What Does Betta Fish Poop Look Like?

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Believe it or not, your Betta’s poop size, shape, and color speak volumes about the fish’s overall health. It’s the same with humans and other animals.

But what will the Betta’s poop tell you about its health, and what should you do depending on the finding?

Today’s article will dive into poop – Betta’s poo, that is. What can you learn from it, and how will that help you improve your Betta’s life?

Let’s have a look.

Normal Betta Fish Poop

Normal Betta poop will be small, round, and brownish in color. It can also show slightly varying colors, depending on the foods that the Betta will eat. Their poop can sometimes be tan or even reddish. This shouldn’t concern you, especially if the fish doesn’t show any signs of disease.

The problem is when the poop’s color reaches in the white and yellow range. That could signify some health problems that often come with several other symptoms. At that point, you need to investigate to find out what’s going on.

Some conditions may be contagious, and quarantining the fish immediately may be necessary to protect the Betta population.

Betta Fish Stringy Poop

Your Betta’s poop will sometimes appear as stringy, usually still attached to the fish’s anus. If the poop’s color remains brown or tan, the weird appearance is most likely the result of constipation or overfeeding. Check if the Betta’s abdomen is inflated, and that should answer your questions pretty fast.

However, if the poop is stringy and white, the fish might have a parasitic infection.

Each of these problems requires different approaches. If your Betta is constipated, force the fish through a fasting period. This alone can resolve the problem pretty fast, as it allows the digestive system to empty the fish’s bowels and resume their normal activity.

If that doesn’t work as fast as you’d want it to, increase the water temperature slightly or provide the Betta with boiled peas for a surplus of fiber. Constipation will typically go away within several days under normal circumstances.

Betta Fish Red Poop

Red-colored poop sounds ominous enough, but you actually have no reason for concern. Bettas will usually display reddish poop if you’re feeding them commercial foods. These often have colorants that Bettas can’t digest.

It’s not uncommon to see them pooping in different colors, depending on the food they’re eating. But that’s not the whole story. Red poop may also have more dangerous causes, like a parasitic infection.

The Camallanus worm is one of the main culprits in this case. In this situation, you need to quarantine the sick Betta and administer antibiotics to eliminate the parasite. It’s also necessary to begin the treatment soon so that the condition doesn’t aggravate or spread to other fish.

Betta Fish Not Pooping

Bettas, like any other fish, will generally poop around 5-6 times per day. That’s generally a sign of constipation. Some may even poop more or less, depending on their dieting and eating schedule. The problem arises when your Betta poops very rare or not at all.

Bettas will experience constipation as a result of overfeeding or consuming too much commercial food. This includes primarily flakes, which tend to be drier than other food sources. If your Betta is constipated, it should also display an inflated belly, at which point you know you need to act.

Fortunately, treating constipation is fairly easy. You can do several things like increasing the tank’s temperature slightly, feeding Bettas boiled peas, or even keeping them without food for several days.

Bettas are highly adaptable and resilient, and 2-3 days of food will do them no harm. On the contrary, the fasting period will allow their bowels to empty and their digestive system to recover.

How Often Do Betta Fish Poop?

Bettas usually poop around 5 or 6 times per day, but this can vary slightly. The problem is when that number drops to once or twice per day, or not at all. You should then look for signs of constipation and apply adequate treatment to solve the issue.

To prevent constipation, you should include fibers into your Betta’s diet. These will help their digestive system process food easier and empty the bowel regularly.

The first signs of constipation will generally include an inflated belly and buoyancy and swimming issues. This is because the fish’s digestive tract will expand, putting pressure on their swim bladder.

How To Clean Betta Fish Poop?

Ideally, you should clean your Betta’s tank regularly, especially if the tank is smaller in size and you have multiple fish. You have 5 basic steps to follow for a stellar and smooth job:

  1. Consider moving the fish into another tank – You can vacuum the gravel with the fish inside, so long as you pay attention to their movement and behavior. Some fish may be more sensitive to your intrusion and may be stressed out. To prevent that, move them into a different tank for the entire duration of the procedure.
  2. Prepare the new tank carefully – Their temporary environment, if you decide to move the Bettas into a different tank, should have environmental conditions similar to the main tank. Check the O2 level and verify ammonia and nitrites to prevent any unwanted surprises. The water temperature should also be similar to that of the main tank.
  3. Unplug the equipment – You should unplug the filter and any other equipment and decorations you might have in place. Doing so will allow you to clean the entire tank easier. Be careful not to clean the filter too much since this will destroy the beneficial bacterial cultures colonizing it.
  4. Vacuum the substrate – The tools necessary for the job will vary depending on the substrate’s composition. If you have a clean substrate, just use a regular siphon kit to remove fish waste and other residues. If you have sand or another type of substrate, a turkey buster or a hose may be more appropriate.
  5. Check water parameters – You should always check water parameters before reintroducing the fish into their environment. The cleaning procedure may disrupt some of the normal parameters, stressing the fish in the process.


Your Betta’s poop can speak volumes about your fish’s health state. You shouldn’t worry if the poop comes out in various colors through your Betta’s lifetime unless additional symptoms are occurring as well.

The poop’s coloring usually relates to the food that the Betta will consume.

If your Betta also shows signs of disease, you should apply the appropriate treatment asap.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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