Glow Bettas - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Glow Bettas

I was wondering about professional opinion about glow bettas. They are recently showing on market. I know Pet Smart already has them.
I am really sceptical about it and I do not intend to purchase one. But what do you guys think about it?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 02:16 PM
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On the one hand, the GloFish process manipulates their genes, it doesn't add physical dyes like "painted" fish, so it's not inherently bad for the fish themselves. On the other hand... Oof.

I don't mind the fish themselves, I mind how the company markets them and pushes tiny tanks that are wildly overstocked. And now with their bettas they're also selling on their website a six-betta sorority, which grinds my gears because I don't recommend sororities in 99% of situations anymore, especially not to the kinds of beginners who are going to be drawn to wanting a tank of glowing bettas.

There's also no telling how well their bettas are bred, if they're genetically diverse, if there are any health problems in their lines or even just if they're well-formed enough to be "pretty"... Which of course any breeder can fumble (and many suppliers for pet stores are pretty awful), but this isn't a small company so they're going to be churning out thousands of bettas from whatever their foundation stock is.

I'm also curious if these bettas have been sterilized (and how), because otherwise I know people are going to start breeding them with regular bettas and that could have some very interesting consequences for the species.

Personally? I will not buy one. I can't say I won't for certain- heaven knows I've been suckered into a betta I didn't intend to buy before- but I don't plan to support this new venture of theirs, definitely not if this new strain of betta hasn't been handled with care. Maybe after a couple of years at market these glow bettas will prove to be exceptionally healthy & hardy and I will change my mind! But I'm not counting on it.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 10:41 PM
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It seems sketchy, yet I don't know much about how they make them glow. But don't fish need darkness to sleep since they can't close their eyes?


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 02:17 PM
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In my humble opinion This is wrong on so many levels. There is no way to tell the damage that this does to the fish. Or how it affects the life span. Just someones way of making money because they are special and not many available. I know I sure wouldn't want one Giving some one that kind of money for something that you don't even know how long the life span is under normal care.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 03:14 PM
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Well, I went looking to reassure myself that at least the bettas would be sterile and we wouldn't have potential glowing hybrids running around... And found plenty of evidence that actually no, they may not be sterile. In some places the company's other fish (tetras & danios) are treated somehow to become sterile, but in plenty of other areas they're not and you can easily end up with a tank full of hybrids. It is supposedly illegal to sell any hybrid fry you create, but I doubt that's going to stop many people especially when betta breeding is considered practically an art form.

Which means there's a decent chance that these "glow" bettas will be able to breed with each other & regular bettas, which is frankly pretty concerning. I personally don't mind ethical genetic engineering, and I am willing to believe that the genes added are not harmful in an of themselves, but I don't really know if these bettas qualify as "ethically made".

And that's not even touching the question of whether the glow bettas have any genetic disadvantages in their bloodlines because we don't know what their stock is, or what will happen if the glow genes get introduced into the population at large. I'm very concerned that if the florescent glow genes become widespread, they might get crossed into the wild species, which are already in trouble from hybridization...


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 03:36 PM
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@CosmicSyringe just to answer your question, they only glow under a black light.

This effect is accomplished via gene splicing - originally with Zebra fish.

Since humans have tinkered so much with Betta genetics, I'm not necessarily opposed to glowing Betta, tho I wouldn't buy one because blacklights can't grow plants.

If we can manufacture a pug from a wolf (try cramming 42 teeth into that flat face) then who knows maybe glowing dogs are next, LoL.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 05:38 AM
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Iím still a new fish keeper, so Iím not the most experienced, but when I saw the glow bettas at PetSmart they looked pretty horrible. Most of the bettas donít look great in their cups, but several of these guys were floating, or swimming at odd angles. I donít know if thatís a glow betta thing or a PetSmart doesnít take good care of their fish thing, but for someone who was already cautious about these guys, it was a big turn off. Also, the ridiculously tiny tanks theyíre being sold with were horrendous to imagine keeping a fish in long term.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 09:21 AM
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I had no idea about glow Bettas up until a few days ago when I stopped into Petsmart to buy dog toys. Gimmicky, still promoting improper care and marketing is terrible.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 11:18 AM
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I am borderline on selective breeding and definitely not a supporter of gene manipulation.
I could go on, but it might be controversial so I'll leave it at that.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 01:40 PM
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@Phish Head they already breed glowing rabbits so glowing dogs should be possible too

Back on topic, i am not a fan of glowfish in general. Doing gene manipulation just for looks is also considered unethical where i live so i could even buy them if i wanted to.
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