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6 Reasons Your Betta Fish Has Something Hanging From Its Stomach!

With betta fish having seen their high increase in popularity over the last decades or so, they have managed to climb to be the second most commonly kept species of fish within the fish keeping hobby.

We doubt that they will ever become more popular than goldfish but their huge popularity does mean that we see a wide range of different questions about betta fish each month.

One thing that often worries people who keep betta fish is when they notice something hanging from the stomach of their betta.

Although these objects can sometimes be serious health issues with their betta, you would be surprised at how common it is for people to mistake their betta’s poop for a serious problem.

This is why we decided to publish today’s article, to try and help our readers better understand the various issues that may make it appear as though something is hanging from your pet betta fish.

Why Your Betta Fish Has Something Hanging From Its Stomach!

The most common thing that will be hanging from the stomach of your betta fish is poop but there are a number of other potential problems.

We have our list of the most common issues that may cause things to hang from the stomach of your betta fish below:-

  • Poop!
  • Prolapse!
  • Internal Parasites!
  • Body Rot!
  • Flukes!
  • Injury!

Although very rare, your betta fish can end up having issues with multiple problems from the list above at the same time but this really is rare.


The most common issue that people see is poop and the reason that this is often mistaken for something being wrong with your betta fish is because of how it can look.

Betta fish are known to produce a lot of poop and their intestines are very long in comparison to their body size.

This means that when they do go to the toilet, their poop can often be much longer than people expect and it can end up hanging from their vent.

Depending on the diet of your betta fish, the color of its poop can change drastically and with blood worms being such a popular treat food for betta fish, the red husks can cause the fish poop to turn red often causing owners to worry.

Foods such as daphnia and bloodworms that were previously frozen can also cause issues with the texture of the poop and they can also cause a bubble effect in the poop due to the way the gas is released during digestion.

We have a dedicated article going over betta fish poop that goes into common questions in more detail.


Many people new to keeping pet betta fish unfortunately make mistakes with the diet for their fish that can then end up causing the betta to prolapse.

In many cases, a prolapse is not a serious issue and it can quickly be treat with an Epsom salt bath but in some cases, the prolapse can protrude extensively and be a serious issue.

If your betta does have a bad prolapse then it can sometimes look strange and may appear to be near the stomach of your betta but our article on treating a betta fish prolapse should be able to help you.

Body Rot!

Although body rot is not as common as some of the other issues on this list, it can still affect your betta fish and cause things to appear as though they are hanging from the stomach.

Body rot is usually caused by a bacterial infection or poor water quality and it will often start to eat away at the flesh of your betta.

This can cause large chunks of flesh to fall off and in some cases, the intestines can be exposed in very bad cases too!

We do have a dedicated article going over treating betta body rot that may be helpful if you do suspect that this is your problem.


Flukes are a type of external parasite that can infect your betta fish and they will often look like small white dots on the body of your fish.

In some cases, the flukes can be so bad that they can cover the entire body of your betta fish and cause major problems.

These parasites will attach themselves to the skin of your betta fish and start feeding off the blood and nutrients.

This can cause major issues for your betta fish as they can often become anemic and weak due to the loss of blood.

You will usually be able to notice a fluke hanging from the stomach of your betta fish due to their white color and worm like shape.

Thankfully, flukes are also very easy to treat and most over the counter treatments should be able to deal with them. As we covered in our article on using melafix for betta fish though, you will usually need to go with betafix rather than melafix for a betta due to them being a more sensative fish.

Internal Parasites!

Internal parasites are another potential issue that can cause things to appear as though they are hanging from the stomach of your betta fish.

These internal parasites will often attach themselves to the intestine wall and start leeching off the nutrients that your betta ingests during feeding time.

As the internal parasites grow, they will often become large enough to see with the naked eye and they can sometimes look like small pieces of white string.

When the parasites get large enough, your betta fish can poop them out and they can sometimes attach to the stomach or other areas of your betta fish but they usually look like an obvious worm making it easy to identify this as the problem.


Injuries are another potential cause of things appearing as though they are hanging from the stomach of your betta fish.

Betta fish are very active and playful creatures and they often like to explore their surroundings.

This can sometimes lead to them bumping into things or getting tangled in plants which can then cause injuries.

These injuries can be anything from a small scratch to a large gash and they can sometimes cause things to protrude from the stomach of your fish.

If you suspect that your betta fish has an injury then it is very important to take them to a vet as soon as possible so that they can be treated before the injury gets worse.