I have a female Bristlenose pleco that I've had for a few months. A week ago, I moved her from a (much too small) 10 gallon tank to her new home, a 55 gallon tank. When I fished her out of the 10g, she had one of her characteristic fecal strings dangling behind her. However, since moving her into the tank, she hasn't had any. On one hand, I've read some sources that have said that fecal strings are a sign of constipation. However, this seems backwards to me; if she was pooping a lot, it sure wouldn't seem like an indication of constipation. Once or twice, when she suddenly swam away, I have seen a little chunk or two fall out and sink to the bottom, but definitely nothing near the volume when she was in the previous tank. As remedies, I have tried peas twice, she nibbled on them, but didn't really eat any; last night I put in zucchini and cucumber, she definitely ate some, but this morning she looks even more swollen, and more scales are sticking out on her sides. I do not believe it is dropsy, as it is nowhere near as extreme as all the pictures I have seen. I included a picture, but she likes to hide in the poorly-lit areas, so it's hard to see. Also, the pictures are from yesterday, before she ate the zucchini/cucumber, so she's a bit more round now. The fourth picture, however, is from today, but it isn't as good of an angle. (The one with her on top of the rock, facing to the left.) I have a few questions regarding treatments I've read about: 1. Epsom salt: I've read that you can temporarily treat with 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons, however I've also read about people doing "baths" rather than treating the entire tank. Currently, the 55 gallon is populated only by the pleco and a (very happy) male betta. Could I treat the tank? It would be very difficult to catch her, as there are good hiding spots, and she was hard to catch even in the 10 gallon. Plus, she seems much more skittish since moving her to the larger tank, and I'm afraid it's because I stressed her when catching her the first time (though I moved very slowly, didn't pinch her against the glass, and moved her in a cup filled with water, so she was never in contact with air). If I am able to treat the entire tank (without endangering the betta) should I put the salt in the filter housing, so it dissolves as water passes over it and is distributed evenly throughout the tank? Or would that possibly hurt the bacterial colonies living in the filter? 2. Oil and Garlic: I've read that you can soak food (in her case, an algae wafer) in oil (castor oil, specifically) and that the oil should help the food pass. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, does it have to be castor oil specifically? Also. I've read about food soaked in garlic water (liquid that minced garlic is stored in). If I have garlic-infused olive oil, would that work, or is olive oil not good for fish? (I also have vegetable oil, if that is an adequate replacement). 3. Spirulina Algae: I've read that (I seem to start a lot of sentences this way) spirulina algae can be good for constipation. The algae wafers have spirulina algae in them, which would make me happy, BUT the nutritional analysis on the back says "no less than 40% protein." I've also read that plecos aren't supposed to get more then 10% protein unless you're trying to get them to breed, and even then, no more than 20%. I've been drastically withholding the wafers since she's been constipated - she got one Sunday night, 1/2 Monday morning, peas on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1/2 on Thursday, and veggies on Friday night. Should I buy different algae wafers that have less protein and more fiber (these have max 5% fiber)? Should I continue withholding the wafers, and feed only peas, cucumber, and zucchini? She's been very active, as always; usually scooting around the tank and rarely pausing to rest (making her very difficult to photograph). However, she still has no fecal strings. We introduced a piece of Mopani driftwood this morning; she's sat on it a few times, but definitely isn't living on it as I kind of expected she would. I've included a picture of that as well. Does anyone have any methods listed above that they prefer, or a different method I haven't mentioned? I am frequently checking to see if she's in a good location for a better picture; I will upload any as soon as I can take them. Thanks for any information you may have! Edit: I have been assuming all along that it was constipation (due mostly to the lack of poop and swollen abdomen) but she really doesn't have any of the other symptoms. She doesn't uncharacteristically sit at the bottom of the tank (still constantly swimming around like normal), and she definitely still has an appetite. If you think it may be something other than constipation, please let me know!