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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

I'm curious, I'm new to Betta keeping, and indeed fish keeping in general, but I have been doing lots and lots of research recently, and of course have already seen a great many pictures of our wonderful finned friends.

I notice however, most of the betta that I have seen have a very pronounced arch on their back, behind their head up to the dorsal fin, and then curving back down to the caudal fin.

Seen here:

betta_fish_anatomy.png

On my Ripley, and in a few other pics I have seen, some Betta seem to have more of a straight spine/back, and there is nowhere near as much of an arch.

DSC_2305.jpg

What causes this? Is it simply genetic? I love Ripley but I can't help but feel like he isn't the "traditional" Betta shape. He gets more of an arch when he's flaring, but I see a lot of pictures of them NOT flaring but still having a very discernible arch.
 

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Your boy has, what we call, a spoon-head. It's a genetic spinal deformity that causes the spine to curve up from the middle to the head, causing a "spoon" like shape. It's said that it's best used for fighting, allows the betta to hold onto to the other fish longer and stronger. But obviously, we don't condone betta fighting here, it's just part of the history. It's also just bad genetics all around, it's not generally something that someone will breed for, but there are always deformities in a spawn, even from the best looking parents you can possibly find, there will always been that one or a couple of them :) They can still be healthy of course!

It's the same that happens with humans. You know that nice curved spine shape that everyone is supposed to have? Well, some humans don't have that, or it curves a different way, or is just plain deformed; same thing in fish too ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, that's fascinating to know. Thanks for that.
I figured it must be something like that but I couldn't seem to find any info on it, but thanks!

I'm glad to know it's relatively "normal" and not something to worry about.

Shame to the reasons behind it though... although that said I guess at the same time if it wasn't for the red history we'd not have such beautiful fish today.
 
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