Join the Club: The Eastern Betta Society

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Many large clubs exist in the fish hobby; some as general aquarium clubs, and some species specific.  Many of these clubs have routine meetings in person, auctions, club events, and fundraisers. But this is the Internet age, and many of us don’t have the time for that much commitment. If bettas are your forte, there is a club that just about anyone can become involved in without investing a lot of personal time. And one such club is the Eastern Betta Society (EBS).

EBS was founded in September 2013 by Jay Loonay, Morgan Collins, and Kristen McGlammery, and in October 2014, the current president, Jackie Hutcherson, took over. Just as the name states, the club serves residents in the eastern portion of the United States. EBS is a chapter of the International Betta Congress, and was awarded chapter of the year in 2015 for the innovation of forming a club that is primarily online based.

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Once a month, an online meeting is conducted via a chat server, so that all members regardless of where they live can log in and discuss fish with their members. During these meetings, many topics are covered, as well as general chatter to ask and answer questions posed by the members of the club. EBS offers a friendly atmosphere that is welcoming to those new to the species or to fishkeeping in general. The officers and other members strive to provide education and fellowship for those that love bettas.

Many of the EBS members breed and show domestic bettas, while others specialize in wild types. Regardless of a member’s level of betta keeping and knowledge, they are welcomed into the club with open arms. There are some members who do not breed or show, and just have bettas as pets and have joined to simply appreciate their species of choice and learn more about them.

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Another unique aspect of EBS are online auctions, typically ran through Facebook where members can bid and buy fish, and fish-related items that are typically donated by other members for the benefit of the club. In addition to this, members are able to buy, sell, and trade stock with other EBS members as well.

EBS was also the first chapter of IBC to offer a Breeders Appreciation Program to reward those who are breeding fish for their efforts. This program offers an incentive for successfully breeding any variety of bettas from domestics to endangered wild species.

EBS sometimes hosts a betta show, where members can send in or bring their prize fish to compete against others. Prizes are awarded for each category and members typically have a great time in the process. Entrance fees for these shows are low, but many clubs across the board struggle to even break even to keep the costs at an affordable rate.

If interested in joining, please visit the EBS website, where you can pay the low yearly membership fee of $10 and have one-on-one access to successful breeders and knowledgeable individuals. Through joining you will also become a part of a family of individuals who all aspire for similar goals: breeding, raising, and enjoying betta fish.

summerSummer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization.