How to breed Anabas in captivity?

Have you ever considered breeding Anabas in your own captivity? Anabas, also known as the climbing perch, are a unique and fascinating fish species that requires attentive care and specific breeding conditions. In this blog post, we will provide you with essential tips and techniques on how to successfully breed Anabas in your home aquarium. From setting up the ideal breeding environment to managing the breeding process, we will guide you through the entire process to ensure your success in breeding Anabas. Additionally, we will address any potential challenges or issues that may arise during the breeding process, so you can be fully prepared for any obstacles. If you are ready to delve into the captivating world of breeding Anabas, then this blog post is for you.

Setting Up The Right Environment

For successful breeding of Anabas in captivity, it is crucial to set up the right environment to replicate their natural habitat. Creating the ideal conditions in your aquarium will help ensure the health and well-being of your fish, ultimately leading to successful breeding.

Aquarium Conditions

When setting up the aquarium for breeding Anabas, you must ensure it is large enough to accommodate the breeding pair comfortably. A tank with a capacity of at least 20 gallons is recommended. Providing plenty of hiding spots, such as plants, rocks, or caves, is important as it will reduce stress and aggression among the fish. You should also consider adding a tight-fitting lid to prevent the Anabas from jumping out of the water, as they are known for their ability to move across land for short distances.

Water Parameters

When breeding Anabas, it is crucial to maintain the right water parameters to ensure the health and well-being of the fish. The temperature of the water should be kept between 75-82°F (24-28°C), and the pH level should be around 6.5-7.5. It is important to regularly monitor the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the water to ensure they remain within safe limits. A filtration system should be in place to keep the water clean and free of any harmful substances that could be detrimental to the breeding process.

Anabas Breeding Cycle

Assuming you have successfully identified a male and female Anabas for breeding, it is important to understand the breeding cycle of these fish to increase the chances of successful reproduction in captivity. The breeding cycle of Anabas involves several stages, from sexual maturity and pairing to the actual spawning process.

Sexual Maturity and Pairing

Before attempting to breed Anabas, it is essential to ensure that both the male and female fish have reached sexual maturity. This usually occurs when the fish are around 9 to 12 months old. You can identify a male Anabas by its slightly larger size and the development of tiny hooks on its pectoral fins. The female, on the other hand, will appear rounder and have a smaller anal fin. Once you have identified sexually mature individuals, you can pair them up for breeding. It is important to note that Anabas can be territorial, so it is best to introduce the female into the male’s tank to minimize aggression.

Spawning Process

When the male and female Anabas have formed a pair, the male will start preparing the breeding site, typically a flat surface such as a broad leaf or the tank bottom. He will then begin courting the female, displaying his fins and engaging in elaborate courtship behaviors. Once the female is ready to spawn, she will release her eggs, and the male will fertilize them externally. You may observe the male guarding the eggs and fanning them to ensure proper oxygenation. It is important to provide a safe and secure environment for the spawning pair, as other tank mates may pose a threat to the eggs or fry. Be prepared for aggression from the male towards the female during the spawning process, as this behavior is natural as he guards the eggs.

Care and Management of Fry

Now that you have successfully incubated the Anabas eggs, it is crucial to provide the appropriate care and management to ensure the healthy growth of the fry. Below are some essential guidelines to help you in this crucial stage of breeding Anabas in captivity.

Egg Incubation

Once the Anabas eggs have been laid and collected, it is important to carefully transfer them to a separate hatching tank. You should use an air-driven sponge filter to maintain water flow and oxygenation without disturbing the fragile eggs. Maintain water temperature around 78-82°F and ensure a stable pH level to prevent any adverse effects on the developing eggs. You should see the eggs hatching within 24-36 hours, at which point you should remove the parent fish to prevent them from eating the fry.

Fry Development and Feeding

As the fry hatch and start swimming freely, it is important to provide them with a suitable environment and proper nutrition. Maintain a clean environment by performing regular water changes and ensuring the water parameters are optimal. Anabas fry are known to be surface feeders, so it is recommended to provide them with live food such as newly hatched brine shrimp or finely crushed flakes. Ensure that the food particles are small enough for the fry to consume without any difficulty. You should also provide plenty of hiding spaces in the form of plants or decorations to ensure the fry feel secure and reduce the risk of aggression from other tank inhabitants. As the fry continue to develop, you can gradually introduce larger food options to support their growth and development.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Keep in mind that breeding Anabas in captivity comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some common issues you may encounter when breeding Anabas in your aquarium, and how to address them.

Disease Prevention

When breeding Anabas in captivity, one of the most common challenges you may face is disease. Anabas are susceptible to various diseases, including bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. To prevent diseases, it is important to maintain clean water and provide a balanced diet for your fish. You should also quarantine any new fish before introducing them to your breeding tank, as they may carry diseases that could infect your existing Anabas. If you notice any signs of illness in your fish, such as changes in behavior, appetite, or appearance, you should promptly isolate the affected fish and seek advice from a veterinarian with experience in treating fish.

Breeding Anomalies

Another common challenge when breeding Anabas in captivity is encountering breeding anomalies. This may include infertile eggs, abnormal spawning behaviors, or failure to spawn altogether. To address these issues, you should carefully monitor the behavior of your breeding pair and ensure that they are provided with an appropriate breeding environment. If you notice any anomalies in the breeding process, you may need to adjust environmental conditions or consider introducing a new breeding pair.

To wrap up

If you are interested in breeding Anabas in captivity, it is important to create the right environment for them to thrive. This includes providing them with a spacious tank, proper water conditions, and a varied diet. It is also essential to carefully monitor their behavior and be prepared to separate aggressive individuals. Remember to be patient and attentive to your Anabas, and with the right care, you can successfully breed them in your own home. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a successful and fulfilling experience of breeding Anabas in captivity.


Q: What are the ideal tank conditions for breeding Anabas in captivity?

A: To successfully breed Anabas in captivity, it is essential to provide a tank with a minimum capacity of 20 gallons. The water should be clean, with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.5 and a temperature between 75-82°F. Adequate hiding places such as plants and caves should be provided, along with a proper filtration system to maintain water quality.

Q: How do I encourage Anabas to spawn in a captive environment?

A: To encourage Anabas to spawn, it is important to simulate their natural habitat as closely as possible. Mimic the rainy season by gradually increasing the water level in the tank. Additionally, feeding them a varied diet of live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small insects can help stimulate the breeding process.

Q: What should I do once Anabas have spawned in the tank?

A: Once the Anabas have spawned, it is crucial to remove the adult fish from the tank to prevent them from eating their own eggs. The eggs should be carefully transferred to a separate breeding tank with similar water conditions. Ensure the water is well-oxygenated and free from any potential predators. The eggs will hatch in about 24-36 hours, and the fry should be fed with infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food. It is important to maintain a close eye on water conditions and perform regular water changes to ensure the survival of the fry.