The popularity of keeping betta fish as pets is growing exponentially right now and showing no signs of slowing down. As more and more people get their very first betta fish, we are seeing more and more questions being asked about how you are able to offer your pet betta fish the best care possible.
In recent months, we have noticed a huge spike in the number of people reaching out with various questions about betta fish poop so we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over the subject.
As betta fish poop does look different to other types of fish, we often see people reaching out and asking for advice thinking that there is something wrong with their pet betta fish when in fact everything is normal.
This is why we have decided to publish this article with the hopes of helping as many of our readers who are worrying about their pet betta fish poop as possible.
On top of that, there are also some common mistakes that people make when caring for a betta fish that can have effects on their poop but are easy to fix and improve the quality of life of your pet betta fish too.
Do Betta Fish Poop?
Just like all other living things, betta fish have to excrete solid waste so they do poop. A large number of beginners to keeping betta fish do not realise that betta fish poop is small and usually in a little round ball rather than a long string like with other fish.
Depending on the diet of your betta fish, your betta fish may produce long strings of poop but this does not mean that there is a health problem with the fish.
These balls of betta fish poop are often so small that it can be hard to see them until there is a build up in the tank. As betta fish tend to be much cleaner than other fish species, they will often have a preferred pooping location in their tank rather than just pooping anywhere.
Once you know where your betta fish prefers to poop, you can go over it once a week with a –Luigi's Aquarium & Fish Tank Siphon and Gravel Cleaner - A Hand Fish Tank Cleaner Syphon Pump to Drain and Replace Your Water in Minutes! to help keep the build up of poop to a minimum.
Although most people feed their pet betta fish something like BettaMin Beta Fish Food trying to add in some live feeding with aquatic insects like bloodworm, brine shrimp and daphnia can help to improve the bowel movements of your pet betta fish.
Even adding freeze fried bloodworm instead of live bloodworm to your betta fish’ diet can offer a drastic improvement.
What Does Betta Fish Poop Look Like?
Although betta fish poop can look like the long, thin strings other fish produce, it usually looks like a small ball that tends to sink as soon as the poop is released.
The difference between the two types of poop is usually down to the diet of your betta fish but in rare cases, long, thing stringy beta poop can indicate a potential health issue.
Due to betta fish producing small poop balls, it is less common for people to notice the poop attached to their fish leading to some people initially thinking that betta fish don’t poop.
Betta fish poop can quickly build up though as they tend to poop in a specific area of their tank and you will start to see the slight change to the texture of the water in their favourite pooping location.
We have lost count of the number of people who are new to keeping pet beta fish reaching out worried because they notice that their pet beta fish is producing little balls of poop.
This can be totally normal for a betta fish and in many cases, it indicates a healthier diet than long, thin, stringy poop.
Betta Poop Balls!
The betta poop ball is totally normal due to the way that the digestive system of a betta fish works and it is rarer for betta fish to produce long stringy poop.
Healthy betta fish poop should be brown and globby with larger than normal poop balls indicating that your pet betta fish is probably constipated or may have other health issues.
If you have multiple betta fish in the same tank separated by dividers then it can be surprising with just how quickly your pet betta fish are able to produce these poop balls.
If you notice that your beta fish is starting to produce white or red poop balls rather than brown then it may have a parasite infestation and require medication to help return it to full health.
Thankfully, it does tend to be easy to fix a parasite infection in betta fish but you may require prescription medication from a veterinarian to treat the issue.
Rather than going to your local veterinarian, it can be quicker and work out much cheaper to book a video call with a fully qualified vet. This allows you to get your betta fish checked over by video call and have the vet offer the best course of action for moving forward or prescribe prescription medication if needed.
How To Treat A Constipated Betta Fish!
If you noticed that your pet betta fish is producing larger poop balls than normal and that they are a darker brown than usual, this could mean that your betta fish has constipation.
Common treatments for constipation in betta fish include an Epsom salt bath, fasting your betta for two to three days, and feeding them daphnia due to their high fiber content helping with constipation.
Although all three methods have been proven to treat constipation, we usually recommend that an Epsom salt bath be left until last due to betta fish being territorial and sensitive to change in their home.
Fasting your betta fish for between two and three days tends to be the more common treatment but also has the lowest success rate. Although some people think that fasting a betta fish is cruel, wild betta fish can often go days between meals without issue.
This is where feeding your betta fish daphnia comes in and either freeze dried daphnia or live daphnia can work very well at curing constipation in your betta fish.
The daphnia trick works so well as most betta fish love daphnia and will happily eat them offering you a quick, easy, and cheap way to get large amounts of fibre into your betta fish to help treat its constipation.
Although there are a few other water-based insects that can work, daphnia has the highest fibre content usually making them the best option.
Should I Remove Betta Poop?
Betta fish poop can build up surprisingly quick so will need to be removed on a regular basis. The quickest and easiest way to remove betta fish poop from the aquarium is to use a gravel vacuum once per week to help keep the tank as clean as possible.
Although some betta fish can seem a little scared of the gravel vacuum and a small number of betta fish may try to attack it, the majority will simply ignore it.
This allows you to clean your betta fish tank quickly and remove any build-up of betta poop as well as discarded food and waste with ease.
If you don’t remove the betta fish poop from your pet’s tank then it can rapidly increase the nitrate levels in the water and have a number of potential long term effects on your betta fish.
Considering that it usually only takes a matter of minutes to clean the poop from the tank once per week, it really isn’t a difficult task to complete.
What Fish Will Eat Betta Poop?
There are no fish that will eat betta fish poop and although many people believe that some breeds of snail and shrimp or even bottom-feeding fish eat poop, they don’t.
On rare occasion, they may accidentally chew on your betta fish poop thinking it is food but they will quickly move onto another potential food source making it important to clean your betta fish tank of poop on a regular basis.
That said, it can still be a good idea to include some type of bottom feeder in your betta fish tank even though they won’t eat the poop of your betta fish.
Cherry shrimp, nerite snails, and bristlenose plecos are all very common additions to betta fish tanks to eat discarded food and keep the algae in check within your tank.
All three are cheap, easy to source, and usually have no problems with aggression from the resident betta fish either.
We actually have a dedicated article online going over the best algae eater tank companions for betta fish that may be worth reading.
Although none of those tank mates will actually eat your betta fish poop, they do offer a number of other benefits and are well worth adding to your betta fish aquarium to help keep it clean by eating algae and discarded food.
How To Stop Betta Fish Poop Hanging!
The majority of healthy betta fish will not have problems with poop hanging but if you do notice your betta fish consistently has poop hanging off it then it may have constipation or swim bladder disease.
It is easy to treat constipation in betta fish by adding some daphnia to their diet but swim bladder disease usually needs you to fast your betta fish or restrict food.
Whenever betta fish owners see swim bladder disease mentioned they instantly think the worst but the most common cause of swim bladder disease in betta fish is overfeeding them.
Betta fish are a notoriously gutsy fish and they will keep eating provided they have a food source available often leading to issues with their swim bladder amongst other things.
It is common for people new to keeping betta fish to accidentally overfeed them so fasting your betta fish for between one and three days can help the condition.
Another common treatment is to reduce the amount of food that you offer your pet betta fish each day too until you workout how much food your pet betta fish actually needs.
How Often Does A Betta Fish Poop?
A healthy betta fish will usually poop around five times each day with their poop being small poop balls rather than long stings like other fish.
Some betta fish can produce long poop strings though as it can depend on their diet and the food that they have recently eaten.
If you notice that your pet betta fish is not pooping as often as it usually does then it probably has constipation and should be treat as explained earlier in the article.
In our opinion, adding some freeze dried daphnia or live daphnia to your betta fish’ diet is the best way to treat constipation as it gets a large amount of fibre into them to help ease things along.
As we touched on earlier, some betta fish can end up having issues with parasites that can cause them to poop less too.
When the betta fish does eventually poop, it will usually produce a white or red ball of poop indicating that it may be having a problem with parasites.
If you suspect that this could be the case, booking a video call with a qualified veterinarian is the best course of action to take and they will be able to advise you further.
That brings our article going over betta fish poop to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various potential health issues that the chances in your fishes poop can indicate to you as well as how to treat them. Betta fish tend to be very easy to care for provided you keep their aquarium clean and feed them an ideal diet so most of our readers shouldn’t have any long term problems with betta poop problems.