Egg-bound female betta... need help
I have an egg-bound female betta. She lives with one male and 3 female swordtails and 4 male guppies. I do not have a male betta and not sure if I want to get one.
The tank: 20 gallon with a divider (about 1/3 and 2/3 division).
The 1/3 of the tank has baby swordtails and many plants (about a month old)
Tank temperature is about 78 F.
I usually feed bloodworm in the morning and flakes at night (with occasional treats like mysis shrimp, and "instant ocean" food).
1. What can I do to help her? Will she die if she doesn't drop eggs?
2. Will she drop the eggs without any help?
3. Can I put a male (if I choose to get one) and the female betta in with the growing swordtails fry and let them breed?
4. Will swordtail fry eat betta eggs/fry?
5. Will adult betta hurt the swordtail fry?
6. I do have a spare 3.5 gallon tank (half-moon tank)... can I breed in there (if I choose to get a male)
7. Can I put a male in the 2/3 of the 20 gallon with the other fish and let them breed? I am a "survival of the fittest" kind of breeder.
Any and all advice would be helpful... she is a gorgeous pink female and I would hate to lose her.
How do you know she is eggbound?? It is quite unusual for a female betta to have eggs unless you've planned it that way, with a male present.
If she isn't eggbound, sounds like you have a case of constipation/bloat. Sounds like you may be feeding her a lot. Is she still swimming around? Looking lively? If she is looking OK, fasting her for a few days is a good idea.
If she is not looking good, I'd suggest moving her to a (heated, aerated)quarantine tank and not feeding her for a few days and see how she does. In the QT, you can give her an epsom salt bath to try to unclog her. If the bloat is extreme, there may not be anything you can do.
I am dealing with this myself. I wish I could help more. Good luck.
1 - 55 gallon planted community
3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.
Agree with Beth. She could also have internal worms, the beginning of bloat or constipated. You can not keep a male and female Betta together. I would not keep a Betta in anything but a 5 gallon or more. Is it necessary that your tank is divided? Perhaps they would be fine without it?
The 20 gallon is divided because the swordtail gave birth to 5 fry. I sell the young swords to pet stores afterward, so I want them to live. They are in small part of tank.
The female betta is in with adult fish... I cannot stop feeding all the fish, especially since the fry (in small side of tank) are fed 3 times a day and some of the food floats through the screening to the larger side.
The female betta is healthy looking... she swims around well. She eats well.
Her belly area is whitish (she is pink).
WHAT I WILL TRY: I will try not feeding the adults for a day and see what happens... some small stuff might float over to adults, but hopefully not much.
Thanks for the help... so far (anyone else have suggestions?)
I've had a similar experience with my sons crown tail female. She is a piglet and will stuff herself with food if overfed. She generally recovers in a day or two if I make sure my son melts the bloodworms down a bit before feeding so she can't snap up huge clumps of them all at once.
I do keep a male betta with my sorority females (3), and a number of other mixed species fish from a pictus cat to swords and a paddle tail newt. I have a 60gal tall with dbl capacity filtration and I provide significant amounts of layered cover. They get on great.
This is a common problem and experiencing it myself. A female Betta (or any Betta) living in quarters with other fish, usually attains more food than they are designed to take in. Her front area, under head and near the trailing fins looks exceptionally huge. A betta alone will eat only what the fish keeper gives it, in a community, they will happily and greedily devour anything in its path, leading to this condition.
Is it dangerous? Yes and no. If the Betta is not "pineconed" with scales sticking out, you are basically dealing with a fat Betta. The danger of a fat Betta is only reduced lifespan from possible fatty liver disease.
Ways to combat this, is to stop feeding bloodworm, and find two different foods. Sinking foods (pellets that sink down quickly) for the other fish, and a floating Betta pellet for your Betta. Betta don't "normally" eat food once it sinks, and only really like to eat from the top. You can alternately try just sinking food, and let her catch as catch can, which will slow down her eating habits.
What I have working for me right now is a feeding ring. I have the fish trained to go to the feeding ring and quickly gobble up what I put in there, while, at the same time distracting the Betta by on the other side of the tank, feeding her separately with tasty pellets she loves. I drop her's slowly and she waits, while the others eat up all their food.
2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.
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