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gene for long life?


Melekalikimaka
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i wasn't sure where else to post this question, but here goes! i've just been informed by some guy at another site that bettas usually live for 2-3 years max. my betta is around 5 years old and still very much alive. :rant: i was wondering if someone could tell me if there is some kind of gene for longevity in bettas... do crowntails have a longer lifespan than other types of bettas or something? my betta's a crowntail, and he was sorta small when i got him from my LFS, so he could be 4 years old instead of 5, but that's still pretty old for a betta, i think, definitely too old for breeding!

Edited by Melkie
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I think they can live around 6 years... so that means you must be doign a really great job =)

But majority survive for about 1 or 2 years because people keep them cooped up in tiny cups and feed them pellets their whole life....

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Mat, I don't think they only live for a year or two because they're kept in tiny cups. I've had bettas that were bred by fellow forumites so I know the date of hatching and have only lived for 12 to 18 months with more then enough room and frequent water changes. On one hand my mother has a 3 year old betta who's starting to look old but is still full of life and yet on the other I know of some rather misinformed people who have kept a betta in a tiny container and it's lasted for years.

I also believe that there are some genetics at play here, although like with humans things can go wrong and reduce the life span. We had a 3 spot gourami who's lifespan was only suppose to live for about 3 or 4 years and it finally passed away after 7 years (and several jumps out of the tank)

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Genetics are bound to play a part. Most people here have fish that were bred primarily for looks, not health and longevity, so we are used to a lifespan of about 3 years. Breeding also seems to shorten it, as does stress, disease, and a bad envoronment (which could be anything from ammonia exposure, heavy metals, wrong pH, too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy etc :betta:). There is also the stress of importing, shipping, handling etc etc. All these things add up and they take their toll.

Of course, you do always get the fish that lives in the 1/2L jar and gets a weekly dump into a coffee cup of cold chlorinated water while it's 'tank' is sterilised and so on. Everyone knows one, I'm sure. I think the chlorine must pickle them or something, they seem to live forever!

Is your guy still looking fighting fit? I think my oldest was 3 1/2 when I lost him.

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I guess the reason I lean towards environment rather than genetics as the primary determining factor for longevity is because that seems to be how it is with other species. For instance, where humans have shorter life spans it is usually living conditions which contribute to it rather than genetics. No ones says Aboriginals are genetically predisposed to shorter lives, do they? Highly pedigreed animals like dogs and cats do generally have shorter lives but I'm not convinced fancy show bettas are really as genetically far removed from mutt veiltails compared with the genetic difference between a mutt dog and a prize winning poodle. I'd be more convinced if someone was breeding mutt veiltails as well as line breeding halfmoons and was able to show that most of the veiltails lived longer than the halfmoons when kept in optimum conditions.

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