Betta Fish History
In The wild both males and female bettas are short finned. Most bettas are a dullish brown color. They need this to protect them from predators. Over time, bettas have been selectively bred to gain more finnage and more enhanced coloration. Bettas need the short fins in the wild to cut down on drag and allow them to swim faster. Having long fins will slow most of todays long fin bettas down, and in the wild slow fish will most likely be killed or eatten by predators.
Betta Splendens originally came from Thailand. They can be found in flooded rice paddies. These rice paddies are very shallow to allow the rice stalks to be able to grow. Because of the shallowness of the rice paddies, and the warm climate, the oxygen in the water decreases extremely fast. This would cause problems for most fish, but bettas belong to a special group of fishes called labyrinth. They have a special organ that allows bettas and other fishes in this group to take in oxygen directly from the air.
Selective Breeding Bettas
It is with selective breeding that different colorations and different types of finnage can occur. Breeding two fishes with similar traits that are unique are ways to breed bettas with chances of having that trait. The most common way of showing selective breeding is with double tailed bettas.
|Double Tail Bettas
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|Female Single Tail Betta
||Female Double Tail Betta
|Male Double Tail Betta
||Mostly single tailed bettas with double tail geno.
||All double tail bettas
|Male Single Tail Betta
|| All single tail Bettas
||Mostly single tail bettas with double tail geno
Single Tailed bettas are a dominate gene. Double tail traits are more recessive. So when crossing a double tail to a single tail and the single tail has no geno of dt traits then, mostly single tail bettas will be produced. These single tailed products will now carry the dt geno. So if bred with another dt, 75 % of the fry will be double tails. If bred with a sibling, or another single tail that carries dt geno, the ratio of fry will be 50/50 of double tails and single tails.
Gaint bettas were first invented by selective breeding large green bettas by a breeder in Northern California. These bettas were green, and produced very large fry. They were veil tails and the breeder named his newly formed large bettas after his wife. So the new strain was called Libby Bettas. After a few years, Libby bettas died down and gaint bettas were unheard of until breeders in Thailand were again, able to breed green strain bettas into gaint bettas. These bettas could reach 4-8 inches. These of course were plakats at first, but lately fancy types such as crowntails have been produced. This brings up the question of why green colored bettas have a certaint hidden trait. Prehaps we will never know.
Ablino bettas are still rare in this hobby. in the 1970’s the first albino betta came around, nothing fancy just a albino veiltail. To this day old fashion no pigment albinos are rare. A betta breeder Gilbert… Has bred many albino bettas. They have red eyes but red pigment on the fins. He says that breeding celophanes will result in some albinos over the generations. To this day you wont see albino bettas in your local fish store, but prehaps someday in the future you might be able to find albinos more readily.