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Old 02-08-2012, 09:24 AM   #1 
Layman
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breeding for nonaggression?

Chat feels like a better fit for this.
Why hasn't the betta been bred for less aggression? Has it? I know I've read on here one member did it over time with siblings, but how cool would it be to have several males in a tank?!? Why hasn't this been a goal of breeders?
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #2 
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Chat feels like a better fit for this.
Why hasn't the betta been bred for less aggression? Has it? I know I've read on here one member did it over time with siblings, but how cool would it be to have several males in a tank?!? Why hasn't this been a goal of breeders?
I considered this as well, nice to see others are thinking about it too.
Have you seen the study that was done with foxes using the same breeding methods? I believe it could be done, but we would end up with a totally different fish in the end. Breeding just on temperament alone would cause the look of the fish to change dramatically. It's a tough one for sure.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #3 
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Yes, that was a cool article! I had forgotten about it, but it proves it's possible. The fox article I read was in National Geographic, so it had pictures. They did look different, but they were still obviously foxes. Imagine a tank with 6 or 7 males!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:22 AM   #4 
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True, but with the changing of temperment, we'd have a fish similar to a guppy. There'd be none of that temper and spark that we (or at least I) love. Plus, it'd be more difficult to get them to flare, and if they didn't flare much, it'd be possible we wouldn't have have halfmoons. Along with that, their colors would be more drab.

I read an article written on bettysplendens.com about raising the fry all together with the father, and she had kept the boys in for a very long time with no agression at all. However, they were mostly cambodian and such. However, when she removed the boys and jarred them, they changed become a lot colorful and agressive (since they each had their own territory to 'defend') and flared a lot more. I do believe OldFishLady has sucessfully kept brothers from a same spawn together, but I'm pretty sure once a boy was removed that he couldn't be reintroduced.

On a side note, I did see and hear about the foxes, and I think it was really cool. A while ago I had done some research on them, and apparently the change in appearences and behavior was due to a drop in levels of adrenaline.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #5 
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So far I have been successful in my quest to keep multi males along with females together long term-I have been working on this for many years-plus it is not scientific per se.....I do have some controls-but nothing like a lab or anything...lol....

In the beginning I wasn't able to return a male once removed-but after several generations I have been able to reunite adults after spawning. I can also add other Bettas that had not been raised together of all different ages. Sometimes I will see some threats when two males meet for the first time-they will flare, challenge-then either back off or a short fight will occur-then one will retreat and all is fine.

One of the fears I had with doing this-lost aggression to the point that I couldn't get them to spawn or they would no longer flare or generally act like a Betta we all love...so far this has not been an issue-I do bring in new blood by the 4-5th generation and of course I can't add the new outside male to the tank of males-but a new female is accepted....

One problem I have seen with growing out males together-males don't grow out fins as well/fast unless I isolate them for a short time and then re-add later once I get the fins I want on him...so far its been an easy fix...

Something I haven't tested yet and need to.....I need to bring some of the males back to my home and see if I can successfully add them to the tank of males...Its one thing with them always living together and yet another when kept in different location and even different water/water chemistry, care...etc...then returned-this would be the real test of success.......

The male in my avatar is a product of my experiments and IMO-he looks pretty good-so I have not lost beauty or the HM tail IMO and he is a great breeder/father as well-going on his 5th spawn in the last 30 days-
I artificially hatch some of the spawns because I wanted to use several different females-as well as grow some without the male to compare-one being new blood-this is so I would have the offspring in the same age range for breeding later this year-

When I collect eggs to artificial hatch- I leave some eggs that later hatch and so I have 4 different ages (about 3-7days apart) in this spawning tank with this male-(the first spawn was in a different spawning tank with the new genetic female-I don't want to mix them).
I will leave the male with all these fry until I remove the last one-then this male will be tested to see if he can be returned to the tank he was raised in with the other Bettas of different ages and relation to him-this will be about a 3-4 month separation more or less.....time will tell if successful.....

In a different setup-(5gal NPT full to the top with water)- I removed from a mixed tank- a delta male and doubletail female and I had a spawn within 24h-and so I am not seeing any spawning related issues with keeping the Bettas together-so far all is going well and he appears to be tending to the bouncing babies-should be free swimming tonight or tomorrow and he will be left long term

I can add a male held in a small container to the spawning tank and the two will flare and fight between the partition-Then I can return both back to the tank together when released at the same time at either end of the tank without issue, however, if I release the cupped male in front of the other male in that tank-they will fight and tear each other to pieces-so I haven't lost aggression or too much instinct-

I think and this is just my nonscientific theory that by keeping the males together like this is just desensitizing more than changing any genetic/instinct per se-......and no way for me to know this due to the limitation I have with this experiment...just theory and observation......interesting none the less.....

I don't recommend hobbyist to try this unless you have done a great deal of research, have the right setups and time...lots of time.....it didn't happen over night nor with the first attempt or generations and not without problems....
We still have a long ways to go-but I will say this...it is pretty impressive watching a tank full of long fin males peacefully coexisting....if I do say so myself.......
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:57 PM   #6 
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Wow OFL, that's incredible! I hadn't realized you were able to do that, thanks for sharing~ Did you breed for anything specific when you started that project?
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:06 PM   #7 
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My personal opinion on this would be that it sounds very cool when you think about it, but the aggression is what makes bettas bettas. I made a thread about this a while ago and decided that it was a cool idea, but it is what makes bettas unique. It would just be another colorful oversized guppy.

Sorry for the bad joke, but seriously, I would agree with OFL. You have to be very patient and have the correct precautions.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:46 AM   #8 
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Actually there would be less aggression in sororities - the more bettas, less fights. But I have Never had them totally docile. There would always be some aggression. And a new male will always (IME) "fight" for his position. He will calm down the following day - but there will always be aggression and I always have torn fins amongst them.

In my tanks aggression usually starts when they get a 100% clean up after they're 2cm long. Disturbing them that way will stress them and later they somehow need to establish territory. On the other hand they will remain docile if not disturbed for the first 4 months - then hell breaks loose.

OFL and MrVamp are the only ones I know who has successfully returned a male to a sorority from breeding and not fight. And as OFL stated, once taken from the sorority or jarred, they will flare.

Bettas are not bred to be peaceful because aggression is their beauty, it's what makes them special. More flaring will develop their fins to a maximum...... I guess most breeders see it that way and don't want to change it..
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #9 
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True, but with the changing of temperment, we'd have a fish similar to a guppy. There'd be none of that temper and spark that we (or at least I) love. Plus, it'd be more difficult to get them to flare, and if they didn't flare much, it'd be possible we wouldn't have have halfmoons. Along with that, their colors would be more drab.

I read an article written on bettysplendens.com about raising the fry all together with the father, and she had kept the boys in for a very long time with no agression at all. However, they were mostly cambodian and such. However, when she removed the boys and jarred them, they changed become a lot colorful and agressive (since they each had their own territory to 'defend') and flared a lot more. I do believe OldFishLady has sucessfully kept brothers from a same spawn together, but I'm pretty sure once a boy was removed that he couldn't be reintroduced.

On a side note, I did see and hear about the foxes, and I think it was really cool. A while ago I had done some research on them, and apparently the change in appearences and behavior was due to a drop in levels of adrenaline.
Yea I watched it on a documentary about dogs, they had the fox experiment on there as well. They have even started re-homing the foxes into pet homes .

On a side note I have 7 or 8 males in a 55 gallon sorority and none of them have started flaring yet, they also have much shorter fins than the other males and they are delta/super delta. The HM males had to be jarred first, it's as if they knew they were the best and competed with each other by fighting and flaring. I have a feeling that some males if NEVER separated could and would live just fine in a 55 gallon +. I don't think they would ever grow their fins out though and they would never be as pretty as the males we love so much.

I got a fish that was supposed to be a female from a breeder and she turned out to be a very pretty he. His fins are growing out now that he has his own tank.
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