Q: MB wrote,

I have a strange problem; my female Betta is making bubble nests (unless I have a male with VERY short fins).

I had a male and female in an aquarium together for almost 10 months…not a nipped fin or hint of a problem. She tore the male up about three months ago. I found him floating on top, on his side, all his fins well ripped up. He survived and with some meds and extra heat. He is doing fine. Anyway, the male has stopped making nests. I am keeping them in separate gallon jars next to each other. They seem to interact but he hides from her. She has made a couple of nests; the bubbles seem to be smaller than in the nests the male made. What do you make of this?

What is your feeling on luck bamboo? I have kept fish in 2 gallon jars with “bamboo” for years with no apparent problems. I do pull ALL of it out and wash it every week. I have put it in aquariums for years when I don’t have it filled to the top.

A: There are a couple of possibilities here. First, there are short finned male Bettas. They are commonly referred to as Plakat (pronounced pla-CAT) bettas. This body type is closer in appearance to wild Bettas, which traditionally have short fins. Bettas with long flowing fins, like those you see most often at aquarium stores, have been selectively bred to have unusually long finnage. While unlikely, it is possible that you purchased yourself two male Bettas, one being of the short-finned variety. The only way to be sure that your Betta is a female is to look under its belly for an ovipositor. The ovipositor is a small tube from which female bettas dispel their eggs. To the naked eye, it looks like a small white dot located behind the ventral fins. Only females have an ovipositor and it is the only true-fire way to know that your Betta is a female and not a Plakat.

Another possibility is that the bubbles you are finding are not the result of your fish trying to create a bubble nest and are rather the byproduct of your fish breathing from the surface. All Betta splendens are labyrinth fish and get the majority of their oxygen from breathing air from the surface. Bubbles will frequently escape from the fish’s mouth, unintentionally rising to the surface and collecting. These bubbles can begin to pile up and look somewhat like a small nest, especially if your aquarium water is very still. It is possible that the collections of bubbles you are observing are just the result of escaped air and are not an intentional nest for the purpose of breeding.

As for your question regarding bamboo, I am not opposed to bamboo in the aquarium as long as it is kept healthy. Bamboo is technically a terrestrial plant but can survive for a long time partially submerged in water. If not maintained, however, the roots and stalks can begin to rot, leaching poisonous toxins into the aquarium. Continue to look it over during your weekly water changes and remove any bamboo that appears to be decaying and your Betta should be fine.

Post Rating
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Reader Interactions


  1. Anonymous says:

    Uh, I think that’s a plakat male… Yes, I’m pretty sure…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Uh, between the two long ventral fins on its belly… Next time you look for a female betta, look between there, there should be a white thing there where she lays her eggs.

    • Somebody says:

      HELP! My female crowntail suddenly developed a white patch on her eye. I was searching the web, bout couldn’t find answers. I checked on her to find that the patch has become a ring in the middle of her cornea. She doesn’t seem sick and is very healthy and none of the other fish in the tank seem to be affected. Any help?

      • Ella Jones says:

        she could be old

  3. Anonymous says:

    definetly a plakat male nice copper by the way

  4. Burning Looks says:

    yes thats a male i bought one at petsmart they said it wass female.. it wasnt.. but i have a female she wont mate w my male. the first time he messed her up bad. she is now makin bubble nests too though.. so im confused..

  5. Burning Looks says:

    oh yeah that kind of betta is used for arena fighting theyre fast and ruthless.

  6. Anonymous says:

    ok I have a female betta and a male betta in smalle tanks next to eachother, regardless of how many times I’ve tried to keep the females water clean a strange oily film keeps appearing at the top, while the male in the tank next to her, is making yellowish bubbles similar to the bubble nests you were referring to. My quesetion is, is the oily film on the top, and his yellowish bubbles a sign that they are in heat? if not what could be the explanation someone please e-mail me with the answer if you can my address is celticmisery@yahoo.com

    • nicole says:

      I have the same thing happening in my tanks. I collect bettas I have 10 in seperate 2gal. tanks I thought I had 4 females but 3 turned out to be males (gatta love pet store labels) so I know have 1. I’ve bred them once and was successful but I’d really like to find out the answer to your question too. what did you find out if anything? if you dont mind sharing

  7. Anonymous says:

    My female Betta is also making bubble nests and i just saw her flare up at the male, but i looked between her fins and she has a white dot. i am kinda worried to try to breed them. My male also looks like he is a little scared.. of like everything in his tank haha so i am confused… Is it possible my “female” is male and female(just kidding) but what is up with this?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a Crown tail female and a Crown tail male. And I have them in their tanks next to each other. The female is full of eggs, but the male isn’t making a bubble nest and he keeps flaring at her. Can you help me?

  9. betta5 says:

    I have had a few females that made very small nests. It is not a common behavior. One female would even build a small nest and then she would drop her eggs (without a male) and place them in her “nest”. I have also had pairs breed where both male and female would pick up the eggs and put them in the nest…also not common but it can happen.

  10. betta1 says:

    I have a female betta fish and whenever I feed her she wont eat the flakes. She will only eat the things that I give her. She has also been putting bubbles all over the tank. Is it possible that she could have been overfed where she came from? I checked and she does have a little white dot. Could she be one of the fish at the store that was perganent when I bought her? How would I know if she was preganent?

    • estela says:

      it means that your female wants to mate

    • Melody says:

      Betta Fish do not get pregnant. They lay eggs, also idk if im right but im pretty sure most betta eat pellets? Not flakes. I feed mine pellets and she is all good..

  11. alveeta says:

    Can I put any kind of decorative things in the tank with my betta fish,and is it true you can’t put them in roundtanks

    • estela says:

      yes they will survive its better to have a plant for decor !

  12. alveeta says:

    Love the site

  13. beeta girl says:

    my betta fish female will not make a bubble nest and the male flares up at her and chase her awawy what should i do turn on the fliter or put the male back in

    • estela says:

      the female doesnt make the nest the betta male does unless you put the fish in the same tank.Than its a different story.

  14. betta says:

    my male betta made an amazing bubble nest and he worked on it for a few days and then he started rubing on it like he was pushing it together of trying to distroy it dose any one know why?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is it true bettas can’t be put in round tanks? I put mine in one, and the next day, she was in the back laying down, with her gills still.:,(

  16. tyler dickson says:

    betta fish have to have air above them so they can breathe. they breath through an organ called a labrinth. they sleep at the top of the water so they can get oxygen.

  17. tyler dickson says:

    so they cant be put in round tanks

  18. Cher Lee says:

    Well, looks like i’m not the only one. That’s a male for sure 99.99% sure. I have one just like that one, the one in the picture. In my opinion males has longer fins if short tale. That betta is called: Black Copper Halfmoon Plakat.

  19. Sarg. Bluie sent me says:

    I have had my betta in a round tank for 8 or 9 months starting in a small “vase” until I saved up enough to buy a 3 gal round tank and he is doing great and enjoying his larger tank now.

  20. Marianca says:

    Hi.. I’m a beginner betta breeder and I’m very stressed. Looking every hour if my fish are happy… They seem happy ..I do everything at my best, I also went and read a lot of article and google search betta fish for the best care and tips on my betta fish…. I have 2 male beta’s and one female in separate tanks… The 2 male beta’s are making small groups of bubble but not allot and they don’t really seem interested in the female… I also don’t think my female is ready…what should I do ?? What am I doing wrong!!??*….. Pleas some tips ): …

  21. Sandra Hunt says:

    Hi l have two males in separate tanks of course l red one one blue in the other side of the double tank l have a female but she keeps running away from them and then they get angry so they nip her ! But she’s got a little bit big in the tummy is that eggs inside ready to mate or over feeding her ? And should l just keep trying or leave it for a while and she’s spending a lot of time in one corner breathing from the surface what should l do thx

  22. Heaven says:

    My male and female are in the same 2gal tank and ive had them for little under a week now and my female has started to chase after my male and lach on to his fins. Help i dont want something to happen.

  23. indigo says:

    it’s the same with me my female betta fish keeps making a bubble nest. the female is a dumbo ear. the females bubble nest is for nicer than the masles bubble nest. i am having trouble believing that my female could not be a female. am i wrong or is it a very good female betta who makes bubble nests,.

Leave a Reply to alveeta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *