We consider this content our guide. It is and always will be the source from which we develop new content ideas and deepen our approach to the world of bettas.
Our strategy for breeding with superior genetic bettas sheds light on the different stages the betta breeder goes through, from beginner to advanced – the one who displays his bettas at self-owned betta shows.
Perhaps you are wondering: “what are superior genetic bettas?”.
Throughout this article we will explore this concept extensively, and you will see that it makes perfect sense.
Vitor Calil Chevitarese is an engineer by profession and his hobby is the selective breeding of bettas since 1965. As the name implies, it is animal breeding focused on improvement. Together with Guilherme Fenselau David, we founded the Betta Project in 2010, and in this article we will tell you more about this idea.
The world of bettas today
The betta, as it is an ornamental fish, has, in selective breeding, as its main objective the development of litters with higher genetic quality, promoting beautiful, healthy and replicable bettas.
However, what has been happening in these 60 years of dealing with bettas is the lack of information on the part of breeders on how to select matrices (or reproducers) of this magnificent ornamental fish. Breeders are throwing themselves into breeding bettas for profit or hobby purposes.
It is important that we make it clear that there have always been breeders concerned with the genetic quality of their work. However, this number is still very small compared to other breeders. Make no mistake, this is not just in Brazil, USA or any other country or region, but worldwide!
The role of selective breeding
How could we together improve the betta squad? Here a brief introductory story. See if you identify!
The aquarist starts by gaining a betta.
Days later the fish dies.
Then he acquires another one, which survives for weeks, if not months.
And now, what's the wish?
Here aquarists are divided: some want to keep the betta as a pet, and others want to go a step further: to know how to reproduce the betta to generate new specimens.
He then decides to buy a female to reproduce them.
But it fails.
He put the couple together in an aquarium and they don't mate, there are fights and even death.
Or they don't fight, but the male doesn't make a nest (each to one side) - that disappointment!
After these phases were overcome, the male mated, but ate the eggs.
Finally, the young were born, but he forgot to produce live food.
As a result, he tried to improvise with powdered food and, of course, the entire litter died of starvation, disappeared from the aquarium as if it had never existed.
At this point, the breeder begins to exchange information about his failures with other breeders, and finally agrees on a way of handling to obtain fingerlings.
He manages to get a few juveniles after a few weeks, then takes them to the adult stage.
He finally lands the hand and begins the process of raising the bettas as normal.
Of course, this does not immunize the breeder against future failures. These will always continue to happen as he deals with the betta.
The next attraction in the world of bettas is the more than natural desire to develop a bloodline.
Here we mark the first stage of the evolutionary path of betta breeding: the desire to obtain beautiful, replicable bettas – bloodline bettas!
But which lineage to develop?
There are so many, each one more beautiful than the other, different, true jewels, not knowing which one to develop. In general, the aquarist wants them all!
Then, he crosses them all with each other, joining the colors and shapes of each one to obtain something different (an alleged new lineage).
But what happens?
He only gets bettas of little beauty, far below what he was expecting. Very disappointing results: common bettas.
From there, the creator arrives at a decisive crossroads: he either gives up or continues.
Now he has countless bettas – more if a hundred of them! -he doesn't know what to do with them and decides to sell them.
He sells to the unwary that this is a new lineage, inventing a name for what he is selling: blue dragon PK DT full mask red yellow marble. This in the first mating, in the F1 generation.
In F2, they are called pink marble black double tail no mask teal blue.
He also notices that, comparing the results obtained in the two generations, there is no similarity between them.
The breeder continues with this work of commercialization - in our view inappropriate and unethical - producing only bettas without any genetic quality, some of them even beautiful, but in an impossible way to develop a beautiful work with selective breeding techniques, we mark the second stage of the evolutionary path: the creator decides to continue, persist, even facing these problems. He starts over from scratch.
The following content marks the third stage of this evolutionary path when completed.
And it is precisely here that we begin our strategy.
Strategy for developing bettas with superior genetics: fundamentals
It aims to develop bettas with genetic quality. How to improve the betta squad?
We summarize here the main work fronts. See and participate!
• Study of betta genetics: information, practice and consistent work.
• Betta registration platform: standardization and control of bettas, litters and their genetics.
• Exchange of information between creators: joint work, seriousness and reputation.
• Technical and specialized betta exhibitions: technical emphasis, aimed at breeders and the general public;
• Training for betta show judges: development of a consistent and assertive method that can be applied in judging any betta.
• Creation of breeders' associations: promotion and maintenance of the culture of superior genetic bettas and presentation of new and established works.
A little more detail:
Betta genetics study
It is essential knowledge for the application of selective breeding. Without this, nothing happens: crossings launched at random and without theoretical foundation.
Betta registration platform.
Based on the knowledge and practice of selective breeding targeting lineages, promoting quality bettas, breeders will need to exchange and have information about the specimens they are exchanging and reproducing.
These records must be standardized. Only through a computerized system can this be materialized and used consciously among the population of creators.
Exchange of information between breeders
The development of new strains often requires teamwork, where different breeders work together towards a common goal, a new strain or obtaining an already established strain.
The two previous fronts support this activity.
Specialized exhibitions with a technical emphasis and judge training
The culture of bettas with superior genetics becomes popular among breeders and enthusiasts, becoming something palatable and necessary for the continuity of the hobby, promoting technical exhibitions that disseminate the culture of selective breeding of bettas.
The world of bettas gains notoriety and matrices gradually begin to have greater commercial value.
Involved by the desire to replicate quality bettas, work with a view to new or already established lineages, breeders unite in favor of a common goal.
If you identify with this material, meet our articles and courses!
Betta Project Team.