Image Credit: Ho Wen Chen (CC License)
There’s a fair share of misinformation in the hobby that glofish can’t make babies. But that’s incorrect. They’re very much fertile and capable of yielding healthy fry like their original species. It’s a different thing that you can’t legally breed them. But if you have male and female glofish in the same tank, they’ll obviously make some babies at some point. So, when the time finally arrives, how to tell if a glofish is pregnant?
Read on to find out!
How To Tell If A Glofish Is Pregnant?
Actually, glofish don’t get pregnant. Only livebearing fish like guppies and mollies get pregnant. All 5 species of glofish are egg-layers. And when the female is carrying eggs, she’s called gravid. A rounded and distended appearance, change in appetite and temperament, a visible ovipositor, and courting by males are apparent signs of a gravid glofish.
Interestingly, all 5 glofish species are egg scatterers. They don’t usually lay eggs at one particular place like cichlids do. Even worse, no glofish has a strong parenting or nurturing instinct. They’ll eat the eggs at every chance they get.
So, it’s crucial to remove the parents as soon as the eggs are laid and fertilization is done.
Sorry about the image quality! Here’s the only one image of ‘pregnant’ glofish on internet, courtesy of Jojo, My Aquarium Club.
Now, let’s look at the signs of a gravid female glofish in detail below:
Swollen And Rounded Appearance
Gravid glofish carries more than 100 eggs at a time. So naturally, the female will look like she’s put on some weight – especially in the belly region. Your glofish will look wider than usual.
This change in their body shape is especially noticeable towards the end of the gravid period. Also, it’s more easily visible when viewed from the top than from the side.
Look At The Ovipositor
The surest sign of a gravid glofish is the descent of her ovipositor. Females from all 5 glofish species release their eggs from a tiny orifice known as an ovipositor. It is located right behind the ventral fins and in front of the anal fin. Look at the underside of the front half of the fish’s body.
The ovipositor will look prominent and take on a stark white color towards the end of the gravid period. It will also protrude from the body.
Change In Behavior
All those hormonal changes that come with carrying eggs are bound to mess with a female glofish’s usual temperament. It won’t be palpable to us, but the gravid female will definitely experience emotional changes. Most often, she will appear more aloof and withdrawn. She’d rather keep to herself.
She may also experience a change in her appetite – it’ll either increase or decrease. There’s no sure way of telling.
Also, you can observe her behavior towards males trying to court her. If it’s someone she likes, she’ll be receptive to his courting. However, if it’s not the one she’s looking for, she will reject all his advances.
In some glofish species like bettas and tetras, the males create bubble nests to first impress the gravid females and later house fertilized eggs. These nests are simply a huge mass of bubbles formed by saliva.
Here’s what it looks like:
How To Tell If Your Glofish Is Egg-Bound?
Like any other egg-laying fish, gravid glofish can sometimes become egg-bound. The female may experience difficulty passing the eggs due to stress, an abnormality, or an injury. Sometimes, this will work itself out naturally. Even more impressive is that the fish’s body sometimes reabsorbs the eggs, leading to no further complications.
However, your glofish may need assistance to help her pass the eggs from time to time. And this process involves very gently squeezing your glofish and applying pressure to help her release the eggs from the ovipositor.
As you can already tell, it’s going to be a highly stressful process for both you and your fish. Several potential risks and complications come attached to it. Therefore, you should only resort to this procedure if you are confident about your abilities and your fish’s condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Female Glofish Lay Eggs Without A Male?
Yes, glofish as egg-layers can lay eggs without a male present in the tank. However, the eggs will remain sterile as there will be no males to fertilize them. Soon after, the eggs will either be consumed by the matriarch or develop fungus and decompose.
How Long Do Glofish Stay Pregnant?
Since glofish aren’t livebearers, they don’t get pregnant. Instead, they’re gravid. Therefore, the gestation period for glofish can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the female’s age and health, and the environment.
Here’s the link to our in-depth article on ‘pregnant’ glofish if you’re interested!
Related: Guide On Pregnant Glofish
What Do Glofish Eggs Look Like?
Glofish eggs look nothing like their parents – meaning, they don’t glow, nor are they colorful. Instead, the eggs are about the size of poppy seeds (1mm) and have a white, translucent color. Once fertilized, the eggs will turn an amber-yellow shade and develop various body parts.
If the eggs are not fertilized, they turn stark white, develop fungus, and quickly decompose.
Don’t forget to check out this article if you’re interested to see what glofish eggs look like in the tank and read up on some vital info!
Related: What Do Glofish Eggs Look Like?
And if you are up for some adorable photos of young glofish fry, this is the blog you should visit.
Related: What Do Baby Glofish Look Like?
How To Tell If Your Glofish Is Male Or Female?
Since both male and female specimens have a colorful and fluorescent disposition, sexual dimorphism is very subtle in these fish. Usually, the males are a tad bit bigger than females and have more pointed tails and fins.
Final Words: How To Tell If A Glofish Is Pregnant?
I know I’ve already mentioned this a zillion times throughout the article, but glofish don’t get pregnant. Pregnant is a term strictly reserved for livebearing fish like guppies and mollies.
Instead, glofish become gravid – a condition characterized by the development of eggs within their bodies.
And some signs of a pregnant glofish would be a swollen and rounded appearance, a prominent ovipositor, a change in temperament, and the formation of bubble nests.