Last Updated: July 12, 2022 by Flora Gibbins
Having a Betta fish can be fascinating, but have you ever wondered if your fish could give birth? Well, if you’ve never thought of it, we can confidently tell you that your Betta fish is capable of reproducing its kind.
Though Betta fish don’t give birth to live young ones like we humans and other mammals, they get pregnant with eggs. There are ways to know if your fish is preparing to produce eggs.
So, continue reading, as we’ll take you on tour and enlighten you on signs of pregnant Betta fish, their way of reproducing, and other things you need to know!
- Pregnancy in Bettas
- How Can You Know When a Betta Fish is Pregnant?
- How Do Betta Fish Give Birth?
- How Many Eggs Do Female Bettas Lay?
- Is It Possible for My Betta Fish to Lay Eggs Without a Mate?
- How Do I Know if Betta Eggs Are Fertilized?
- Do Betta Eggs Take Time to Hatch?
- Do Betta Fish Care for Their Baby Bettas?
- How Can I Care for My Baby Betta Fish?
- Watch This!
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pregnancy in Bettas
If your fish is a female, it may get pregnant. And as mentioned, pregnancy in female Betta fish isn’t like human pregnancy.
Betta fish don’t give birth to their young ones alive.
Instead, they lay their eggs after getting pregnant. The process is termed “spawning.” When a Betta fish release eggs, they don’t hatch into baby fish until a male Betta fish fertilizes them. So, fertilization only begins after the female lays eggs.
How Can You Know When a Betta Fish is Pregnant?
To make things simple, let’s consider a pregnant Betta fish as one that’s carrying eggs. A female Betta fish pregnant with eggs is called a gravid Betta fish.
Look at its sides and belly when you want to know if a female Betta fish is gravid. You’ll see white stripes on its sides and a visible white dot on its belly. The white dot is the organ for laying eggs, and it’s called the ovipositor.
In addition to the white markings on the female’s body, increased stomach size indicates a strong possibility of pregnancy. However, it may be that the fish is experiencing constipation if the other indications of pregnancy are absent.
How Do Betta Fish Give Birth?
External fertilization has to occur for a female Betta fish to give birth to its babies. In this fertilization process, the female Betta fish gets pregnant with eggs, and after that, the male betta fish will take out the eggs and carry them to a bubble nest for fertilization.
Bubble nests are structures built explicitly for the process of reproduction by the male bettas. A Betta male fish usually creates a bubble nest when it’s ready to mate with the female Betta fish to produce offspring (Betta fry).
After the eggs get fertilized, they develop into a bubble nest; if you look closely, the Betta fry forms as tiny flecks that grow into a wholly formed Betta young.
Interestingly, the female Betta fish may sometimes be dissatisfied with the bubble nest built by the Betta male. Once the Betta female sees that it doesn’t like the nest, it’ll destroy it, and consequently, its eggs won’t get fertilized. If the female sees that the bubble nest is good enough, it’ll let the male Betta fish take out its eggs.
Fun Fact: Complement this section by doing further reading about Betta Fry: Proper Care And Conditions For Healthy Growth.
How Many Eggs Do Female Bettas Lay?
Pregnant female Bettas can lay up to 500 eggs. Also, they’ll mate again shortly after the first mating process.
It’s important to note that not all Betta fish eggs get fertilized during the mating process, and usually, any unfertilized eggs get eaten by the male or female Betta fish.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Betta fish egg resembles a grain of salt but appears more transparent. If you’re observing, look closely as you can mistake the eggs for bubbles coming out of the female Betta’s body as the egg is released from its ovipositor.
Fun Fact: Learn to identify betta fish eggs by proceeding to our post on Betta Fish Eggs: Be An Expert In Identifying Their Species for tips, hints, and other information.
Is It Possible for My Betta Fish to Lay Eggs Without a Mate?
When a female Betta fish is about to lay its eggs, it doesn’t need a mate to be present. However, the absence of a mate would mean that its eggs won’t get fertilized. So, naturally, female Betta fish develop eggs in their ovipositor, and a male Betta doesn’t have to be close.
In other words, your female Betta fish will still lay her eggs in the absence of a Betta male.
In such situations, the eggs released from your Betta female will descend into the bottom of the breeding tank and remain unhatched. You don’t need to worry as it’s a regular occurrence.
Most importantly, it’s advisable not to keep a male and female Betta in the same place as they can harm each other. Instead, keep your Betta male and female fish in isolation until the time for mating comes, as this increases the chances of the eggs being fertilized by the male Betta.
How Do I Know if Betta Eggs Are Fertilized?
It’s pretty simple to know if the male has fertilized Betta eggs because of the presence of a black or grey dot within them. So, if you see that the grey dots are growing, there’s no need to worry, as it’s a positive sign that your new Betta fry will soon emerge.
Female Bettas sometimes lay eggs that don’t get fertilized if they can’t find a befitting Betta male. In such situations, the eggs are commonly referred to as slugs. Often, the uninterested male Betta or the female will eventually eat the unfertilized Betta eggs.
Do Betta Eggs Take Time to Hatch?
After the male Betta fish has fertilized the Betta eggs, it’ll take about 3-5 days for the fertilized eggs to hatch into Betta fry. Therefore, when you’re observing the hatching process of the Betta eggs, you may see a tiny fry drop from the bubble nest and won’t be able to swim appropriately.
At this point, the male Betta fish appears and places them back into the bubble nest to feed and develop until they can swim without assistance. As long as there’s no intruder and the bubble nest doesn’t have any falling eggs, the male Bettas handle nest maintenance.
Do Betta Fish Care for Their Baby Bettas?
Betta males — not the females — take care of their offspring by transferring them into a bubble nest and looking over this nest to put back any egg that drops.
After the eggs hatch into Betta fry, both parents will no longer care for them. So, you need to ensure that they’re well fed to survive. Betta fry will need live foods, as they can’t feed on anything dry like flakes or powder.
Good nutrient-rich foods for fry include Microworms, Vinegar Eels, Walter Worms, Banana Worms, Baby Brine Shrimp, Fairy Shrimp, Daphnia, and Grindal Worms.
How Can I Care for My Baby Betta Fish?
Baby Betta fish are very fragile, and so they require adequate care. In addition, they must be kept in a conducive environment for survival.
They should be kept in a tank larger than a gallon to allow for growth, as putting them in smaller tanks may endanger their health and stunt their growth.
Also, you should keep baby Bettas in isolation to prevent stress from external bodies.
Additionally, an optimum temperature is needed for the little Bettas to thrive. A baby Betta like other regular Bettas needs warm water. And a temperature of 24-29°C is good for them. Coldwater causes stress on the little fish and makes them vulnerable to disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Betta fry?
After fertilization, a Betta fry is the new young hatched from the Betta egg. The newly hatched fry will cluster together close to the top of the breeding tank while still taking food from their egg sacs.
What is the period of pregnancy in Betta fish?
Eggs are carried by the female for 1-2 weeks when preparing for mating. During this time, she carries the eggs in its ovipositor until it’s ready to lay them. After laying its eggs, the male Betta fertilizes the eggs and transfers them into the bubble nest, where they stay for 24-36 hours before hatching.
Can Betta fish feed on their baby Bettas?
In some instances, Betta fish may sometimes eat their eggs. However, it doesn’t happen often. The parents only eat Betta fry during severe hunger and when no alternative food source is available. However, the male and female Betta fish can feed on the unfertilized eggs.
Raising a beautiful creature like a Betta comes with a sense of responsibility and ownership. Breeding Betta fish appears to be an exciting and adventurous project for any fish enthusiast. And having a pregnant female is paramount to raising your own young Betta fish.
Look out for the apparent signs and increased weight gain that indicates pregnancy in your female fish. Don’t forget that a male Betta is needed to take out the eggs from your pregnant female Betta, fertilize the eggs, and take care of them in the bubble nest it built.