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Gender-nonconforming betta really wants to be a mom/dad?


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My female betta has released eggs a couple times, and keeps a small bubble nest as a matter of routine, but this time she’s made a huge bubble nest and actually put the eggs in it and is tending them.  

I know they won’t hatch, barring her being the first ever example of parthenogenesis in a betta, but I hate to take them out and destroy her nest, that just sounds so traumatic for her.  (For personal reasons off-topic for this forum, this is really doing my head in).  Will she lose interest when they don’t hatch in a few days?  If I take her out of the tank before removing the nest, would that be better?  

I’m debating breeding her, even though she’s just a random Petco fish - I’d order a male from a breeder to be sure of no inbreeding, and outcrosses tend to be healthier, right?  Fresh blood and all that?  She does have some desirable traits phenotype-wise.  But I’m worried the male might kill her - and besides that, it seems like she wants to brood and raise babies, which the male wouldn’t let her do anyway, unless maybe I could re-divide a breeder tank after mating and let them each raise some?  (Or maybe she wouldn’t even want to in the presence of a male).  

I actually looked up whether you can buy betta sperm (it’s a thing for horses!). Not that I can find.  

I don’t even know what my question is here, LOL - how do I help my girl accept not being a parent?  Does she need a fishy therapist? (Not serious on that one, in case that wasn’t obvious).  

The little headache herself: 









Edited by Epiphanaea
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Well, after a couple days the eggs disappeared, so I think she figured out they weren’t fertilized and ate them.  She’s let the nest go, and seems back to her usual self.

. . . I may still be considering that it’d be really cool to breed betta imbellis hybrids.  Just need to figure out where to put a breeding tank.  How weird would a tank over the toilet be?  Asking for a friend . . .


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Another nest has come and gone since last posting, and she has one active now.  

I am a little concerned about her becoming nutrient-deficient if she keeps this up, but so far she’s active as ever, color is good, and if anything she’s a little chubby (though that could be yet more eggs - but she has a good top down silhouette, no appearance of having swallowed a marble).


If anybody here is actually trying to cause egg production on purpose, she’s eating mostly Fluval BugBites betta granules, with occasional mysis shrimp. Tried bloodworms for the first time not too long ago but they’re not a staple.  I’m guessing she likely has snail eggs / newly hatched snails, too, because there’s a ramshorn snail and a couple bladder snails in there and they haven’t turned into a million of them.  I did offer her bladder snail eggs from another tank, and she ate them but seemed frustrated with getting the edible bits out of the gel, they weren’t a big hit, but maybe that’s easier if the blob of eggs is attached to something?  

She’s in a 5g with lots of almond leaves, wood, some buce that hasn’t really taken off, ferns, red root floaters, a “banana” lotus, and as of a couple days ago a small water lettuce.  Water is the color of weak tea.  Has a smallish full spectrum bar light at one end of the tank, the other end faces a window that is always uncovered.  She’s getting about 14 hours of light.  Filter is a small submersible.

No heater at the moment, though I’m going to have to figure that out soon.  The tank is in the bathroom, I keep the door closed, no air conditioning, so it’s hot and humid in there all summer.  It’s gotten cooler the last couple days, especially overnight.  But there would have been a temperature gradient over the course of 24 hours, even when it was hot.  

~40% water change roughly once a week, mostly to keep the tannins from getting so intense I can’t see anything.  I use Prime to condition tap water.  Substrate is a combo of all-purpose sand, fluval black sand, and crushed fluval stratum - heavy on the all-purpose sand.  

No idea if that’s helpful to anybody, but there you go.  



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