Help Bloated Betta With Hole In Side


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What is the water volume of the tank?
10 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
8 months
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What is the water temperature?
80 degrees Fahrenheit
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
No tank mates. He has a bamboo plant, amazon sword plant, and a few moss balls. He enjoys hanging out near the top of his cage, so he has a floating Betta log and two Betta leafs suctioned near the top of the tank. He also a decorative piece of drift wood, a ceramic log, and a small tunnel that he likes to swim through.


How often do you change the water?
Once a week
How much of the water do you change?
What do you use to treat your water?
I use filtered water and add Tetra brand AquaSafe
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
I vacuum the substate.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
What do you use to test the water? API 5 in 1 test strips and an API ammonia test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
pH: 7

How often do you feed your fish? 2x a day
How much do you feed your fish? 3 pellets twice a day
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Wardley Betta food, and I will occasionally switch out on of his meals for a treat of Zoo Med Betta dial a treat blood worms, misis, and daphia
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
His treats are freeze dried.
Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
8 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
3 weeks
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Bloating, hole in side, stringy poop
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Kanaplex, maracyn two, epsom sat baths, detailed below
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
He seems to be making sharper turns and jerky movements compared to his usual graceful swimming. Throughout the day he seems to swim around normally, but I have noticed at night he tends to hide at the bottom of the tank. His coloring seems to have dulled. He doesn’t flare when I show him his mirror like he usually does.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

The past three weeks he has been bloated and getting progressively larger. I first tried treating him for constipation: fasting, feeding small amount of a pea, epsom salt baths, and encouraging flaring with a mirror. He continued getting larger. I tried treating with a course of kanaplex, he continued getting larger. Most recently I tried a course of maracyn two and saw no improvement. I have been changing the water regularly and testing to insure the parameters are in a good range.

The past few days his poop has been stringy and hanging from his body. It started out a light brown and is now more of a white.

This morning I was devastated to see he has a small hole in his side with a stringy white substance coming out. He’s hanging out in his floating log like he normally does and was excited to see me when I approached his tank like he was eager to be fed. I stuck a test strip in the water and he swam right up to investigate.

With him being so bloated I don’t want to feed him and add more stress, but I also don’t want to starve him. He still gets excited about food and will eat it up right away.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I just want to make sure I do everything possible to help my poor little guy! At first I thought it was dropsy and he’d be gone in a few day, but three weeks later and he’s still with us and acting totally fine.

He won’t stay still for long, so it’s difficult to get a good picture, but I will keep this updated if I get better pictures. The picture from above is hard to tell, but in person it really doesn’t look like any of the scales are lifted.

Thank you for your help!


Valued Member
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1 year
So sorry your guy is sick. I will be anxious to see what our many experienced fish members say as I have Bettas myself. Welcome to fish lore.
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