How to set up a tank with natural materials for Anabas?

Setting up a tank for Anabas, also known as the climbing perch, can be a rewarding endeavor for any fish enthusiast. Providing the proper environment for your Anabas is crucial for their well-being and longevity. Utilizing natural materials in their tank not only creates a more authentic habitat, but also contributes to the overall health of your fish. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of setting up a tank with natural materials that will benefit your Anabas and enhance the beauty of your aquarium.

Understanding Anabas Requirements

For successful set up of a tank for Anabas, it is crucial to understand the specific requirements of these unique fish. Anabas, also known as climbing perch, are labyrinth fish, which means they have the ability to breathe in oxygen from the air. This influences their habitat and water quality needs.

Specific Habitat Needs

When creating a tank for Anabas, it’s important to mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible. Anabas thrive in densely vegetated waters with plenty of hiding spaces such as rocks, caves, and driftwood. Additionally, they prefer soft, slightly acidic water with plenty of places to explore and claim as their own. Providing a mix of live and artificial plants can help create a comfortable and natural environment for your Anabas.

Water Parameters and Quality

The water parameters in an Anabas tank are crucial to their health and well-being. It is essential to maintain a stable temperature between 75-82°F (24-28°C) and keep the pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Anabas are sensitive to poor water quality, so ensure that the tank has a strong filtration system and perform regular water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite levels at an absolute minimum. Additionally, Anabas require good oxygenation, so incorporating aeration and surface agitation is necessary to ensure they can access the air they need to breathe from the surface of the water.

Selecting the Right Tank

One of the most important decisions you will make when setting up a tank for Anabas is selecting the right tank. The tank will be the primary habitat for your fish, so it’s crucial to choose one that meets their needs and provides a suitable environment for them to thrive. There are several factors to consider when selecting the right tank for your Anabas, including size, material, and design.

Size Considerations

When it comes to choosing the right tank size for your Anabas, it’s important to consider their natural habitat. Anabas are known for their ability to survive in low oxygen environments, so they require a tank with plenty of surface area for proper oxygen exchange. A larger tank will also provide more swimming space for your Anabas and help to reduce aggression between fish. Additionally, larger tanks are generally more stable in terms of water parameters, which is crucial for the overall health and well-being of your Anabas.

Material and Design

The material and design of the tank are also important considerations to keep in mind. When choosing a tank for Anabas, opt for a sturdy and durable material such as glass or acrylic. These materials are less prone to scratching and can support the weight of any natural materials you may want to include in the tank. The design of the tank should also provide ample space for your Anabas to swim and explore, as well as easy access for maintenance and cleaning. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the tank has a secure lid to prevent your Anabas from jumping out.

By carefully considering the size, material, and design of the tank, you can provide your Anabas with a safe and comfortable habitat in which they can thrive. Remember to prioritize the well-being of your fish by choosing a tank that meets their needs and provides a suitable environment for them to flourish.

Natural Materials for Aquascaping

Despite the wide variety of artificial decorations available for your tank, using natural materials for aquascaping can create a more authentic and healthier environment for your Anabas. Incorporating natural materials such as plants, substrate, driftwood, and rocks can help to mimic the fish’s natural habitat and provide hiding spots, breeding areas, and territorial boundaries.

Substrate and Plant Selection

When setting up a tank for Anabas, choosing the right substrate is crucial for the health and well-being of your fish. A fine-grained, sandy substrate is recommended, as it resembles the natural environment of Anabas and allows for easier rooting of plants. Additionally, live plants such as Anubias, Java fern, and Amazon sword can provide cover, improve water quality, and offer natural grazing areas for your fish. Ensure that the plants are compatible with your chosen substrate and can thrive in the water conditions of your tank.

Driftwood and Rocks: Creating a Natural Environment

Incorporating driftwood and rocks into your tank not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also serves functional purposes. Driftwood can release tannins that promote natural water conditions similar to those in the Anabas’ wild habitat. It also provides hiding spots and creates territories for your fish. Select aquarium-safe driftwood and rocks, and avoid any that may leach harmful chemicals into the water. Boiling driftwood and rocks before adding them to your tank can help to remove any contaminants and reduce the risk of disrupting the water chemistry.

Installing and Maintaining the Tank

Unlike traditional tanks, setting up a tank for Anabas with natural materials requires careful planning and attention to detail. Once your tank is installed, it’s important to maintain it properly to ensure the health and well-being of your fish.

Step-by-Step Installation

When setting up your tank with natural materials for Anabas, it’s essential to follow a step-by-step process to ensure the best possible environment for your fish. Below is a breakdown of the installation process:

Step 1: Choose the right tank size and location for your Anabas. Ensure that it is placed away from direct sunlight and drafts.
Step 2: Add a substrate of natural materials such as sand or gravel to mimic the natural habitat of Anabas.
Step 3: Introduce live plants and driftwood to create hiding spaces and shelter for your Anabas.
Step 4: Set up a filtration system and ensure that the water parameters are suitable for Anabas.

Ongoing Maintenance and Care

Once your tank is set up, it’s important to maintain it regularly to ensure the well-being of your Anabas. Here are some key tips for ongoing maintenance and care:

Regular Water Changes: You must perform regular water changes to maintain good water quality and remove any waste or toxins that can harm your Anabas.

Monitor Water Parameters: It’s essential to regularly test the water parameters such as pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates to ensure they are within the ideal range for Anabas.

Prune and Trim Plants: Keep live plants in the tank healthy by pruning and trimming them as needed to prevent overgrowth and maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Monitor Fish Behavior: Keep an eye on your Anabas for any signs of illness or stress, and address any issues promptly to ensure their well-being.


From above, you now have a clear understanding of how to set up a tank with natural materials for Anabas. By following the guidelines provided, you can create a suitable and comfortable habitat for your Anabas while also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your tank. Remember to carefully select the appropriate natural materials, provide adequate hiding spots and create a balanced ecosystem within the tank. With proper care and maintenance, your Anabas will thrive in its naturalistic environment, bringing you joy and satisfaction as you observe its natural behaviors and interactions with its surroundings. We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you success in creating the perfect tank for your Anabas.


Q: What natural materials are needed to set up a tank for Anabas?

A: To set up a tank for Anabas, you will need natural materials such as live plants, driftwood, rocks, and sand or substrate to mimic their natural habitat. These materials provide hiding spots, resting places, and a natural environment for the Anabas to thrive.

Q: How should live plants be incorporated into the tank for Anabas?

A: Live plants can be incorporated into the tank for Anabas by choosing species that are compatible with the tank’s water parameters and providing adequate lighting and nutrients. Plants such as Java fern, Anubias, and Amazon sword are popular choices and help maintain water quality, provide oxygen, and create a natural setting for the Anabas.

Q: What steps should be followed to set up a tank with natural materials for Anabas?

A: To set up a tank with natural materials for Anabas, start by thoroughly cleaning and preparing all materials. Arrange the driftwood, rocks, and substrate to create hiding spots and swimming areas. Plant the live plants strategically, ensuring they have adequate space and light. Once everything is in place, fill the tank with dechlorinated water and cycle the tank before introducing the Anabas to ensure the environment is stable and safe for them.