Betta poop (what should it look like?)

nanzey

Member
I have had this guy for a few weeks. He is usually super excited to eat and rushes over when I open the hatch. He gobbles anything up instantly.
For the last few days he has seemed disinterested in food and hasn't even come over when I get near the tank.
I haven't seen him poop in person. I have black substrate and Amanos so it's probably gone before I'd see it, but tonight he has a white stringy poop. Should I be concerned?




 

Pringlethesnail

Member
Normal poop is brown-redish. He should not have white stringy poop. My first concern for that would be parasites. Can you post a pic of the poop? (Weird, I know sorry) and also he MAY have a bit of fin rot which could not be helping with his behavior. It could be his coloring but my first Betta that got fin rot looked like that. I will attach a pic. Because I thought it was his coloring he died by the time I realized it was fin rot. it could be his coloring though. You should post a picture here of him flaring and also compare a pic of him flaring when you got him vs him flaring now and see if he lost some fins. My chest physically hurts when I think of my poor first Betta. I loved him so much and cried for hours when he died (don't judge). He died in my hand because he was twitching all around and trying to get to the top so I held him in my hand near the top so he could take breaths and he died in my hand. I ordered fin rot meds online and they showed up at the door an hour after his death. He died not even two weeks after these pictures were taken. Not to scare you but I just really don't want that to happen to anyone else. Also he should have a heater and a filter if he doesn't.
 
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nanzey

Member
Here are more pictures of him. I have recently noticed what I think might be a little fin rot. I assumed it is from his conditions in the cup before I got him (although I don't remember seeing it when I first got him).
I thought poor water conditions cause fin rot? I do a 25% water change a week.
He's in a 10 gal heated, filtered tank with sand substrate, live plants and 3 Amanos to play with.
My tank parameters are :
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 7? (Somewhere between the 5-10
pH 8.0
Temp is averages about 77.5
I treat with prime and also add stability when I do water changes.
His diet is a combo of hikarI pellets, fd blood worms and another kind of sinking pellet I fed for the shrimp but he gobbled it up.




 

Pringlethesnail

Member
Yes he does have a bit of fin rot. I'm sure you're absolutely right about the cup it happens all the time. A lot of times they get it from the cup and then it doesn't clear up in the new tank so it needs to be treated. He probably got it from the cup and it's still going on. Generally clear/white poop = parasites. I would treat for parasites and then after the treatment remove the meds with carbon and see if the fin rot improves and treat for that. It's hard to say what to treat first. If it was my fish I would dose with furan-2 and then see if pooping improves and if not then treat for parasites. I'm on the fence what to treat first in your case. I personally would treat the fin rot first because I've seen what it does to them but that's me. Also my Betta had anchor worms parasites and the furan-2 did rid them. It's not for parasites but I'm wondering if it might work anyway. I would wait and see what other people say as well.
 

PythonTheBetta

Member
Freeze Dried Bloodworms always make Python's poop look weird. stop feeding the blood worms and see if there's any difference
 
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nanzey

Member
Would fin rot cause loss of appetite?
I have heard sometimes just increasing the temp can fix it.
Is that true?
I think I'd like to treat fin rot first as I don't have a qt tank and I have shrimp in their with him.
Would love some more advice.
Thank you!


 

CindiL

Member
HI Nanz, sometimes all you need for mild fin rot is a low dose of aquarium salt and more frequent water changes. It looks very mild so I would use .1% which is 1 level tsp salt per gallon. A 10 gallon tank really holds about 8.5 or so, so I would use 8 teaspoons. Mix with some tank water until diluted and then slowly add it over a couple of hours. Replace with water changes. I'd do a couple of 50% water changes this next week.

I would also agree to stop feeding freeze dried blood worms. I'd switch to frozen blood worms. Hikari's and I think any other brand you get at the local pet stores are safe, they will say on the package. You can get them in individual pods. I would just thaw one out and refrigerate it for a number of days to feed him from. I would stop feeding him pellets and just feed him blood worms this week. If its constipation that will get rid of it. If its a parasite, the poop will continue to look like that. Bettas are carnivores I believe so just eating the blood worms will be fine for him.

If the diet doesn't work then I would use API General Cure which is both an anti-parasitic and an antibiotic. It has praziquantel in it as well as metronidazole.
 
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nanzey

Member
Thanks CindiL!
Is the salt safe for shrimp?
I'm going to be gone tomorrow morning till late night. Is it safe to wait till Wednesday to start since I can't monitor him tomorrow? Or is immediate better?
Also I have an old heater that I am going to test. It's an adjustable one. I'm assuming warmer water will help too? Even if it seems it works I wouldn't put it in the tank till Wednesday when I can monitor temp.
Thanks again everyone.


 

CindiL

Member
Yeah I think it would be fine to wait. If you have time, do an extra water change today. Yes, warmer is better for bettas, 80-82 is perfect for them though I'm not sure about the amanos. Almost all fish even scaleless can usually tolerate that low amount of salt but that being said I cannot guarantee no issues. I can say I've never had any problems with my shrimp or snails at that percent of salt. More serious fin rot is treated with 3 tsp per gallon. That is what I'm using for a guppy that was beat up by his fellow guppy tank mates and has a sorry shredded tail. .1% will aid in healing and is antibacterial in nature also.

If you have time I'd pickup the frozen blood worms today and see if you can interest him in one or two. The water change may perk him up too.
 

Pringlethesnail

Member
Fin rot will cause loss of appetite. Increasing the temp to 80 would help but not fix it at this point I would say.

I think you should never use aquarium salt with a Betta. I've treated 7 bettas fin rot with furan 2 and all lived. I find live brine shrimp is what I give a sick fish if you can get any.
 

Flowingfins

Member
I agree with pringles, they are freshwater fish for a reason. Salt is unnecessary and does more harm than good. He has barely any fin rot, daily water changes are all you need at this point. Bettas do best at a temperature of 80 as well. I would stop feeding the bloodworms as suggested above, they must be soaked before feeding and contain almost to nutritional value.
 

CindiL

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
I think you should never use aquarium salt with a Betta. I've treated 7 bettas fin rot with furan 2 and all lived. I find live brine shrimp is what I give a sick fish if you can get any.
Flowingfins said:
I agree with pringles, they are freshwater fish for a reason. Salt is unnecessary and does more harm than good. He has barely any fin rot, daily water changes are all you need at this point. Bettas do best at a temperature of 80 as well. I would stop feeding the bloodworms as suggested above, they must be soaked before feeding and contain almost to nutritional value.

I'm sometimes surprised how people react to a salt tonic and would prefer to use chemical treatments. Salt is about the most natural treatment you can use and certainly does not do more harm than good at the dosage recommended in the above post.
I would use it over antibiotics or medicine as a first line of treatment before chemical treatments. Furan 2 is often used for columnaris and that is overkill for fin rot. I have used Furan 2 for other things and though I think it is good for a bad bacterial infection I do not think it is warranted in this situation and would be much harder on the betta than a low saline solution.

I do agree that just water changes first is a good way to go and if that doesn't work or it gets worse I would use a natural salt treatment for fins. At the level I'm recommending it is a tonic and cure for wounds (like fin rot before it turns bacterial), nothing that would ever harm a betta.
 
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nanzey

Member
The conflicting advice is confusing!
I don't have the opportunity to buy aquarium salt, meds or frozen blood worms until Wednesday.
Would pellets be better than nothing? They are the teeny tiny ones. (Assuming I could actually get him to eat)
I'll try to squeak a water change in before I go away. He's so sullen and hasn't eaten in days now.
It's like he's giving me the silent treatment when I try to get his attention.




Please help!
Could not get to store before closing for frozen blood worms.
I will be leaving town before the pet stores open in the morning. Is there anything else I can feed him?
I saw a picture on another post and everyone said the betta looks skinny. The bone visible in the side. Mine has that! I fear that I was so worried about bloat that I underfed him. And now he won't eat
Is there anything else I can give him???


 

Aquaphobia

Member
I think your Betta looks great! He's not skinny at all.

How long are you going to be away?
 
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nanzey

Member
Aquaphobia said:
I think your Betta looks great! He's not skinny at all.

How long are you going to be away?
Oh thank you for saying that! Everything I read is making me paranoid. Like he's going to go belly up tomorrow.
He was just so social and such a happy eater until a few days ago and now nothing... I'll be back tomorrow night but very late. So I won't be able to buy him anything till mid-Wednesday.


 

Aquaphobia

Member
I would be worried, too! But try not to, you're only going to be away for about a day and I'm sure he'll be fine until you get back

Do you have any standing water around your place? I would take a spare net and go mosquito larvae hunting. No Betta worth his salt can resist
 
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nanzey

Member
Aquaphobia said:
I would be worried, too! But try not to, you're only going to be away for about a day and I'm sure he'll be fine until you get back

Do you have any standing water around your place? I would take a spare net and go mosquito larvae hunting. No Betta worth his salt can resist
Ugh I wish. I'm in southern calI and it's as dry as a desert here. No mosquitos this year.
So can they go like 4-5 days without eating?
My only other - and way out there - thought is that I have had a lot of Amano action going on and is it possible that one of them released some babies he gobbled up? I know they need brackish water to survive but they have to go somewhere, right?
Maybe that's just wishful thinking...


 

Aquaphobia

Member
That is entirely possible! He could just be full

I did notice that little bump in his side, back near his tail. That, IIRC, is his swim bladder. It usually only protrudes like that if they need to poop. If you buy anything at the pet store I would choose brine shrimp or Daphnia over bloodworms, just because they can help with those sort of issues

And Bettas can go a lot longer than a few days without eating. Don't worry!
 

CindiL

Member
He'll be fine until you're back. You could feed him a cooked (microwaved) de-shelled pea if he'll eat it to help with the constipation.

I'm sorry about the differing opinions, it happens a lot with disease treatments and I don't think anyone is trying to cause confusion though that is usually the outcome. I can only give you recommendations from my experience with bettas and other community fish.

Here are my recommendations:
1. Do an extra water change
2. Stop with the freeze dried blood worms and pellets temporarily
3. Feed brine shrimp and/or blood worms (mosquito larvae)? if you have it.
4. See if he perks up with the above
5. See how his fins look and add in an extra water change or two.
6. If fins get worse, and water changes are not enough, do a low salt tonic treatment
7. If poop continues to look stringy after change in diet, consider using a parasite treatment like API General Cure.

I have to agree with the website information below and on another forum similar information was always given for betta's:
 
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nanzey

Member
Found a dead shrimp thismorning.
Betta face planted at the bottom. Even his friend is checking on him.
I'll get some blood worms today.
I also have another thread going about brown algae. It is taking over. What is going on with this tank?


CindiL I am thinking with my questionable filtered water history it might be good to add a little bag of fresh carbon with the next water change?


 

Aquaphobia

Member
Your marimos are looking strangely pale, too. Sorry your betta isn't looking so good x
 

Pringlethesnail

Member
What are the water parameters today? I would be worried with a dead shrimp, a sick Betta, and strangely pale Marimo
 

CindiL

Member
Oh no, poor thing. What have you been doing this week so far? extra water changes? Thinking back to your old thread, this is the first tank you've had just using the filtered tap right? because your regular tap water had fish die soon after you introduced them?

And you're sure its a dead shrimp and not just a molt?

I have to wonder if you have enough minerals in there for not only your betta/shrimp but also for your plants. Based on how that marimo looks (and they require very little), something is lacking like calcium and magnesium and trace mineral salts/carbonates that you would get out of shells.

We know your ammonia and nitrites are 0 in this tank. Do you know the GH/KH of this tanks water? I'm sorry if I'm asking redundant information but it would be helpful to re-state it for me and others helping you with the betta in this thread too.

I'm tempted to tell you to pick up some spring water if you think its your tap. When was the last filter change on your tap and have you tested it recently?

Also, I'd dose prime today if its possible its metal related since we never knew exactly what it was that caused the deaths before with your unfiltered tap.

Do you have shells in this tank? coral, limestone, cuttlebone?
 
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nanzey

Member
Sorry for the length. Trying to address everything.
I came home a few hours later and he was hanging back in his spot at the top sitting on the heater.
My son used a light up toy to "cheer him up" and that seemed to get his attention enough to come over and eat a few defrosted brine shrimp.

Here are today's tank parameters:
ph 8.0
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 7
Gh 8
Kh 7

I just did a 25% water change (those test results are before the change)

I have a big piece of cuttlebone floating around.

Yes, this tank is using water from the Everpure system. My last tank was just treated tap. The fish were fine for a few weeks but then every time I did a water change I would lose one. There were so many theories as to the cause (because I had gone on vacation on week 3 and my neighbor over fed the tank). My thoughts were that perhaps something bad in tap water and the carbon just lost its ability to catch it.

All my above substrate plants are doing well. They're growing new leaves all the time and probably need to be divided. It's amazing they are ok as this brown stuff looks like it is choking them out. I noticed the moss balls getting pale but I honestly can't tell if it's the brown growing on them.
(Side note: I have two more balls from the same shipment in a glass vase on my kitchen window and they are forest green in de chlorinated water only. No food)

I had three Amanos. They all seemed fine. I'm averaging 3 molts a week. The guy that was dead thismorning actually turned white (opaque) during the weekend. I thought it weird but it's my first time with Amanos.

I noticed during the water change today that the betta was exploring the other side of the tank. Doing some flaring and looked more lively. I'm wondering if the filter needs to be baffled. I didn't think the flow was that strong but maybe that is what is bumming him out?

Thanks again for all the help!


 

Aquaphobia

Member
The filter could be a problem for him. First though, what is the pH out of your tap? Does it fluctuate at all?
 
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nanzey

Member
I'll check it again but it's usually 7.8.
Any suggestions for baffling an aqueon quiet flow? I feel like the tank circulation is kind of weak already.
Also the brown algae (diatoms?) is getting rapidly worse. It looks like when they clogged the filter in finding Nemo. Perhaps they are working on an escape plan?


 

CindiL

Member
Why do you want to baffle it if its already weak?

How is he doing?
 
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nanzey

Member
I am grasping at what might be bumming him out. He seemed to have a good time exploring the tank when I did the last water change when everything was shut off.
He's gloomy. Didn't eat yesterday and so far not today but I'll try again soon. I think the fin rot might look a little worse but I can't tell if I'm just really looking for it.
Haven't seen any white or stringy poop so that's good!
I tried the pea. It just dropped to the bottom and he couldn't care less.
I bought one of those leaf hammocks for him but haven't put it in yet. I'm grasping!


 

CindiL

Member
Did you pick up some frozen blood worms?

Are his fins clamped at all?
 
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nanzey

Member
I got frozen brine shrimp and he ate three of them on Wednesday. He wasn't interested yesterday. I'm going to try tonight now.
If fins are clamped does that mean they would stay that way when he flares? I seem him stretch out everything periodically.
He's not at the bottom until he goes to sleep at night. Mostly he just hangs out in the quietest top corner (I was thinking of putting the hammock there).





Also I bought some aquarium salt but haven't used it yet.


 

CindiL

Member
Some bettas are just not active. If he's up at the top during the day and eating once a day I would say this might be his normal behavior. My betta who lived to 3 rarely swam around his last two years, it was a bit boring. He loved just resting in floating pothos leaves I had in the tank.

I would keep doing twice weekly 50% water changes and keep your eye on his fins.
 
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nanzey

Member
CindiL said:
Some bettas are just not active. If he's up at the top during the day and eating once a day I would say this might be his normal behavior. My betta who lived to 3 rarely swam around his last two years, it was a bit boring. He loved just resting in floating pothos leaves I had in the tank.

I would keep doing twice weekly 50% water changes and keep your eye on his fins.
Ok thanks! He wouldn't come over for food yesterday. I guess my concern is that he was so friendly and eager the first week or two. He'd gobble whatever I put in. He'd rush over whenever we opened the top. He'd come watch us when we were near the tank. Now he just stares at the back wall. I just put a small mirror in front of the tank to see if he does anything (tho it's really hard to tell because of this diatom breakout!)

I was doing 30% water change just because I'm so paranoid of water issues from the past. I can increase it to 50%. Would it be a good idea to add a small bag of carbon to the filter? Just in case?


 

CindiL

Member
It certainly can't hurt, I would do it if I was you.

After my boring betta I have to admit I am enjoying watching the endlers who never stop moving and the shrimp who also never stop moving
 
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nanzey

Member
Yesterday I performed a 40% water change and wiped most of the diatoms off the glass, I also removed the dying sword plant and cleaned my ferns and moss balls in used tank water so they wouldn't go back in the tank.
I added a quarter cup of carbon to the filter box. The mesh bag I bought wouldn't fit so o just sent it down the left side.
This guys (who hasn't eaten in more days than I can remember) was here this morning and still is I'm not even sure if he's alive. Is this normal? I didn't want to go fishing around in front of my 3 year old. Remaining two shrimp are fine.



 

Pringlethesnail

Member
Please treat with furan-2. He looks so much worse than before
 

hufflepuffplaty26

Member
Just a small tip, before you feed the freeze-dried food, soak it in a bit of aquarium water, or else it could make him constipated. Good luck with treatment! I hope he gets better!
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
Pringlethesnail said:
Please treat with furan-2. He looks so much worse than before
I'm not seeing any progression of fin rot and no stringy poop since that one time which was 2 weeks ago.
He's not eating and lethargic. What could it be? And what is the treatment schedule for something like Furan 2?
I am leaving Thursday morning for 6 days. Really worried he won't make it. CindiL would love your thoughts too.




Thoughts on using Betta Fix?
 

clk89

Member
Betta fix isn't actually good for bettas.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Can't hurt I suppose. I've never used it but I've heard good things from others who have!

Also there's Betta Revive which is supposed to be very good. Might be worth a try!

*edit* I think I may have confused the two. It's Betta Revive that I've heard good things about, not the Betta Fix. The latter contains tea tree oil which could harm your betta further.
 

Pringlethesnail

Member
Betta revive is good, I just received two more packages of it in the mail today actually. I use it whenever my any of my Bettas are acting strange as a first defense against any issues and it always perks them up. My one Betta had a run in with the filter intake and he wasn't healing very fast and was worried about the possibility of getting fin rot. After the first 24 hours he was showing a TON of regrowth. More than the past two weeks combined. He used the last of it so I ordered two more packages that came today. Betta fix is bad for bettas because it's made of oils which inhibit the bettas labyrinth organ and causes them to suffocate. This can work if you have very high aeration in your tank but most Betta tanks do not. My first Betta died on Betta fix. It sounds like you knew that already but I wanted to confirm it.

Back to the original problem though... You need to dose with Furan-2. The fin rot if not progressing (I think it looks like it is however) is active and there are no signs of regrowth. Also it looks like he has no developed eye cloud. This is another bacterial issue that can be treated with furan-2. Having fin rot makes bettas more susceptible to other bacterial infections. When I treat rescue bettas for fin rot I use Betta revive after the completed treatment of furan-2 for three days.
 

Flowingfins

Member
I don't think any medications are necessary at this point, why are you being so quick to recommend them?
How often have you been doing water changes?
What are your water parameters?
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
I've been doing a 30-45% water change every 4-5 days. I'll test water when I get home and post results.
They rarely change from 0,0,7 ph 8.0



 

Flowingfins

Member
I would be doing daily water changes just to see if it helps his eye. I would do a large one before you leave, and a large one when you get back. After that 25% daily should be good.
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
Flowingfins said:
I would be doing daily water changes just to see if it helps his eye. I would do a large one before you leave, and a large one when you get back. After that 25% daily should be good.
Ok will do! How long can these guys survive without eating?


 

Flowingfins

Member
They can go a couple weeks. I would try soaking his food in garlic juice, it makes it "smell" and they like the taste. Have you tried any frozen or live foods?
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
Yes I bought frozen brine shrimp and that's what he finally ate but that was last Wednesday and he only ate 3.
He just now finally moved to another area of the tank but still at the bottom. His gills are flapping away and look red. They were NOT like that yesterday.
I have a betta hammock up too, should I net him and move him up there?
Freaking out a little.


 

Flowingfins

Member
Don't net him, it will just cause more stress.
I would test the water again, just to make sure there isn't anything in it.
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
Just tested:
pH 8.2
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5

The nitrate was a weird color. Maybe a little lighter than 5. I've never had nitrates that low. But I did just do a huge water change yesterday. (And yes I shook the bejesus out of bottle 2!)





He just swam up to the top for some air and went back down his eyes definitely look kind of clouded.

I might be wrong but I think if there was something really off with water parameters the shrimp would kick the bucket first.


 

Flowingfins

Member
I didn't think anything was wrong with the parameters. I would keep doing the water changes and see if that helps, if you get back and its not better then I would consider medication.
 
  • Thread Starter

nanzey

Member
Ok so how do I soak food in garlic juice? Like actual juice from a clove of garlic?


 

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