A New Addition to Our Fish Tank!

We have a new baby fish (fry) – a swordtail was born in our fresh water fish tank. But before I tell you more about this little adorable fish, let me explain about the tank.

Bubba Betta in his tank all alone

We have a 7-gallon tank originally with only a betta. Since bettas cannot have other bettas in the same tank we wanted to give Bubba Betta a friend or two to keep him company that he could get along with and not kill. Bettas can be territorial.

My husband came home from the pet store over two months ago (before COVID-19) with three swordtails, two females and a male. One female died after a short time in the tank. The second female appeared to be pregnant right away. Of course I was nervous about her losing the babies to the Bubba Betta who will eat anything he can fit into his big mouth. We decided to put the female swordtail into a breeder which fit inside the tank but safely kept her away from Bubba and the other fish in case she dropped her babies otherwise the babies would surely be eaten.

Swordtails (male is all orange and the other one is a female quite pregnant – notice the bulging belly)

Well, the next morning sure enough she had dropped seven babies. Boy, we were very fortunate to put her in the breeder in time! They were so adorable! Each day I would watch the tank closely for any more babies being born but I guess the mother had completed her birthing. It was time to remove her from the breeder so she could swim around freely. She would have eaten all the babies if we kept her in there any longer. Not a good mother! There are narrow slats in the tank between the two layers that allow the fry to slip down to the lower level away from the mother. As you can see in the tank the fry are at the bottom of the breeder. But also there are these same slats on the side of the tank that allow fry to escape. These are the ones that the betta watched closely in case one of the fry came through them.

Baby Fish (Fry) – about 7

Each day I looked into the tank there were fewer babies alive in the breeder. I guess the ones that were not strong enough died and were eaten by those who survived. It came down to three babies left in the breeder with Bubba swimming around alongside and watching them carefully. I only hoped that at least one or two would survive.

Now you are worrying too! Huh? Bubba is quite ingenious. One day after swimming around the breeder and salivating over the sushi he could gobble up he figured a way to jump up into the breeder and eat a couple of fish. Luckily one quick swimmer escaped and survived. I witnessed the fry escaping. I was cheering him on! He was clever and quick enough to get away.

Baby swordtail – the lone survivor

This little guy is still going strong and now swims next to the male who surprisingly does not try to eat him. It must be a female then. Right? Oh, I almost forgot, the female passed away before she could eat the baby, thank goodness. The baby was smart enough to hide away in the plants that are in the tank before that. I guess the birthing process was too much for her.

Baby fish growing bigger (no name yet)
Baby sword doing well

Now to get back to Bubba – since he was already inside the breeder we left him there. Serves him right for eating two babies! I was quite upset with him! He will have to stay there until the surviving baby is large enough to fend for itself.

Bubba Beta in timeout – not looking too happy
Bubba spreading his black gill cover at John – still angry about being put in timeout!

Bubba is still in timeout for over two months and counting. If we take him out too soon he will attack the baby sword which can’t defend itself still being so small. Bubba is very upset with my husband, John, for putting him in there. He raised his gill cover at John – comparable to giving him a raspberry or maybe worse! Ha! John has to remove Bubba every so often to clean out the little breeder tank. When he does this he has to put Bubba into a glass or jar until he finishes. No wonder Bubba gets so upset with him!

It’s so funny when he reacts to John. If I go up to the tank he is sweet and flashes his little fins at me and stares at me. I swear he is listening when I talk to him. Look how sweet he looks at me compared to John.

Bubba listening to me talk to him
All three fish in the tank swimming around – baby below Bubba’s timeout tank. You can see how tiny he still is after nearly three months.

I keep a close watch on the baby every day to make he is growing and safe. That is all I can do. I hope he makes it! He is a survivor having been able to escape the mouth of Bubba! Stay tuned for more updates on the new addition to our freshwater tank. I will post more photos as he gets bigger. It may be awhile though.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!


Janice Spina aka J.E. Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!










About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 41 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 6 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 33 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog http://jemsbooks.blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in Bubba Betta, fish, fish tanks, swordtails, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A New Addition to Our Fish Tank!

  1. Pingback: A New Addition to Our Fish Tank! – wolfpug

  2. wolfpug says:

    Naughty Bubba!! From the bubble nest, I would say he is ready for a mate! LOL I used to breed the Swordtails & Black Mollies. I had enough females of both breeds, that I let them give birth freely in tank. Just give enough plant cover & babies automatically go into hiding at birth!
    BTW, did Puffer finally recover, or did he pass?

  3. Bubba’s probably being sweet to you in order to try and convince you to let him out of time out when John’s not looking. 😉

    I can understand Bubba being upset about the time out, but I’m glad the final baby has made it so far. Hope he (or she) continues to do well, and grows to be nice and big and strong.

    By the way, if you posted and I missed it, sorry, but… How’s Puffer? Did you lose him, or did he get better?

  4. Jennie says:

    This story of survival could be a new book, “Bubba and the Baby Fish.” 🙂

  5. Leif Price says:

    Interesting blog to read! Bubba and the Baby Fish!

  6. You are a wonderful storyteller and had us really invested in how this lone fish survived. We would like to feature you in our upcoming “This Just In… Secret Pets.”

  7. Nilan chanaka says:

    What can be the reason for that baby swordtail to be dead ? any change in the water parameters ? I mean can ammonia levels increase due to the mother swordtail, what is the PH level and temperature you kept them. I also brought a swordtail pair, they seems to be pregnant

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