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Old 05-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #1 
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Unhappy Treating Bettas with Anabolic Steroids to Prolong Life - Crazy or True?

Someone posted on Wikipedia that breeders are feeding anabolic steroids to bettas to improve their life expectancy. It sounded ridiculous to me but when I did a Google search I did find another site that says this is very common. I pretty much dismissed it in an article I recently wrote but need to dig a little deeper to find out if this is so. Does anyone have any information on treating bettas with steroids to prolong life? Bonus points to anyone who can point me to solid research, but even anecdotal information will be a good start.

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Old 05-12-2011, 08:56 PM   #2 
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I read that off wiki as well when I started my Betta research. The link above is to a scientific research paper. However they want $40.00 to read it. ;)

Nice website you have too, Nippyfish :) You should link it in your signature.
I wanted to know the answer to the above question as well, because something I had read other then about steroids to prolong life, was used to change sex in fish spawns to get male finnage since females don't sell. I have been trying unsuccessfully to find additional info on that as well. If you stumble across it and think of me, please pass it on. :)

Good Luck!
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #3 
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I have to agree! :D You have a wonderful site! =] I'll recommend it to new betta owners. =]

I have absolutely no idea. I'd be willing to help you look though. Not this week or next but maybe the week after. =]
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:57 PM   #4 
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This is a controversial topic for many species. There are 2 different types of steroids- anabolic and catabolic. True to their names, anabolic builds tissue, encourages cell reproduction and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Catabolic assists enzymes in the break down of tissue. Anabolic steroids have long been used in breeding programs for all sorts of domesticated species, but there is little evidence to suggest it prolongs life. Most evidence suggests just the opposite due to heart related issues associated with enlargement. But there are side effects that are super attractive like larger size (giant bettas, extra big fins, etc.) If anyone is really interested, PM me and i can give you my password to VIN (veterinary internet network) full of scholarly articles related to the subject. :) This used to be, and still is, a HUGE interest and passion of mine. Although I left vet school a few years ago, I am finishing up a degree in clinical sports medicine which also focuses a lot on steroids.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:58 AM   #5 
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I've never really looked into this but local forums sometimes mention the use of steroids and/or hormones (not sure which or what kind) to boost size and to "sex change". There was also an attempt to produce "super males" (YY chromosomes, so they can produce 100% male offspring - but the research wasn't continued).

Never the less no one has ever shared info on its successful use - they don't even admit using it. And I have never heard of its use to prolong life. IMO the best way to prolong their lives is to take good care of them.

I'm not really interested in using chemicals (any kind) or other non natural additives but I would like to read more about it.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:28 AM   #6 
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I have never heard of using steroids in betta fish to prolong life. I have found experiments to help prove that female bettas are capable of changing their gender using male hormones. Ironically, female fish tend to live longer than males. I am convinced that a percentage of female bettas are capable of changing their gender without artificial intervention very much like reef fish.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:47 AM   #7 
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Your replies have all been very helpful. Tokala - what a wealth of knowledge you are. Your comment reminded me that my public library card gains me access to a lot of research sites that I would normally have to pay for. I totally forgot about that. If it doesn't work I may be back in touch.

I smell research!!!

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:23 PM   #8 
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From what I've studied in genetics, a YY male wouldn't produce any offspring, and would probably have defects. It depends on what's carried on the betta genome. Also, keep in mind that not all creatures have X and Y chromosomes. There is also XX/X0 and ZW sex determination found in non-mammals.

According to this: http://southasiadissertations.uchica...lbrunn-henry-m

the genetics of sex determination in bettas has yet to be determined. For all we know, they could be like alligators. They might have more males or females in a given spawn depending on temperature or some other factor.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #9 
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Wow! This is all interesting, I'd love to know more!
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:00 PM   #10 
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I have been trying to search on this subject as well. My beautiful Maui is pushing 3 yrs... How long have all you had yours live?
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