Well I look at color first off. But who doesn't, right?
Second is size. I usually choose smaller bettas because I hope to have them longer than if I bought a larger, older betta.
Now I make sure that they look fairly healthy and are moving around rather than sitting motionless at the bottom of the cup. But I also don't buy the fish that spaz out when I pick up their cup or press a finger against the side of the cup.
Then I stand there trying to talk myself out of buying ALL the fish there. lol.
Thats pretty much my process.
Depends on what you're after. Some people enjoy rehabilitating sick bettas (I am not one of these people) while others are after a healthy and happy pet.
I personally look for fish that are active and show no visible sign of disease. I like males that react to the presence of others by flaring, even while still in their dingy cup. This lets me get a look at the personality and form of the fish. I have seen too many Deltas sold as HMs to make that mistake again.
Mostly if I just want a pet, I make my choice based on colour and conformation. I may be shallow, but if a betta is ugly to look at, I don't want it in my tanks. Nowadays, I gravitate towards imported bettas since they generally have the colour and form I'm after.
Great forum! Should be helpful for new Betta owners or anyone looking to get another Betta.
I look for a medium-small sized Betta that is bright in color and more active, not just sitting there when I pick up the cup No ripped fins or any abnormal looking spots! I also look for a Betta that reacts slightly when I bring my finger towards him/her.
i go for color, then personality. though, twice i picked the 'ugly' ones. one, was my copper red delta(who was a dull brown-grey in the store), the other was my almost black veiltail. Scout, the veil, was a dull, ugly grey, thin, inactive thing. he's now a beautiful deep grey, almost black, with blue shine, and the spunkiest personalty ever! <3
Color is something I look at first. Next would be health... is the fish active and responsive? After I'm done looking at that, I look at the condition of the fins. I don't take size much into consideration. Older betta, younger betta... either will do fine with me. I just want to try to avoid bringing home a betta that looks like he might be sick. I don't have enough experience with betta illnesses just yet.
I go into the shop telling myself that I'll look for colour, activity, health etc (though my city usually isn't too bad. There's only one shop where fish are frequently sick). Then I disregard all of that and pick the fish I fall in love with. Sometimes there is a discernable reason, (Athena was a fiesty little nutcake, Odysseus was the prettiest fish I have ever seen), but sometimes there isn't. I mean, I turned down the prettiest white delta male for my grumpy, cheeky little Athena and any number of beautiful boys for my sorority. Sometimes I fall for a fish that is dying, sometimes they are the healthiest thing around. I really should judge with my brain, but I just go with who I fall in love with. :)
My Petco has bettas in 2 different areas of the store. I picked out a young, solid deep blue half moon (I think). He was beautiful and very healthy looking and active. I pushed him in my cart over to the other betta section where I saw several yellow and red fish that I absolutely loved.
Until I saw Phillip! Not only was he super active, healthy and beautiful but he was mislabeled and I got him for way less than he was supposed to be. So I put the blue one back and bought Phil. Turned out to be a great pet. He is best friends with my cory catfish and he never stops swimming and would eat all day if I let him
I go into that Petco several times a week and sadly, the bunch of fish I picked him out of are still there and are now dying. I must have first seen them when they were new stock.
I would try to discern when the store gets new arrivals and try to buy during that week to be able to choose from a healthy active bunch.
Tonight we bought a tank, rocks, plants, and a thermometer. Over the next few days I'll get decorations and a heater. I didn't like the ones our Petco had in stock so I'll order the heater from Amazon.
I totally Betta window shopped!! Some of them looked so sad (the water was likely cold because the store was freezing) but then I found a lovely little crowntail boy who kept flaring at the boy in the cup next to him and would follow my finger along the side of the cup. If he is there next week? I'm totally claiming him as mine. If not they seem to have an ok stock of fish, they've got them in two spots too.