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Deformed Bettas


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#25 glasshaven

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:58 PM

Maryanne, I took the color example he gave as something generic, just for example purposes. I don't know my elbow from my armpit when it comes to breeding for color, so having it simplified as it were gave me direction through the basic color chart :)

What you did say at the end though does give me pause back to my personal belief of why it can be important to work on new lines- not just improving upon or compounding the existing ones.

#26 Maryanne

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

I was just commenting on Dimidata's assertion that red x blue will give you different genetic outcomes depending on whether you get them from a breeder or a pet store. This just isn't really true. There have been many studies over the years to pinpoint betta color genetics and identify how those genetics work together. You can use these known genetics to predict what will result from a pairing of two fish. Even if half of the genes are unknown due to them being from a pet store AND displaying all dominant phenotypes, you still have AT LEAST half of the known genes to work with. (This applies mostly to color genetics, not spinal deformities or bad form conformation).

Knowing and understanding the known genetic patterns and interactions is crucial to anyone breeding bettas. Once you understand all that is currently known on the genetic side of things, and once you know what a good fish looks like in form, finnage, and color, you can properly choose which fish to work with in your lines and which fish to cull.
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#27 Synirr

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

The bottom line is that most of the fish I see in this thread aren't show quality. I wouldn't go so far as to say "deformed", but they do resemble the pet quality animals they came from in many respects, and I think that is the problem that people are having with them. These 2 are the best in my eyes:
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Both still have a more rounded back than I like to see, but the finnage shape and proportions are pretty good. I've seen many fish comparable to these at IBC shows, but the others still have a long way to go, either because of poor body, finnage, or color conformation. There's nothing wrong with that -- even the best spawns typically produce only a very small percentage of show quality fish -- but you can't really take offense when people point out what are obvious faults. The best breeders are happy to accept criticism and work to improve their fish, which is why entering fish in IBC shows is such a great experience, because you have the opportunity to receive feedback from judges with years and years of experience in the hobby.

BTW Irchin, I hope you do not think I am picking on you... I don't know if you even intend on ever showing these fish. They are lovely and healthy, but you did ask for opinions, and that is mine.
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#28 Irchin

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:59 PM

I'm sorry I've been so busy the last two days. I've had to get up at 5:50 to be in Branson by 7:00 and back home at 9 or 10. The conversations have been absolutely amazing and a lot of them are on the mark as far as what I've been trying to do and not been able to put into words. I've been afraid to say anything for fear of jinxing it. I welcome critisizm and thanks to those that actually gave it and not just a jab at me personally. I think a few of those were gotten out of the way quickly. @ CM I apoligize for coming off so brashly and Random, I don't refute your judgement of petstore Bettas for beginners and understand where you are coming from after re-reading your opinion and thinking about what it was like when I started breeding Bettas 40 some years ago. Trying to make people happy and breed what THEY want and at the same time what I want and what the IBC standards are is a bit of a juggling act. I sell quite a few of my Bettas to breeders all across the US for the colors and tailtypes I keep. There must be something there that I'm doing right for other breeders and sellers on Aquabid to be buying from me. I wanted to start showing my Bettas last season but was struggling financially and mentally. I say mentally because I was torn between moving to my property where I am now and losing my mobile home and being a half hour away from family or lose my Bettas and my property I've been paying on for 4 years. The Bettas won out and I plan to start sending them to shows next month. I have some, (for me) exciting spawns growing out that should be ready by then. I've been scared to enter them in the past but I just need to take that first step. Here's a sneak peek. These are 2 & 1/2 to 4 month olds and I have 5 weeks until the next show so I'm hoping they'll be fully developed by then.
Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted ImageThanks for following this thread and I hope you enjoyed it.
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#29 RandomWiktor

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:40 AM

I appreciate this post, Irchin. :thumbup:

And to clarify, in no way are were attempting to smugly look down our noses here at people working to develop their own lines; that is never what UB aims to be about. I fully understand that one can work and develop almost any genetic line and eventually get to a place of quality. However, the majority of the people on this site are newer hobbyists, newer breeders, and are thinking more along the lines of "Ooh, purdy!" than the connotations of their breeding efforts. Because we strive to promote responsible husbandry here, we follow a similar line of thinking to many other animal breeding communities: quality foundation stock from a responsible breeder (responsible being the key word, not "aquabid breeder," not "IBC breeder," but someone who not only breeds and sells fish, but demonstrates knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment to a high standard of heath and quality) is most desired.

If I may relate a personal story: I have always been enamored with fancy mice, and have also always wanted to breed them. I especially look up to Barbara at The Fun Mouse, who upholds an EXTREMELY high standard for breeding. Now that I am breeding feeders for my reptiles, I've seen some gorgeous colors and great temperaments emerge in my lines. I had been half-considering selecting for a specific color type, and developing it into a quality line. However in this instance, more consideration made me realize that the degree of inbreeding in that color type, and the fact that the same line also threw a large % of brindles - which are beautiful, but also generally suffer from gene-linked obesity that kills them at a young age - also struck me problematic. These mice also do not have adequate form to show in the RMFA, and while there is a "fancy" as opposed to "show" class, I considered the breeders I'd met at some of the shows I've been to, and realized I'd rather start with excellent stock than feeder stock, because while the latter is feasible to produce quality from with a ton of work, it was not necessarily the best thing for my mice or for potential customers - and man, I had a BUNCH of people interested in buying when they saw photos of some of my mice! I ultimately have decided to continue breeding for their intended purpose (nourishing other critters), and simply keeping a few that I like as pampered pets.

TL;DR: Where I'm going with is, I totally understand the allure of developing one's lines, and understand that it can be done with sufficient time and effort. I also, however, wouldn't reccomend to a general mouse hobbyist that they breed pet store or feeder stock as a general rule.
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#30 Cuttlefish

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:12 PM

Your fish are beautiful and you obviously know what you're doing with their care, and, yes, their breeding. Ditto what RW said. It's just a general rule of not using pet store stock (and in RW's case with the mice, feed stock) but we aren't saying that there can't be exceptions with someone knowledgeable enough to tease out the qualities they want and dilute the qualities and the flaws they don't want. Unfortunately most people are not and it just adds more unwanted bettas to the trade in the process of breeding them.

I can't speak for everyone else, but it's more your combativeness that bothered me in your latest series of posts then your knowledge and your results. The bettas in your latest post definitely have much better shape than the ones shown previously. If they were to develop colors as radiant as the ones shown earlier you could have something competitive there.
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#31 Spitfire Betta

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:02 AM

If you look around this forum you will find that many people here dislike breeding of pet store Betta's. Doesn't matter that all of the lines that we all love so much started in pet stores. Logic has nothing to do with it, it's an emotionally based argument with no bases in reality. I think your fish look great and to be honest, had you not told these people they were pet store stock, they probably wouldn't have said anything to you about it. However because you did tell the truth it makes you a target for people who like to tell others how to live their lives or who like to belittle people they don't like or agree with. This is not a forum that you should care what the majority of people think. Many are very very young and lack the knowledge base to make an accurate judgment of your fish. Others may view you as competition and still talk trash as competing business often do. So, in reality all you have is your opinion and the opinion of your client base and truthfully they are the only people who matter anyway. Good luck regardless and keep up the good work!!

#32 Synirr

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:27 PM

Others may view you as competition and still talk trash...

Constructive criticism is not trash-talking. If one had the desire to sabotage competition, I would think that NOT giving pointers would be the best way to go about it :coverlaff:

All of the lines that we love so much came from fighter-bred stock originally, but we don't advocate that here, either.

#33 Spitfire Betta

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:05 PM

Constructive criticism is not trash-talking. If one had the desire to sabotage competition, I would think that NOT giving pointers would be the best way to go about it :coverlaff:

All of the lines that we love so much came from fighter-bred stock originally, but we don't advocate that here, either.


Unfortunately, I don't feel that a couple years worth of breeding Betta's qualify enough to cast judgment nor to offer any constructive criticism. That's just the blind leading the blind. If someone on here has 10 years or more please step up and provide some constructive criticism. Anything less is amateur, especially considering many top breeders have been breeding Betta's for their entire lives. I can see why someone as young as you would think that way though. Youth has a tendency to blind a person to the reality of hard earned experience gained from years and years of hard work, mistakes and challenges. Youth has this way of making us think we know everything AND that we should tell everyone that they are wrong and we are right. Every parent knows this.
If I wanted someone's advice on my Betta's, I would go to someone who has proven they are capable of giving advice in the first place and one of those qualifications is that you be a professional Betta breeder with years and years of experience breeding and showing Betta's. Even more importantly I want to know if they have cultivated their own line because this is very important when it comes to knowledge base. For example, I bought my dog from a guy that had been breeding dogs for over 25 years and his father was breeding the same dogs before him. That guy is the guy with the experience to give advice. Not some know it all 25 year old kid with a couple years of experience breeding and a Mod Status on a forum. This is real life and real life requires real life advice so excuse me for not taking your online status as credibility.

Many of the arguments placed on this forum are so far removed from real life and practically that it's actually humorous. My city wanted dogs and cats to stop being sold in stores and guess what? We passed a law to prevent it in under a year. If you want pet stores to stop carrying Betta's passing laws is the way to change it. Not harping on someone who breeds pet store Betta. I find it hilarious that ANYONE places blame on hobby breeders for pet store abuse. Talk about misplaced aggression. It's a symptom of your youth and inability to see the big picture. If people passed laws to not allow pet stores to abuse Betta, you would see your dreams of the end of Betta's being abused in small cups. However if you keep passing that blame off to random people who breed their pet store stock, you do nothing to help your cause. As far as I am concerned it's all a bunch of ego, just a bunch of young kids acting like they care about something but doing nothing about it. Just a lot of complaining and wasted energy.

#34 Solitarianknight

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:07 PM

This is not a forum that you should care what the majority of people think. Many are very very young and lack the knowledge base to make an accurate judgment of your fish.


First read my signature then remember that The mojority of the people here are betta lovers who help other people and give their FREE time to help others out. Nobody has any reason to sabotoge anyone here, were not paid in anyway except knowing that the betta fish we helped are in good conditions.

As to irchin, im sorry if my posts came off jab-ish, those fish you just posted look very nice indeed. Good luck with your lines.

#35 Synirr

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:41 PM

Admittedly I don't have the experience of someone of the ripe old age of 28, but I have created my own lines and had fish from those lines place in show. I've attended many IBC shows, where I had the opportunity to speak with breeders and judges and ask their advice on my fish in person. I also have experience breeding 6 different wild species (and that is just the bettas.)

This thread isn't about me though, and it isn't about you either, Spitfire. The OP asked for the opinions of the members of this board. I'm going to go ahead and close this, and if you have a problem, you are welcome to take it up with me in PM.
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#36 RandomWiktor

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:49 PM

As a note to Spitfire and anyone else who may be reading this thread: Ageism is not tolerated on this forum, whatsoever. Suggesting that it is impossible for someone to have knowledge on a subject based on their age alone is prejudicial and ignorant. Frankly, I think you have some gall coming to this forum, blatantly insulting its culture and its members, and doing so on the basis of something as frivolous as age when you are in about the same age group as the majority of our staff and members.

Similarly, while years in the hobby can certainly indicate experience, they do not automatically imply knowledge. I speak to people at my work every day who have been keeping fish for ten, twenty, thirty years... and are operating on outdated information, caring for their fish improperly, and have never had a single fish live its full lifespan (or have never KEPT a fish its full lifespan). Heck, just today an older fellow who had been keeping fish since he was "just a boy" was telling me all about his awesome 20g aquarium of fancy goldfish and angelfish, which lived "over five years" and got "a good four inches long." Experienced in owning fish? Yes. In caring for fish in an appropriate manner with adequate considerations for their health, wellness and welfare? Absolutely not.

FTR, if you spent more time reading our forum than judging it, you might notice that there is routinely criticism of deficits in form re: bettas from breeders, both on Aquabid and in the IBC - not just individuals breeding pet store stock. We are not on some lofty crusade against breeding pet store bettas, but rather we oppose irresponsible breeding practices, which includes the breeding of faulty fish, and fish that were not sourced from someplace reputable. If I saw fish with hunched backs or uneven lobes on aquabid or on the site of an IBC breeder, I'd take just as much issue with those animals being bred as I would ones from pet store stock. Frankly, I find it a little counterintuitive that you deem experienced, responsible breeders as the go-to source for information, but not for stock.

At any rate: if advocating responsible breeding practices makes us out of touch, fringe wackos or naive children, you could say the same of ANY animal husbandry community that advocates the same. The breeder of that dog you bought with 25 years experience behind him likely advocates responsible breeding and would get his hackles raised over someone breeding an inbred puppy milled dog from Petland.

Finally, members of this site DO advocate for the welfare of pet store bettas, constantly; the opposition to breeding pet store stock is wholly unrelated to the issue of how bettas are treated in stores, and rather has to do with questioning the viability of mass-produced fish as suitable stock. This is your misunderstanding of what we are driving at, not our misunderstanding of "the big picture." This site overall is about responsible fish care, which is what you do not seem to be grasping - focusing instead on one of the many facets thereof.

However, if you would call our views youthful ignorance, I'm curious of what would you call the suggestion that laws being passed to protect the welfare of bettas in stores is a remote likelihood? Fish are not even legally deemed animals in the United States; that makes passing welfare legislation for them just a wee bit tricky. Comparing support for fish welfare to dog/cat welfare laws is utterly laughable; dogs and cats enjoy a completely different status in our society than fish and have widespread public support - public support being fairly important to things like passing laws.

What our advocates HAVE achieved is a tremendous deal of public education, as well as focused letter writing and phone call efforts that have resulted in improvements to the welfare of pet store betta care; heck, a major chain retailer of pets changed its care guides to reflect accurate information on appropriate temperature ranges for bettas thanks to the members of our site. Individuals have also created networks to provide homes for homeless bettas, opened sanctuaries that have fostered and adopted out culls, and have orchestrated with pet stores to ensure that sick fish are removed and receive proper care. With all due respect, in the short time you've been on your site, I don't think you have the experience (I know how you value as much) to comment on what UltimateBettas.com does insofar as putting its money where its mouth is.

However, if you do feel that we are a fundamentally childish, idealistic forum with no basis for advising folks on proper betta care, I certainly invite you to seek someplace else with a broader knowledge base and older members that better suit your fancy, rather than hanging about here insulting ours.
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