· About Us
· Podcast Archive
· About Bettas
· Betta Health & Care
· Breeding Bettas
· Raising Spawns
· Genetics Study
· Tail Forms & Finnage
· Colors and Patterns
· The Halfmoon
· The Crowntail
· The Plakat
· The Doubletail
· Wild Bettas
· Betta of the Month
· Betta Critique
· Betta Expressions
· Photo Gallery
· Mailing List/FAQ
· Strain Gallery
· NEW! This Month
Home > Interviews > MARK IBARA
Contact Us via Email
Send To Friend
Printer Friendly Version
Mark Ibara is a name that has generated respect within the betta community for several years. His bettas have been featured on the IBC's betta poster, and he is widely considered one of the finest breeders in the hobby. His melanos and opaques, in particular, have long been ranked among the best in the world.
|Gorgeous blue butterfly by Mark.|
|This perfect black melano HM by Mark was actually stolen. Is that really any surprise?|
|One of Mark's opaque whites.|
He is a member of the Aloha Betta Chapter, the Global Halfmoon Betta Breeders Club, and the IBC.
BettySplendens: What attracted you to bettas?
Mark: Back in the 6th grade (a loooong time ago) I watched a bunch of my classmates fighting them for lunch money!! I was totally taken by them (the fish, not my classmates). I started breeding pet shop fish and I actually based my science project on them, getting an A grade for the first and last time in school. I stopped raising tropical fish for a while until 5 years ago, when I attended a wedding that had Bettas in vases as centerpieces. I took one home, and started doing some research on the Internet. When I saw that first picture of a Halfmoon, I was hooked again.
BettySplendens: How often do you perform a new spawn?
Mark: Sometimes twice a week, sometimes twice a month. Depends if I have the time.
BettySplendens: You're the President and CEO of a large commercial printing company in Hawaii; do you ever find it difficult juggling your career with the fish, especially as you're still changing water manually?
Mark: My career takes up most of my time. The Bettas are basically a hobby. I would like to spend more time doing it, but for right now that is impossible. I used to sell some of my Bettas on Aquabid, but I'm finding out that I don't even have time for that. I'm sure a lot of people out there think that I'm more of a commercial operation because I get flooded with emails all the time concerning the selling of stock, wholesale partnerships, etc. I am NOT in it for the money. It's hilarious when people write to me about purchasing stock and they want to pay twenty bucks and they need to see pictures and stuff. It is more fulfilling when I get to do donations to the local kids clubs, and to some of the IBC clubs that are in need of stock. It is a great tax write off though!! Please don't write about the hilarious and tax parts!!
BettySplendens: (grinning) Oh, don't worry, I won't. What color strains are you currently concentrating on?
Mark: I'm currently working on Reds and Marbles. Not by choice though. They were the only ones to survive the move to my new house.
BettySplendens: Do you have a favorite?
Mark: Any strain that has a 95% ratio of HM males in the spawn!
BettySplendens: (laughing) Well, that would be my favorite, too!
Mark: Seriously, I like the hard strains, like Melano and Opaque. Because they are more challenging, you tend to appreciate them more when they turn out nice.
BettySplendens: Can you describe your ideal betta?
Mark: My Ideal of the perfect Betta would be a perfectly symmetrical, extended dorsal Halfmoon with show standard color. I might get some flack for this, but I think getting good color is just as hard, if not harder, than getting HM finnage. Getting those wide extended dorsal fins without having them curl is also a challenge.
BettySplendens: What do you look for in your breeders?
Mark: Nice branching and good color is a good place to start. I try to look at the line itself, instead of the individual fish. If the line is solid, you should end up with something good, no matter what the parents look like. Some of my breeders look crappy, but I make sure that they have good lineage.
BettySplendens: How do you condition your breeders for spawning, and what kind of spawning set-up do you use?
Mark: I isolate the breeders, and keep them in not-so-ideal conditions, like cold temps and dirty water. I find that once I throw them into a spawn tank that is warm and clean, they usually spawn by the second day. I use a 15 gallon for the spawn tank.
BettySplendens: I have to admit, that is a new method for me! Do you see an increased likelihood of spawning?
Mark: Well, I try to simulate a scenario where you have them sitting in a cold stagnant pool of water, and then it starts raining, and all of a sudden they are sitting in a big pool of clean, warm water and then that triggers the breeding instinct and so on. As long as I use breeders in the 4 to 10 month age, I have had almost a 100% spawn success rate doing this.
BettySplendens: Do they stay in good health?
Mark: There is a danger of the breeders getting fin rot and velvet in the dirty water, so you gotta watch them carefully.
BettySplendens: Do you think this helps keep your lines resistant to disease in any way?
Mark: I don't think so. I say this because ALL of my fry get Velvet at the 1 month stage.
BettySplendens: What do you feed your fry?
Mark: Vineger eels for the first couple days after free swimming, and then BBS.
BettySplendens: How often do you change that water in the fry tanks?
Mark: Never. Seriously. I don't know why, but I ALWAYS kill my fry when I do water changes. It's wierd, because I have no problems getting fish to spawn, nor do I have many problems developing HM finnage on the adults. When it comes to the fry and young juveniles, I just don't have any luck. Swim bladder issues, Velvet, and random deaths are just some of the things that I fight with. You would think that water changes would fix that, but for me, it is just a surefire recipe for killing fry. Is that crazy? I just hope for the best, and pray that they make it to where their swim bladders are developed. By that time, they are usually strong enough where they can handle me. If they make it that far, I throw only the good ones into 40 gallon grow out tanks, which I do water changes on about once a week.
BettySplendens: How many hours of your day do you spend working in your fish room?
Mark: About half an hour a day on the weekdays (not counting jar cleaning days), and a couple of hours on the weekend.
BettySplendens: At what age do you start the jarring process?
Mark: It depends on the strain. Reds need to be jarred as soon as you can tell the males apart due to their aggressiveness, whereas the Marbles can go up to 8-10 weeks.
BettySplendens: How often do you have to change the water in jars?
Mark: I try to change them twice a week.
BettySplendens: How many jarred bettas do you usually have at any given time?
Mark: As little as 25, and as much as 200.
BettySplendens: How early can you tell if a fish will be a potential winner?
Mark: About ten weeks. I throw out the early birds, and wait for the second wave. The medium growing ones are usually the best.
BettySplendens: Do you have any advice for newcomers?
Mark: Stick with the fundamentals, and don't do anything fancy. Good food, warm temperatures, and clean water. Live food is always good. Warm temperatures are a must for growth. If it's too cold, they will not grow. As for the clean water - If you cannot clean the tanks or containers often, go for more water volume instead of frequent water changes. Try not to use meds unless you need to. And cull like crazy. And I mean cull. Skinny dorsal? Cull. Too small? Cull. Curved rays? Cull. Color not what you wanted? Cull. You will get much better results growing out 50 hand picked fish verses trying to grow out 300.
BettySplendens: Since I promised I wouldn't ask you any hard questions, let's just stick to what our readers really want to know:
What is the average for a simple algebreic expression in the frequency domain?
Mark: (Well, he didn't answer this one. He must be keeping it a secret. I am fully convinced that this is the underlying reason for Mr. Ibara's phenomenal success in breeding the HM betta. Let's all make sure we keep asking him.)
Thanks, Mark, for taking the time for this interview.
Contact Us via Email
Send To Friend
Printer Friendly Version
|What's Your Opinion? |
Post your 2 cents here. Let us and your fellow readers hear your views on the articles we have here at bettysplendens.com. Your posts will appear on the front page along with a link to this article. It helps everyone participate in the conversations such posts generate.
HEJSAN FROM SWEDEN EVERYONE! Everything in Sweden is going well, although I'm still busy learning the language and coping with a newborn, so it will be a bit before I'm as active as I'd like with the fish. This is a Facebook update! I have created a new BettySplendens Facebook page that will be used exclusively for betta-related networking. On the 16th of August I will be going through and deleting most of the people on my personal Facebook page who are not actual friends or family (many of you have become friends through the course of the hobby, and of course will not be deleted). If for any reason you wish to remain on my personal page, please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or FB email. Otherwise, go to the new BettySplendens Facebook page and click the 'like' button for more betta-related news and updates :).
Tack så mycket (that's ''Thank you very much'' in Svenskie-land ;))! ~Victoria~
Slight change of plans! I have decided that, instead of reinventing the wheel, I'm going to create a personal FB page and use the old one purely for betta stuff. So if you're on the original page (now called BettySplendens Bettas), please stay put! :P
For all the betta inquiries:
Just a reminder, I am not selling bettas in the US at the present time. I may begin to supply a few select bettas throughout Europe sometime in late Spring 2011. Cheers!
Spotting the Orange Dalmatian
Ever since it first started being widely seen in pet stores around late 2004, the spotted orange betta has taken the hobby by storm. But what exactly is it?
Bettas today come in a wide variety of forms, and new ones are being created all the time. Here are the most popular.
Choosing a Betta
There are basically three ways of purchasing bettas. Buying them from a pet store, buying them from a breeder, or buying them online. I'll run through some important things to consider in each of those options.
The True Story of the Halfmoon
The true story of the creation of the Halfmoon betta.
Defining a Good Crowntail
For the purpose of showing in the CT class, Crowntails are defined as bettas exhibiting at least 33% reduction in webbing versus ray length in each of the three primary fins (caudal, anal and dorsal). This requirement must be demonstrated in all three primary fins but does not need to be exhibited between all rays to meet the minimum requirement to be classified as a Crowntail betta.
Bringing Home Your New Betta
Buy a Betta at a pet store? Find out how to best introduce him to his new home.
© 2013 Victoria Parnell. All Rights Reserved. All Logos and Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Powered By The Alfred Web Publishing System v3.1