Pregnancy in Goldfish: 7 Signs to Look for & (What To Do)

How to know if my goldfish is pregnant? For any goldfish keeper, the possibility of a female fish becoming pregnant can be an exciting yet stressful event. But don’t worry; with the right knowledge about pregnancy in goldfish and proper care, you can ensure your goldfish are safe and healthy throughout pregnancy.

Goldfish keepers know that when their fish start to look pregnant, they need to take action.

Unfortunately, many goldfish owners wait too long to take action, giving their fish birth to hundreds of tiny baby goldfish. BUT how to tell if your fish is pregnant?

goldfish with big head

How to know if the goldfish is pregnant? In this blog post, we’ll discuss seven specific pregnant goldfish signs to look for if your female fish might be expecting eggs and what steps to take if your female goldfish pregnant.

We will also provide expert tips on creating the perfect environment for her and her brood before they eggs hatch – how do you know when a goldfish is pregnant? read on to learn more!

The Goldfish Pregnancy Myth

Goldfish can’t have a baby fish. Pregnant fish means goldfish carry eggs into their cells and produce an egg like a chicken egg. 

A myth that’s been around for years is that goldfish can get pregnant, which isn’t true, but they can release eggs.

Can You Tell If a Goldfish Is Pregnant?

Is my goldfish pregnant? Yes, you can tell if a goldfish is pregnant! Female goldfish tend to have rounded bellies and become round as they get closer to having babies, while males develop an elongated gonad on their underside near the base of their tail that looks like a small bump or ridge.

Goldfish temperature water

Additionally, during pregnancy, female goldfish will produce eggs (also known as roe) visible inside the body. These eggs can be seen through the skin in some cases.

The best way to determine a goldfish’s pregnancy status is by taking it to the vet for an ultrasound or x-ray exam, where the doctor can identify and count how many eggs there are in its abdomen.

Signs That Your Goldfish Might Be Pregnant

what does a pregnant goldfish look like? how to tell if goldfish are pregnant? It’s essential to recognize the signs of a pregnant goldfish so that you can take the necessary steps to care for her during this sensitive time.

Here are 7 Pregnancy in Goldfish Telltale Signs

How do you know if a goldfish is pregnant? Here are seven Subtle goldfish laying eggs signs

1- Pregnant Goldfish Behavior

Pregnant goldfish symptoms: A female goldfish may display different behaviors when she is pregnant. Gold fish pregnant may become active and swim around more frequently or become timider and hide away.

2- Body Shape & Color: Her Belly Looks Swollen

Look closely at your female goldfish’s body; you may notice that her abdomen has become larger, and her body color is changing to a more vibrant hue. When a female fish becomes pregnant, she can see the swelling in her belly.

3- She is Eating More and Pooping More

A pregnant goldfish will eat more, producing more waste which can give her a distended appearance. She may also become more lethargic and stay at the bottom of the tank as if she is conserving her strength before giving birth.

There are several reasons behind your pregnant gold fish refuses food. Some common causes are stress, lousy quality water, and overfeeding. It is advisable not to overfeed your pregnant goldfish, as overfeeding can cause harm to your goldfish.

4- Her Eyes Are Bulging Out

Look closely at your fish and observe her eyes; they may become slightly enlarged as if they are popping out of her head. This is a sign that she may be carrying eggs in her body.

5- Pregnant Goldfish Sit at the Bottom of the tank

Do pregnant goldfish sit at the bottom of the tank? Fish sitting on the bottom often do so because it doesn’t feel well. Usually, the water in the aquarium tank needs to be cleaned. But if your fish suddenly starts to sit at the bottom more often than it used to and its belly looks swollen, it may be pregnant.

6- Change in Female Activity and Feeding Levels

At the start of goldfish reproduction, fish will be fed their everyday foods at this stage. However, as spawning begins, the females may feel less hungry as they are more mature. The absence of an individual doesn’t mean you are sick. Females sometimes become pretty slow when laying their eggs. This is possible that females move slowly and find it challenging to move around.

7- Female goldfish will show “nesting behavior.”

Nesting behavior is another sign of possible pregnancy. Female goldfish will become more active, swim in circles, and build a “nest” out of small objects in the tank, such as rocks or decorations. This behavior is linked to pregnancy and can indicate that your goldfish are ready to lay eggs.

How to know goldfish is pregnant? After recognizing the female goldfish pregnant signs, it is vital to take action and create a safe and comfortable environment for her.

When Does Goldfish Breeding Season Take Place?

The goldfish breed season occurs in late spring and early summer; goldfish typically spawn during warmer months when water temperatures reach around 18-20°C (64-68 °F). Despite their popularity, goldfish can reproduce all year long in hot temperatures.

Most goldfish begin growing when the water temperature reaches a minimum of 60° F. Goldfish spawning temperatures generally vary between 75 – 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Male and female goldfish are engaged in a courtship ritual! When goldfish reach sexual maturity and are ready to spawn, males may partake in the ‘spawning chase’ – an elaborate dance to woo potential mates.

To the untrained eye, this male goldfish chasing behavior might be more visible than spawning tubercles, which can appear quite subtle.

How Many Eggs Do Goldfish Lay?

Goldfish are egg-layers, like many other types of fish. They can lay up to 1000 eggs at once and do so multiple times a week.

The exact number of goldfish eggs laid depends on the age and size of the goldfish and environmental factors such as temperature, light, and food availability.

Preparing the environment for breeding goldfish is essential by providing optimal water parameters and proper shelter for eggs. To ensure successful spawning, 

How to Tell If Your Goldfish Is Pregnant or Just Fat?

How to tell if a goldfish is pregnant or fat? The best way to tell if your goldfish is pregnant or just fat is to look for the signs of pregnancy, such as a swollen belly, bulging eyes, and increased activity. If your goldfish displays any of these goldfish pregnancy symptoms, it may be pregnant.

If unsure, you can also take your goldfish to a vet for an ultrasound or physical exam. This will help determine if she is pregnant and provide advice on how to care for her during the pregnancy.

Differences between Male and Female Goldfish

Next, you can find out if goldfish are male or female. Female goldfish generally are rounder despite having fewer eggs. During transport, eggs may have slightly larger round edges.

Look behind the anal fins and find the anal vents. There will sometimes be a slight protrusion in the female ducts, especially if the female has gotten ready for breeding.

She has longer thigh fins that are a little rounded. Males are smaller, especially at higher elevations, with more giant, pointed pectoral fins and shaped tails.

Male goldfish with spawning tubercles or “breeding tubercles” will have small white bumps on the gills and head. They usually appear during the spawning season in mature male fish, which are ready to breed.

How Long Are Goldfish Pregnant Before Laying Eggs?

How long is a goldfish pregnant for? Pregnant goldfish eggs take approximately three weeks to mature and can take two to seven days to hatch. The gold fish pregnancy period depends on water temperature but typically lasts about 21 days.

Once the fertilized eggs have hatched, it can take another couple of weeks for the goldfish fry hatch to mature enough to swim and feed on its own.

It is essential to ensure that the water conditions remain consistent during the entire pregnancy and hatching process to ensure the health and well-being of the fry.

How Do You Know When a Goldfish Is Going to Lay Eggs?

How to know if goldfish is pregnant? Goldfish with eggs are typically more active than usual and may become territorial or aggressive toward other adult fish in the tank. Additionally, you may see them cleaning their nesting area, which is a sign that they are preparing to lay eggs.

You may also notice the female goldfish becoming plumper and her abdomen becoming more extensive, which is a sign that she is carrying eggs.

Once the goldfish lays eggs, you may see the female swimming near the water’s surface and releasing eggs. The eggs will sink to the bottom of the tank, where they should be removed immediately.

What to Do If Your Goldfish Is Pregnant?

Pregnant goldfish giving birth need special care and should be monitored closely to ensure their health and safety. Providing them with a healthy diet, clean water, and plenty of hiding places and decorations is essential.

You should also keep the water temperature between 75-80°F (23.9-26.7°C) and maintain a pH of 6.8-7.2 to ensure a safe spawning environment for your goldfish.

It is also essential to add a spawning mop or remove any eggs from the tank as soon as they are laid to prevent them from being eaten by other fish.

How Do You Take Care of A Pregnant Goldfish?

In truth, there’s no work involved in keeping up the goldfish’s health. You can do something to help your goldfish stay healthy during her pregnancy.

Caring for pregnant gold fish requires understanding their particular needs and paying attention to any changes in behavior or health. 

First, keeping the water clean and providing plenty of oxygen by filtering and aerating the tank is essential. The ideal temperature for goldfish is between 66°F – 72°F (19-22°C).

It’s also important to feed high-quality commercial food explicitly formulated for goldfish, supplemented with treats like frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms. 

The female fish will swell as she nears birthing – this is known as a “gravid spot” and indicates that birth is imminent. If you can, isolate the female from other fish so her tankmates won’t disturb her during labor.

If everything goes well, she should lay eggs within 24 hours after moving into her space. After egg laying, gently move the female back into the separate tank while leaving behind any that fell on gravel or decorations.

However, removing all eggs isn’t necessary; some will eventually hatch among plants and other vegetation in your aquarium over time.  

It can take three days to two weeks for fertilized goldfish eggs to hatch, depending on temperature – higher temperatures shorten incubation time while lower ones lengthen it accordingly – so observe throughout this period!

When fry appears (goldfish babies), they can feed right away. However, they may need assistance finding food since they are still unsteady swimmers until about a week old when fins become fully developed for navigation purposes.

Feeding newly born fry brine shrimp nauplii with a Turkey baster works great because it provides tiny foods that help sustain their developing bodies without needing much energy expenditure on swimming around looking for food themselves!  

Caring for a pregnant goldfish includes providing proper habitat conditions as discussed here, along with careful observation of behavior before and during labor, followed by judicious feeding of suitable foods once fry is born–and patience while waiting for those little bubbly cutsies’ growth spurt!

Creating the Right Environment for a Pregnant Goldfish

You will want to create the right environment to ensure your fish’s best chance of success. This includes adequate space, temperature, and PH levels.

The size of the fry tank should be at least 10 gallons (45L) for a single goldfish, with an additional 5 gallons for every extra fish; this will allow enough room for them to move and avoid stress from overcrowding.

Water Temperature

You must adjust water temperatures to maintain an ideal reproduction environment. Remember that goldfish breed in spring or summer, so gradually increase the temperature.

Most goldfish typically spawn at temperatures of between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. After laying and fertilizing the eggs, changing temperatures to 70 F allows egg cloning slowly.

Do Goldfish Eat Their Babies?

Yes, goldfish will occasionally eat their eggs or fry after they hatch. This is called ‘cannibalism’ and can occur when the environment lacks food resources, causing the fish to turn to other sources. It’s also typical for young fry not to recognize their parents and thus become easy prey.

Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid overcrowding tanks with too many goldfish and keep a watchful eye on any spawning process within the aquarium to prevent any healthy goldfish babies from being eaten.

Baby Goldfish Care and Feeding

In the first 2 to 3 days, the fry will eat unfertilized eggs from egg sacs. Give these children commercially fried foods, baby brine shrimp, or Boiled Egg Yolk for the remainder.

Start feeding them three times daily. When the fish matures into a juvenile Goldfish, it is possible to reduce the feedings to 2 times per day. Keep these fish in a separate breeding tank until they live in adults big enough that adult goldfish fish don’t think they are food.

Commonly Asked Questions about Goldfish Pregnancy (FAQs)

How to know if your fish is pregnant goldfish?

How to know if a goldfish is pregnant? Look for a swollen belly and a dark gravid spot near her vent. Male goldfish may also develop white breeding tubercles.

How can you tell if a goldfish is pregnant?

How to know if your goldfish is pregnant? A pregnant gold fish will have a noticeably swollen belly. Look for other signs like increased lethargy and male goldfish with white bumps on their fins.

How do you know if your goldfish is pregnant?

What do pregnant goldfish look like? Goldfish do not get pregnant. They are egg-laying fish. Males develop white breeding tubercles, and females lay eggs for fertilization externally.

Can goldfish get pregnant without male?

No, goldfish need a male to reproduce. Goldfish are sexual reproducers, meaning eggs from the female must be fertilized by sperm from the male for offspring.

Do goldfish lay eggs or give birth?

Do goldfish give live birth? Goldfish lay eggs, not live babies! They scatter many sticky eggs on plants or rocks. These hatch into tiny goldfish fry after a few days.

How do i tell if my goldfish is pregnant?

How does a pregnant goldfish look like? Look for a swollen belly, especially if rounded or boxy. She may become sluggish and hide near plants. Males might develop white bumps on their fins.

How can you tell if your goldfish is pregnant?

Goldfish do not get pregnant as they are egg-laying fish. Instead, look for a swollen abdomen in females, indicating eggs. Males develop white breeding tubercles during the breeding season.


So, how do i know if my goldfish is pregnant? Although goldfish gestation periods can vary, and sometimes her condition may not be immediately apparent, there are some indications that your fish is pregnant. So, what does a pregnant goldfish look like? Paying close attention to your pet during this time and understanding the different stages of pregnancy in goldfish will help you provide the best possible care for her during this period. Thanks for reading, and good luck in your goldfish breeding journey!

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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