Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

Oklahoma Betta Show

We did well in Oklahoma.  The red males took 1st and 3rd and their sisters got some placings as well. The blue and yellow marble line I am trying to establish had a female takk 1st.

My steel Single Tail Halfmoon took Best of Show [BOS] and his brother, ad Double Tail, took Reserve Best of Show [RBOS] Here is a video of the show.


May 1, 2012 Posted by | Betta Shows, Shows | , , , | 3 Comments

Michigan Betta Show Results

Show Host Michigan Betta Club
Show Type International
Date October 30, 2010
Judges Peter Goettner, Mohan Balakrishnan, Kurt Bihlmayer
Apprentice Judges Al Haskell

Group A: Regular Classes Area 1 2010 – 2011 Total Entries In Class

Division A1: Halfmoon Non-iridescent Dark Solid Color ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A1. Red STM John Leach John Leach #N/A 2
A2. Black STM #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
A3. Red or Black STF John Leach Sieg&Judy Illig #N/A 2

Division A2: Halfmoon Iridescent Dark Solid Color ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A4. Blue STM John Leach John Leach John Leach 4
A5. Steel STM Al Haskell Leo Buss Leo Buss 6
A6. Green / Turquoise STM Sieg&Judy Illig Bill Astle Sieg&Judy Illig 5
A7. Blue STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 7
A8. Steel STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 4
A9. Green / Turquoise STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Sieg&Judy Illig 10

Division A3: Halfmoon Light Solid Color ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A10. Clear / Yellow / Orange STM John Leach #N/A #N/A 1
A11. Clear / Yellow / Orange STF John Leach John Leach Sean Mahabir 4
A12. Opaque / Pastel STM Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 4
A13. Opaque / Pastel STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 3

Division A4: Halfmoon Metallic Dark or Light Solid Color ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A14. Metallic Dark Solid STM John Leach John Leach #N/A 2
A15. Metallic Light Solid STM Kurt Bihlmayer John Leach #N/A 2
A16. Metallic Dark Solid STF Jay Keating John Leach #N/A 2
A17. Metallic Light Solid STF Al Haskell Jay Keating Jay Keating 6

Division A5: Halfmoon Patterned ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
A18. Multicolor STM Karen D. Mac Auley Karen D. Mac Auley Karen D. Mac Auley 5
A19. Multicolor STF Karen D. Mac Auley Jay Keating Jay Keating 4
A20. Dark Body Bicolor STM Braulio Estevez Braulio Estevez John Leach 5
A21. Light Body Bicolor STM #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
A22. Dark Body / Light Body Bicolor STF Sean Mahabir Sean Mahabir Braulio Estevez 7
A23. Butterfly STM Leo Buss Leo Buss Jay Keating 7
A24. Butterfly STF John Leach HERMANUS Leo Buss 7
A25. Marble / Grizzle STM Karen D. Mac Auley John Leach #N/A 2
A26. Marble / Grizzle STF Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 7

Division B: Halfmoon DT Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
B1. Dark Solid Color DTM Leo Buss Leo Buss Sieg&Judy Illig 7
B2. Light Solid Color DTM Leo Buss Al Haskell #N/A 2
B3. Dark or Light Solid Color DTF Leo Buss Sieg&Judy Illig Leo Buss 5
B4. Metallic Dark or Light DTM #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
B5. Metallic Dark or Light DTF #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
B6. Patterned DTM Leo Buss Kurt Bihlmayer Braulio Estevez 9
B7. Patterned DTF Karen D. Mac Auley Leo Buss Leo Buss 7

Division C: Crowntail ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
C1. Dark Solid Color STM Heisye Jeanine HERMANUS HERMANUS 6
C2. Light Solid Color STM #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
C3. Dark or Light Solid Color STF HERMANUS HERMANUS Jay Keating 9
C4. Patterned STM Heisye Jeanine HERMANUS HERMANUS 6
C5. Patterned STF HERMANUS HERMANUS Jay Keating 4

Division D: Shortfin ST Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
D1. Traditional Plakat Male Sieg&Judy Illig Pam Spracklen Sieg&Judy Illig 7
D2. Show Plakat Dark Solid Color Male HERMANUS Sieg&Judy Illig Sieg&Judy Illig 3
D3. Show Plakat Light Solid Color Male HERMANUS James Heilig James Heilig 9
D4. Show Plakat Patterned Male HERMANUS Sieg&Judy Illig James Heilig 11
D5. Halfmoon Shortfin Solid Color Male #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
D6. Halfmoon Shortfin Patterned Male Jay Keating Karen D. Mac Auley Karen D. Mac Auley 4
D7. Traditional Plakat Female (any color or pattern) #N/A Jay Keating Pam Spracklen 9
D8. Show Plakat Female (any color or pattern) HERMANUS Phil Dorr joseph d becerra 9

TRIAL CLASS Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
D9. Doubletail Plakat Male (any color or pattern) Sieg&Judy Illig Sieg&Judy Illig Kurt Bihlmayer 3

Division E: Breeders Division *Note: For pairs total the number of entries in each class, not the number of fish. Class winners in E Division are considerd for BOV appropriate to their respective gender and variety.
E1. Color or Form Variations Sieg&Judy Illig #N/A #N/A 1
E2. Form and Finnage John Leach Leo Buss Leo Buss 8
E3. Pairs* Leo Buss Leo Buss Leo Buss 3
Division F: Wild Type Betta Pairs Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place

(Not Eligible for BOS)
F1 Small / Large Bubblenesters* HERMANUS HERMANUS HERMANUS 3
F2 Small / Large Mouthbrooders* HERMANUS HERMANUS HERMANUS 5

Best of Variety Name & Class Winner
Halfmoon ST Male Leo Buss A23
Halfmoon ST Female Leo Buss A26
Halfmoon DT Male Leo Buss B1
Halfmoon DT Female Leo Buss B3
Crowntail Male Heisye Jeanine C1
Crowntail Female HERMANUS C5
Shortfin Male HERMANUS D4
Shortfin Female Jay Keating D7

Best of Show Name & Class Winner
BOS Male Leo Buss A23
BOS Female Leo Buss B3

Division G: Optional Classes (Not counted as Regular Entries)
(Not Eligible for BOS.) Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
G1 Photography joseph d becerra joseph d becerra joseph d becerra 3
G2 Illustration #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
G3 Crafts #N/A #N/A #N/A 0

Group B: New Breeder Classes Name 1st Place Name 2nd Place Name 3rd Place
NB-1 Singletail Male Bobbi Walter #N/A #N/A 1
NB-2 Doubletail Male #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
NB-3 Crowntail Male #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
NB-4 Plakat Male #N/A #N/A #N/A 0
NB-5 Singletail Female Bobbi Walter Bobbi Walter #N/A 2
NB-6 Doubletail Female #N/A #N/A #N/A 0

New Breeder Best of Show Name & Class of Winner
BOS Male Bobbi Walter
BOS Female Bobbi Walter

Show Information Number of Entrants Number of Entries Number of Fish
Regular Classes 238 249
Optional Classes 3 0
New Breeder Classes 3 3
Show Totals 244 252

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Betta Shows, Show Results, Shows | , , | Leave a comment

First Show of the Season

We bagged and boxed up 17 fish yesterday and sent them to California for the first show of the season with the California Betta Society. If you are in the area check out the show. It is a real treat to see so many nice fish and if you are looking to get into Bettas, you can get some very nice stock without paying all the shipping fees. Raising and showing Bettas is a lot of fun and the people involved are really great.

Since we lost so many young fish in our move, this will be the first time we have our fish come back home to us. Shipping the fish is the expense in showing fish and we like to let them go to support the clubs hosting the shows as well as earn a few dollars to offset the cost of entries and shipping to the show. These fish are going to have to do several shows if we are to get any points this fall.  We hope to place in the top 10 this year so need to participate in as many shows as possible. We are breeding now for the Spring half of the season.

There are very few fish now in the fish room so we got the new barracks up and running and added a few fish to help it cycle. We have had the water recirculating through the pump and into the filter for about a week now.. but don’t want to over load the filter as it builds up the bacteria for biological filtration. So, we are adding a few fish here and there to get it up to full speed. I will have some more pictures of the system as I get time to get them online.

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Betta Housing, Fish Room, Shows, Water Quality | , , | 1 Comment


Well, life has a way of getting you busy. I am in the process of getting ready to move from Ohio back to Texas around the end of July. We have thinned the fish room down considerably in preparation. But, we have made arrangements to keep our lines going.

 Rocket and Pearl went to a show in Michigan a few weeks ago and neither were feeling good so did not show well. But their sisters really did well. A nice blue female took a very close second to the female that was BOS.. and her multi colored sister also took second in her class as well. We had a nice copper red pair that took second in their class and some nice third place finishes as well.

As soon as we got back from that show we put the blue female in a spawn tank with Rocket and got a very nice sized spawn. Pearl was still a bit off but I threw him in a spawn tank with the multi female and got a large spawn the day after Rockets. We did a cross to combine two lines and also got a spawn from that. So.. here we are with 3 brand new spawns and trying to time a move so we are in Texas before they need jarring. To increase the chance of these lines surviving I took Rocket, Pearl and the 2 females to a fellow breeder. He will also breed the fish and hopefully we will both have nice fish. I am counting on at least one of us having fish to show and breed in the Fall.

Two weeks after the Michigan show we sent siblings of the above fish to the Georgia show. My philosophy in breeding fish is to not only produce fish to breed.. but also to show. And, I expect more than one or two show quality fish in a spawn. I also am not into paying to have fish shipped back home. So, out of any spawn I choose the best to breed.. then start looking at who is showable for the next show. And after the show I allow the fish to be auctioned off. Sure.. I might be selling a winning fish.. but I have made my choice of breeders. I feel this allows another breeder to obtain a quality fish for their breeding program and it makes me produce a certain level of quality in my fish. It is one thing to have a few nice fish that you send to shows several times to get points.. and another thing to get points from different fish at each show. So far I am in the top 15 my first year showing a lot of different fish.  

At the Georgia show we did well. Our green females took second and third and our Turks took first and third. We got thirds with both Blue and green males. This spawn threw a lot of nice patterned fish. The two Butterfly patterned fish we sent took first and second.. and the marbles took first and second as well. We sent a double tail female from an earlier spawn and she took first and the copper red pair took second. All in all a nice showing.

I am hoping once we get moved, settled in and producing fish again to establish consistent placings at the shows. My goal is to get a BOS fish by next fall. With convention coming in June, we will see how our breeding stacks up to the best of the best. I have the traits I desire in fish I am breeding.. it is time to fix those traits solidly into our line.

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Betta Shows, Shows | , | Leave a comment

Mad about Marbles

Here is my first Grizzle. He has continued to loose color on his body and the cool, gray smudges on his fins have been reduced as well. I had some other fish that lost all color but a few dots and at about 1 year of age, most of the color came back. I like to show my fish at 4 to 6 months of age.. so having an interesting and attractive pattern would be nice at that age. Hopefully, he will regain some of his color as we enter into our Spring show season. I had earmarked him for the shows and he still has enough color to show in the patterned classes.

Here is the same fish a few weeks ago. And this picture did not do him justice. The blue and blackish smuge pattern was very dark and attractive. Even the black on his ventras is now gone.  Aside from color he is typical for his age.. still not mature in his finage. He does have a nice dorsal base with the extra rays and when flared, this boy does go 180. His anal is getting a tad long though and I’d like to see less slope as it goes towards the tail. He will be attending his first show in a few weeks so we will see how well he does.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Changing Fins, Half Moon, Shows, Young Males | , , , , | Leave a comment

Midwest Betta Show

show 1I finally got some pictures off loaded and resized of the Midwest Betta Show. When  you attend a Betta show, this is what you will see.. lots of containers housing beautiful Bettas all lined up with cards between them. For those not familiar with these fish, they are very aggressive and will flare and spread fins when they see other Bettas. The flaring can get rough enough to shred fins and is also tiring. Since these fish have been bagged up and transported, some by car and many by mail, stress is reduced by putting them in solitary confinement. They now await judging.

show ct

When it is time for judging, the cards between the fish in each class are pulled and the fish come to life. One glance into the box next door and out come the gills and up go the fins. Each fish struts their stuff while the judging team compare form, fins, color and deportment.. or how well they flare. This guy is one of my sons Crowntails that won not only the class, but the New Breeder division he was entered in.

show 2Here the judges are comparing fish and eliminating fish until one remains. They work their way through all the divisions.. Halfmoon, Crowntails, Reds, Greens and Multi Colors. As each division is decided, the winners are set aside  to compete for the Best in Show. This was our second show and the judges here too allowed us to ease drop as they discussed the faults and virtues of the fish. For a new comer like me, it was very educational and has helped give me an idea of what I need to breed for.

show bosAt the end of the day, this beautiful Halfmoon Yellow male ended up Best in Show. He was bred by Mohan and the result of an accidental spawn. Seems the male jumped out of his container and ended up in with a female. This beauty was one of the results.

show bosfThis Halfmoon female was another winner at the show. Look at the large base on her dorsal. When you see fish like this is sure gets you excited to get into the fish room and breed some champions.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Betta Shows, Crowntail Betta, Half Moon, Shows | , , , | 3 Comments

Our First Show

The first show of the season was this past weekend. We bagged up some fish and headed to Michigan. After a four and a half  hour road trip we arrived to find Mohan still  setting up. We gave them our box of fish and explained we had some questions about what class to place some of the fish in. After a little discussion we got the entries filled out correctly and turned in to the show. We then got our luggage and got checked into the hotel.

After we got settled in our room we headed down to see if the fish were benched. Our fish were not the only ones still needing to be benched. There were several more boxes of fish and the containers were in  short supply. A quick trip back to some houses produced more beanies and everybody went to work getting water treated and fish benched. We decided to order pizza.

FINALLY.. our babies got into their container for the show. After ease dropping on the betta gurus a bit and picking up some tidbits we headed for bed. My son was so excited it was way after midnight when we fell asleep.

The alarm went off a bit too early after the late night but we quickly got ready and headed down for breakfast. A quick check on our fish showed them doing well and showing no effects from the bagging and transportation. There were even MORE fish to be benched that morning so we headed for food. My son could hardly wait for the show to begin and I realized then that I had no bags to bring my fish home in. Jeez.. I’m going to have to be better organized before the next show.

Eventually the show began. The show judges allowed us to hang around and listen to their comments as they judged the fish. I found that very educational as I watched fish cut for one reason or another.. even my fish. I learned a lot about what a judge looks for in fins and color. The things I learned will allow me to take the next step in our breeding program.

The day wore on and we ended up getting first and second in the Metallic Females. I was thrilled! In the open class I was competing with breeders that had been doing this a lot longer than I had. My son ended up with first, second and third in New Breeder ST Males and first and third in New Breeder ST Females. With that he ended up with Best of the division.  Suddenly, all those water changes were worth it!

Time for a break and everybody went out for lunch. We got more time with the betta gurus and got to ask 40 million questions. Every body was so helpful with advice to the new people. This is our first experience with any kind of fish club and we were really impresses with the friendliness and helpfulness of everybody we met.

After lunch we headed back to get ready for the auction. I had preordered a trio of greens from Mohan and already had them so was not interested in buying any fish.. much to my son’s disappointment. But we did enjoy getting bids on fish we had bred and raised. My son so got so excited seeing his winning male create a little bidding war it made me smile. I had to keep hearing ‘we should have kept him’.. and had to keep reminding him we had several more like him at home.

They finally wound down and we waited untill the show  comittee could get my son his ribbons. I knew he would enjoy taking them home and I must admit I liked getting mine too. The checks from the auction will follow when the dust settles from the show and we will be buying more fish food.. lol.

Today in the fish room we looked at our fish with new eye.. and started dreaming of the next show!

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Shows | | Leave a comment