My betta's belly has gotten really big

BettaBoi23

My betta, Indigo, has had a swollen belly for a couple days. I fed a boiled pea if this is constipation. (It turns out he really loves peas!) He has a healthy face color and he swims around plenty, but I'm still a little worried that this could be dropsy. If anyone has advice, please let me know. Thanks!

image.jpg
 

BigManAquatics

I would fast him for 3-4 days and see if it goes down any.

EDIT: Also, is there pineconing of the scales? Can't tell in that picture.
 
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BettaBoi23

No, I don't see any pineconing.
 
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BettaBoi23

I'll try fasting him for a while and maybe feed him another pea. Thanks
 
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Kribensis27

Would you be able to fill out the emergency template? That could be very helpful in determining the cause of the issue. beautiful betta, by the way.
 
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Fisch

I'll try fasting him for a while and maybe feed him another pea. Thanks
Fasting is probably a good idea, and if you could get your hands on frozen daphnia, it should help any constipation.
 
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BettaBoi23

I can answer it as much as I can. (I can't measure the parameters)


Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 3.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? I'm not quite sure
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 82 degrees
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) A Betta and a small algae eater

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once a month
How much of the water do you change? Half of it
What do you use to treat your water? BettaFix water treatment
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I use a vacuum, yes.

*Parameters - Very Important (unfortunately can't measure the parameters)
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
What do you use to test the water? I don't have anything to test the water, I'll get something soon
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? 3 pellets per feed
What brand of food do you feed your fish? TopFin Betta bits
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No, just pellets

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? I think about 6 months.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? He has a bloated belly, no pine-coning
Have you started any treatment for the illness? I fed him half of a boiled pea
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No, he was just fine
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He's been acting normal and moves around enough, just a bloated belly.
 
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Kribensis27

Seeing that you only change the water once a month, water parameters are likely your problem. You should be changing 50% once every week. This could develop into dropsy if his water isn't kept clean. I would do a 25% water change every day for about a week. A good and very accurate water test kit is the API Master Test Kit (linked here). It's expensive, but far more accurate than most other kits you'll find.
 
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BettaBoi23

Ok, I'll see what I can do
 
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Fishstery

I second the water changes. I too have a betta in a 3.5 gallon and even on my 29 gallon I do once a week WC. Truthfully I either do 50% twice a week on the 3.5 or I do 75% weekly on it depending on how much free time I have. The smaller the tank the more frequently you should change the water. Also I noticed that you are over feeding a bit. A bettas stomach is no bigger than its eye, so I feed two micro pellets once a day. I would cut your feeding down to once daily once the bloating issue resolves itself. You can fast him for 2-3 days and he will be perfectly fine, I wouldn't reccomend trying to feed before then.
 
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BettaBoi23

I second the water changes. I too have a betta in a 3.5 gallon and even on my 29 gallon I do once a week WC. Truthfully I either do 50% twice a week on the 3.5 or I do 75% weekly on it depending on how much free time I have. The smaller the tank the more frequently you should change the water. Also I noticed that you are over feeding a bit. A bettas stomach is no bigger than its eye, so I feed two micro pellets once a day. I would cut your feeding down to once daily once the bloating issue resolves itself. You can fast him for 2-3 days and he will be perfectly fine, I wouldn't reccomend trying to feed before then.
Alright, I'll change the water frequently, give him a boiled pea, (it helps him digest food because it has a lot of dietary fiber) and fast him. I'll let you guys know if he gets better.
 
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BettaBoi23

He hasn't gotten any better. I'm getting worried.
 
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AggressiveAquatics

He hasn't gotten any better. I'm getting worried.
Is he acting and eating normal? He might just be a chunky boy
 
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Fishstery

Is he acting and eating normal? He might just be a chunky boy
No that amount of bloat is not normal for a male. He is either bloated or its dropsy. Based on their water change routine I'd say dropsy, but they claim there is an absence of pineconing so members wanted to try and rule out bloating.
 
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BettaBoi23

What do I do if this is dropsy?
 
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AggressiveAquatics

What do I do if this is dropsy?
Dropsy Is pretty hard to cure but salt baths can help
But don’t do this until it’s been determined it is dropsy
Can you get a picture from above?
 
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Fishstery

What do I do if this is dropsy?
Have you seen pineconing yet? And again, have you changed the water? Dropsy is caused by bacteria. I would highly suggest doing a 50% water change, and getting a test kit and testing the water. Secondly, when dealing with bloat you need to keep a close eye on whether your betta has pooped. If your betta hasn't pooped after multiple days I wouldn't rule out bloat yet. If he has pooped, I would then assume it is early stages of dropsy. If it is dropsy, your betta needs clean, warm, water. Unfortunately dropsy is hard to cure and has a high mortality rate. Kanaplex has been known to work with dropsy in early stages. If I was thinking dropsy, I would treat with kanaplex but you need to remove any carbon cartridges prior to using meds if you have some.
 
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BettaBoi23

Have you seen pineconing yet? And again, have you changed the water? Dropsy is caused by bacteria. I would highly suggest doing a 50% water change, and getting a test kit and testing the water. Secondly, when dealing with bloat you need to keep a close eye on whether your betta has pooped. If your betta hasn't pooped after multiple days I wouldn't rule out bloat yet. If he has pooped, I would then assume it is early stages of dropsy. If it is dropsy, your betta needs clean, warm, water. Unfortunately dropsy is hard to cure and has a high mortality rate. Kanaplex has been known to work with dropsy in early stages. If I was thinking dropsy, I would treat with kanaplex but you need to remove any carbon cartridges prior to using meds if you have some.
No pineconing still, but he still hasn't pooped much. But yeah, I'll do another water change and get the heater on. Maybe give him another pea and see if that helps.
 
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Fishstery

No pineconing still, but he still hasn't pooped much. But yeah, I'll do another water change and get the heater on. Maybe give him another pea and see if that helps.
I wouldn't feed him again until you know for sure he pooped. You could try to get him to flare to make him poop. I would give it another 2 days and if you still haven't seen him poop you could try daphnia which members here say is better for constipation than peas. Also the water needs to be stable at 78-80 degrees always otherwise your betta will develop health problems.
 
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BettaBoi23

I wouldn't feed him again until you know for sure he pooped. You could try to get him to flare to make him poop. I would give it another 2 days and if you still haven't seen him poop you could try daphnia which members here say is better for constipation than peas. Also the water needs to be stable at 78-80 degrees always otherwise your betta will develop health problems.
Ok, thanks
 
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BettaBoi23

Still not any better. Should I try daphnia?
 
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BettaBoi23

No pineconing, no
 
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Fishstery

No pineconing, no
I would try daphnia then, but i would do a good gravel vac and make sure there is no betta waste on the substrate. Then check closely a few times a day to notice if you see any poop. It would be even better if you are able to set up a temporary bare bottom hospital tank for him so you can for sure tell if he finally goes or not. You could try making him flare as well, with a mirror pressed up against the glass. That might trigger him to go.

Edit: if you know he ends up pooping but is still bloated, i would assume its dropsy at that point and would set up a hospital tank with heater, filter without carbon, a plant or something for him to rest on, and start treatment with kanaplex.
 
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BettaBoi23

Alright, thanks very much
My main worry is that if this is dropsy it's already too late...
 
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BettaBoi23

I'm trying a salt bath. Annoyingly, there was no daphnia at the nearest pet store which is an hour away.
 

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Fishstery

I'm trying a salt bath. Annoyingly, there was no daphnia at the nearest pet store which is an hour away.
Truthfully if it were me, I would have used kanaplex from the beginning. Salt could help...but honestly kanaplex is the best bet for dropsy but even then its pretty hard to treat dropsy successfully no matter what. I hope the salt bath helps your betta though ): good luck and keep us updated
 
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julifhy

I can answer it as much as I can. (I can't measure the parameters)


Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 3.5 gallons
How long has the tank been running? I'm not quite sure
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 82 degrees
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) A Betta and a small algae eater

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once a month
How much of the water do you change? Half of it
What do you use to treat your water? BettaFix water treatment
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I use a vacuum, yes.

*Parameters - Very Important (unfortunately can't measure the parameters)
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
What do you use to test the water? I don't have anything to test the water, I'll get something soon
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? 3 pellets per feed
What brand of food do you feed your fish? TopFin Betta bits
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No, just pellets

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? I think about 6 months.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? He has a bloated belly, no pine-coning
Have you started any treatment for the illness? I fed him half of a boiled pea
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No, he was just fine
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He's been acting normal and moves around enough, just a bloated belly.
What did you use the bettafix for? Bettafix and any other medications with the word "fix" in the name are not good for your betta. I agree with others, you should be doing at least 25% water changes twice a week. Also, what water conditioner do you use?

Also I noticed that you are over feeding a bit. A bettas stomach is no bigger than its eye, so I feed two micro pellets once a day. I would cut your feeding down to once daily once the bloating issue resolves itself. You can fast him for 2-3 days and he will be perfectly fine, I wouldn't reccomend trying to feed before then.
Isn't that actually a myth though? I feed the same pellets as the OP does (topfin betta pellets). I give my betta 3 in the morning and 2-3 in the evening and I never had any problems with bloating.

Dropsy Is pretty hard to cure but salt baths can help
But don’t do this until it’s been determined it is dropsy
Can you get a picture from above?
Epsom salt baths help with bloating too, so they could try it now.

Still not any better. Should I try daphnia?
How many peas have you fed him? Maybe the peas caused a blockage in his digestive system?
Bettas can't digest peas. Peas help goldfish and other fish with bloat, but not bettas. Daphnia will help though. Frozen daphnia will work best, but freeze dried can work too. If you only have access to freeze dried daphnia, make sure to soak it in tank water 5-10 minutes before feeding it to him.

I'm trying a salt bath. Annoyingly, there was no daphnia at the nearest pet store which is an hour away.
What salt did you use? Is he still active? Does he still have an appetite?
 
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BettaBoi23

I did epsom salt. He's not been that active as much, and I've been fasting him. I'm going to feed him something soon, though. I don't want to fast him for too long.
 
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julifhy

I did epsom salt. He's not been that active as much, and I've been fasting him. I'm going to feed him something soon, though. I don't want to fast him for too long.
How long have you been fasting him for? Bettas can go a while without food.
 
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redmare

He could easily go 2-3 weeks without food, so don't worry about that at all. Bettafix is not a water conditioner- and it's actually really quite bad for bettas. Do you use any dechlorinator? Bettafix will not dechlorinate your water. Have you had a chance to get test strips yet? Also, what kind of filter do you run, and do you clean/replace the media? In case you don't know, you shouldn't clean or replace filter media, just swish it in a bucket of old tank water if it's getting clogged up.
 
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BettaBoi23

Alright thanks. I'll stop using bettafix. I've fasted him for about five days now. And no, I couldn't find any testers. I'm not sure what kind of filter it is, but I removed the cartridge and put some antibiotics in there. Am I missing anything else?
 
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BettaBoi23

I was finally able to find some daphnia. It also came with some bloodworms.
 
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redmare

Do you have any new pictures? Did you get a test kit or dechlorinator yet?
 
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