Why is my betta fish bloated?

In this article, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish bloated?”. We will also discuss the possible causes, how to properly treat a bloated betta fish tank, and how to avoid your betta fish from getting bloated.

Why is my betta fish bloated?

There are many possible reasons for betta fish bloat, and the vast majority of them are curable with the proper care and attention. In bettas, constipation is the most common cause of bloat, which is followed by swim bladder disease and the tragic conclusion of this condition, dropsy (which is fatal). If your betta possesses the first two characteristics, it is likely to make a full recovery. However, if the animal is suffering from dropsy, its chances of survival are significantly reduced.


If your betta is struggling with constipation, the cure and prevention are both straightforward. Fortunately, this is the most prevalent cause of bloat in bettas, therefore there is a good probability that your betta will be suffering from this condition. Additionally, you may have the following symptoms in addition to a bloated stomach.

Causes of constipation

There are a variety of factors that might contribute to constipation in bettas. As a result, instead of studying how to treat it, you should learn how to avoid it. The following are the most predominant causes of constipation.

–       Poor diet

–       Lack of stimuli/exercise

How can I treat constipation?

Fortunately, treating constipation is a straightforward process that requires no effort on your side. Most of the time, fasting your betta for 2-3 days will be sufficient to get their bowels going once more. Nevertheless, you should begin feeding your betta tiny creatures after 2-3 days, like daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp after 2-3 days. Its constipation will be alleviated as a result of increasing the amount of fibre it takes in through its digestive system. If this therapy doesn’t work, you may try giving it Epsom salt baths and feeding it peas as an alternative.

Swim bladder disease

If the symptoms do not appear to be related to constipation, it may be suffering from swim bladder disease. Swim bladder disease, on the other hand, can be caused by constipation, and constipation can also be caused by swim bladder disease in some cases. Because swim bladder illness isn’t exactly a disease in the traditional sense. It is a term used to describe a wide range of conditions that might induce identical symptoms in bettas.

Causes of swim bladder disease

A major difficulty with swim bladder illness is that it can arise for a variety of different reasons, which makes it difficult to diagnose. It’s essential to understand all of the causes and accurately identify the condition before you can start treating it; otherwise, you might end up wasting your time. Here are a few of the most standard motives for swim bladder disease.

–       Constipation

–       Injury

–       Internal parasites

–       Bacterial infections

–       Shock

How can I treat swim bladder disease?

Treatment for swim bladder disease can be accomplished in a variety of methods, with some requiring little or no involvement from the patient. Most commonly, if your betta has been overeating, it should fast, it should be constipated, and it should be left if it has been shocked are the most effective treatments for swim bladder illness.


Sadly, if the symptoms do not appear to be caused by constipation or swim bladder illness, the condition may be dropsy. If your betta is suffering from dropsy, the odds of it surviving are quite poor. While some fish have recovered from dropsy in rare situations, in the majority of cases, euthanasia will be the most likely choice you’ll need to explore.

Causes of dropsy

Because there are so many distinct variables that might contribute to dropsy, it may be difficult to pinpoint the particular origin of the condition. Typically, though, it is a result of your betta being under a lot of stress. The following are the most typical causes of stress in your betta’s life.

–       Poor water condition

–       Poor diet

–       Internal injury

–       Illnesses

How can I treat dropsy?

If you believe you can save your betta’s life, the most popular therapies include regular water changes as well as the administration of an antibiotic if you believe the main cause is a bacterial infection in the tank. You may also experiment with methylene blue dips, although the likelihood of success with either method is low.


Having a sorority of female betta fish in an aquarium with a male betta and one of the female betta fish is bloated, the condition may be caused by eggs that have been placed in the fish’s stomach. If this is the case, it is best to remove the eggs from the aquarium immediately. 

Also look for the appearance of white horizontal stripes running across the fish’s body and the presence of an obvious white spot on the fish’s belly, among other symptoms indicating the presence of a white spot on the fish’s abdomen. It is possible to see an ovipositor, which is a tube through which the eggs are placed, on the body. It appears as a white speck.

What should I do if my betta fish is bloated?

When you detect that your betta fish has become bloated, you should move promptly to resolve the situation and maintain it healthy for the future. The following are the measures that you should take.

Determine the signs and symptoms 

As a first step, you should attempt to determine exactly what is wrong with your betta. If you believe it is suffering from constipation, you can confine it to its primary tank. 

Place your betta in a quarantine tank 

As soon as you determine that your betta is not suffering from constipation, or when you are unsure, you should move it to a separate quarantine tank to be monitored more closely. In addition to preventing it from potentially infecting other fish, it will also make treating it more straightforward. Because of its injuries, it may be suffering from swim bladder illness. Resting will make it simpler for it to recuperate. 

Start the treatment processes

Once you’ve placed your betta in a quarantine tank, you may begin administering any treatment you believe would be beneficial. Just keep in mind that you should keep your betta in a quarantine tank even after he appears to be recovering, just to make sure that it is completely well. 

Look for new signs and symptoms

To monitor its symptoms and ensure that they are not growing worse, you should check on your betta every few hours if at all feasible.

How can I avoid my betta fish from getting bloated?

It is usually preferable to avoid a betta fish from becoming bloated rather than to fix it once it has occurred. Fortunately, the answer to preventing bloat and many other diseases is really similar and straightforward.

Maintain the quality of the water 

Maintaining the cleanliness of your betta’s water is one of the most important things you can do to keep it healthy. It is recommended that you perform water changes once a week or every couple of weeks (varying according to the size of your tank) to eliminate any ammonia and garbage that has accumulated in the tank. It will also eliminate a significant amount of germs and parasites from the tank, which might be harmful to your betta. 

High-quality food should be offered 

You should also make certain that you’re feeding your betta high-quality food and that it is enjoying a well-balanced diet. While you can provide it with healthful betta pellets, you should not make them its exclusive source of sustenance. It is also recommended to utilize freeze-dried, dry, frozen, and live food. 

Daphnia is the finest food for bettas, but you may also feed it mosquito larvae and brine shrimp if you like. Despite popular belief, betta diets should not include bloodworms as an everyday food item. They should instead be treated as a special treat. 

Stay away from aggressive tank mates and sharp objects 

Aggressive tankmates and sharp things in your aquarium can frequently cause injury to your betta’s skin. It is possible that even if the injury is not direct to the stomach, stress or infection might cause its organs to be put under stress, which can result in a variety of maladies. Thanks to advances in technology, there is an abundance of tank mates and decorations to pick from that will not damage your betta. 

Use an appropriately sized tank 

You may have heard that a 2.5-gallon aquarium is a plenty for bettas. If you want your betta to be happy, you should never keep it in a tank of fewer than 5 gallons. With a tank capacity of 5 gallons, your betta will have plenty of room to swim around. The likelihood of water fluctuations, which can stress your betta and, in extreme situations kill it, is reduced as a result of this.


In this article, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish bloated?”. We also discussed the possible causes, how to properly treat a bloated betta fish tank, and how to avoid your betta fish from getting bloated.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish bloated? 

What is dropsy?

In medicine, dropsy is defined as the swelling of soft tissues in a bodily cavity, such as the abdomen, caused by the accumulation of water and other fluids in the cavity. Environmental stress factors are the root cause of the disease.

Can a fish cure itself from dropsy?

Dropsy is a chronic illness that is difficult to overcome. During treating sick fish, the emphasis is on eradicating the underlying disease while simultaneously providing supportive care for the sick animal. It is suggested that you use a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is particularly developed for gram-negative bacteria.

Why did my betta get fat?

Bettas gain weight when they consume an excessive amount of calories and do not expend enough of them when swimming. They can also become overweight if they consume the recommended number of calories, but if they consume too many calories from fat and not enough from protein.

What is an egg bound betta?

Often mistaken for bloating, egg binding affects only female bettas that are overburdened with unfertilized eggs that have not yet been discharged into the water. This condition is frequently brought on by the fact that she has been put too near to a male or has been overfed.

How do I know if I overfed my betta fish?

It’s a sure sign that you’ve overfed your fish when flake food is laying on the bottom of the tank and no fish are consuming it. If the flakes are not devoured within a minute or two, they will likely soften and degrade in the bottom of the tank. Over time, the flakes will combine to produce a layer of decomposing muck in the gravel.

Can I offer bread to my betta fish?

The answer is yes, you can offer bread to your betta fish, but you should avoid feeding it regularly. They may be interested in nibbling on breadcrumbs and little crackers if you toss them their way in the right situation. In contrast, their desire for bread is detrimental to their health. Excessive intake may lead to dietary issues and health hazards.


Bloated Betta: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention. https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-fish-bloated/

Bloated Betta: Causes and Treatments. https://bettasource.com/bloated-betta/

Yvette Sajem. How to fix Bloat in my Betta. https://animals.mom.com/plecostomus-diseases-6425.html

Bloated Betta: Learn How To Keep Your Betta Fish’s Dropsy At Bay!. https://kidadl.com/fun-facts/bloated-betta-learn-how-to-keep-your-betta-fish-s-dropsy-at-bay