selecting breeding stock
how to choose wisely
When it is time to select your breeding pair. Well, I hate to break the news to you, but unless you have quality breeding stock to start with, you will NEVER produce any quality bettas. Considering the fact that it takes the same amount of time, space, money and work to raise a crop of crappy bettas or one of splendid specimens, it seems obvious (well, at least to ME LOL) that breeding quality stock is wiser. It is also easier to give away, trade, sell quality bettas than it is to unload bettas that look like Quasimodo (you know, the Hunchback of Notre Dame) on a bad day :). In short, make your life easier and a little more spent upfront will go a looong way. So here is some advice as to how to select good breeding stock, and the do and don't of purchasing bettas for breeding purposes. Listen to mother: I know best.
Avoid pet store bettas like the plague. I have covered the topic in length in my very first Bettatalk Radio show, so here is a little synopsis for those of you who missed it: Pet store bettas are not suitable breeders for many reasons, but here are just a few:
So do yourself and the betta hobby a BIG favor and don't propagate bad pet store betta genes.
flashier bettas. As I said above, only younger
bettas are suitable breeders and most often, the younger the better.
Young bettas may not look very striking, as they have not yet
had a chance to blossom and to grow striking finnage. They are
usually much smaller than adult bettas. The beginner breeder may not
know how to pick breeders and will automatically go for the larger
flashier bettas, not understanding he or she is making a mistake in
doing so. Seasoned breeders will always go for young, smaller pairs.
Hence if you spot the photo of a male with big fins on a site, you
should run as fast as you can in the opposite direction! Hugh. Wise
Buffalo has spoken.
Pick the proper size breeders. If your male is big, then pick a big female. But if he is small then you must find a suitably sized female for him. The rule is the female should be of equal or lesser size then the male. Never bigger. Do not worry about the female being "full with eggs" this is just a bunch of #@*! and all females will produce eggs, whether they look big or not. Sometimes, a female that is "full of eggs" will actually become a problem for the male who can no longer wrap around her properly, resulting in failure to fertilize the eggs (duh).
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Always buy at least two pairs of each strain. Hey!! Here is another concept that seems to never sink in. What do I have to do to make you listen? Hammer it in? Yeah? OK. Here it goes. Repeat after me:
" I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain, I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain"
Howz that? Huh? What did I hear you say? Did I just hear you say that maybe you could just be ok with only one pair because... STOP! I don't want to know what kind of lame excuse you have come up with to justify cutting corners once again and shooting yourself in the footsie!! Obviously you were not listening a moment ago so you will write down 100 times for next week :
"I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain"
That should cure you. (I hope?)
:) seriously, here are a few reasons why it is imperative to
purchase more than just one pair of any strain at one time:
As you can see, for all above reasons, it just makes sense to grab two pairs always. See? Aren't you glad you repeated "I will always buy at least two pairs of each strain" a billion times? :)
Buy ONLY from a reputable breeder. Buy only from a knowledgeable, reputable, established, experienced, ethical, seasoned IBC breeder. I cover this in the next section so visit the selecting a seller page so to avoid common mistakes.