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Old 03-12-2013, 11:49 PM   #1 
leahleigh
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The true meaning of marble?

I see A LOT of people tossing the term around lately, and i'm really unsure if they are using it correctly or not. Just because your fish changes colors does not mean he is a marble, correct? I know a lot of fish that get past 3 month start changing into their "permanent" colors when they hit a year they slow down a bit. But I thought there was more to a marble betta than just changing colors, with this new fad taking hold i'm afraid that people are being incredibly misinformed.

http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Betta...iations#Marble

"White or salmon pink faced Bettas in which the colours are splashed or blotched with no defined borders between the body and the fins or tail.
Two types of Marble Betta exist:
a) the traditional Marble or Piebald, which is a dark bodied fish with a white head or face and lacking in the colours red, green, blue and steel blue; and
b) the Coloured Marble. The fins of the choice Coloured Marble show a sharp-edged mix of light and dark colours (red, green, blue, and steel blue) and the face and chin are white or pink / salmon coloured."
http://watershed3.tripod.com/types.html

"Marble
The marble betta was created in the beginning of the 1970s by Orville Gulley, a prison inmate at the penal institute in Indiana [3, 8]. Orville as breeding betta here in peanut butter jars, as part of a rehabilitation program. The story goes that Orville was trying to create a black butterfly betta which then led to the discovery of the marble gene. Walt Maurus and a handfull of other breeders started to breed the marbles for pattern and this lead to the distrubution of the marbles all over the United States. The orginal marbles were black and white but now they are available in virtually every color imaginable.

In young marbles bettas the marble pattern can shift from week to week and once the fish matures most of the times the pattern is fixed.

The marble mutation appears to be a partly dominant gene, the marble (Mb) gene, which has a highly variable expression. When marbles are introduced into a true-breeding solid colored line, it is becomes very difficult for the breeder to return his stock to a non-marble true-breeding solid colored type."
http://bettysplendens.com/articles/p...?articleid=859


So these people that see their young fish grow and change colors think it's a marble, when it's clearly not? Am I wrong here, or?
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:55 PM   #2 
MattsBettas
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You are kind of right. When a full grown fish changes color, the marble gene is most likely at work. If the fish is "blotchy" or "spotty" and changes color it is a marble, guaranteed. The way the marble gene works is that it controls the color cells, and can turn them off or on in random parts of the fish (put simply). So usually it is marble, but there can be other factors.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:14 AM   #3 
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In full grown fish that have reached maturity level, I suppose. From what i've read they reach maturity around 4-5 months and peak in at "old age" at one year, meaning their breeding/spawning won't be nearly as productive.

I see a lot of people with veiltails that are passed the 3 month mark, change color, and they instantly tack on marlbe. There's a lot more to consider than just changing color. I know that the marble gene can be bred into any fish, but how does one know when to distinguish, or is it literally so bred into fish now that every fish will have the marble gene? Can it turn off and on at random times, instead of random spots? Or does it happen at a certain age, and then stop once the fish reaches it's peak?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:02 AM   #4 
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Here is my marble betta Paco. His tail used to be blue with black trim, a few days ago it turned regular blue

The reason I knew he would marble is because his face was piebald
Attached Images
   

Last edited by xShainax; 03-13-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:27 AM   #5 
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not all of them start off how you would imagine. Logisticsguy had 2 fully colored males (no white chins or faces) lose all of their color and turn white. A couple more males from that same spawn turned into white fish with butterfly markings, one of those ended up losing all but one spot of black. There's definitely marble in the bloodlines, the dam is a koi (which is a form of marble), but they didn't start off looking that way. It's the "jumping gene" for a reason.

On the other hand, it's like the mustard gas, and dragonscale, the terms get thrown around and not everyone is entirely sure what either description really means. That get compounded when different breeders or sellers call them by different names, instead of agreeing on what makes this fish fit into this category.

There is an obvious progression in betta coloration marbled or not. One of my males is turning dark blue, and he was a turquoise when I got him two months ago. He's not gaining any white, so that's just his color finally settling in.

My koi marble, though. Went from this (Oct 2012):


to this:



and as of now, looks like this (March 2013):


with a lot of those changes occurring within 2 weeks to a month of the last one.
He DOES have the white chin of the colored marble. (the last picture shows that very dramatically)

In summary, you're very right, it does get thrown around a lot, but there are less well-known varieties and genes that would explain white faces, spots, or color changes that the hobbyist really doesn't know about (like me, I didn't know anything about marbles until I got here), and assigning a name to it that we hear frequently, makes sense of it all. Also, there's not always a way of knowing if your fish is a marble, or simply white on the head, until it does what my Mushu did, and change color.

I'm by no means a marble expert, but that's how I see the misuse of variety names. If it really bothers you, the best option is to calmly and constructively correct misinformation when it crops up, and hope it sticks.

By the way, thank you for the articles, I always get my colors/patterns confused.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #6 
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I was just googling this last night as I am pretty sure I have a marble.



This was take one week ago the day I brought him home. I'm going to take a picture every week to see if and how his colors change. He appears to have a bit more black on his finnage and I thought last night that I could see a shadow on his finnage where it is going to turn black.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:35 AM   #7 
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This isn't a post to show off your marbles guys, they're great looking and all, but this is about trying to figure out what marble means, not what your fish is. :)

Yes Shaina, your fish is a marble.
Kimt your fish is most likely a marble, but not all white fish are marbles. He has black eyes and it looks like the start of colors on his front fins, keep doing the logs and find out!

On that note, do betta's with the marble gene continue to change color, even past maturity and past their peak? Or once they hit peak do their colors settle in? Is this how we can distinguish a marble from a non?

I mainly ask this for breeding purposes too, what if someone doesn't want a marble betta batch, but both parents have marble in them and it's dormant, and when they get bred all of the fry turn out marble? It's going to get pretty hard for those that don't want the marble gene to distinguish them apart. This is why I want to find out the 100% tell tale of a non-marble and a marble, excluding hidden genes those of us don't know about in our bettas. :)
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #8 
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Usually when they get older the marbling slows down
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:14 AM   #9 
Skyewillow
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Some of them never turn off the gene though. I had marbles who changed past a year.

The point of the pictures were to demonstrate the kind of rapid and dramatic changes they can have.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #10 
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Some fish undergo red loss which just sucks out the red form the fins and the same fish can sometimes undergo red gain where the red comes back when the fish gets older. This type of colour change, although thought be related to marble, isnt classed as marble.
I define marble as white with blobs of colour whether they are still changing colour or not. IME when they are young they usually look normal so you cant really spot them untill they start losing colour plus it can hide in generations without popping up for a while making it pretty sneaky
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