Tank Info:

  • How long the tank has been set up: about 3-4 months (he was in a 3.5 gal for a while but I got a new one)
  • Size of the tank: 5 gallons, gravel bottom
  • Fish: one male crowntail Betta, had him since late March of this year
  • Plants & Misc: two fake silk plants, two decorations (roman pillars)
  • Chemicals used: Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner
  • Maintenance schedule: 25-50% water change, weekly

Water Parameters:

  • ammonia: 0-0.25
  • nitrite: 0
  • nitrate: 5
  • pH: 7.6

So I believe it was the 13th, when my betta, Spidey, started acting a little weird. He would act normal and swim up to my face excitedly, but mostly chill at the bottom of the tank- which is unlike him. He had made a bubble nest and continued to act normal for the most part, till yesterday (14th) and today (15th). On both of these days, he was mainly resting at the bottom, occasionally moving spots, but would dart to the top all panicked while trying to take air before going back to the bottom (almost like he was sinking). I took out about 50% of the water out of the tank (so he wouldn't have to go so far for air), took out everything besides the filter and the heater, trying to feed him a pea. He would perk up but didn't have the strength to swim over and grab the falling food. My sister and I transferred him into the small container he originally came in when we first got him to try to see if he would eat the pea. However, since there's not that much room for him to move around, he tries to gain momentum by swimming in a circle, and will try to jump in order to grab some air (which he was doing in the 5 gal as well) or to try to get the pea. Whenever he'd make it near the surface of the water when getting air, he'd grab air, then sink back down to the bottom.

For the past few weeks he hasn't been eating much either, and since a couple of days ago, he refuses to eat at all (I feed him 2-3 pellets twice a day, which I've been doing since I first got him; not sure if that would help him accumulate the constipation or not). I haven't fed him properly for roughly a week more or less, as he would only eat one pellet per day, till recently- where he refuses to eat completely. There are no signs of white spots, ammonia burns, or inflamed gills. He shows no other signs of other disorders/diseases besides SBD/Constipation as his belly is really bloated, he's lethargic, and sinks to the bottom. Also, his body has also occasionally gone in an S-shape upon realizing that this might be SBD. Other than struggling to swim, he's very attentive and still is curious and examines his surroundings.

I went out to try to find medicine to cure the SBD/Constipation, and at my local pet store they had API General Cure, which is supposed to treat parasitic fish disease. I looked up some reviews on it, and a lot of people were saying that it cured their fish's issues, but I didn't see any about SBD, mainly parasites, dropsy, pop-eye, fin-rot and everything but SBD. However, I haven't tried out this medicine yet, because I wanted to try the pea thing to help get him going. I've been trying to get him to eat the pea for the past 3 hours and I don't want to leave it in there when I go to sleep, so I took them out. He's still in the small container, occasionally going up for air, but mainly staying in one spot at the bottom. I'm not sure what to do, or if I should move him back into the 5 gal or temp put him in the 3.5 gal tank either. I know I read up that in order to get rid of constipation (which I thought he was a week ago, so I fasted him for about a week, because I didn't see him pooping the day after feeding him). Ever since I got him, he's had long, stringy light brown poop, and it always took him forever to pass his bowels. I also read that that could be internal parasites, but he wasn't lethargic at all at that time, and was acting like his crazy, excited-self.

  • 2
    Ammonia should be at 0, this is surely not good for your fish
    – Rémi
    Nov 17, 2016 at 18:42
  • @Rémi I know, I've been trying to get it back down to 0. I'm about to do another water change. A lot of people were telling me to do 50% changes, and to continue testing the water.
    – Mel
    Nov 17, 2016 at 22:45
  • Are you also siphoning out the debris from the bottom of the tank? The ammonia means that your filter isn't keeping up for some reason - this maybe because there's some old food in the bottom of the tank somewhere... Dec 31, 2017 at 17:13


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