They say you shouldnt breed them because they have a mixed genetic background and are to old, but I say you its okay. Im currently breeding pet store bettas for my first spawn as I dont want to mess up and kill an 80 dollar pair!
As said above you shouldn't breed pet store bettas because you don't know there genetic background. Also
1. Because you don't know their genetic background you can't really breed for a color you like because the parents might be one color but then the fry could be a completely different color.
2. You are going to have a hard time selling the fry because you don't know their genetic background.
3.Sometimes pet store bettas are too old to be bred.
Just to name a few things.If you really want to breed I say get a nice pair of bettas from Aquabid or Bettysplendens and you will be satisfied with the results from your spawn and quality of the fry.
The "I want a practice pair" thing really really gets on my nerves.
Here is why people don't advocate breeding pet store fish...
1. You don't know the genetic background of the fish, therefore you have no way of knowing what you will get. It is irresponsible to breed an animal just because you want to see what you will get. If you are curious about what happens when you mix genetics than read books on genetics and ask people who are well versed in genetics. This way your question is answered without bringing potentially unwanted fish into the world.
2. Often times pet store fish are unhealthy and breeding is very taxing on a fish's health. Even a perfectly healthy fish can get sick as a result of over stress due to breeding. Age is a similar factor as many pet store fish are past the prime age for breeding.
3. Most pet store fish are NOT good examples of their tail types. In the same way an ethical dog breeder breeds to a set of standards, a Betta breeder should try to uphold the standards set forth as best as they can. The whole purpose of breeding ANYTHING is to try to produce the "perfect specimen" of the organism you choose, why start with bad stock?
4. Many people who breed pet store fish have a very hard time finding homes for the fry. They end up giving them to pet stores for almost no money or store credit. We all see on forums like this every single day about how badly fish are mistreated in 99% of pet stores... why add to the problem?
There is ethical breeding and then there is breeding just for the sake of "experience." IMO if you are going to breed you need to have a reason for doing it, beyond "I want to produce a fish that is this color". You need to be able to say.. "It is my goal that over a long time of line breeding that I will produce a fish with sound body, good color, and that fits the standard perfectly"... A perfect fish. Perfection is a near impossibility but it should be the goal regardless.
As far as "I just want a pet store pair for practice"... Dog, horse, cat, goat, cockroach, snake... you name it.. NO ONE that breeds animals ethically gets a pair for "practice". On a dog forum if someone came on there saying they wanted to breed their shelter mutts for "practice" they would be eaten alive, and for good reason. Breeding is a SERIOUS thing, you are bringing life into an already overpopulated world.. you better have a good reason for doing so.
Like the saying goes.. Do or do not, there is no try.
Tropical fish are not mammals, and IMO there is nothing wrong with breeding pet shop Bettas or any other fish bought from a pet shop, how do you think we got the first HM-pet shop betta started that one....
No, you don't know their back ground-but that is the exciting part-you don't know what you are going to get, to make your own line you have to go "outside the box" but you also have to be ready to cull hard and that can be up to 95% of the spawn that you have to destroy.
You can buy the expensive bettas from a breeder and continue their line, or buy a Betta from aquabid from breeders that mass produce and all you are getting is a expensive unknown betta.
How do you know anything about what you are getting no matter who or where you get it either pet-shop or aquabid
I do agree that you need a plan on what you are going to do with the fry once grown.
I don't consider myself as an un-ethical breeder, although I haven't bought a betta off the shelf in a long time-I wouldn't hesitate to do so and use as a breeder if I seen one that fit into my plan.
To breed and create your own line you have to do some experimenting.
I agree with Ofl... Theres no doubt in my mind that we all love our betta fish greatly, but there is also the reality of the matter to take into consideration. As stated before, there is a large over-production of betta fish throughout the world, many in which (very sadly) will never find thier owners. However, you cannot justify responsibility of a breeder by simply finding each betta a home... for if there was no breeder to begin with, then the pet-store bought bettas would then have a home themselves. In that arguement, it is without a doubt that you could hold -all- breeder responsible for the loss of all pet-store betta's. I apologize if this seems direct, but its harsh to tax someone with such response to begin with.
I'm not a breeder, but I do intend to breed within time, when I'm fully equiped witht he knowledge to do so and the currency to back it up (and trust me, I'll be doing plenty of hours of research and planning within the next year before even attempting to breed). My reasoning for breeding is to extend my own 'betta branch', or however you may word it. Overall though... I wish to achieve a complete and utter attacthment to my betta-friend in which I helped raise from the begining. I can assume that others breed for this reason too, that we hope to come to this end result; but not always by achieving a 'pro-breed'.
Theres always a middle ground in which suits both sides equally though.
As far as actually breeding store bought bettas though.
You can breed them. There just not worth anything, and unless you are a member of the IBC and no the standard's. Then your just hurting the breed not helping.. And even if you knew the standard's it would take years and years to get all bad genetics out and then start with a half way decent betta. Or you spend 10 dollars extra and get a pretty decent fish to start off you breeding stock.. Then there's not to much fin improvment's you have to do. Just small improvments and playing with color paterns...
You say, you cant see the difference? Your telling me when you look on AB and then you go to petco you dont see a difference...
Plus your just helping the betta in a cup deal everyone hate's, or the small tank betta that nobody care's about. Because say you do breed them and then some people want them, they get them and start looking into bettas. Now they want a really good betta they dont want this whatever betta, so he gets put in a small bowl or cup and dont get water changes that much while the person is more worried about the new show betta. I have walked into some small back wood's breeders places and seen messed up things... :^(
This topic has been hot for year's and year's threw out the betta world and most show class breeder's wont waste there breath on the topic..
Why breed more of the fish you can find in any pet store? It's like going to the pound and picking two random dogs that look sort of similar and kind of pretty. Simply being pretty is not enough to make a fish good breeding stock. I agree with 1fish2fish. It's unethical whether it is a fish or a dog.
Also, breeding is expensive. It is not a practical hobby for the average person. You need to have a steady income and a lot of time on your hands to devote to it. If you can't invest in a good breeding pair then you probably don't have enough money to breed bettas in general.
In my opinion, humanity in general would be a lot happier if they would simply learn that you don't need to possess something in order to appreciate it. You don't need to breed bettas to love them and be a part of this hobby. I would love to do it someday, sure--but I am mature enough to understand that breeding is an enterprise that simply would not fit into my life right now, so I am contented with simply helping out others the best I can with what advice I can offer, and living vicariously through them when it comes to the excitement of breeding.
I just don't understand the feeling that just because you love bettas, that you should breed them. If you loved them, you would be rescuing the ones you see in those terrible craigslist ads, and on freecycle, and kijiji.
At the end of the day, bettas are pets. Let them just be pets.