Betta Constipation/Bloating? Full Details Included

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by NBKEEP, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. NBKEEPNew MemberMember

    Hello all,

    I am having some trouble with my 4 month owned veiltail Betta, Baxter (rescued from Petco). About 3 weeks ago I noticed that he was not passing any feces and seemed to start growing around the abdomen area. I usually feed him pellets because he is a college fish and it is easily accessible and attainable to me. I take him home during long weekends, but on normal weekends I just let him fast and not eat for two and a half days. He currently lives in a 4 gallon hex tank with three live crypt plants and is heated to 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly. It is also filtered and I always change the water when i come back after the weekend; I take out about 2 gallons and re-add and reheat the new water before placing him back in. About a month ago, I noticed some slight fin rot, so added aquarium salt to his water for the first time, and it cured the minor rot fully. I continued to add a lower amount of aquarium salt just to condition the water, and this is when i really started to notice the problem. Since then, he has not pooped, and I have tried several methods. I have stopped feeding him pellets completely and started to fast him for 3 days, giving him peas on the third day. I noticed that was not working, so I then placed him in a half gallon Epsom salt bath with a teaspoon of Epsom salts in it. He seemed to not mind that, and I placed him back into fresh water. Today, I did another water change of about 75% and did not add any aquarium salt to his water and also tried to feed him the fibrous part of the pea, which he rejected. Other days he has eaten the pea, but today and yesterday he did not. I also grabbed a mirror and let him flare his gills for about 2 minutes before letting him relax.

    What I am confused about is this: he is still extremely active, not sluggish or slow, and he seems almost normal besides for his bloated belly. What could be his problem, or how could I possibly fix it? I am a biology major in college, so I am not too afraid of big answers or complicated responses to this question. I can also attach pictures of him if necessary for diagnosis or curiousity.

    Thank you for your time in advance!
  2. midnamoondogWell Known MemberMember

    Not a big answer, but my betta had the same thing. He got Maracyn II for 5 days and got better. Good luck!
  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to FishLore! Sorry it's under such circumstances.

    1. I would not use aquarium salt. Some members use it, but it is very controversial and personally I don't even have any of the stuff. It can often be more irritating to the fish than curative.
    2. It sounds like you're doing everything right otherwise. :) I've seen mine randomly get bloated; I just fast them a few days and it goes away. How many days has it been since you first noticed it?
    3. Pictures always help! :)

    PS. I am a biomedical engineering major, formerly a biology major :;hi1
  4. NBKEEPNew MemberMember

    Okay, I will try some Maracyn II if it does not get better soon. I was thinking it could be swim bladder too maybe, but he seems to swim fine. Since the post though, he has begun to lay on the gravel at the bottom and rest a lot, but when he sees me he comes back up and is active again.

    And I noticed his belly swelling about 3 weeks ago, but not this big. I wish I would have taken a picture the first time I saw it to compare, but I didn't. :\
    I will take a picture now and will upload it as long as it takes to take it and upload it :)
  5. NBKEEPNew MemberMember


    That is the close up of his belly near the top of his tank
  6. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Oh my, that's definitely pretty swollen. Do his scaled look pineconed at all? Hard to tell in the picture.
  7. midnamoondogWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah my betta (who looks a lot like yours) had that plus a bump on his spine. He had it for a while but once he just hid/rested most of the time I decided to treat him with it and it worked great. I would advise against the salt as well. I used to use it (petsmart advice) but it can make fish have too thick of a slime coat.
  8. NBKEEPNew MemberMember

    No, he does not have a pine cone shape from above, I forgot to take that picture. I was looking for it hard though, leading to the cause of Dropsy and what-not. I'm thankful they aren't raised.
    Did you ever figure out what was wrong with yours, moondog? Or why was Maracyn II the medicine of choice? I don't see any bump on his spine, but his stomach is definitely swelling up big time. Is that the only medicine you used at one time?

    I'm going to stop the salt treatments too, seems like it hurt more than helped.
  9. midnamoondogWell Known MemberMember

    I suppose I believed it to be Dropsy so I used Maracyn II as indicated in the package. For me, it worked. I did not use anything else in conjunction.
  10. NBKEEPNew MemberMember

    Well, I will be sure to try that out in a few days if nothing comes out of this. It may be gas build up too I'm thinking? Not sure of any other guesses besides that one either.
  11. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    I recently lost a betta with similar symptoms. After trying fasting and peas for a couple weeks I could see he was passing waste so there was no blockage. I then assumed the bloating to be bacterial and treated with maracyn 1 and 2 combo to no effect.

    If he's pooping but still swollen the next thing I would try would be a maracyn 1 and 2 combo, the bloat is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection and using both one and two ensures you have gram positive and negative covered.

    After the fact I was discussing it with another member and internal parasites came up as a possibility. I know, not much help but I thought I'd share my experience.
  12. NBKEEPNew MemberMember

    Well, any knowledge is a good source of information. At the moment, he hasn't gone to the bathroom in about..3 weeks or so, which seems forever to me. I'm just hoping I can get him to go soon, that is my goal to shoot for.
  13. carolo43Valued MemberMember

    Hard to know if he is constipated or if he has the beginning of bloat. If it's bloat, then he may be having organ failure. Bloat is a good intention the end of his life is not far. I would wonder how you would know if he had not pooped, tho. That would almost take 24 hours of watching him constantly. Are you sure he could not have internal worms?

    My fish all get treated with PraziPro whether I suspect worms or not. I think of it as having a puppy and treat them as a preventative. It's very mild and even if they don't have internal parasites, it flushes them out. You might also have to try putting him in a container with Epsom Salts for 15 minutes. I'm not sure on the dosage so would check on that.

    I would not keep him now in aquarium salt. Salt retains water and Epsom Salt pulls it out.