What is the difference between Wild Caught and F1 bettas?
Does it even matter?
It really depends on what you want. Wild caught(WC) bettas are generally at the top of the gene pool. It would be like you and your hot next door neighbor. They will most likely not be related to you. This is important to keep the species healthy and going for as long as possible.
F1 bettas are referred to as the first generation offspring from a wild caught pair. You most likely will get a sibling pair. Don't worry, the effects of breeding siblings in fishes is not the same as with humans. F1 fishes are the first generation so it still has a strong gene pool.
Likewise, F2 would be offspring from an F1 pair.
So now I bet you're wondering why people would even want a sibling pair when they can have the wild caught pair. There are pros and cons to each.
- A wild caught pair isn't always available.
- They come from nature and usually are exposed to many different types of bacteria and diseases.
- They are not used to human interaction and our waters which causes stress.
- They are generally smaller in size.
- F1, F2, or just captive bred specimens can be found through hobbyists.
- They are used to our waters and used to us and what we feed them.
- They will adapt better to your waters.
- With the clean water and the abundant food you give them, they can get much bigger than they do in the wild.
However, if you're lucky, the breeder may have multiple wild caught pairs and can pair up an F1 with an F1 from a different pair. That would be ideal. Many experienced hobbyist will bring in new wild caught fish to diversify their gene pool and make the gene stronger.
If you want to play the safe route, I would recommend an F1 or captive bred line.
However, as long as you know who your source is, you can end up with great healthy fish either way. Make sure your source quarantines their fishes either way.
The domesticated "fancy" bettas are all captive bred. They are a mix of several different species over decades to develop different coloration and fin patterns to attract fish hobbyists. You will not find them in the wild naturally, unless they were placed there.