Hi finnage fans!
My name is Heather Hutchison, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
I got my start in Bettas in the early 70's as a member of BABA (Bay Area Betta Association) and the IBC.
I was just a fry back then and long in fin and tooth now, but once you've been bitten by the "Splendid splendens" bug, you're a carrier of the addiction for life!
My mentors were Lloyd and Monte Bickel, breeders of the most wonderful strain of true red Bettas, the likes of which are not seen today. Red chins, pectorals, and eyes, without a trace of any other color (except black margins on still growing fish). They were founding members of BABA, and they won just about everything with those glorious reds! Lloyd also developed the first line of opaque whites seen, but lost them in a fish room vandalism.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge (or thru the filter) since then, and wow! The huge advances in type, genetics, colors, and massive finnage are beyond belief. Imagine where the Betta will be in another 40 years. Giants with 7-8 inch fins in limitless colors is a distinct possibility with the talented breeders now working with these fish worldwide.
I have kept a few Bettas as pets for most of the intervening years, usually when I came across a really nice conformation mongrel at petsmart or an aquarium store who bought from better local sources.
I have imported some gorgeous HM and OHM fish from some very good Thai breeders, and although I'm just sitting back and enjoying the "water orchids" as they flirt and flare, I may start breeding again for the pleasure of watching the water ballet of spawning pairs and the anticipation of the results.
I'd love to chat with other local Betta fanciers!