Female betta fish are called breeding or brood fish. These females can be identified by their fatter appearance and rounded bellies. This is an indication that they are ready to mate and, if conditions are right, will soon release a batch of juvenile fish known as fry. When the female betta has been mated with a male, her eggs will hatch after approximately 10-14 days, depending on water temperature and other factors. What you need to remember is that once you identify a female betta fish pregnant, you should take special care of her so she gives birth to her offspring. Following are some signs that may indicate your betta fish is pregnant:
Betta fish care during pregnancy
Breeding female betta fish generally require special care during pregnancy and, if you notice that your betta is pregnant, you should take a few steps to ensure the best possible conditions for her and her offspring. You should ensure that the water temperature remains between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, or 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also increase the amount of oxygen in the water and change 25% of the water once a week.
This will help to prevent the build-up of toxins in the water that could be harmful to the betta and her fry. Because pregnant female betta fish release more waste than usual, you should also increase the amount of filtration in your aquarium to help keep the water clean. You should also increase the amount of aquarium gravel to make sure that harmful bacteria cannot grow in it.
Swelling of the ovaries
Another sign that a female betta fish is pregnant is that her ovaries will swell up. This is caused by the hormones in the female’s body as she prepares to release the eggs that have been fertilized by the male. You will notice the swollen ovaries when you look at your female betta’s belly.
The belly will look like it is full and rounded, as it is packed full of eggs that are ready to be released. As well as the swollen belly, you will also see the female’s pelvic fins become cloudy and translucent. The fins will also seem to grow in size as they are stretched out by the swelling of the female betta’s ovaries.
Loss of colouration and increased lethargy
As your female betta fish releases her eggs, she will naturally lose her vibrant colouration and become more lethargic. Her fins will become dull and looser. This is a sign that the eggs are almost ready to be released. If you notice that your betta’s colour has become dull or faded, and she seems to be less lively than usual, there is a good chance that she is pregnant. In addition to the colour loss, you will also notice that your female betta will start to rest more often. This is normal as she prepares to release her eggs.
Constipation and discolouring of the caudal fin
You should also look out for constipation in your pregnant betta fish. This is caused by the fact that the female betta is packing her digestive system full of nutrients to feed her eggs. As the female’s digestive system becomes increasingly full and impacted, her caudal fin will turn from its usual colour to a dark brown colour.
The more constipated your fish becomes, the more discoloured her fin will become. The fin discolouration is caused by the waste products building up in the digestive system. This can be harmful to your betta fish and also to her unborn fry, so you should take action to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Increased appetite and respiration rate
Finally, another sign that your female betta fish is pregnant is that she will become hungrier than usual and her respiration rate will increase. The female is using this extra energy to build up nutrients in her body so she can feed her unborn fry. This is why your betta fish will become significantly hungrier than normal. You should be sure to provide your betta with additional food during her pregnancy so that she receives the nutrients she needs to properly nourish herself and her unborn fry.
If your betta is pregnant, you will also notice that her respiration rate has increased. This means that she is using more oxygen than usual. You should be sure to increase the amount of oxygen in your aquarium during this time to prevent harmful bacteria from developing in the water.