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Before you breed your pet store bettas.

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#1 elise


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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:36 PM

This is an issue that comes up ALL the time on UB, so I think it's about time to have a pinned topic on it.

Most, if not all of us, got our first betta from a pet store. They are beautiful fish and have great personalities... why not breed him/her? In fact, there are many reasons why this is often not a good idea. Here are some things to consider before you breed your fish.
  • Many bettas sold in pet stores (usually just the males, but sometimes the females too) are either past or at their breeding prime. After the age of about one year, the risk of deformities and/or weak fry increases. How long have you had the bettas you want to breed? If they were 6-12 months of age (like most males are in pet stores) when you first got them, how old are they now?
  • The genetic background of pet store bettas cannot be known (besides the obvious based on their appearance). Pet stores bettas come from mass-producers/suppliers (unless yours is an exceptional mom-and-pop place and gets fish from private breeders which is usually not the case) so they are not at all carefully bred. What if your bettas carry genes that result in many deformed fry? Are you prepared to deal with this?
  • One spawn can and often does result in hundreds of betta fry. Are you prepared to raise that many babies to adulthood? Do you have live food, a big enough growout tank, and enough jars if at least half of them are male?
  • Pet store fish (namely veiltails and crowntails) are not, by any means, in great demand. Many pet stores' shelves are filled with bettas rotting in their little cups because they get more in than people buy. People are usually not willing to pay to have pet store fish shipped to them, so you will need to find homes locally. Selling to pet stores is not recommended because this is just contributing to the "betta-in-a-cup" industry that we all know and hate. Do you know enough people to give your fry to? Or do you live near a good pet store to give them to? Do you trust this pet store with your babies, and are you willing to chance what kind of homes they end up in?
There are many places to get a good quality pair for breeding. Look in the classifieds here on UB, and on aquabid.com. If you do not have the means of getting a pair from a breeder, I suggest that you hold off on breeding bettas until you can... it will be worth it! :)

edit: Added 4/07 on elise's request, from topic "Looked down on?"

"Pedigrees" and "elitism" are not the reason people discourage breeding VTs - it is because the market is inundated with them, from very poorly bred stock, so finding homes for fry and creating healthy offspring is almost impossible - making breeding unethical. Veil tails do basically come from the puppy mills of the fish world. They can indeed be bred in better conditions since many are essentially farmed, but there is little regard for genetics or health. They come to stores thin, stressed, parasitized, ill - and it only goes down hill from there due to the conditions in most stores. Many have swim bladder issues, deformities, tail biting behavior, and other earmarks of poor breeding, and most are past breeding age, meaning a high chance of deformed fry. What's more, because you do not know the lineage, you don't know if the colorations will be disreable, if the sire or dam throw a high % of deformities, if the father was an egg eater or a tail biter, etc.
The other issue is that, while VTs are popular pets, you must consider how they are popular. Are they popular to keep in a dirty half gallon vase eating roots until they die? Yup. Are they popular to keep in a cold bowl on a windowsill in a dorm until some idiot pours vodka in the tank at a party? Yup. Are they popular as wedding centerpieces, getting sent home to attendees who do not want or know how to care for fish? Yup. Are they popular among disturbed youths to fight? Yup. Are they so popular that every pet store has hundreds of them dying in neglect while they are mass-marketed to a public that is largely mis-informed about their care, so that maybe one in that hundred actually gets a good home and the rest are mistreated? YUP. Is that the kind of life you want for any fish you breed, or would you rather breed tail types that only true enthusiasts go for to ensure a knowledgeable, dedicated home?
Just like you wouldn't breed your dog, horse, or rabbit unless you knew the background of its parents and grandparents, had it tested for any genetic illnesses, knew it was an appropriate age and health to breed, and knew you could find good homes, you want to be responsible when breeding bettas. As far as I am concerned, breeding pet store VTs is like buying a cockapoo and a puggle from some seedy pet store and breeding them.
Is there anything inherently wrong with the fish themselves? Absolutely not! They are beautiful, spirited, have a ton of personality, and make great pets. But is there something inherently wrong with irresponsible breeding practices that contribute to an industry where they are overwhelmingly abused? Definately.

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#2 RandomWiktor


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Posted 01 February 2007 - 01:19 PM

Thanks so much for posting this elise! Great (and TRUE) info.

#3 Betta_Girl


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Posted 01 February 2007 - 01:45 PM


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Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:07 PM

Very nice! Good job, elsie. :ty:

#5 Jols


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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:02 PM

GREAT post! :)

#6 caldella


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Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:03 PM

Very nice. This kind of information is relavent for any species of animal. *nod nod* People so often think it'll be "fun" and "cute" to have baby animals in the house, without truly looking into the responsibilities it would entail. This goes for cats, dogs, horses, hamsters, Bettas, and everything else.

#7 bettabu



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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:27 PM

Elise, thanks for the info! smile1.gif I'm wanting to start breeding and was going to go to the local pet store, but I think I'll wait now. Is it really safe to ship bettas? It seems people do it all the time, but I worry a bit. Also, is shipping expensive? I'll look around at other topics here on UB, too. Thanks!

#8 Stacy


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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:44 PM

It is very safe to ship bettas. I bought a pair of half moon plakats from Thailand and everything went smoothly and they arrived in great condition! I worried until I actually did it, and now that I have done it, its very easy.

If you ship bettas, you will want to ship express. Priority is too much of a risk. Almost all sellers have a life arrival guarantee for express shipping too, so is something does happen, you are covered. Priority supposedly takes 2-3 days, which is ok for a betta, but the chances of the box getting lost, misplaced, or exposed to temperature extremes are far to great. Its worth paying more for express with the piece of mind you won't be getting a box full of fish death soup.

I used Jennifer Vivieros as a transhipper. Her website is www.luvmybetta.com and she explains everything there is to know about the transshipping process. She was wonderful when I used her as a transhipper, and I was a nervous, first time customer.

#9 MountainBettas



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Posted 18 August 2007 - 03:43 PM

Wow Elise, GREAT JOB tup1.gif Woah...not saying that I'd stop breeding veils, but wow, you did do a great job...gosh that might even change my mind. GGGREEAAT job, Elise, *claps* GREAT JOB!

Edited by MountainBettas, 18 August 2007 - 03:44 PM.

#10 Guest_Cid_*

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:05 AM

I agree.. and i just needed to add...

Even if you think you can afford the fish to be brought in (In canada the cost is retarded somtimes) just be aware of how much work it is to keep these fish in good shape in order to be sellable... Especially if you want to work with CT or HM...

you need to be home to feed often, live foods.. which arnt pretty.. LOL Lots of waterchanges.. which takes hours.

Just the experience i had.. I am compleatly pro learning... but there is a big responciblility when it comes to live fish or any animal.

from my point of view.. the fish that come from our wholesaler are in great shape and i know many stores in my area order from the same people. Its the care of the store where they all seem to go to hell. Not always the mass breeder.

#11 Alanna


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Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:11 PM

I just wanted to say thank you, nearly a year after I first read this post. Being smacked around with the "don't breed VT" bat finally worked, and it inspired me to get my first two breeding pairs from Thailand. I'll name one of the babies I keep Elise. smile1.gif

#12 Pam S

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 11:10 PM

Respectfully Alanna,

I do like the fish you have purchased from Aquabid..

It is my opinion that no one should feel pressured to put out $100 for a pair or so of bettas before they try spawning or breeding them..

Quality of bettas is determined by a group of people that set what is called a standard.. and most of the original members of this group began with veils..

Its only a difference in fin design.. just like buying different types of Toyotas..

And buying fish off of Aquabid doesn't guarantee you quality..

Pam ..
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