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SHOW STANDARDS AND BETTA COMPETITIONS

Betta breeders, like dog owners, flower growers, or cake bakers, like to display their creative efforts in competitive shows. The Siamese fighting fish easily makes a place for itself in any organized fish show. He is put in a class by himself, for what other fish possibly could compete with him? 
Rules governing these competitions never have become standardized. This is unfortunate. Not only is the judging more difficult, but the winners’ prize traits have meaning only in respect to that particular competition. 
What really makes a winning show fish? What do judges look for?
1. The betta should be healthy and have an alert stance. Even when resting, he should seem ready to take off at an adversary.
2. He should have a positive, distinct coloration. There should be no wishy-washy, indefinite hues which only hint at a true color.
3. Finnage should be above average. This is a “show” fish. When spread, the fins should be unmarred and well-formed. There should be no bent rays or crinkled edges. Fin length and size, along with brilliant coloration, are prime requisites. Each should be proportioned to the other so as to create the image of an ideal betta. Having one trait that is subnormal, for instance, a short tail but otherwise lovely finnage and color, is a definite handicap against winning maximum points. 
Points could be awarded as follows:
Color (clarity) 40
Fins and Body 40
Deportment 20  
= 100 

One fish should constitute an entry. Bettas should be judged by natural or incandescent light only. The crux on showing is competent, authoritative judges – ones who know what a good betta looks like and can mentally deduct points for any deficiency.
When a betta show has sufficient entrants, sub-classes (usually arranged by color) are established. Occasionally, there is a class for female bettas, but too often this important category is either forgotten or purposely overlooked in favor of the flamboyant male. 
Show fish should be presented in flat-sided containers to prevent distortion. Sand, plants, or ornaments are unnecessary except to serve the esthetic senses.

 

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Last updated : 20 September, 2006