder would probably end up spending more time, money and effort to produce a good line.... But going back to dog breeds - a good poodle is also a bad chihuahua. Someone had to start with one type of dog to produce another type. With regard only to form, it may be possible to take a 'bad crowntail,' and develop a 'good something else' (ie: a good crowntail line, or something entirely new). But whoever does it would need to have a clear vision of what they were trying to obtain, and not mind spending the time, effort and money to get there....
Just my thoughts. Hold on, I need to recharge my fire extinguisher, in case there are any flames.
But these are my thoughts - as a nonbreeder of any species. LOL