Part 1: THE STORY OF BETTA SPLENDENS:
Bettas have been bred selectively for about the last 50 years to improve the finnage. Many breeders in America and Europe set about
improving the finnage through selective breeding.
The early betta were imported from Thailand, Singapore and other south east Asian countries. These fish had slightly elongated fins. That
is the caudal (tail fin) were a little longer than on the plakat betta, which is short finned and had been bred by Thais to fight against each
other. Huge bets were made and houses, wives and money often changed hands.
The most important breeder in the 50's was Warren Young. He bred fish with superior size and long veil tail fins. Each of the single fins,
like the dorsal, caudal and anal fin were as long as the body length. These fish were called Libby Bettas after Warren's wife Libby.
In the 60's, Edward Schmidt Focke of Germany was able to breed the first Delta fish from the Thai bettas. His fish were not as long finned
as the libby Bettas, but had broad fins like the modern day bettas and the tail or caudal fin was Delta shaped.
In 1967 the IBC (International Betta Congress) was formed by a group of betta breeders. The IBC aimed to breed fish with fins that were
broad and symmetrical instead of long. These fish were able to swim better than those with fins that were long.
By the 80's the IBC breeders like Parris Jones, Peter Goettner and others were breeding fishes which we would call the Super-Delta (fish
with round tails and lots of volume).
Part 2 : THE TRUE STORY OF THE HALFMOON:
In the early 80's, Guy Delaval and some other breeders imported these fish to France.
Guy Delaval selected bred these fish for more angle on the tail fins and in 1987 he had a few fish that had a caudal fin of 180°. At the show
in France Rajiv Masillamoni saw these fishes and realised that Guy Delaval had come up with the impossible. Up until this time the angle
of caudal fins were about 160° maximum and they could not swim as well or were not as symetrical as the halfmoon caudal fish.
Laurent Chenot and Rajiv Masillamoni joined in trying to preserve these fish. They tried to breed these fish, but they were too inbred and
would not breed. The male did not build a bubble nest and did not even know how to wrap around the female. The female however would
breed. Rajiv and Laurent did many spawns with pet shop fish and fish of various lines. A fish that came out of these crosses had a female
of Delaval as mother and a black double tail male from American lines as father: This fish was called R39.
This fish was bred by Rajiv Masillamoni to all of the females of his and Laurent Chenot lines. Some Halfmoons turned up and Laurent
and Rajiv continued breeding hard.
In 1991 Jeff Wilson (an American breeder who had earlier been breeding dogs).saw the fish he called them
Halfmoons...Rajiv thought that it was an apt name.
Jeff and Rajiv would ship our good fish by plane over the Atlantic, this way we kept putting the best Halfmoons genes into fish and we were
getting Halfmoons more often in the spawns...almost a few in every spawn.
In 1993 there was an IBC convention in Tampa Florida. We showed under the name CHENMASWIL and we won best of show with the
Halfmoon fish. This fish was shown on the cover of Fama magazine in America and set the Halfmoon craze loose. Every breeder in
America started breeding from these Halfmoons.