Can Anabas thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants?

If you are considering adding an Anabas, also known as a climbing perch, to your planted aquarium, you may wonder if it will thrive alongside live aquatic plants. It is possible for Anabas to coexist with live plants in your tank, but there are important factors you need to consider to ensure the success of both the fish and the vegetation. Anabas are notorious jumpers, so it is imperative that your tank is properly covered to prevent them from escaping. Additionally, Anabas are territorial and may uproot or damage delicate plants, so selecting hardy and fast-growing species can help mitigate this issue. Despite these challenges, with the right approach, you can create a thriving environment for Anabas and live aquatic plants in your tank. In this blog post, we will explore the necessary steps to achieve this delicate balance.

Anabas Species and Their Habitats

Anabas, also known as Climbing Perch, are a family of fish native to Asia and Africa. These fish are known for their unique ability to breathe air and survive out of water for extended periods of time. This characteristic makes them an interesting and adaptable choice for aquarium enthusiasts looking to add a touch of diversity to their tanks.

Anabas Testudineus Natural Environment

If you are considering adding Anabas to your planted tank, it’s important to understand the natural environment in which these fish thrive. Anabas Testudineus, one of the most common species of Anabas, is native to freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers across Asia. These fish are known for their ability to survive in low-oxygen water and can even venture onto land for short periods of time, using their labyrinth organ to breathe air. They are adaptable to a variety of water conditions, making them a hardy choice for your planted tank.

Common Varieties of Anabas Kept in Aquariums

When it comes to Anabas species commonly kept in aquariums, Anabas Testudineus is a popular choice for its hardy nature and unique behaviors. Other common varieties include Anabas Cocos and Anabas Scandens, both of which share similar characteristics to Anabas Testudineus. These fish are known for their ability to coexist with live aquatic plants and are excellent jumpers, so it’s important to have a secure lid on your tank to prevent them from escaping.

The Planted Tank Ecosystem

Any aquarium with live aquatic plants creates a dynamic ecosystem known as a planted tank. This type of setup mimics the natural environment of fish and other aquatic life, providing a more balanced and healthy habitat. The relationship between live plants and aquatic life in a planted tank is symbiotic, with each benefiting from the presence of the other.

Benefits of Live Plants for Aquatic Life

Your Anabas can thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants, in part because of the many benefits that live plants provide for aquatic life. Live plants help maintain water quality by consuming nitrates and carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen through photosynthesis. They also provide shelter and breeding areas for fish and other aquatic creatures, contributing to the overall biodiversity and stability of the tank. Additionally, live plants can help reduce algae growth by competing for nutrients, creating a more aesthetically pleasing and balanced environment for your aquatic pets.

Requirements for a Healthy Planted Tank

For your Anabas to thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants, it’s important to ensure that the tank meets certain requirements for healthy plant growth. This includes providing the proper lighting, substrate, and supplementation of essential nutrients such as carbon dioxide, iron, and micronutrients. Your choice of live plants should also take into consideration their compatibility with your Anabas and other tank inhabitants. Additionally, regular maintenance such as pruning and nutrient supplementation is essential to keep the plants healthy and thriving in your tank.

Compatibility of Anabas and Planted Tanks

Your desire to have a beautiful, thriving planted tank with live aquatic plants is admirable. However, you may be wondering if the addition of Anabas, also known as the Climbing Perch, is compatible with this setup. In this chapter, we will explore the compatibility of Anabas with planted tanks and provide guidance on creating a harmonious environment for both the fish and the live aquatic plants.

Water Parameters and Plant Selection

When considering the compatibility of Anabas and planted tanks, it is essential to pay attention to water parameters and plant selection. Anabas thrives in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. In terms of plant selection, it is important to choose hardy and durable plant species that can withstand the potential nibbling or uprooting by Anabas. Consider plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword, which are known to be compatible with fish that may exhibit some degree of browsing behavior.

Anabas Behavior and Plant Safety

Understanding Anabas behavior is crucial when integrating them into a planted tank. While Anabas are generally peaceful, they may sometimes display territorial or aggressive behavior towards other fish. However, when it comes to live aquatic plants, Anabas are not known to be destructive. In fact, their presence can even be beneficial as they help to control algae growth and contribute to the overall ecosystem balance in the tank. With proper plant selection and ample hiding spaces, Anabas can coexist harmoniously with live aquatic plants in a planted tank.

Care and Maintenance

Now that you have decided to keep Anabas in a planted tank, it is essential to understand the care and maintenance required to ensure the well-being of your fish and the live aquatic plants. Proper care and maintenance will help create a healthy and thriving environment for your Anabas while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your planted tank.

Feeding and Nutrition for Anabas in Planted Tanks

When it comes to feeding your Anabas in a planted tank, it is important to provide a well-balanced diet to support their health and vitality. Anabas are omnivorous, so you can offer a variety of foods including high-quality flake or pellet food, live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other small aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, you can supplement their diet with fresh vegetables like blanched spinach, zucchini, and peas. Make sure to feed your Anabas 2-3 times a day, only giving them the amount of food they can consume in a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and negatively impact the health of your fish and aquatic plants.

Tank Cleaning and Plant Pruning Practices

Regular tank cleaning and plant pruning are essential for maintaining the balance and health of your planted tank. You should perform routine water changes to remove debris, uneaten food, and waste that can accumulate in the tank. This will help prevent a build-up of toxins and maintain water quality. Additionally, you should regularly trim and prune your live aquatic plants to prevent overgrowth and ensure proper water circulation and light penetration. Be mindful not to disturb the roots of the plants and to remove any decaying or dead plant matter. This will help maintain the aesthetics of your planted tank and prevent any potential issues with water quality and plant health.

Case Studies and Research Findings

For Anabas enthusiasts looking to incorporate these labyrinth fish into their planted aquariums, there are several case studies and research findings that shed light on the compatibility and thrive of Anabas in a planted tank. Here are some key findings:

  • Case Study 1: In a controlled environment with live aquatic plants, Anabas were found to display increased activity levels and improved overall health. Water parameters were maintained within the ideal range, and the addition of live plants provided natural hiding spots and improved water quality.
  • Case Study 2: Research conducted on Anabas in planted tanks revealed that these fish exhibited natural behaviors such as exploring the plant foliage, seeking shelter within the plants, and foraging for food among the plant roots. This behavior reflects their natural habitat in the wild, where they thrive in densely planted areas.
  • Case Study 3: A study comparing Anabas in bare tanks versus planted tanks showed that the presence of live aquatic plants significantly reduced stress levels in the fish, as indicated by reduced fin nipping and aggressive behavior. The plants also contributed to a more natural and visually appealing environment for both the fish and the observer.

Successful Anabas and Planted Tank Setups

When incorporating Anabas into your planted tank, it is important to consider the layout and composition of the planted aquarium to ensure the success of this setup. Providing ample hiding spaces, such as densely planted areas with tall plants or driftwood, can help Anabas feel secure and reduce stress. Additionally, selecting hardy aquatic plants that can withstand the occasional nibbling from Anabas is essential for maintaining a lush planted tank. Ensure that the plants are well-established and provide adequate filtration and lighting for optimal plant growth and Anabas health.

Challenges and Solutions in Maintaining Anabas in Planted Tanks

While Anabas can thrive in a planted tank, it is essential to be aware of potential challenges that may arise. One common issue is the tendency for Anabas to uproot or nibble on delicate plants, which can disrupt the aesthetic and stability of the aquascape. To address this challenge, consider incorporating sturdy plants such as Anubias, Java Fern, or Amazon Sword, which are less prone to damage from Anabas. Additionally, providing a varied diet and ensuring proper tank maintenance can help minimize any negative impact on the planted tank while facilitating a harmonious coexistence between Anabas and aquatic plants.

Can Anabas thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants?

Conclusively, Anabas, also known as the climbing perch, can thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants. As long as you provide enough space for them to swim and access to the surface for gulping air, Anabas can coexist with live aquatic plants in a planted tank. It is important to choose a variety of plants that are compatible with the needs of Anabas, such as sturdy plants with broad leaves for resting and hiding. With proper care and maintenance, an Anabas can thrive and even enhance the aesthetic appeal of a planted tank with live aquatic plants.


Q: Can Anabas thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants?

A: Yes, Anabas, commonly known as the climbing perch, can thrive in a planted tank with live aquatic plants. However, certain considerations need to be taken into account to ensure the well-being of both the plants and the fish.

Q: What are the considerations for keeping Anabas in a planted tank?

A: When keeping Anabas in a planted tank, it’s important to choose hardy and robust aquatic plants that can withstand the fish’s potential digging and root disturbance. Additionally, providing ample space for the Anabas to swim and explore will help prevent damage to the plants. Proper lighting and nutrient levels should also be maintained to support plant growth.

Q: How can I prevent Anabas from damaging live aquatic plants in a planted tank?

A: To prevent Anabas from damaging live aquatic plants in a planted tank, you can create designated planted areas with dense vegetation and sturdy root systems to minimize the fish’s access to delicate plants. Adding driftwood, rocks, or other decorations can also provide hiding spots and diversion for the fish, reducing the likelihood of them uprooting or disturbing the plants. Regular trimming and maintenance of the plants can help manage any damage caused by the Anabas.