Last Updated: February 20, 2023 by Dave Gibbins
Giant betta fish is a species of betta fish. From its name, it’s the largest betta fish type due to selective breeding. Its scientific name is Betta anabantoids, and it belongs to the family osphronemidae.
This fish can grow 5 – 7 inches in length, almost twice the size of a regular betta fish. Additionally, it’s the most peaceful betta and is mainly preferred by the aquarist. Again, this fish has a fantastic appearance, especially the fins so you will love it.
This guide will inform you how to care for giant betta fish, provide the best aquarium environment and enjoy living with healthy pets.
Origin of Giant Betta and Life Span
The biggest betta fish is a freshwater fish from Southern Kalimantan, Indonesia, and other Asia regions. This large betta fish emerged from selective captive breeding, where the giant gene resulted in the phenotype.
The biggest betta fish have a shorter lifespan due to their weak immunity. Also, the big betta fish are highly vulnerable to bacterial infections.
However, if you take good care of your fish, giant betta fish live from 3 to 5 years.
Appearance and Size
The male giant bettas have beautiful coloring while females are duller in color. Mostly these fish appear in striking bright shades of blue, green, red, and orange. But they still possess the colorful fins present in the betta fish. The giant bettas are the most appealing species among the bettas.
How big do giant bettas get? The giant betta male is larger and can grow to a length of 3.5 – 4 inches, while the female giant betta is a little smaller. However, the giant betta size can reach 5 – 7 inches long.
The Behavior of the Biggest Betta Fish in the World
If you compare giant betta with regular betta fish, they are more peaceful. The aggression reported is during brooding, and therefore you should avoid keeping male bettas in the same tank. However, you can keep the giant betta fish as couples.
The giant betta swims around in smooth, gentle movements when it is peaceful. But when stressed, the large betta fish will swim in rapid, frantic movements.
During the mating season, the male bettas start by building a bubble nest for the eggs. The male betta also darts back and forth, showing colorful fins. The female giant bettas take time to inspect the nest and gauge its worth. If the nest isn’t okay, the female giant betta will swim away or destroy it.
The male ups the game on display and starts chasing the female around and trying to engage her in a mating dance. He won’t give up on the dancing back and forth until the female gives in. Sometimes it can get sour with much chasing and biting.
When the female is ready, the male flips the female and wraps himself around her midsection. They squeeze themselves tight with the ventral close for fertilization. Later the female will lay eggs, and the male scoops them and places them in the nest for hatching.
Super Giant Betta Fish Care
These fish require the same care as the regular betta fish. You should pay attention to their habitat conditions and ensure it’s clean and free of algae. Again, maintain appropriate water parameters to protect the giant betta from illnesses and stress.
Some of the water quality routine practices for giant betta fish care include;
- Check the filter, water temperatures, and heater daily.
- Test the water parameters once a week. Also, change the water in small tanks once a week. In a large tank, do a 10 – 25% water change. Make sure to use dechlorinated water during a water change.
- Change the filter media at least once a month.
Feeding is also crucial for a robust immune system. Ensure you feed your giant betta with the correct amount to avoid overfeeding issues.
Again, please provide them with a carnivorous specific diet with more proteins.
Avoid overcrowding the giant betta fish or keeping them in a small tank as it leads to stress and increases the chances of infections.
Giant Betta Tank Mates
Due to this fish’s peaceful nature, it can exist in a community tank of other fish like Tetras and Rasboras. However, ensure you don’t keep male giant bettas together as they can be aggressive. So, while selecting their tank mates, ensure they are calmer and not larger than the giant wild betta.
On the contrary, female betta can pair with just any fish. You can even place them together with giant fish of the opposite sex. Other tank mates for giant betta fish include cory catfish, ghost shrimp, and kuhli loaches.
There are fish that you shouldn’t stock with giant bettas. Keep off fast swimmers that nip fins of other fish. Examples of fish to avoid include;
- Fancy guppies – giant bettas will attack males due to their bright color
- Gouramis – these fish look much similar to giant bettas, and they may confuse each other and start fighting.
Your giant betta fish requires the following conditions in the aquarium for optimum growth and survival:
1. Giant Betta Tank Size
One giant betta can survive in a 5 – gallon water tank. So, for a couple, you require at least a 10 – gallon aquarium. If you need to add more fish, you will require a larger aquarium. The best recommendation on the tank size is using 1 inch of fish per gallon.
So, if you have the three biggest betta fish in the world with 6 inches, you should use 18 gallons of tank or more. You should avoid filling the tank fully as the fish love coming to the surface to gulp air.
You can choose any substrate for your giant betta as long as it will support plant growth. Nevertheless, sand or fine substrate may be fine. If possible, add a layer of dry almond leaves to the substrate to create a natural look.
Wild giant betta fish requires adequate filtration for high water quality. However, since they are weak swimmers, the water should have minimal currents for them to survive. You may consider an air-powered sponge filter to clean the tank and provide a gentle flow.
4. Water Parameters
Giant bettas can tolerate a temperature range of 77 – 86 degrees F. The fish can prefer acidic water with a pH of 4.5. The best pH range is between 5 – 6.5, but it can still survive in neutral waters. The water hardness should be 5 – 20dGH. Again, ensure you treat the water with a de-chlorinator before stocking your fish.
Giant betta fish require adequate natural lighting, especially for the growth of plants. Giant bettas have no specific preference for light apart from a typical day/night cycle. At night the super-giant betta requires darkness for them to sleep. However, avoid much direct sunlight to avoid raising water temperatures and instead use artificial lighting.
6. Water Heater
Provide a heater for the tank to keep the waters warm.
7. Lid for Giant Betta’s Tank
Ensure you place a lid on the tank as the fish can jump out of the tank. This behavior is more evident in the breeding season as the male chases the female.
8. Plant and Decorations for Giant Betta
Super-giant betta loves an aquarium with live plants and prefers large, broad leaves. Go for plants that can survive in an acidic environment, like Anubis and java ferns. The broad leaves provide a floating cover for the bettas to hide.
Keep décor free of sharp edges to avoid injuring the fish fins.
Feeding Giant Betta
Giant betta fish are carnivorous in nature – big bettas like eating shrimp, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms in the wild. As a fish farmer, it’s best to feed your fish the proper diet. Feed the giant betta with small feed quantities twice a day.
The giant betta diet should be carnivore-specific pellets. You can also supplement the diet with meaty foods either from fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried sources. Kindly don’t feed your biggest betta fish in the world with hard shells, as this will affect digestion.
Ensure you don’t overfeed them as this causes constipation and, finally, stress. Also, a swollen abdomen leads to a swim bladder condition that is risky for your fish. Overfeeding giant betta affects water quality as excess feed decays, leading to the accumulation of toxic compounds in the tank that can kill the fish.
Young giant betta can eat more than mature ones, but you should avoid overfeeding. However, mature giant betta requires more protein than regular bettas.
Fun Fact: Your giant betta deserves a giant feeding of its favorite food items. What if you run out of stock or don’t have anything else to offer? Fret not! We listed our top choices in our article, Best Betta Food: Yummy Treats For Your Aqua Pal & Other Info. Go and get one now!
Breeding the Giant Betta
The giantism feature is codominant in the fish. The trait carriers mainly produce average bettas with half the size of the expected giant bettas. In simpler terms, if you require giant offspring, you should breed a giant betta fish couple.
Nevertheless, if you raise a giant betta and betta splendens, the two will produce offspring carrying the gene (carrier). This type of fish only grows a few inches in length between the regular and giant betta.
So, when choosing a breeding pair, check for healthy male bettas with the following characteristics.
- Young giant betta fish between 4 – 12 months as their fertility drops as they hit one year.
- Male giant betta free from genetic conditions
- Male with the bright coloration to attract the female
- Giant betta male with long undamaged fins
Disease and Parasite Control for Giant Betta
Giant betta fish are less susceptible to diseases than regular bettas species. However, they still require proper husbandry, which will reduce the risk of illnesses. Some of the infections that affect this giant betta fish arise from poor water quality, such as;
- Bacterial illnesses
- Fungal infections like fin rot
To prevent such illnesses, ensure you maintain a clean environment for your giant betta fish. Clean the tanks, and maintain appropriate water parameters through monitoring and regular water changing.
Another condition that affects giant betta fish is constipation which occurs due to overfeeding. This issue is common and can even cause the death of your fish. Ensure you feed them with a quality diet and the right food.
Below are some treatments you may consider for your well-being of giant betta fish;
- Using catappa Indian almond leaves – they help prevent parasites, prevent bacterial control growth, relieve stress, and constipation, adjust pH and even stimulate fish color. These leaves also mimic their natural environment as the leaves are typical in Southeast Asia.
- In case of fungal external fungal infections, use methylene blue
- Aquarium salt – it’s necessary as a first-aid treatment for your fish, especially when having constipation. Again, a salt bath promotes quick recovery of other internal and external infections and healing of wounds.
- Melafix – is best for treating bacterial infections in your fish.
Fun Fact: Meet another betta species you would surely take time to look at. Read our post regarding Copper Betta: A Look Into Its Metallic Character & Behavior and get ready to fall in love with it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is giant betta the same as king betta?
King betta fish and big betta fish are very different species. Though the two species are from a hybrid of plakat betta, they vary in size. Giant betta fish can grow up to three to seven inches, while king betta fish can only attain three inches. Therefore, the giant betta is the largest, followed by the king betta and the betta splendens.
What are the similarities between betta and king betta?
- Giant betta and king betta appear in blue, red, and green marble.
- Both large betta fish and king betta fish have a life span of three years though giant bettas can live more.
- The king betta fish and giant fish are highly temperamental and aggressive, and you shouldn’t keep them in the same tank.
How fast does a giant betta grow?
Giant Betta grows at a faster rate than regular bettas. Young giants can mature in only 2 – 3 months if under favorable conditions. At 18 months, this fish stops growing though, at one year, they are already adults.
Big betta fish are lovely pets and require simple care. From this guide, we have taken you through a series of practices on how to take care of your colorful giant wild betta fish. The giant betta fish require almost the same care as typical betta fish but with more attention.
Ensure your tank is set correctly with appropriate water parameters and size. Again, feed your fish with the correct feeds to get better immunity. Your big betta fish will be free from infections and have a longer lifespan with good care.