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My halfmoon male has always been a little huffy in that you can see him breathing noticeably faster than my other two boys. He's had fin rot for a couple of months now, it took me a while to gather the courage to try something more proactive than more frequent water changes. The fin rot is getting better after a seven day course of aquarium salt and even more frequent water changes.

I'm wondering if he gets constipated. He passes fairly large brown turds and acts particularly worrisome in the day or so before I notice droppings on the floor of his currently substrate-free tank.

I'm sure I could be taking better care of my boy but I'm not sure where to begin. I'm not impressed with my local fish store (it's a boutique joint that has bettas for sale for $49 but keeps them in pitiful dirty little glass cups) and what I've encountered a lot of conflicting information on the internet.

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Not right now, I don't think he liked the bubbles
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? He's alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once, every other day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 25-50% weekly and 100% monthly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50% weekly and 100% monthly
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Bettasafe conditioner by tetra and API stress coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? *No, what would you recommend, strips or liquids?*

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins are recovering slowly from fin rot. Before I notice large turds, I see that he gets a little bloated and this spot on his underside turns shiny white
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's always been a little huffy but when he hangs out on his side on the surface (I think he does it when he's constipated), it freaks me out.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The constipation is new, I'd say maybe the last 5 days, perhaps it has something to do with the aquarium salt treatment?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Aquarium salt for 7 days 2 tsp/gal. He hasn't had any salt since tuesday, when i did a 100% change and have done 50% changes since. His fins do look better but the huffiness and potential constipation are new to me.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not ill but huffy, as I mentioned above.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him from Petco as an adult 5 months ago.

Thanks guys!
 

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Aquarium salt can cause constipation, buoyancy issues, and/or stress (such as heavy breathing) in Bettas. It should get better once he's back in un-salted water.

As NeptunesMom asked, what BRAND of food do you feed him? Foods that contain a lot of grains or fillers can contribute to constipation, bloating or buoyancy issues in some bettas.

Look at the list of ingredients on his food container. If you see words like "meal, gluten, wheat, soybean, corn, rice, potato, etc", consider switching him to a high-quality protein-based food.

On this forum, the two most often recommended foods are:
-- New Life Spectrum Betta pellets
-- Omega One Betta Buffet
Both have quality proteins, and provide good nutrition for Bettas.
 

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I'm pretty new to the betta world but have been researching non-stop and I've read that feeding Daphnia (water fleas) is a mild laxative and helps with digestion. Some stores sell it frozen. Or there's a "dial treat" for bettas that has freeze dried Daphnia as one of the choices. Be sure to soak anything freeze dried in a little bit of their tank water before you give it to them...everything freeze dried expands a lot. Hope this helps some. ;)
 
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