Fish and other aquatic creatures

Slider fish or anabas - a bright representative of the labyrinth


Many aquarists love labyrinth fishes, such as gourami, cockerels, macropods, and lyalius. They are not only beautiful, but unpretentious to the conditions of detention. But there is another labyrinth fish that occurs in domestic waters much less often than its relatives, which, however, is not entirely fair. She does not have a bright appearance, but has very interesting habits. The article will focus on such an amazing creation, as anabas or slider fish, and features of care for it.

Anabas testudineus in nature

The natural habitat of anabas is Southeast Asia. It can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines and the island of Sri Lanka.

These fish have chosen ponds with fresh or slightly brackish water, in which there is a very slow or absent current and bottom covered with silt. Small ponds, small lakes, drying rivers, rice fields, or even ditches are all places where a crawling fish can live thanks to its labyrinth organ.

Anabas can crawl ashore and cover fairly long distances in search of more suitable habitats. Helping him in this powerful fins and gill covers, which he clings to the ground. It is because of this ability that Anabas testudineus was called a slider. There is information that he can even climb trees. Unfortunately, they do not always manage to find a new habitat, they often die from heat, predators or humans, as they have quite tasty meat.

In almost all places where anabas live, you can find a farm that breeds these fish. Europe first saw them in 1870. It was in the London Zoological Park. And in our country, they appeared only in 1960.

What does a slider look like?

The physique of these labyrinths are very similar to cichlids. Their torso is elongated and reaches 20-25 cm, but in the aquarium there are rarely more than 16 cm fish. Their heads are large, their mouth is large, their eyes have a reddish tint.

On the ventral and anal fins, as well as the gill covers, there are a lot of thorns. The fins themselves are well developed, powerful. This is a reliable protection from predators.

Fish are painted, usually in brown-green, gray-brown or gray-green tones. Much less often it is possible to meet orange anabas. The back is usually dark, and the belly is yellowish. Fins may be red or orange. On the sides clearly visible transverse strips in the amount of 8-10 pieces.

Females are fuller than males, especially in the abdomen. In addition, they are painted less brightly. The average lifespan of rams in captivity is approximately 5 years.

Character and compatibility of anabas

Anabasovy are predatory and pugnacious fish, but at the same time very shy. Active in the evening and at night, and during the day prefer to spend time in shelters.

If you decide to lodge crawlers, it is better to give preference to young individuals, since adults are very difficult to get used to the new place of residence. Aquarium recommended species, for a couple. There should not be any other inhabitants in it, since these labyrinths are very quarrelsome and all the fish that are smaller in size will eat them.

How to create conditions for Anabas testudineus?

Slider fish adapts to captive life quite easily, so it’s not very troublesome to keep them. What do you need to do?

To pick up an aquarium: separate, specific, with a volume of at least 100 liters for a couple. From above it must be covered with glass. A distance of at least 10 cm must remain between it and the surface of the water so that when trying to jump the fish do not hit.

Water should have a temperature in the range of 20-30 degrees, and optimally - 26 ° C. Requirements for hardness - 20 degrees, for acidity - from 6.8 to 8. Be sure to install a good filter and ensure that 20 percent of the water is replaced every week.

Lighting recommended dim, scattered.

Plants should be planted very thickly. But do not forget to leave free space so that the fish can swim and spawn.

From the decor good snags and stones. They will not only decorate the aquarium, but also serve as shelters that will help divide the territory and reduce the number of conflicts.

In order for the slider to feel as comfortable as possible, you need to make islands of land, on which it could periodically get out.

Slider Diet

Anabas is a very aggressive predator that feeds on medium-sized fish and various small animals in the wild, such as earthworms and invertebrates.

In the aquarium to feed him too easy. You can give:

  • live foods, such as shredded raw beef or small fish,
  • herbal products like rice and greens
  • dry or granular substitutes.

It is worth noting that the crawlers have a very good appetite, we can say that they are voracious. Therefore, be prepared for the fact that they need a lot of food.

Breeding anabasso

These fish are sexually mature since the age of 18 months. They spawn.

You can breed them in a specific aquarium or use a spawning for this purpose. Water should have a temperature of 26-30 degrees, a hardness of no more than 10 and acidity from 6, 5 to 7, 5. Water should be replaced often.

Spawning occurs at the ground or in the middle layers of water. The female spawns in the amount of 2.5-5 thousand. Eggs float up and float on the surface of the water. Parents do not touch them, but do not protect. You can put it in a nursery aquarium or leave it as it is.

After about a day, the fry hatch, and after another couple of days they begin to swim and eat on their own. At this time, they are recommended to give live dust and rotifers.

It is interesting

Legend about the fish. There is an eastern legend about anabas that allegedly climb trees to drink their sap. She was first told by Lieutenant Daldorf, who served in Tranquebbar (Danish East India Company). This military man found a slider in one of the cracks on the trunk of a palm tree, located near the pond.

However, Indian naturalist Dr. Das made another assumption. Its essence is that when these fish travel in search of a better place, they become easy prey for birds of prey, which carry them to the trees.

Delicacy. In Asia, anabasas are commercial fish. They are both caught and bred on special farms. It is believed that this meat is not only tasty, but also useful for male power. It is in great demand in the markets. It serves delicious oriental cuisine.

Life without water. Naturalists cite the following data: a 10-25 meter tall anabas can crawl a 100-meter distance in one hour, if the air humidity is high enough, it can live out of the water for several days, if the reservoir is dry, and the other could not be found, then buried in the wet Il fish can survive for 48 hours, which saves it from drying out and death.

As you can see, anabas or a slider fish is a very interesting and quite simple creature for keeping in a home pond. The undoubted advantage is that they rarely get sick. If you decide to have such a pet in your home, then dare, and everything will definitely work out!

An interesting video of how a slider fish moves on land:


Widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia, also introduced to Australia and the Pacific Islands. It lives everywhere in practically all accessible reservoirs: swamps, lakes, creeks of rivers and their tributaries, canals, rice fields, large temporary pools in the forest canopy, etc.
During the wet season, as extensive coastal areas are flooded, it may swim away from the main channel. When the water begins to recede fish often finds itself in isolated puddles and creeks. Sometimes, in order to survive, it makes long transitions of hundreds of meters over land in search of a new place. It moves with the help of pectoral fins and lateral movements of the tail and back of the body. Such trips are not regular, but only in a situation of complete drying of the reservoir. In extreme situations, Anabas goes into hibernation for a few weeks, burrowing into the ground.


  • The volume of the aquarium - from 200 liters.
  • Temperature - 15–30 ° C
  • PH value - 5.5–8.0
  • Water hardness - from soft to hard (2–26 dGH)
  • Substrate type - sandy
  • Lighting - muffled
  • Brackish water - no
  • Water movement - weak or absent
  • Fish size - up to 20 cm.
  • Food - mostly meat
  • Temperament - difficult
  • Content alone or in pairs male / female

Adults reach a length of up to 20 cm, and some specimens up to 25–30. Females are somewhat larger than males. The color is gray or brown with subtle dark specks and two black dots on the base of the tail and behind the gill cover. The fins are round and strongly shifted back to the tail.

He leads a predatory life, eats small fish, invertebrates and mollusks. In the home aquarium will accept large live and frozen foods. Most breeders have managed to teach dry granular protein-based feeds with herbal supplements. Before you buy, be sure to check your diet.

Maintenance and care, arrangement of the aquarium

The minimum size of an aquarium for one fish starts from 200 liters. The slider fish is able to adapt to various conditions, so the choice of design depends entirely on the aquarist's imagination, subject to certain recommendations, namely the presence of shelters, a soft substrate and areas with dense vegetation.
Anabas is also not demanding on the hydrochemical composition and temperature of the water. The only thing you should pay attention to is the level of illumination and internal current. The equipment is adjusted in such a way as to provide a dim light and, if possible, minimize the movement of water.
Maintenance of the aquarium is reduced to regular cleaning of the soil from organic waste, the weekly replacement of part of the water (10-15% of the volume) to fresh.

Behavior and Compatibility

Not suitable for general aquarium, given the size of adults and predatory nature. Any small fish will be eaten. Joint content is allowed only with species of similar size, for example, Pak, in a spacious tank.
There is no exact information about intraspecific aggression, which is explained by the great diversity and wide distribution of a specific species. Depending on the region, some representatives behave quite friendly towards their relatives, while others, on the contrary, are violently attacking a potential rival. It is noted that with increasing temperature, the behavior of even calm Anabas becomes more aggressive.

Breeding / breeding

One of the few representatives of the labyrinth fish that does not show parental care for future offspring. In the mating season, a reddish tint appears in the males, especially on the ventral fins and tail, and dark specks become more noticeable. Females are noticeably rounded. After a short courtship, spawning begins, accompanied by a kind of “embrace”, hundreds of eggs and seed are released at the climax. In total, during spawning, their number can reach several thousand. Eggs are left to themselves and freely float on the surface. After 24 hours, fry appear 2-3 mm long.
Breeding in domestic aquariums is practically impossible without hormonal injections, which are widely used in commercial aquarism on fish farms.

Fish diseases

The main cause of most diseases is inadequate housing conditions and poor-quality feed. If the first symptoms are found, check the water parameters and the presence of high concentrations of hazardous substances (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc.), bring the values ​​back to normal if necessary, and only then proceed to treatment. Read more about the symptoms and methods of treatment in the section "Diseases of aquarium fish."