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Old 01-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #1 
Nicci Lu
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Chronic Constipation and Daphnia

Ever since we got our betta, he's been a very infrequent pooper. Of course, for the first two weeks, he was also very sick. Being inexperienced, I haven't been sure if I'm just missing his poop, although I do look in the gravel, or if it isn't there. About a week passed when I didn't see any. Well, after feeding him daphnia last night, today I found a ginormous poop- made me hurt just looking at it, poor guy. So, I'm thinking that we have a little guy who has chronic constipation. Does that sound plausible? Are some bettas just prone to it?

This is his feeding schedule: 2 Omega One pellets 3x a day, or in place of a meal, 2 frozen bloodworms 2x week and daphnia 1x week. This feeding schedule started 4 days ago- it used to be 3 pellets 2x a day and bloodworms only once a week. I changed the schedule because he's a tailbiter and feeding him more frequently seems to have stopped that. *knock on wood* This is also why I am no longer fasting him for one day per week- I'm pretty sure he'll just snack on his tail instead. The extra meal of bloodworms is for the extra protein for fin regrowth.

The last time before today that I remember seeing poop was also after feeding him daphnia. My thought is that I should start feeding him daphnia more frequently, maybe even every night. Would this be unhealthy? Is there such a thing as too much daphnia?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:17 AM   #2 
itsuki
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honestly i think your feeding him too much maybe you should cut down to feeding him twice a day. but the book im reading betta care made easy says that for constipation your should stop feeding him for a few days, then feed him less than what you were before.

my new betta isnt eating at all and asked fellow members if he'd be ok not eating a few days and they said that bettas can go for 2 or 3 weeks without feeding, so 1 week wont be a problem for your little guy :)
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:58 AM   #3 
Nicci Lu
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Originally Posted by itsuki View Post
my new betta isnt eating at all and asked fellow members if he'd be ok not eating a few days and they said that bettas can go for 2 or 3 weeks without feeding, so 1 week wont be a problem for your little guy :)
I know, my Adorable Fish did the same thing when we first brought him home. And it isn't a problem unless you're an idiot like I was and keep trying to feed him anyways in the half gallon torture chamber you bought him because you fell hook line and sinker for the whole they live in mud puddles bit, and then you don't pick up the uneaten food because the directions only said to change his water once a week and then he gets sick. *sigh* It's been a bumpy road for Adorable Fish and I, but thanks to the folk on this forum I now have a clue and AF is a healthy, happy betta cruising around in his heated 10 gall castle. There is some great advice to be found here.

I actually started out feeding him 4 pellets a day, and he still had constipation issues, which is why I haven't considered feeding him less. My husband's a sucker for the hypnotic feed me stare that bettas are so good at, and convinced me to up his pellets to 6 a day. I've seen recommendations for 4-6 Omega One pellets a day, and AF is pretty active, so 6 is what I've been feeding. His belly doesn't get bloated, he just hardly ever poops.

Feeding 3 times a day is to prevent his tail biting. He seems to feel the need to hunt and eat constantly. He'll eat anything that moves in the tank- the white floatie things from Safe Start, he ate; the Maracyn II I stupidly dumped in the tank, he ate; the freckles on my arm when I put my hand in the tank, he tries valiantly to eat (he's got a good bite, too!). So, when he sees his tail out of the corner of his eye, he starts chasing it like a puppy and CHOMP- he eats it, too. Stretching out the feeding times has helped- he hasn't bitten it since.

So, I can't fast him, because I'm pretty sure I'd end up with a tailless betta.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:17 AM   #4 
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How old is your betta?

I met a owner of a 6 year HM betta yesterday he feeds 2-3 Hikari pellets every 1-3 days.

Didn't get around to ask him if his fish had bloating issues, but that's why we exchanged number.

From the things you're describing, stop feeding your fish for a WEEK.

When you resume feedings, start offering 1-2 pellets at the MOST. Cut off the food supply for the next 36 hours. Feed it 2 pellets every 2-3 days. If his activity level changes & no issues, you can add 1 extra pellet.

Your betta may have a severely damaged digestive track now from the overfeeding in the beginning. Once damaged, they will ALWAYS need to be fed less food to avoid aggravating their internal issues.

Every fish is different, so some may require more food, some less. That's for you to determine when they're brought home.

Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #5 
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They poop irregular.. I feed my young ones and adults anywhere from 8-20 pellets a day, mix in different frozen/home made foods as well and have never had constipation nor bloating in any way shape or form..

Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean he doesn't do it - especially if you have gravel you won't always see it as it tends to get buried (why vacuuming the gravel weekly is important if you don't have live plants).

Daphnia is a natural laxative for them, so once or twice a week will be good for him.. if you are still worried you can always toss in about 1 teaspoon of Plain (no perfumes/dye) Epsom Salt per gallon into his tank (dissolve it first), as that works as a laxative of sorts as well.. it's very gentle and the fish can live in it indefinitely.

But otherwise, 6 Omega One pellets a day is no where near too much to feed (it's a rather good amount..) as they are a bit small and one of the better brands. Most breeders and such I know feed twice as much food as that on a regular basis with no troubles to their fish as well.

Last edited by Myates; 01-29-2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #6 
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Personally, I feed Omega One and New Life Spectrum pellets. It's either 3 Omega One pellets or 6 NLS pellets per day. (Usually, my blind fish gets the Omega One since they are larger and easier for him to find.)

My blind fish is not as active as other fish, and I feed him no more than one pellet a day and he still has extreme bloating issues and always has a little bit of Epsoms in his tank... I increase the amount when the bloating gets really bad. When he gets super bloated, it usually happens at night, and he poops by morning if I add epsom salt.

I'd really like to try frozen daphnia with him, though... Where do you get it?
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #7 
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oh gees. How did my entire post get deleted when I clicked? Whatever.

What I didn't understand is the OP is feeding a decent assortment of foods.

One thing I do before I feed any betta is I observe them first, if they're larger than normal, they get to skip a meal.

If it's not the food that's creating the issue, then it's the lack of activity from the fish. The lazy fish have a slower metabolism because they have less muscle.

FROZEN Daphnia would be available at any local fish store that sells FROZEN food. There'll be a freezer with frozen cube like trays/packages
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #8 
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My blind fish never stops swimming - he's in a .66g with no substrate or decorations and he eats Black Gold pellets as they sink and are large and very smelly.. eats like a piggy - will eat 6-8 in a sitting and then zoom zoom zoom around all happily, not a bulge to be seen in his belly because he won't stop lol.

But as mentioned before, all fish are different.. some can handle larger amounts of food than others. I like to keep a slight bulge of the belly - a slight bulge after feeding is normal/healthy. My females I prefer to keep round all the time. They get to peek at their neighbors for short bursts throughout the day so they get exercise time (flaring helps them to go poo too..) and even when alone most are very active.. silly fish.

I just think you don't realize how much he is going to the bathroom because you can't see the waste as much.. do you vacuum the gravel? If not, I would suggest doing so and then you can definitely be able to tell how much he goes :)
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #9 
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That's one thing I forgot to type over when the post was deleted.

Cup or float the fish in a clear container inside the heated tank. Then you can see what's really going on in 12 or 24 hours.

Write down exactly what you're feeding on a piece of paper taped to the side.

Log the time you feed & when you see the results.

One thing that really gets my fish going is if they SEE the others getting food. They try to swim through the glass @ top speed to get to the other side.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:38 PM   #10 
Nicci Lu
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What a dummy...I totally forgot about epsom salt, and that's what I used to treat AF's SBD, so I have a big box of it (I'm inclined to think that the SBD was bacterial and not a constipation issue because he also had fin rot and popeye and by that point he hadn't eaten in about a week). The only thing I'm concerned about is that it raises the hardness of water, and we have very hard water to begin with- not sure exactly how hard cuz I haven't tested it yet. Does anyone know if ES raises hardness significantly, or is it minimal?

AyalaCookiejar, I get my frozen daphnia at Petsmart- they carry the Hikari brand. Petco has frozen food, too, not sure if they have daphnia, but they carry the San Francisco something brand and I've heard it isn't as good as the Hikari. I get a kick out of watching AF hunt them all down as they float through the water.

Myates, so you're telling me I could feed my betta more? I think you must have been talking to my betta and he bribed you to say that...

Hopefully, I am just missing the poop. He never looks bloated. But I do vacuum once a week, and I've only seen poop in the bucket once.

MSG, that is a good idea about floating him. I was thinking there is no way I want to go through the ordeal of removing his gravel, and the only QT tank I have is his old half gallon that is currently housing two baby ramshorn snails. I'd hate to do that to him, though, especially with his predilection for tail biting. I think I will keep it as a last resort if he does start to appear bloated.

Last edited by Nicci Lu; 01-29-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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