How to tell if my parrotfish is pregnant?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

I have two parrotfish in my tank. A few days ago, one of them was acting strangely. So much so that I got worried about its health. But then I contacted my vet friend and what she told me was that might be my parrotfish is going to produce eggs. This was so exciting for me that my parrotfish might be pregnant.

Do you also own parrotfish and want to know the signs that show she might be pregnant? Here’s the kicker:

If you wonder how to know your Parrotfish is pregnant then here are some signs. Firstly, parrotfish lay eggs. They aren’t livebearers. When your Parrotfish is ready to produce eggs, she might get lazy, dig places, gain weight, form a nest and guard it. Successful fertilization is rare as parrotfish is a hybrid and they rarely produce their own fry.

Let’s dig deeper to know more about the signs that show your parrotfish is pregnant.

Signs your Parrotfish is pregnant

Parrotfish is unique as it changes colors, patterns, and even sex. If you wonder how to recognize male and female parrotfish then there is not much difference. But you can look at them closely and see the fins of your Parrotfish. The dorsal and anal fin of male parrotfish is pointed whereas the fins of female parrotfish are round. Now that you can recognize the gender, you can introduce both male and female parrotfish in the tank, if you want to see the breeding process.

Parrotfish produce eggs frequently and you can witness it by seeing the signs that show your fish is just going to produce eggs. These signs are:

Bulges

You’ll notice two bulges on both sides of the body. The fish will seem fine otherwise. These two bulges indicate that the egg-producing organ is active.

Don’t panic when you see these bulges rather watch your Parrotfish closely. Look for other signs that your fish is pregnant or not.

Weight gain

Your Parrotfish will become huge, if not huge then it’ll gain some weight for sure. Weight gain will be more apparent in the tummy region as that’s the place where eggs are being produced.

Nest formation

You’ll see your Parrotfish going all over the tank, digging the substrate, and making a nest. She makes a nest just before laying eggs to make sure her eggs remain safe.

Although parrotfish don’t fertilize their eggs for sure, they take care of their eggs. Let your Parrotfish make that nest and try not to disturb her.

Lazying around

Your otherwise active parrotfish will seem inactive and will remain around the best that she has built.

Being inactive is also the sign your fish might be sick. So, you have to look for other signs too. Take the help of the vet if your fish seems sick.

Not eating much

Don’t freak out if you notice your Parrotfish isn’t eating food. Usually, when the fish are producing eggs, they hide and don’t feel much hungry. This is normal as they’ll eat like they used to once they pass the breeding process.

But offer your fish some nutritious food throughout the day. They need a protein-rich diet at this stage for successful fertilization.

Breeding tube

You might notice something protruding out from your Parrotfish’body. That is the breeding tube that helps to release eggs.

The breeding tube of female parrotfish is more flattened than the male parrotfish, which has a pointed breeding tube.

Now that you know your Parrotfish is ready to produce eggs, it’s time for understanding the fertilization process.

Fertilization in parrotfish

Even if your female parrotfish produces and releases the eggs, fertilization in parrotfish is not very common. The reason is that the parrotfish is a hybrid. They usually can’t produce children of their own.

Having said that, it’s not impossible either. So, you can watch your Parrotfish breeding and try for fertilization.

The male parrotfish are not very active in this part. It’s not fertile usually. So, the fertilization of eggs becomes even harder.

But parrotfish love to make a nest and take care of their eggs. So, there us no harm in watching those little buddies parenting the eggs just Like any other fishes.

The Bottom line

If you own parrotfish and you wonder whether your fish is pregnant for not then this read is for you. When a female parrotfish is about to produce eggs, it becomes inactive and very protective. It also gains weight and the tummy bulges out.

The male parrotfish also becomes protective. Both of the parents make nest fr their eggs and protect them. Unfortunately, fertilization is very rare in parrotfish as they are made by humans by breeding two different fish. But even then parrotfish produce eggs frequently and takes care of them diligently.

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