Longtail Betta Varieties? Ethics and Concerns

gilltyascharged

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Recently I've been contemplating the idea getting another B. splendens at some point. Nothing fancy, just a nicely planted nano setup. However, I've been looking more at the different longtail betta varieties. While I'd like to keep a plakat in a larger tank, I figured anything smaller than a 5 gal wouldn't be the best option for such an active fish.
I've kept longtails in the past, three of them being veiltail (VT) and the other one being a crowntail (CT). I remember the CT, Obi, being much more lazy than all but one of the VTs (silly Steve was probably even more sedentary), but he never seemed to struggle swimming. In doing more research, I've found that certain tail/fin types are big no-no's: Rose/Feathertails, doubletails, and dumbo ears.

However, what are the opinions on halfmoon (HM) varieties? While I understand that both rose and feathertails are technically just exaggerated versions of this tail type, do they seem to have too much difficulty existing for them to be deemed unethical? I find them beautiful, and think that a smaller tank with a low flow would do well as far as keeping life simple, but I also don't want to waste a good sum of money for a fish doomed to a life of suffering.

What do you guys think?
 
Generally I prefer fish that have functional characteristics, ones not bred for characteristics like excessively long fins or balloon shape. That said I have Angels with blue and albino characteristics that would affect the fish negatively in a natural environment, so I am a bit of a hypocrite. I would likely go for the plakat variety, I don't like to watch hunters struggling to swim. Just a personal opinion, no judgements.
 
Generally I prefer fish that have functional characteristics, ones not bred for characteristics like excessively long fins or balloon shape. That said I have Angels with blue and albino characteristics that would affect the fish negatively in a natural environment, so I am a bit of a hypocrite. I would likely go for the plakat variety, I don't like to watch hunters struggling to swim. Just a personal opinion, no judgements.
I definitely see where you are coming from--while I often prefer the "natural" varieties of creatures, it doesn't necessarily bother me if one has unnatural features unless it is detrimental to it's health. While I've had a veiltail who chased my corydoras up and down the lengths of the tank without a problem, I also know that those fish, while still exaggerated, seems less so than a fish with a tail x2-3 its size.
 
While I'd like to keep a plakat in a larger tank
Are you not in a position to have a tank bigger than the 5 gallon mentioned?

Although people successfully keep fancy betta varieties in a 5, I think a 10+ is preferable as the fish get bored with the limited space/ plants/ hardscape. And it is much harder to stabilise the cycle and water quality in less than 5 gallons.
 
Although people successfully keep fancy betta varieties in a 5, I think a 10+ is preferable as the fish get bored with the limited space/ plants/ hardscape. And it is much harder to stabilise the cycle and water quality in less than 5 gallons.
I totally agree. I think bettas are one of the smarter fish, mental stimulation would be important. I never thought it mattered until I started really watching my fishes behaviors over the last few years.
 
Are you not in a position to have a tank bigger than the 5 gallon mentioned?

Although people successfully keep fancy betta varieties in a 5, I think a 10+ is preferable as the fish get bored with the limited space/ plants/ hardscape. And it is much harder to stabilise the cycle and water quality in less than 5 gallons.
Currently, no due to parental restrictions. My birthday is coming up in two weeks, so I'm hoping that I can convince my parents to allow me a few 10 gallons (they know it's on my radar, but whether or not they give the thumbs up is seemingly a "no") in my room. My hopes for a 10 gal betta setup would be either a plakat or B. imbellis in a densely planted environment with a school of Boraras sp. and Amano shrimp, but that requires a 10 gal or larger to happen.
The current tanks that I have open are my 6.6 gal planted (one that I would like to try a U.S. native setup with Leptolucania ommata and Elassoma gilberti) and an empty 5 gal bowfront (which would either be used for the betta or a possible nano reef setup). Both tanks have been used to house fancy bettas in the past, with lots of planting, hardscape, and mental stimulation (varied diet, live foods to hunt, and the occasional interaction with a mirror or ball) to keep the fish active and comfortable. Cycling and water quality are something I know I am capable of staying on top of (even in my 2.5 gal hospital tank), but quality of life is more of my concern in this instance.
As nice as I think a fish may look, I would never be able to forgive myself for going out of my way to purchase a fish with deformities that prevent comfortable movement or leisure. I was more so curious if anyone knew about how the halfmoon tail type affected quality of life (be it through genetic ailments, like a dragonscale, or simply having "too much tail" to handle), and whether or not it would be a good choice to purchase.
 
Have you looked into alien bettas? I know they are completely unnatural but are very striking and fins are much shorter than the ones you've listed so they don't seem to have as many of the same issues. I think looking at the crowntails etc a 10g long would probably be better to give more space. I agree that bettas are smart little guys, I have mine in a 6g and try to mix up the decor for him where I can to keep him happy.
 
Have you looked into alien bettas? I know they are completely unnatural but are very striking and fins are much shorter than the ones you've listed so they don't seem to have as many of the same issues. I think looking at the crowntails etc a 10g long would probably be better to give more space. I agree that bettas are smart little guys, I have mine in a 6g and try to mix up the decor for him where I can to keep him happy.
I have seen those, at both my LFS and the Petco in my area! They are extremely neat--metallic and shiny without the same health issues as dragonscales. They are worth a pretty-penny right now (about $20 at a chain, and $30-35 for a well-bred individual at the LFS), but I may be able to save up the money.

If I were to narrow down the varieties I am interested in possibly keeping in this tank (not an official setup, but a nice idea for a rainy day given all of the extra supplies I have), here are the following:

-Alien (PROS Shorter fins and tail, beautiful metallic sheen CONS Quite pricey, around $35 for a well-bred fish)​
-Plakat (PROS Variety of available fin types w/o the extra baggage of a long tail CONS Uncommon in LFS and chains, pricey at about $20-30 per fish)​
-Crowntail (PROS Stunning finnage, indiv. owned in past lived quite healthily CONS Larger variety, better for a 6 gal+ setup than a 3-5 gal heavy planted)​
-Halfmoon (PROS Stunning finnage, most colors look stunning in this variety CONS Concern that larger fins may impede movement, have never had the experience with this variety to find out)​
 
I have seen those, at both my LFS and the Petco in my area! They are extremely neat--metallic and shiny without the same health issues as dragonscales. They are worth a pretty-penny right now (about $20 at a chain, and $30-35 for a well-bred individual at the LFS), but I may be able to save up the money.

If I were to narrow down the varieties I am interested in possibly keeping in this tank (not an official setup, but a nice idea for a rainy day given all of the extra supplies I have), here are the following:

-Alien (PROS Shorter fins and tail, beautiful metallic sheen CONS Quite pricey, around $35 for a well-bred fish)​
-Plakat (PROS Variety of available fin types w/o the extra baggage of a long tail CONS Uncommon in LFS and chains, pricey at about $20-30 per fish)​
-Crowntail (PROS Stunning finnage, indiv. owned in past lived quite healthily CONS Larger variety, better for a 6 gal+ setup than a 3-5 gal heavy planted)​
-Halfmoon (PROS Stunning finnage, most colors look stunning in this variety CONS Concern that larger fins may impede movement, have never had the experience with this variety to find out)​
Yeah they are expensive here in the UK too, I paid £30 for mine compared to roughly half that for a plakat where I am, but they really are stunning! I admit I wanted something a bit more visually striking but also liked the fact that the fins aren't so long with these guys.
 
Plakat males have been known to show up here in tanks of female Bettas. A local lfs stopped stocking females in group tanks because they received too many aggressive males and lost too many fish, even when they switched suppliers repeatedly.

I have zero issues with long finned bettas in a 5 gallon. The things can barely swim. Plakats though are close to real fish, and they can move.
 
I have zero issues with long finned bettas in a 5 gallon. The things can barely swim. Plakats though are close to real fish, and they can move.
That's what I was curious about--I would assume a plakat (or possibly alien) would have similar activity levels to wild Betta sp. of the same size, requiring a 10 gal or larger tank. However, because the things can barely swim, would it be cruel of me to go out of my way and intentionally buy/"rescue" one from the chain store?
 

Longtail Betta Varieties? Ethics and Concerns​

All fish that have enormous fins as an ornamental trait created by man won't contribute to the wellbeing and swimming ability of the fish. But as long as there's a market for such fish, such fish will be bred.
 

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