Betta Constipation

Betta constipation is typically the result of poor feeding habits. There’s a good chance that your betta has been overfed. It can be difficult to know how much to feed to your betta fish. One main issue is the rumor floating around that a beta should be allowed to eat as much as he/she can in two to four minutes. Bettas think in terms of eating when they can and as much as possible. This is the result of the evolved natural instincts they have acquired. In their natural habitat they go many days without finding food. So naturally when they see food they try to not let anything go to waste.

Along with overeating, the type of food fed to your betta can also be a contributing factor. Dry food such as freeze-dried blood worms and pellets become re-hydrated after consumption. It then expands within the stomach.


Constipation in fish? Should I be worried?

betta constipation

Not at all. Betta constipation is very common and is fortunately very easy to recover from. First be sure your betta is not experiencing something more serious.

A betta fish with constipation will have a bloated belly and most-likely a loss of balance. Swim bladder disorder and dropsy can show the same signs but are noticeably more serious. A betta with constipation will still be active and eating as normal. If you see signs of “pineconing” (scales standing up) you may be dealing with Dropsy. If you see your betta fish floating or swimming sideways you could be seeing the early signs of Swim Bladder Disorder. Both are very serious conditions but if your betta seems to be acting normal it is probably just having a problem relieving itself.


How to bring relief to your betta fish

betta constipation peasYou can wait and see if it passes while refraining from feeding your fish. However I recommend you try feeding your betta or other fish with peas. You can boil the peas or even cook them in the microwave in a bowl with water. Once the peas have reached room temperature remove the skin from the peas. Break off small parts and drop them into the tank. The beta may not seem interested at first because they are a carnivorous species of fish. If your betta fish refuses to eat, remove the peas from the tank and try again in about two days. By then your fish may be back to normal. If not, the affected betta will be more willing to eat the peas.


Preventing betta constipation…


betta constipation prevention - live foodsTo lower the risk of constipation, lower the amount of food your betta is fed. I also suggest you switch to frozen or live food. Both of which can still be purchased from your local pet shop. When feeding live or frozen foods you will not need to feed your betta fish every day. This makes up for the higher prices of these foods. Also remember that the new food will be more dense and higher in nutrients.

If choosing to continue the use of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods try re-hydrating the food in water 10 minutes before feeding time to prevent betta constipation.


For more information on the proper betta fish diet and feeding habits, click here.

About Angela Soup

11 Responses to “Betta Constipation”

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  1. Hihowareyou says:

    i need help!!!!! my beta wont eat! please reply thx

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello, sorry to hear that your betta has stopped eating. The number one reason this happens is due to water conditions. If your fish does not have a happy home it will not eat. I suggest you bring a sample of the water to PetSmart. They do free water testing and will tell you exactly what is lacking in your tank. Plus you’ll be right there to buy any products you may need. It’s also a great idea to keep your very own water testing kit at home so you can check your water regularly.

  2. Bonnie says:

    I need help, I want to make them up to sale! How much are they when you buy 100 at a time

    • Angelasoup says:

      I’m not sure where to buy veil tails wholesale. The only places I know of do wholesale halfmoons and halfmoon plakats which go for 5-7 USD even if you buy them in increments of fifty. I will keep looking around though. If you have the time and energy it would almost be in your best interest to attempt your own breeding.

  3. Ari Trejo says:

    OK I have a male beta who, due to mistakes I made in overfeeding pellets before I realized info on container was wrong, has become soooo fat. Also, in the last 10 days or so, no pooping at all. I have tried the peas, fasting him for a few days, now just went and found daphnia and live bloodworms (which I have been giving him very sparingly) still no bm. By now his swim bladder must be affected as he starts to lean forward onto his face sometimes, can’t stay straight. Some say it is no big deal, others say constipation can kill them, so I don’t know what to do. Also since I heard it might be bloating from bowel infection, I got some fish mix (amoxycillin) and put that in his tank (3 gal) 2 days in a row now, and also added 3/4 tblsp of aquarium salt. What else can I do I hate to see him so distended and not pooping at all.

    • Ari Trejo says:

      oh also, the only thing I have seen come out of him in last 10 days was small amount of stringy white poop on 2 occasions

      • Angela Soup says:

        Hello Ari,

        So far you are doing great with taking care of your betta. It sounds to me like the little guy is experiencing internal parasites. What you will need to do is purchase a fish medication containing praziquantel. There are brands such as Parasite Guard, Prazi Pro, and General Cure to name a few. Read the directions very carefully as you do not want to over medicate. Perform a 100% water change every few days unless your medication says otherwise. Keep up with the aquarium salt and only add more after changing his water.

      • Angela Soup says:

        To give an extra boost to his healing you can medicate his food. Pet stores sell medicated pellets but I have never had any luck with their products. What you can do is treat some of the pellet food you have for him already. (Definitely not the live food!

        • Ari Trejo says:

          Thanks so much for the advice! Is this something readily available at Petsmart (the Parasite Guard, Prazi Pro, and General Cure) or do I need to order it online?

          Will keep you posted, appreciate the advice. 🙂

          • Angela Soup says:

            PetSmart does have these items – in fact that’s where I first started my fish obsession back in 2008 and was trained by a Marine Biologist. I was lucky to work with the people I did. I moved on many years ago but the passion stayed.

  4. Ari Trejo says:

    OK so wanted to check back in – I did 3 days treatment with the General Cure and I believe there was some pooping after that but his belly is still so big and belly and area under his mouth quite pale. I am going to try the epsom salt now, I wanted to send some photos but did not know how to attach is there someplace else I could send them? he is also floating up sometimes at an odd angle (tail arched up and back) because I think the distended belly is interfering with the swim bladder. Will try espsom, any other suggestions?

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