Keeping a koi betta fish is a fun and exciting experience. These beautiful creatures are known for their brilliant colors and unique, patterned markings. Though they may seem exotic, koi betta fish are relatively low-maintenance pets that anyone with basic aquarium maintenance skills can care for. If your koi betta is constantly bloated or gassy, however, it’s time to do a little redecorating. To help you get your pet back on track, we’ve put together this helpful guide to taming the bloated koi betta fish.
What is a Koi Betta?
Koi betta fish is a hybrid of the Siamese fighting fish and the Betta fish. The Siamese fighting fish and the Betta fish are both known for their vibrant colors and patterns. Koi bettas are great for people who want a beautiful, low-maintenance pet that’s also an easy keeper. Koi betta fish come in a variety of bright colors, including red, blue, orange, yellow, and green. Because of their hybrid nature, they have slightly different requirements than their Betta and Siamese fighting fish ancestors. Koi bettas are much less aggressive than Betta fish and Siamese fighting fish and make excellent beginner fish for kids and families.
What to Do When Your Koi Betta Fish is Bloated
If you notice your koi betta fish is bloated, your first step is to figure out what’s causing it. Bloating can be caused by a wide variety of things, from improper tank maintenance to a bad diet. Here are some common causes for bloating in koi betta fish:
– Nutritional deficiencies. If your koi betta fish isn’t getting enough nutrients in its diet, it may try to store extra fat to compensate for the missing vitamins and minerals. This can cause bloating. Bloating caused by nutritional deficiencies typically looks like koi betta fish are swollen from the inside out, as opposed to the outside in. Bloating caused by nutritional deficiencies is usually temporary and resolves itself once your koi betta fish receives a proper diet.
– Eating too much. Koi betta fish are carnivores and should be fed a high-protein diet. If your koi betta fish is eating too much, it may cause it to bloat. Bloating caused by eating too much is usually visible from the outside in.
– Bad water conditions. If your koi betta fish’s water is too warm, has too many toxins, or is otherwise unhealthy, it may cause your koi betta to bloat as a defence mechanism. Bloating caused by bad water is typically visible from the inside out.
– Too much exercise. Koi betta fish like to swim, but too much swimming can cause them to bloat. Bloating caused by too much exercise is usually visible from the outside in.
Identifying the Cause of Bloat
Once you know what might be causing your koi betta fish to bloat, it’s time to diagnose the issue and try to get to the root cause. Here are some ways you can identify what’s causing your koi betta fish to bloat:
– Make sure your tank isn’t overstocked. Bloating is commonly caused by too many fish in a small tank. If your tank is overcrowded, your koi bettas will swim less and eat less, causing them to bloat.
– Check your filtration equipment. Bloating can be caused by dirty filters or bad circulation. If your tank is dirty, your koi bettas are swimming in unhealthily high levels of toxic waste. This will cause them to bloat. If your circulation is bad, your koi bettas won’t be getting enough oxygen and may bloat as a defense mechanism.
– Check your feeding schedule. Koi bettas don’t need to be fed very often, but overfeeding can cause bloating. If your koi bettas are being fed too frequently, they may bloat in an attempt to store the extra nutrients.
Hiding Place and Environment
Koi betta fish thrive in warm, tropical environments. They also prefer freshwater to saltwater. If your koi betta fish is bloated and you’re sure you’re maintaining a clean tank, it may just need a little change of scenery. Try switching up your betta fish’s hiding place or decor. You can also try adjusting your tank’s temperature and water quality. Here are some ways you can change your koi betta’s environment:
– Try rearranging your tank’s decor. Do your koi bettas like the current look of their tank? If not, try a new decoration.
– Try a different water temperature. Most tropical koi betta fish prefer a warm water temperature between 78 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If your koi bettas are bloated, they may just need a little temperature adjustment.
– Try a new water treatment. If your koi bettas are bloat, they may need some extra help with their water’s quality. Try a new water treatment.
Lightening up a Dark Space
Some koi betta fish owners will report that their fish have been bloated, but their tank is otherwise clean and well maintained. In this case, your koi betta fish may just need a little lightening up. Try bringing in some artificial sunlight to brighten up your koi betta fish’s environment. Here are some ways you can bring light into a dark tank:
– Try adding a light to your tank. If your koi betta fish tank is in a dark place, it may be too dark for your fish. Try adding a light to your tank.
– Try a different tank decoration. If you’re using a dark decoration in your tank, try switching it out for a lighter one.
– Try bringing your koi betta fish out of their tank. If your koi betta fish is in a too-dark tank, take them out for a few hours each day.
Filtration Equipment Changes
If you’ve checked everything else and you’re still having issues with your koi bettas bloating, it may be time to change out your filtration equipment. Very occasionally, koi bettas will find ways to block the filtration equipment in their tank, causing them to bloat. If you have an older filter, it may be time to replace it to prevent this from happening. If your koi bettas are bloating, it may be because they’re trying to block your filter. When koi bettas eat, they often leave behind undigested food. This undigested food can clog up your filter, causing it to malfunction. When your filter malfunctions, it doesn’t remove enough nitrogen from your tank, causing your koi betta to bloat.