International Betta Congress Issues GloFish Betta Policy

06 Feb, 2020

The International Betta Congress (IBC) is a worldwide union of Betta-lovers and breeders. It was founded in the United States in 1966 by Dr. Gene Lucas (known as the father of the IBC) and others as a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting bettas and researching them.

The International Betta Congress (IBC) is a worldwide union of Betta-lovers and breeders. It was founded in the United States in 1966 by Dr. Gene Lucas (known as the father of the IBC) and others as a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting bettas and researching them.

via International Betta Congress (IBC)

Official Notice from the Judging Board
05 February 2020

With the advent of GloFish® Bettas coming into the market the IBC is issuing an official policy as to the use of GloFish® Bettas in the IBC and for IBC Shows. Below is the official policy of the use of GloFish®

Electric Green® GloFish® Betta

Electric Green® GloFish® male betta. Image from 5-D Tropicals.


GloFish® fluorescent ornamental fish are intended solely for visual enjoyment as aquarium fish by end-users who have purchased these fish through authorized channels, and not for commercial reproduction. Please note the following important information:

These fish are the subject of various intellectual property rights owned or controlled by GloFish LLC, both in the U.S. and internationally.

GloFish® is a trademark owned by GloFish LLC (Registration No. 3,056,697) and cannot be used in connection with the promotion or sale of any ornamental fish other than authentic GloFish® fluorescent fish, which are exclusively produced by Segrest Farms, Inc. and 5-D Tropical, Inc. for sale on behalf of GloFish LLC.

GloFish® fluorescent fish are covered under one or more of the following United States Patent Numbers: 7,834,239; 7,858,844; 7,700,825; 7,135,613; 7,442,522; 7,537,915; 7,150,979; 7,166,444, 8,153,858; 8,232,450; 8,232,451; 8,378,169; 8,581,023; 8,581,024; 8,581,025; 8,975,467; 8,727,554; and 8,987,546, as well as other pending applications.

Intentional breeding and/or any sale, barter, or trade, of any offspring of GloFish® fluorescent ornamental fish is strictly prohibited.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, production of these fish is permitted for educational use by teachers and students in bona fide educational institutions, provided, however, that any sale, barter, or trade, of the offspring from such reproduction of these fish is strictly prohibited.

Any bag, container, or aquarium holding GloFish® fluorescent fish for resale, other than bags provided to end-users, will be marked with either “GloFish® fluorescent fish”, or “GloFish®”, along with the name of the specific line(s) being held (i.e., Starfire Red®, Electric Green®, Sunburst Orange®, etc.). The IBC will honor all agreements that exist with the GloFish® Betta an end-users. As such.

  • GloFish® Bettas are only allowed to be shown in the purchased fish category
  • GloFish® Bettas shown in any other class will be automatically disqualified as it is a violation of the user agreement on reproducing the Glo Betta
  • GloFish® Bettas are not to be auctioned off at any IBC event so that the IBC does not unintentionally violate the sales policy on Glo Bettas.
  • The agreements with the GloFish® Betta manufactures will be honored, and no classes will ever be constructed for GloFish® Bettas unless that class is constructed under the Purchased fish Category at the discretion of the IBC Judging Board.

We at the IBC hope you do understand and honor these agreements. Infractions will be dealt with in an appropriate manner as outlined in the IBC Handbook as needed by the Judging Board and the Executive Board.

Gerald Griffin
Judging Board Chair


Learn more about the new GloFish Betta the recent press release from Spectrum Brands.

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Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.


  1. February 07, 2020

    I’ve been looking through the patent files, and I can’t find anything for bettas. I’ve found a bunch of different colors of zebrafish, and a few tetras and barbs, but I can’t find any that even mention bettas (funnily enough, they mention gouramis, ricefish, and a few others). I’d assume this means that the bettas are not patented, which I would think would mean that we could breed them freely.

    • February 17, 2020

      Interesting. I don’t have time to dig into it at the moment, and while neither a lawyer nor a representative of the patent holders in any capacity, I believe the patent probably applies rather broadly to ornamental fish applications rather than just a specific species of fish. Conversely, maybe you stumbled upon something? Or the patent, if specific to Bettas, could be pending…in plant patents they are rather retroactive…e.g. PPAF = Plant Patent Applied For which is a warning sign that IF you propagate this plant, while not currently patented, if it becomes patented you’ll be in hot water nevertheless.

  2. February 18, 2020

    Wow _ when I read the headline, I assumed the IBC had banned them.

    Surely, these fish have no place in serious fishkeeping..

  3. February 18, 2020

    Isn’t this a situation where the color®, as well as the “tag” Glowfish®, is where the power of the patent resides??? The species of fish, as in this case, doesn’t have to be listed on an already declared Patent instantly upon their introduction into the market, but can instead be brought into their “fam” of Glowies after the fact, in the form of an addendum?

    Personally, I do not feel that this Glowfish ® or any others should have their own categories created specifically for their behalf. I mean look at the two pictures of the example fish. I couldn’t care less about how green or orange or yellow they are glowing when you consider the dreadful body form they are displaying. Who would add something like this to their bloodlines?? Just look at the fins alone and imagine how many generations it would take you just to breed out the misshaped body and just the cadual and dorsal deformities.

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but the only time fish looking this bad come home with me is due to my choosing to rescue them and give them a decent life. They have zero value to even the hobbyist that is only just beginning their stroll down genetics lane. lol

    I apologize if I am alone in thinking that the only thing they have going for them is their GLOWING personalities. I am not saying that Glowfish ® are ugly… or trying to deminish what these people have done in the least. I am saying that as I perceive them.. they only have ONE Orange color ® that I would be able to look at for very long. Someone should have at least elected to create some less offensive shades before condemning these poor fish into their aqua hellscapes.

    • July 21, 2020

      I did brred and did not distribute a female glo betta and a regular crown tail blue and red and the fry came out neon just like the mother but with marble trates from the father

  4. February 18, 2020

    who cares they can be sold under a feffent name and they will be bread

  5. February 19, 2020

    I work in the wholesale tropical fish industry. As it has been explained to me, GloFish owns the patent on the actual “process” of introducing the fluorescent protein into the genetic code of the organism; so any species they choose to produce will be automatically covered by that “patented process” for creating GMO fish. The original GFP (green florescent protein) zebra danios were bred for scientific research, hence the loophole for breeding for educational purposes provided that there is no commercial sale of surplus stock. I am no lawyer either and would suggest anyone interested in trying to breed these fish for commercial purposes consult a patent lawyer to see if any other loopholes exist. I have heard that the parent corporation that owns GloFish LLC is fairly swift and brutal at squashing any unauthorized production or distribution of their product, at least here in the US. That being said, it would be very difficult for them to track widespread small hobbyist production and cash sales at fish clubs, etc; just don’t do anything stupid like advertise them for sale on your business website or social media.

  6. Jr
    February 21, 2020

    These are not real fish worth breeding by any betta afficionado. Ban them from the IBC.Who needs these phony fish with all these limitations and poor body/fins? Next they will advertise that they are prize winning fish…What a bleeping joke. Come on IBC board, grow a set.

  7. March 01, 2020

    Whether professional breeders like them or not my glo betta is a great fish and has an amazing personality and I breed and sell. Sue me

  8. March 08, 2020

    All you people talking trash about glo fish bettas are not very bright! Pun intended!
    Most have perfect body shape and perfectly formed fins.
    Their are far more malformed bettas in most stores that sell them than the glo fish bettas.
    They are very striking and interesting fish.
    Anyone who says otherwise is again, not very bright. Get over it, they aren’t going to cause any harm. They would be the first to be predated on if released into the wild. we don’t have wild populations of bettas here in the US anyways.
    If you think glo fish bettas are not worthy of having in your home or your collection, then it’s your opinions that are what’s at fault.
    Get real, get a life and learn to respect ALL animals. Especially ones as beautiful as glo fish bettas.
    Just because one photo shows a fish you don’t like does not mean all of them have those traits.
    In fact, most glo fish bettas I have seen are perfect specimens.
    I’ve been raising and showing fish for over 25 years. I know what I’m talking about.
    These fish have the exact same personalities as all the other “man made” varieties.
    If you don’t like “man made”varieties, then make sure you only keep wild specimens. 90% of tropical fish have been altered by man changing their genetics to make colors, sizes and personalities that they like.
    I swear, some people in this trade are bat $&!/ crazy.
    If you don’t think glo fish bettas are not striking in color and appearance, you know your full of it. They are absolutely striking and amazing fish!

  9. June 12, 2020

    I give talks on the hobby. I concider myself an educator. When they had glow Danios I crossbred a non- glowing Male to a glowing female and got 100% glowing fry. I photographed everything and presented it as a learning experiment in fish genetics. I shared this info with my “students”. I am going to cross a glow female betta to a non- glowing betta and see if I get the same result as the danios. I will then do a talk on it to the fish club. This is allowable acirding to the Patent holders website. As long as I do not transfer any of these babies to anyone else, I am fine. Also I will be abliged to do the talk, as I AM the educator.

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