Betta Fish. Pregnant or Dropsy? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-09-2007, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Betta Fish. Pregnant or Dropsy?

Unsure whether pregnancy has happened to a male betta fish before (my mom claims that males produce spawn as well), I decided to leave it to the pros.

Is this Dropsy? I've read that you can tell with the scales or something. My parents ridiculously think that HE'S pregnant. Only females can get pregnant (right?). And the pet store said it was male.

But if it's dropsy, how can I cure it? He tends to stay near the bottom, he always eats what I give him : ( TetraBetta Floating Mini Pellets, Hikari Betta Bio-Gold, Big Al's Bloodworms Freeze-dried), I give him either 1 of the floating mini pellets and 2 of the Hikari or I give him 2 of the floating mini pellets and 1 of the Hikari, for the bloodworms, I just give him 2. I feed him all of these things in the morning and evening, in the afternoon I give him 2 bloodworms, he likes to hang around the plastic plant in the bowl.
His 1 gallon bowl consists of :
2 ceramic frogs
1 plastic plant
3 shells
Turquoise Plastic Rocks (the thingies you put at the bottom and they stay at the bottom and don't float up)
And I clean and change the water in the bowl every month. The water is tap water and I use Tetra BettaSafe to condition the water. I use 7 drops as instructed on the bottle.

I know I can be changing the water and cleaning his bowl more often, but my dad said once a month is fine. I have a busy schedule most of the time but if you have any ideas on when a busy person can clean and change the water, please let me know.

Below are pictures of my fish. Any questions? Just post them below and I'll answer them as soon as possible. If you need any additional information, post them below and I shall answer them. Please help me! Any recommended products? Thanks.

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post #2 of 15 Old 12-09-2007, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, I got him in the summer, June/July-ish.

He's a black Betta with yellow fins. I picked him because he was different from all the other red, blue and purple ones. He's just gorgeous. His name is Boo or Basey. In Russian it's Бycя.

Just thought maybe you would want this information. :D
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-10-2007, 05:12 AM
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You should probably be cleaning his bowl more often :( at least once a week. Little bowls like that build up toxins quickly. Just imagine being in a one gallon bowl for a month with your own poop. Speaking of poop... Whats his poop look like? I'm not sure this is dropsy, it could be. But it could also be internal parasites. Another member will have to help you with this. But in the mean time you could try feeding him peas. This will help him poop if he needs to :P Or epsom salt. That might help with the bloating if it is dropsy. Haha your mom sounds like mine. Always thinking she is the fish expert. Oh, by the way do you have a water tester? If so can you post results?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-10-2007, 07:49 PM
Males don't get pregnant.

Once a month is not often enough to clean his tank. For a 1 gal. tank, you can use a turkey baster to suction out the poop and leftover food from the bottom. I think you'd need to do 25% water changes 2X a week. Someone else with more experience will chime in, I'm sure. If you keep a gallon jug of water ready (meaning with the lid off so it can go stale) -- you can even put the conditioner in it, then it will take less than 5 minutes to clean the tank.

I've no experience about what's happening to him right now. Might want to try Betta Fix. There's another betta medicine ... Betta Rescue, maybe? I don't remember. It's blue. That might help as well.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-10-2007, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Uhm, sorry, kinda new to this, the pet store didn't say anything about water temperatures or a water tester..?

And since I'm not familiar with these "fishy" terms, what does it mean to 25% water changes 2X a week?

Explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

Well, so far he's alive. He hasn't been eating in the morning when I get up for school (7:30-ish) I thought maybe he was sleeping. He eats in the afternoon when I give him his 2 bloodworms (he loves his bloodworms >.<) and in the evening 3 balls of his normal fish feed and 2 bloodworms.
So he's eating fine, he tends to sleep a lot during early morning and evening (and I guess between that time period as well), are betta fish like that? I wouldn't know ^_^.
Thanks for all your help and support. I really do appreciate it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-10-2007, 10:40 PM
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he eat blood worms every day? he might not be processing them fast enough.

i know on the days my betta ate bloodworms he would have a slight tummy, id recommend not feeding bloodworms every day.

25 % water changes are exactly as they sound. take 1/4 of the water out of his tank, replace it with dechlorinated tap water (at the same temperature as the water in the tank, or as close as possible). so do that a few times a week, and if occasionally youll want to sift through the rocks and clean out all of the food and poo that his settled in the rocks.

good luck!

edit for more help:

I would recommend getting larger than the one gallon tank. as you'll find is commonly the standard on this site, we recommend a 5 gallon aquarium, if not larger. your betta will like temps in the high 70s- low 80s (i always went 78 or 79) and youll be able to buy heaters for the tank at your local pet store; tho im not sure if there will be any for such a small tank that wont cook him, this is also benefical with upgrading to a larger tank. A larger tank also allows you to put in a better filtraion system to keep more stable water conditions to prevent future sickness.

basically, upgrading to a larger tank (while a bit expensive at first) will certainly save you many problems in the future. and it allows you more fish than you could keep in the 1 gallon tank.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-11-2007, 03:08 PM
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It is quite possible that you and your mother are both right. True a male fish can't get pregnant, but it doesn't look to me like this is a male fish. I've noticed that most people think if it has long fins it has to be male, this is not true. I have had 1/2moon females in the past, some with longer fins than the males. The reason I say this is after looking at your pictures. The first picture shows the fish with dark stripes that run side to side... but if you look down through other pictures these stripse are going the opposite direction... up and down. This is common in a female fish that is ready to breed. The way to tell for sure is to look under the fish, at the belly area you will see a pair of fins (pelvic fins). Look behind those fins on the belly, is there a noticable white spot there? If so this is called an egg spot, meaning the opening of the tube that would release the eggs if she was fertile, and ready to breed. I see a beautiful female 1/2moon in the pictures you posted, and ready to breed. If she's not bred her both will absorb the eggs and her stripes will go back to side to side direction. This won't harm her, but I do agree with the others about her feeding schedule. The only bettas I ever feed that much/often are those being prepped to breed. Normally a betta should be fed about 5 pellets/day and only every other day. Their stomach is about the size of their eyeball, and they need time to digest the food before eating more.
I also agree that water changes should be 25 - 50% at least once every wk in that size of a container. Without a filter, twice each week is much safer.
I see nothing wrong with a 1 gallon bowl for a habitat for a betta so long as you can keep it warm enough (78 - 82 degrees) and you do the needed water changes to keep it clean enough.

Check for the egg spot and let me know... I'm curious!
Male or female, that doesn't look like dropsy and if you medicate with just anything you risk killing the fish, especially if it isn't sick or if you medicate for the wrong problem. Most medications can be toxic if the water quality isn't in really good shape, also....

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-11-2007, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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New Feeding Schedule. Bubble nest?

Okay. Phew. Now that I know it's not a disease, should I expect a bubble nest anytime soon? How will I recognize the eggs? Will she eat them before I can put them into another tank? Eep, this is giving me the pregnancy jitters.

I told my mom about getting a 5 gallon bowl and filter, she hasn't said anything yet. I'm going to wait until we drive by a petstore and suggest going in to buy it. Until then, I shall clean it every Monday. Thanks for the suggestions.

New Feeding Schedule (I shall wait for someone to say this is a good schedule before I begin with it) Any changes or modifications to this schedule are fine and EXTREMELY encouraged. All food will be fed in afternoons (unless you disagree of course)

Mondays - 3 feed balls
Tuesdays - Nothing / or 1 blood worm
Wednesdays - 3 feed balls
Thursdays - Nothing / or 1 blood worm
Fridays - 3 feed balls
Saturdays - Nothing / or 1 blood worm
Sundays - 2 feedballs?

Please make any changes possible for my fish to be okay. Whatever meets your satisfaction meets mine. =)
Thank you so much.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-11-2007, 04:48 PM
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Your feeding schedule sounds alright. I fed for 2 days, then skip a day, then 2 days then skip a day but that's just my routine.

Your betta needs a variety of foods. Perhaps you could alternate the bloodworm with brine shrimp for example? I find that they usually really love both.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-11-2007, 05:09 PM
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The new feeding schedule sounds ok, but I would offer about 5 of the pellets at each feeding.

As for eggs and bubble nests, the only way to breed your betta would be to put a male into the tank and let them do their thing. The male squeezes the eggs from the female, so without a male, you won't see any eggs, her body will just absorb them again. The male is the fish who builds the nest and takes care of the eggs until they hatch, but I warn ahead of time, unless you and your parents are really into a lot of mess and hassle, please don't attempt to breed your betta. They can have up to 100 eggs in one spawn, the only food for the newly hatched fish are newly hatched baby brine shrimp (which means setting up a brine hatchery at home... brine are hatched in saltwater) and the fry have to be seperated within about 4 - 6 wks or they begin to fight and kill each other. I've been breeding bettas for over 10 yrs, its a lot of fun, but its a lot of work, a lot of mess, and it can be hard to find somewhere to go with 100+ fish that each need a bowl of their own. Pet stores won't take them until they are about 1 yr old, so this would be a long term commitment. Betta fry are slow growing. The fish you see in the pet stores, you can assume are at least 1 yr old or more.

My suggestion, keep the one you have clean and well fed and just enjoy her. The spawning rituals of the betta can be very violent, and if the 2 fish are not compatible it can mean the loss of one or both fish due to fighting. Breeding is best left to those who are prepared for it and have an outlet for the fry (baby fish).

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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