I'm just curious to know if the same is true of fish? Does anyone have any business breeding a fish that does not meet the "breed standard" in color, form, etc.?
In breeding a fish that couldn't win a show, aren't we really just muddying the genetic pool of these animals?
It depends on your definition of standards. If you're using IBC standard, then there are tons of mutts out there. But then again are the IBC standards actually BETTER for the species? Are show winners better than non show bettas? Or are they better for humans? ....... Compare the natural PK/fighter to modern PK. Compare the long fins ..... are today's breed better?
Nowadays you have tons of deformities .... caused by the "betterment" of the breed .... is this better for the species? If such "betterment" wasn't exploited (namely DT and Rose) there wouldn't be such deformities or at least not as bad as we know them now. Further are their immune systems more .... resistant (?) or are they weaker than ever? Are these better conditions?
IMO the important thing is having a plan and a goal. Research, research, and more research - understand as much as you can about them. Only then can one say he/she is breeding for the betterment of the species. Otherwise (IMO) the breeder is only breeding for the heck of it.
Since most begin with little knowledge and work themselves through as they gain experience, I have nothing against breeding non show fish - whether to achieve show quality or mere pets. As long as they are responsible for what they create.
I know nothing about dog breeding and can't compare the two species. But I know that Dobermans were created by mix breeding several types of dogs...... is that justified? Again, IMO as long as the breeder is responsible for what he creates.