View Full Version : Constipated Betta

02-28-2009, 02:24 AM
Hi All,

I'm having a litle trouble with my betta, he lives in a 15 Gallon tank with some tank mates, 2 corys and now 3 (out of 11) neon tetras.

Some neons died to ich, some simply died (I'm guessing the betta is responsible), however, that has been the comunity for a while with no more issues.

When I feed the corys, (Hikary Sinking Pellets) usually the betta joins in for a bite (and the neons too). This hadn't been a problem until the betta started to swell from the stomach, it is huge, and it has turned whiteish (from the deep blue of the picture in my avatar).

I started feeding the corys when the betta has already retreated to his predilect corner of the tank (the one were he makes his nest) and is laying on the heater or on a leaf of one of the plants. At this point, pretty much the only thing active in the tank are the corys, even the neons have turned themselves off (glow and everything) and it seems to be working as no fish joins the corys for a bite at theri new dinner time.

The problem is I can't get the betta to clear, his tummy is still swollen and I haven't feed him directly in 4 days.

I have tried peas before but no one in the tank seems to like them, I have to take them out.

Any ideas? how can I clear my poor betta?


02-28-2009, 03:16 AM

Here´s a picture so you know what I'm dealing with!

02-28-2009, 03:19 AM
The only thing I can think of is peas. May want to give it a few more days of not feeding, to let the betta purge itself.

02-28-2009, 03:45 AM
Thanks korith, I´ve tried peas several times and they won´t eat them... I've given up on that...

If anyone can think of anything else, please let me know...

Slow Cheetah
02-28-2009, 08:39 AM
yeah i'd have to say your only option is peas aswell, altough u mite not like to hear it...

make sure th peas are peeled and broken up a bit not jsut a massive green thing the betta cant fit his mouth around.

he looks really large, so i would say dont feed him for up to over a week for him to start getting a bit hungry then put a bit of pea in then.

if it is some kind of disease or infection casuing the bloating, sorry i cant help you there.

02-28-2009, 12:45 PM
His scales look raised to me. Have a look at him from above, if his scales are raised and make him look like a pine cone, it's dropsy, and you'll need to put him to sleep. After being that swollen for 4 days there's no hope of survival, so you'll be doing him a favour.

But if they are not raised it could be a tumour, or constipation like you thought.

02-28-2009, 07:36 PM
Thanks Mvjnz,
the scales look flat over the skin, not raisd. and from the top I can't see the edges. Would a tumor grow from nothing to that in less than a week? I still think he is constipated, he is a glutton... He'll eat his food, and take a bite from everyone eleses...

I have moved him to a separate tank, It's a really small one gallon but I have nothing else. I'll starve him a couple of days and then feed the pea... when he's back to normal (if he is...) I'll put him back in the big tank.

Thanks all for the advice...

Just one more thing, do peas need to be cooked or raw, or can they be from a can?

The ones I've tried before that he wont eat were dried peas that were blanched and then cut in something like 1/8 of peas. No skin on them...

After the blanching they were still kind of hard, maybe precooked canned peas will do better? what have you guys tried?

Thanks again...

Slow Cheetah
02-28-2009, 10:44 PM
i have always used frozen peas.

sit them in warm water for a few minutes to get soft, break apart and feed.

you may have to wait a more than a couple of days for him to get hungry. sometimes they can be really stubborn and refuse the pea. try not to give in to feeding him pellets, bloodworms etc if he refuses teh pea. they can usually live up to 2 weeks without food so keep that in mind aswell if your tempted to feed him unneccesarily.

03-01-2009, 03:22 AM
Well looking at the photo, they look raised just below his gills. Are you sure they are not raised? They might not be obviously raised, but only a little.

03-01-2009, 08:01 PM
Now that he is in the tiny tank I can get a really close look and they still don´t look raised to me. How long would he live with dropsy? I don't want to make him suffer unnecessarily but I also don't want to put him to sleep unnecessarily, specially if it is constipation that he has!

03-01-2009, 09:59 PM
I'd fast him for five days, and then feed peas. Chop them into bite size pieces and feed one piece at a time. Bettas will not always eat the food that drops to the bottom. If this doesn't work, there is the option of an Epson salt bath, but try the peas first..

03-01-2009, 10:42 PM
Thanks Sharon, Mvjnz, Slow Cheetah and korith...
This will be my course of action, for the moment, ray-ray is in a separate small tank, I will fast him for 4 more days (he's been there since yesterday) then I'll feed peas. If at any point during this time he bloats even more, then I know it is not food, since he's not gettin any.
I'll decide from there...

Thanks to all again...

03-02-2009, 02:43 AM
I have put an arrow where I think the scales look raised. See it now?

It's unusual to live this long with dropsy tho, so I might be wrong... But they do look raised.

03-02-2009, 06:27 PM
I see what you mean now... I'll check the area as soon as I get back home. What is the typicall life expectation if this were dropsy? he has been like this for a little over a week now (10 days, maybe...) and would dropsy otherwise modify his behaviour? He seems as active as allways to me, (little tank limitations taken into consideration), that is precisely why it took me a while to move him out. Except for the bloating, he never looked sick... sorry for so many questions... I really don't wan't to put him to sleep if he can recover... he is on his 3th day of fast...

03-02-2009, 07:27 PM
I highly doubt it's dropsy. I had both my male and female betta that would try to eat the sinking pellets for that I fed the cories and get really fat afterwards, my female got almost as big as yours looks. Right now I think you're doing the best course of action by separating them and starving him out.

03-02-2009, 07:30 PM
He'd be having other symptoms if it were dropsy....I think he'll be fine with the fast and the peas. Once you start the peas, watch for poo if you can....

03-04-2009, 10:54 PM
Thanks to all that offered help. I'm sorry to say that this morning Rey Rey was no more. Perhaps it was dropsy after all. Last night something pop on top of his head and this morning he was laying at the bottom under the heater.

I fell terrible... I must be the worst keeper... didn't even make it to the year :ssad:

03-04-2009, 11:22 PM
It happens to the best of us. There are some things you just can't help no matter what you do.

Could have been some kind of bacterial infection. Who knows. Diagnosing fish is not easy.

03-05-2009, 12:05 AM
Oh, so sorry...What do you mean when you say something pop on the top of his head?

03-05-2009, 02:28 AM
I don't know exactly what it was, but it looked like a blob, white, big... i coudln't bring my self to take a picture...

03-05-2009, 02:44 AM
Sorry to hear he died:(

03-18-2009, 08:47 AM
I had a betta go through this as well a while back. When they do this it is best to just put them down so they do not have to suffer. When I was asking on another forum no one knew what it was and as far as they knew it was untreatable. I put one of mine down to the exact same thing. As far as I know it's still untreatable and no one still doesn't know the cause or what it is. Sorry to hear he died though. I was just told to keep the waters perfect at all times so this is prevented.