Crossing wild bettas (Not a good idea?)

The danger of crossing wild betta’s

As wild betta’s slowly gaining their popularity, the interest in crossing different species seems to grow too. As I am scrolling through my Facebook feed and viewing listings on platforms I regularly see hybrids of all kinds of wild bettas. Betta’s labelled as Mahachaiensis are actually a result of a spawn between a Mahachaiensis male and a hybrid Smaragdina female. Alien Betta’s that are Mahachaiensis hybrid’s: the possibilities are almost endless.

Apart from crossing different species on purpose, it happens even more that spawns between different species happen on accident. Mostly this is the result of a lack of knowledge about wild Betta species. The real problem isn’t that fish become more ugly or weaker, but that pure lines are getting more rare. My goal with writing this post isn’t to discourage people from trying to breed wild Betta’s, because I love seeing people getting into the wild Betta hobby. My goal is to encourage people to focus more on the beauty of wilds and to focus on the beauty of a species, not on what you could create with that species.

A hybrid Betta Imbellis Male. Source: Google

During the years I have been keeping Betta’s, I have always tried to keep my lines as pure as possible. To be honest, I still am curious sometimes about the outcome when crossing some of my different species. But it never gets further than that. It would be much more difficult to sell tens or even hundreds of Betta’s with a hybrid label. On top of that, I am selling fish which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be bred further with. 

Why? 

Because if you breed that hybrid fish to a pure fish, what are you going to call that? Of course you could start making pedigree’s for all your spawns but you also have to find owners who are responsible enough to take this into account for later spawns.

In fact, it is way harder to keep the hobby fun and honest if we all start scrambling species and selling them to fellow hobbyists. This would also encourage the less honest people to start creating their own cheap hybrid lines and selling them as ‘pure’ and ‘show quality for prices that are too high, which is as a matter of fact already happening.

Try instead to focus on creating your own unique fish or line which you can be proud of, and I will promise you this is even more exciting as the other options ;).

How do find pure fish?

It can be very hard to know which fish are pure lines and which are not. I would advise to only buy fish from trusted breeders or import them yourself (a more pricey option). Always ask for the parents and ask if the fish you want to buy are not hybrids. Definitely don’t buy your fish from fish stores, these fish are most likely not healthy and hybrid. You can find sellers on different facebook groups. To my readers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg feel free to join Wild bettas benelux

What about Alien Betta’s and Betta Smaragdina Copper?

It can be a little confusing if you are reading my blog post but still seeing variants like alien and smaragdina copper. After all, these are hybrids too? Both Smaragdina copper and Alien betta’s are created years ago. This resulted in a species that is getting genetically different from it’s brothers.

“Alien” Betta in green variant
Wild betta smaragdina copper
Betta smaragdina “copper”

Betta’s like Aliens and Smaragdina copper are classified as wild Betta’s but actually they aren’t 100%. Luckily these species are pretty easy to recognize and there will be little spawns that happen accidentally.

To be honoust, I like both of these species and in my opninion they are beautiful too. The difference between these hybrids and the hybrids I am calling in this blog, is that these are the result of focused and thoughtful breeding. On top of that there is has been always demand for these species which resulted in more and more popularity for both. Creating a species like this might seem like a nice goal to set but is actually very hard. You will need to work for many spawns and will need to put a lot of work and focus on trying to create a different species while there is no guarantee the species you have in mind is even possible to create.

Conclusion

Try focussing on creating your own nice lines of pure fish. Experimenting can seem nice, but in the long run it isn’t good to sustain our wild betta’s.

My goal is to show people the beauty of wild betta’s and to preserve these unique fish in our beautiful hobby. Keeping species organised will help us make our hobby more fun and will help preserve  the beauty of our wild betta’s. 

That’s what I wanted to share in this blogpost. I hope you guys can find motivation out of this and feel free to share or comment your thoughts!