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The genetic problems resulting from humans marrying close relations makes some people worry about the wisdom of spawning brother and sister bettas. The point is both valid and invalid.

Yes, if brother and sister are bred together there will be a higher incidence of negative mutations than if two unrelated fish were used, just like with people which is why many people feel uneasy about doing this. But, what needs to be realized is that humans have very few offspring with the result that all of them tend to be nourished, hence deformed individuals survive to weaken the gene pool. But, in betta breeding so many fry are born that even though many of them might have problems, many of the others, through good luck, are perfectly normal. The weaker fry either die of natural causes, are eaten by other fry, or eliminated from the gene pool by the breeder. In this way most of the genetic errors resulting from inbreeding are eliminated.

The same thing would apply to humans. If each birth resulted in hundreds of children, and we were callous enough to inspect and eliminate those with defects, inbreeding would not be a problem.

So, new breeders take heart and don't worry about spawning brother to sister. Your selectivity in eliminating poor off spring will insure that the survivors are healthy.


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