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My betta has been acting weird. He just lays on the bottom of his tank. Every Once in awhile he will get an energy spike and go around his bowl really fast then he'll just stop and sink to the bottom again. What can I do to help him?

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Here's a link with more than I'm willing to cut and paste, may it suffice to say you should google Swim Bladder Disorder and Constipation.

When SBD is observed with no other symptoms or known causes, it is best to begin treatment for constipation. Most of the time, SBD will clear up immediately when the fish is no longer constipated. –velvetdragon.com

That site and Wiki make the suggestion of feeding it a skinned (previously) frozen pea and that the problem "may be caused by intestinal parasites or by constipation induced by high nitrate levels from over feeding."

VelvetDragon suggests waiting a few days to feed it one (while withholding food), whereas Wiki says a pea can help clear it up in a matter of hours.


I've tried looking through all the "related" Betta and SBD questions. The best answer I found was a comment on this other question:

Its very difficult to diagnose based on the description. It could be anything from bladder disease to constipation. Best thing to do is stop feeding him and make sure the water is 78-80 degrees. If he's sick unfortunately there's not a lot you can do. Sometimes antibiotics help, but not always. If he's constipated it usually works itself out. At that point change the food type and feeding amount. – GrandmasterB

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  • I don't really know fish; just that they have gas bladders. HTH – Mazura Aug 6 '15 at 16:54
  • Gut instinct upon reading was constipation. +1 – rlb.usa Aug 6 '15 at 17:17

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