Ok awesome peoples, I'm a total newbie to fish breeding (the pond fish do their own thing without any assistence from me!). I have a gazillion questions I'd love help with before I start including whether my foundation stock are good enough.
My aim is for black platinum hm dragons. I'd like to show the progeny and come home with a truck load of trophies (lmao, whishful thinking!). I have 1 black dragon hm male (with some red wash in his fins) and three female black dragons. If I'm going to breed I want to contribute to improving the gene pool in Australia - rather than jut put any old fish together. Pics of my male and preferred female below. Here's my initial questions
To me she seems to have some dragon colouring starting to come over her eyes. I understand this can lead to blindness, Should I avoid using her because of this or just be selective in the progeny I choose to keep? The other females don't have this but their fins don't look as 'balanced' as hers.
I haven't had them long enough to show them. Are they likely to produce show worthy progeny? What are their biggest faults?
She has the most balanced fins out of the three (and the deepest dragon colouring). The other two have longer anal fins, much longer than their caudal fins which to me makes them look unbalanced - am I right to avoid using them because of this?
Your suggestion of blue sent me researching to figure out why blue first. If I've understood what I'm reading correctly then butterfly is easier to achieve than black (melano). So I think that means work on achieving butterfly first and then introduce black and try and perfect that. I got the impression that blue is easier to perfect than the other colours. I think I also picked up that breeding butterfly to butterfly should result in more offsping that are butterfly and butterfly to solid should also result in some butterfly.
So start with male & female blue butterfly or a blue butterfly and a solid blue. Get the pattern as fixed as possible then bring in black.
I find black and white (not cellophane) butterfly betta particularly appealing. If I were to breed, this is the direction I'd like to take. What would be the best way to establish a program to achieve this? Male and female foundation stock both with the black/white butterfly pattern? I suspect this colour pattern and with good finnage would be hard to find. Perhaps it would be better to select for good finnage first and work from marble fish which are predominatly black and white to develop the pattern over generations?