July 22, 2004

Lesser-known Nature Facts

Here's a curious fact about a common household pet: betta fish can suffer from constipation. Why, BAW, you exclaim in wonder, how did you come by this amazing information? So glad you asked! We have two bettas, a red one and a blue one (named Red and Blue respectively by our two year old Master of the Obvious). I like bettas because they are pretty, low-maintenance, fairly long-lived and darn hard to kill. I buy my bettas at PetSmart and have them in one of those little "let's screw with their heads by putting them in the same container but separating them with a plexiglass barrier" mini-tanks. We've had this particular pair since last November, and they'd done pretty well until about a month ago, when Red started looking a tad peaked and hanging out at the surface of his part of the tank.

At first I figured it for a swim bladder problem, but then Red started to swell. And swell. And swell until he looked like Orson Welles in Touch of Evil. I feared that Red was not long for this world, but he continued to swim and eat, although listlessly. This continued until about a week ago when I came home to change the bettas' water and noticed that Red was much, much, thinner and that there was a gigantic betta poop-ball rolling around the bottom of his tank. After the water change, Red was like a new fish--puffing up at Blue, chowing down on his Betta Bites, and making those little slap-slurp noises at the top of the water.

I am pleased to report that Red is maintaining his intestinal regularity, and that I have managed to add yet another creature to my household whose emissions I must monitor.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at July 22, 2004 11:16 AM

So what you're saying is that a month ago, if you had picked up Red and squeezed him, you could have ended his suffering a while ago? Or killed him. I guess it would have been a 50/50 gamble.

Glad to hear that Red is feeling "lighter" these days. Saves The Boy some misery.

Posted by: Christine at July 22, 2004 11:53 AM

What were you feeding him, some sort of betta blocker?

Oooh. That was bad. I'll just be moving along now.

Posted by: LittleA at July 22, 2004 03:09 PM

LittleA - ROFLMAO! Sorry to make this a "comment" but that was funny!!!!

Posted by: Christine at July 22, 2004 03:50 PM

So That's the alternate name for the fish known as a "crappie". Oh boy, here we go...

Posted by: Pete at July 22, 2004 06:49 PM

I feel so bad I killed your gift to my child so long ago - especially when you write about how easy these Betta fish are to maintain! I *have* kept a cat alive for 14+ years, does that count?

Maybe Red caught the lack o' shits from my family. Oy!

Posted by: Belle at July 22, 2004 07:32 PM

The Lab Who Eats All Things has taken to storing it up. If I don't walk her, she will not go in the backyard. Oh no -- She saves up so that I look like the poop bag collector. Joy.

Posted by: Another Damned Medievalist at July 23, 2004 02:37 PM

All fish get constipation, especially when they live on the same food for extended periods. Next time your betta-boy gets constipated, try feeding him a tiny amount of scrambled eggs (I know bettas can be real finicky, but if is he backed up, he should go for it). That works wonders, I've used it on my own fish.

Posted by: CT at July 29, 2004 02:51 PM

My white girl betta fish and my red boy betta

fish have had egg's

I dont kno what to do!!!!!!!

do i take the male out?????????

How long does it take for them to hatch?????

My girl betta fish wont stop atacking my finger now is that because she is protective of her babies??????

Posted by: kaytlyn at September 25, 2004 08:33 AM

umm... kaytlyn - seperate your fish IMMEDIATELY. LEAVE THE MALE IN - he is the caregiver among Bettas, not the female. your girl betta is prolly just naturally agressive because her boy has prolly been beating her up (it's a natural reaction after mating, you're lucky if he hasn't). www.bettatalk.com is a good site to go to for betta info

Posted by: Melanie at October 12, 2004 06:24 PM