What does it mean when we advertise that our fish are ethically raised? Is it just a word or is it something that we stand behind and practice?
The goal of West Coast Betta has always been to provide healthy and happy fish to our customers, and we recognize that their health and happiness begins with us here at home. From the selection of breeding pairs to the raising of the young for sale, providing the best care and conditions for our fish is our paramount concern.
This commitment starts when we look at selecting a pair for breeding. A great deal of care and attention must be paid to the two fish you intend to breed. We begin by viewing compatibility in a way that provides as little stress to the fish as possible. It is important to ensure compatibility prior to breeding as males can become quite relentless and a mismatched pair, such as a female that is too small matched with a male that is too large, can result in an exhausted, stressed or, even worse, an injured female. Also, not all males are cut out for being "dads" so we will often work with a small number of carefully selected breeding males.
When breeding, it is also important to remember that while the colour of a fish is what attracts us, it should not be the only characteristic we look for. We recommend paying close attention to the fish’s body structure since a beautiful fish with a poor body condition could be a fish that may struggle to swim and may have a shorter lifespan than others. We choose to breed strong, lightweight fish that can swim with ease and we are never disappointed with the colours that follow.
Once the fry are able to be separated from their parents, our youngsters are then free to swim together in size-appropriate tanks until such time as they require separation. The males are then moved and housed in size-appropriate containers with barriers in place to keep stress levels low. They are also provided with adequate natural stimulation. Our females are moved into one of two large sorority tanks with plenty of healthy plants which afford natural hiding spaces when needed.
As well, we ensure that all our fish are treated to tannin rich waters, fed frozen and live food, and have regular water changes. We have access to all potentially necessary medications and are educated on how and when to use them.
In breeding our fish, we acknowledge that we are responsible for their health and welfare and that they will be with us until they have found their forever home.
Should you be considering breeding your fish we would like to suggest you ask yourself these two questions: Do I have a healthy fish? Do I have the equipment and space to separate and house males and females until homes can be found for them?
We hope this message gives you an idea of how much care and attention goes into our breeding and raising programs and that our genuine goal to bring healthy, happy, and beautiful fish to our customers. We’re also keen to help anyone interested in becoming a Betta owner gain the knowledge and understanding it takes to raise a healthy, happy new member of their household.
Kerry and Kristen @ West Coast Betta