My betta is bloated - should I be worried?

youbetta
Member
Hey guys! I’m a first-time betta keeper and I’m worried about my bloated betta :(
I bought him 3 weeks ago where he was kept in a newly set up, 10G community tank. He had no issues the whole time.
However recently I’ve set up a 8G divided tank (divided with black acrylic with small holes) to house him and a new betta in.
A little while after adding him to the new tank I noticed bloating around his abdomen and very slightly on his body leading to his tail :(
I’m not sure how worried I need to be and what to do now! I hope it’s just constipation and not swim bladder disease/dropsy, as he’s swimming fine (for now, apart from typical betta ‘head drooping’ when staying still) and his scales are lying flat (no pineconing), but I’m not sure why it happened so soon after putting him into a new tank.
Is it anything to do with stress? Should I put him back into the community tank/leave him be and fast him? I’ve attached photos - the first three photos are him today, the last photo is him a week ago for comparison.
I’m hoping that the slight distension along his tail is because he’s trying to poop out the food (hopefully it’s just constipation)? Any advice much appreciated.

Details:

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 8G
How long has the tank been running? Less than 24h
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? No
What is the water temperature? 78F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 2 male bettas with divider

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? New tank so the water is new (conditioned with API water conditioner)
How much of the water do you change? New tank - in his old tank, 60% per week
What do you use to treat your water? API betta conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Waiting for gravel vacuum to arrive

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No - I thought a fish-in cycle would be okay? :(
What do you use to test the water? Test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0 (new water)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~5-10 (not too clear on test strips, getting more accurate tests soon)
pH: 6.5

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? In the old community tank - once a day
How much do you feed your fish? In the old community tank, I sprinkle 1 pinch of betta food and let the fish have at it. I also fed the bottom dwellers algae wafers
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Ocean-free BT-G1 betta flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 3-4 weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Couple hours ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Bloat along betta’s abdomen
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Going to fast betta
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? None that I can tell - slight agitation and swimming along the divider since being put into the new tank which I put down to getting used to the new betta

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) see above! :)
UPDATE: I checked him in the morning and he’s fine now - the bloating has gone down almost completely. I took the divider and the other male out of the tank, leaving him in there so I can monitor his food more closely (the other male is in a 10G community). Overall he seems much happier with more space and I’ve learnt my lesson about feeding bettas! Pictures below:
 
Betta'sAnonymous
Member
The part by his tail is normal. I would suggest not feeding for 3-4 days, the bloat should go down.
 
alven
Member
IMO, to avoid situations like this, the ideal thing is to be feeding your fish every other day. I strongly agree with the fact that it's better to underfeed fish tan to overfeed them. Bettas can go up to 2 weeks without food. (Not saying you should try this.) With my former Platy, I fed it every other day due to how it takes 24 hours for fish to digest their food. Overfeeding fish can cause a variety of problems which is why I choose not to feed my fish daily.
 
  • Thread Starter
youbetta
Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
The part by his tail is normal. I would suggest not feeding for 3-4 days, the bloat should go down.
That’s a relief !! I feel like because I’m worried every little thing seems like a symptom hahaha I’m definitely going to fast him, here’s to hoping nothing will come up.
Nivlaa said:
IMO, to avoid situations like this, the ideal thing is to be feeding your fish every other day. I strongly agree with the fact that it's better to underfeed fish tan to overfeed them. Bettas can go up to 2 weeks without food. (Not saying you should try this.) With my former Platy, I fed it every other day due to how it takes 24 hours for fish to digest their food. Overfeeding fish can cause a variety of problems which is why I choose not to feed my fish daily.
I’m definitely going to be doing this from now on!! (Saves me a lot of fish food as well) I suspect he might have gorged himself in the community tank, he’d always eat tons of flakes when I fed him and he would scavenge the bottom for algae flakes. Do you think it’s anything to do with stress/water in the divided tank? He’s still a bit on edge and I hope it’s just coincidence that he’s bloated after I just moved him.
 
Betta'sAnonymous
Member
Moving a fish is stress. He should be better in a few days once he gets used to new surroundings.
 
  • Thread Starter
youbetta
Member
Thank you! I can always move him back into the other tank if he doesn’t calm down. More room for my other betta as well!
 
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