Pregnant Betta Fish:5 Most Common Signs

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Many betta fish owners want to know about pregnant betta fish. First, betta fish do not become pregnant with live fry; they carry eggs within their ovaries. This condition is called GRAVID. Pregnancy is when the egg is fertilized inside the body. Betta fish eggs are fertilized outside the body.

Since the word pregnant is more common, we will also use the word pregnant for ease of discussion.

Like many other animals, female betta fish have some signs of pregnancy, such as an enlarged stomach and changes in behavior. However, identifying all these symptoms is not an easy task.

In this post, we will discuss in detail what happens during betta fish pregnancy and what new fish keepers need to be aware of. So if you are curious about the signs of pregnant betta fish and how to care for them during pregnancy, read this post till the end.

Breeding and life span of Betta fish

Betta fish reach sexual maturity at about 5 months of age. These fish are oviparous, meaning that the female lays her eggs, which then hatch outside her body. Because they don’t give birth, bettas are technically never pregnant.

Male bettas build bubble nests or foam nests to prepare their eggs. They do this by using their labyrinthine organs to blow bubbles covered in saliva into the water. The male and female then engage in copulation, which ends with the female laying her eggs. This process is called “spawning”.

The male fertilizes the eggs and then carries them to the bubble nest in his mouth. The male betta guards and protects the eggs without the help of the female. These eggs usually hatch in 1-3 days. They survive on the egg yolk until they are ready to seek other food sources.

How to recognize a pregnant betta fish?

There are a few signs to tell if your betta fish is pregnant. Now we will discuss them.

  1. Bloated Belly: A betta fish’s belly will swell when it is pregnant, as is the case with other animals, including humans. She must look fat. However, unlike other animals and humans, betta fish do not give birth directly. They lay eggs.
  2. Dark spots of pregnancy: This is a small dot-like part that can be seen on the lower abdomen of the female betta. This pore is located in front of the anal fin and behind the ventral fin. You can see the white spots on the belly of a pregnant betta fish, where the eggs are. This is called the ovipositor, or egg spot. This organ helps the female betta release her eggs.
  3. White bars on a betta’s body: Sometimes, you will see five to six brightly colored white stripes on female bettas. These spots reach from the mouth of the fish to the tail. This does not necessarily mean that the betta is pregnant. However, it indicates that the female betta fish is capable of producing eggs.

At the same time, it is good to know that due to stress, spots can appear on the body of betta fish. But that spot comes from the back of the betta fish towards the belly. That is, it is vertical.

4. A change in behavior will be seen: Pregnant betta fish may also show changes in behavior, such as becoming more aggressive or territorial. They may start chasing other fish or try to fight their own reflection in the aquarium glass.

Towards the end of pregnancy, female betas can become lethargic and withdraw their aggressive behavior. At this time, they will eat no food and prefer to hide most of the time.


5. Loss of appetite: Another symptom of pregnant betta fish is a loss of appetite. Betta fish are usually very greedy for food. During pregnancy, they develop an aversion to food. At this time, their appetite decreases.

Although it is not unusual for betta fish to lose their appetite for a day or two, If you notice that your fish has stopped eating completely, along with the other symptoms on this list, this could be a sign that they are now pregnant female Bettas.

How long are betta fish pregnant?

Females are said to be gravid when they are sexually mature, carrying eggs, and ready to release those eggs for fertilization. In that sense, betta fish do not become pregnant. Pregnancy refers to the condition when eggs are prohibited inside the body.

In the case of betta fish, eggs are not prohibited inside the body. Betta fish carry eggs in their ovaries for 2-4 weeks before mating. When they are ready to mate, they release the eggs into the water. After hatching, the females have no contact with the eggs or young. Males are responsible for hatching and caring for the eggs.

There are a few different factors that determine how long a betta fish will hold eggs.

Size of Female: Larger females hold their eggs longer than smaller females.

Number of fry. If she carries a huge number of betta eggs, she retains the eggs for a longer period of time than if she carries a small number. If the female betta fish is not in good health or the eggs are not developing properly, the mother betta may remain pregnant for a long time.

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How do you take care of your pregnant betta fish?

Now let’s talk about how to take care of your betta fish while pregnant. Caring for a pregnant betta fish is not a difficult task. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to keep her healthy and the eggs in good condition.

Always keep the tank water clean

It is very important to have a suitable environment for the growth and reproduction of Betta fish. That’s why, if you want to breed your betta fish, keeping them in a clean, pollution-free environment is your top priority.
Keep the aquarium clean at all times, and change half of the aquarium water at least once a week. Make sure that there is enough oxygen in the water.

Feed them nutritious food

It is very important to feed Betta fish nutritious food during pregnancy. Although betta fish lose their appetite during pregnancy, they develop an aversion to food. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eat at all.
During this time, it is very important to feed them high-protein foods specially formulated for pregnant fish. Food that will provide nutrients to pregnant betta fish and their eggs.

Keep them separate from other fish

Are your betta fish in a sorority or community tank? If this is the case, arrange to keep them in a separate tank while pregnant. You may be wondering who will fertilize their eggs if they are kept in separate tanks.
The fact is that pregnant betta fish do not need male betta fish until it is time to breed. Therefore, only introduce a male betta to them when it is time to hatch for fertilization.

Also, betta fish can become more aggressive than normal when pregnant, it may be that they are being attacked by other fish. Leaving someone alone while they are pregnant is the right decision.

Provide them with plenty of hiding places

They become less active and lethargic in mid-laying. During this time, they look for a hiding place so that they can be safe.
Some live plants, small caves specially made for them, or hiding logs are good hiding places for your betta fish.
Add them to the tank.


Turn Down Your Tank’s Filters

In the wild, betta fish prefer to live in calm waters without currents. So take care to keep the current in the tank water low during spawning and mating. The filter causes current to build up in the tank. So reduce the use of filters this time.

It is good to know that betta fish can live without filters if the water has enough oxygen and is free of pollution. If the tank is clean, it will work without a filter.

Maintain proper tank water temperature

Betta fish are warm water fish. Warm water is ideal for mating, spawning, and hatching. However, Betta fish can mate at any time of the year. But it is more likely to do so in warmer temperatures. Therefore, if you want to breed your betta fish during the cold season, set the tank temperature to between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit before the mating, spawning, and hatching periods.

How do I know if my betta fish is pregnant or fat?

Can you see the ovipositor dot on your betta fish and the 4-6 white stripes from the gills to the tail? If you can see that your Betta fish is laying eggs, then it means she is pregnant. If these are not seen, he is probably just obese or suffering from constipation.

How do betta fish give birth?

Betta fish do not directly give birth to their young. They lay eggs. The process is called “spawning”. When a betta fish hatches, the young fish do not develop until the male beta fish fertilizes the egg. So, fertilization starts only after the female betta lays eggs and the baby bettas are born.

Can my betta fish get pregnant without a male?

Female betta fish do not need a male partner to spawn. However, the eggs will never hatch until a male betta fertilizes them. Eggs hatch naturally in the ovaries of beta females. A male betta is not needed for egg production. A male betta is needed to fertilize them.

Can Female Betta Fish Lay Eggs Without a Male?

How many eggs does a female betta fish lay?

Female betta fish can lay a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 500 eggs. After laying the eggs, the female betta’s duty is over. The female betta fish should then be removed from the breeding tank. Fertilization of the eggs and care of the young is the responsibility of the male betta.


If you understand the betta breeding process and how to prepare the breeding tank properly and act accordingly, you can expect to have a healthy batch of fry.
In this regard, you can share your experience with us. If you have any other comments about this, please write them in the comment box.


Question: Will betta fish eat their babies?

Ans: In some cases, betta fish may eat their eggs. However, this does not always happen. Parents can only eat betta fry during extreme hunger and when they are starving and have no food. However, both male and female betta fish can eat fertilized eggs.

Question: How do betta fish mate?

Ans: During betta fish breeding, male bettas build bubble nests on the surface of the water and try to attract a female. If the female is attracted to the male, she may display paler colors and respond to his calls by swimming closer to him.
Once a pair is formed, they engage in mating rituals. When the female starts laying eggs, the male retrieves them and deposits them in the nest.

Question: How long does it take betta fish eggs to hatch?

Ans: After the eggs are laid, they usually take 1-3 days to develop into fry. They survive on the egg yolk until they are ready to seek other food sources

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