Sunday, April 15, 2007

Constipated Bettas

Swollen bellies?

Betta's turning white?

Your betta may be constipated!

What is Betta Constipation?

Constipation is actually quite common in fish. A possible cause of fish constipation can be due to lack of variety in their diet or due to over feeding. The fish's stomach swells up becuase it is unable to get rid of its waste, causing a build up. Buoyancy (similar to swim bladder disorder) may sometimes occur. This is where the fish is unable to swim properly and floats at the surface. Don't worry, fish constipation is usually not life threatening to the fish. However, if it continues with little evidence of improvement, and left untreated, other more severe problems can occur.

My Betta has Constipation! How Do I Treat It?

Fast your betta for about 2-4 days allowing the fish's stomach purge itself. If the swelling does not go down after a couple of days, give it a few more days to purge. At this point, don't panic about not feeding your betta. Although never recommended under normal circumstances, betta fish can survivie up to a month without food. Your next step after the fasting period is to feed your betta peas. That's right, i said it - peas. This will help clean out your bettas system while feeding her at the same time. Remove a green pea from its outer shell, cook it, and mash it up, and feed it to your betta.

Hope this info was helpful! As always, feel free to comment on this post! I always love hearing from fellow betta lovers!


Christie said...

A little Daphnia can be helpful too. It acts as a mild laxitive. Also, soaking foods that have a low moisture content, like pellets, for 10 minutes allowing them to expand with water will reduce future outbreaks of constipation. (Swelling before the fish eats it rather than in the gut.)

Tho said...

Great Tip Christie! Thanks for sharing it!

And of course everyone, you can check out Christie's blog at

Anonymous said...

My fish is actually recovering from constipation right now. And you know what? I tried the fasting for two days and nothing. I gave him a green pea, and nothing. I was desperate so I actually went to Petsmart yesterday and spoke to the manager in the fish department. She suggested a 1/2 tsp of Epsom salt in his one gallon tank. One hour later...HUGE POOPIE!! This morning, more poopies and he is almost normal again! Yay!!

Tho said...

Hahaha... that's great news! Always glad to hear about a sick betta getting better!

Petsmart's suggestion is correct if the fasting and pea suggestion don't look to be working (as you've clearly seen proof of). Adding Epsom Salt to your betta's water is something you can do as an addition to treatment as it may help reduce the internal pressure caused by the swelling. Only recommended if the fasting/peas doesn't work. This is because Epsom salt is made up of Magnesium Sulfate. Not something you want too much of in your water and something you have to be careful with when adding.

I should also mention, epsom salt is NOT regular salt! Regular salt will cause your betta to absorb more water. When you've got a bloated fish, you want them to excrete, not absorb. That's what the Epsom salt will do for you.

Thanks again for posting! And all the best to you and a quick recovery to your betta!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this before. Is it common in betta fish. Is it common in all fish? I would never have put epsom salts in my fish tank. Is this a accepted practice? Thanks

Anonymous said...

My red betta male named Samurai is in a 1 and 1/2 gallon fish bowl. I perform a complete water change once a week. After the water change he gets swollen floating sideways. Then I fed him thawed pea and added some Epson salt to the bowl and he got fine. This happens every time I change the water. What am I doing wrong. I treat the water with Betta Splendens complete water conditioner

Mona said...

This morning I found a thin white film on the top of the water in my betta's fish bowl. I change his water once a week and take away food and debris when I feed him twice a day. Could this film be coming from him or is something contaminated in the water? I moved him to a "hospital" container with clean water. After doing some research I've concluded that I'm overfeeding and I'm going to raise the temp of his water, but I have never read any mention anywhere about the film on top of the water. I'm praying that I come home to a live fish tonight, that he forgives me, and responds to my treatment of the temp and constipation. Can someone advise me about the filmy water, please? Thanks in advance!

TL said...

The film you're seeing at the surface of the water may be due to organic matter decay. Make sure you scrub the tank clean when changing the water. Making sure to rinse all rocks/plants etc as best you can.

You may also be right in your assumption of overfeeding as well if you're leaving the left over(uneaten) food in the water to decay.

Feed your betta its daily recommended amount depending on the type of food you're feeding it. Wait and watch. If she doesn't finish it remove the uneaten food from the tank.

I know you mentioned you removed them. However, be careful what you use to remove them and try to remove all of it if possible. Most people are careful when feeding their Betta but are in a rush to get the food out not being aware of what they use. Make sure your finger/net (or whatever you use to remove the food/debris) is clean. Remember soap is good for your hands but not for your bettas water! wash your hands, but rinse the soap off too!

Hope that helps! Goodluck and all the best to you and your Betta! Keep us posted! We've love to get an update on how your Betta does. And what worked best for you.

mona said...

Hi tl,

My betta seems a bit better since I didn't feed him for a couple of days. I tried feeding him a cooked and pealed pea for constipation, but he didn't eat it, not suprisingly. I now have been able to feed him a variety of foods, whereas before I was only able to feed him blood worms.

But I still find the film sometimes on top and he hasn't pooed in a long time. On the plus side he's back to his regular swimming activity and he's back to making bubble nests.

I keep the bowl and everything that goes into the water very clean (rinsed with hot water - no soap). His water is also within the recommended temp range, is tested for acidity, and is treated for chlorine. The white film stuff is new to me. Do bettas vomit or pee? Could it be a sign of gill disease?

He does have some whiteness under his face still after I treated him for fungus and bacteria a few weeks back. I followed the instructions very carefully.

Thanks again for your help.

mona said...

My betta ate a pea last night!!! I didn't feed him for a day and 1/2 and I was about to go to bed again without feeding him, but I just couldn't. So I fed him a cooked and pealed pea and he ate it with relish. Then I fed him his favorite - blood worms and exchanged some of his water for new clean water.

This morning I fed him dried shrimp (which he ate again heartliy) and tonight I will give him more clean water as I saw that it still was a bit cloudy.

I haven't seen the whiteish skin/film on the top of his water in a few days, but he still has whiteness on the underside of his face. He's been through so much that I'm reluctant to give him medicine again so soon. Am I putting him at risk in not medicating him?

Whew! This has been alot of wrangling once things took a turn for the worse! I'm due to have a baby in two months and I want to get him well before I have too much to handle.

Thanks for any help or advice in advance.

Karynda said...

Oh man, my Betta is SEVERLY constipated. I'm an experienced Betta keeper too. The less I fed him, the larger his belly got. I've always fasted them (Red's the one in trouble, Zen's ok) on Sunday with pea.

Well Red got a hemorroid. Not kidding. Took him to the oldest fish store here in Tampa and someone who knows and works alot with fish pushed the hemorroid back in...we had no idea what it was....tumor, insides coming out, nematodes...we went through all the research.

I fed him more pea today (he hasn't eaten going on 8 days, nothing but peas and was every other day or so)...too much pea!! I messed up. He's huge. I must use the epsom salt I know. Don't dare leave him in it overnight alone though.

Any other ideas/suggestions when a hemorroid is part of the package? Yeah, I think it came back out. Just brought him home from the overnight at the fish hospital today and caught a quick glimpse...they said they can push it back in but my god...again and so soon? He's been through soo much.

He means more to me than I can express. We have such a special bond.

Tried the daphnia. Too lil. Just gets all over his tank (currently in a 2 gal glass tank while sick but has a 10 gal, as does Zen). Yep, it's heated and airated and spotless.

Ever hear of bettas getting hemorroids?? The guy who pushed it in said he had and said he learned how to push it back in by being a nurse do you translate doing that to a human compared to a betta?

Seeing different amounts of epsom salt to use too. 1 teas. per gal. 1 Tablespoon per gal. Some leave it overnight. Some leave the betta in it for 15 to 30 mins.

This has been going on for MONTHS...4 easy. I know it's close. He's in serious need of help. I don't have a regular vet. Wonder if I could find one but couldn't afford it if I could so...

Any ideas would be so appreciated.


TL said...

Hi Karynda,

It sounds like you've been doing everything you can. Unfortunately, just as in life we can't always cure everything. However, don't give up yet! If Reds still alive there's always some hope!

You mentioned you didn't have a vet. And from experience, and something I completely disagree with, is that a lot of vets don't really care for fish. Don't let this hold you from calling them though. Some vets will take the time to help out wherever and whenever they can. AND most vets are great for information. Even if you dont plan to or have the finances to join a vet, give them a call anyways. Ask them if they tend to fish. If they have ever encountered your situation and if they could give you any solutions/remedies to help you out. A lot of vets are great and will take the time to answer all your questions over the phone. Why? Because they really do care about the animal.

I also recommend doing the same with pet shops and fish shops. Fish shops have a greater chance of seeing fishes in all levels of life and illnesses.

Fortunately, for me, (although i'm sorry I can't help out more because of it) I've never experienced a betta with a hemorrhoid.

I hope I was if only some help to you.

I wish you all the best. And Please keep us updated on your progress! We'd love to hear what about what you decide to do and even better hear about Reds miraculous recovery over the holiday season!

Karynda said...

You are so kind to respond and so quickly too! Normally I wouldn't post asking for help where I haven't contributed or even introduced myself.

Desperation and netiquette aren't good friends I hear, grin.

I agree with your vet comments. Those who care about animals, care about them, period, and will do whatever they can to help. I'll go through the yellow pages and start the calls.

Aquarists are so numerous here in Tampa and Florida. Just as the LFS's and LPS's with fish are.

A vet taking up practice here to help our underwater friends would find it quite a lucrative business, to be sure.

It was a LFS not a LPS that helped Red. I'm sure you know the rants and complaints about the LPS's "knowledge" of fishes so am backing slowly away from the soapbox.

The LFS I took him too? A GREAT place. They have a website too. It's just been put up so not much there yet but I'm sure that will change. I'll get the url and share it.

They offer vet-like hospital services for fish and you wouldn't believe the prices. $10 for a month! kinda thing and these people know their fish.

Then there's the largest variety of fish available for sale there than anywhere else I've found. It's called Fish World, Waters Ave., Tampa.

Maybe that's something else I can do for Bettas, seeded by your comments. I could get the word out that fish vets are needed. Fish World are awesome but aren't actually vets nor have access to the meds a vet would I don't think.

Well I have some GREAT news. Today I celebrate poo. Soo funny that we do, when we do, but we know why we do.

I added 1 teas. epsom salt to his 2 gal. right after making that post this morning. I left it in there for 1 1/2hrs then changed 50% of his water, turned the air up a bit and set my alarm for 8am.

Guess what my early xmas present was? A huge movement next to a little one. Woohooo.


I sat to sip coffee. Looked again in less than 5 mins and the large present was gone! He ate his poo (Indian giver!).

He's soo hungry, poor lil guy. I just figured/hoped it was only pea that he was re-eating. Next time I'll be johnny-on-the-spot and he won't have a chance to re-consume. See it, get it, immediately.

Progress!! I'll take it. I will continue sitting on my hands and absolutely, positively, no exceptions, will not feed him until his stomach is back to normal size or very close.

It's soo hard when they wiggle and dance and perform for just one lil bite, heh.

I'm relaxed enough today to start researching a different diet for Zen and Red now too. No more pellets. I soak them in their tank water until they sink in the lil cup but that's not good enough anymore, especially for Red.

I give them variety brine shrimp (they love chasing them), frozen krill, beefheart, daphnia, mosquito larvae, bloodworm etc, all in pieces the size of one of their eyes and only 3 or 4 of them, so they've always had that but that's a treat and too rich to eat all the time.

Live-frozen food brings its tag alongs (parasites, bacteria) but aquarisol is a good companion to frozen live. Live food is great and will be growing my own brine shrimp eventually but, again, not a good everyday food.

I'm on the hunt for a better daily food than pellets now or at the least, the very best pellets. I think this is a good place to start http://www .atisonbetta. com/who.asp

Have you heard of this guy? Oh, I hope it's ok to post urls here. If not, please accept my apology and feel free to delete. I put spaces in the url so it would go through so delete the spaces if it's ok to have posted it.

Well, I could go on and on, and have so...

I just found this blog last night and am going to familiarize myself with this wonderful space and people.

I'll certainly keep you updated!

And yes, you helped. It started with even just responding...big smile.

Thank you kindly.


(((TL))) (((Everyone)))

Karynda said...

I've also posted here,65485.0.html if anyone would like to follow what's going on with Red.

I posted there too more information that might help someone here help me help Red. seem to know alot about Epsom Salt. I've posted at that url asking alot of questions about that if you'd like to answer or there. I'll be checking both places.


TL said...

Sounds like Red is slowly but surely getting better. That's great to hear!

As for me I'm sorry to say that I will be MIA (missing in action) for a little while. Ironic that on the day I was expected to get my flu shot I came down with the flu before I got the chance to get the shot! So right now i'm feeling pretty miserable.

Those close by have demanded I stay in bed, but I had to come on to at least let you guys know why you wont be hearing from me much in the next while.

Ok, I better end it here. They're yelling at me to get back into bed.

Feel free to continue the betta conversations and helping each other out! It's all about the betta fish! ;)

All the best,

Karynda said...

Get well soon!

I'm not doing well myself. Red isn't out of the woods either. Soo much going on with me and in my life right now. Seems there's another that is MIA for awhile.

Any energy I have, I give to Red and he needs more.

I'm getting help with Red at petfish so no worries Dear One. Just get well soon.


Anonymous said...

I currently have my Betta in a tiny little bowl while I am trying to treat him for constipation. How much epsom salt would I put in there? I know it's a 1/2 tsp per gallon, but this isn't even a half gallon. I tried fasting and feeding him a thawed pea but his tummy is still huge!

Anonymous said...

I'm so careful with my betta I never overfeed him, I clean the tank on the right way plus everything inside I talk to him every morning and I found too the white film on the top of the water. He don't look sick, he's swimming like always and eat like always. Don't you think maybe he needs a female? :|
And another thing I think maybe he's jealous, because he started to built that after I have to take care my friend puppy for like a week. Do they do that? I mean get jealous?

TL said...


I hope no scientists,psychologists, or philosophers vent at me for saying this, but I don't believe betta fish have the cognitive abilities to 'feel jealous'. Now that being said, that does not mean that some event or behavior that your betta experienced during those weeks with the puppy may not have stressed it out. Animals, including fish are very prone to stress. If things aren't as they like it they quickly become stressed. Water temperature, or as in Betta Fish, introducing another male betta into the same environment as another, are examples that may cause your betta to stress out.

It sounds as though your betta fish is still doing well. Just keep loving him, feeding him, and keeping his tank clean. Just keep in mind that any changes to his environment should be introduced slowly. For example, when cleaning his tank make sure you remove him into a temporary cup in some of his old water. Clean the tank and when you add the new clean water back into the tank make sure the temperature is close to the old waters temperature. This way, when you put him back in he wont experience a shock to the sudden change in temperature.

Hope that helps! All the best to you and your betta! It sounds like you're doing a great job!

Mir said...

I have a betta that I thought had dropsy, I treated him for that but it didn't go away. So I think he is constipated. I have given him peas and epsom salt and nothing has happened. He's still bloated, can someone help?

TL said...

It's sounds like you're doing everything right. Try reducing your feeding for the next few weeks. Stick around when you feed him. Watch him eat and remove any remaining food. Try to feed him less per feeding then you usually would and only a couple times per week and see if the constipation reduces.

-- A side note to everyone. Make sure that whatever comes in contact with the water (this can be your fingers, toothpicks, food, etc)is clean. Sometimes our hands are dirty (say after eating) and then we dip our hands into the betta tank to scoop something out, we may actually be introducing something into the tank that the betta does not like.

All the best!

khalid said...

hi everybody, first thx so much for this useful site!
i have had a betta pair for 3 weeks now and the male just keeps aggressively nippint at the female; i separated them then introduced her again twice, in vain!!! even now that he can see her in a bowl next to the aquarium still some aggressive behaviour and no interest in mating!! what should i do ? thx much in advance.

Anonymous said...

I had my fish for almost two days now and i brought him a bowl and added some flat bedded rocks to is then I added him but everytime I come close to the bowl he hide underneath of this little hole in the rocks that he has made.....He seems almost as if he's stressed out and doesn't like me...I feel so bad because i want him to be comfortable around me and have fun in his bowl.....Can anyone tell me what to do in order for my fish not to be so stressed or afraid....???

TL said...

First thing I recommend is to get him into a bigger bowl with plants or some sort of structures where he can hide. In addition to giving him more space to swim around, this will also make him more comfortable if he has a place to hide when he's in 'flight' mode. Do this and be patient and I'm sure he'll come around soon enough.

Anonymous said...

If you're not trying to breed your betta you should separate them. If you are trying to breed them I suggest getting "Taking the Mystery Out of Betta Breeding" ebook. I haven't tried breeding any Betta's yet, but I did buy the ebook. It's actually sold through the owner of this blog? Anyhow, it's that book image in the left menu on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Okay I'll do that...because he does hide behind his rocks a lot of the time....Thank You

therushoffloyd said...

I have a male Siamese Fighting fish named Sol, and his stomach got so big that it kinda scared me. I found out that he was just constipated, but I was too worried to feed him any peas. I put him in a separate container so that I could easily spot if he had made and "progress" and he has. There's a poopie that he still hasn't finished, it's still coming out of him, and it's been like a day. I don't want him to be uncomfortable, do you think it would be ok to catch him and massage his stomach a little to help him out?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that touching your Betta is a good idea. Their scales can be sensitive and you might hurt your fish.

Lynda Jao said...

I make mine flare up a lot. He seems to get very angry at this candle holder I have and its an instant poop creator. I think the flaring activity and movement puts a strain on their bowels I guess.

Anonymous said...

I just bought two bettas, one big male King betta and a small female crowntail. I fed them twice a day and i noticed my little CT started getting fat, it doesn't look bad but i think she's constipated. the last time i fed her was this morning but I'm thinking of having her fast for a couple days. is it a good idea that i fast her? BTW, they both share a mini aquarium, with an optical divider in between.

TL said...

It's ok to fast her for a couple of days in order to determine the cause of her belly size. However I recommend fasting for only a couple of days then feeding her a little again. That is, 2-3 days fast, 1 day of 1 small feeding, and another 2-3 days fast.

After this test, if her belly does become smaller it simply may be that you're feeding her a little too much. Keeping her next to the male may also be stressing her out a little as well which may also be causing some of the 'swelling'.

First try the short fasting test and see what happens.

All the best to you and your Betta!

Anonymous said...

My little crowntail took a big poo last night. i was happy she did because today she began looking like her regular size again, with just a teeny bloat, but i'm guessing that it will go away soon. I only fed her a crumb of bloodworms, i couldn't resist not feeding her something.

As for the male, they both seem to not mind each other, she seems to swim energetically around her space and he goes up and down spitting out bubbles. How can you tell if she gets intimidated by him? I put plants on their border so there some "hiding" places. Should I get another tank?

Thanks a lot TL!

TL said...

That's great news! The bubbles are bubble nests that he's building. That's great news too. Show's that he's still strong and healthy.

From the sounds of it you should be ok by leaving things the way they are. It sounds like you're doing everything right with what you've got.

All the best to you and your little family!

crr said...

I have a betta that may be constipated. I've read your advice to feed a piece of pea and have tried with no luck. How to you feed pea to a betta? Mine only eats things that float. I tried a toothpick but couldn't keep the piece of pea on. Thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to feed fiber to your bettas! Most bloodworms and shrimp food don't have the mixture of fiber a beta needs, so if you read the back of the food you buy, make sure it includes fiber. They still will get constipated, and the treatments mentioned here will help, but having fiber in their flakes/pellets will help prevent bad constipation. Don't feed them like human fiber flakes, make sure it's food specifically made for bettas!

Anonymous said...

my beta has been floating sideways for about 3 weeks. i have tried countless times to feed him a pea, but he has no interest in food. i have given him 20 minute epsom salt baths but he still wont poo. (1 tablespoon per gallon) he's turning very pale and i am extremely worried. he hasn't pooped or eaten in about 3 weeks. is there anything else i can do to help willy? i tried going to the pet stores around town but everyone just laughed at me and told me i should buy a new fish. i cant replace willy. he got my through my 1st year of college. :( any advice?

Anonymous said...

I have a 5.5 gallon tank with a betta and 5 neon tetra the betta is constipsted and has been fasting for quite few days now he ate some peas but its not doing anything for him i was wondering if it was necessary to separate him to treat the water with epsom salt or if i could just do it in his tank

Anonymous said...

I have a male betta that may be constipated, I thought it was dropsy but the treatment for 5 days did nothing so I got on the internet and did some research about constipation. He is bloated badly and it seems to be only to one side. He is also floating to one side and cant seem to keep himself down without being hidden underneath his little "hideout". There is this "skin" on the top of the water that has just begun since he started getting sick. I noticed at the last tank cleaning last week that he had a really huge poop stuck halfway that took a bit to come out, but he seemed fine after that and then the water started getting cloudy after that and then he got bloated, thats when we tried to treat for dropsy and it did not work. I tried the pea thing and he just wont eat it after 2 days of no food too! I didnt want to stress him to much but decided to clean the tank and put him in his keeper with some revive. He just lays at the bottom sideways and wont really move. how much epsom should i put in his keeper which holds about 3 cups of water? Any suggestions or help! Tiny is not feeling good!

Anonymous said...

Good Informative Post! Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems that people face in todays world. It is irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels.

It is a result of faulty lifestyle and irregular eating habits. Not including enough leafy and green vegetables,salads etc in the diet, Not having enough roughage or high fiber food in diet, Insufficient intake of water & Excessive intake of animal protein which are difficult to digest.

Constipation Remedies

Jaci said...

I don't think I've been doing this right. He's had this problem for about 3 weeks now. I've fasted my little guy for about 4 days in a row (I can't bare to watch him not eat!). I've tried the pea treatment twice. I've also tried Epsom salt once. No luck! Decided to keep feeding one flake a day and see if the bloating went down, again no luck. Today he is floating on his side. HELP! I'll fast him for however long needed. I'll do whatever I can! Please send responses to asap, I want to save my baby!

Anonymous said...

Raising fish for over 45 years (biobhemistry, pre vet) and betta rescuer... would like to add here (old thread but someone may read in future)... cleaning any environment 100% is stressful for fish even bettas. Water needs to be cycled and even if conditioned, you are starting the cycle over which means bettas are prone to "negative" bacteria (there fins are one cell thin)

As with any fish the larger the tank the better - water chemistry is easier to maintain and more stable in larger volumes. Five minimum or ten best. They do not live in puddles in the wild, but vast systems, with inflows and natural balance of water chemistry (algaes so on) Nature knows best.

Better to use a siphon and take no less then 1/3 or less out (never 50%) Be gentle. (I use ages, filtered, heated water - many tanks, and dribble the water in with airline tubing knotted)... any shift in ph, water temp, and even bacterial load can cause stress, and weakened immune systems and then disease. Much swim bladder disease is bacterial in nature as well.

Java moss, Anubias, and or Java Ferns will assist greatly to absorb toxins, and they have little micro bugs that bettas love to feast on (moss).... See Bettatalk site for her java moss tests.

(breeder) Pellets are harsh for any fish - not at all natural for them, they do not get constipated in the wild.

Anonymous said...

Great site by Doctor

JeannieLove said...

I bought a beautiful red Beta last june for my daughter's birthday. She named him Rainbow & insisted it was a girl because of her long hair [tail] =] Well lately Rainbow has looked sluggish, bloated, & just plain 'sick'. i kept checking on him & was so worried I would find him dead!! I was trying to fix the problem by feeding him whenever I felt he wasn't looking well. I had no idea fish could get constipated! I am praying that is the problem and hoping He will get better within the next few days of fasting/pea/epson salt. I am not able to buy any medicine for him [in case it would be more than constipation] for another couple of weeks. Is there anything I might be able to do to help care for him until then? He is in a very small tank. Should I look to buying a bigger one in the next month? Should I look to get any 'accessories' [vitamins, filter, heater, etc.] for the new tank?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure my fish is constipated. I had thought it was fin rot because his fins started to break an recede but he never acted weird so i kept treating him (with a mix between maracyn 1 and maracyn 2 and changing his water every other day) but just as he was getting better i started to notice little white stringy things on his fins. They might have been fin regrowth but i'm still not sure. Then yesterday i looked at him at nigh and his belly looked swollen and he looked discolored. today i came home from school and he has a BIG poop hanging under his belly just stuck there and his belly is still swollen a bit. i have no idea what to do. ehhhhhh help!

SuziQCat said...

I've read all the comments posted and am thrilled with the information. I think my betta is constipated. He still eats, but just hangs out in the tank, not moving a whole lot.

My question with the peas. I've tried to give one before, but it just sinks to the do you get them to eat it?

Also, is epsom salt different from aquarium salt? I've been adding a little bit of aquarium salt to his bowl to help with stress, but wondered if there was a difference.

Thank you all in advance for the help! I've had my fish for over a year, and just want to help him be perky again.

Fhoxx said...

My female betta is really fat right now, I thought it may have been dropsy, but reviewing the symptoms, her scales and colors are intact and she has a healthy appetite, I was afraid to fast her in fear she would die, but after a few days she seemed a little better, and so I realized I was overfeeding her by a lot.. She's still really fat right now so I will try the Pea Treatment and if it doesn't work I will try a small teaspoon of epsom salt. I didn't think her dried blood worms were filling her that much! So I guess my advice is to pick a few worms out each time I feed her, instead of just tapping a few in thru the little hole on the lid, haha.

I recently treated a betta fish that was very sick with Ick. His fins were almost completely gone when I brought him home from a local office (they no longer wanted him, thought he was dieing so i offered to take him!) I researched what I could do but the best information I can give you if your fish is infected with ick, or any other disease, is to wash his tank very very well. Soap and warm water works well, BUT before you put him back in his tank, let the tank and its accessories air dry by themselves, not only does this kill any living water bacteria, but it will also ensure that all the soap is gone. Then, I used appropriate antibiotics and a day later I saw a change in his behavior, he was no longer drifting around the bottom of the tank, slowly renewed his appetite, and the little white specks on his body began to disappear. And pretty soon his fins were looking a bit better as well!(Just thought I'd share my stories and hope to help some other fisher owner in need!)

Anonymous said...

how do you get the betta fish to eat the pea? it doesn't float, it just sinks to the bottom and he doesnt eat it..

Anonymous said...

my betta fish has a big belly! What should i do!!!!!!???????

Fireguy said...

Help my betta is probably constipated because it hasn't eaten for 4 days almost,there is almost no color left, and it drifts am not very experienced and i really need some help.

fireguy said...

pea sinks to the bottom.Betta won't eat

Anonymous said...

I am putting Andrew(My Betta) in a tank wit h no water so i can see if he poops or does not to check if he really is constipated

fireguy said...

the anonymoous before me is fireguy.

Anonymous said...

I paid 3 bucks for my betta. The pets stores are full of them. There is no way I would pay a vet bill for a 3 dollar fish.
I pay more for walleye bait with the intent of it dying

Fireguy said...

Help!My fish is lying on its side and seems close to dead.What should I do!? I have just given it pea pieces.It is only 7 months from when i got it. WHat should I do?

Lo said...

Hello, believe it or not I read pretty much every comment on this page to try and find the help I need before posting my own comment. Lots of good info. However, I still don't know what to do with Jack (blue mail crowntail betta) as it seems like he's constipated. His belly is huge! I've been fasting him for over a week (every several days I give him a tiny bit of food in case he's totally starving) to no avail. All the advice on here (peas, epsom salts) didn't work. He seems to be happy which is the weird thing--he's still making bubble nests and everything. He's in a 1-gallon tank with java moss in it and I change the water regularly. I mostly would feed him pellets but also some freeze dried bloodworms to change it up a bit. Also his belly doesn't look too terribly uneven but a little bit. Sometimes he'll hang out at the bottom but more often he's hanging out toward the top or sort of hiding in the moss (which is pretty normal for him). I'm sort of stuck--he seems happy and everything, doesn't have trouble swimming, isn't stuck on one side or off balance, but his huge belly isn't going down despite fasting and epsom salts! Any help would be appreciated...

Anonymous said...

Um.. where u say they typically float when constipated, well mine keeps sinking to the bottom then finding a spot to what looks like its sleeping. I keep pushing her back up to the surface, then i added some more water to the 10 gal tank to reduce the current from the filter but she just gulps some air then finds a spot down on the gravel again and she won't resurface unless I guide her to the surface again.
My fault she's constipated cause I gave her 5 pellets after my 3 other fish won the meal, but I'm more worried from her sinking cause I know betas have to inhale air from the surface.
I was thinking it was maybe the water, but my neon tetras had been bloated before and they end up spending 3 hours swimming downwards otherwise they float side ways on the water. Its kinda funny when they are floating sideways cause they try to nab at any tiny piece of food the floats pass them.
Also, I don't know the anatomy of a beta, and i was wondering what the little white pimple looking thing was on her underside, or if it should even be there. She's currently suspended on a fish net in the tank for now.

Anonymous said...

im having a problem with my betta fish. hes really constiated and ive tried the fasting. i cant do it any longer and his belly isnt shrinking down at all, its just maintaining. ive tried the pea and he just refuses to eat it. ive tried blood worms and its the same thing. hes pickier than i am!! hes sooo used to pellet food that he wont even eat the flake food. i dont know what to do, its freaking me out. can anyone help me at all. is there a pellet food i can trick my fish with???

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I am so grateful for all of your comments. My betta, Betty, has been constipated for a few days and after reading all of your comments I feel confident that she'll be fine. I've already fasted her for 2-3 days and her stomach went down slightly. My next step is the pea, then the epsom salt, but only if the pea doesn't work.
TL you are a godsend, THANK YOU. You are a very wise man/woman/person and are very appreciated.

Anonymous said...

HELP! My betta’s stomach is swelled up and he is VERY constipated. I tried feeding him green peas but he wont eat them. I take TINY pieces off and he chases then but doesn’t eat them. Any other options? PLEASE RESPOND

Anonymous said...

My crowntail betta King has white on one side of his face and is quite fat, he swims around the top like normal but has this white on his face. Help???

Bondy007 said...

Hi, please help my betta midnight.
My husband and I didn't sleep last night because we think our betta, Midnight is sick. I got him exactly a week ago and put him in a bowl with gravel at the bottom. I change about 20% of water daily and he looked ecstatic and lively all this time, wagging his tail everytime we got home..and listening to us whenever we spoke to him. (I use Stress coat and leave the water at least overnight before changing). I also monitor pH and temperature regularly. pH seems to be 7 and temp is about 73 F.
Two days ago, I got him a freshwater plant (azelot sword) and put it in his tank. He seemed to be playing around it and happy. Yesterday I came home at noon and changed a bit of water, added a little bit of Nutrafin cycle to his 2 Gallon tank (thinking that it is maybe good?). (I also have a 10 gallon, heated and filtered water tank cycling now for him). I went out and came back later in the evening with some aquarium salt for him and noticed that he was acting weird. He looked pale (especially under his mouth). His eyes has lost that darkness it had. He was not swimming towards me when I called out for him.
Also, since I got him, he has not pooped! And last night his stomach was swollen a bit. I feed him Hikari Bio-gold (presoaked for 10 minutes) about 2-3 a day and also fed him blanched pea twice in one week. I immediately put some salt and did some water change.
I looked at him today morning and he doesnt seem terrible, but he still has that swollen stomach and looks a bit tired.
I am very upset and concerned (havent slept all night thinking of Midnight )

Please help me with any suggestions! I am waiting to put him in his new home, all to himself!

Kitsune said...

I have two bettas a female (Belle) and male (Soul) and they are good eaters always eating all the food I put in their bowls but when I went over to check on them today Belle's bowl has a icky white film on the top of the water. What is it and why does Belle have the film but Soul does not even though I always feed them equal amounts of food?

Anonymous said...

I just bought a female betta YESTERDAY from petsmart and now she's floating to the top and going sideways, I think she's about to dye or something please help !!! :(

Anonymous said...

I bought a betta 3 days ago. in the shop he looked okay but not very active, now his stomach is swollen and he is hardly moving, just floating on his side. fed him on the first day i got him but didn't touch his food and haven't fed him since. I moved him to a smaller container and tried feeding him a pea but it floated to the bottom and he didn't chase it. Also his face has got white on it. Should i try putting epsom salt in his container? this is my first fish but my mom used to have a betta and she doesn't know what to do either

Anonymous said...

I have had 3 bettas with constipation issues. One died. The other two have not responded to fasting or peas...I feed peas to all my fish now and they love them!!! I will try Epsom salts, but will aquarium salt do the same thing (I already have some of that)?
I use a turkey baster ---brand new, never used in the kitchen--- to get uneaten food out of my betta bowls, works very well.

Anonymous said...

I have a beta who is very constipated. Ive tried epsom salt and i fed him 2 peas! Nothing has worked. Im worried the constipation will kill him! Help!

Anonymous said...

I have a Betta. His name is Mr. Fish. Just one question... is it bad to always make your Betta angry? I mean, like make his cheeks swollen? Is that the right term? swollen? anyway, my 4 year old cousin has fun with that, but i think my Mr. Fish is stressed.. what should I do? Thanks in advance! :)
- Trixzie

Tony said...

I have a very constipated betta! Where can I find Epsom salt? HELP! Donald might die... he's my only special angel... His floating sideways and not looking active.. what could a little boy do? Please.. help! Thanks........ :( Donald is sick.

carolyn said...

How Much Epson Salt per gallon of water to treat constipation?

Anonymous said...

Hi All

My Betta (Regie) vomits his food up all the time. I tend to feed him once every two days, but have noticed that he will chew the food and then spit it out. I'm not sure what the pellets/food is (it appears to be a home mixture) supplied by the store that sold me Regie.
Is this normal? What's the best way to feed my fishie?

Cecile Mona said...

How many times do you have to feed you Betta in a day? I'm curious because maybe I overfeed him. I'm new to this "taking care of fish" stuff, so please help me... :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm worried. My Betta (Mel-Mel) is always floating sidewards and not eating! But when she does, she always spits it out or vomits. I tried to feed her every two days, but still... oh, please! Help me and Mel-Mel. Mel-Mel has been with me for a long time! Some people say that I should buy a new Betta, but no! I will never replace Mel-Mel. We had such a special bond. I don't want her to die now! She's looking very pale and unhealthy, so please help! I appreciate your help... :) Will you pray for my Mel-Mel? Thanks, really!

Rebbecca said...

hi everyone, I'm in dire need of help, I'm so scared for my little Betta:( I have a female Betta fish, Julie, that i keep in about a gallon sized tank but recently she's been having some problems. She hasn't been eating anything for about the past week and a half as far as i can tell and it appears to be very difficult for her to swim to the top of the water line, all she ever does any more is lay/sit at the bottom of the tank or nuzzle herself between a shell and the side of the tank. She used to be a very vibrant color of purple and slightly pink but now she is just a pale, pale dull purple color and her abdomen is slightly swollen. She's not acting like herself at all and I'm very worried. I talked to a friend and they said it was possible her swim bladder could have broken and that is why she can't get to the water line so I've now lowered the water to only about and inch and a half, she can now come up and gets air on occasion but never eats the food floating at the top. It wasn't till last night that i saw that constipation could be the problem. I fed her i tiny bit of pea and now I'm going to try fasting her for 2-3 days then feed her some more pea but I'm so worried. This is the first Betta I've had and I absolutely love her, if there is a more experience Betta owner that could maybe tell me if it sounds like she's sick with something else that would be very much appreciated, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have a blue and green male crown tail Betta I named Indigo and I change out his water completely each Thursday because if I don't whats ever stuck in the rocks washes up when I put new water in. Well the other day I put him and his old water into a little dish like I always do while i changed his tank water and rinsed his rocks off before filling it and letting it become room temperature before I scooped him out of the old and dropped him into the new, once again like I always do and today when I went to move the vase/tank he is in I noticed something floating around and it looks like skin. I got a flashlight and examined it more closely with more light and it looks like it has little scales on it I'm worried something maybe wrong with him so I need to ask if this is normal for a fish or if something is possibly wrong. He is a bit on the big belly side just in case the person who answer's this is wondering he's not floating sideways or to the top he's always swimming around he rarely stops swimming and I feed him twice a day with Tetra Bettamin tropical medley (with color enhancers). Last time I had a Betta I was just a kid and I can't remember if anything like this ever occurred or not. But I just want to know what the stuff floating in the tank is what it means and if its not normal how do I treat it. I don't want to lose Indigo, I've only just had him a few weeks.

X The Fallen Angel

Anonymous said...

I've been following some various suggestions for helping my Betta, Eli. He had a swollen belly and so I didn't feed him for 3 days and it went down a bit, and then fed him some of the cooked peas. And still nothing. Though his tummy did seem to go down a bit, so I gave him a pellet and he is now back to struggling with floating very deep below the surface and is a bit bloated again.. Now is time to try the Epsom salt, yes? I only have a small bowl of a tank, and I wasn't sure how much to put it and for how long. I really love my little guy, and just want him to get well. Help!

Jonny said...

I have a little blue Betta named Fredrick. He was given to my girlfriend for an xmas present. He has always been an exciting little guy. He eats like a rabid shark,aggressive yet loving. We have had him for about 1 1/2 years. We change his water twice a week (washing everything in hot water) I scrub the rocks by hand and the little plant he has.We actually have (six) male Bettas now.I believe we take very good care of them and love them all. Everything is separated. The nets ; bowls, rocks etc. Everything is cleaned with care. Feeding is on a good schedule but our boys are like sharks.. Pontis will jump up out of the tank and snag his food out of your hand before it reaches the water.. It is kind of cool.Fredrick or Freddy has taken a strange turn for the worse. I watch him like a hawk and something is wrong. He started to sit at the bottom of the tank. His activity level has went down a bunch. I see nothing to say disease. No white spots, hangy cotton, mouth looks good, good color and eyes look healthy. Now he does have a whitening under his chin going back towards his belly. He will swim around in spurts then lay back down. He's watching me now. :) I am very concerned about this because he has always been a tough little guy. I am thinking he may be constipated as he turned his nose up to his breakfast. I fed him a shelled pea last night (two tiny pieces) and put 1/2 teaspoon of epsom salts in his tank about 15 mins ago. I need help, please. I do not want to see Fred get any worse.Any help would be very much appreciated .

Adina said...


When SBD is observed with no other symptoms or known causes, it is best to begin treatment for constipation. Most of the time, SBD will clear up immediately when the fish is no longer constipated.

Keep the water super clean and warm (increase the temperature slowly, only a degree every couple hours, until it is around 80 degrees; keep the temperature stable).
If possible, leave the tank's bottom bare (no gravel, rocks or marbles), so you can monitor the fish's feces. A hospital tank may be useful.
Encourage the betta to flare by placing another betta's tank nearby, or showing the betta a mirror. Bettas often poo when they flare.
Fast the fish for three days. No food at all.
On the fourth day, feed the betta a blanched (frozen-thawed) pea. For bettas, as obligate carnivores, the pea consists mostly of undigestible fiber, which is wonderful for clearing out the digestive tract. Most bettas find peas extremely palatable!
Take a frozen pea. Do not use fresh (risk of pesticides or other environmental toxins) or canned (too squishy and way too much salt).
Place the pea in some dechlorinated, conditioned water (or simply take some from your betta's tank) in a microwave-safe container. Microwave the pea for a few seconds (mine takes about 10 seconds, but ovens vary), until thawed.

Skin the pea by slitting the skin and squeezing out the two halves of pea. Discard the skin.

Take about a quarter of the pea, and chop it into super tiny pieces. Remember, bettas have tiny stomachs, and do not need more than about a quarter. Feed the tiny pieces to your betta. Most of them love it!

Usually, the betta will have a bowel movement within a day of the pea treatment. If the betta does not poo or there is no improvement, repeat treatment (fast and pea).
If the betta is pooping normally at the onset of SBD, and/or there is still no improvement after fasting and feeding a pea, the cause may be internal parasites or bacterial infection. Parasites may cause bloating. Either may cause clamped fins, lethargy, paleness and other general symptoms. If you are unsure which, it may be helpful to treat for both. Many anti-parasite medications and antibiotics can be used in conjunction, but check first.

If the cause is an injury, the only treatment is time, and keeping the water super clean and warm. Adding a pinch of pre-dissolved aquarium salt to the tank is also beneficial to help prevent secondary infections and assist the betta's other systems. With luck, the injury will heal and the betta will make a full recovery.

Jonny said...

Thank you Adina. It is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

you can find epsom salt in pharmacies, it's usually used as a sore muscle soak and goes very well in bubble baths. :)

Anonymous said...

does anyone have any ideas on how to get my constipated betta to eat a pea? they just sink...he checks it out and follows it until it hits the bottom and then he ignores it! frustrating!

Anonymous said...

:( Gyoza is super sick. We just got him yesterday and he was an assortment of vibrant blues, reds, and blacks. Now his face and fins are turning pale and I can't tell if his belly is bloated. On the other hand, we live where it gets pretty cold during the night. Could that be a factor?
Thanks for any help I can get!

Anonymous said...

And um... How to I get the water warm? Don't laugh, but this morning i put a heater next to the tank... It didn't do much.

Anonymous said...

My fish bluebell which was with me for about 6 months has a swollen belly. I minimized the amount of food i gave him to 1 pellet and now i am thinking should i fast it to see if the swelling goes down??
please help!!!!

Anonymous said...

My betta does not always eat so I put a wet napkin over the tank to increase the humidity, and then he eats. also, he only poops about once a week on monday. is this normal?

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm just really worried this is my first time having a betta fish and I noticed he's bloated ): which makes me nervous and scarred I am going to not feed him and hope that works for him <3 thanks for the advice an I'll be sure to ask you any questions I have because I'm lost /:

Fish Aquarium Reviews said...

Beautiful website! Thanks so much for your info

Anonymous said...

My fish is constipated and I don't know what to do. I am new in this fish business, and I also don't know how to keep it in a safe environment in terms of light, water..feeding..ect. HELP!

Anonymous said...


I've had my betta Ramone for the past 6+months. I just moved to college and the room was so cold I get a heater for his tank. It is around 76 degrees. He hasn't pooped in a long while and I have reduced his feeding and it's been about 2 weeks. When I do feed him though he eats everything. He's huge and he lays on the bottom too often for comfort.
I would appreciate any advice!! Thanks!

Maddy! said...

So, I have been taking care of my sisters betta(kaeda) for a few months now. Today I found him just sitting near the top of the water, usually hes moving around alot. I thought his water might have been too cold, so i put him in new water & im in the process of the heater. But tonight he began swimming all lop-sided, and his belly has gotten huge in a matter of a few hours. Im not gonna feed him for a few days, hoping it makes a difference. Just in case it doesnt make a difference,is it just that he's constipated? And how long can a fish last like this? Help, :(

Anonymous said...

I have read every post here and other sites three times. My betta is completely constipated, no poops for weeks probably months, now has an ulceration on the side. Did not eat the pea, will not eat daphnia. I have tried epson salts for 2 weeks now. This thing is going to burst and looks like it has already started to. what should I do?

Anonymous said...

p.s. from super constipated post from 9:32 anonymous above. I tried a water heater- and it heated up my 1 gallon tank to 90 degrees. Seemed unsafe. He has clean water with 50% changes of water that is matched for temperature.

Anonymous said...


My halfmoon betta fish, Colonel Fritz, is constipated. I have nto tried fasting him yet but I'm starting today. Do I cook the pea or thaw a frozen one? Also, his fins are very torn and are not as beautiful as they were when I got him. I'm worried I will loose him soon because I lost one of my females, Rupunzel, due to constipation. I wasn't aware that betta fish could be constipated before she died. I thought she had eggs. Anyway I know what to do now but could I possibly get some help with the fins? Please help me! I dont want to loose him! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Help! My Betta, Bruiser, is definately not well, we changed the water yesterday and saw he was really droopy and that he was starting to sink to the bottom, then he would kind of realise he wasn't where he was 5 mins ago and swim back to the top.
But, when he wasn't sinking, he was floating tilted, with his face pointing upwards, he also had a pale head and underside.

So we changed the water again, made it warmer, and he seemed better, not sinking anymore, but still pointing upwards and not quite so pale looking. He hadn't eaten any of the food I gave him so after cleaning out the water, put a chopped, thawed pea in his water, but nothing! I woke up this morninng, all of the pea was there, totally untouched and Bruiser is lying on his side just under the surface of the water with his tail flopping underneath him. (He's definately alive, I made sure of that, he's not gonna die on me yet! I've only had him a week) What do I do?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, that's kind of what's going on with my swordtail fish right now. She's still eating, doesn't seem bloated at all, and her color is fine, but she's having trouble swimming with her head tipped upwards. Can anyone help us?

Anonymous said...

Hello. impressive job. I did not anticipate this. This is a impressive story. Thanks!
Artograph 12-Inch by 17-Inch Light Pad Light Box

Anonymous said...

is it ok to combine aquarium salt and epsom salt in the same tank?

Anonymous said...

I noticed a few days ago,that my fish Rainbow, has a big lump on his underside and I'm going to the pet store tomorrow. I'm going to buy a variety of food and a bigger tank. I'm guessing Rainbow's constipated. He's still active though and he's not floating on his side or sinking. The only color fade is on his underside.I'm going to fast him and then feed him a pea. I hope this works!

P. H. Burdette said...

I have a male VT (veiltail) betta named Peach. I've had for about a year with no health problems whatsoever, except a minor case of fin rot. Which was treated successfully with that wonder of wonders, AQ Salt. ;)

Anyways, about a week or so ago I noticed that he was starting to become bloated and his scales were starting to stick up. I thought he had dropsy. So I've been putting 1 teaspoon of AQ Salt and 1 teaspoon of Colloidal Silver. (He's in a 3 gallon critter keeper). And I've also started doing 25% water changes everyday.

He hadn't lost his appetite (but he hasn't been pooping!) and his activity was still normal until this afternoon. His bloating had gone down some and his scales are no longer sticking up this morning. But this afternoon he seems to be having trouble swimming. He tries to go down to the bottom of his tank but he keeps floating back to the top. This NOT normal for him. He never stays at the top of his tank for long periods and never all the way to the top except to breathe.

Before I started fasting him, I had been feeding him 3-4 pellets in the morning and 3 at night. His only tankmate is a black mystery snail. The only live plant a dwarf anubias. He had a small amount of gravel at the bottom of his tank and the decor includes a cave, fake leaves, and a bridge. I usually do 100% water changes on Sundays and 50% changes on Thursdays until I upped it to 25% everyday.

Please help! He is the first fish I've ever owned so I'm still a newbie. Any suggestions would be helpful! :)

Thank you!

~P. H. Burdette

Brenda said...

hello i have a half moon Betta fish i got him a week ago lately hes been laying on the rocks at the bottom of his 3 gallon tank hes eating fine and is pretty active but theres times where he just lays there ive had 2 Betta's before him and i never saw them do that is this normal or should i worry ?

Kristen said...

HELP! My betta Blaze is constipated now well he`s alittle paler than usual and his stomach is big and when ever he stays still he floats sideways and he cant go down so do I need EPSON SALT, PEAS , or FAST FEEDING ? HELP
MY 1st PET!

Kristen said...

When the light shines on my betta the bloated stomach seems umm kinda brownish so what I do now I have around 1 gallon ( I will start a new diet for it 1 pellet each day and skip one day after it`s normal)

Kristen said...

Today, I will feed it 1/4 of skinned peas I microve 20 sec. and put in water the water from water bottle ( I did not drink the water!) I skipped 2 days so te swollen got a little smaller so ai want to feed it today 9/21/12 is this okay?

Alison said...

I am so scared that my little baby Marley is sick. :( It kills me because he is, no joke, my baby. I love him... more than most humans haha. I have always called him a fatty because he is obsessed with food and is a very big betta. But recently I have noticed his stomach is so large! There is no pineconing or anything... so I think it is just constipation but I DON'T KNOWW! I just want him to be healthy again/ hope he is just fat and not sick :/ He still eats the same and still is active and still takes in air regularly. My only concern is his big belly!! Help.. I want my baby to be okay :'(

Anonymous said...

This may sound gross but my Betta fish has poop stuck for about an hour now and it's just THERE lmao I can see it! Help me how do I help him! I don't want him to be uncomfortable :(

Anonymous said...


You can try fasting your fish for 1-2 days. Don't worry, betas can live up to a month without food, although that is REALLY not recommended... If that doesn't work, try the pea method. Look it up on google. If that doesn't work try the epsom salt method, and as a last resort, Daphnia. I hope your fish get's better.

Anonymous said...

Changing the water completely is stressful for fish. For betta you should only change 25 present about once a month.

Sabrina Armstrong said...

I did all of that with the pea, but he is still constipated. He has gotten more swelled. He wasn't acting differently before but now he is. I don't know what to do. He has been constipated for a long while now. I'm going to try Epsom salt.....Is there anything else I can do if the Epsom salt doesn't work?

Anonymous said...

I have a betta about a year old that has been constipated for the better part of a week now. I originally tried epsom salt but i wasnt seeing any results so I switched to a five day treatment of maracyn 2 along with fasting and have not seen much improvement. He is extremely lethargic and Im very worried Im going to lose him. Are there any other treatments available other than longer periods of fasting? I gave him frozen daphnia about five days ago but that did nothing for him even though he really seemed to like it. I dont really want to try the peas until he has actually had a bowel movement I feel like he must be in considerable pain as it is. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

hi guys, this may sound incredibly weird but my betta, Navy Blue, poops immediately after being shown pictures of other bettas on my iPhone. particulalarly female bettas. theres one photo that drives him wild. he loves the ladies. I show him a 5 minute slideshow once a day to get him excited and cause him to be active and well also to PooP. I use this tactic to make him poop before I clean the tank, (I hate when he poops right after i've cleaned it). Now I know this sounds positively nuts but it works well, every time. he imediately begins to flare his fins, swim all around in a panic/excitement and then he PooPs. I have compiled a photo sldeshow on my iPhone just for his entertainment, called Navy's Friends. hehe Tell me what do you think? and have any of you notice or tried this? Ali

sarah said...

I just read your post today and took it to a person at pet smart; they had never heard of this idea but said they didn't see any problem with it. So I am giving it a try. Thank you for providing this info. I hope it works as well for me ad it did for you.

Anonymous said...

Lol that's so funny but cute at the same time ��

David Foggie said...

I read almost all the posts on this blog!!

Background: bought betta who was already constantly on his side but he was too beautiful to pass up!!
-Fasted for 1.5 days (36 hours) then gave him an eyeball size of defrosted frozen pea
-Waited 1 day and no sign of poop

I did a lot of research and found this blog.. I then moved him to a smaller QT tank also with heat.
-added less than half dissolved epsom salt to half gallon treated water / .5litre
-waited 20+ minutes for him to acclimate to his new surroundings
-made him flare against his reflection for approx 5 minutes

I've never celebrated poop this much!!

He is still side ways though but I am excited for his recovery! I will keep you all update as this blog was the most helpful for me!

THINGS TO NOTE/REMEMBER that have been previously mentioned:
-be conservative/exact with your epsom salt because it can burn betta's fins
-all betta tanks MUST be heated so the water is CONSTANTLY at 80f or 26c (if you live in sunshine land where it's constantly hot all year around you might not need a heater.. but other than that, betta's need heated water!!)
-signs of constipation = betta on it's side, poped up belly
-signs of dropsy = betta with swollen belly and pinecone scales
-Don't give up on your constipated betta!!
-HOW TO FEED THE PEA? IT KEEPS SINKING?? you need an even SMALLER piece. Let's say TINY. the smaller the size of the pea the more likely it will float. you should be feeding a pea size that is the size of your betta's eye or smaller. the number of times i cut the pea to a size i think is tiny and it was still too big for my betta's mouth.. then today i realised the perfect size is the smallest possible size i can pinch off the pea.. believe it! the tinier the pea cutting the more likely it's going to float. I also smoosh the pea against a toothpick and my betta happily picks at it before it floats away.

I hope my betta will be 100% soon. I will update you all!! xo

David Foggie said...

5 days post purchase when he was already on his side. hes been in epsom salts for 3 days in a row. he can now swim down to the bottom of the tank but he is still tilting sideways... although not completely flat on his side anymore... :( i suppose i am to wait for longer -- but how much longer?

Jill Thompson said...

I have a very ill appearing betta. He is lethargic, doesn't eat, and may be bloated. He has difficulty swimming and no interest in anything, even the mirror. I thought he was constipated and have done the usual fasting, warming the water, adding salt, and feeding the pea but he looks terrible. His water is good and no other symptoms are present. In retrospect, he's been less active and less interested in eating for weeks to maybe months but is now more obviously ill. What else can I do. I was thinking about using capatta leaves. Help!! I don't want to lose my betta.

Sue Ferreira said...

My betta Atom was constipated yesterday and I fed him a bit of pea. Today I picked up his poop which had pea at the end. He's still a little lethargic but doing so much better! My question is: When can I feed him again? Should he fast for another day? Two??

ChrisJ said...

I'm curious to know how long it takes for bloat to reduce, for the betta to go back to normal size?

I've been treating Blue with kanamycin (today will be last dose of the second round = 10 days). Pineconing was slight but noticeable to begin with, but has reduced to virtually nil today.

The bloated stomach came up overnight. One night at feeding time he was normal size, next morning he was noticeably bigger and slightly pineconed. I thought at first it was dropsy, but now I don't think so. At first, I was going to euthanize him, but he's got such normal, active behavior, I don't want to do that. He's not acting sick at all!

All along, he has had normal behavior: he swims just fine, there is normal amount of poop in his tank when I do water changes (twice a week normally), he wants to eat at normal mealtimes (I feed twice a day) and wants to eat normal amounts (I feed 2 - 3 Omega One pellets, pre-soaked 6 or 7 minutes each time.) I tried daphnia, which he ate the first time, but wouldn't eat a second time.

Except for having a big stomach = noticeable bloat, Blue has always been himself. Pea did nothing to relieve bloat. He has had almost daily baths in Epsom salt (out of his tank in a hospital tank / Epsom salt bath for 15 - 20 minutes) and then returned to the 5-gallon palace he calls home. I've done that for 10 days.

How long will it take for his big belly to go back to normal size? Anything more I can try? He doesn't seem bothered by his big belly, but I'm bothered.

Unknown said...

I just now did the epsom salt trick & it's a miracle!! 10 minutes he passed everything & swimming normal!!

Carla Poindexter said...

I change out everything but use only spring water, its chlorine free , no waiting or prepping the water , just change it!!

cerenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

I've had my freshwater aquarium for years but have recently bought a Siamese fighter. (Just to check - is Betta another name for a Siamese fighter? ) Craig (as I named him) won't eat flakes and so I tried him on dry pellets. Because I'm new I didn't soak them but only fed him 3 - 6 a day if that because I often forgot so I haven't overfed him. I came home one day and he has become huge - just underneath his head is swollen and almost transparent. I was worried it was dropsy but the scales don't stick out or look like previous fish I've had who had dropsy.

Should I be feeding him a more varied diet? He acts normally but I'm worried. Will the Epson salt affect other fish in my tank - and will the pea? If he doesn't eat the pea and still grows what is the best option? And what other foods do I need to feed him if the dry pellets cause this constipation?

Any help would be great thanks Xx

Lindsay Wright said...


I have a beautiful male betta named Gumbo. He is a fairly petite betta. However, for the past few weeks he has been consitpated. He still acts as his happy self. His water has a heater so it is set to the proper temperature for him to be happy. He has been fasted for 2 days. Then I gave him a some daphnia for two days, small amounts for him to digest. That didn't help. So I fasted him for 3 more days, and on the 4th day I gave him a pea. The next day he didn't look like he went poop at all. So I fasted him the next day. I'm not sure what to do for my poor boy. He doesn't seem super bloated but it is noticable. What should I do to help him?

amandababy28 said...

Well I just did this Epsom salt for my fish and within 10 min he is now dead :(
I didn't even put the amount stated here I put just a pinch and now that went so well
I'm so disappointed and sad

Anonymous said...

My fish has not been eating for a week or so. He also has white stringy stuff coming out. It is really long. What is it? He also hasn't really been swimming. He just stays in the bottom corner of his tank.

Kelly Ehrich said...

It's great your fish is doing great! Hope he still is! Please don't recommend putting Epsom salt in your bettas tank. They should never be exposed even a minute longer than fifteen minutes!! Place them in a Epson soak in a separate container for about ten minutes... Fifteen if the fish is really bloated and constipated. Hope this helps someone!