Betta Fish Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
IDENTIFYING KING AND GIANT BETTAS
Unlike giant bettas, little is known about king bettas’ origin. Some believe that it is a hybrid between betta splendens and betta raja (raja = king). While some also contend that Petco's king betta is a well-bred, newly domesticated strain of betta raja. (Juniper Russo "King Betta" Variety Sold at Petco - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com) But the fact is Splendens and Raja cannot be crossed bred due to their different breeding habits – splendens being nesters while rajas are mouth brooder. And King betta does not show any raja traits.

Viewing their size, which is said to reach over 5-6cm/2’ BO or a total of 7.5cm/3’, many including myself believe that these bettas are simply half giants – incomplete giant genes. They have giant genes but not enough alleles to enable them to grow to the of maximum 7’. That being said, in this article both giants and kings will be regarded as of the same trait and origin.

Giants bettas were genetically developed by Thai breeders (Mr. Athapon Ritanapichad, Mr. Natee Ritanapichad and Mr. Wasan Sattayapun) from large regular green PK’s. It is said that giant bettas can reach a total of 17.5cm/7” (Jim Sonnier). Local breeders in my area say they can reach 12cm/almost 5” (body only-BO) in a year, but most only reach a maximum of 10cm or 4” BO. Today giants come in all fin types, though some still rare – PK, HM, CT, and DT .

Giant Genetics :
Giant x Giant =
In general, Giants are genetically unstable. Though they’re genes are incompletely dominant over regular genes (Jim sonnier in bettysplendens) and will produce larger than usual bettas (half giants) when crossed to regular sized bettas, nevertheless breeding two giants WILL NOT produce 100% giants. The most I’ve heard is only 30% while the rest consist of regulars, larger than regular, and half giants. The punnet square doesn’t seem to apply if using simple single genetic traits. A more acceptable explanation was made by Dr. Lucas who holds the opinion that giants might be a result of multi-factor genes (bettysplendens) which explains why giant spawns always produce a variety of sizes. .... (I just found a comment claiming their giant produced 80% giants....???)

Giant x regular =
Crossing Giants to Regulars will produce 50-50% regular sized and half giant bettas (Jim Sonnier). To my experience this wasn’t the case. I only got regulars and similar sized genos. And often the problem is identifying the genos since both have similar sized bodies. We can assume that the fast growers are the geno’s but this isn’t always true because the regulars will inherit the giant’s appetite thus will grow as fast. So breeding giants to regulars is often a gamble, specially for novice breeders and is not advised.

F1 giant geno x giant =
To return them to giant size it is advised that F1 giant genos/half giants are back crossed to the father or bred to another pure giant. Inbreeding F1 siblings often produces more non giants. Some breeders claim to have produced half giants from such inbreeding but many more say otherwise. Through F1 x giant back cross, at least King sized bettas will be achieved in the third generation. But I’m not sure how many generations it will take to return them to the actual giants. They will need the whole set of genes

View attachment 52973

Although giant size is genetic, their maximum size is highly dependent on feeding and water quality during the first few months after hatching. It is recommended that they are kept in bigger and filtered tanks and fed as often and as much as they will eat. They have tremendous appetites and will devour 2 – 3 times more food than their regular sized cousins. They must reach 5-6cm/2.5” (BO) by 4 months, 7’-8cm/over 3’ (BO) by 6 months (good giant genes can grow 4cm in 2 months, 6 cm in 3 months). Otherwise it’s unlikely they will reach the maximum size of 12cm/-5’ (BO).

General Care
In terms of water parameter, giants require the same treatment as regular sized splendens. Logically they need bigger tanks and the amount of wastes they produce demands more water changes. Rapid growth and immense appetite results in poor immune system and poor adaptive abilities to new environment/water and food. They are vulnerable against digestive issues and parasites thus need super clean environment and food because the slightest infection may end up killing them. Live brine shrimp and live/frozen daphnia should be made a regular part of their diet, as both these foods act as a mild laxative. (bettysplendens.com)

Diseases
Most diseases are caused by bad water – parasites. It’s best to avoid disease by keeping the water super clean and avoid feeding adults (the bigger/older, the easier they’re infected) live foods from unknown origin.

One way to avoid illnesses is through genetic adaptation - breed and raise them in conditions they will probably live in. This should build a natural immune system. Feeding live foods when young also helps develop better immune systems.

Some soak live foods in medication for about 15 minutes before feeding. IMO this does more harm than good in the long run because too many meds in their system may make the parasite immune to the chemical or worse – it may destroy the bettas internal organs.

Diseases - FISH-DISEASE.NET
1. Digestive/internal related
They are unable to excrete wastes thus their stomachs becomes bloated and eventually will stop eating. Often swelling – either the whole body or the stomach area. Sometimes releases long whitish wastes.
Dropsy - swelling of the body until the scales protrude due to internal organ failure.

Causes: over use of salt, bad water, and bad diet – all of which induces bacterial infection direct and through worms.

Treatment: internal diseases are often too late when they show symptoms. But stronger individuals sometimes pulls through with an overdose of bacterial/viral medications (my experience). Some add antibiotics to the treatment. In most cases the betta doesn’t make it, specially against dropsy.

2. External infection
Small hole/wound on the head area which in time develops and erupts. This infestation is contagious.

Causes: A parasite, flagellate Hexamita, which infects the gallbladder, intestines and blood stream. Often sudden changes in water parameters and or bad water causes stress and compromises their immune system.

Treatment: The medication Metronidazole (Flagyl).

3. Gill related issues
Parasite infection on the gills/breathing organs. It is often shown by small jumping every time they need air. And is often the cause of what seems to be a sudden death.

Causes: fluke Dactylogyrus, which destroys gill tissue and damage blood vessels in this area.

Treatment: Treat with Clout, Fluke Tabs, Paraform, Trifon, Paragon, Quick Cure, Formalin, or Parasite Guard. Gill flukes are highly contagious, therefore, all fish in the same aquarium should be treated.

.........................................................................
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
I recently posted this in the Betta Pictures section:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/betta-pictures/giant-king-bettas-anyone-105214/page2/#post1130188

I post it here to invite criticism and discussion.
--------------------------------------

Here we go again!

1) "King" is a Petco marketing term indicating their line of larger-than-standard sized Betta. I have only seen Plakats. Other tail types are extremely rare and not likely to show up at Petco

2) Giants are B. splendens. Most other large wild Betta are mouthbrooders and cannot be crossed with B. splendens.

3) There is a genetic component to giantism (recessive). Absolute size is, therefore not the sole determinant. It is conceivable that you may see a genetic giant smaller than a large regular Betta.

4) The IBC (International Betta Congress) and most breeders measure their fish from nose to caudal peduncle (the start of the tail) not to the end of the tail. To avoid confusion, they sometimes say "BO"---Body Only. I have a 4 inch VT, but his body is two inches long. He's a fair-size fish but no giant.

Here's an article by a master breeder and member of this forum. Its status as a sticky testifies to its acceptance and agreement of other breeders and members.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...-bettas-99066/

There's a lot of information about giant Betta online. Need I say more?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
I have been wondering about this topic. According to the information flip book at Petco the "King" betta is a giant. The book specifically states "giant". Is it legal to market half giant fry as "Kings"? I guess I'd have to find out it the term is trademarked by Petco. As far as giving different names to fish that don't reach the full 3" and those that do...well, aquabid breeders don't even do that. They sell fish as giants that never reach 3+". Does that become false advertising or is it luck of the draw? Or do you just wait and buy older fish that are 3+"? I suppose that's fine if you are buying pets but if you are breeding I understand that it is harder to breed them the older they get.
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
If there is any Giant genetics in a fish, they're justified in calling it a Giant, regardless of its actual size.

At least that's the argument they'd use in court.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem with buying young giants is that not all fry will grow to be actual giants. Some merely grow larger than regular, some become half giants and few turn out to be big giants. But they all grow at about the same rate until they suddenly stop growing. On the other hand if you buy older and bigger giants, you might pull out your hair (so to speak) trying to breed them. LOL

As far as I know the first giants only grew about 7.5cm/3" - or half giants. So for many Asians (mainly in Ind) 5.5cm are considered to be small giants. They do not recognize Kings or half giants. Thus they would sell anything that size as giants. They are not intentionally mis-labelling their stock because by their standards, those bettas are giants.

Keep in mind that true giants can grow 4cm in 2 months and 6cm in 3 months if raised correctly. The half giants will at least grow to 5.5cm in 4 months. Avoid buying anything smaller than that because you face bigger risk of buying non giants.

note: All measurements are body only
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I have to get my hundred posts in so I'll start here not to beat a dead horsefaced loach but I wonder if anyone has explored the idea that these fish began as an artificial hybrid of B. splendens with a larger species and then developed. All I keep reading is they could not hybridize due to the different styles of reproduction . Why could one not strip a few males over a spawn or better strip a few females into the milt of another species and go from there . Drop them in with a bubble-nester or mouth brooder and let them do the work. Stranger mufti-generic hybrids have occurred. it would not have to be done on a large scale either. get a couple of fertile female giants and your off and running. Keep selecting for the largest of them and back crossing to the originals and your there. It could well explain the large variation in the size of the fry produced. just a thought.

The one I have shows"wild spots in tail and dorsal so I suspect there is some hybrid (Imbellis or smaragdina is traditional) involved in the original "splendens" used anyway.

BTW some probably are not aware that fish have indeterminate growth meaning they may slow down as they age but they continue to grow so some of these 3" kings may well grow out into giants of 4 + if kept alive long enough. I just got one of these fish and am planning on getting a female or two to try my hand at breeding them . anyone in the seattle area that has true giant females please let me know if they are available
.
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
I see you recognize that Betta cannot interbreed across the barrier of reproductive type (nestbrooders/mouthbrooders). Are you suggesting some kind of artificial insemination---fishy-style? It's likely that a breeder would want to keep the splenden gene uncorrupted in order to back-cross with the color and/or configuration desired. I would.

Jim Sonnier knows a lot more about it than I do, but I remain to be convinced that there is anything as simple as a "giant gene," per se. I think it's probably a combination of genes which influence the pituitary to produce growth hormone at certain crucial times---my simplistic understanding, learned fifty years ago in school, of how giants are produced in the animal kingdom. That plus good early breeder selection and keeping promising fry away from stunting hormone might be enough.

But there are others around here who know more about it than I do, like Junglist, a breeder in the Seattle area who has experience with giant Betta.

My little giant has wild spots, too, as well as others I've seen. I'm not surprised to find a little "wild" in their heritage any more than in standard-sized Betta.

Welcome to the forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
yeah, that is what I was suggesting as they would do with salmon and trout . you could conceivably milk the fish of their milt and roe and mix the two. Then either rear the eggs and fry artificially or give them to a mouth brooder or a bubble-nester to care for. It seems a lot of work but so does selection however in light of the article sited above I guess selection is most likely. I had not seen this article before. My king is building a nest suddenly and it's big and solid . I'm hopin he'll spawn with one of the females in the tank tomorrow morning.
I'll hope junglist will contact me with a female giant for sale . hehe.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fish large enough to be handled can be artificially inseminated. But splendens are too small - whether to milk or injected. This MAY be possible in a lab, but is it worth the trouble? I doubt Asians would do this - the first giants came from Asia (Thailand).

I'm not really sure what you mean by "wild spots" but wild/natural color of splendens also have irid spots. You can't really say there was a cross somewhere up its line. But if it were a hybrid, it should show (some individual) traits like spade caudal, tiny dorsal . . . physical appearances like that. Though these traits would probably be bred out, but a few individual giant bettas would still show them - if they were a hybrid.

Good luck with your giants. Don't forget to make a spawn log and share you experience with everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
By wild spots i mean the spotting in the fins of the fish you see that are hybrids of smaragdina etc. Small horizontal black markings or dots or web like spots. They are indicative of a hybrid , like stripes in a savannah cat or rib bars in a bengal or solid markings of a zorse or the cow shape of a beefalo

Fish anatomy is the same regardless of size if someone wanted to milk them they could manage it if only by cutting the fish open and taking what they want, not beyond the scope of the kitchen table - the little things might not survive but I bet I could get the eggs out of a laden hen betta, milt might be more difficult but the larger species male would make it easier than a splendens. Not saying that's what happened just saying More things are possible than some might think worth while and a lab can be categorized in many varied ways. I've seen enough to know a lab is just a room where "science" happens.

Asians have accomplished many difficult and tedious tasks with regards to fish keeping and often in "labs"What's worth it to one man is worthless to another. if I had the money it would be worth creating gametes from germ cells of my neutered male dog in a Korean lab to produce young with my intact female dog. Sooo worth it, but no one else except the people that know them, would think so.

two rich old asians walk int a betta ring and start bragging about how big theirs is, one takes out his giant and all the others are duly impressed, IT WAS WORTH IT.lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,887 Posts
Could you even get viable/fertile fry out of a hybrid though? They all come under the same genus of 'Betta' but splendens and mouthbrooders are from entirely different complexes. I just can't see any resulting offspring being viable.

Also the sheer scale in which these fish are produced makes it very unlikely that they were produced by this manner. I don't know why this rumor persists but I think it was just the case of careful selection by farms for larger and larger fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Possible ? Sure. There have been hybrids between cats of the genus felis with as far reaching relation as Cougar and ocelot, there is currently a hybrid breed being developed between a domestic and a caracal and there are many other hybrid breeds that are developed out of once classified distant relatives that are now classified as different clades of the same genus akin to this suggestion. The females are often fertile with either of the male parent species and after many generations(with a supposed selection process involved) fertile male hybrid progeny are produced. Sometimes with these hybrids the chromosome count is uneven and an odd count is produced in the first generation. In the case of the safari cat, a hybrid of the domestic Felis lybica from the far east and africa and the Geoffrey's cat of central and south america the odd chromosome count produces gigantism in the F1 offspring.
In the case of other hybrid cats the early generation crosses produce small litters but by the time the males are fertile the litters are well into the normal range of domestic cat litter size even higher for some lines.
I know cats are mammals but it seems mammals would have a harder time of hybridizing than fish birds and reptiles. I could well be wrong about that. On the other hand females of species that are kept with males of another species are usually quite willing to mate with a male that has similar courtship behaviors when isolated from anther choice, males often don't even need that much. It is possible a female splendens would see a huge male mouth brooder as an upgrade acceptable enough to release her eggs and skip town , while he was left to pick up the pieces of the failed romance. I'm just saying possible here.
I know there is a "history" of production that is relatively well documented though I would like to see some solid docs to prove it, some real data. that's just the way I think . Outside the box.

It might even be something worth trying now that I think it through .
Wouldn't have dragons if nobody tried.
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
I suppose, if giant Betta had any characteristics of other Betta forms, I might be cajoled into thinking of cross-clade breeding....but they don't. Although a certain amount has happened and is happening in the wild (evolution), sheer size does not seem to provide sufficient survival impetus to produce large Betta. People provide that impetus. "Mine is bigger than yours." Good one, Tamer.

As in other domestically bred animals, there seems to be a limit to size. Even though the largest Betta, cattle, sheep or dogs are being crossed, each of these animals seems to have been maxed out.

That's why I also have to quibble with Jim Sonnier and others who subscribe to the "giant gene" theory. From the little discussion I've had with giant breeders, their fish don't seem to follow the Punnett square as neatly as do characteristics like color, fin type and scalage.

Having to cross with standard-sized fish, in order to achieve configuration and color goals, really complicates the issue.

As for getting documentation from Asian breeders....ROFLMAO
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
IMO, fish that has similar physical appearance and spawning habits, can be crossed - both species fertilize eggs while embracing (even though rearing fry differs). Attempting it the natural way may be close to impossible due to color, shape and size difference. But if it can be done artificially, it is possible.

Nevertheless I still think it hasn't been done. Giants are not hybrids - simply because they don't show enough characteristics of the larger wild species. . . . just my opinion.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top