The International Betta Congress is a nonprofit world wide organization promoting the selective breeding, raising and study of the Genus Betta. When you join, you will receive a membership card, handbook, a tip sheet on how to ship fish to a show, a "Beginner's Guide" that contains an article on how to breed/raise bettas, and a "Technical Assistance Library Listing". From the T.A. Library you can purchase photocopies of articles that have appeared in past issues of FLARE. Many of these articles are written by individuals whose names are synonymous with keeping bettas. Just about any aspect of keeping bettas can be found; from spawning, diseases, wild types, to photography, and genetics.
Our bi-monthly bulletin, FLARE, contains articles written by our members and are geared towards the beginner as well as the advanced hobbyist. Within the pages of FLARE you will also find the "IBC Stock Shop" which offers the reader a chance to purchase some of the best livestock in the country. Since bettas travel quite easily through the mail with first class special delivery postage, its possible for a member on the east coast to purchase fish from a member on the west coast. Bettas such as double-tails, the wild types and unusual color varieties are often listed for sale by our members. And if you are looking for a particular color strain, you can list your "wants" in this column as well.
IBC actively promotes the selective breeding of various color and finnage strains of Bettas through the Sanctioned Show program. It is at these shows that bettas are exhibited and judged in pre-defined set classes set by the IBC Judging Board. Competition at these shows is enthusiastic as members compete for annual awards for strains and overall competition. Since shows solicit mail-in entries you will find that a good share of the entries will be derived from mail-ins. The culmination of many shows is an auction where fine breeding stock can be obtained. Sometimes fish that actually placed in the local show will be offered up for sale. Be sure to check out the Show Calendar in each issue of FLARE for dates and information.
Rounding off the IBC year is the June Annual Convention hosted by one or more IBC chapters (smaller local groups of Betta hobbyists within IBC). At this event is the world's largest exhibition of fine show quality bettas. It is not unusual to see over 700 entries at one of these annual events! Annual awards for show competition and contribution to the betta hobby are presented at an Awards Banquet. There are also seminars, business meetings and a giant betta auction to satisfy even the newest betta enthusiast.