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Learn How To Evaluate Your Betta's Form and Finnage Here

93198 Views 138 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  indjo
Hello all!
I'm really interested in learning how to critique bettas. So I thought maybe I would make a thread where people can post pictures of bettas (even if they're just random ones off Google) and other people can critique them. This would give the opportunity for betta showing newbies (like me) to get used to identifying positive and negative traits in betta splendens.

Best pic for critiquing are flaring. Always embed; do not link. If you use a host and close that account the photos will disappear. That is why so many here are now gone.

Edit: This thread is to help YOU learn to critique your own Betta so you will be better equipped when you go to buy your next one. If you want someone else to do it post in Betta Pictures. All posts asking for straight-out critiques will be removed. All posts with photos that that are no longer visible have been moved. RTST
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This is my blue and yellow bi-color marble HM male. Critique away!

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This blue and yellow bicolor HM female is related and one of two girls that I'd like to pair him with: *This is an older pic and she's filled out quite a bit in recent months to look, I think, even better--need to get new pics.

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Oh my gawd that boy is a show stopper. Only real flaws I can see is that his anal is a bit too long, and his ventrals I guess could be better, otherwise he's VERY nice form wise
Whoa love that guy! As sharkettelaw1 pointed out, anal is a bit long and vents not perfect. The first dorsal ray looks pretty stubby to me, and the whole dorsal seems to point back instead of forward. Still I adore him - his pattern is stunning.
Oh my gawd that boy is a show stopper. Only real flaws I can see is that his anal is a bit too long, and his ventrals I guess could be better, otherwise he's VERY nice form wise
Whoa love that guy! As sharkettelaw1 pointed out, anal is a bit long and vents not perfect. The first dorsal ray looks pretty stubby to me, and the whole dorsal seems to point back instead of forward. Still I adore him - his pattern is stunning.

Thanks guys! And yeah, his slightly over-long anal fin is what I see as his biggest flaw so will def be working on that. Ventrals could be a bit better but they're not too terrible, the very first dorsal ray is definitely stubby but all the others are nice and long. My plan is to use him to start a blue/yellow bicolor HM line and bring DT in as well.
Here's a link to an excellent thread regarding exactly how to evaluate CTs--very detailed w/pics and examples and everything:
Most CT's are only 2 rayed and there are variations to it which include: Double Ray, Single, and Crossray. Then the 4 rayed CT's are called Double Double Rays (DDR). There have been more rayed CT's as they were bred with other tail types but those are the common ones.

Here's an image depicting:

And here's a DDR or 4 Ray CT. You ideally don't want ray's to be this thin.

Here is a good thread about CT's by one of our great breeders:
EDIT: whoops, didn't see that Laurenie posted that already!

Here is more about ray's:

This is an image someone on BF made a long time ago when looking for basic form in HM's.
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Peduncle is the end of the body where the tail attaches to.

For colorations, I don't know exactly what IBC wants for everything, someone from the IBC would have to answer that or you can join ;-) However, there are some things I do know. But Coloration is a much bigger topic since there are so many variations!

If you have a Butterfly, the color needs to be clean and separate from each other; no bleeding at all!

Ignoring form at the moment, here is a good butterfly. See how the blue and the white are completely separate? Over time, that will change but for this moment, this is good.

This one is a messy or bad Butterfly. See how the reddish is bleeding into the white and there are splotches of red in the white as well? The red is also not solid red, it's red and pink colored. This is actually a pink Salamander, but still not a great Salamander

Salamander is the next, it's similar to BF but the body color is different from the fins (whereas a Red Butterfly is red body, red fins with different colored band around the outside). The body color should bleed into the fin colors and then there is a solid fin color with a BF band around the outside, should still be clean band. So the most common Sally's are blue body with red head and red fins with a white band.

Here is a good Sally. See the red head (not necessary but common), the blue scales lay over top the red. The blue bleeds into the fins but a good chunk of the red is still showing. And a nice white band around all the fins

This guy, while nice, doesn't show as much red. I'm not sure if that's a technical fault in IBC shows, but for a good Salamander, you want to see more red or whatever color is it on them, than that

Though most Salamander's are that color up there, some also look like this:
His blue doesn't bleed much, but that's okay.

Here is a Red Copper Salamander

Salamander's were based off of Mustard Gases in the beginning. The creator wanted them also to be called Mustard Gas which would then just be a coloration of: body being different from the fins with a BF band around it. This is what the original MG's looked like:

AquaBid tends to screw up MG's the most. MG's HAVE to have yellow fins with some sort of band around the fins. Common ones are Blue body, yellow fins and either black or blue band. As far as IBC, again, I'm not sure which of these is acceptable and which isn't.
This is what you want to see on MG's. However, the band is incomplete on the anal fin, that's not good. The band should go all the way around the fins

Despite what he's being called, this is not a MG. Most of the "MG's" you see on AquaBid are like this. A blue fish with a yellow wash in the fins, that is not an MG

Neither is this boy, just because there is yellow in the fins does not make it automatically an MG

There is also Copper Gas now, again, not sure of the status of the IBC but I'd assume it's accepted by now since it's been a few years. But it's the same thing as MG but instead of blue, it's copper. Here was one of my old boys:
He had the black band, though it was small. His copper color bleeds a little

Black Copper Gas (where the body under color is black like this one, it becomes Black Copper instead of just Copper)

A nice fairly clean Copper Gas

And there is also a Purple Gas, same rules apply. This one isn't as good since the purple color bleeds

And then there are bicolors. A lot of fish mistaken for MG's are actually yellow blue bicolors. If there is no band around the outside of the fins, it is not an MG but now a bicolor. A bicolor should have a solid body color and solid fins, color should not bleed between fins and body.

This is an example of bleeding, see how there is blue in his dorsal fin and caudal? You don't want that there ideally. This is a messy coloring

Here is a good Bicolor! Teeny bit of bleed but not bad at all

Another decent bicolor

As far as what is good messy and what is bad messy, all coloration types I believe can be shown, you just may be marked off for not having the right colors. I'm not sure if there is a Variation class for colorations or anything.

If you want me to tell you about a specific coloration, I can do that for most of them. I don't know what is accepted as far as marbles go but I'm sure most are accepted.
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I know that took a lot of time to prepare-- thank you so much for doing that for us! Very, very helpful!
I did some looking to try to figure the color thing out, and here's what I am coming away with for color types recognized in Area 1 IBC:

Light bodied solid (ex: Yellow)
Dark bodied solid (ex: Red, Black, Blue)
Marble / Grizzle

Anything that does not fit in those categories would be shown in Division E: Breeders Division, in E1: Color or Form Variations

For example: Orange Dalmatian has no color category. It would go into E1, and must be entered with a clear description of what the breeder is intending so that it can be judged accordingly.

Salamander and MG would typically go into either bicolor or multicolor, depending. Salamander MIGHT go into Variations, instead. There's no "gas" category recognition. That's just a trade name .. makes the fish seem more exciting, so that they sell. No different than calling a yellow and black marble a "bumblebee."

When you're showing a fish and you're just not sure where to class it, put it in the HELP class (write HELP on the bag), and it will be classed when the fish are getting sorted.
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+1 thanks for that hrutan!
The first two Salamander's I posted aren't actual EE's, they just hold the geno for it. EE is not exclusive to Salamander, but that's where it first came from and it's still a fairly new form so breeders are trying to expand on the colorations. So far there have been many variations; white's, pastel's, MG's, Pineapples, Sally's, Coppers, and I'm sure a few more I'm forgetting.

But yes, you can absolutely have a Salamander without having EE.

Terrible form but he's a Salamander without EE

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Hrutan, thank you so much for your research! Awesome to know!
so the ventrals should be as long as the end of his anal fin right? Also a another noobie question what are split ventrals, I have heard about them but don't really know that they are?
Yes, exactly.

Ventrals should be knife shaped. The split ventral refers to the bottom tip of the fin, it may split off at some point and the ray's split from one another. This is not desirable.

Here is a fish with split ventrals, see the white at the end and how they are split apart? There is no webbing between them? Those are split ventrals

This fish's ventrals are of nice length but should be wider towards the bottom; they taper too much.

Female's ventrals have extended rays (as does the above male). Extended rays are faults.

Ventrals should taper as the blade of a knife; not suddenly come to a point.
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Howabout my boy Orchid?

He's just a pet, I don't plan on breeding or anything, just curious.

I know that his fins are a hotmess, but I think he has a desirable body shape...maybe? lol I'm definitely no expert.
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Phew, you guys are tiring me out lol!

LittleRose, while that's a great picture, he does need to be flaring in order to fully critique him!
this thread is amazing, thank you all for sharing you knowledge, I have learned so much :):)
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Always. I am not as fast as I used to be due to being an admin on two different FB groups, but I am always happy to help. And if I don't answer in a thread you want my input on, send me a PM. I will get an email notification and know to go check.
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