How to tell if my betta fish is pregnant?

All of us want to see our little ones grow. This also includes our pet fish. It’s incredible to see them grow and reproduce. If you have betta fish and you wonder whether she is pregnant or not then this article is for you. You’ll know how and when your betta fish becomes pregnant and what to do to keep the little ones safe. There are certain conditions and signs that you shouldn’t ignore.

So, let me break some truth here:

If you’re wondering whether your betta fish is pregnant or not then you should know that female betta fish produces eggs that are fertilized by the male betta fish. So, betta fish doesn’t get “pregnant”. There are certain signs that indicate that your female betta fish is ready for producing eggs or is producing eggs already. When you see those signs then it’s the time to get them fertilized. The reproduction process is rather difficult than you think.

Let’s break the reproduction process into steps and discuss each step to know the signs when your female betta fish is producing eggs.

Signs that your betta fish is pregnant

Betta fish produces eggs that are fertilized by male betta fish. This means that betta fish are among those species of fish that don’t produce live offsprings.

If you are providing a healthy environment to your female betta fish and it seems happy in its tank then it will start producing eggs once it has grown up. But how to know whether your female betta fish is producing eggs or not?

Vertical strips

You’ll observe white vertical stripes on its body. Those stripes might be white or some color lighter than the brightest color on its body.

When you see these vertical lines running laterally then it’s time to take care of your fish even more. Provide her with nutritious food and give her enough space to swim around. Don’t overpopulate your tank at this point.

White spot on the belly

Another very obvious sign that’ll appear is the formation of a white spot on female betta fish’s belly. This white spot is the “ovipositor” – the organ that produces eggs in female fishes. When this white spot appears, it means that the ovipositor is active and is producing eggs.

Swollen belly

Another sign that your female betta fish is ready to produce offsprings is that its belly will be visibly swollen. But this sign isn’t the one that makes sure that the betta fish is producing eggs. Swollen belly can also indicate constipation in the fish. So, you have to treat it accordingly.

Among all these signs, the most obvious one is the visible white spot on the belly of your betta fish. This is the time when fertilization should take place. Let’s see how you can make it possible.

Fertilization process

How male produces the bubble nest?

The fertilization of eggs will take place when the male betta fish will extract the eggs from the female’s ovipositor.

If your male betta fish is making a “bubble nest” then he’s all ready to extract eggs and fertilize them.

Remember that when you feel that your female betta fish is producing eggs then separate male and female betta fish. You can use a septum in one big tank or use two separate tanks. Generally also, betta fish don’t like to share their tank with other betta fishes. They are aggressive fishes and would even kill the opponent while fighting.

The male betta fish will start making a bubble nest- the denser the nest, the better. When you see the bubble nest, then introduce the ovulating female betta fish in that tank. First, she’ll inspect the bubble nest. If she feels the nest is good enough then it will enter the nest. The male betta fish will then extract the eggs and fertilize them.

But if the female betta fish doesn’t like the bubble nest then it’ll break the nest and will move away. If this happens then simply take the female betta fish out of the tank and then re-try when male produces another bubble nest.

Once you see the eggs in the bubble nest then quickly take the female betta fish out of the tank. At this point, the male betta fish becomes very protective of the eggs and would kill anyone who he thinks can harm the little eggs.

Male betta fish nurtures the offsprings

Pretty uncommon but in the case of betta fish, the male one is responsible for taking care of the eggs and nurturing the young ones. The female just produces the eggs and then she leaves the bubble nest. Females also have to leave the bubble nest because the male betta fish do not allow anyone to take care of the eggs but himself.

Male betta fish nurtures the eggs in the bubble nest unless they hatch. Then male betta fish also takes care of the little ones.

How to make fertilization process easy

Fertilization in the case of betta fish is not easy. The aggression of betta fish can make it almost impossible. So from the very start, you have to provide a friendly environment and nutritious food.

Make sure you are feeding the best fish food to your female betta fish. Feed your betta fish live food (blood worms) often. Add protein in their diet. Also, clean the tank frequently and don’t overcrowd it. Betta fish remain happy in a spacious tank with less population.

Remember, there should be just a single male or female betta fish in a tank. Male betta fish, specifically, are very aggressive and they don’t tolerate another male betta fish in their territory.

So, to make fertilization feasible, separate the tanks of male and female betta fish and let the females produce eggs. Then you can put it in the bubble nest for fertilization.

After doing all of the above, it’s not certain that the fertilization would be successful. But following these precautions can surely increase the chances and feasibility of the fertilization process.

What to do once the eggs seem to fertilize?

Once you see the eggs in the bubble nest then quickly remove female betta fish from the tank. You have to provide enough food to the male fish so that it can take care of the developing offspring.

The developing eggs need to be taken care of. Make sure not to disturb male betta fish and let it do its job. Provide a clean atmosphere and remove all the toxins from the tank. Soon you’ll start seeing tiny betta fish coming out of the bubble nest!

The Bottom line

Can’t wait to see your betta fish reproducing the little ones but don’t know the symptoms? Well, female betta fish doesn’t literally get pregnant, but it produces eggs that are fertilized by the male betta fish. The male partner is responsible for fertilizing and nurturing the eggs.

The obvious signs that show that your female betta fish is producing eggs is white vertical lines all over the body, small white spot in the belly that is the “ovipositor” and swollen belly.

Once the female betta fish has produced eggs then it’s time to fertilize those eggs. The male betta fish will extract the eggs and will take care of them until “fry” (small betta fish) appear. If this happens then congratulations, you’ve been able to successfully reproduce a difficult fish type otherwise.

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