New Betta Owner Here - Help Diagnosing Please!

AudreyW

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Hi everyone,

I've had a halfmoon twintail betta since the end of February. Originally set him up in unfiltered 2g tank while I'm fishless cycling a 5g - he's been in this situation for about 6 weeks, and appeared just fine with the situation (though I know he'll be happier with more space). I've been doing a ton of research on how to best take care of him, but unfortunately I've likely been overfeeding him. Mostly pellets but also recently introduced frozen thawed bloodworms. He hasn't pooped in about a week (that I've seen...maybe he's secretly eaten his poop out of hunger?). Originally became concerned when his normally fierce appetite disappeared one day. I wondered if he might be constipated, but he has never had bloating. Doesn't seem to have any trouble swimming either, so I doubt he has SBD but I lowered the water level in case since he likes the bottom recently.

I've tried fasting (a couple of days of nothing, then a quarter of thawed frozen peeled pea, 2x). He did eat 1 small thawed bloodworm and had no problem with the peas. The water parameters are safe, according to API vial test kit, with no ammonia/nitrate/nitrite and ph 7.4. His behavior is pretty normal now, though for about the first 3 days he was lethargic. I've been changing the water totally every 3-4 days since I got him.

Should I be worried he hasn't visibly pooped yet? Is he even constipated, or could it be something else? Should I try daphnia or salt? (I'm just nervous about correct dosing.)

Thanks for helping out a poor newbie! I've attached a picture I just took of him a few minutes ago, if it helps.
IMG_8594.JPG
 

Buganjimo

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It’s okay if he doesn’t eat for a couple days, bettas can go weeks without food.

Imo, I would move him to the 5g. The 2g is not cycled presumably, and if the 5g isn’t either, they’re the same, the 5g just has more water volume to dilute contaminants.

Also, never do 100% waterchanges, they’re very stressful for the fish, and don’t let the tank cycle. 50% is good enough.
 
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AudreyW

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My 5g is nearly cycled I think but I am having trouble with low pH. Right now it's at 6.0 (maybe lower, can't tell on master kit) and I can't bring it back up unless. It actually got lower with water change, even though tap is about neutral. Ammonia is at 2ppm (dosed it to 4 ppm 2 days ago), so it's not quickly being converted. 0 nitrites for about 3 weeks and nitrates are taking forever to go down, about 5ppm right now. If I put him in there now, I worry that it would cause him undue stress and be dangerous, why I haven't moved him yet. Does that make a difference?
 

Rick bose

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Buganjimo said:
It’s okay if he doesn’t eat for a couple days, bettas can go weeks without food.

Imo, I would move him to the 5g. The 2g is not cycled presumably, and if the 5g isn’t either, they’re the same, the 5g just has more water volume to dilute contaminants.

Also, never do 100% waterchanges, they’re very stressful for the fish, and don’t let the tank cycle. 50% is good enough.
Yeah I agree. 100% water change is not good for any fish. I have a betta in a 4g unfiltered tank with a dwarf lily plant. I feed him twice a day,3-4 pellets at a time and occasionally give him shrimp and fish derivatives. He is very happy in his tank and often I often see him roaming around happily. 2g tank is a bit small I agree but I think the main issue is your frequent 100% WATER CHANGES. My tank is unfiltered too but I do 50% water change every 15 days and he is doing just fine, eats his food and roams around happily 100% water changes stresses your fish as it removes all the beneficial bacteria that contains in the water in your tank and also the fish had to completely adjust to the new water. Also in my opinion 50% water change every 7 days in fine for a 2g betta tank, no need to water change every 3-4 days.
 
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AudreyW

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Ok, I will definitely change that habit - thanks to both of you for the advice! Do you think he is constipated? At what point should I be very worried he hasn't gone?
 

Rick bose

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AudreyW said:
Ok, I will definitely change that habit - thanks to both of you for the advice! Do you think he is constipated? At what point should I be very worried he hasn't gone?
Sorry mate, I can't help you in this matter. I was never worried about constipation in my fishes. I have another 25g tank as well with tiger barbs, tetras, danios,platys and cories. I too have never seen my betta pooping, though I have seen all my other fish do that. I bought my betta 4 months ago. Maybe they poop and you don't see it. I have seen platys eat poop. So betta too can do that or maybe the betta poop dissolve in water. Since you change your water every 3-4 days there is a very low chance of seeing the poop in your tank as it never accumulates. As long your fish moves happily, eats and looks healthy, I would not worry about it. If he swims happily that means he is okay. I personally think your fish is lethargic due to the frequent water changes. Seeing not the poop of your fish is not a big deal. Even if it is facing constipation, he can overcome it. I don't know what pellets you feed your fish but I think you always should mix spirulina pellet with any other kind of pellet that you feed your fish as it contains vegetables, which provides fibre that helps your fish to poop without any trouble. Fibre helps you poop just like human beings. i mix spirulina pellet with other pellets and give this food to all of my fishes.
All this is just my opinion.I have never faced constipation with my fish and I have no knowledge in this. Also a slight colour change or loss is normal in my fish, I have seen lots of my fish do that, they are still living.
 

BettaNation

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AudreyW said:
Hi everyone,

I've had a halfmoon twintail betta since the end of February. Originally set him up in unfiltered 2g tank while I'm fishless cycling a 5g - he's been in this situation for about 6 weeks, and appeared just fine with the situation (though I know he'll be happier with more space). I've been doing a ton of research on how to best take care of him, but unfortunately I've likely been overfeeding him. Mostly pellets but also recently introduced frozen thawed bloodworms. He hasn't pooped in about a week (that I've seen...maybe he's secretly eaten his poop out of hunger?). Originally became concerned when his normally fierce appetite disappeared one day. I wondered if he might be constipated, but he has never had bloating. Doesn't seem to have any trouble swimming either, so I doubt he has SBD but I lowered the water level in case since he likes the bottom recently.

I've tried fasting (a couple of days of nothing, then a quarter of thawed frozen peeled pea, 2x). He did eat 1 small thawed bloodworm and had no problem with the peas. The water parameters are safe, according to API vial test kit, with no ammonia/nitrate/nitrite and ph 7.4. His behavior is pretty normal now, though for about the first 3 days he was lethargic. I've been changing the water totally every 3-4 days since I got him.

Should I be worried he hasn't visibly pooped yet? Is he even constipated, or could it be something else? Should I try daphnia or salt? (I'm just nervous about correct dosing.)

Thanks for helping out a poor newbie! I've attached a picture I just took of him a few minutes ago, if it helps.View attachment 434214
Soak whatever food you use for him because food especially pellets expand once in water and the betta's stomach is roughly the size of his eye so one pellet would expand past the size of his stomach. Soaking reduced chances of overfeeeding which can lead to other serious diseases. Also remember not all food is created equal, some are better than others. Avoid ones as best you can with lots of fillers or plant based protiens. Bettas are carnivores or specifically insectivores so they need animal/insect protein, not plant .
 
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