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
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
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