"Pregnant" female

by L D
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

How long will the female keep her eggs until she releases them? In e last 3 weeks, I have noticed one of my female is huge,she has been eating and swimming well until the last few days, staying more at the bottom and not wanting to eat, but no "bullying" from the males.

I have about 15-20 goldfish, different kinds in a fish tank. The one I believe is pregnant is a telescopic she let me feel her today and her stomach is quite spongy like, not hard to the touch, no dropsy or bloating at all. Please help, should I gently massage the eggs out of her, I do not want her to die, am not a fish breeder this happened very unexpectedly.

If we have fry it would be fine, but the health of my fish is key.

Thank you

Grant's Reply


I have some doubts that your fish is pregnant.

There are several reasons that you have mentioned.
She isn't eating...not a good sign for a Goldfish. Even if she was heavily pregnant, she would still be eating.
She is sitting on the bottom, again not a good sign if it is for extended periods.

If the males are in breeding condition, (showing breeding stars on the gill plates and pectoral fins), she would definitely have the attention of the males.

If she was full of eggs, she wouldn't have a soft belly. It would be firm. Shortly before releasing eggs, the belly of a female ready to spawn does soften.

I think she has an internal medical issue.

Isolate her in a mild salt bath of one teaspoon of salt per gallon in fresh, clean water.

I suspect she may have an internal bacterial condition.

Get a bacterial medication such as Kanaplex, and feed her live foods if possible, frozen is a good alternative. You need to boost her immune system.

It is possible she is egg impacted. I have found very gentle rubbing of the sides and lower belly area have resulted in eggs being released the next day. Don't try and force eggs out of her immediately.

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