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Old 01-01-2013, 02:49 PM   #31 
LittleBettaFish
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That's why it's great to be at the top of the food chain and to have the consciousness to not have to depend on 'survival of the fittest' for the continuation of your species. No other animal has this same luxury so their populations are always going to be governed by things such as competition, predation, natural phenomena etc.

This is why within the Betta genus there are dozens of unique species, each one having evolved to suit a particular environment. If you are different to the norm you usually end up dead. An albino betta swimming around out in the wild would be picked off pretty easy by a predator. This helps to eliminate any individuals outside the standard from the genepool and so you end up with an essentially cookie cutter look. Generally serious health defects fall under the banner of being outside the norm and the individual is picked off pretty early on.

Too bad we can't really do health tests on bettas like we do with other animals. For example, it would be great if you could find what fish are going to throw offspring that may be ten times more likely to develop tumors in their lifetime. I can tell you tumors have been a big problem with all the dragon scale bettas I have had, and I know tumors seem to be a lot more prevalent in the bettas with thicker scaling.

So once again by selectively breeding for a particular trait we have ended up causing a defect in the health and hardiness of the betta.

I always get a bit meh about outcrossing splendens onto pure imbellis, smaragdina etc. There are so few true pure fish of these species out there anymore that I feel it is a waste to go and cross them onto domesticated splendens. That's why they are in trouble in the first place.

Also, my question is, how do we even know how genetically diverse our bettas are? For all we know there could be only a tiny amount of genetic variation between a wild-caught imbellis and a domesticated splendens from Walmart. Then not only have you not really done much to offset the damage done by selective breeding, but you will also have to work hard by once again selectively breeding to get your consistently producing line back again.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:45 PM   #32 
ChibreneyDragon
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Originally Posted by indjo View Post
I'm not 100% sure about the history, it's been years since I read about it. I think the first HM were results of specific mutation (my opinion). Yes they were results from selective breeding from VT - delta - HM. But without the "mutation" they can't become HM (IME).

The logical crossing would be VT x DT - you need more ray branching. This will produce VT version of DT and the genos, VT and VT with wider spread (delta). These deltas must then be crossed to DT to make their rays branch more - eventually making HM. It will take lots of generations . . . not worth while working on. Oh getting the caudal "pointy" is very difficult. TBH I don't know how to make a rounded edged caudal become pointy.

Question; wouldn't breeding HM to VT or PK expand the gene pool? Further crossing to other species like smaragdina, mahachai, and imbillis (some believe the former to be the same species as splendens) - wouldn't this improve the gene pool?

IMO the problem is not a limited gene pool but rather the excessive inbreeding which is often inevitable when perfecting certain traits.
Im on the fence about cross breeding with other species, I havent really looked into it, but I do love dragonscale bettas.

But to be fair, I dont suggest breeding HM from wild caught upwards, or even VT to HM, but instead use culls that are imperfect, but otherwise perfectly healthy. I understand that going from VT to HM was nearly a 10 year process, and no one has that much time on their hands.

But as to the limited gene pool, I have to disagree, because the excessive inbreeding in showfish lines between serious breeders has a DIRECT connection to limiting the genepool for the specific HMs that are the "Elite"

I've watched and followed several well established breeders, and nearly all of them avoid breeding fish that are not "perfect" And some cull a HUGE majority of their spawns.

I've begun a project in which I will be breeding the culls of spawned show fish and petstore fish. Down the line, as I get closer to IBC standards, I will probably outcross to some actual show standard fish. I will follow each genetic line, and see how many generations it takes from sub par, to achieve the quality demanded in todays shows.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #33 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
That's why it's great to be at the top of the food chain and to have the consciousness to not have to depend on 'survival of the fittest' for the continuation of your species. No other animal has this same luxury so their populations are always going to be governed by things such as competition, predation, natural phenomena etc.

This is why within the Betta genus there are dozens of unique species, each one having evolved to suit a particular environment. If you are different to the norm you usually end up dead. An albino betta swimming around out in the wild would be picked off pretty easy by a predator. This helps to eliminate any individuals outside the standard from the genepool and so you end up with an essentially cookie cutter look. Generally serious health defects fall under the banner of being outside the norm and the individual is picked off pretty early on.

Too bad we can't really do health tests on bettas like we do with other animals. For example, it would be great if you could find what fish are going to throw offspring that may be ten times more likely to develop tumors in their lifetime. I can tell you tumors have been a big problem with all the dragon scale bettas I have had, and I know tumors seem to be a lot more prevalent in the bettas with thicker scaling.

So once again by selectively breeding for a particular trait we have ended up causing a defect in the health and hardiness of the betta.

I always get a bit meh about outcrossing splendens onto pure imbellis, smaragdina etc. There are so few true pure fish of these species out there anymore that I feel it is a waste to go and cross them onto domesticated splendens. That's why they are in trouble in the first place.

Also, my question is, how do we even know how genetically diverse our bettas are? For all we know there could be only a tiny amount of genetic variation between a wild-caught imbellis and a domesticated splendens from Walmart. Then not only have you not really done much to offset the damage done by selective breeding, but you will also have to work hard by once again selectively breeding to get your consistently producing line back again.
I was un aware of tumors for Dragonscales, that is a physical ailment that I will have to research.

But a lot of the issues I have seen pop up in forums and spawn logs have been along the lines of over aggression, bad spawning habits, fin biting, ect, ect. Psychological issues dont usually mean failure in the case of "survival of the fittest". But in domestication, we have taken that ability for nature to weed out detrimental traits.

Over aggression is more apparent, even in females. When I first started, I was 13, this was over ten years ago. My local fish store kept females in a tiny 10 gallon sorority tank, and rarely did they fight. I had my own ten gallon with four females, then three, then five, and never had a problem.

I go to start back up, and everyone on this forum was HORRIFIED that I had a few females together. I was told that females were just as aggressive as the males, and every store I go to sells female bettas separately. NO sorority tanks, not a one. Even the books I owned seemed out of date, the information changed.

Part of this is probably the growth of the hobby, but some seems a bit more... like the fact that I never had issues with breeding...but now there are so many pitfalls and difficulties... It is uncanny.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:30 PM   #34 
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I believe tumors in dragonscale bettas are quite common. I have had several develop tumors in the past, and have seen the issue crop up on Australian forum I am a member of.

It's funny you say that females have become more aggressive. I never had any issue with my females in a sorority environment. These were females from AB, pet stores, local breeders etc. and out of around 50 odd females only three or four couldn't live with the others.

I have noticed that on this forum if a few vocal members voice something it starts to get picked up and passed around by other members until it seems to become fact. All it usually takes is for someone to rationally present a contradictory argument and then you have several other members pop up out of the woodwork to support them instead. This seems to be a common theme in threads relating to sororities, tank sizes and appropriate tank mates.

You have to consider that many people who post in the spawn section of this board are generally first time breeders. Therefore, a failure to spawn by their pair may not necessarily be due to any fault of the fish. I think you'd have to look at more experienced breeders to get a better idea as to whether or not there are more issues nowadays with splendens in regards to spawning, aggression and general behaviour.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:11 AM   #35 
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But to be fair, I dont suggest breeding HM from wild caught upwards, or even VT to HM, but instead use culls that are imperfect, but otherwise perfectly healthy.
That's what I used to do. Knowing the source of bettas in LFS, I was sure that they were the rejects from a good pair. So all I had to do was get the best looking pair and breed. I didn't produce SQ bettas (I never wanted SQ) but they were good enough. Nowadays I try to buy and breed bettas from two different islands - hoping they aren't related.

Quote:
But as to the limited gene pool, I have to disagree, because the excessive inbreeding in showfish lines between serious breeders has a DIRECT connection to limiting the genepool for the specific HMs that are the "Elite"
I've watched and followed several well established breeders, and nearly all of them avoid breeding fish that are not "perfect" And some cull a HUGE majority of their spawns.
This is very true. Further known breeders often "exchange" their bettas. This makes the gene pool smaller - eventually all of the bettas from an "elite" group of breeders become related.

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I was un aware of tumors for Dragonscales, that is a physical ailment that I will have to research.
I wasn't aware of this either. I've never had a dragon with tumor, nor . . . (don't know what to call them) blind(?). I've seen blind dragons but never had any. I had a betta with tumor once and culled all of her offspring and siblings (including the healthy looking ones), but she wasn't a dragon.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #36 
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Fruit Flies have 10 times more genetic diversity than humans.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:04 PM   #37 
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LBF, the only issue with that snowballing effect is that some of this advice is ALSO given by renowned breeders. People with YEARS under their belts. Where is the fact? Where is the Fiction? It is hard to say, especially since some are affected by biases that occurred during their own beginnings.

Indjo, I also ask after what breeders LFS buy from. I also felt that those over seas who WERE breeding were working toward a goal, keeping the jewels, and selling their culls. This is why I am caught by surprise by the bias towards breeding for show fish from good looking fish from a pet store...who are also from the same islands that those gorgeous show fish are from.

But the question I have... is if someone takes the time to breed IBC standard fish from a LPS, would they have a stigma on them? Would other breeders not be interested in fish from these breeders JUST because they took the time to take mediocre fish and beget exemplar fish?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:01 PM   #38 
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It doesn't mater where they came from, if they meet all the required criteria, then they will be accepted. And if that breeder produces lots of quality bettas, his line will be sought after.

Not all breed for quality. I know lots that breed for quantity - to meet the quota. It's always a good idea to know who bred them. Then we'd know the probable genes they carry. Never the less, IMO, a good formed and colored specimen in an LFS is always worth breeding - as long as you know what (form and color) to pair it with.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #39 
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I also noticed that some thailand breeders are breeding specifically for color, not form. But sadly, I havent seen many of these bizarre and beautiful fish outside of aqua bid.
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