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Old 06-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #1 
bettafishlover101
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Is it "wrong" to breed pet store bettas?

I never have, but I was just wondering. I was told it will cost just as much to breed a crappy pair, than it would a good quality pair.. But a lot goes wrong your first few times breeding, so would it be wrong to "practice" breeding pet store bettas?

As long as you're not breeding for show, or wanting to get some money out of them, couldn't you just breed pet store bettas?

I know a lot goes wrong, pet store bettas are *usually* poor health, old, bad genetics, ect. But my local petstore hand picks their bettas and sells them for a bit more, and most are in excellent health (unless its shipping stress or something).. I was considering maybe buying my male from there, and buying a female online if i couldn't find a promising one there..

Should I take a shot at it? Or stick to buying my pairs from breeders?

(I do not breed for show, and I sell locally to pet stores or anyone who wants one - so people here are not looking for show quality either..)
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #2 
Canis
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I think it would be worth a shot! Good practice, and you could easily sell them to a petstore or some friends! Its just a recommendation to breed high quality fish, because you can make more money and have a few less defects.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #3 
Riverotter
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Wrong is a very strong word.
Really, stop and think about it for a second. Wrong?? In what possible way could it be?

Is the animal healthy? Will it be adversely affected by breeding?
If the answers are yes and no, then it's not wrong.

How about the offspring? How would it be wrong for them.
Lets see, they are fish, so you're right, there IS a big curve. Can you reasonably expect to raise most of the to maturity? In the wild, the vast majority of them would be food for bigger fish, and the sheer, massive number of young mean that there's no way that even under ideal conditions would all of them live (the odds are stacked that some of them just won't be right, won't develop properly), but, taking that into account, can you reasonably expect that you're not bringing them into the world just to die?

And after, will you try to get them good homes? Again, these are fish, so this is relative, unlike, say, puppies or foals. I would think that spending a few cents printing out a care sheet and not selling them to folks who think of them as party favors or something would put you a step ahead of most folks.
Can you sell them all? Is there a market?

If the answers to these questions are the right ones, then I wouldn't think it "wrong".

And (though this is a whole 'nother argument) Show standards for many forms of livestock (I farm, we show pigs, poultry, etc) is about health and either performance (dogs, horses) or production (pigs, chickens)
Animals that vary from the standard don't have as good health/performance/production. It's why the standards are there. Originally, anyway, as I said, it's a whole 'nother argument

Fish, the standards are for pretty. A non-show-quality betta will live just as healthy and happy a life without perfect color, markings or ray count on the dorsal as one with. Which hardly constitutes wrong.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:09 PM   #4 
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I always think, aim for the best quality fish that you can produce with each spawn and never lower. If all you can afford is pet store bettas, find the best pair of pet store bettas you can. Don't just settle for lesser quality because you want to 'practice'.

You are very unlikely to produce anything much of merit using low quality fish. To be honest, the 'pet' market for bettas is absolutely flooded with crap. How many blue and red VTs do you see languishing on the shelves of fish and pet stores? Nowadays, not even the fancier tail types are immune to over-breeding.

You have to remember that the end product of every spawn is a living, breathing creature whose entire existence was brought about by the choices you the breeder have made. The average pet store quality betta is already going to face an uphill battle to find a good home in a world where many people view fish as disposable. Therefore, you want to give your bettas the best shot in life by making sure they are not just going to add to an already saturated market.

You should always breed for quality and for marketability. I think to do any less is unfair to the fish you produce.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #5 
bettafishlover101
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@ Canis, thank you.. I was just wondering others opinions..

@ Riverotter, I see your point, worng wasnt the right term exactly. I was just wondering if other people ever considered breeding pet store quality fish.. I have a petstore, whos willing for me to keep them stocked, they're locally owned - and I've been selling my fancy guppies to them for a year now.. ( a different pet store than the one who sells the high priced bettas )

A few IBC members I talk to, have always told me to spend a few extra dollars on good young fish, than any fish from pet stores. I was just wondering if anyone has tried to breed pet store fish, and did it successfullly. I've breed a few times, and still perfecting my methods.

I have many pet betta's from pet stores, so I'm not against them, I've bought some beauties from pet stores. I've bought a pair of what look to be sibling plakats (who were marked as females) from Walmart, I never bred them though.. I've bought Big Ears, double tails, and others all marked low price at pet stores.

And I do sell them online on my website, for 2 months roughtly before bringing them to the pet store which i would consider to be my "culls" for the most part. And I do have care sheets, even for the ones who go to the pet store - with my email and whatever else so they can contact me if something goes wrong. They are a bit higher priced, so they are not given away as "party favors"...
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I always think, aim for the best quality fish that you can produce with each spawn and never lower. If all you can afford is pet store bettas, find the best pair of pet store bettas you can. Don't just settle for lesser quality because you want to 'practice'.

You are very unlikely to produce anything much of merit using low quality fish. To be honest, the 'pet' market for bettas is absolutely flooded with crap. How many blue and red VTs do you see languishing on the shelves of fish and pet stores? Nowadays, not even the fancier tail types are immune to over-breeding.

You have to remember that the end product of every spawn is a living, breathing creature whose entire existence was brought about by the choices you the breeder have made. The average pet store quality betta is already going to face an uphill battle to find a good home in a world where many people view fish as disposable. Therefore, you want to give your bettas the best shot in life by making sure they are not just going to add to an already saturated market.

You should always breed for quality and for marketability. I think to do any less is unfair to the fish you produce.
I agree 100%, but ocassionally I do see some promising males - cellophane DTHM, mustard gas halfmoons, black orchid crowntails (who i think are gorgeous!) and a few others... But I always think pet store bettas are not worth breeding, so I've been breeding some breeder bettas from some of my breeder friends. :D
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:30 PM   #7 
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I have seen some exceptionally nice bettas in pet/fish stores, and I have seen some really ugly/overpriced fish sold by breeders on AB.

You could purchase the stand-out fish from a crummy spawn with poor quality parents from a breeder, and end up producing cull quality fish.

Likewise, you could purchase two higher quality bettas from a store and out-produce both parents.

I always think you can't make the blanket statement that it is wrong to breed any pet store fish. There are many lower end breeders out there whose fish have no place in any spawning tank.

I think you really have to evaluate the quality of both fish in hand, and decide what exactly you are aiming to produce with each spawn. It could be everything from the perfect show fish to a colour no one has ever seen before. I think if you have a goal and you take full responsibility for the fish you produce, no one has any right to say what you are doing is wrong or not.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:30 PM   #8 
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I think it all boils down to marketability, in that case.

The question becomes; Can you sell it to a good home?
If so, then why not? So long as you're not breeding anything that isn't a quality of life issue to the fish.

I think Chard 56 here started with nothing but pet-store bettas, and has done pretty well.

My daughter wants a membership to IBC, and would like to show. I'm behind her 100%, but first we'll be spawning some pet-store bettas (which we do have a market for) before I invest a couple of hundred dollars on fish who's offspring we can show, but I'd have to market the other 99 from the spawn online to get more then we'd get selling the VTs locally.
And, as it happens, VTs are our favorites, and there's not a lot of showing options for those anyway. So we're going to breed what makes us happy and see if we like it enough to jump into showing.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:42 PM   #9 
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Nothing is inherently wrong... It is how many people start. I will tell you that honestly, if you can afford it, it is well worth the money to start off with a high quality pair in the colours you like. Easier to sell, easier to breed, and more enjoyable for you. This is not to say that it is bad to breed pet store bettas, or there are not gems in the stores, but as a whole starting with fish from breeders is better.

Your statement about how "a lot goes wrong the first few times breeding" is completely false... Research properly and it is likely you will run into no problems at all. Once you get he hang of it it does get easier, though.

I agree with LBF on how not breeding for marketability is rather cruel... The less marketable they are the more time they spend in a jar (and the more water changes you do on them XD).

Another thing to consider is that approximately a large number of petstores bettas carry mycobacterium. I have researched the disease in depth and even talked to BasementBettas about it... Just something to keep in mind.

I hope I have not scared you away from petstores bettas. In fact, I have a few I definatly will breed (uniquely colored hmpk). Another thing that I must add is finding a female... I doubt you will ever be able to find a female of quality in a petstore, 99% are veiltail.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:22 PM   #10 
Chard56
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I started breeding and raising Bettas again a little over 5 years ago. I hadn't kept any in 15 years or so and was amazed at what had been developed since I had them in junior high school 40 some years ago. I wouldn't recommend starting with pet store Bettas but that's what I did. I searched through hundreds of females looking for one with better than a 2 ray veiltail caudal fin. It took me several generations of selective breeding to produce a good Halfmoon female. Halfmoon males are not extremely hard to find but Halfmoon and Halfmoon Plakat females are non exsistent in my area and most everyone elses. I didn't have a computer on which to browse Aquabid for females either. Now I sell hundreds of Bettas and Guppies every year on Aquabid and have sold there for over three years now. It's not about culling your Bettas, it's about raising them properly in good water and fed well. Sure I have an occassional one with a bent spine or curled finnage but if my Oscars depended on culls to survive they would have perished long ago. As with Guppies, it's all about selecting the best to continue the line. I started one line with a nice Yellow Butterfly Halfmoon male and a 4 ray female 2 generations down from a Veiltail. Six generations later I produced this magnificent male. (And no there were no Doubltail genes involved to make the extended Dorsal)
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