Do female Betta fish make bubbles? 

In this article, we will answer the question “Do female Betta fish make bubbles?”. We will also discuss what are the main reasons why a female Betta fish make bubbles.

Do female Betta fish make bubbles?

Yes, female Betta fish make bubbles for two main reasons. The bubbles can be a by-product of breathing or they can be building or maintaining a bubble nest. Females rarely build bubble nests however, not impossible. Females can start to build a bubble nest to signalize they are ready to mate. They can also assist the males while building their nests. 

What are the reasons my female Betta fish makes bubbles?

Betta fish are members of a fish class called Aphrophilus. They are fish that make bubble nests. Since they usually live in low-oxygen and dirty environments, they build these nests to provide an ideal environment for the baby ones to develop and be secure from predators.

Although, it is not all Betta fish that build the nests. It is usually the males that build them. They usually begin to build the nests when they are ready to mate in an attempt to attract females to breed. Another reason why males build bubble nests can be to show dominance over other male Betta fish.

Female Betta fish are different from males. They are less territorial and can live very peacefully with other females. Also, they usually do not build bubble nests to attract males.

The typical Betta fish parenting behaviour is performed by males, in general. It is very rare for a female to stay and take care of the eggs with the male. Female Betta fish can even eat their eggs.

However a female Betta fish has no reason to build a bubble nest, some females start producing bubbles, and this could be due to two main reasons.

Your female Betta fish is actually a male

It is not uncommon for beginner aquarists and some sellers to mistake the Betta fish gender. In general, male Betta fish tend to have longer fins and brighter colours than female ones. However, there is a variety of Betta fish called plakat that does not follow the general gender-appearance rule. Male plakats are also short-finned and can easily be mistaken by non-plakat female Betta fish.

The most certain manner to conclude if your Betta fish is a female is to search for the ovipositor, a white mark behind the ventral fins that disperses the eggs. This mark is present in female Betta fish and absent in males. 

The bubbles are just a by-product of breathing behaviour

Betta fish have a breathing organ that is called a labyrinth. This organ permits them to complement their breathing with surface air. Male betta fish use this air to build bubble nests. However female Betta fish also have this organ, which makes it possible to release some air making bubbles. 

It is common for Betta fish to release some bubbles while breathing and on some occasions, the bubbles can group at the water surface, which can be mistaken by the male’s bubble nest-building process. The produced bubbles for nests last longer due to the coat formed by Betta fish saliva.

Do female Betta fish create bubble nests?

It is not very common to see female Betta fish building bubbles nests. However, they are capable of doing it and assisting the male during parenting behaviour.

The female ability to produce bubbles for nests

Similarly to male Betta fish, females also have the labyrinth organ. Thus, they are as capable as the males of making bubbles for nests.

Additionally, building a bubble nest is not a taught behaviour. They learn this practice instinctually. For this, reason, female Betta fish do not need to learn how to build bubble nests, they just do it. 

The male reputation of building bubble nests

Although female Betta fish have the capability of building bubble nests, several specialists claim any Betta fish that builds bubble nests is male. Also, it is very rare to find female Betta fish that build nests. For these reasons, specialists tend to determine any female Betta fish building nests to be plakat males.

Female Betta fish have no reason to build bubble nests

Parenting behaviour in Betta fish is typically associated with male individuals. They build bubble nests to place the eggs. Males are responsible for collecting the eggs and carrying them to the nest.

After the hatching, the male betta will take care of the fries and protect them until they can survive on their own. Thus, the male Betta carries all this responsibility. However, the female can stay around to assist the male during this period. Sometimes even generate some bubbles to maintain the nest.

Females using bubble nests as a mating signal

Some specialists believe that females can build bubble nests to signalize the males they are ready to mate. However, this is very uncommon, once this behaviour is typical of males attempting to attract females to mate. Once again reaffirms the absence of female Betta fish needs for bubble nest building.

Should I remove Betta bubble nests?

If you have a pair of Betta fish, it is not recommended to remove the bubble nest, as it could be protecting some eggs already. However, if you are sure there are no eggs and you are not trying to breed your Betta fish, removing the bubble nest should not be anyhow harmful to your Betta fish. They would not respond negatively and will easily build another one soon.

Bubble nests are very simple structures and not a big deal for a Betta fish. If you plan to breed your fish, then it is recommended to encourage them to build these nests. However, if you accidentally remove or destroy the bubble nest, do not worry, the Betta fish you build a new one. 

It is very normal to destroy these nests when cleaning a non-breeding tank. Conversely, a breeding tank cleaning process should be conducted with more attention and care as the eggs and the fries are not able to survive without the bubble nest.

What should I do if my Betta fish builds a bubble nest?

This answer will depend on what you are planning to do with your Betta fish and your tank, If you opt for not breeding your Betta fish, you can just remove the nest and keep going. If you plan to breed your Betta fish, there are some recommendations to follow. These recommendations will help your Betta fish to successfully reproduce.

  • Maintain your tank cleanliness – perform water changes routinely to remove contaminants, debris, and leftovers;
  • House the Betta fish in a good and appropriately set up the tank – plenty of space, plants and hiding spots. Also with slow-moving current and not too much light;
  • Keep the water warm – Betta fish are tropical fish that thrive better in water temperatures around 76-85°F. Thus, having a heating system is strongly recommended to breeding tanks;
  • House an appropriate male-female ratio in your tank – it is very important to consider your tank capacity, as well as avoid more than one male in the same breeding tank. Otherwise, they can keep on fighting for bubble nest building, not breeding and protecting the fries;
  • Provide some floating plants and objects – floating structures will help your Betta fish on keeping the bubble nest safe and still;
  • Have a gentle filtration system – Betta fish prefer environments with slow movements. Additionally, bubble nests require a gentle flow to be kept safe and still, without being pushed to the end of the tank.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Do female Betta fish make bubbles?”. We also discussed what are the main reasons why a female Betta fish make bubbles.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do female Betta fish make bubbles?

Do female Betta fish puff up?

No, female Betta fish do not puff up. Aggressive behaviours are typical to male Betta fish however, some females may perfume some too. These aggressive behaviours include flaring up to look bigger and showing swinging swimming behaviour.

What gender of Betta fish does build bubble nest?

Bubble nest building is more commonly performed by male Betta fish. However, some females can help the males in building and keeping the bubble nest.

Do Betta fish recognize their owner?

Yes, Betta fish are capable of recognizing their owner. They can even get excited and swim differently when facing the owner. This can usually happen during feeding and playing times.

Why do Betta fish make bubbles?

Betta fish usually make bubbles to build their bubble nests. The bubble nest is responsible for providing oxygen and safety to the eggs and hatchlings until they can survive on their own.

Can female Betta fish make bubble nests?

Yes, female Betta fish are completely capable of building a bubble nest. However, it is extremely rare. Usually, “female” Betta fish that build bubble nests are actually mistaken for short-finned males, plakat individuals.

Can you put a female and a male Betta fish together?

Yes, you can put a female and a male Betta fish in the same tank. It is recommended to do so in an appropriate set-up tank with plenty of space and proper conditions. 

References 

Do Female Betta Fish Make Bubble Nests? https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/do-female-betta-fish-make-bubble-nests/

Female Betta Blowing Bubble Nest. https://nippyfish.net/2009/03/18/female-betta-blowing-bubble-nest/

Why Is My Female Betta Making A Bubble Nest? https://petfishonline.com/female-betta-making-bubble-nest/

Osmond, C. 2021. All You Need to Know About a Betta Fish Bubble Nest. https://www.tankarium.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-a-betta-fish-bubble-nest/

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