What is the best way to know if my betta fish is constipated?

In this post, we will answer the question “What is the best way to know if my betta fish is constipated?” We will also discuss some potential causes of betta fish constipation and symptoms.

What is the best way to know if my betta fish is constipated?

There are some symptoms you can observe to detect betta fish constipation, they are:

  •  Stringy Feces
  • Not Eating/Spitting Out Food
  • Lethargic/Not Swimming
  • Bloated Belly
  • Trouble Swimming

If your betta is constipated for an extended period, it may develop swim bladder illness, which will put a lot of stress on your pet. Long periods of stress can be harmful to your betta’s immune system, leaving it prone to infections and disorders. So, while constipation won’t kill your betta on its own, some of the adverse effects it produces may. 

What is constipation? 

When the passing stool gets difficult, this is referred to as constipation. It’s usually due to solidified feces, which can be produced by a variety of factors. If you suspect your betta is constipated, there are a variety of symptoms and causes to consider. 

Constipation in Bettas: What causes it? 

One of the most important things you can do before treating your betta’s constipation is to figure out what’s triggering it. Alternatively, you’ll find yourself repeating the same actions again and over. These are some of the most common reasons of constipation that you should be aware of.

Dietary issues 

Constipation is a condition that occurs when an animal’s diet lacks sufficient fibre. Bettas could be constipated for a number of different reasons, one being that they are carnivorous, as previously mentioned.

They usually subsist on meat, despite being opportunistic eaters who will consume anything that can fit in their jaws. Among the first actions, you must do is make certain that you’re providing them with the appropriate type of food for them.

Feeding only Flake/Freeze Dried Food to Your Betta 

If your betta’s diet consists primarily of fish flakes or freeze-dried food, there’s a good possibility he’s lacking in fibre. The majority of fish that eat this diet suffer from constipation. 

Because flakes and freeze-dried meals are so dry, they expand as soon as they come into touch with moisture. Bettas are so brave that they’ll consume them before they’ve fully grown. Always soak these flakes or freeze-dried meals before giving them to your betta. 

Pellets could also be used as a substitute for pellets. When feeding your betta, pellets are considered as part of a well-balanced diet. By using high-quality pellets, you may reduce the likelihood of your betta becoming constipated.

Inadequate live food 

You should also make certain that your betta is eating enough entire animals. While pellets include many vital minerals, they are deficient in others. For example, they don’t have a lot of fibre. Carnivorous fish gain from predation on other creatures because the materials of their prey’s stomach include some fibre, which is beneficial to them.

Furthermore, their skeletons are rich in chitin, a fibre-rich substance. Your betta will obtain lots of fibre thanks to the mix of stomach contents and chitin-rich skeletons. This is especially abundant in Daphnia and mosquito larvae. 

Too much bloodworm 

Bloodworms, contrary to common opinion, should not be a regular part of your betta’s diet, but rather a special occasion. While they do contain a lot of nourishment, consuming them regularly will cause more harm than benefit. Bloodworms are used sparingly when there are far superior options, such as daphnia, that provide considerably more nourishment to your betta. 


Constipation in betta fish can also be caused by overfeeding, which is a very common occurrence. Bettas are gutty fish that will eat until they are entirely satisfied. That’s why you should only feed your betta a few times a day and for a few minutes each time. Without it, you can be sure that your betta will become constipated. 

Infection of the swim bladder 

Believe it or not, swim bladder illness is not a medical condition. In reality, it can be a symptom of a number of other disorders. If your betta has swim bladder illness, it is conceivable that constipation is the cause of the condition, but it is also possible that constipation is a result of the sickness in your fish. Constipation is caused by the symptoms of swim bladder illness. 

An infection or injury may be causing your betta’s organs to enlarge, resulting in constipation. To that end, if you’re suffering any additional signs or symptoms of swim bladder illness, try to determine what’s causing them.

Not enough physical activity 

Consider the size of his tank if you’re still unsure. While some people assume bettas may live in a tank of as little as one gallon, this is not the case. Even 2.5 gallons, in my opinion, is insufficient.If you want to keep your betta in a tank, it should be at least 5 gallons in size. There is, on the other hand, no upper limit. The greater the size, the better. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article on the optimal tank size for betta fish. 

As a result, if you keep your betta in a tiny tank where he doesn’t have much opportunity to swim around, constipation may become an issue. 

What are the indications and symptoms of Betta fish constipation? 

In your betta, constipation can express itself in a variety of different ways. If you detect any of the signs listed below, you should treat your betta for constipation right away. You should, on the other hand, keep records of any other symptoms that appear. Because your betta might be suffering from illnesses that are considerably more dangerous than constipation. Your betta’s prospects of survival are significantly improved the sooner you capture them. The following are the most common betta constipation symptoms:

Faeces with strings 

Look for stringy excrement, which can be difficult to see unless you’re constantly observing your betta. Betta faeces will always settle to the substrate in a healthy aquarium. Your betta’s faeces will be stringy and hang off it if it is constipated. Constipation should be addressed as soon as possible if this occurs in your case.

Food isn’t being eaten or is being spat out

This symptom isn’t necessarily indicative of constipation in your betta. However, it could be a useful indicator. If your betta is neglecting his food or spitting it out (very strange behaviour for bettas), you should look for other symptoms as well. If you detect this symptom in conjunction with some of the other constipation symptoms, you can make a more informed decision. 

A lack of appetite, on the other hand, is a fairly common sign of a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Therefore, you should not depend entirely on this symptom for diagnosis.

Not swimming/lethargic 

The last thing you want to do when your stomach is full is move. Check to determine if your betta appears to be lively or sedentary. In the event that he doesn’t appear to be moving around as much as he should, constipation might be the cause.

However, because this is a typical symptom in many conditions, you shouldn’t base your decision solely on this one. 

Bloated stomach 

A swollen belly is another indicator of constipation in betta fish. If your betta has problems emptying their bowels, the excrement will remain in the tank. The longer it takes for your betta’s belly to grow, the bigger it will become. 

If you notice your betta’s tummy is bloated or bulging, you should treat him for constipation right away. Just make sure it’s not dripping wet. Making sure your betta’s scales aren’t pinecone is the quickest way to tell if it’s not dropsy. This is when they become noticeable. If your betta is exhibiting these symptoms, you must act quickly. 

Swimming problems 

Constipation might make it impossible for your betta to swim in the worst-case scenario. Since your betta will be in great agony, you should start treating it as soon as possible.

It’ll be suffering from swim bladder disease at this stage. So, in addition to looking for constipation signs, you should read more about swim bladder disease to ensure your betta isn’t suffering from a more serious ailment.


In this post, we answered the question “What is the best way to know if my betta fish is constipated?” We also discussed some potential causes of betta fish constipation.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is the best way to know if my betta fish is constipated?

How do I get my betta unconstipated?

Make sure your betta isn’t getting too much food to avoid constipation. Feed him twice a day for 2 minutes each time. You should also fast him for a day every few weeks, give him daphnia and peas as a reward, and increase his fibre intake.

How long does betta constipation last?

Colder temperatures cause their metabolism to slow down. The suggested fasting period is between one and seven days, depending on the severity of constipation. 

How do you tell if your betta fish has gone to poop?

Bettas expel their feces through a small hole in the skin in front of their anal fin. Because baby feces is so little, you’re unlikely to notice a build-up in their preferred toileting location until you see a build-up in their preferred toileting location.

What helps a constipated fish?

Tinned peas are the traditional laxative for most fish, and can be consumed whole (in the case of species such as goldfish) or crushed (in the case of other species) (for smaller species, such as bettas). Other nutrient-dense alternatives include fruits, vegetables, and chitinous live foods.

What is the best way to deal with a fish’s constipation? 

Fish indigestion and constipation are commonly treated by feeding them blanched peas. The fibre level of peas is high enough that it serves as a laxative in fish, assisting them in the expulsion of accumulated waste and waste products.

Is it possible to feed betta fish peas? 

The easiest way to soften the texture of one pea is to blanch it for a few seconds in boiling water. If you’re using fresh or frozen peas, remove them from the boiling water after 30 seconds and immediately plunge them into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove the skin from the inside of the betta and feed a small bit of the inside to it.


Do Betta Fish Poop? What it Looks Like & How To Tell If Yours is Constipated. https://japanesefightingfish.org/betta-fish-poop/

Constipation In Betta Fish (Complete Guide). https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/constipation-in-betta-fish-complete-guide/

Haridas, H., Saravanan, K., Praveenraj, J., Sontakke, R., Gladston, Y., Ajina, S. M., … & Roy, S. D. (2019). Training manual on freshwater ornamental fish breeding and aquascaping techniques.

Sharma, M., Shrivastav, A. B., Sahni, Y. P., & Pandey, G. (2012). Overviews of the treatment and control of common fish diseases.