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Old 09-27-2009, 10:43 PM   #1 
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Crazy question, but can betta fish choke?

I SWEAR mine did tonight. I was feeding him, and all of a sudden he started swimming/swaying side to side, looking like he was slithering. Then he fell to the bottom of his tank, and his front fins stopped moving. I was freaking out because I thought he was dead, but then my boyfriend reached into the tank and touched him on the back, and my betta like "coughed" up the food, and was fine and swam back to the top of the tank. I fed him another pellet, and he ate it, no problem. So, was he really choking or is this just concerning behavior in general? I got so scared! :(
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #2 
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From what you described, it does sound like he was choking. I guess your boyfriend did the Heimlich maneuver on him, huh? lol I'm glad Ralphie is back to normal. That would scare me too!!
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #3 
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Almost the exact same thing happened to my betta once!! I fed him and then he did the slithering thing. He didn't drop to the bottom, but from the funny swimming I totally thought the same thing - he's having trouble getting his food down. I was so terrified!

I feed him Hikari Bio-Gold pellets and this "choking" happened when I had first gotten him and was just dropping the pellets into the tank dry for him to eat. The pellets are so hard and dry that I could hear him crunching on them! After the funny swimming happened once, I started soaking his pellets in a spoonful of water from his tank for 3 minutes before giving them to him. It definitely softens them up and he's never had a "choking" incident since. Hope this helps!
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:08 PM   #4 
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Soaking pellets is a good idea.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:19 PM   #5 
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Sounds like it could be plausible, I had a betta years ago that did that with a blood worm, I had to pull it from his mouth (there was a tiny bit sticking out).

I don't know if you still call it choking for fish as it would not be obstructing airway per say...hrm that one is a tricky question
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:10 PM   #6 
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What a good idea to soak the pellets first. Mine have to spit them back out a few times before they can eat them and that maybe a way to help them out. I would have never thought of it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:35 PM   #7 
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Yeah, soaking the pellets are probably good idea to prevent it from happening again.

It's because the pellets are dry, when they come into contact with water they start to expand and can often expand to two to three times their original size. :S
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #8 
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Bettas can definitely choke on food, my prized hmpk that I just got for Christmas choked last night on a ghost shrimp that he decided was going to be food...
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:43 PM   #9 
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This thread is over a year old.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #10 
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I am late to this thread but after I gave my male betta Bleu, a dried bloodworm, he seemed to choke! I usually give him one at a time because they dirty his tank and I do it for more of a treat. I love him so much.
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choking betta

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