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02-01-2013, 11:36 PM #1Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
Betta laying eggs (no male) - HELP!
I'm a betta care newbie, but have a question about betta behavior...
I have a female betta that has laid eggs 3 times now in the last 2 weeks!!
There is absolutely no male around, but the tank she's in is pretty reflective (I've tied to minimize her flaring at her reflection by putting in some tall plants in the corners). Before you say it, yes--I'm sure they're eggs. She made a little bubble nest for them each time under a floating lily pad. Now, I don't know how she manages to release them herself without a male present, but she does! Moreover, she displays male-type behavior in caring for the eggs afterward. She'll barely leave them alone, even to eat (have to try really hard to get her attention). She seems quite stressed out, because she'll be constantly chasing eggs that fall and spitting them back up top and blowing more bubbles. (I understand this is usually what the male is supposed to do!). The first time, I was so worried with her stressing out that I fished out the eggs, but she managed to then find a few that had fallen beforehand and continue the behavior until a few days later they disappeared. The two most recent times, I've left the eggs in there, assuming that she'll eat them eventually (as most people on these forums have suggested). However, she is so persistent in keeping the eggs up there that she keeps digging (yes, buring her head in the gravel) underneath the egg nest to retrieve fallen eggs.
Any advice for what to do? There's no male around, and I definitely don't want fry, but I'm worried that a) this is really stressful on her body and b) that she'll hurt herself chasing down the eggs, because she looks like she has little red spots on her head from ramming into the gravel. She used to be a super fun and responsive fish (learning lots of tricks, e.g., swimming through hoops for food reward), but now she seems so obsessed, she barely notices when I come up to the tank. Help!
(As far as details, she's in a 3gal cube tank -- I know it could be bigger, but that's all I have room for at the moment -- 78 degrees, water levels are all good, and added some aquarium salt to boot. 50% water changes once a week and filter change 1/month. Diet is betta bits -- 5 minis 2x day. She didn't like blood worms or brine shrimp for some reason.)
02-02-2013, 02:53 AM #2
Female bettas do sometimes make bubble nests. As for her being stressed out about it, there is not much you can do besides continuing to provide proper care.
02-02-2013, 05:32 AM #3
I have had a female in a sorority tank (girls only) release eggs, but she promptly ate them as soon as she spotted them. She spent a couple of hours moving gravel to be sure she got them all. The video of her releasing her eggs is still floating around the Videos section somewhere.
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of the act
02-03-2013, 01:31 AM #4
Some females do act like males once they lay eggs. There's a theory that these females might carry an extra chromosome, something akin to an XXY female of the human species. Though physically female, they carry some male instinctual traits, such as excessive flaring, aggression and bubble nesting. Weather this is the case or not, there is little you can do about her behavior, and though it may seem stressful to her, likely, its instinctual, and not causing her as much harm as it appears. The only suggestion I could make, is to take some precautionary measures to make her less anxious. One trick is to cut the top off of a Styrofoam cup making a ring of it, and let that float in the tank. The reason is, it is an area that will not be disturbed by breaking of surface tension in the water from filter flow, and the bubble nest will not break apart. You can also remove some of the gravel leaving a bare bottom tank underneath where the ring floats, to keep her from scrambling and scratching into the gravel.
I also noticed, you say you change your filter. Don't do that, simply rinse out your cartridges in removed tank water weekly. Your bio grows in the filter media, so you will be throwing out your cycle on a monthly basis.2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.