Friday, August 24, 2007

Female Betta: Eggs Causing Lethargy

YC wrote,

Hi Christie! I have a quick question for you. When female bettas are
pregnant with eggs, and a male is no longer in sight, do they become
lethargic and have trouble eating? I was wondering how much energy reabsorption of the eggs cost them.

A: Well, my specialty is general health and not breeding so I'm afraid I can't say exactly how lethargic females get when full of eggs. As much as I would LOVE to be breeding regularly I have really done just a little, mostly just to gain knowledge. The females I have bred really haven't gotten all that big and my breeding success... well I haven't had any. :P

That said, the extra weight and pressure, and expended energy used to reabsorb the eggs could certainly lead to some lethargy. One thing you can do to help speed up her metabolism and thus increase her appetite and the rate she reabsorbs the eggs is to slowly raise the water temperature to about 80F (26.5C). If you're not already, try feeding easy to digest foods that won't absorb a lot of water like daphnia, blood worms and brine shrimp. These tasty bits may encourage her to eat and will help give her the energy she needs to reabsorb those eggs.