How to treat a bloated betta fish?

If you have a betta fish that has swollen bellies or it looks like a betta fish is bloated,then in this blog we will discuss its treatment in detail.


In this blog

  • How to treat a bloated betta fish?
  • Is it possible to fix a bloated betta fish?
  • How can you tell if your bettas recovered from bloating?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions

How to treat a bloated betta fish?

Bloating is a very common issue in betta fish, which is mainly due to overfeeding. Bettas are greedy eaters and will wholeheartedly accept betta specific food or their favorite food every time you feed them.

Although bloating is a very common problem in bettas, its timely treatment is equally important. If you overlook this issue, you might lose your betta fish soon.

Is it possible to fix a bloated betta fish?

Bloating can be managed if it is caused by overeating or feeding an inappropriate diet to bettas. However, if it is caused due to swim bladder disorder, it will be difficult for betta fish to survive. 

In most cases, bloating due to swim bladder disorder is not reversible and the fish either live with that disorder or die. It depends entirely on the fish’s immune system.

As per, some betta owners the success rate for treating bloating in bettas is not 100 %, but there are some success rates by utilizing a few treatments to treat bloating in bettas. I will list a few of them in my blog.

You can fix bettas bloated stomach by:

  • Epsom salts for treating a bloated betta fish.
  • Fast you bettas to fix bloating issues.
  • Feed you bettas boiled peas to fix bloating issues.
  • Feed your bettas according to the instructions.
  • Avoid feeding poor quality and expired food to your betta fish.

Epsom salts for treating a bloated betta fish

Epsom salt treatment is one the easiest and most popular methods to treat bloating in all fish species. There is no rocket science involved in this process. All you have to do is, soak your betta fish in water with Epsom salt for just five minutes.

Take five teaspoons of Epsom salt and dissolve that in one gallon of water to treat your bettas with a bloated stomach. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to maintain the ratio of water and Epsom salt.

After five minutes remove your betta fish from the Epsom salt water and transfer it to another container containing methylene blue solution. This is prepared using two to three drops of methylene blue in the water. Soak your bettas in this methylene blue solution for 2-3 minutes and then remove them.

If this ratio of water and Epsom salt is maintained well and bettas are taken care of well throughout the process then definitely bloating due to overfeeding is reversible.

Always treat a betta fish in a separate container or a hospital tank to avoid the spread of disease to other betta fish or other fish species. Even if you have kept your betta in a solitary tank, you should treat them in a separate container to avoid other infections due to changed water chemistry.

The downside of treating your betta fish in the same tank with other fish species or live plants is ammonia buildup. 

Maybe your plant or other tank buddy does not require that particular treatment and might end up becoming sick or in the case of plants, they might die and rot in the tank by spiking the levels of ammonia in the betta’s tank.

Fast you bettas to fix bloating issues

Fasting your fish once a week is very important to remove toxins from their bodies. Fasting also clears their digestive systems and makes bettas healthy and energetic.

If your betta fish is bloated due to excess feeding or due to some other reasons, you can fast your fish for three days to help them relieve from such bloated bellies.

If your bettas are active after fasting rituals, then its the sign that their bloating issues got over and their swollen bellies will return to the normal state.

Feed you bettas boiled peas to fix bloating issues

Feeding peas to bloated bettas has worked for some betta owners and I have read a lot about the same on the internet as well. You can also try feeding your bettas boiled, shelled, and mashed peas to treat their bloated bellies. 

Boiled peas provide fibers to bettas and relieve them from bloating issues.

Always wash green peas thoroughly before boiling & smash them nicely  to feed your betta fish. Your betta fish will definitely enjoy eating the smashed peas and you also ensure that your fish has eaten them all.

Don’t let the uneaten peas accumulate in the substrate, if possible remove them with a gravel siphon to avoid ammonia spikes in the tank. A bloated betta might get other infections as well, if the water chemistry is disturbed due to any means.

Feed your bettas according to the instructions

To avoid bloating and other stomach-related disorders in bettas, always feed them according to the instructions given on the back side of the food box. 

If you are feeding pellets or betta-specific flakes then feed them some 2-3 pellets as per the instructions and if it’s live food, frozen or freeze-dried food then feed them occasionally as treats.

Avoid overfeeding your fish to avoid bloating and swellings. Bettas are naturally evolved this way to eat as much as you feed them. They are greedy and will never say no to your food. You have to feed them moderately and on time to avoid such problems.

If you are too busy to feed or not in the town then you can install an automatic food dispenser to feed your betta fish moderately. It is very popular and feeds your feed moderately on time. The advantage of feeding through such dispensers is that it never overfeeds your betta fish.

Avoid feeding poor quality and expired food to your betta fish

Sometimes bettas get bloated from eating poor quality or expired food. Some betta owners neglect to feed their fish properly, which can lead to problems with their digestive system.

Don’t feed your betta fish poor-quality food products. If you are taking on the responsibility of owning a betta fish, you need to feed them well and on time, with high-quality food. If you can’t do this, then I suggest you give them to someone who can take excellent care of them.

In today’s world, we are  all  busy and we tend to forget things, but this doesn’t mean you feed your fish without checking the labels or expiry dates. It hardly takes 5 minutes to feed a fish and if this much you can’t do then don’t own one.

Betta’s average lifespan is three years and if you don’t feed them high-quality food, then it is sure you’ll lose them early. They are carnivorous species and prefer lots of proteinous food in their diet.

How can you tell if your bettas recovered from bloating?

It is quite obvious as a betta keeper to know if your betta is recovering from bloating or not. There are a few things you can easily notice to know the same.

  • A bloated betta fish has swollen bellies and if it regains the normal shape then your betta has fully recovered from bloating.
  • Bloating makes betta fish overweight and due to this they barely move. A recovered betta fish will shed the extra weight and will start moving in the tank.
  • A bloated betta fish becomes inactive and lethargic, a recovered betta fish will become active again and swim around by displaying its massive pectoral fins.


Betta fish are always hungry and are known for eating as much as possible and end up becoming bloated. A bloated betta fish becomes overweight and lethargic due to overeating and avoids moving much in the aquarium.

Bloating is treatable if you are taking the required actions on time.

There are a few treatments available to treat your bloated betta fish like aquarium salt treatment, fasting your fish for some three days, and feeding them only specific food for some time.

As a betta owner, it is your responsibility to feed them moderately considering their small stomach size and other consequences. You need to feed them mindfully, if you feed them all the time or give them poor quality food, they will get bloating issues along with various other problems which will shorten their lifespan.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it important to treat a bloated betta fish in a separate tank or container?

If you are an experienced fish keeper or a new hobbyist it is always a good idea to treat a sick fish in a separate quarantine or hospital tank to avoid the transmission of diseases to other tank mates.

Is betta bloating a contagious disease?

No, betta bloating is not contagious but we should always treat a sick or a bloated betta fish in a separate container to avoid mishaps.

Does Epsom salt treatment relieve bettas bloating and swelling?

Epsom salt has various advantages:

  • Epsom salt removes all the toxins from a bettas body.
  • Epsom salt relieves swelling.
  • Epsom salt treats bloating.

Are epsom salt and aquarium salts similar?

No, both Epsom salt and aquarium salt have different chemical compositions and chemical formulas. Both are completely different. Never get confused between the two.

Are automatic food dispensers costly?

There are different varieties of automatic food dispensers available online as well as in physical pet stores. It is totally up to you. If you can spend more, you can get a good one with various benefits or if you want a simple one then you can go ahead with the cheaper one.