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Old 05-19-2013, 02:10 PM   #1 
Deanna01
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Breeding against show standards?

Hi. I'm new to the hobby and considering breeding in a few years, once I know more about it--certainly not before I've researched it and am thoroughly ready!

I'm curious about something, though. On Aquabid, I see a ton of Taiwanese bettas that go for a lot of money but that I suspect wouldn't meet show standards--usually because of unusual color variations or "monster" white faces, etc.

Do most people who breed bettas in the US do so to meet show standards, or are there breeders who are trying to appeal to the pet market with high-quality, unusual bettas, as well? Who in the US does that, if so?
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:40 PM   #2 
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How many betta owners actually show? I have been in the hobby three or so years now, have produced dozens of fish and yet have never attended a single show (was debating whether to enter one this year just for fun).

There are probably many more pet homes than show homes for fish. Unless you are producing fish that you intend on showing, or selling as show prospects, I honestly think the standards for bettas don't really matter that much.

If you look at it, bettas really don't have any other function than being beautiful pets. In most countries, you can't fight bettas any more, which was their original purpose. So really the only thing being bred for now is the aggressive temperament and beauty.

I think the pet market is stronger in most countries than the show market.

However, even as a pet breeder, I think you should aim to produce the healthiest and most high quality stock you can. No point in just aiming the bar low because you aren't a 'show breeder' and churning out fish that are going to get cull prices.

If I was breeding splendens, I would be doing exactly what you are talking about. Most of the colours I like are not 'showable' or because of restrictions, are considered faults. And because having been to many dog shows and seen how useless and detrimental 'conformation' showing can be, I would not likely be selling to that market.

Therefore, my target customers would be the hobbyist, who wants a quality but not necessarily 'show' quality fish, at a decent price to keep as a pet or breeder.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #3 
Deanna01
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Yeah, I'm with you, honestly. I think there are very important things to look for that increase health and appeal that may not necessarily be "show quality."

I remember that my favorite dog of all time, who came from a champion sire and dam, was pet quality partly because of his eye color--he had gorgeous golden eyes that counted as a fault because they didn't "match" his coat. It's that kind of rule that I honestly think is ridiculous.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #4 
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Yeah my mum shows German Shepherds so I have seen in person what breeding strictly for conformation instead of 'form following function' has done to the breed.

Although light coloured eyes are considered a fault in this breed because apparently they look more wolf-like and can spook the sheep.


With bettas, showing is not that bad, because in most countries you can no longer test the strength, courage and aggression of each fish by fighting them. So really, bettas have no other job but to look and behave as close to the standard as possible. And a majority of that standard is based purely on aesthetics.

I think the most important thing is to not go to extremes with these fish. I see dumbo halfmoons, and over-halfmoons with such excessive finnage and weak bodies that the strain must be enormous. I just don't want bettas to end up embracing mutations like goldfish breeders have and aiming for extremes that are really not in the benefit of the fish.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #5 
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I am looking to learn to breed first, and learn from there..not going by show quality at all but, a good, healthy, well bred fish. Maybe, if I do well enough with my learning experience, in a few years but, I don't buy for show quality. I buy for color, looks and age. If it's healthy and has pretty coloring, no marks that look like it might be not be a good breed, etc. I really enjoy doing this and am trying my third spawn now. :)
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #6 
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I think the most important thing is to not go to extremes with these fish. I see dumbo halfmoons, and over-halfmoons with such excessive finnage and weak bodies that the strain must be enormous. I just don't want bettas to end up embracing mutations like goldfish breeders have and aiming for extremes that are really not in the benefit of the fish
I agree 100%. Luckily most betta people cull an extreme short bodied fish or one with tumours on its head so we dont have too many body mutations. But yeah, its the subtle extremes like finnage that can easily sneak past a breeder and buyer because "it looks so bg and pretty".

I breed colours that I like even though they are against show standards colourwise. I like my black fish to have heaps of iridescent scales on their body which is a fault but I like the way they look...but we dont have shows in NZ so I wont get penalized for it lol

Almost all people who buy Bettas are buying them for looks. Many people like the looks of non show colours beacuse they dont intend to show I guess.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:58 PM   #7 
indjo
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+1 LBF

As far as I know the biggest demand (until 2006) is for color - weekly 5 - 10.000 bettas from 1 shipper. The US prefers colorful bettas which pushes breeders to always mix breed. There is very little market for show quality bettas. I'm not sure what the trend is these days but color still seems to dominate many on this forum.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #8 
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+1 LBF

As far as I know the biggest demand (until 2006) is for color - weekly 5 - 10.000 bettas from 1 shipper. The US prefers colorful bettas which pushes breeders to always mix breed. There is very little market for show quality bettas. I'm not sure what the trend is these days but color still seems to dominate many on this forum.
Eventually, once I learn enough about breeding, genetics and what to cull/not to cull...I will try show bettas. Right now, I like to start slow and learn slowly, so I know what I am doing. So far, I have had two, very successful spawns. One, I just had to cull as, there were hundreds and many were not growing. It was hard but I knew I had to do it. I am trying a third spawn now..with a plakat. So far, I am thinking he is too young but, I am not sure of exact age (was told he was between 3-4 months by a breeder, selling off extra stock). Once I figure all this out, I really would like to show. I just want to know what I am doing and, as I am older now, it takes longer :)
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #9 
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I confess I am a purchaser of fish predominately for colour. Although that fish also has to have decent form so no hunchback, excessively long anal fin, spoonhead, scale deformities etc.

The first thing I look at in bettas is colour, and I assume I am not the only one to do so.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I confess I am a purchaser of fish predominately for colour. Although that fish also has to have decent form so no hunchback, excessively long anal fin, spoonhead, scale deformities etc.

The first thing I look at in bettas is colour, and I assume I am not the only one to do so.
ditto!

I know show breeders have the highest standards of health and quality but no offense, I think fish show standards are dumb.
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