So you want to breed bettas: Responsible Breeding

  • #1
What is Unethical Breeding?
There are so many bettas dying on pet store shelves all over the world, backyard betta breeders who are breeding for no other reason then just to give it a try, or who are just trying to making a quick buck are practicing unethical breeding, and are doing nothing but contributing to the problem of the over population of betta fish.

Before you decide you want to breed your bettas ask yourself the following questions:

-Are my bettas quality stock from a professional breeder, or genetic mutts purchased from a pet store? - The truth of the matter is pet store bettas are mass bred, they have unknown genetics and are just not as strong health wise as a carefully bred betta from a professional breeder.

-Have I carefully researched the breeding process and all of the proper equipment and cost associated with breeding bettas? - Breeding bettas takes careful research, lots of equipment, space and money, if you can not afford to do it properly, then you should not try to do it at all.

Am I willing to Cull? - Culling means to kill. All professional breeders are willing to cull fry that are weak, deformed, or have poor finnage, form or color. That is how they're lines stay so strong and healthy, they only keep the ones alive that are problem free.

What is my reason for breeding? - Why do you want to breed? Professional breeders breed with a goal in mind, they want to breed to help enhance a species, to make it stronger. Some betta breeders make focus on specific colorations, others may focus on perfect form, but none of them breed just to breed. If you want to breed just for fun, or if you're trying to make money on it, they breeding is probably not a good idea for you.

Should I Breed?

Look at the following questions carefully and answer them honestly to yourself

If you answer YES to most of the following then breeding might be a good idea for you:

-Have a thoroughly researched the breeding of bettas?

-Do I have all of the proper equipment needed to breed, including but not limited to the following:
- A Proper sized spawning tank
- A Proper sized grow out tank for the fry (10 gallon minimum)
- Heaters
- Live cultures of microworms, vinegar eels, and Baby brine shrimp
- A sponge filter for the growout tank

-Do I have enough room to potentially house 100+ betta fry when they are big enough and have to be seperated?

-Do I have a breeding goal in mind?

-Am I breeding quality stock from a professional breeder?

-Am I willing to cull if necessary?

-Do I have a plan for the fry once they are grown, that doesn't involve giving them to a petstore?

Now if you answer YES to one or more of the following questions then breeding might not be a good idea for you:

-Do I want to breed just for the fun of it?

-Do I want to breed to try and make money?

-Do I have limited space for tanks?

-Do I have limited funds?

-Am I breeding pet store bettas?

-Do I hate the thought of culling?

-Do I plan on just giving my fry to a local pet store once they have grown old enough?

Please breed responsibly!!!
  • #2
Thanks for the great advice.
I'm sure it will help people considering to breed bettas!
Its great how here on fishlore people will post really helpful threads to help others
Thanks again
  • #3
I don't agree with the culling statement. You don't have to cull the weaker ones just to keep lines strong - you just don't breed them. You find them homes, place them in a different area of the house, etc.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Sometimes culling is a necessary evil. I'm not saying it needs to be done all the time, but should the need arise you need to make sure that you're willing to do it. If fry are deformed and won't be able to live a healthy, comfortable life, its best to cull them.
  • #5
Yes, I should have mentioned that, I do think it would be ok if the fry is so deformed the quality of life is markedly diminished or will surely die.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I think you're right I need to re-write what I wrote, It doesn't sound how I meant it too, lol. I don't think a fish should be culled if its just not pretty enough, and that's what it sounds like.
  • #7
I think this is a very helpful thread. Maybe it should be a sticky!
  • #8
Great job!! I think this should be stickied as well!
  • #9
One thing I don't get: there is breeding amongst siblings. Wouldn't that WEAKEN the health of a carefully bred one? There are plenty of instances among breeding in other species (Cats dogs) where incest produced less than desirable offspring.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Many breeders line breed to keep the genetics known, so the lines keep producing what they want to produce, but yes it does result in some deformities and weakening of the fish. But when cross a betta to a non sibling you'll get a lot of unknowns colorwise, finnage wise, ect.
  • #11
Oh, I understand that, and I'm not arguing, I was just wondering because you said they were healthier than "pet store mutts" (which my bettas are so I'm biased ) but I mean if the mutts weren't exposed to awful conditions, wouldn't they be heartier? And therefore, healthier?
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Bettas from petstores are the product of 2 random bettas being thrown together and bred, they are mass bred, kind of like a puppy mill. A dog might be a purebred, but puppies that come from puppy mills tend to have problems because of the conditions and because they're mass produced. The breeder doesn't take anything into account (genetics, possible defects in the parents, age of the parents, ect.)

Bettas that are carefully bred from a breeder are the best, they are carefully bred, and selected. They're parents have been carefully selected, only the best are chosen to carry on the lines.
  • #13
it was my understanding that fish don't carry the gene that is there in humans for weakening of the fish when bred to siblings .. ? and that deformities are there b/c the egg was just a weak one to begin with, or it didn't get the prime conditions the other eggs may have?
  • #14
You may not see problems when spawning a fish back to one of the original parents, but over time doing it over and over again generation after generation you will start to see problems. Deformities, poor coloring, etc.

  • #15
you neverrrrrr HAVE to cull you just don't breed them. what if you were missing an arm or something and your parents just tossed you in the garbage I don't cull unless he I s suffering soooooooooooooooooooooo much that he won't eat, breath ect.
  • #16
that is what Kylie is saying - obvious deformities that affect the fish health (I believe anyway)

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