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My Journey - Fry to Trophy Fish

My Journey - Fry to Trophy Fish - Part 1

Maria Örnberg's story from starting out to National Betta Show team member and Top European Breeder.

If someone had told me a few years ago, I would be breeding a kind of fish called Betta splendens, let alone be travelling with these beautiful creatures and staying in hotels to exhibit them at shows – I would have laughed and thought that person silly!

Well, it all started three years ago when I got my first Veiltail Betta, a red one. All I knew was what the local fish shop told me and that they were called Siamese Fighting Fish. I fell in love instantly and wanted another one, a blue next time.

My red and blue Betta boys were fascinating, friendly and grumpy little things that kept me company on my desk where I work most of the day. I wanted to know more and started googling and came across a few pages on Facebook . Wow! A whole new world which has grown incredibly in these last years. I have learnt so much and met (in person or online) so many amazing people from all over the world that share my love for this beautiful little fish.

Still obsessed, I got a few more Bettas, this time Halfmoons which were imported all the way from Indonesia. Oh, they were the most beautiful fish I had ever seen! So.. I posted a few pictures of “DeLuca” and “Odin” the new arrivals, on Facebook. It was around this time that I found out about shows and met with Michael Kirkham at Bracknell FBAS show, as he had some females for me. This was the first show I ever been to by the way. Michael said I had now got to show my fish and then start breeding them……."Nah, that sounds too scary" I said, "I will leave that to you guys".

That conversation did stick in my mind though and coincidentally the Betta Show was being publicised at the time and I kept seeing more & more information posted around on various Facebook pages & groups. With Michael’s reassurance that it would be "fun with lots of people who would help me" and so on, I entered my three Halfmoon boys at the “D.J.A.Y Betta Show” at the "Festival of Fish Keeping" at Hounslow, October 2014.

D.J.A.Y Betta Show is an old name for the National Betta Show, for those that have been attending for years they will remember the name. Read more here!

You know what, those sleepless nights of how to keep water warm and transport the fish was so worth it……. I had never seen so many Bettas in one place, with so many colours, variations & tail types. I remember meeting many of the people I had gotten to know on various Facebook pages & groups. It was lots of fun and I learnt so much more by meeting people.

The cherry on top, my three boys took home 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in the Halfmoon category! If I wasn't already completely "hooked" on Bettas, then this definitely fixed me on that path and I have not looked back! This was the start of my journey.

Thanks for reading so far...


To be continued....

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