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Please remember that fish in non-flare and non-profile views cannot be properly critiqued (goes for judges and showers) and I don't believe that they should actually be critiqued since the opinion of the judge can change drastically depending on the fish! It's not fair to the fish! lol. For example, Sunset, I don't mean to pick on you but, you did mention that Angel's body seemed broad, not symmetrical (which a Betta isn't supposed to be Symmetrical) and spoonheaded. In that photo, he's actually coming towards us and that makes his body appear shorter but he really isn't. He's actually a nice sloping topline, peduncle is healthy and strong, there is no kink in his body that I see (are you looking at the swim bladder?) and for his coloration, his ends are just cellophane, not ratty ^_^ But I digress.

I can critique Misha though, he has a wonderful picture (other than his head being skewed by the cup lol, the fins are more important anyhow)

Beautiful Asymmetrical HMPK:
  • Good body proportions (Not overly long and not stubby like DT's tend to be. Good body thickness)
  • Beautiful sloping topline (though, pic is wonky due to cup, I recognize)
  • Dorsal is wonderfully broad; it reaches to the caudal. The first ray is stubby though and should be as tall as the second ray.
  • Caudal has a beautiful spade shape, great for an Asymmetrical HMPK!
  • Anal fin can be pointier as Susie pointed out, but a wonderful length for an Asymmetrical HMPK
  • Ventrals are hard to judge, definitely split which is a no-no. Hard to say if they line up with the "point" on his anal fin though, they look longer--possibly due to the cup.
  • Color is great, he's a marble so it's always bound to change of course. In that photo he would have been called a Bicolor Monster.
 

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Thanks lilnaugrim, I don't mind being picked on because I'm no expert on this. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Oh good! I'm always worried I'm going to offend someone lol. Thanks for being receptive!
 

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Curious to hear your thoughts on Panda, a female I am looking to breed. She was listed as a black and white koi HMPK. After having her for five months, she has grown into her fins nicely.

The notch in her dorsal was from getting bitten by another female. Her ventrals are pretty obviously split, but I think that can be corrected over time.









 

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Holy cow Feng! What a girl! If I couldn't see her ovaries I would certainly say she was a he lol.

She's not flaring but she's fully spread out, I forgot to say that these pictures can be included on critiquing. You just don't want to critique a non-profile and non-fin stretched out or flaring picture.

Her fins are actually too big according to the IBC. HMPK females should have very similar to fins to male HMPK's.

  • Dorsal is nice and big but that notch and the fact that it steps up and rays sticking out, those are all big faults for the dorsal. It does meet the caudal which is important for females since it doesn't always happen.
  • Caudal, beautiful four ray girl except that the edges of the caudal at the anal and dorsal, they are rounded whereas they should make a nice shape D shape instead. So that's another fault. Good point is that she has four rays around, no random 5 ray branch as sometimes happens.
  • Anal is wonderful, slants very nicely for an Asymmetrical HMPK. It doesn't come to a point which is good for females.
  • Ventrals are split and actually too long! They're just slightly longer than her anal fin is, they have a good knife shape to them and it's a shame they're so split!
  • Her body is actually quite wonderful! Nice pointy shape like a female should have, nice slope to the top line. However, her peduncle (back of body where the tail meets) is slanted upwards and thus is called a weak peduncle.
  • Color is great! She's quite symmetrical in coloration for a Marble.
Overall, she does have some pretty big faults but I think she would actually make a wonderful show girl! Not a lot of females like to flare and have these kinds of fins and so these are usually the favorite of the shows :-D
 

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Thank you, Lil, much appreciated. That was exactly the sort of critique I was looking for!

I couldn't get a full flare shot, as she moves too fast when she is riled up. She is for sure a female as you could clearly see through her when the black spread was less. I think she might actually have been a fish from a HM spawn that the breeder had mislabelled or perhaps a HM x HMPK cross. The fins are pretty long when she is not displaying too.

I've kept a lot of my females jarred/isolated and I think it definitely makes them more willing to flare and display like a male would. Panda even flares at fingers and pens, not just a mirror or other fish. They're too feisty though. I had just turned my back one time and I guess Panda had jumped the divider and was having it out with the female next door. The notch seems to be permanent so far, much to my annoyance, but it is worse on the other girl... Looks like the entire top of the dorsal just got chopped off. >.>

I would like to breed her to a decent veiltail to get a black marble VT line started. The male I have isn't anything particularly special, but he a dark bodied yellow bicolour without irid ("chocolate" is the term, I think?). I would also like to have regular HMPK line, but didn't really know if she would be any good for that (I just lost recently what I thought was a very well formed HMPK female and so had to rework my plans).
 

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Ah yeah, she would make a great breeder I think!
And yeah, she looks more like a mix spawn of long and short fin. She does have the Caudal of an HMPK but it's much longer than usual.
 

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omg, those pictures are huge lol. Can you resize them so they're a little more manageable? Photobucket will do it automatically or you can google for a site to resize them for free, there are plenty out there.

Remember! We need FLARING pictures in order to critique, we cannot properly critique just any random photo!
 

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How about this one? He's still a bit shy... Every time I'm around he dances and flares. He gets real spooked by the camera though - mirrors and all. :/
 

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After almost a hundred shots with the digicam later... xP

@lilnaugrim Now I know what you mean when you say only 1 or 2 in a few hundred shots ever turn out nice. And interesting. I wasn't aware he had that hole in his fin up until I took the photos! :eek:
 

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Much better, we could still use an actual flare picture when he's extended his beard but I can give a basic crit with this at least. And yeah, the pin holes show up sometimes when they flare too much and too hard; it rips the fin. It may heal up or it may open up to a larger hole if he continues to flare, it will still heal though :)

Looks like he may be a small fish still. His body shape isn't too desireable; the topline should be smoother and curve more. Not sure if it's due to the dragon scales or not but he has a couple little bumps on his topline between his eye and dorsal.

Hard to tell on dorsal if it has a stubby ray or not, I won't critique it since it's not fully spread out.

Caudal looks beautiful, full 180 spread even without full flare. He's on the edge of having too many rays though which causes the ruffled rosetail effect which is undesirable in Bettas for showing.

Anal fin needs to be pointed more since he is an Asymmetrical HMPK, he has a nice slant to it though.

Ventrals are split! Big fault. Can't tell if they are the same length as the end of the anal fin or not due to not being down, they don't look very full though.

Coloration is good but the white iridescence scales are bleeding into the caudal fin, the fins should be totally yellow with black edging for his type. Black edging doesn't totally go around all the fins, notably on the dorsal and bottom of anal fin.
 

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Oh, I see. He's been flaring more since he got the new tank. He used to live in like 500mL of water from the LFS, then moved him for two weeks to a 1gal hospital tank. Now he has an 8.9gal to himself with a HOB filter and seems a lot happier! :D Will I need to medicate it or do I just leave it alone?

I don't think his topline was ever that smooth - it can really be just his shape. His tail kinda has a ruffle-like appearance at the edges so I guess time will tell if it'll change.

I think his ventrals are split. I've never encountered that in my previous bettas. Is this a cosmetic defect or should I worry?

Also, after all this has been said, well, is he a good potential breeding stock? I'm not breeding/showing but the LFS I got him from is marketing theirs as such.

PS.

Thanks for critiquing Lantia! ^_^
 

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Oh, I see. He's been flaring more since he got the new tank. He used to live in like 500mL of water from the LFS, then moved him for two weeks to a 1gal hospital tank. Now he has an 8.9gal to himself with a HOB filter and seems a lot happier! :D Will I need to medicate it or do I just leave it alone?
Yeah, just leave it alone. It will heal on it's own :)

Vergil said:
I don't think his topline was ever that smooth - it can really be just his shape. His tail kinda has a ruffle-like appearance at the edges so I guess time will tell if it'll change.
That's okay, it's all about genetics. Some Betta's have a very nice topline and others don't, it's all about the parents and what kind of care they had when they were growing up. There's nothing you could do about it now though.

And yeah, the ruffle-like appearance means that he has too many ray's, again, nothing you can fix, it's all genetics. As time goes on, it may become a little more ruffled in appearance, it never goes the other way (flattening out as it should be for a show fish)

Vergil said:
I think his ventrals are split. I've never encountered that in my previous bettas. Is this a cosmetic defect or should I worry?
It's a genetic defect and also how they were raised as babies, nothing you can do about (see a theme here? lol)

Vergil said:
Also, after all this has been said, well, is he a good potential breeding stock? I'm not breeding/showing but the LFS I got him from is marketing theirs as such.
He has potential if you find the right mate. He'd need a girl that has a smoother body shape, a good dorsal (hard to keep good and full), a tail with less rays to counter balance his, and a girl that has a nice anal (they usually don't come to a point but some are pointier than others) and without split ventral fins to be good. He's certainly not terrible by any means and for breeding, he does look strong; a little on the small side at the moment though. You ideally would breed a larger male to a slightly smaller female so it's easier for him to wrap around her and she won't slip out of his grasp :)
 

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Okay, I know he isn't show quality, I was just wondering what he would be labeled as tail and color wise. Also, just curious about how his form stacks up.

Petsmart sold him as a HM but I have yet to see him in a full flare and am not familiar with counting rays or anything.
 

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The counting rays only works for distinguishing VT from other tail types. HM can be anything from 4 rays to 24 rays, more usually leads to RT if it didn't already. The only way to tell now is to get him to flare fully to see if he makes the 180 mark or not. Again, we really need a flare picture of his side to fully critique him. In this pic I can't see if his anal fin is too long, if the ventrals meet the anal fin, how wide his tail spread is, how good or bad of a dorsal he has. So this is why we need a good profile flare pic.

Color wise, he is a Salamander
 

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Vergil: if you want to breed him, look for a female with a nice body, fan like or half circle/oval dorsal, 4 Ray caudal, short anal, and small but wide ventrals. You may not get desirable form in F1 but you should have enough decent offspring to continue breeding. If that is too much work, it would be best to get a new male.

Leotah: Ray is the bone structure of fins. HM and HMPK usually have 11 initial rays (that conects to the body). Each of them branches. When ppl speak of rays, they are referring to the end - one Ray branches into a number of rays.

A good formed Betta must have equal branching of each initial Ray and equal webbing between all rays (equal at the base and equal at the end).

Your little guy is not flaring, but he seems to have a decent form. He has fairly long first dorsal Ray, about 4 caudal Ray branching, fairly equal anal length, and fairly wide ventrals. But we can't see if his ventral split or if it has protruding rays, which are undesired. However, his caudal is not quite "D" shaped. It is too rounded on the top and bottom edges.

To take pictures, place him in a small tank ; 1/2 - 1g. Let him settle then put a mirror next to the tank, either left/right or opposite to the camera. Take a shot when his dorsal is open (when attacking, dorsal will lean back).
 

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Its hard for me to see rays, my males tail is same color, but I find it so hard to find the 'branching'
Sometimes it is hard even for those of us who know what we're looking for. That's why it's best to take lots of pictures and try to count from there. When counting the ray's for a "ray count", you'd want to find one branch and then go to the edge of the tail and count the rays in that single branch. Here's one of the pics I posted earlier in the thread. The ones that are numbered come from a single branch, granted yes, this is an HMPK so it's much easier to see but that's also why it makes a good reference picture ^_^

 

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+1 lil
Take a picture of your flaring guy. Count the rays and memorize what his live form looks like. Keep doing this and Eventually you will get used to it and can guess how many rays certain forms have.
 

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Well... He flared once and kept moving so I didn't get a decent picture. He won't flare at the mirror again. :/

Idt these will help much
 

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On most of his branches he's 4 rays but looks like the middle goes to 6 or he has a random ray. Sometimes the ray splits only on one side and you get an odd number of rays versus the nice even numbers we want.

Here's a good depiction of that. Do you see that one really random ray that is poking out near the top middle of his caudal? That's a Random Ray and undesirable in breeding and showing. Of course, it makes it worse that he's a PKCT and it's very obvious versus an HM that has a lot of rays and so it can be disguised on him.
 
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