Wild bettas are definitely not a bread and butter fish for most stores. Something of a specialist fish, they unfortunately can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. While the wild betta scene is growing in Australia, most of the species are not popular or 'easy' enough to become more widely available.
However, luckily for wild betta enthusiasts, there is one individual who regularly brings some cracker stock into this country.
I can say without any reservations that the best source for wild bettas in Australia, has to be Jodi-Lea of Fishchick Aquatics. She imports nearly all of her wilds from overseas breeders and sellers, and the quality and health of these fish is always top notch.
I have received fish from Jodi-Lea that have gone on to spawn the same day they arrived. These were not an easy species either, but a pair of Betta persephone!
All of the fish I have received from her store have been in excellent condition and quickly settled in once they have recovered from the stress of interstate shipping.
Most wild bettas do not do well in the typical fish store environment, and may be suffering from poor nutrition and damage to fins or scales from fighting. Therefore, it is refreshing to receive wilds that have obviously been very well cared for prior to shipping.
It seems like many of the wilds imported in through Fishchick Aquatics, come from the fish room of Hermanus Haryanto. Anyone who knows anything about wilds, knows his fish are absolutely superb. They also have a much higher chance of being correctly identified (there is always room for human error), unlike some of the stock that comes through the wholesalers either mislabelled or are hybrids posing as pure strains.
Mislabelled fish and hybrids slipping under the radar all threaten the conservation efforts of breeders. This is particularly the case with the splendens complex, where I have seen fish of dubious heritage sold as 'pure'.
Perhaps the most only complaint I have seen about Jodi-Lea, is that she is slow to respond to emails. However, when you consider how many emails she probably gets in a single day, it's not hard to see why she may not get back to every inquiry right away. Honestly, it's really not much of an effort to take a couple of minutes and send a follow-up email through.
There are other stores that supply wild bettas throughout Australia, but I have to say that Fishchick Aquatics does stand out above the rest.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.