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Old 01-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #1 
DiiQue
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Financial stuff about wanting to breed Show Bettas / breed quality bettas

Okay, so very interested in real life answers to this...

How much should one expect to put out to start a good breeding program?
What equipment should one have?
Where do you guys get your first fish (if from other breeders - how? Or AB)?
Any other "money pit falls" I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #2 
Myates
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I didn't go the "cheap" route when I started up breeding.. I bought everything needed (purchased mostly online as it's about a 2hr drive to the closest Petco/smart). I had set up for a 2 spawn at a time, and a plant tank.. which included 2 10s (1 for plants one for spawning), and 2 30gs for grow outs (if you want detail items, let me know and I can PM you my list (along with where I got the items for cheapest).. it's quite a bit) - start up costed me about a thousand dollars, not including the fish, and I have grown since then - within a couple months I had spent about $1500 total.

There are short cuts such as using rubbermaid bins to breed them in, etc.. I chose to go for actual tanks so I could watch the babies grow, etc with a bit of ease.. also makes it easier to cull the deformed ones, and siphon out the waste, etc.

I got one fish from AB, the rest from breeders from multiple betta groups on FB - a lot of breeders will sell cheaply there, and some give away for free (just shipping). That had saved me the biggest money - I purchased one female fish for a total of $55 off AB, and for that price once I ended up with 3 males and some worm cultures, and now for $50 I am expected to be getting 5 breeding females this coming week. Also got two gorgeous breeding males just for the price of shipping ($35)... all the good deals from breeders I had met from the groups. One being Chard56 on these forums :)
So definitely would look into some betta groups on FB to get some great bettas.. if you want I can point you to some awesome breeders that will help you, along with the groups.. will PM you the info if you wish.

Last edited by Myates; 01-06-2013 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #3 
Basement Bettas
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Most of your money needs to go into quality stock. I have no issues paying $75-$80 for a quality male from a breeder I have had good luck breeding their fish. I know other top breeders here have paid $100. That is steep.. but when you have and eye and you know good stuff does not grow on trees.. you get what you need to. And different colors present different challenges. Expect to pay more for a good black then many other colors. The breeders know what is a quality fish.. and price accordingly.

I have used soda bottles for males and used rubber tubs to spawn.. still do actually. As the fish have earned money I have sank it back into the hobby. I keep quickbooks and to be honest.. I have yet to make any money doing this. ALWAYS you will needs something. More stock, a UV, another pump, light bulbs.. the list is never ending.

And to get decent money FOR your fish you really need to show and establish yourself as a breeder that has quality fish. Only way that can be proven is with ribbons. Racking up some BoS and RBoS titles help as does over all placing at the end of the season. There is a financial dedication to showing. It is not expensive per se.. but show 30-50 fish every other weekend.. pay shipping or hotel rooms for those close by and it does add up. This is the route for people chasing year end awards. Sending a few fish over a season is not real bad and does get your name out as a breeder that has quality fish.. even if all you do is one color.

So start out slow and just build yourself up over time. And as you grow in the hobby you will find your time and commitment level. Once you know that you just keep tweaking the system. I'm now looking into draining water out of my tanks and flipping a switch to have them refilled rather than sit there holding a hose. A time saver for me.

Watch out for disease and get into the habit of practicing good biosecurity right at the beginning. Several fish rooms have been completely devastated recently and many are starting over because they were lax and an ugly disease got in.

If you want to be a good, serious breeder pick "A" color.. maybe two. And get your feet wet. It is all rosy untill you have a few large spawns and you are spending 3-4 hours EVERY night doing water changes. And then you can't keep them all and you face the challenge of culling. Most people burn our right here. So start small and with a showable color. You think red or blue is boring.. try breeding a perfect one. Dragons, MGs and some of the other "pretty" fish are not showable so now you have 300 young fish for what? To sell on AB??

Taking photos, good ones [and must admit I HATE taking pics so mine often can be better] creating ads, cutting styrofoam to line boxes, invoicing and dealing with "all kinds" make this part very labor intensive. So you make $20 or $30 for a fish. What did it cost you in water, food and time to get there and how much time is it taking you to get him sold. I make better money elsewhere.. lol.

And get in with a good group that will give you sound advice and help. This is a great place to hang out.. but not the only place. If you are wanting to breed showable fish and avoid the learners curve it might be good to join some FB pages of top breeders or hang our in some other forums that discuss genetics more thoroughly or are breeding show fish and discussing the standards in addition to hanging out here. Every place has a little different area of interest.. so join a few and get to know people doing what you want to do. Then pick their brains. I have yet to meet any that will not offer their time and experience to newbies. Most of us are passionate about breeding good fish.

And above all else.. have fun!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:53 PM   #4 
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Thanks guys! I'm definitely going to try and start a good breeding program... i have to start small and be real specific as my job takes me to a different country every two or three years, but I hope to use each time to further advance myself. Not sure how far I get because of that but we'll see. I'd love to go to a show or two when I'm back in the US later this year.. and also see about going to one of the shows in the Philippines as well.. Just to see the differences.

@Myates: if you could shoot me the list that you used to start off, I could build/mod my stuff off of that. I'll PM you my email.

@BB: I'd love to learn more about that water change system of yours.. Is that something custom built or commercially available for purchase?
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:52 PM   #5 
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Basement gave some great advice, she has beautiful fish :) I'm lucky with mine that have champion offspring, but not by me.. yet (I hope hehe).

I agree with choosing something, yes mixing things up is a lot of fun, good practice, but it is nice to have some goal/ideal.. mine is a strong orange HM line, and super red and gold HM is in the mix as well..

I forgot about the camera.. I had to get one too which cost a few hundred.

Basement went into great detail of the little stuff you don't think about.. you get all the supplies, etc but don't always think about what you want exactly and such.

If she is talking about a drip system, some people build it themselves, but if you are doing a smaller scale breeding you can get 3 of the drip systems for only $7 from Doctors Foster and Smith site.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #6 
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Myates, if you ever get golds put me down for one.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:29 PM   #7 
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You got it! I should be getting the girls in this week as long as the heat packs he is waiting for arrives tomorrow.. one is yellow with gold overlay, going to put her with my emerald and gold boy. Hope to get some with lots of gold on them.. will continue to work that line for a bit along with my oranges. The boy is a brighter metallic gold, and if she is like that then I'm sure to have some pretty babies :)
Also believe she is one of the experienced girls.. if so then it shouldn't take too long to get a spawn from them.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #8 
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Sounds good!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #9 
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I know this is your thread hun, but I have a question myself. How long was it until a breeder breaks even and how much profit can be made a year?

I'm disabled, so I am thinking of trying it myself later this year. I am actually wanting to work on a new type. Breeding for temperment and health and seeing what colors and tail types results from it, but I worry about cost.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #10 
Basement Bettas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewind View Post
I know this is your thread hun, but I have a question myself. How long was it until a breeder breaks even and how much profit can be made a year?

I'm disabled, so I am thinking of trying it myself later this year. I am actually wanting to work on a new type. Breeding for temperment and health and seeing what colors and tail types results from it, but I worry about cost.
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never a profit.. lucky to break even. Have to remember your market. VT or pet shop stock sells for twelve cents to pet shop. Can't make it worth even a few water changes for that.. plus time. You do it because you have a passion to breed.. and hopefully sell enough to keep doing it.
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