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#1 Tess

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:11 PM

The genetics of dragon bettas is one that’s frequently brought up, so I’d like to compile what we know about them in one spot for easy reference.

To start off, most of the breeders whose articles I’ve read agree that the dragons’ genetics still aren’t fully understood. Many believe that they were initially developed by crossing betta splendens with wild betas that are heavily metallic.

V. Parnell, aka Bettysplendens, crossed betta splendens with imbellis and mahachai a while back to produce what she called her Armadillo line, which also have very heavy layers of metallic iridescence, so reading her article on those should be helpful and interesting to those curious about dragons.

This is the general consensus I've gotten from various breeders' articles and posts: If you breed a dragon to another dragon, all offspring will be dragons, with varying degrees of thickness of the metallic. Crossing a dragon with a non-dragon will yield fish with some of the “dragon scaling”, but not as heavy as a full dragon. You should, in theory, be able to spawn the offspring that show the heaviest dragon scaling, then spawn the best of those, and within a couple of generations get back to dragons.

I have no personal experience with breeding dragons myself (which is about to change, curse you Aquabid), so my information has been gathered here and there from a lot of sources. If anyone has links to resources, knows any of what I’ve posted to be untrue, or would just like to chime in with their own experiences and observations, please speak up.

#2 The KeePer

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

Dragons have bad tail...Dragon have no chance in winning Betta shows.

You have to cross dragon to HM/HMPK to have 180 deg. caudal spread.



#3 Julee

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:51 AM

uh...dragon is not a tail type, but rather a color pattern. Many dragons have excellent form, there was a very nice one on aquabid a few days ago.
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#4 liger

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:22 AM

the above betta is a dragon and i agree with STBL. dragon offspring have good tails too.

#5 Pam S

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:36 AM

I am sure the dragon is more popular and you have more of them in shows in Asia... In fact, the classes of the bettas in the IBC santioned shows in Asia are different... more plakats usually.

I have seen many nice dragons..long fin and short fin.. they are classified as metallics in the U.S... and how well they were colored would have an impact on their placement at a show as well as the coloration on the turquoise that I have.

Dragons were popular a couple of years ago and seem to have a second life.. Its just a betta with a different jacket on.. I saw a traditional dragon the other day.. one of the best traditionals I have seen in a while.. reminded me of the Black by Dong... elegant but strong.

Maybe the people you know breed only for color.. and not for structure..

Pam ..

#6 Nidhoggr

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 07:40 PM

I have a full body HMPK dragon.
His shape is good and his tail is wonderful.
If you show these, what they generally look for is the 'dragon' scales-which are just the opaque iridescent scales on its body.
Saying that, mine would not be a good show fish since he has some of those opaque scales missing (genetically, not from injuries), but he is a good breeder.
The dragon gene is recessive from what I know of, so if you want to keep it clean make sure you breed with other dragons.

dragon male:


female with a bit of dragon, but not full body


#7 AmberH

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 01:18 PM

I am a big fan of dragons. I hope to get some more in the future. I'd like to have one of the white bodied fish with red fins.

#8 OrcaPrincess

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

my OHM Blue dragon is a OHM male his colors are great kind of looks like a black orchid towards the tail.
Posted Image

this is the original picture, but i guess its the flash and lighting for some reason

Edited by OrcaPrincess, 12 September 2009 - 10:55 PM.


#9 Julee

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 05:45 PM

Thats not a dragon...not even close :/

#10 OrcaPrincess

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:12 PM

yep he is, dragons come is all shapes and colors. i think the blightness is throwing you off ..lol

#11 Julee

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:17 PM

Dragons have thicker looking scales, coming in that mettalic silver/goldish, and the occasional blue. The male that Nidhoggr showed is a dragon, your's isn't. Your boy is a black with blue irid, but the irid isn't thick enough to be dragon.
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#12 Maryanne

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:18 PM

I have to agree with Julee. That is a very nice black blue, but the iridescence on his scales is not thick enough to be a dragon. It has nothing to do with his color :)

Here is a blue dragon pair for sale on betty splendens's site for comparison. http://bettysplenden...?articleid=3232
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