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shadoh

Which Pair?

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The time has come to decide on the pair to continue my black dragon line.

I have narrowed it down to 2 males and 2 females - each with their own positive and negative qualities. This is the best from this spawn, so no point in asking if there is another fish with this or that quality.

I don't have a set idea on the direction this line will take - I am selecting on form firstly and colour secondly (happy to hear thoughts on this...)

I won't add my own critique to this, as I am wanting them seen through fresh eyes. I will comment on what cannot be seen in the photo (size, behavior etc...)

Fire away... Be brutally honest, I can take it :)

Male #1 (Both males are approx same size and close to fully grown)

Has no ventrals (not a problem if just a breeder) I would say he'd have long ventrals if he had any, as the rest of the males do...

3-13.jpg

Male #2 (Both males are approx same size and close to fully grown)

4-12.jpg

Female #1 (Same size as males - in fact as big as her Mum)

2-14.jpg

Female #2 (Smaller - about 3/4 the size of the males - has equal caudal spread as female #1 is timid...)

1-18.jpg

5-10.jpg

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I'll go with male 2 and female 1

That my opinion

If that helps

I choose those two as the male

Has great dragon scaling

And the female due to her anal fin being shorter

Edited by Melbourne_betta_HM

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I pick same pair as Hai. Good match. Love the thick dragon scale and both are stunners in their own righ.

But I don't know much about showing but I know what I like. I would still hold onto boy one though........

Sorry, I know I am no help. :-)

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Mate, just commenting is a help. I've stared at these fish so long I need fresh input.

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ill go with 2 + 2..... = 4 !

Well honestly....speak genetics....*shrug* i used to breed flowerhorns. Had a pair of stunning Kamalau full worm pearls,kok double rows you name it! perfect pair.....gave me crap fry =/. Switch the Kamalau female with a king kong female, luckily he has the dominant gene, 20% of the fry after culls approximately 15 fry turn out to be exactly like daddy ( kamalau ), 3 of them had short body ( King kong gene ). Too bad my heaters died and all the fish in my 6 foots died so i emptied every single 4fts n 6 fts n sold every bloody fish i had. I had to sell one of my foot to get my hand on the pair AND THEY ALL DIED!!..

But yeah its all about luck i guess, pick what ever pair that you might think would be good at parenting their fry.

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First I'd like to say, they all look stunning, especially male number two, but I personally would not choose him for breeding,

The qualities I like...

Male 1: Strong compact body with thick caudal peduncle. The caudal fin is full/voluminous with the best 'D' shape out of the two males. A little rounded on the upper angle of the D. The dorsal fin is unusual but I like it, and is almost circular. The dorsal adds to he appearance of a balanced almost symmetrical PK. He has a little dip just behind the mouth coming into the head, so is not the smoothest of toplines, but I really like this shape in a male betta as it makes them look much more like "predatory" fish.

Male 2: I love the contrast in the colour. His topline is much more uniformly convex and give a more symmetrical appearance when looking just at body shape.

Female 1: Again, body is strong, compact and thick. The caudal peduncle looks thick to just before the caudal itself, where it suddenly looks thinner - a little odd, but not a major issue. The anal fin is beautifully parallel to the body and the dorsal is lovely - broad flat and smooth. The caudal fin looks to have a lovely 'D' shape again, but maybe a little bit rounded up top. The ray branching does not appear excessive (not tending to rosetail look).

Female 2: Nice body, composition, shape and topline. Caudal fin is hard to assess, but looks very similar to other girl.. 'D' with rounded top end??

The qualities I dont like...

Male 1: Ventral-less (we believe this to be environmental, so prolly doesn't matter). Unpleasantly rounded anal fin with curved rays.

Male 2: Caudal is wonky - it appears to be pear shaped rather than 'D'. Caudal also seems much rounder than the other male. The anal fin is not particularly strong or well defined... hard to explain this one... It's nice when a PK has a strong straight line making a very geometrical point in its anal fin... this one just looks a little "soft". Dorsal fin presents itself with too much of a pointed tip.

Female 1: Slightly irregular caudal ray branching ( the lower rays seem to only have two branches, whereas most of the others are four).

Female 2: Anal fin is too long for a girl. Ventrals are quite long too.... Hang on.... You sure she's a girl and not a girly looking boy??? She looks like a girl... anyway.... Her dorsal rays seem to curl a little bit... nothing serious. I much prefer the other girl's dorsal.

Overall...

Male 1 and female 1

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say I'd go with male 1 and female 1.

Pretty much the only reason is they both have much more balanced finnage (despite the lack of ventrals on the male), and the dragon scaling will likely improve with their fry.

Long anal fins on male and female 2, and the caudal on male 2 seems to be a bit heavier on the bottom.

/Critic

All nice fish :D lol

edit- Aw. Paul posted before me so I'm not the first one going against the grain.. Oh well.

Edited by Yan

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question: How does small heads have an effect in breeding?

not being sarcastic just curious n want to know, im new to all this betta stuff =D

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Hahaha, didn't see the small heads comment though until now. I don't think they have small heads.

You need to look back at pics of your PK spawn Yan... that cello that you had had a small head (or big body - whatever). These one's look OK to me.

Linh Phan, I don;t know that anyone has actually described head size and betta genetics.... It's just the overall appearance of the fish.

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Oh i see, thanks for your info =D.

I only know the heads effect those fighting types, i used to fight plakat as a kid back in nam bigger the head, shorter the body the more power it put in striking =P

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You know you take critiquing fish too seriously when you open a word document just so you can look at the fish as you type….

I digress, Jarrod – firstly, they're both lovely fish, and yes, you're right there are positives and negatives for both (I see your Kundrum) but atthe end of the day, it's going to be night (heh)…and only one pair get into the tank.

I'm big on gut feeling when choosing, and break down the evidence later. I like the first male. He's astounding…. On first impression; as a symmetrical PK hedemonstrates just about perfect finnage (minus ventrals) his dorsal is even andround, his caudal is slightly rounded, but spreads over HM with good strong raybranching, and the anal is… awesome.

His body-type is short and strong, somewhat of a dip over the head, butthis could be rectified with a balanced female. His colour could be improvedwith a full mask dragon, but he still has strong colour. The more I look at this fish, the more I want it.

While the "dragon" colour coverage is often used as an excuse for this(brutal bit coming up) He shows slightly uneven scaling on a tiny TINY area of his body. To me, this is not enough of a reason not to breed this fish.

While male #2 is a lovely specimine, I'd more quickly put him in theshow arena…. But I still wouldn't score him over #1

Great colouring, great dragon coverage, he just dosen't have the lengthor volume in any of these fins, the dorsal dosen't meet the caudal, his spreadis super delta, the ray splitting is uneven (splits from 1-2, maybe 3 at best)and I'm not a fan of the topline.

Beautiful ventrals tho, colourwise, scale wise, body type – all spot on.I do like this fish.

Let's look at some of the show standards mentioned online:

"The symmetrical plakat has similar standards to the HM. The caudal must make 180* spread, and thedorsal must have longer initial rays and the top that touches the caudal mustbe of the same length. The anal fin, instead of being pointed like many plakats, will be horizontal and connectevenly with the caudal."

On the other hand, the females I'd go for #1, again – on firstimpression and upon further inspection, Overall body shape is good, and finnageis better, she's got better ray splitting than #2 but keep an eye on those evenscales – compare both females scaling under their pecs, it's not a trick of thedragon colour, it's scaling. She's very nice.

I realize she's not flaring fully, but #2 is nice…. Either way you'llhave a great result

Ness

(edit - stupid formatting)

Edited by melbournebetta

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Hmm ok, I think you're right, Paul. Haven't looked too critically at a Betta for a while. Something just looks off (especially with male 2's head) and I'm not quite sure what it is. Maybe I'm too used to my Angelfish now. Yeah, I'll put it down to that... I'll edit my post, lol.

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While I can't say much, I like male number 1 from his caudal shape. I can't comment on any other body parts yet, as I'm still learning about criticizing them myself.

In my eyes, male #1 has a nice D caudal shape, compared to male number 2.

While for the female... Can't really help. I can't really judge female yet <_<

Good luck, shadoh!

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Thanks so much guys :) I really appreciate your honesty.

Here are my thoughts... most have already been covered above...

Male #1

The good...

Amazing full finnage - biggest finnage of the lot. Also the darkest black fins without any of the clear patches any of the other males from this spawn have. HUGE semi-circular dorsal - would like to explore trait this more. Best ray branching of the spawn without crossing the line into rosetail like all the reds from this spawn did. Colouration very similar to his dad with almost a metallic sheen to his dragon scales giving them a silvery appearance. Nice strong plakat style body.

The bad...

No Ventrals. The anal fin is very rounded and when combined with the rounded caudal edges and the big round dorsal gives the fish a very rounded "soft" look. Not sure if the right female could fix this... Irregular scaling on lower half of body near anal fin. Although I like his colour, the dragon scales aren't as thick as the other boy.

Male #2

The good...

Beautiful thick even dragon scaling. Nice defined line of contrast between body and fins. Nice smooth topline. Longer body without losing the look of strength plakats have.

The bad...

Less ray branching and uneven branching - while not a bad thing, I think it has contributed to the odd kidney shape of his caudal. Caudal more rounded in this male and not quite 180. The pointed dorsal doesn't do it for me. Something just doesn't look right. The anal fin is rounded on the end (although it can't be seen in the photo due to it being clear)and is somewhere between a traditional plakat and symmetrical plakat shape.

Female #1

The good...

Nice topline and good caudal spread and branching. Evenly matched in size to the boys. Nice even symmetrical style anal fin. Nice wide broad based dorsal (carries DT?) Responds well to the males and looks to be ready to breed...

The bad...

Dragon scaling not very thick. Rounded caudal edges. Uneven scaling between anal fin and ventrals. Ray extensions in fins (especially dorsal.)

Female #2

The good...

Nice topline. Great colour. Good caudal spread. All in all, a very nice BOY :blink:

The bad...

See above... I had always had this fish next to other males. He was quite timid and didn't flare very often. I just assumed from size and behaviour that it was a shy immature female. I moved them around last night to take photos. When I uncarded them this morning, I was surprised to watch this fish perk up next to a female and put on a very male display and flare fully for the first time. I guess he just felt intimidated by the bigger boys... Now I am wondering whether I should wait for him to grow up and pair him with female #1. With his broad dorsal, they would be likely to throw some DT's in their spawn...

1-19.jpg

Going to trawl the growout tank for another female option...

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I can always throw the mother back in the mix...

BlackGirl.jpg

Looking her over with a more critical eye, I see that she displays similar traits to Male #2. The heavy dragon scaling, the kidney shaped (bottom heavy) caudal, but she does have good branching. If I used her, I probably couldn't put her with male #1 as they have the same mishapen caudal. The odds of getting a greater amount of fry like that would be high. It is a shame, as with them both having the heavy scaling would be good...

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That's brilliant!!! I want a Dragon Angel Betta!!!

Jarrod, From what i understand it's much easier to achieve colour over finnage... I'd put 1 + 1 and use the best caudal results from that spawn to sharpen up the D, then next gen - spawn the 100% perfect spawn with the strongest dragon scales = perfect dragon PK.

Always gotta think a few spawns ahead, but to me this is a no-brainer!

Funny about little miss mister, I had a few do that to me in the Salamanders, to the point I was only left with 5 females!

Good dorsal on #1 female, infact I still prefer #1 over the mother - the topline and overall balance just isn't as striking.

2c

x Nes

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Sorry bout the shim, Jarrod. Convinced she was a she until I put the words on the page and thought... She's a he!

Great looking angel dragon betta :)

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Ness, Looks like we are on the same page here... I was talking to Busman this morning about this and mentioned I was leaning towards 1 + 1

I do love the form on #1 female and the dorsal is what keeps drawing me back to her. Male #1 was a very early contender for an F1 spawn. In fact, I think I had him picked out close to 8 weeks ago. However, the colouring on male #2 has been getting better and better the last couple of weeks and being artistic, the visual is what draws me over the technical, so caused a lot of doubt and confusion. Who's to say I won't get a fish out of the 1 + 1 spawn who has both good form and colour :) the genes are in there somewhere...

I guess my main concern is that with so many scale defects in this spawn, is it going to get worse in the next generation?

I am willing to take the chance - if the resulting fry have worse problems, it will be on record on the forum for the next person who comes along and wonders if they can breed a fish with similar faults. It will also answer the old debate over whether missing ventrals are genetic or environmental. I sit on the environmental side of the fence, but would be good to back up my stance with evidence and personal experience :)

Nothing to be sorry about Paul :) He is a handsome boy - just has a lot of growing to do... I look at these fish every day and was convinced it was a female by bodyshape alone...

I think this calls for one of Sarah's Haikus

Tiny Betta boy

Masquerading as a girl

Cannot hide his flare...

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Brilliant Haiku J,

I was listening to the radio this morning about a 74 year old man who came out when his wife passed away, and enjoyed 10 long, happy, flamboyant years...

It's a tricky question, after Fuzz threw a X factor male - just the one out of 30, I'd decided he could go into the retirement stables and I'd leave him be... no more spawns with x factor I thought However, I'm thinking it was the female (Hazel - RIP zombie disease) who contributed the x factor..... and Fuzz is lined up for one of Razzi's super blues (;

If you were a purist on the x factor gig, you wouldn't continue with the line. (neither would I) However, if I was you... with this pair.... I wouldn't hesitate.

You're right, it's documented, and this is a bit of an experimental risk.

Ventraless I wouldn't hesitate about either - the ventraless dragon pair I got from Adam I'm still regretting not spawning before they went to new < SEPARATE > homes - dang. I think we've pretty much de-mystified the ventral issue haven't we?

Yours could be further proof.

Ah - enough talk, warm up the spawn tank boy, me needs me some draguns.

- Ness

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forget shipping Yan, what are you willing to pay for an ultra rare, one of a kind Dragon Betta Angel? *lol*

Hmm.. I was going to hold off doing an f1 for a while, but since my Dt boy that is currently in the spawn tank is hiding in a cave from his big "scary" girly (who is still in the chimney I might add) I might return them to their barracks and give these guys a shot... Or... My black orchid Pk and Busmans Black orchid girly, or both...

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Slap 'em all in there together and let the survivors 'celebrate'

God I wish I could do that... we have a VB meet coming up, I want to knock Razzi (playfully) off the show standing results - except none of my bloody show fish will spawn without tearing 'emselves up!

(; Keep us posted with whom you choose!

-Ness

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