Do female betta fish get pregnant?

In this post, we will answer the question “Do female betta fish get pregnant?”. We will also discuss the betta fish female fertility and sexual maturity.                                

Do female betta fish get pregnant?

No, because the betta fish is categorised as a ‘spawning fish’ (the female’s eggs are laid and then fertilised by the male), the female will never get pregnant in the traditional sense. 

As previously stated, however, a Betta fish does carry her eggs for a brief amount of time and appears swollen, similar to the appearance of other species that give birth to live kids. ‘Gravid’ is a name commonly used to describe a Betta fish that is currently harbouring eggs in its gills. Several individuals will refer to their Betta fish as ‘being pregnant when it is in the process of being pregnant. 

Betta fish get prepared for breeding by conditioning them

It is critical to condition your Betta fish before attempting to repopulate the tank with more of them. A healthy fish is more likely to generate eggs that have a better probability of getting fertilised than one that is not healthy. 

You should always strive to offer your Betta fish a happy and healthy environment; but, if you wish to breed your Bettas, now is the time to show them extra sensitive love and attention. 

Provide your Bettas with nutrient-dense diets to get them ready for the spawning process. Live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and earthworms are included in this category. 

To avoid confusion, it is recommended that you utilise a hurricane glass or tank divider when first mixing your female and male Betta. This allows you to study their interactions with one another and make educated guesses about how the mating process will unfold. Betta fish are notoriously unpredictable when it comes to the breeding process, therefore it is important to take measures wherever possible during this period.

Is my female betta fertile?

A few minor indications and symptoms might indicate to you that your Betta fish is ready to start laying eggs, and they are listed below. Female Betta fish that are fertile and laying eggs will have white vertical stripes on their bodies, whereas female Betta fish that are ready to mate will create bubble nests in their tank, which will be visible to the male. Introducing the female Betta into the aquarium is a good idea if your male Betta has produced a bubble in the tank. 

If the female Betta determines that the nest is in the proper location, she will allow the male to squeeze the eggs from her ovipositor into the nesting box. Alternatively, if the female Betta is dissatisfied with her male’s efforts, she will demonstrate her dissatisfaction by demolishing their bubble nest. 

Your female Betta fish may be already carrying her eggs, as seen by a spherical white patch on her tummy. In the scientific community, this patch is known as an ovipositor, which is an egg-laying organ that may be found between her ventral ends. In the ovipositor is where she will soon release her eggs, which will be fertilised by her partner. 

An expectant Betta’s tummy will seem bloated and protruding from the side where she is carrying her child. It is critical not to mistake a pregnant Betta with a fish that is suffering from constipation or other digestive problems. 

The eggs of a female Betta fish that has not yet mated with a male Betta fish will be expelled by the female Betta fish from her tank. If this occurs, you may notice that your Betta fish seems to be less swollen than usual. Unfertilized eggs will not hatch or develop into Betta fry because they are not fertilised. 

If your Betta fish seems swollen, has white stripes on its body, and has a visible white dot (ovipositor), you may be confident that she is pregnant. It is crucial to understand that just because your female is carrying eggs does not guarantee that the eggs will hatch and produce a fry. Both the male and female Bettas must be ready to mate, and even if both of them are, Bettas are notoriously picky when it comes to choosing who they will mate with in the first place.

Was the mating process successful?

You may have already put the female into the male’s tank and are now wondering how to detect if the mating procedure was successful or not. 

If the mating procedure was effective, you may be able to detect specks in the male’s bubble nest, indicating that the process was successful. The chances are excellent that you will welcome little fry into your aquarium before you realise it if the size of these specks continues to increase over time. 

Make certain that you remove the female Betta as soon as you believe the mating ritual has concluded. The male gets quite possessive of his bubble nest, and he will not hesitate to defend it against any intruders that venture near it.

There are four methods to know if your female betta is ready to breed: 

1. Check her stripes

The development of vertical stripes along the body of female Bettas during pregnancy is common, with groups of 5-6 stripes being the most common number of stripes. These stripes will be a lighter hue than your Betta’s typical colour, so keep an eye out for them. The vertical stripes will most likely not be completely defined lines, and the edges may be slightly ragged, but they will be easily distinguishable as such. These stripes are not present in every gravid Betta fish; therefore, looking for these stripes is not the sole approach to determining whether or not she is ready to spawn.

2. Look for mild belly bloating

Females which get gravid will notice a small rounding of the abdomen as a result of the development of eggs in the cavity. When viewed from above, this bloating will most likely be more obvious than when viewed from the side. Although some downward bloating is conceivable, it is more likely that bloating will occur outward. Although this bloating will be evident if you are well acquainted with the appearance and size of your Betta, it will be minimal in severity.

3. Look for her ovipositor

The ovipositor is a tiny opening in the female’s abdomen via which her eggs will be released. This orifice is placed on the underside of the front part of the body, behind the ventral fins and in front of the anal fin. It is located behind the ventral fins and in front of the anal fin. During pregnancy, the ovipositor of a female Betta will turn a prominent white hue with a somewhat outward look, indicating that she is carrying a child.

4. Watch for behaviour changes

If your female Betta lives alone, it is unlikely that you will notice any changes in her behaviour. You may, however, notice that your female becomes more interested in your male and his bubble nests if you keep a male and a female together for an extended period, which is not normally suggested for permanent keeping. 

Before spawning takes place, the female will inspect the bubble nest to ensure that it is in good condition. If she enjoys it, spawning will probably occur shortly afterwards. If she doesn’t like it, she will most likely demolish the nest, forcing the male to start again in an attempt to win her over again.

How to tell if your female betta is egg-bound?

Although it is not uncommon for Bettas to become egg-bound, female Bettas, like other egg-laying animals, can become enslaved by their eggs. An egg-bound female is a pregnant female who, for whatever reason, is having difficulties passing the eggs out of her uterine cavity. This may resolve itself, and in other cases, your Betta’s body will reabsorb the eggs, causing no more difficulties. 

Occasionally, your Betta may want your aid for her to pass the eggs, and this is unusual. A gentle squeeze of your Betta’s abdomen will aid in the release of the eggs from her ovipositor, and this is the procedure you should use. Without a doubt, this is a sensitive procedure that poses exceedingly significant dangers to your Betta fish. If you are confident in your abilities to do so without harming her, you should only undertake it if you are completely convinced that your Betta is egg-bound and not suffering from another condition.


Betta fish are particularly prone to constipation because of their high protein diet and human inclination to overfeed them, both of which contribute to the condition. If your Betta appears to be bloated and you haven’t noticed any excrement from it in a day or so, it is most likely constipated, according to the ASPCA. 

Betta fish constipation and bloating are most commonly caused by overfeeding or a diet that is not suited for the fish. If you feel that your Betta is constipated, it may just need to fast for a day or two before it can pass some waste through its system. You may also stimulate the activity of your Betta fish by giving it intriguing toys and activities. Increasing physical activity can aid in the movement of items through the digestive tract.


Betta fish may not be able to get pregnant, but your female Betta fish may become pregnant, even if a male is not present. If she does not release her eggs, it’s likely her body will reabsorb the eggs. If you notice abdominal swelling, then you’ll need to rule out whether your Betta is pregnant or sick. Constipation is a much less severe problem than Dropsy, but they do both indicate your Betta is sick and uncomfortable.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do female betta fish get pregnant?

What is the best way to tell whether a betta fish is pregnant? 

Being pregnant with eggs in a Betta fish is referred to as being in the gravid condition, which is the most popular term used to describe it. The appearance of white stripes on the sides of a Betta fish, as well as a noticeable white dot on her belly, are the most typical indications that she is pregnant. The ovipositor, which is a white dot on the surface of the egg, is the organ responsible for egg production. 

How long does a betta fish remain pregnant? 

A Betta Fish’s pregnancy with eggs is determined by the length of time the fish remains pregnant. The eggs of the female betta fish are normally carried in her ovipositor for 1 or 2 weeks until she is ready to mate, and are released when she is ready to do so. Incubation takes between 24 and 36 hours after the eggs have been fertilised and deposited in the bubble nest. 

What is the best way to tell whether your betta fish is going to lay eggs? 

If you notice that your male betta fish is spending more time near the nest than normal, this indicates that there are eggs in the nest. Occasionally, the male will merely hang around the nest, but there will be no eggs to guard. However, the majority of the time, there will be eggs in the nest for him to protect. 

Do betta fish consume their own young? 

In the instance of an unsuccessful spawning or unfertilized eggs, Betta fish will occasionally eat their eggs, although they are less likely to consume their young (fry). If they are hungry or hostile, Bettas will only consume their fry if they have no other choice. 

What is the average number of babies a betta has? 

The majority of betta fish will lay between 40 and 50 eggs during a spawning cycle. This quantity, on the other hand, might vary substantially depending on the fish. Some aquarists who have had success producing betta fish have reported that their fish have laid as many as 500 eggs.


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