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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One thing that really bugs me is when sellers tout something as "Show Quality" or "Competition Grade" and what they are selling is not. It is false advertising but I like to believe it is because they don't really know what makes a Betta Show Quality or Competition Grade.

Anyhow, I saw a HM thus advertised that:

1. Is not unique or HTF

2. Has a stair step dorsal

3. Has split and pointed ventrals

4. Has a dorsal that points back instead of forward or straight up

5. Has an anal fin that is longer than the caudal fin

6. Has reduced webbing in its dorsal

7. Has a split (or chunk missing) from its caudal

8. Does not have a 180-degree spread

Most people who don't show or breed don't know structure in Betta; I only started learning within the last year or two. I am someone who showed dogs for years so structure fascinates me. I'm learning about and am aware of Betta structure because I like knowing; not because I intend to breed or show.

Despite knowing structure, I buy my Betta based on color and if they have a certain "something" that draws me. I don't care beans if they are "Competition Grade/Show Quality." I don't care if they have a stair-step dorsal or it points backward or a 180-degree spread.

What started this Chat Rant is noting all of the sellers who charge, to me, outrageous prices for less than what they are claiming.

If you are interested in structure, I suggest you go to https://www.ibcbettas.org/upcoming-shows/standards/ and download the IBC Exhibition Standards. You have to scroll through the "How to Host a Show," etc., to get to the actual standards.
 

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The ones sold for a fortune because the seller is claiming that it's a rare color drive me crazy. Bumble Bee betta come to mind, it's a bi color black and yellow betta, nothing extra special, or rare, about that. I've also seen "platinum betta" those are generally white with cellophane fins and will have a spot or two of color, in other words it's a marble betta and again nothing rare or special. I do wonder how an unsuspecting person is going to feel when the white betta up and changes color.
 

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Russell you and I have gone over this so many times when we look for our betta. A very pretty HM red comes to mind. When I contacted the seller she told me he was $100.00 I just couldn't believe the price. I told the seller I would never pay that much for any betta especially since the betta in question was not show quality. Then you showed me the same betta from the same seller for $19.00. It really makes me wonder about the sellers quality and character. There are some out there that put these titles on their betta just to get the attention. And on top of it all they sell the betta in question to a person who is not savvy and only sees a very pretty fish.

It comes down to this People. If you are thinking about Show betta then you need to read the rules. You can not show a betta that someone else has grown. You must breed Your own betta and raise them in order to show them. Show quality betta that are sold can not be shown. They can be bread but again in breeding you take your chance as to what you get. You can't be guaranteed that any fry will be of show quality.
So any one on the web selling betta as such it is buyer beware. Petco and Petsmart may not have a good reputation for the care they give to their betta but they do not try and take the buyer across. Their betta are Pet stock and really 99% of my betta are just that pet stock. They are beautiful and they make me and anyone that sees them smile and say WOW how pretty they are. I didn't spend huge sums of money to get a betta that I can be proud of.
 

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@Old Dog 59 , IBC shows do have a purchased betta category. I've never looked into the rules for it, so I'm not exactly sure what guidelines apply to it.
 

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I wonder how long that has been in effect. Of course I'm behind the times. I don't keep up with show betta . When I first started back 20 years ago looking into shows the rules were that you had to breed and raise them before you were able to show them. But that was then and this is now . I still don't show but wouldn't pay that much for a betta that may or may not live long after shipping. Really $100.00 + for a fish. I don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Rainbo: Yes, trade names drive me crazy, too. This is the same sort of misrepresentation that caused me to start this thread:It is yet another excuse to hike up prices.

Places like PetCo and PetSmart and private sellers have figured people will pay more for something "special" and use this knowledge to jack up prices for common patterns. A "Paradise" Betta is a normal bi-color with a blue or greenish body and yellow or orange fins (sometimes rimmed in a darker color)...same as what has become known as "Mustard Gas." A "Rose Petal" is a normal Rose Tail. I have a list I was working on but got sidetracked. :)

If some charge what I consider outrageous prices for average Betta that is their prerogative. If someone does or doesn't want to pay the price then that is their prerogative. I say buy what you like and can afford.

My gripe is *only* with those who charge these prices based on claims their Betta are show quality/competition grade when they are not. Or, those claim common colors or patterns are "rare" to charge a higher price.

As to showing purchased Betta?

Quoted verbatim as seen in the IBC Guidelines (typos and all):

"A betta OWNER [emphasis theirs] (sometimes referred to as 'collector') is a person who owns a fish but did not breed him or herself. These fish may be entered in a show but only in the purchased fish category (see Group C). (While breeders own their fish they are referred to as BREEDERS [emphasis theirs].) Purchased fish will now be shown in their own group, not to be mixed with breeders' fish. This includes any fish that an entrant did not breed themselves, whether literally bought from a store or online or another breeder, or a gift fish that somebody gave to them. Purchased fish must have been in the owners' possession at least one month before the show."

Group C:

"Owners of fish they did not breed or raise themselves may show these fish in the Purchased Fish group. This includes any fish that an entrant did not breed themselves, whether literally bought from a store or aquabid or another breeder, or a gift fish that somebody gave to them. Purchased fish must have been in the owners' possession for at least one month before the show.

While there are smaller class categories in the Purchased Fish group, bettas entered in will still be judged by the regular IBC Standards for each form and color type.

Exceptions:

Area 6 continues to show purchased fish as their regular shows. Area 6 has always had this exemption and continues to keep it.

Area 2 chooses to not allow purchased fish shown at any IBC show. All fish shown must be self-bred."
 

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That is great information Russell. I still feel that buying a fish that is called competition or show grade and is clearly not from the pictures posted to sell is not right. They are taking advantage of those that don't know.

I tend to think also that if you have someone else breed and raise the fish is also going against any rules for show. Yes I know now that there is a class for just that. But raising and breeding show quality reflects the care and talent the breeder has taken to make that fish a show quality fish. That is what the show competition was all about.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I try very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt and not be negative. As stated in my first post, I believe most of these sellers do not know the difference and truly believe what they are selling is show quality. It just irks me that they do because most people think "Show Quality/Competition Grade" mean the animal can win. But, as I learned when showing dogs, if it can be entered in a show it is, technically, "show quality." Whether it can win is something else entirely. It was actually ruled that an animal can be advertised as "show quality" if the animal has no *disqualifying* faults. Not minor or major (as are those listed in the first post).

So, no matter our personal views is not "fraud" or illegal and should not be labeled as such.

As far as showing, purchased fish, like purchased dogs, cats, birds, etc., can be shown. One reason is to encourage new people who might not otherwise have even attempted the sport. According to an IBC representative, a couple of years ago the organization permanently changed "Owner" to "Collector" to allow for Wilds that had been collected and Betta that had been given as gifts or traded.

The purpose of any show is not about the breeder but about the stock; it doesn't matter who bred it. The purpose is to find those animals/fish/birds that exhibit the best qualities of their type and would improve the species if bred. There is a separate class for Bred-By for breeders-only and it is very special if you win.
 

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Personally, it's difficult to tell if mislabeling is done on purpose to attract potential buyers or not. I sometimes come across local sellers who enter shows but label grade A as SQ. The fish advertised is usually good quality but with apparent faults, whether color or form. But clearly not the best

While we assume those who enter shows should know show criteria, but on the other hand, some breeders enter shows simply to be known by the community - whether to become an active member or simply to sell their stock. The later sometimes do not understand show criteria, even after years breeding bettas.

Believe it or not, many local breeders DO NOT understand genetics and couldn't care less. All they know is good form/color x good form/color = good form/color. They rely more on luck than anything.

These people often have the same mentally on show criteria. They don't know and don't try to learn. All they know is that; because they bred good formed pairs, their results should be SQ and advertise as such.

Then there are also those cocky breeders who think their stock is the best but can't explain why their stock is better. . . . Healthier, more balanced (but clearly isn't balanced), etc - vague, general concepts.

I prefer to deal with those who do not label quality and are more . . . Humble??? . . . They would only say "you be the judge"
 

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I’ve seen petco associates unloading bettas from their box. They take a good look and then decide what label the fish gets. So normal, nonfish people deciding on what a betta is. When I saw that, I know exactly why there are so many mislabeled fish. I’m betting other stores do the same thing.
Some of the breeders? They be mothers that love their fish babies and think the best of them, and may be blind to the faults they have.


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It's funny you should mention this. I have been to many Petco and Petsmart when they got their shipment in. When they opened the box each betta is shipped in a bag of water. this bag is small enough and has just enough water for the fish to survive. They can not move in the bag. However each bag is labeled with a code as to what is in the bag. and it tells the clerk exactly what is in that bag. They also were shipped new clean cups that need to be filled with conditioned water. These clerks never (or should I say they should never open any bag until the cup is ready to accept the fish. )

Yes there are many stores that the people just are thrown into a position that they have never before done and this is due to the store management. It's a shame to have this happen, but when you see this happen you need to get the store number (not the phone number but the store number) then get the location and call the customer service number and report what you saw. Petco and Petsmart customer service people really do care and will act on your tip right away. They do and will investigate the reports and they do right the wrong done in the situation. Up to and including termination of employee and Manager. I have seen this done in stores that I have reported. and really it's not what I wanted to have happen but these Corporations will not stand for the losses that these untrained and uncaring employees will cause the store.
 
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