If you love bettas, you’ll agree that bigger is definitely better!
The biggest betta fish is known as a Giant betta or Betta anabatoides. So, is the Betta anabatoides easy to care for?
Do these supersize betta fish need a larger tank than ordinary bettas? How readily available are Betta anabatoides, and are they expensive to buy?
Read on for a full guide to the beautiful Betta anabatoides.
Betta Anabatoides – Overview
|Betta Anabatoides Info
|Giant betta fish, Betta Anabatoides
|3 to 7 inches long
|Red, blue, marble, green
|pH 6.5 to 8.0, water temperature 75º to 86º F, water hardness 3 to 4 dGH
|Not present in the wild
|Bubble nester, egg-layer
|3 to 4 years
What Are Betta Anabatoides?
Betta anabatoides are selectively bred Plakats. The striking feature of these fish is that they grow to between 3 inches and 7 inches in length, much larger than regular bettas.
Origins of Betta Fish
Betta anabatoides are derived from wild bettas found in tropical parts of Asia, especially Thailand’s Mekon and Phraya river basins.
Here the fish are normal-sized, and they don’t have the glamorous, flowing finnage and vibrant colors that we associate with most of the bettas you see for sale in your local fish store.
These wild betta fish live in slow-moving, shallow water, such as rice paddies, streams, ditches, ponds, and marshy areas.
Betta fish are primarily carnivorous, feeding on insect larvae, tiny worms, and water-bound insects. Did you know that wild betta fish can jump?
Jumping enables the fish to grab insects from the air as they fly close to the water’s surface. Bettas also jump to move locations in search of food and mates and to escape from predatory fish and rival males.
All betta fish are referred to as anabantoids or labyrinth breathers. The fish can use a special anatomical structure called the labyrinth organ to breathe atmospheric air, thanks to a genetic quirk. This enables the betta to survive in poorly oxygenated water.
In fact, bettas need to supplement the dissolved oxygen in the water by using their labyrinth organ to take oxygen from the air.
So, you’ll see your betta fish visiting the surface of the water in its tank from time to time throughout the day to take a gulp of air.
Siamese Fighting Fish
Hundreds of years ago, farmers would collect betta fish from their saturated paddy fields. Two male fish would be pitted against each other, and the farmers would bet on the fight’s outcome.
Unfortunately for the fish, fighting bettas soon became a national pastime. Even the King of Siam levied a tax on bettas and regulated fighting bouts.
Wild bettas are built to be competitive and to survive in tough conditions. These Plakats, as they are known, are powerful fish with stocky bodies and short fins, making them ideal for physical contests.
The fish also have a feisty, super-aggressive nature and will not tolerate rival males in their territory. Fights are often fatal, so you can never keep two male bettas in the same tank.
More recently, bettas have found a place in people’s homes, not as fighters but as pets.
The wild Plakat’s dull green color has been bred out thanks to crossbreeding, and the betta fish species now comes in a dazzling range of beautiful patterns, colors, and finnage.
Betta Anabatoides History
The very first Betta anabatoides were bred by three Thai betta enthusiasts, Wasan Sattayapun, Athapon Ratanapichad, and Natee Ratanapichad, who named themselves “Team Giant.”
Back in 1999, the team noticed a freakishly large green male Plakat betta among the fish they had bred. Athapon had already noted that the green bettas typically grew considerably bigger than fish of other colors.
However, this green betta was already over 3 inches in length! The team decided that the fish’s unusually large size must be due to a genetic mutation.
Team Giant immediately began attempting to produce a whole new breed of oversized betta fish. By mating the extra-large green male betta with their largest female, the breeders hoped to produce more oversized fish.
Of that first generation, a few fish grew to be very large. The team persevered, crossing giant bettas with normal-sized betta fish.
The percentage of Betta anabatoides seen in each spawn and generation gradually increased until, within as few as five generations, extra-large bettas made up about one-fifth of the fry in each spawn.
Now that they knew they could breed Betta anabatoides, the team started trying to expand the range of colors they could produce by breeding Giant bettas with regular betta fish of other varieties.
The largest fish produced from each spawn were then taken and crossbred until Betta anabatoides in different colors were produced.
Breeding Betta anabatoides quickly became popular, and you can now find many different colors and forms of these big, beautiful bettas.
Betta Anabatoides Appearance
Betta anabatoides grow to be between 3 and 7 inches long, much larger than the regular betta splendens types and the King betta.
Giant bettas are thought to be closely related to Betta imbellis. Betta imbellis are still bred to be super-aggressive, and these feisty fish are widely preferred for fighting contests.
These fish have short fins and broad tails, making them fast, agile swimmers and supreme fighters. The fish’s body is short and stocky, again built for power and strength.
Like all betta fish, Betta anabatoides are extremely territorial and highly aggressive toward other male bettas.
These fighting fish will even attack larger, brightly colored fish of different species that the betta thinks could present a threat to his territory.
You should never keep adult males with other bettas, including females. If fighting breaks out, it almost always ends in one fish being seriously injured or even killed.
Can I Keep Betta anabatoides in a Community Tank?
Wild betta fish are solitary, territorial fish, coming together only to mate.
Captive betta fish commercially bred as pets don’t need company, either. However, when a betta is kept in a tank without sufficient stimulation, he might become bored. Your betta should be fine if you provide plenty of toys, plants, and decorations.
However, you might also want to include a few freshwater snails or aquarium shrimp in your betta’s tank. These creatures won’t hassle your betta fish and can provide a useful cleanup service by eating organic waste and uneaten food.
Unless you have a particularly aggressive Betta anabatoides, you might also include a small group of Corydoras catfish. These peaceful bottom dwellers won’t bother your betta and can make a cute addition to your setup.
However, you must never include vibrantly colored fish with trailing fins, as that could trigger an aggressive reaction from your betta.
Betta Anabatoides Care Guide
If you fancy taking on one of the big bad betta boys, you’ll want to know how to care for him!
Keep reading to learn everything you need about Betta anabatoides care.
The Betta anabatoides is not an outrageously large fish but it shouldn’t be kept in a bowl or vase. That kind of container is not suitable for a fish of any species.
Your betta should have a tank of at least 5 gallons in capacity, although, like your new Betta anabatoides, bigger is better! Generally, you should allow one gallon of water per one inch of fish.
Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your aquarium. Overcrowding causes issues with water quality and will almost certainly provoke aggression from your feisty fish.
Remember that bettas can jump, especially those with short, powerful fins like Betta anabatoides. Your tank must have a cover slide or a tightly fitting lid.
Bettas are surface feeders and need to breathe air regularly through their labyrinth organs. For that reason, you need to use a long, shallow aquarium, not a tall one.
Your Giant betta needs a stable environment in which to thrive. The ideal water temperature for is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The ambient room temperature should be as close as possible to the water to ensure that the betta’s labyrinth organ is not damaged.
The water pH should be between 6.5 and 8.0, with a water hardness of 3 to 4 dGH.
All fish tanks should have an efficient filtration system that’s designed for the size of the tank.
The filtration system helps to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish and other livestock. However, wild bettas live in very slow-moving or even stagnant water, so the flow rate needs to be gentle to avoid stressing your Giant betta.
In a strong current, a betta will be stressed. Stress compromises the betta’s immune system, leading to disease and failure to thrive.
Ideally, you should run an air-powered sponge filter system in a betta tank. That system will provide a gentle current while keeping your tank water clean.
Betta anabatoides prefer a well-planted tank without too much light. Surface plants are perfect, giving the betta somewhere to hide and provide shade.
Plants with flat leaves are ideal, as the betta will use the leaves as a resting spot and might build a bubble nest underneath the leaves, too.
In addition to plants, you can include smooth rocks, driftwood, and roots in your aquascape to create an interesting environment for your betta pet to explore.
Hollow floating betta logs and caves are perfect for your Betta anabatoides to lurk inside and defend their territory.
Fine gravel or sandy substrate topped with a few handfuls of dried almond leaves is the best idea for a betta fish tank.
The leaves provide a good habitat for beneficial microbes, bacteria, and leach substances in the water that can act as a kind of natural medication for the fish.
Betta fish in the wild environment are mostly carnivorous, enjoying a diet of insects, aquatic worms, insect larvae, and a small quantity of plant matter.
Captive Betta anabatoides need a high-protein carnivore diet, consisting of betta pellets, meaty frozen foods, and freeze-dried treats, such as bloodworms.
If you can find a reliable source, you can offer your Giant betta live food, including mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and daphnia. However, be careful that you don’t accidentally introduce parasites into your tank with the food.
Do not overfeed your Betta anabatoides! Just because your fish is large doesn’t mean he needs to eat for two! Bettas can be greedy fish prone to obesity, constipation, and bloating, all of which are usually caused by overeating.
So, feed your fish a couple of times each day, offering him only what he’ll clear in a few minutes.
We recommend including one fasting day per week in your Giant betta’s routine. This will enable the fish to digest all the food he’s eaten without it backing up and blocking his gut.
Breeding Betta Anabatoides
Bettas of all varieties are bubble nesters that are actually pretty straightforward to breed in a home aquarium.
However, Giant bettas are highly aggressive and have been known to kill a female rather than mate with her. In addition, to produce a spawn containing Betta anabatoides, you will need a female Giant betta, which is not easy to come by.
For those reasons, we recommend that you leave breeding Betta anabatoides to the experts.
Betta Anabatoides Health
Although they are relatively short-lived, Betta anabatoides are pretty hardy, disease-resistant fish.
Provided they are kept in the correct environment and fed a high-quality, nutritional diet; your Giant betta should remain pretty healthy and thriving.
That said, there are a few common fish diseases to be on the lookout for, including:
- White Spot Disease (Ich)
- Fin rot
- Bacterial infections
These diseases can usually be treated easily with an over-the-counter medication that you’ll get from pet and fish stores.
Although most good fish stores carry a range of different betta varieties, you’ll do well to find a Betta anabatoides.
Your best bet is to search online, where you can generally find these super-sized fish for sale. The price of these fish varies widely from $50 to $300 for a rare, candy-colored example.
Did you enjoy our guide to the larger-than-life Betta anabatoides? If you did, please take a moment to share the article before you go.
Betta anabatoides are also known as Giant bettas. These oversized fish were developed a couple of decades ago by a team of breeders in Thailand.
These bettas are actually related to Plakats and have inherited their wild relative’s highly aggressive, territorial nature.
Betta anabatoides are easy to care for, but you might need to keep your big boy in a tank with only a few shrimp or snails for company.
Do you have a big, beautiful Betta anabatoides? Tell us about your fish in the comments box below!