Female betta fish will, on occasion, make bubble nests. They will usually do this to assist the male betta fish as building the nest is the male’s job. However, there are a few things you may need to reevaluate if you see your female betta making a nest.
In order to take care of your bettas properly, you need to know all that you can about their various habits. Below, I will go into more detail on whether female bettas will make a nest, what that might look like, and what to do with it.
Do Female Betta Fish Make Bubble Nests?
As mentioned above, it is the male betta’s job to make a bubble nest. In almost all cases this is what happens. That said, female bettas have been known to make bubble nests though it is somewhat rare.
Since it is so rare it is also possible that your betta is not female. Pet stores can misidentify fish from time to time.
There is also a variety of bettas called Plakats that have shorter fins. These fish are often misidentified as female bettas.
Look out for the few distinctive signs that your betta is female such as an egg spot.
Whether male or female, the frequency that they make these nests will vary from fish to fish. If your female betta has started making a nest they may continue to do so for several weeks or stop tomorrow.
Why Would a Female Betta Make a Bubble Nest?
Unfortunately, if you are now wondering why, you won’t be satisfied. Betta enthusiasts don’t know exactly why female bettas make bubble nests.
It could be that they want to help the male if he is making one though that is not common. If there is no male in the tank, the possible reasons are even harder to figure out. As living creatures, each one will behave in unique ways.
What is clear is that this behavior is tied to the natural urge to reproduce. Male bettas will make nests more often when they are in their prime reproductive age. In nature, they will build them during the mating season.
Any female bettas who are making nests are likely behaving according to these patterns. If they choose to make a bubble nest you can be assured that they feel comfortable in the tank. If they do not it does not always mean they are unhappy.
What Does a Bubble Nest Look Like?
If you aren’t sure what you’re looking at is a bubble nest, chances are that it is. Bubble nests look just like you’d expect them to. They are clusters of bubbles on the surface of your tank, usually in a corner.
Naturally, these nests will look different from fish to fish. Typically the size of the bubbles is related to the size of the fish. However, nest appearances can even change each time your betta makes one.
Bubble nests can be made of small or large bubbles. Sometimes they are condensed into one area. Other times they are more spread out.
Some nests are fairly thin while others are thick and hard to see through. Additionally, bettas will often build a nest around any tank decorations that reach the surface.
With that said, however, not every collection of bubbles is a nest.
Bettas are labyrinth fish which means that they can breathe air from the surface. When bettas do this it can cause bubbles to form on the surface. These bubbles can persist just like the bubbles used in a nest.
So there is a chance that what you see is just a sign that your betta is breathing. It can be difficult to tell the two apart.
Sometimes the only way to tell is if eggs show up in the nest. Of course, this can only happen if you have a pair of bettas of the opposing sexes.
Should I Remove a Betta Bubble Nest?
If you do notice a bubble nest you may be wondering what to do with it. The decision is ultimately yours. If your betta, male or female, is making a nest it means they’re comfortable in their surroundings.
If you want your bettas to reproduce, you should certainly try to preserve the nest. This may seem like a challenge when you clean the tank. Thankfully it is not any more difficult than scooping the nest out with a container.
Removing the bubble nest is one potential step if you don’t want your bettas to reproduce. However, it would be much simpler to keep your bettas in separate tanks.
If you only have one gender of betta fish in your tank and a nest shows up, you have several options.
Whether you decide to save or remove the nest won’t stress your bettas. If you remove it, they will just make another if they desire to. Keeping the nest adds an extra step to tank cleaning and doesn’t affect the fish all that much.
Can I Encourage My Betta to Make a Bubble Nest?
Since the reasons that female bettas make bubble nests aren’t fully understood it is hard to encourage them. There are still some general methods to try, however.
The most reliable way to encourage your betta to make a bubble nest is to make them comfortable in the tank. When you accomplish this you will have the best chance to see a bubble nest.
There are a few conditions that your tank must meet. They include the below conditions.
- Appropriate tank size
- Comfortable temperature
- Gentle filtration
- Correct pH level
- Friendly tank mates
- Appropriate light
- Quality food
Betta fish are often mistreated due to a lack of information or misinformation. Make sure to check on your bettas regularly to see if they are healthy.
When these conditions are met appropriately your betta fish should be happy. If they are not, your betta will likely be too stressed to think about building a bubble nest.