How is it any more humane to give your fish to the LFS where in most cases they are probably going to languish on the shelf in a dirty cup or be sold to a home where the care is sub-par at best? Realistically, there are only two stores I would ever give fish voluntarily to, and I have been to most of the fish and pet stores in my city.
People generally don't buy an expensive fish and then neglect it. Pet quality or culls are not going to be so lucky, especially if you sell them cheaply or even worse give them away.
Like I told my mum when she made plans to breed our dog. There are only so many good homes that I would trust with the care of any animal I have owned or reared.
That is why you should be responsible and try and work with the best quality you have. This is going to give your fish a head start and decrease the likelihood of having to cull large numbers.
Would I personally cull a fish that has poor finnage or form? No, I would not. But I am a hobbyist not a large-scale breeder. Over in Thailand and other places, that is their livelihood. They do not really have the luxury of keeping every single gimpy fish that they breed.
It's not so black and white as you would make it seem. There are a lot of grey areas and points a lot of owners of bettas do not consider.
I *personally feel* culling in the true sense for anything but deformities is not something I could ever do. Saying "it's just fish" does not mean they do not have their little lives and don't care if they live. I'd rather do everything in my power to find FREE homes, and I'd respect myself more for it.
I want to do shows, have top quality fish, and I will. I'll be strapped for time and desperate to save every second, But - I ALSO feel responsible for any life I cause to exist - taking that away if it doesn't fit my exceptionally detailed breeding plan doesn't mean I feel I have the right to take away their life, weather it's in a "humane way" or not - I don't feel taking the life of a healthy animal is humane. Period.
I'd put them on Aquabid or elsewhere, craigslist, Ebay, start the bid at a dollar and label them as PET quality. I'd rather be honest in breeding as it will probably make my highest quality fish go for a bundle as customers would know what they're getting. Someone who sells "only their best" well, I bet people not looking to breed and only want beautiful pets want nothing to do with them and that slightly too narrow caudel fin culled would have been their dream, but instead they go to a pet store, give them their money for an even lesser quality, fin rotted, mill fish and meanwhile a beautiful little life was ended.
If it came to it, why not GIVE them to a LFS anonymously? Maybe it could help stop some betta mills of inbred veil tails?
It is just my personal take on it, though.
So you'll sell fish on ebay for a dollar, just how are they going to receive these fish? You really think they will pay $12 for shipping to receive a $1 fish???
That is just not realistic.... You can't send them in an envelope you know.
Well, with it being I'll be breeding good quality fish, I've seen bidding may start at $1 on some sites (I don't think I'd use ebay, it's just an example of what could be done) but it certainty wouldn't end at that price. Of course if there was some physical deformity I'd cull out of morality, I would never let a fish like that suffer, but ones with fins a bit long and simple things only breeders and showers notice, I'd find them good pet homes.
I wasn't saying so much stores like petsmart as it is, sorry, sleep loss is getting to me. I meant educate them on the quality of well bred betta by showing them what you've bred and maybe they'd stop buying veiltails that'd sit there forever in sad dark shelves, do a correct setup in one of the sectioned tanks and choose to purchase healthy, good quality pet betta. I know it's not likely, but who knows unless you try? It would be tropical fish stores I know locally I'd consider selling to who truly take care of every fish, most don't have betta - YET. ; P
But - that's just my situation. I realize everyone may not have as many pet opportunities as I do, and perhaps most see fish in general differently, but I wasn't trying to cause a problem, just sharing my person view on MY situation. I wasn't talking about Thailand, or even another city, just the opportunity I have and the way I feel, I am sorry if that upset anyone or if it was taken the wrong way. I know everyone has a certain scenario and I DO believe it is more humane to cull than condemn a fish to a cup life on a shelf with fin rot, I was simply saying that I'm lucky enough to have a plethora of options and for that, I am thankful.
Ugh, sounds like a waste of time. Maybe not if you're just doing one spawn, but still. Most people producing fish for show don't have the time to put effort into finding every bad fish a home... Not my favourite reality but you gotta understand, cleaning 300 jars AND wasting your time online trying to find homes for them?
I'd give away free culls to this forum.. But besides that no. I'm on LBF's side, YOU are responsible for what you breed, and a quick cull is more pleasant than letting who knows take up your offer of free fish. People need to understand that fact, totally beside the point but I'm sick of watching kittens be euthanized almost every day at work because some idiot wasn't responsible. However, when an animal isn't in high demand, not wanted by anyone, betta or kitten, "culling" is the most humane thing you can do, not throw it back on the streets or let it fall to sub par care.
Also agree with whoever said no one is going to abuse a fish after spending $50+ on it (after shipping).
If you feel that bad about it, get a larger fish to eat your culls, then it's more natural and the death has more "purpose" so to speak. Posted via Mobile Device
I don't think every fry from every spawn is going to be perfect and there are ways of controlling how big of a spawn you raise. On bettatalk Faith says to get a plastic spoon and gently remove some of the eggs. She says to do it when removing the female from the spawning tank.
I haven't started breeding yet but I've thought and researched culling quite a bit.
Ideally I want a larger fish to eat my deformed culls that need a quick death.
Perfectly healthy fish, as far as pet quality go, I have places for already, as long as I don't go crazy with a million spawns at once which I would NEVER be able to physically take care of due to medical problems, so that's under control.
I don't believe culls needing to be put to death should EVER be flushed into the toilet, or diseased fish of any sort. (look up environmental laws in your area too, we aren't supposed to flush fish... Unless this law has been changed from our new president.)
You can donate some in your area for the classrooms, collages, and possibly to battered women's shelters etc.
You need to donate a whole set up and food + dechlorinator for fish if you go to donate to families with children in shelters though. You would also have to work out something with the owner of the shelters since you wouldn't be able to meet families that reside within.
Mr. V posted an article that mentioned someone finding it relaxing to cull and it caused a ruckus a while back LOL. There was something I read recently where a guy was culling and his friend stopped him right before he dumped a cup full of culled fish into a tank to be eaten. The fish were not perfect to the breeder, but his friend bred some of them to other fish and got show winning fish. :D
Something else I read was about the really expensive Koi- It seems tens of thousands of koi are just loaded up and dumped in ditches as culls because they aren't perfect fish and the breeders of them have standards they are keeping so there aren't sub par fish messing up the species.
Basically I feel it's up to the breeder in the end. You do what you have to do. You brought a bunch of fish into the world, you have to do what you feel is right in the end, to control the situation that won't harm the environment or ecological balance.
I agree with V, and some others. If you can't find it in your heart to be able to take a life.... Please! don't breed your bettas, or any animal for that matter.
-Just my thoughts. Sorry it was long... but when ISN'T one of my posts!!! LOL!!!
Many people have put up good points as to why they cull other than physical deformities, in my case with the spawn I have only culled fry who had such problems stated before. This is only with one medium sized spawn so I have the luxury of raising less than ideal breeding quality fish. Infact, I almost considered culling quite a few of my boys now that they have grown out in finnage. Why? Long anal fins, it is my personal pet peeve with halfmoons and I will most likely never breed a fish with a long anal fin unless they have something that I am looking for to breed into my lines. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to scrub and clean jars every other day (This is with one spawn.)
Now think of people who breed for show and have multiple spawns growing out at the same time. Let's say they have three spawns growing out and two of the spawns had 100 fry that reached the two month mark after culling for physical deformities and you have begun to jar males and aggresive females. Roughly half of each spawn is jarred at the two month mark while waiting for the rest to grow out. The third spawn only had 50 or so who made it to the two month mark and 30 have had to be jarred. At two months you already have 130 individual jars JUST for new fry, not including parents or other stock. Now the breeder must feed, clean and exercise each individual jarred fish. They also feed, clean and exercise the rest of their stock accumulating to an untold matter of hours, water and food. Attempting to find homes for 250 fish is no easy feat and many people who want stock from show breeders is to breed (There are those who want them just for pets I know ) so now they must list the bettas up for auction and hope someone takes interest in purchasing them. For me, if I was in that situation I would be culling fish who do not meet a set standard (I probably wouldn't be very harsh but certain things like short anal fins and a sharp 180 spread would need to be present for me to consider raising them as they mature) Like a few pointed out some breeders have a reputation for nice stock And in order to keep that reputation some culling must be done to fish who are not close to their ideals.
For the average hobbiest raising one or two small to medium sized spawns would be no problem with keeping pet quality fish and I think it is good for them to do so because many people want nice looking fish but may not make the cut to be a serious show specimen. My friends don't know what a show quality fish looks like and when I placed two of my boys next to one another to flare for them they just saw a brilliant looking bettas who would be great in a tank of theirs (I have already told them if they want one 3 gallons is my minimum for the size of the tank )
So for my current spawn yes I am keeping all of my healthy fish because I only have this spawn going currently but in the future if I breed multiple spawns (Which I will) most likely some fry will be culled if they do not match my standards.
Just a little food for thought because I know I have been thinking about it.
P.S. I typed this on my phone so sorry if it isn't legible in a few places
You could just dump them in a 50 gallon barrel of green water once they are free swimming and let nature do the dirty work. The weak will die off. The strong will eat the small. And you'll have whats left over.