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Betta Constipation - The Treatment And Cause

Betta Constipation - The Treatment And Cause

Betta fish owners take pride in their fish because they're energetic, attractive, and make great pets. It can be very worrying if their fish become constipated. Your formerly healthy fish suddenly develop abnormal feces, and you observe unusual behavior. This can be incredibly alarming.

Fortunately, constipation is typically easy to treat if it is detected and treated quickly. This article will guide you on how to treat constipation.

What Is Constipation?

When your betta frequently has inconsistent bowel movements, constipation can happen. Food becomes difficult to pass through your fish s digestive tract. When this happens, this fish s waste stops passing through its system, creating a blockage that can become progressively larger as your pet eats more food.

Constipation is a widespread illness for most fish species, including bettas. Constipation is not suitable for your betta fish, and your pet may suffer from numerous health issues if it happens too much.

Be sure to attend to constipation as soon as possible to maximize your fish's chances of recovery. When constipation is allowed to persist over a prolonged length of time, side effects may develop, many of which can be dangerous and life-threatening for your fish.

In this article, we will guide you and teach you everything you need to know about recognizing, treating, and preventing constipation in betta fish.

What Are The Symptoms of Betta Constipation?

The sooner you detect betta fish constipation, the more likely you will successfully treat it. Listed below are symptoms of constipation and other related medical matters you should watch out for.

Stringy Poop

Numerous constipation symptoms in betta fish are easy for you to spot, such as stringy stool on one end and falling off it after it passes. In contrast, typical betta poop sinks to the bottom of the tank once it expires.

Pale Faces

The color of betta fish excrement can also be an indicator of the health of your fish. Normal, healthy feces is dark-brown in color, but bettas with constipation tend to excrete wastes that are a paler shade of brown. If your betta's feces is stringy and soft, this is usually a sign that it has constipation.

Note: Betta fish feces pale does not mean white! If your betta has stringy, white stools, the fish suffers from an internal parasite infection rather than constipation. Constipated fish usually pass fibrous stools, but the color is pale brown instead of white.

Bloated Stomach

Unfortunately, the enlarged intestine frequently accompanies constipation. The initial blockage prevents food from leaving the fish's intestinal tract, leading to further blockage as your betta eats more food.

Ultimately, this will cause the fish's stomach to look distended and bloated. Remember, constipation is not the only disease accompanied by a distended or bloated abdomen. Dropsy will usually also cause the same symptoms, so make sure to analyze in more detail the condition of the betta fish so that you can make a clear and accurate diagnosis.

Lethargy and Lack of Appetite

The last symptoms discussed are lethargy and lack of appetite. We have saved these symptoms for last because they characterize a broad lineup of diseases. However, they are essential symptoms for fish with constipation.

If you get constipated fish, they have a bloated sensation in their tummy. The same thing human beings feel sluggish after a heavy meal. This bloated feeling can cause bettas to feel ill. This will cause them to swim a little slower and avoid food until the sensation of fullness passes.

If you see lethargy with scant appetite and other symptoms, it may be that your pet has constipation.

Why Is My Betta Constipated?

Why Is My Betta Constipated?

Now that we've learned to identify constipation, we should take a look at what causes it in the first place. This, in turn, will help you avoid the risk factors leading to constipation. We always advocate for prevention as the best form of cure, so read this section carefully and keep your gut in good health!


Yes, you can intentionally kill your fish with kindness! Lovers of fish can find it challenging to resist overfeeding their fish, especially if the fish appreciate food preparation as much as bettas enjoy eating.

But be careful not to fall into this trap. Betta fish are notoriously greedy creatures who will eat long after they've taken all their fill, prompting their owners to overfeed them to constipation. Overfeeding your bettas will make them excessively prone to constipation, which leads to food blockages.

The Solution

You can avoid overfeeding your bettas by feeding them slightly less than their stomachs will physically fit. How much is that less than? The general rule is to provide your bettas an eyeball-sized portion of food to correspond to the size of their stomachs.

Remember to soak and eat your pellets and freeze-dried foods before using them as serving sizes. So, it is possible to comprehend perfectly how much your betta consumes. These kinds of food tend to increase in your betta's stomach, which is likely to help you to overfeed it inadvertently.

Poor Diet

Another leading contributor to constipation is a lousy diet. Unfortunately, many misconceptions exist about betta diets. People often wrongly assume that these fish can thrive on plant roots, but this isn't the case.

Another leading contributor to causing constipation is a lousy diet. Unfortunately, many misconceptions exist about betta diets. People often wrongly assume that these fish can thrive on plant roots, but this isn't the case.

Many people also mistake providing their betta fish with low-quality flakes and dried food. It can lead to a lack of essential nutrients for fish, making it easier for them to get sick.

The Solution

A typical betta pet's diet should include high-quality commercial flakes and organic matter such as frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These sources replicate what your pet would eat in the wild, giving them what they need to have an excellent digestive system.

Live food sources are likely to carry some risk, so discretion is vital when sourcing your meals from live sources. We hear a lot of reports of salmon and other fish dying from parasitic infections they received from a rogue bloodworm, so think carefully about where you choose to source your food!

Poor Water Conditions

Contrary to conventional wisdom, bettas should not be kept in small bodies of water where water quality may be lower. Bettas should be kept in at least 5 quarts of tank water with regular testing and monitoring of the tank's water to ensure that water quality stays high.

Bettas will need a tank filter and a heater to regulate water temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The suggestion

One of the best ways to keep your tank clean is by removing uneaten food. Uneaten food releases ammonia and nitrates as it decomposes, causing dangerous levels of both. In addition, it can clog up your filter, decreasing dissolved oxygen in the water.

Unhealthy amounts of ammonia, nitrates, and low oxygen concentration can negatively affect your betta, giving rise to adverse effects. Bettas should never be kept in ice water; this can affect your fish's immune defense.

The key things you should look for are ammonia, nitrate, and temperature. Because we recommend buying test kits to test the water of multiple parameters, including nitrate levels, pH, and nitrate content, as well as temperature, a reliable thermometer is essential too.

Lack of Exercise

Although it may seem surprising, betta fish with little exercise are more at risk of constipation. If you think about it, it makes sense. Food passes through your fish’s digestive tract via a series of contractions, and any physical movement can simulate such contractions.

Bettas are known to be relatively sedentary fish by nature. They tend to hover in one area within the tank for extended periods, whether in the tank hammock or the tank floor.

Though inactivity may fulfill your fish's appetite for excitement, it won't do anything to your constipated fish's well-being.

The suggestion

Keeping health problems away begins with exercise. You are in a position to encourage bettas to participate in workouts more by starting with them in a large tank. Fish that are offered an additional room to roam regularly tend to be more active throughout the day.

Another way of getting your bettas to exercise is by relying on exercise mirrors. Some hobbyists are prone to turning to exercise mirrors since they fear that mirror reflections can cause stress for them. However, the general consensus is that using exercise mirrors for a brief period can help your bettas get rid of stress by turning to their natural instincts to proceed.

A stimulating environment will encourage your betta fish to move more. Be creative when designing your betta fish's pet tank, shape, and decorations. Here are several betta fish supplies to help you get going. Your fish will be up and swimming in no time!

Is constipation fatal in betta fish?

Constipation may not seem like much of an issue, but neglecting it can cause serious harm to your fish.
If your betta is constipated for some long time, he will become at risk for bladder disease, which can endanger his health, and fish get stressed. Extended periods of stress are dangerous to your betta, as his immune system will become weakened, leaving him susceptible to diseases, infections, and other ailments.

How To Cure Constipation In Betta Fish?

How To Cure Constipation In Betta Fish?

Despite your best attempts, you might still experience a constipated betta on your hands. If you observe a problem, treat it immediately so the fish can continue to live comfortably.

If your betta is constipated, here are some things you can do.

Feed Your Betta Some Fiber

Like some people use prune juice when feeling congested, constipated betta fish benefit from added fiber in their systems.

Fiber adds bulk to the hickey droppings. Betta feces contain far more fiber and can absorb water, allowing stool to pass more rapidly through the guts of your fish. In addition, fiber helps to soften and absorb the feces, making them easier for your fish to die.

Bettas should not eat plant foods regularly, as their carnivorous nature makes fibrous plant foods a poor nutritional choice. However, great herbs can work wonders for relieving constipation, so check out this quick list!

Fast Your Fish

When you see your fish notice bloating or constipation more often than usual, one of the simplest things you can do is gently fasting it for up to 24 hours. Providing your fish with food during constipation will significantly enhance the problem by forming a significant blockage in its intestines.

By refraining from feeding your fish. Feces have the chance to decompose on their own. The majority of constipation cases are resolved this way.

Algae Flakes

If you are searching for a fiber source, you can find at your fish monger s algae flakes are for your fish. Algae flakes provide a great source of fiber for fish, as it's what they eat in nature!

If some algae flakes lie around the house for your constipated bettas to consume, you can easily feed them a bath. Nevertheless, we would certainly not suggest purchasing algae flakes just for your constipated betta; they're omnivores!


Peas' fiber and protein abundance make peas excellent for taking care of constipation. Just remove the pea's outer skin and cut it into tiny pieces before serving it to your betta.

We recommend feeding only about a half pea per betta, as overfeeding may result in constipation and worsen the problem.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are often used as tasty snacks for catfish or other herbivorous fish. Simply cut a portion of the sweet potato into eyeball-sized pieces for your betta fish, and place it in the tank.

Fish owners should not allow their bettas to consume parts of a large slice of sweet potato floating on the tank's surface. This is unhealthy for the fish and may exacerbate its constipation symptoms.

Epsom Salt Bath

Ask anyone from aquarist about Epsom salts, and you will likely get a laundry list of the various ailments it can treat. In the case of constipation, Epsom salts work as a muscle relaxant, easing some of the tension in your fish s digestive tract and allowing the food to pass through.

To give your betta fish an Epsom salt bath, place it in a quarantine tank and add one tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. Let your fish swim about in the solution for 15-30 minutes, or until it relieves itself.


What Happens If You Don’t Treat Betta Fish Constipation?

You should mitigate the prolonged constipation of your fish to avoid swim bladder disease, a bladder disease that leads to the abdominal cavity being compressed.

The betta will fight to swim due to its inability to ventilate itself. In addition, bettas are labyrinth fish that breathe oxygen from their surroundings. Swim bladder disease makes it harder for the betta to live at the aquarium's bottom.

What Is The Difference Between Dropsy and Constipation?

While a betta fish with dropsy will also have a bloated stomach, causes for dropsy include fluid retention in your fish, whereas reasons for constipation involve food blockages.
Dropsy can also cause your belly to appear like a pinecone if the swelling spreads to the scales.


A more experienced aquarist or beginner to the hobby may experience constipation in their fish. Like most other fish, Bettas exhibit softer stool, lethargy, and bloating symptoms when constipating. We hope this article will come in handy if you ever experience constipation in your fish!

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