Constipation in Betta Fish: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Constipation in betta fish is a very common problem. If you own a betta fish, you probably already know that.

Although constipation or dropsy is common in betta, it is not great for their health. This is why you must take all the necessary steps to avoid it. Also, you should know the treatment, so you can help your pet fish when needed.

If you want help regarding constipation in betta fish, you are in the right place. In this post, we are going to cover everything you need to know about it. We will discuss the causes and also how to prevent them. So without wasting any time, let’s get into the details.

Causes of Constipation in Betta

Unless you know what’s causing the symptoms of constipation, you won’t be able to treat it. To help you out, we have outlined some of the main causes of dropsy in betta fish.

Poor Diet

Diet is a very important thing for betta fish. If your fishy is not getting enough fibers, it will more likely suffer from constipation. Bettas are carnivorous fish and survive on meat. So you need to be very careful of what you are feeding them.

Eating Too Much Blood-Worm

If your betta’s staple diet is blood-worms, you are doing it all wrong. It may contain a lot of nutrition, but feeding too much blood-worm can you’re your betta’s health. You should look for better alternatives like daphnia that will give your fish more nutrition and also keep them healthy.


Another very big cause of constipation is overfeeding. Many betta owners don’t realize that bettas are gutty fish and they will keep eating even when they are not hungry or are full. This is why you should feed them only a few times a day. Or else, you can end up overfeeding them.

Not Feeding Enough Live Food

To keep your betta healthy, you must feed it enough whole food. Since bettas are carnivorous, you need to feed them other live animals. This will provide all the nutrients your fish needs. The skeletons of animals that you feed to your betta contain chitin, which is rich in fiber. This will provide plenty of fiber to your fish. This in turn will reduce the chances of your betta suffering from constipation.

Only Feeding Flake Dried Food

If you are feeding your betta only freeze-dried food or fish flakes, it means he’s not getting enough fiber. This makes your fish more prone to constipation. That’s because freeze-dried food and flakes are dry and expand only when they come in contact with moisture. So you need to immediately change their diet plan and include other whole foods to provide enough fiber to your betta.

Dig deeper into the treatments and more: Help! I Have Constipated Betta! What Do I Do?(AFC)

Symptoms of Constipation

If you notice any of the listed symptoms, you know your betta is suffering from constipation. In that case, you should take immediate action to relieve your fish.

Symptoms include:

Stringy Feces

If you find stringy feces in the fish tank or hanging from him, there are chances that your fish is constipated. You should start treatment as soon as possible.


If your betta is swimming less or being lethargic, you should pay close attention to him. Your betta may be suffering from constipation.

Bloated Belly

Another common symptom is a bloated belly. The longer your betta stays constipated, the bigger his belly will grow.

Trouble Swimming

In some cases, constipation could make it difficult for your betta to swim. In that case, you should start immediate treatment.

Treatment of Constipation in Betta

You can use Epsom salt to treat constipation in your betta. It is a mild muscle relaxant and can relieve your betta.

  • Remove some water from the fish tank and put it into a clean container.
  • Add 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of Epsom salt to the container.
  • Stir it well, so that it gets dissolved completely.
  • Place the water back into the fish tank.
  • You need to keep your betta in this tank until you notice his constipation is gone.

Besides treating with Epsom salt, you should feed plenty of fiber-rich food to your fish. That will prevent your fish from getting constipated again.

Constipation can negatively affect your betta’s health. If you don’t want to see your fish suffering, you should take all the steps to avoid it.