What I Learned After Breeding Some Giant Bettas

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By Linh Nguyen Updated on 26 Feb 2023

Giant bettas are created by using a combination of selective breeding and other techniques to produce larger specimens. Unfortunately, trading and transporting these delicate creatures is a challenge due to their poor vitality, leading me to decide that creating my own line of giants would be the best course of action.

This blog post will explore the exciting process of breeding giant betta fish. I'll take you through my experiences and share some tips on how to raise healthy giant betta fish. So join me as we take this adventure together! Read more to find out how you can help create your own huge schools of bettas!

The male giant betta that I used to breed

The male giant betta that I used to breed

I have used several hybrids, as follows:

1. Two schools of male Giant Plakat crossed with female Longtail Doubletail must be abandoned, as the fish are very bad.

2. Giant Halfmoon Plakat males x females Dragons F1 and F2 must be abandoned because the fish have many deformities.

3. Giant Plakat male x Halfmoon Plakat female: F1 obtained two pairs of fish slightly larger than normal fish.

Cross all F2 fish together (about three to four hybrids) and keep them for about four months to get three males and two very large females, approximately six centimeters (Giant Plakat), and some big fish (which can be called half-giants).

F3: Cross the biggest F2s together (when betta are three months old, I still don't know which fish is really a giant), and I hope to get some more giants.

4. Giant Halfmoon Plakat male x Giant Halfmoon Plakat female: F1 only caught about 15% of the giant fish, and also got quite a few half-giant.

Here are some of the experiences that I have drawn and would like to share with you.

The female giant betta that I used to breed

The female giant betta that I used to breed

1. Prepare the tank for spawning fish

Preparing the environment for giant bettas to spawn is similar to preparing the environment for other types of bettas. The only difference is that you need to prepare a larger spawning tank than usual, to accommodate their giant size. You can use rectangular betta tanks (30 cm long and 20 cm wide), or round tanks (30 cm in diameter). It is recommended to use a slightly larger tank to avoid the water becoming too dirty.

  1. Fill the tank with water to a height of about 10 cm.
  2. I put a little salt in the water to prevent fungal diseases. I let it dry for a day on the terrace and then put half an Indian almond leaf (so that the water was slightly tea-colored).
  3. One lump of coal slag served as a shelter for the female after spawning.
  4. Add a few moss plants to create a natural environment.
  5. Use leaves or a piece of plastic to create a space for fish to release foam for laying eggs (leaves are preferable and make it easier to identify the fish eggs).

2. When can giant, half-giant, and normal fish be distinguished?

At two to three months of age, giants, and half-giants are the largest of the bunch (between four and five centimeters, including the tail). However, in my experience, the biggest ones are not necessarily giants.

At four months of age, giants will be larger than half-giants (i.e., 6.5 cm or more, including the tail).

Giant betta fish will continue to grow to over 8 cm (including their tail) at 8 months of age. A fish that reaches 8 cm can be considered a giant, it is rare for any fish to reach 10 cm.

3. When can a giant betta be bred?

Similar to normal fish, i.e., about three months old. However, at this point, one still can't tell which one is a giant and which one is a half-giant (if it is an F2 hybrid).

You have two options: either breed all the big ones together to save time or wait until the fish reach 4-5 months old in order to distinguish the real giants and continue crossbreeding.

I do it both ways; I have crossed several F3 flocks between the "big" ones. Additionally, after I have identified some giants, I will breed the giants together to see how the ratio of F3s is between giant x giant.

4. Is the ratio of the giant betta to half-giant fish the same as the theory suggests?

If the theory is correct, the F1 generation gets 100% half-giant, the F2 generation gets 25% giant, 50% half-giant, and 25% normal fish.

The percentage of fish caught in reality is much lower. F1 obtained 2 pairs that were slightly larger than normal fish. F2 also only obtained about 5 giants out of a total of over 200.

Crossing two giants will only get a 15% giant rate, not 100%. Some of my friends say that it can give a rate of no more than 30% at most.

5. What are the breeding conditions?

Fish were separated from the school at 2.5 months old. I kept it in a 30cm x 20cm x 20cm glass jar. Normal food for the fish was worms and larvae, fed twice a day, morning and afternoon. The water was changed ... weekly. The fish reached 6.5 cm at 4 months old.

6. Gene "dumb"?

The original giant betta fish rarely swells its gills, although it still reproduces and cares for its young. I have also heard many people criticize giant fish for being sluggish and not as aggressive as regular fish.

F1 generation was crossed with HMPK, normal fish, and pulse. Life F2 obtained three "foolish," big fish, with rarely swollen gills, but still foaming and eating like crazy. These fish are quite similar to the original fish; luckily, the giants are very impulsive.

We must pay attention and eliminate the fish with the "dumb" gene, so as not to continue breeding them, no matter how beautiful their color is.

To conclude, breeding giant bettas is a fascinating and rewarding process that requires dedication and patience. The time-consuming yet satisfying results mean it's worth pursuing if this fish has caught your interest! I hope my personal experience in breeding giant bettas was an interesting read for you, as well as informative and inspiring. If anyone has questions or experiences of their own they'd like to share, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments below. And remember - with enough care and breeding technique, who knows what surprises will come out of cultivating your very own strain of giant betta!

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