Betta fish (also known as Siamese fighting fish) is a popular aquarium fish that lives between 2-5 years. It originates from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
If you have betta fish in your aquarium, you may want to know about its reproductive habits. However, when it comes to fish reproduction and pregnancy, most of us are not experts.
Fortunately, in this article, you will find all the necessary and important information about betta fish pregnancy and reproduction.
How Long Are Betta Fish Pregnant?
A betta fish female carries eggs in the ovipositor for up to 2 weeks. Once the eggs are released, they develop and hatch into fry in about three days.
How To Tell If Your Betta Fish Is Pregnant
First of all, it is important to clarify the following: betta fish cannot become pregnant — they become gravid.
Gravid female betta fish are those that are considered sexually mature and carries eggs that are fertilization-ready.
In order to know if your female betta fish is ready to breed, you need to look for the following signs:
Look at the Stripes
Most gravid betta fish start developing noticeable vertical stripes along their bodies. Usually, they have 5-6 stripes in total.
It is easy to notice those stripes because they are lighter than the normal coloration of the fish.
However, even though the appearance of the stripes is quite common, not all Betta fish develop them.
Abdominal Rounding is Another Sign
Most gravid females have mild bloating due to the growth of eggs in their bodies. You will more likely notice the bloating when you look from above rather than from the side.
It’s more likely that you’ll observe outward bloating than downward bloating.
Check the Ovipositor
A female betta fish releases the eggs from the special orifice known as the ovipositor. You’ll find it on the underside of the Betta fish’s front half.
If a Betta fish female is pregnant, the ovipositor becomes white with a slightly outward appearance.
Keep in mind that you will notice behavior changes only if you put a male and female together. If your female Betta lives alone, you may not see any changes in her behavior.
A gravid female becomes more interested in the male betta fish and the bubble nest he’s making. Usually, she looks over a bubble nest to check if the nest is up to par.
Spawning will probably occur soon after if the female Betta likes the male’s bubble nest. If the female Betta does not like the nest, she will most likely destroy it to make the male build a new one.
How Betta Fish Have Babies
This type of aquarium fish relies on external fertilization.
This is what the process of fertilization looks like: first, a female Betta fish becomes gravid, then a male Betta fish extracts the eggs and fertilizes them in a bubble nest.
As mentioned above, male Bettas build their nests specifically for the reproductive process.
If you see a bubble nest built, it is usually one of the common signs that your female Betta is pregnant.
Once the eggs are fertilized, they develop in the bubble nest.
Can a Female Betta Lay Their Eggs Without a Male’s Help
It is possible for female Betta fishes to lay eggs without a male. Female Bettas do not need males to be present to lay their eggs.
However, the eggs will not be fertilized without the male’s participation in the process. If there is no male in the aquarium to fertilize the eggs, they will not hatch.
Most experts do not recommend keeping females and males together because this can lead to aggression and injuries.
It is better to keep your Betta fish isolated until they are ready to mate.
How to Select Your Male and Female Betta For Mating
It is recommended to choose fish with healthy, bright coloration, and energetic behavior. Try to avoid fish with dull coloration because they have a lower chance of successfully mating.
It is also better to choose fish that match in size. It is fine, however, if a female Betta is smaller than the male.
How Old Do Betta Fish Need To Be To Breed Successfully
To increase the chances of successful breeding, you need to choose male and female Bettas that are between the age of 4 and 12 months.
There are lower chances of successful breeding if the fish chosen are outside of this age range.
How To Introduce Your Betta Fish
In order to make the fertilization happen, you need to introduce your betta fish first. You should be very patient and introduce your fish slowly.
First, you should place your female Betta in the aquarium first and let her explore the environment first. You need to give your female time to acclimate before introducing the male.
However, it’s crucial you place the male on the divider’s other side.
If you do it the right way, the female Betta will produce the eggs, and the male will build a proper bubble nest that the female will approve.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Betta Fish Are Pregnant
How Many Eggs Can Betta Produce?
The number of eggs that Betta fish can lay is different. They can lay eggs from 20 to 500.
How Will You Differentiate Between a Fat Betta Fish From A Pregnant One?
There are certain symptoms indicating that your Betta fish is pregnant. These signs include light stripes along her body and the presence of the ovipositor dot.
Being an owner of Betta fish is exciting, especially if you are planning to breed them. One of the first steps to breeding is to make sure you have a pregnant female Betta.
There are certain signs indicating that your Betta is pregnant. Remember, you need a male Betta for fertilization and breeding.
Betta fish breeding might seem tricky and confusing at the beginning, but it is definitely worth it because it gives you an opportunity to create your own Betta fish family.