Do Female Betta Fish Make Bubbles?

Female and male betta fish have a jewel-toned coloring that makes them a prize to have in a home aquarium. These gorgeous fish also have an interesting way of reproducing through bubbles.

Betta fish produce clusters of bubbles on the surface of the water called bubble nests. Females release their eggs, while males fertilize them and place them into the bubbles. Eventually, after hatching, you get baby bettas. 

Female betta fish make bubble nests under specific conditions, however, male betta fish create bubble nests that are bigger and more successful for breeding.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about why do female betta fish make bubbles.

Why Do Female Betta Fish Make Bubbles?

If male betta fish are responsible for creating bubble nests for breeding, why do female betta fish sometimes make them? There are two explanations for why female bettas make bubbles.

Firstly, female betta fish make bubble nests when there are no male bubble nests available. Normally, females absorb and recreate eggs without spawning when a male is not present. In some cases, females will spawn without a male. If this happens, they build a bubble nest themselves and bring their eggs over to it.

Secondly, all betta fish breathe some oxygen by gulping up air. These breaths result in air bubbles that eventually collect on the surface. Unlike a bubble nest, these bubbles are not intentionally built and occur naturally as the fish breathes. A betta fish will not deposit eggs into these types of bubbles.

When Do Male Betta Fish Make Bubble Nests?

Male betta fish make bubble nests very often. During your regular tank cleaning, you will clear out bubble nests and notice that your male betta has begun work on a new nest in his cleaned tank. There’s really no way to stop a betta fish from making a bubble nest. You can encourage one, on the other hand, to build one.

How to Get a Male Betta Fish to Make Bubble Nest

To encourage a male betta fish to produce a bubble nest, introduce some competition in any of these three ways.

Add A Female

Male betta fish produce bubble nests to hold eggs from females. By introducing a female to the male’s environment, he will be encouraged to begin work on a nest.

Introducing females must be done in a tank big enough to hold two betta fish. Opt for a tank of around 10 to 20 gallons to give each fish enough space.

Add the female to the tank but leave a divider between her and the male betta until they grow accustomed to one another’s presence in the tank.

Add A Male

Male betta fish are particularly aggressive and competitive with other males. Only introduce another male betta to your tank if it is over 20 gallons, otherwise, your fish may suffer from stress, fin tears, wounds, or even death.

Similar to females, introduce a male betta fish into the tank with a divider protecting both fish from each other until they become more accustomed to one another. After an adjustment period of two weeks to a month, you can remove the divider and allow the two fish to cohabitate.

Add A Reflection

Since betta fish are territorial, mirrors make them think that another fish is very close to them. You will see your betta fish flare its fins and gills and potentially charge, hitting the tank glass.

Reflections add simulated competition to your bettas territory which stimulates your male betta to build a bubble nest.

What Happens After A Female Betta Fish Lays Eggs?

After the female betta fish has spawned eggs, remove her from the tank and place her in a separate home from the male betta. Males get particularly aggressive during this part of the mating process so he may see the female as a threat and turn aggressive.

How Betta Fish Breed

Betta fish perform a mating dance that takes a couple of days to complete. Firstly the female must be introduced with a divider between her and the male. This encourages the male to build a nest.

You will see changes in both fish to signal their desire to mate. Both fish will change in color and the female will begin producing eggs in her ovipositor. After the nest is built, release the female and watch as they nip, dance, and mate.

If the female is unsatisfied with the bubble nest, she will destroy it. If this happens, place her behind the divider once more for the male to rebuild.

The female will spawn after the two fish mate and the male will collect the fertilized eggs in his mouth and place them into the bubbles to incubate.

Can I Clean My Tank When My Betta Has Made a Bubble Nest?

Yes, you can clean your tank when bettas have built a bubble nest. Males take no notice of their destroyed efforts and rebuild bubble nests as soon as you refill their tank with fresh water.

Females that have spawned eggs without a male presence will place their eggs into a bubble nest. If your female betta fish has created a bubble nest with eggs, you must clean your tank.

Without male fertilization, betta eggs will rot. Rotten eggs lead to ammonium spikes in your tank which can lead to your fish catching a disease or infection. If untreated, this can lead to death.

If you are trying to breed your bettas, ensure that you breed them in a large and clean tank to avoid the need for cleaning during the mating and incubation process.

Wrapping Up

Do female betta fish make bubbles? Yes, but they are not suitable for producing new life like a male betta fish bubble nest is.

Females produce eggs and bubble nests when males are not around, but they will rot instead of hatch new fish. Only female and male betta fish can produce fertilized eggs that grow into more beautiful iridescent fish.