The popularity of keeping betta fish has been steadily increasing year on year for around two decades now with their popularity showing now signs of slowing down.
Due to the lower aggression levels in female betta fish and the ability to keep them in female betta sorority tanks, more and more people are starting to keep groups of female betta fish.
Due to so many people keeping multiple female betta fish now, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking various questions about their female betta being full of eggs.
Just like most fish species that lay eggs, a female betta will still produce and release her eggs even if a male betta fish is not present.
This can result in issues with female betta fish becoming egg bound in some situations with young female betta fish usually taking a little longer to release their egg clutches than older female bettas.
This results in a range of questions from the community so we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over the various questions that we see from the community each month to try and help as many of our readers who have female betta who is full of eggs as possible.
Can Female Betta Fish Get Egg Bound?
Female betta fish can get egg bound, sometimes referred to as dystocia with younger female betta fish tending to be more prone to it that older female bettas.
The betta will become egg bound if her ovaries are not developed enough to release the egg she produces or if her body does not release the hormone for the betta to release her eggs.
An egg bound female betta fish can quickly become full of eggs in this situation with her quickly starting to appear to be bloated.
There are a number of possible outcomes depending on the exact situation but some female betta fish who are egg bound may end up naturally releasing their eggs within time without you having to seek assistance from a veterinarian.
If you are a beginner at keeping betta fish, it can be common to think that a female betta fish is egg bound when she is simply developing her eggs ready to release them.
This is totally natural for a betta fish as she will try to hold on to her eggs for as long as possible to find a potential male betta fish before she is forced to release them.
How Long Do Female Bettas Carry Eggs?
Most female betta fish will carry eggs in their ovipositors for a maximum of two weeks but she can usually release her eggs at any point before then.
Younger female bettas can sometimes hold their eggs in their ovipositors for as long as four weeks though without actually being egg bound, especially if this is her first set of eggs.
This is totally normal for female betta fish but it does often catch people new to keeping bettas out. We guess it is simply a part of the learning process for a female betta fish to hold her eggs for as long as possible in search for a male for the first time she produces eggs.
She will usually end up releasing her eggs naturally without issue within four weeks with most young female betta fish still releasing their eggs within the first two weeks of producing them anyway.
If you notice that your female betta is still full of eggs after four weeks then she may be egg bound and need assistance.
What To Do If A Female Betta Is Not Releasing Eggs?
You should wait at last two weeks for an experienced female betta to release her eggs or four weeks for a female betta who is producing eggs for the first time. After that, you can try to use hormones or a fish massage to help your female betta release her eggs.
Due to the smaller size of a betta fish, an egg massage to try and encourage her to release the eggs is more difficult than with larger fish.
It is also difficult to correctly do an egg massage to successfully get your female betta fish to release her eggs so we usually recommend that you seek assistance from a veterinarian or a more experienced fish keeper who has successfully done it before.
Depending on your location, the required hormones to encourage your female betta to release her eggs may be a controlled substance. If this is the case then you have to get a veterinarian involved as it is the only way to get the required hormones in most places in Europe and North America.
How To Get A Female Betta To Release Eggs!
The easiest way to get a female betta to release her eggs is to use a hormone treatment to try and encourage her to release her eggs.
The more successful hormone treatments do need to be injected into the fish but there are some less successful treatments that you add to the water of your betta fish.
If you are in North America or Europe then there is a high chance that you will have to get a veterinarian to sign the paperwork for the release of the hormones to you due to them being a controlled substance.
Most places in Europe and many places in North America will also require the veterinarian to do the hormone injections for you too.
Due to regulations changing on a regular basis, it is usually better to book a short video call with a veterinarian to have them assess your betta fish and offer a custom treatment plan for moving forward.
They will be able to offer a plan to get your female betta to release her eggs that is customised to her specific situation and then resort to hormone treatments if required.
That brings our article going over what to do if you have a female betta full of eggs. As we covered in our article above, we often see people getting ahead of themselves and thinking that their betta fish is having problems when she is within the two week release period. This is why we usually just recommend that you simply wait initially and then look to get a veterinarian involved if she doesn’t release her eggs within the two to four week period.