Having an overweight Betta fish is one of the common problems for most aquarists. If you provide food to your Betta fish again and again and they eat it all, then chances of obesity are there.

It is important to take action against this problem because being overweight can end up in serious health problems. This article is for all Betta fish owners out there who are frustrated with the weight of their Betta.

What Are The Causes of Fat Betta Fish?

All animals are susceptible to obesity, but all species of Bettas have an exceptionally high chance of becoming obese. The Betta fish in the wild is a predator that feeds on smaller prey. As such, it may only have access to food every few days. Yet, they manage to keep their bodies fueled and ready for when those meals do come around again. However, in an aquarium, this ability is of no use; it’s a hindrance.

Captive-bred Betta fish are usually short and stocky because of generations of selective breeding to have long fins that are vivid in coloration. The comfort of the aquarium makes them less active than wild ones. In the wild, limited movement can result in the Betta fish turning into a prey. However, a lack of movement in captivity can also be harmful to the fish’s health, because it could lead to weight gain due to a lowered metabolism rate.

We all know that feeding your Betta can be a little tricky, but it’s a way of interacting with these beautiful creatures. You might think: What harm will come from giving your Betta some sprinkles of food every time you get near their tank? If this is the case, you should know that obesity problems may ensue as well once things go unaddressed. In the sections below, you will find some common signs that you are overfeeding your Betta.

– Leftover Food in the Betta Fish Tank

Betta are always hungry and need to be fed as soon as they’re done eating. If you don’t see them eat within five minutes, it means you are providing them too much food. Remove any leftovers from the tank. Don’t worry, your fish will not suffer from hunger as soon as you feed them regularly!

– Algae Overgrowth

You can tell that your fish are getting fat due to extra food if there are dirty green or brown algae covering their tank. In fact, if there is leftover food in the tank after your Betta fish’s lunchtime, algae overgrowth will be encouraged.

Tips To Control the Weight of Obese Betta Fish

The weight of your obese fish can be controlled in many ways. First, it is essential to know how much they are eating so that their tank will stay healthy. Other important things you can do are:

– Use Low-Calorie Food

The bottom line is you should feed your Betta fish, but not any food. It’s essential to find a verified solution with low calories so that you pet does not grow too big or obese. Low-calorie fish food is an excellent way to cut down on your Betta’s food intake without sacrificing any of its essential nutrients. It is also easier for your pet to digest this food, so you will have a happy fish too!

When you start using this low-calorie fish food, you will notice a change, with your fish becoming healthier than ever before. This is what we need as pet owners: small changes that lead to big rewards.

– Decrease Food Portions

You should never feed your fish all at once. First, sprinkle a tiny amount of food and see if they eat it up in one go, then add some more for them to snack on. Make sure you don’t give any excess because it will result in overeating. You can also check the food requirements of your Betta fish  with a veterinary or a reliable guide and feed them according to that.

Just like humans, Betta fish thrive on consistency. To ensure your fish is happy and healthy with the right amount of nutrients in its diet, make regular checks of how much food they eat at each mealtime. This can be complicated because it’s difficult to see every time, but you will soon start seeing improvement.

– Maintain an Ideal Water Temperature

The water temperature is vital for the health of your Betta fish. If it’s too hot, they will start to get stressed out and less active, with an increased risk that they might die from the strain put on their organism. However, there is a moderate temperature that your Betta fish like the most and start to gain weight if they are well fed. These warmer water conditions are not ideal for your Betta fish weight, and they can suffer from obesity.

It’s essential to take regular measurements of the temperature in the tank. This should become part of everyday routine, not just something done when your fish is ill.

Why Your Betta Fish Have Bloated Tummy?

Seeing your Betta fish swollen belly is alarming. Sometimes this condition is accompanied by difficulty in breathing and swimming. However, if your Betta looks bloated, there can be some other issues related to it.

– Feeding Nutrient-dense Food

One of the main reasons for bloated abdomen in Betta fish is the rapid nutrient-dense food consumption. The negative response triggered by such foods delays stomach emptying and causes bloating. Suppose this response is triggered for a prolonged time, which results in food retention in the belly of Betta fish and leads to severe constipation. In some cases, the stomach appears so swollen that it seems white from the outside.

– Kidney Infection

Another common reason for Betta fish’s bloated belly is a bacterial infection that makes them lazy with a highly bloated stomach. The bacterial infection damages the kidney and destroys its ability to regulate fluids, and as a result, the body absorbs too much water, resulting in a bloated belly.

– Egg Binding

Betta fish may develop eggs when they are four months old or older. If you notice a swollen abdomen in your female Betta and she has white dots on her belly, it could mean that they are developing egg sacs under the scales, which can cause significant swelling in females. However, egg binding is not a problem to worry about.

– Parasitic Infestation

One common cause of a bloated belly in Bettas is the Camallanus worm. If your fish has this type, you may notice them swelling up and becoming very lazy when they swim around or stop eating altogether. Because this worm blocks its food passageway into the stomach, resulting in an obstruction that could lead to death if left untreated.

– Temperature Shock

The Betta is a tropical fish that can be sensitive to low temperatures. Suppose the tank’s temperature drops below 78 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, it may cause belly bloating in this species because their metabolism slows down too much for its digestive system and internal organs, leading them into an unhealthy state known as “bloat.” Betta fish thrive best at a temperature between 79 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Tumor Growth

A Betta fish’s stomach may be swollen due to the growth of a tumor. The symptoms can include one side being raised or unevenly shaped, but this sign is not present in every case. Sometimes it takes time for symptoms like these to appear, so if your Betta displays any odd behaviors, it would be best to go to a veterinarian specialized in aquatic fauna.

– Malawi Disease

The stomach of a Betta fish can become swollen due to Malawi Bloat. Though research has been done, scientists are still trying to figure out where this condition comes from and what causes it in the first place. If left untreated, your fish will most likely lose their appetite, which can be dangerous.  Due to swollen belly, your fish will also seem to have trouble swimming and getting enough air.

Your Betta will spend more time on the surface of water and gasp for more oxygen. The prognosis of Malwai disease is not good, and it often results in the death of your Betta.


There are many reasons why a Betta fish may become overweight. With the proper care and attention from their owners, these problems can be avoided. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind if you have obese Betta fish:

  • Betta fish weight can be controlled if you don’t overfeed them.
  • High temperature is a reason behind overweight Betta fish so maintain an optimum temperature.
  • If your Betta fish looks bloated, it may be eating nutrient-dense food or have an underlying illness.
  • Betta fish’s swollen belly, however, can also occur due to egg binding — in this case, you don’t have to worry for its health.

Bettas that are overfed will quickly become overweight and unhealthy. The level of food consumption is dependent on the size of their stomachs, which varies from fish to fish. It’s important to monitor your fish’s weight as many can develop health complications if they overeat or don’t get enough exercise. In general, Betta fish tend to be obese because they love eating pellets so much.

5/5 - (17 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here