Giant Betta vs King Betta. Are they different species?

The King Betta and Giant Betta are two popular types of plakat, or fighting fish. Both are related to the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens, that so many people know and love. However, there are some differences between them.

This article will take a look at Giant Betta vs. King Betta and help you understand the differences between these two amazing fish.

King Bettas Vs. Giant Bettas: What are They?

King Bettas are the same species as standard bettas, though some scientists consider them a subspecies. While there’s no major taxonomical difference, these fish hail from lines of fighting fish bred for larger size and greater aggression. 

The true Giant Betta, Betta anabatoides (or anabantoides), is a distinct species from the standard betta, Betta splendens. It too comes from larger, more aggressive, lines of fighting fish bred for competition fighting.

To make things more confusing, however, there’s a specific line of Betta splendens also referred to as Giant Bettas. While they’re somewhat larger than standard bettas (just like the King Betta), it’s the result of selectively breeding only the largest bettas.

King Bettas Vs. Giant Bettas: How Big do they Get?

King Betta fish can grow up to 2½  inches in length. While they hail from larger stock, most of the specimens in the pet trade today aren’t much bigger than the standard Siamese Fighting Fish. Giant-sized B. splendens will reach similar sizes.

True Giant Bettas are considerably larger, reaching lengths of up to seven inches, while five is more common. 

King Betta vs. Giant Betta Lifespan?

King Bettas typically live for up to five years in captivity. Unlike standard bettas, they’re unlikely to grow any older.

On average, Giant Bettas will reach ages of between three and five years. They’re a lot more susceptible to illness than standard bettas, making it harder to keep them alive for many years.

King Betta vs Giant Betta Appearance

Both the King Betta and Giant B. splendens are stunning fish that are blue, red, green, or marble in color. 

Both types of betta may have rounded or elongated fins, since they’ve been bred for decades, if not centuries. Males of both kinds have more vivid coloring than females. Females consistently have shorter, rounded fins.

True Giant Bettas always have rounded fins, and tend to be shades of brown, or a rich honey color.

King Betta Vs. Giant Betta: Care

These betta types share the same care needs as a standard betta, with one notable exception. Giant bettas grow to around twice the size of normal bettas, and require at least a ten-gallon aquarium.

Both fish prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a temperature range of 77-86𝆩F. You need to keep their water clean by using good filtration, and performing regular partial water changes. 

You also need to break the tank up by using decorations and plants. This will help the bettas to feel at home, and secure.

Finally, never keep more than one male in the aquarium, though you can keep a male with multiple females.

King Betta Vs. Giant Betta: Feeding

Your betta needs to eat twice a day, but only about as much as it will consume in two minutes. You can use a high-quality flake food or betta food, supplemented with plenty of small live foods.

Which is the Largest Betta Fish?

Giant bettas are the largest of the bettas. They can reach a whopping seven inches, compared to the four-inch length of most other species.

The Slender Beta, Betta bellica, is another larger species reaching lengths of around 4½ inches. 

King Betta vs. Giant Betta: Which is More Aggressive?

The Giant Betta is reputedly the most aggressive type of betta fish. However, the males of almost all of the commonly kept bettas are aggressive towards their own kind. 

You should never keep two male standard, king, or giant bettas in the same aquarium. Males are so territorial that they’ll even attack their own reflection in a mirror! Some of the mouthbrooding betta species, and little-known species like the claret betta are more tolerant.

In short, when comparing King Betta Vs. Giant Betta, the main differences lie in their size and taxonomy. Both species have similar temperaments, coloration, and feeding needs.

Either type will make an excellent fish for your aquarium as long as you don’t try to keep more than one male.

About the author

Hi, I am Alex.
My passion is aquariums. I am especially drawn to betta fish. I love experimenting, learning, researching, and writing about them.

You can find the articles I wrote here