Egg Bound And Refusing To Eat

  • #1
Hello guys!
This is my first post and I'm really not sure if I'm doing this correctly...
So please help me with this!

Okay, so getting to the point...
My female Koi Betta is egg bound and is completely refusing to eat.
She hasn't eaten in the past two days.
She hasn't pooped at all in the past day.
She is in a separate container with no substrate, no filter, just sitting water by herself.

I got her from Petco in November 2018, so I'm guessing that she is around 11 months old now.

Her original tank is a 5.5 gallon from TopFin (PetSmart) and it has no filter and just has floating guppy grass with a variety of marbles as substrate with large pieces of coral. It is a very natural tank and I run several tanks in the same way.
She used to have five male guppies and kuhlI loaches in the same tank.

Is there a way to cure her egg bound-ness and get her to eat?

Please help me and the poor child!!!

  • #2
Can you please fill this out so we have more information to help you: Fish Emergency Template Can you also post pictures?

  • Thread Starter
  • #3

5.5 gallons
It's been running for 5 months
No filter
No heater
80 degrees Fahrenheit
5 male guppies, 1 kuhlI loach, the betta herself

Water change once a month
I change about half of the water
TetraMin Dechlorinator
I get a pipette to get the poop and stuff out

*Parameters - Very Important
I cycled it: it already had fish in it

I don't have a test kit and I can't afford to buy one.

Twice a day
I feed 5 betta pellets, a small pinch of TetraMin Tropical Flakes for the guppies, and two HikarI sinking pellets for the kuhlI loach
Sometimes, I feed live brine shrimp.

Illness & Symptoms
I had her for 4 months
Just three days ago, I noticed.
She is bloated, I can see a small bump on her rear opening (which I assume is for releasing eggs)
I have her in a separate container with aquarium salt
No, she looked very happy and was interactive.
She is sitting up top against the guppy grass or tucked into the marbles, and not eating.

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)
I noticed her only eating three pellets instead of five, this was four days ago,
Then she went back to eating five at three days ago,
Then she didn't come up at all to eat and was hiding, two days ago,
Yesterday, I took her out of her tank because she looked stressed.
Today, she is in a separate container and she lost a bit of color and isn't eating, is bloated, and only breathes from the surface.

Sorry, it's super long!

And by the way, I can't post pictures....
  • #4
So a few things I notice. You tank is definitely inappropriate and unsuitable for the other fishes and should be moved to a bigger tank or re-homed.

A filter is important because it houses the beneficial bacteria which converts toxic ammonia, produced by the fish, into less toxic compounds to prevent your fish from being poisoned to death by it before a water change. Water changes once a month is certainly too little as plenty of waste and toxins can build up before that and cause health problems. You should be doing it more often, especially with an overstocked tank. Most people do weekly water changes. I don't think you understand what a cycled tank means? It's not just about having fish in it, it means you have an established colony of beneficial bacteria which can convert the ammonia into less toxic compounds. A test kit is very important in keeping all inhabitants healthy with making sure the water quality is ideal for the fish, so save up until you can get one.

If she's bloated and not eating, my best guess would be dropsy. Do you see any spikey scales along her side when you look above her? I can't really help diagnose anything without pictures. How come you can't post pictures?
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
My beneficial bacteria live in the coral. I sun-dried them, put them in a cycled aquarium for about 3 months, then put them in the tank now.

And yes, I know what a cycled tank is...

And I'm pretty sure that it's not dropsy because she's not pine-coned.

I can't post picture because I don't really have a way to.
  • #6
yeah that is very overstocked I suggest get a 10 gallon for the guppies and/or get rid of the khulI loach but you can give it a school in the 10 gallon

opps I just notaced that it said used to I have no other knowladge about that but I would save money for a test kit API test kit that is


  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks for helping guys, I don't know what I'll do, but I'll try to find enough money to get a test kit...
  • #9
Hello, sounds like constipation. The food we feed our fish is usually dry(pellets & flakes). I would fast for few days then feed boiled pea w/skin removed(squish between fingers). This will act as laxative & clear any blockage. If this is problem it may be a good idea to start feeding pea 2-3× wk(no fasting if regular). Might soak food in tank water before feeding too. Hope this helps.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thank you for your reply!!
sounds like constipation
Yeah, I was thinking it might be that too...

She hasn't eaten for the past 72 hours, and I just tried giving her live baby brine shrimp to see if she can just eat something, at least...

I'll try the peas, but she doesn't show interest at all and swims away, backing into a corner even if I move slowly and try to make the food look appealing.


  • #11
I've never had to do this fasting & pea usually works for me. But if betta refusing to eat you could give an epsom salt bath. This acts as a muscle relaxant. Pull 1+gal tank water & put in clean container add 1 tablespoon per gal epsom salt & dissolve. Put fish in solution for 15-30min. If fish relieves itself or appears stressed pull & put back into tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Thank you so much Michael.j.gomez for your advice!

She is currently in about a gallon of water with aquarium salt...

Should I put her in freshwater and then do an epsom salt bath, or should I continue with both?
  • #13
Epsom bath should be separate. Don't want to mix meds together may cause problems. & sorry for late post. Issue w/ fry tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Thank you! I'll try the epsom salt bath today!

She pooped today after about 4 days, so I'm seeing hope.

And good luck with your fry!
  • #15
Good luck to you too!
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Thank you!

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