The giant betta (Betta anabantoides) is a type of freshwater ray-finned fish in the Macropodusinae subfamily, part of the gourami family. It is native to southern Kalimantan, the Borneo region of Indonesia. It is present in several freshwater habitats and is a paternal mouth-broader.
Giant bettas are well deserving of their name to their size. The appearance of the giant betta was the result of hard work and cautious, selective breeding. In 1999, Team giant created the first giant plakat through plakat betta. The target being bettas which reach at least 3 inches in length. But now there are evidence that they can grow to 5 to 7 inches long.
They have also given rise to considerable controversy in the hobby. Betta enthusiasts are some who are divide as to whether or not they believe that betta giantism is caused by a single gene. Simply the result of careful selective breeding for increased size.
The reality may well be a mixture of the two at the end of the day. We know for a fact that significant betas can be breed simply by selecting the largest fish to breed over successive generations.
Nevertheless, experiments conducted by Dr Gene Lucas when giant bettas first appeared in the hobby strongly suggested that a partially dominant gene could generate the giant phenotype.
As bettas inheriting one copy of the ‘ giant gene ‘ grew larger than normal bettas (so-called ‘ half-giant betta ‘) and bettas carrying two copies of the gene became giants.
How Fast Giant Betta Grow
Giant betta fry is estimated to develop at a much faster rate than normal betta fry, needing much more food to reach their full potential.
As a result, giant-normal size differences are clearly noticeable from just a few weeks old.
Young giants will be adults by 2-3 months old with proper food and conditions. So by 4 months old, they will be the size of your typical 8-month-old show betta.
As long as they are 7-8 months old, giant bettas can reach at least 3 inches long. At about 6 months of age, the differences in body type are evident.
At a year old finally, they stop growing, but until it is around 18 months old, the fish can continue to put on width and weight.
Giant Betta lifespan
Giants usually can have shorter lifespans because poorer immune systems, and vulnerable to bacterial infections, so the lifespan of giant betta is considered to be short on average. But the expected lifespan is 3-5 years.
Giant Betta Keeping Tips
In just five months, some giant beta strains will reach a length of three inches (including the caudal fin). The Giant Betta accepts quality flakes but prefers to consume live or frozen food.
When grown-up, giant bettas need less food. But, still able to eat more than twice as much protein as normal betta requires on a daily basis.
Remember that giant bettas should be kept in larger containers than regular bettas and receive more frequent water changes. Because of the increase in waste produced as a result of consuming a high amount of food
Giant Betta Care
Hold Giant Betta in a well-planted jar with hiding places. They prefer soft, slightly acidic, low-flowing water. Giant bettas are a friendly species and the male can grow up to 5 inches in length.
Fish are fairly easy to care for, but still require high water quality, as do all fish species, to ensure that they have an appropriate filtration system and that frequent changes in water are made.
Recommended Water Quality For Giant Betta
Usual tanks size: 10 – 12 cm
Recommended pH: 4.5 – 6
Common water hardness: 0 – 214.29ppm
Best temperature: 25 – 30 °C (77 – 86°F)
if you need more advice about the care giant betta we have a separate guide.
Giant Betta Constipation Solution
Adult giant bettas are susceptible to constipation. Which, if not properly handled, can lead to death. Live brine shrimp and live or frozen daphnia should be made a daily feeding scheme because both these foods serve as a mild laxative.
Similarly, applying Indian almond leaves or leaf extract to the water of a giant beta is a good idea. The best treatment if the giant gets constipated is to starve the fish for a day or two. Also, it is common to add a little salt to the water.
If the giant betta gets constipated feed him insides of a baked, green pea always helps make things move again. You should cut back on their feedings once they reach adult size.
Giant Bettas Breeding
The giant characteristic is heritable and seems to be codominant for now. With carriers being a’ halfway house’ between average bettas and giant bettas in terms of their final adult size.
Simply put, if you raise two giant bettas together, all offspring will be giants (although their final adult size will vary). If you raise a giant to a regular beta.
Then the offspring will carry the giant gene and as a result, will grow to an intermediate size between the normal and the giant.
Such fish are call as ‘ half-giants. ‘ Breeding two carriers together will give you 25 percent full-giants, 50 percent half-giants, and 25 percent normal bettas.
According to the giant beta breeder Surat Bhutipanya, three Thai breeders who called themselves Team Giant produced the first giant bettas.
Athapon Ratanapichad (Uncle Sara), his son Natee, and Wasan Sattayapun are part of this team. In 1999, Athapon and Natee found among the other bettas on their farm an unusually large green male plakat.
Athapon had already found that his green bettas seemed to grow much larger than those of other colors, but it was more than three inches long.
The size of this fish was almost definitely the result of a genetic mutation (or genetic mutations) that may have increased the rate of development or caused anything that restricts growth in bettas.
As it turns out, whatever the mechanism, this was a very lucky mutation for the betta hobby.
In the hope of generating more giant bettas and developing a whole new strain, the Ratanapichads bred this giant male to the largest female they had at the time. Only a small percentage of the fry grew to be big in the first generation.
Nevertheless, they were able to increase the percentage of giants in each brood by consistently selecting the largest fish for breeding in each subsequent generation.
It took Team Giant as little as five generations to produce the first three-inch bettas, which made up about one-fifth of the spawning fry.
Once they had successfully produced giant bettas, Team Giant began expanding their scope by outstripping those giants in a range of colors to standard-sized bettas of various other breeds.
They had to undergo the tedious process of selecting the largest fish from each brood each time they tried a new colour in order to produce fish of the right size.
Due to Team Giant’s hard work and an ever-increasing number of breeders around the world, the giant beta is here to stay and is available in an ever-increasing range of shapes.
Although the two most popular are asymmetric half-moon plakat and half-moon (and the eventual delta and super delta which come as part of the half-moon package).