Q: I have a chocolate colored Local Pet Store male betta. He is a veil tail, but his coloring warrants me asking the upcoming question. His color separation is amazing--the colors do not run on to each other almost at all--and he has a minimal amount of blue wash. Do you think I should try to breed him to a choc. female with a symmetric tail?

Question submitted by Lindsey, Pittsburgh - PA

A:  Well Lindsey, look at it this way: You could, but why would you want to? Please consider the outcome of two possible ways to go about getting good chocolates:

  • breeding your pet store male with a good female: If you do find a good female with really good finnage and breed her to your veil tail betta you will get a spawn of fry which will take a lot of work to raise and which will look like this in the end: Most will have poor finnage (narrow tails), a few will have a more symmetrical tail shape (which you want), but they will be very rounded (not desirable). In order to then get rid of the rounded shape on your best offspring, it will take up to 10 years of hard work (AGH). Getting the crisp sharp tail corners typical of our current delta tails and halfmoons, took YEARS AND YEARS of hard work of many breeders. Wise Faithyoda says: "Riding the wind of great breeders easier is" ;). Plus, let's consider color outcome. Blue iridescence on body and fins will be prevalent (not desirable) plus you will see a lot of other hidden flaws manifest themselves in your fry or in the following generations (because pet store bettas are bred for quantity, not quality, hence they have many genetic flaws). In the end you have spun your wheels for just about nothing. Only positive side to this experiment? The experience of spawning and raising bettas.

  • breeding a nice quality chocolate pair: Now let's

There is a third way to get great chocolates. Go to Switzerland. They got the best!! (I especially like their dark chocolate with chestnuts... YUMMMMM...) !! LOL.