Fredrick is a supplier of pet food and care products, and he’s a true animal lover. He loves to write about dogs, bettas, bees, and pigeons.
Betta fish suffer from a number of health conditions, but the good news for keepers of this fish is that these health problems can be prevented and also treated. If the infections occur in the aquarium, they can be easily identified and treated effectively.
This article covers all the common diseases and illnesses of betta fish, as well as their prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. If you keep Siamese fighting fish at home, read on to learn how you can keep your aquatic pet healthy.
Betta fish diseases and illnesses can be categorized as fungal, parasitic, or bacterial. Most fungal infections result from previous health conditions. Parasitic ailments are the most contagious, and can be introduced into the aquarium by new fish. The most common causes of bacterial sicknesses include poor quality water and inappropriate fish handling methods.
The Common Diseases of Betta Fish, in Brief
- Fin and Tail Rot
- Pop Eye
- Mouth Fungus
- Fish Fungus
- Anchor Worms
- Hole in the Head
- Swim Bladder Disorder
- Betta Tumors
1. Fin and Tail Rot
As the name suggests, this disease affects the fins and tails of betta fish. It can be caused by bacteria or fungi. The fins and tail appear to melt away or discolor as a result of rotting.
It can be prevented by keeping the aquarium or living conditions of the fish clean.
Fin and tail rot can be treated by medications containing antibiotics, such as trimethoprim, erythromycin and sulfadimidine.
If it is effectively treated, the fatality is medium.
If you have had fin and tail rot affecting your fish, you may have tried medications such as Tetracycline, Jungle Fungus Eliminator (JFE), Maracyn or Melafix. But the truth of the matter is that these medications are not quite effective in treating this infection, and some even kill your fish.
I have had little success with JFE and the other medications showed no success - they even worsened the condition. According to my own experience, the most effective medication for fin and tail rot is Hikari Revive manufactured by a reputable company.
The medication is itself a 5-day treatment, and it comes with clear instructions on how to use it. The most amazing thing about this treatment is that it starts to give positive results from day one! According to the manufacturer, it can also deal with pop eye, hemorrhagic septicemia, dropsy, open red sores, body slime, mouth fungus, cloudy eyes, and other many health conditions.
If you have the fin and tail rot disease or the related infections in your aquarium, I would encourage you to go for this medication. I have been using it since I discovered it in 2010 and I have had no disappointments with it.
This is a bacterial illness that causes the fins to rag and fray. It also causes skin ulcers or lesions, white spots or marks on the mouth, cottony growth on the mouth, scales and fins, and gills discoloration. The fish can have breathing difficulties as a result of the gill infection and damage.
The sickness can be prevented by treating open wounds and fungal infections. It can also be prevented by avoiding factors, such as limited oxygen, water hardness and overcrowding in the aquarium.
Columnaris can be treated by Oxytetracycline and antibiotics containing Sulfa 4 TMP, TMP Sulfa and triple sulfa.
If the infected fish is not treated, it can die in less than 72 hours.
Commonly known as redmouth, hemorrhagic causes serious bleeding inside the mouth and eyes of the fish.
The disease can be prevented by disinfecting the aquarium to kill Yersinia ruckeri, which is the bacteria causing the illness.
The treatment of hemorrhagic is possible with antibiotics such as ampicillin.
The infection is treatable, which means that the fatality is low.
This is a deadly ailment that affects the kidneys. The infected fish can have swollen belly or abdomen as a result of accumulation of internal fluid.
Some more symptoms include; outward-sticking white scales and sunken eyes.
The bacterial infection can be prevented by keeping the aquarium clean. It can also be prevented by feeding fish with vitamins-rich foods.
There is no known cure for dropsy but medications, such as Betta Revive, can help with the condition.
Most fish that suffer from Dropsy do not survive.
5. Pop Eye
This disorder causes swelling on one or both eyes. The swelling can be a tumor or viral infection.
Pop eye is usually a symptom of a disease and can be avoided by preventing infections in the aquarium.
Antibiotics such as Tetracycline can cure the ailment.
Most fish that suffer from pop eye survive at the end.
Commonly known as cloudy cornea, this disease causes white films on the eyes.
It can be prevented by improving the quality of water. A water conditioner is needed to make the water safer for the aquatic animal.
Eyecloud can be treated by antibiotics such as Metafix and Fungus Clear.
The bacterial sickness is not fatal but can impair vision.
7. Mouth Fungus
This is actually a bacterial disease, and it causes white lines or clumps around the lips and mouth of the fish.
It can be avoided by keeping the water clean, i.e., changing and conditioning it regularly.
Amoxicillin as an antibiotic can cure mouth fungus. Other medications that cure general fish fungus (described below) can also help with the infection.
The infected fish cannot survive if the illness is not treated early enough.
The symptoms of furunculosis include skin ulcers and open red sores that can also appear on the fins and tail.
Improving water quality can effectively prevent the disease.
Fungus Clear as an antibiotic can treat this bacterial ailment.
Furunculosis can kill fish that doesn’t receive treatment in time.
9. Fish Fungus
This is a fungal disease that originates from previous infections. The affected betta usually has cotton-like growths, white fuzz films, slime (mucus-like discharge), or white lumps and bumps on the skin.
It can be prevented by avoiding primary infections and injuries and keeping the aquarium clean, i.e., changing and conditioning the water regularly.
Antibiotics such as Methylene Blue and Fungus Clear can cure fish fungus. It can also be treated effectively by the Bettafix Remedy mentioned below.
The sickness can become fatal if it is not treated early enough.
Betta fish infected with velvet appear to have a rusty skin and scaly head including the gills and belly, and can also have black spots or marks allover the skin causing a color loss.
The parasitic disease can be prevented by improving the quality of water and ensuring the living conditions are stress-free. Water conditioners are some of the best substances to improve the living conditions.
It is highly contagious but it can be treated fully by Bettafix Remedy. Manufactured by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, this medication consists of curing components such as sodium chloride, copper sulfate, acriflavin, formalin, sulfa 4 TMP, methylene blue and malachite green.
With all these healing components, this remedy can also be used to treat all the other diseases, illnesses, sickness and disorders listed on this article. I have been keeping bettas for almost 15 years, and I have seen this medication heal my aquatic pets. I recommend that you use it to prevent, control and treat many ill-health conditions.
If velvet is not treated early enough, the infected fish dies in a matter of days.
Also known as white spot, ich or ick is a parasitic disease that causes white dots, rings, marks, or spots on the belly, fins, tail, gills, and other parts of the skin of betta.
It can be prevented by changing and conditioning the water regularly, and also optimizing parameters like ammonia, pH, nitrites, and dissolved solids.
The sickness can be treated by Fish-zole or salt bath, but I recommend Ich-X which provides great improvement within a week. According to my own experience, it is safe on plants and other useful organisms in the tank.
It is very easy to deal with the illness if treatment starts early.
12. Anchor Worms
This is a parasitic disease that attacks the tail or fins. The affected parts appear red and swollen and have protruding worms and threads of slime.
It can be prevented by treating any newly infected fish and keeping the water clean.
Some antibiotics such as Methylene Blue and Parasite Clear can cure the disease.
The ailment can become fatal if it is not treated early enough.
13. Hole in the Head
Betta infected with hole in the head have an abrasion on the head that looks like a pinhole or white fuzz.
The parasitic infection can be prevented by cleaning water off carbon.
Parasite Clear is an antibiotic that can cure the disease.
The infected fish usually dies after a few days if it is not treated early enough.
14. Swim Bladder Disorder
Also known as flipover, this disorder forces the fish to float at the surface of the water. The affected fish swims sideways or upside-down and can also lie at the bottom of tank. It is caused by constipation, poor water conditions, parasite or bacterial infections and enlarged organs.
It can be controlled by maintaining a high quality water, avoiding overstocking and feeding the fish with the right amount of fresh and fiber-rich foods.
When it comes to the treatment, the swim bladder disorder can be stopped by raising the water temperature, letting the fish fast for some days and then feeding them with cooked peas.
15. Betta Tumors
Betta tumors are usually cancer lumps, growths, or minor bumps/cysts under the skin of the fish. They mainly affect the reproductive organs, gills, tail, and abdomen, and are caused by genetic mutations and viral infections.
The tumors can be controlled by feeding the fish with healthy foods, maintaining a clean tank, treating other infections, and keeping carcinogenic substances away from the tank.
As far as treatment is concerned, the malignant tumors can be hard to cure, but some simple surgical operations can help. The benign tumors and cysts can be treated in a number of ways depending on the cause the lump or bump.
Fin and Tail Rot
Clean living conditions
Treat open woulds
Keep aquarium clean
Control other diseases
Improve water quality
Improve water conditions
Keep water clean
Avoid primary infections
Methylene Blue/Fungus Clear
Clean living conditions
Change water regularly
Treat new fish
Methylene Blue/Parasite Clear
Hole in the Head
Avoid carbon in water
Swim Bladder Disorder
Fasting/raise water temperature
Give healthy foods
Now you have it. With this information, you can keep betta without any worries of their infections and illnesses. Some fish can develop behavioral conditions, such as stress, lethargy, and poor appetite, but you shouldn’t be worried about these short-lived conditions, especially if your fish is new in the aquarium.
Moreover, betta fish can suffer from fading color or abnormal color change, and can develop things like bubbles and solid particles like blobs on their bodies. These conditions can be controlled by changing and conditioning the water regularly, and also optimizing parameters like ammonia, pH, nitrites, nitrates, air, water hardness, water temperature, and organic matter and dissolved solids.
Important: If you haven't found a solution for your fish yet, do not fail to check the comments, questions, and answers below.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: My betta has been hanging out at the bottom of the tank, she doesn’t really eat. Sometimes she’ll zip around the tank and then right back to the bottom. I tried betta fix. What else can I do ?
Answer: Well, you need to check other signs of sickness in her. If she lacks these signs, then she might not be sick. It is actually normal for fish to stay at the bottom or eat less/not to eat for a certain period.
Question: My betta fish is pale and is alive but at the bottom of its tank. What does it mean when a betta fish remains at the bottom of its tank?
Answer: Highly likely that you are overfeeding him and has developed the swim bladder condition. See how to deal with the condition from the article.
Question: My new Betta fish, that I got from Walmart (so you know it was in horrible conditions before I got it) is now gasping at the top of the water; he flares up anytime that anyone comes around him, he's not swimming like a normal Betta fish does either. He's my baby brother's fish, and he would be devastated if it were to die. What can I do to treat him?
Answer: It looks like you have fed him a lot, and as a result, has developed the swim bladder condition. See how to deal with the condition from the article. He could also be under stress because of the new conditions, so you can also wait to see if he'll get better.
Question: Why did my beta kill itself by butting its head onto the tank?
Answer: Didn't you see him/her butting? He/she could have developed an infection on the head.
Question: My betta fish is not moving much and is lazing around on one side of the tank. Its fins appear to have become stiff. What is the cause and cure for such a condition?
Answer: It looks like he's being overwhelmed by the conditions of the water. Try changing and conditioning the water, and maintain the right levels of water parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrites, etc. See all parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My betta fish is slow, sleeps at the bottom of the tank and doesn't move much. What could be wrong?
Answer: This is highly likely to be a swim bladder condition. See how to deal with it from the article.
Question: Should I feed my betta while medicating, or is it best to let her fast a few days during treatment?
Answer: There is no problem unless you are treating him of the swim bladder condition.
Question: Recently, my betta has been swimming with his body downward and head up or just staying like that at the bottom of the tank for long periods of time. Every time he tries to get to the top it is like he is having trouble swimming. Is there a possibility he could have gotten hurt somehow? We have had him over a year with no issue.
Answer: He could also be having the swim bladder condition. See the condition from the article.
Question: My fish has been lying at the bottom of his tank for 2 days now. His head seems to be discolored and a little swollen. He swims frantically every so often then just goes back to the bottom. Any idea what this problem with my Betta fish could be?
Answer: It's highly likely that the quality of the water has turned poor. You can try changing it regularly and optimizing parameters like pH, dissolved solids, ammonia, nitrites, etc.
Question: My dragon-scale betta has a tumor on his side. Is acting well, but it's getting bigger. Could I do anything special to help him?
Answer: It's usually not easy to deal with tumors, but you can consult a vet for some kind of a surgery.
Question: I recently got a beta fish from a friend whose kept it in awful conditions, it appears to have fin and tail rot and is incredibly lethargic. How might I help it? I want to try to save it the best I can.
Answer: You can keep him/her in a clean tank with well-conditioned water, and then treat the disease. See medications from the article.
Question: I recently got a red betta fish. After a few days I have noticed its scales started turning blueish-purple with black edges (?) and a bit of black edges were on his tail as well. Is this bad?
Answer: If he's old, it's normal - color can change with age. If it's young, then it's issues with water, and you can try changing and conditioning the water regularly plus optimizing parameters like pH, ammonia, dissolved solids, etc.
Question: My female Betta has a bump growing beneath her scales on her upper back. What could it be?
Answer: Most bumps on the dorsal area are usually tumors. It could be a tumor, but you need to monitor its progress as well as other symptoms.
Question: I have had my Half-moon Betta for about 3 years and most of that time he has been sick. Half of his head is covered in black. Furthermore, the black is now starting to spread and he has marks of black. Ever since I bought him, he has always had fin rot problems, even to the point of losing his whole back tail. I have cleaned the tank often, changed tank sizes, and used Bettafix but nothing helps. Is there any way to make him better?
Answer: You can try another medication - see Waterlife Myxazin for fin and tail rot. Also, you need to check and optimize water parameters such as dissolved solids, pH, ammonia, nitrites, etc which are well known to affect the skin color.
Question: My betta fish can't eat anything. He always spits it out, tries again and then gets tired of trying. When he tries to chew his gills go in and out. Whats wrong with him?
Answer: The food could be hard and he's trying to soften it. Other possible reasons include overfeeding, bad food that he doesn't like, sickness or mouth ulcers/lesions/cavity.
Question: Why at the beginning do you say tetracycline doesn’t work, to use Myxozin, and on your list at the end you say treatment is Tetracycline?
Answer: It is not quite effective, as it is written, but I have seen it work for some selected cases. The disease seems to have developed resistance for the compound which is found in a number of drugs. Myxazin is now included in the table in the latest edit.
Question: My betta is losing his color in his tail fin. His bottom fin has turned red... HELP ME PLEASE! What should I do?
Answer: You need to change the water regularly, keep the entire tank clean and maintain the right levels of water parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrites, etc. See all the parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My betta fish has three small raised white spots on one side of her gills. I treated for ick several times and didn’t work. Tried amoxicillin several times and didn’t work. I have changed and treated the water several times and still no changes. Even tried aquarium salt. The white spots look like they are coming out of the gills. What could this be and what should I try next?
Answer: Most white spots are usually fungal, and you can just try another medication. See the Bettafix Remedy mentioned in the article.
Question: Do you have any comments on a beta with only one eye? it's not clouded or hoping, it's missing completely. he came like this and I'm trying to see if he needs any extra measures, like maybe he could be more susceptible to infection? is it common for a beta to develop only one eye?
Answer: That's likely to be a birth defect, and I think it doesn't affect his health. If there is an opening around the missing eye or it's a damaged eye, then infections can occur, and therefore you need to always keep the water clean.
Question: My Female Betta has been lying at the bottom and top of the tank; not moving for a few minutes at a time. Her fins are never open, and she often spits out or sort of vomits her food when she eats. Her abdominal looks white and a bit large, but we always thought it was her babies. Do you happen to know if anything is wrong with her?
Answer: You could be giving her food that causes digestive issues like bloat. You can try changing the food to see if there are any positive changes.
Question: My Betta fish has little orange spots on its eye and side. And its been staying at the bottom of the tank ever since I changed the water. What do I do?
Answer: It looks like he's being overwhelmed by the conditions of the fresh water. You need to check if the source of water is safe, and also check if the water parameters are in their right levels. High levels of parameters like ammonia, nitrites, pH, chlorine, dissolved solids, temperature, etc. can cause some issues including spots. See all the parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My fish have pop eye and eye cloud, and after giving some medication antibiotics now it's having some other problems such as velvet, and there is a white spot near its fin. How do I treat it?
Answer: Get the Bettafix remedy under the velvet section (from the article) to deal with the two diseases.
Question: my Betta cannot move her body except for her two little front fins. She is not floating to the surface or looking bloated. Her fins look good, but when she tries to swim her body falls over sideways and she can't control herself. She gets herself upright with her two little fins. What is wrong?
Answer: You need to check carefully if she has injuries or some infections on the other fins, including the tail.
Question: My two male bettas have big stomachs, and one of them has really bad fin rot. I got medicine for them and water conditioner for the tank, but why are their stomachs so big?
Answer: Your fish could be bloated. Check what you are feeding them and how much.
Question: I've had three bettas in a row go blind and die shortly after. Do you have any ideas as to why this is happening?
Answer: There could be some issues with your water. You need to get water from a trusted source - your source may be offering water with harmful substances, or you could be adding them without knowing. You also need to change it regularly and maintain the right parameters - ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, pH, etc. See all parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My betta is swollen and barely breathing. He has been on his side for a week now. I have a heater in a five-gallon tank. This happened once before, so I stopped feeding him for three days, and he got better. what do you think it is?
Answer: If the swelling is on the belly area, it could be due to overfeeding which is giving him the swim bladder condition.
Question: Can I feed ants to my betta fish?
Answer: Absolutely! Insects are always a good option!
Question: My betta fish is just sitting at the top of his tank. He looks dead. He has white fuzz on his top, and his fins are sagging. When I poke him with my net to see if he’s alive, he tries to swim very hard, but fails and goes back to looking dead. Do you know what’s wrong with him?
Answer: You may have taken longer to change the water and condition it, making it poor quality and overwhelming to the fish. The white fuzz is a sign of dirty water. Some water parameters like - ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH could also be above optimum and stressing him.
Question: I recently got (2 days ago) two female betta fish and one male. The male seems to chase the girls a lot but has settled down now. One girl is fine and swimming around, but the other is barely swimming and lying sideways on the gravel. Is there a cure for my betta fish's illness? Will my betta fish die?
Answer: If you are feeding them excessively, she could be having the swim bladder condition. See the condition in the article.
Question: My betta keeps hiding at the bottom of the tank all day and seems lethargic. There are moments when he swims frantically. His colours are also faded. What is the possible issue?
Answer: Some issues with your water are causing that fading. The living conditions are definitely not good for him. You need to change your water regularly and maintain the right water parameters. See the parameters in the comment section of the article. You can also get the Bettafix Remedy mentioned in the article to help heal his corroded skin.
Question: Why does my male beta fish flare at me when I look at him?
Answer: His flaring means he is a friendly pet!
Question: My Betta Veiltail has had clamped fins for the past three days, I'm really worried about him. He takes his feed normally, but nowadays he seems to lay at the bottom of the tank, mostly at night. What could the issue be?
Answer: Clamped fins is usually due to stress which is commonly caused by poor water quality. Some diseases like velvet can also cause this problem. See comments in this article to learn how to improve water quality. You can also follow the Bettafix link to get a water conditioner.
Question: My male Betta fish is swollen, and he has what looks like an infection around his eyes. I removed the plastic plants and changed his water every five days. He will get a little better and then swell up again. His eyes were completely swollen shut. After frequent water changes and removal of plastic plants he is starting to recover, but today his mouth is swollen and a bit of inflamed. What can I do?
Answer: You can try keeping the right water parameters. Check the parameters in the article section of the article.
Question: What does it mean if your betta fish has a medium-sized lump behind its front fin?
Answer: It's a growth/tumor or a symptom of fungal, bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection.
Question: My betta fish has a little white ball next to his nose and close to his eye. It looks like a tumor. I'm getting worried about what it could be! I've had him for more than three years already, and he was doing just fine. He still eats and sleeps like normal. Today was clean up time for his tank, and I noticed that ball next to his nose. Any ideas about what it could be?
Answer: The water was getting too dirty, and this could have caused the problem. Go on to clean the tank and maintain the right water parameters. See the parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: Can you tell me why my male beta fish has a big bump under his pectoral fin? He is barely eating and only comes to the surface for air.
Answer: It could be a tumor or a swelling caused by bacterial or fungal infections. If it's hard, it's highly likely to be a tumor.
Question: I just bought a betta. She looked really healthy when I bought her. It’s been about a week since I’ve brought her home. She has a little red dot on her forehead, and I can’t tell if it’s just a red scale or some kind of disease. What do you think?
Answer: If she is not showing any signs of sickness, the mark is highly likely to be a developing bodymark.
Question: Hello, my betta's fin look shredded at the ends. Its top fin is not opening fully. And it's perpetually at the water surface. Moves around once in while but mostly static in one top corner of the aquarium. It's eating normally. Can you Please advise?
Answer: It is highly likely to be Columnaris in its early stages. This is a bacterial infection and is now effectively treated by the Waterlife-Myxazin mentioned in the artcle.
Question: Can you help me? My beta has a puffy chest. I have tried everything, but nothing worked
Answer: It could be due to overfeeding/bloating or swallowing something big. It could even be dropsy that is developing.
Question: My betta has fin rot, and sits at the surface of the tank. The tank is also foggy. What should I do?
Answer: You need to change the water and treat the fish with the medication mentioned in the article. Follow the link in the article to get the medication.
Question: Why does my betta have red spots on his fins?
Answer: Red spots are usually sores (fungal or bacterial) or wounds caused by parasites which thrive in dirty water. You can try changing the water regularly and adding some disinfectant.
Question: My blue bettas' fins are turning white. The tank got a little too dirty with algae. I was told to take my beta out with some water and thoroughly clean the tank, rocks, filter and heater I put conditioner and bio stater as prev instructions the following day my bettas fins were white. What do I do?
Answer: The new water could be having abnormal parameters that are fading the color. You can ensure that the following parameters are normal - ammonia, nitrites, nitrate, pH, etc. See all the parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My female betta has stopped eating and breathes nearly constantly at the top of the water, lying on the leaf hammock. At first, her color turned white, and she gasped a lot. Her color is back, but she still isn't eating and is still lying on her leaf breathing air from the surface. She has swum about a bit, but it seems to exhaust her. I changed her water to pre-conditioned betta water. What is causing my Betta's malady and what can I do for her?
Answer: It's highly likely to be the swim bladder condition, and you can try the solutions discussed in the article.
Question: My beta has lost color in some of his scale. It was just a few at first, but now there are many scales that he doesn't have any color. What might this be?
Answer: It is highly likely to be caused by poor water quality. You can try changing the water frequently, conditioning it and maintaining the right water parameters. See the parameters in the comment section of this article. You can also follow the Bettafix Remedy link included in the article to get a good conditioner.
Question: my betta fish's abdomen is getting bigger, and is developing some white spots. His left eye seems to have a blue glaze in it, and he seems to be trying to escape his bowl. What can I do to help him?
Answer: It looks like he's being overwhelmed by the conditions of the water. You can try changing the water which could be harboring white-spot fungus and eye pathogens. You also need to maintain the right water parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrites. See all parameters in the comment section of this article. Concerning the abdomen, this could be dropsy - see in the article.
Question: I got another betta recently, and I noticed that it a white plump where his gill is. I'm afraid it's a tumor. What should I do?
Answer: If it's soft and looks like a ball of cotton, then it's not a tumor. It's most likely to be a fungal infection which can be eased by changing water regularly and maintaining the right water parameters. See the parameters in the comment section of this article. You can also use fungal medication.
Question: My betta floats a lot recently, and I've noticed some little long black eggs. Those weird eggs can also float. Also, the betta seems underweight (skinny). What should I do?
Answer: Most bettas float due to the swim bladder condition, so as indicated in the article, you need to cut down the amount of food you are giving your fish. As for the eggs, it is normal for them to float, but thread-like eggs are associated with toads.
Question: Can you advise me as to why my beta has stopped eating for four days and lies motionless at the bottom of the tank?
Answer: You need to inspect your fish further for more symptoms because any disease can cause a fish to stop eating and lie motionless!
Question: My Betta fish, which I have had for a year, has suddenly lost color and has clamped fins. I checked the temperature of the water and made sure the water was clean, but that did not help. After a few days, I guessed that he had a fungal infection and used antifungal medication, but it has not helped and it has been over a week with the medication. Now my fish will no longer eat and lays at the bottom of the tank gasping for air. What is wrong with my fish?
Answer: You also need to check and correct other parameters like pH, ammonia, nitrates, etc which could be corroding his color and overwhelming him. See all parameters in the comment section of this article.
Question: My container dropped on the floor and the betta was out of water for a few seconds. Got him in another container, but his fins are kind of stuck. Is there anything to do to get my betta's fins normal again?
Answer: Yeah, give him time. They will be okay!
© 2015 Fredrick aka JS
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 31, 2020:
@Ethan, it could be Velvet in it's initial stage (see this disease from the article), but you need also to check your fish carefully for more signs and symptoms. Do not also forgot to change and condition water regularly.
Ethan Ochoa on August 30, 2020:
My Betta fish Libby has like greyish circle under her mouth it’s too big to be ich so idk please someone help
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 26, 2020:
@Diana, it's highly likely to be a fungal infection which is usually caused by poor water quality. You can try changing and conditioning the water regularly, and also treating the fish with a fungal medication.
Diana on August 25, 2020:
two of my betta fish have these red vertical marks on their gills and they have been growing. Im searching for what this might be but i cant find anything related to it. And the third betta is starting to get it. Is this bad?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 16, 2020:
Clowmfish81, yeah, they are different medications, and if you have used the current one with no positive results, then you need to change it.
Clownfish81 on August 15, 2020:
Hi! Thanks for getting back. I have 1 question. Is a bacterial mediation and fungal medication 2 different things?
Btw, my betta is getting worse and his fins are sort of falling off and the white part is growing.
Should I change medicines? or should I continue with this current medicine.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 15, 2020:
@Clownfish81, looks like he has a fungal infection too. You can start by changing and optimizing the water (try doing this regularly) plus get also a fungal medication.
Clownfish81 on August 14, 2020:
Hi. I have a male traditional betta who probably has Columnaris. I've been treating him with a bacterial medicine that my local fish store recommended for around a week but he is getting worse. Any ideas or something. I'm desparate. I had this fish for over 2 years now and he was like my friend.
He has white cotton looking stuff growing and his skin and fins are rotting off.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 12, 2020:
@Josi, try conditioning the water and optimize parameters like pH, ammonia and nitrites. You can also try another reputable medication from your nearest store.
Josi on August 12, 2020:
My Betta has like red bumps on his eye and looks swollen. I've tried using the Betta fix and water change but it doesn't seem to go away. Please help :(
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on August 08, 2020:
@Sarah, the water could be the problem, so try to change and condition it accordingly. This will optimize parameters like ammonia, pH, nitrites, nitrates, water hardness and even temperature which can really be a big problem when in wrong levels.
Sarah on August 07, 2020:
I have had my betta for about 6 months we have been dealing with what i think is fin rot, the tail became balled up at the end and fin on top seemed clamped, so i have been treating with jungle clear for past few weeks. The tail is no longer balled up, but as they came apart i now realize the extent of damage that was done, there are gaps missing. But now, he has suddenly became swollen under his head, which we had once before and fixed by skipping a meal a week, except this time he is turning white all over his head. Not cloudy, or fluffy fungus like, but like the scales are white and eyes seem a little puffy. I have done much research, but not sure what medicinal route to take. Please help!
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 31, 2020:
@Nice, if he's getting old, it's highly likely to be a normal color change, but you need to keep monitoring the areas for unusual changes like abnormal texture, tear and wear, rot, etc.
Nice on July 30, 2020:
my betta fish is solid red but i have noticed blue areas developing on his fins. he is acting normal (he is active, eating fine and seems happy) however im not sure if this is something that i should be be worried about or not
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 30, 2020:
@Violet, it's great you have gotten another tank. The new environment can really help with the color change.
Violet on July 29, 2020:
my betta has been livilg in the same bowl for a while and i just noticed his belly has tuned white. He still eats in fact he has gotten better at eating right when i feed him. I got him new food today but i dont know if that is the right thing to do. Also i got him a new tank today. I know it isnt stress as he always playes with his rocks at the bottom and after i clean his bowl he would make a little mountain.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 26, 2020:
@Astrid, it could be the swim bladder condition developing, and you can see how to deal with it from the article. In addition, ensure the water is clean (changed and conditioned) to deal with fungal infection which could also be the case.
Astrid on July 25, 2020:
Can you help me figure out what happened to my female betta, she was fine yesterday, today she’s staying at the bottom of her tank and her left gill looks swollen, and it’s not moving like her right gill is, I want to help her but I don’t know what this is..
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 24, 2020:
@Sunshine you need to check them careful to know the real cause, but most spots are usually fungal and require you to keep the water clean and conditioned.
Sunshine on July 24, 2020:
I just bought a new betta fish a few days ago. Whilst it seems to be fine, eating and moving about as it should be, it has noticeable red spots around it’s gills. I can’t really tell if they are actual sores or if the scales have just fallen off, but something is definitely off.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 24, 2020:
@Crystal, if it is cancer, it can't spread to the other fish. Also, if the cause of the growth is due to factor(s) affecting all the fish, then all are at the risk.
Crystal on July 24, 2020:
We have a white beta in a large community tank (no issues with other fish), has a heater and keep the at a good range. The Betta has a black growth on the top a little behind the head... It has grown quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. The fish seems healthy, eats and swims around like normal. I assume the growth is a tumor/cancer...... Can this spread to our other fish? So far, other fish have shown no signs of sickness or disease.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 18, 2020:
@Ciril, first it seems like the water is the problem, so try changing and conditioning it regularly. For the medicine, you'll just need to try a different one from your local store, and you can get help from fellow Indian betta keepers (online or in your neighborhood).
Ciril on July 18, 2020:
My female betta has eroded tail and fins, and discolouration all over her body. She is taking food, but spent most of her time lying in between the leaves, which a above the water. She seems to be active, but inactive. I'm from India and the medicines listed above is not available in our local pet shop. I'm afraid to use their medicines as I lost 3 bettas. Please suggest a medicine for her.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 06, 2020:
@Nneka, see the disease which causes red spots from the article, but you should start by changing and conditioning the water.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 06, 2020:
@Diane, your water could be the problem. You need to improve its quality. i.e, change and condition.
Diane on July 06, 2020:
my Betta had a white bubble over the top of his eye it got big an it pushed his eye out of socket now hes getting another bubble on top of eye he eats pretty good i dont think he sees very good so i push the pellet food toward him so he can swim he dose swim around but likes hanging on bottom of tank
Nneka Brathwaite on July 04, 2020:
I have a spawn of fry which are dying with one large red spot on the body of fish. Any ideas as to the problem?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 28, 2020:
@Sheryl you can try another medication and keep the parameters of the water optimal. See the parameters in this comment section.
Sheryl on June 28, 2020:
We thought our betta had fin rot cause his tail was straggly on the ends snd his littke fins on the side are patchy as well. We moved him to his own tank and treated him with tonic and then melafix. It has been 10 weeks and he is not looking better. What coukd we be missing. Thanks
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 25, 2020:
@Nic, if they have been there since you got the fish, they are likely to be natural - bodymarks, otherwise they are a fungal infection and you can check how to deal with them from the article (including the comment section).
Nic on June 25, 2020:
There are white spot on my betta fish's both eyes. May I know is it infected or it is natural.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 24, 2020:
@WH, see fish fungus from the article.
WH on June 24, 2020:
Hi, some white stuff grow on my Betta fish's fin. May I know what caused that?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 22, 2020:
@Juli, it's likely to be a fungal infection developing, so keep an eye on it as you try the fungal remedies discussed in this article (including the comment section).
Juli on June 21, 2020:
I just changed my Betta fish's tank from a 1gal to 5gal yesterday. He was swimming around and seemed pretty happy last night, but this morning he is hiding a lot behind his plant and not really seeming active. Additionally, when I woke up this morning I saw he had a white patch right at the end of his body where the fin starts. It doesn't look like Ich/Ick from the photos I've seen, as it's too big, but it doesn't appear wispy and doesn't look like a white fungus either. I only got him a month ago from Petco and he was doing relatively fine aside from being stressed due to the conditions of his 1gal tank.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 21, 2020:
@Mohamed it's likely to be swim bladder but you can check for more symptoms to know the exact condition.
mohamed anfas on June 20, 2020:
my betta fish which is red .his belly turned yellow and he sank to the bottom not moving an inch what can i do
pls tell me
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 12, 2020:
@Sandra, it is highly likely to be a fungal infection and there are a number of ways you can help him as detailed in the article.
Sandra on June 11, 2020:
Hello, my betta has been mine for almost two years. Recently he has been lethargic and seems to have a ... fuzzy spot? soft spot? weird growth? show up. It is just where his tail fins meet his body on the underside. What do you think it is and can I save him? He is still eating. He could use a water change but I was afraid of stressing him out.
I'd appreciate your help.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 03, 2020:
@Sophia. I think he's just fine, but you can keep monitoring him for more unusual behaviors.
Sophia Mannone on June 02, 2020:
So recently I purchased a male and female beta fish from petco. The female is doing amazing but the male not so much. He is constantly floating at the top of the tank where sometimes I think I see a little curve. He also will not eat. He looks very healthy and swims fine when he can, but whenever he does swim it looks like the water is making him float back up and can never rest at the bottom. He also seems very sensitive to light, so I usually keep the light off. He although did try to eat once. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I this is only like my second time having a beta.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 01, 2020:
@questions, as the virus is zoonotic.
questions on May 31, 2020:
can betta fish get corona
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on May 30, 2020:
@Time, see the disease with this symptom from the article.
corona time on May 29, 2020:
my betta fish has dots all around his eyes . Do you know what that is ?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on May 18, 2020:
@fishlover it's normal - fighting to decide who will dominate the tank.
FISH LOVER on May 17, 2020:
I have 21 female beta in a 40 gallon tank and 2 male. why are they fighting?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on April 10, 2020:
@Lorene most likely to be a fungal or bacterial infection.
Lorene Whittington on April 09, 2020:
My beta has a clear bump on his side looks like a boil. Looks like it could bust what could this be?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on March 23, 2020:
You can then try the treatment methods discussed in the article.
Dave on March 12, 2020:
I think my Betta has Swim Bladder Disorder
It's day 3 with no food,well he while laying on bottom of tank hold his tail bent and skyward
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on February 17, 2020:
@Tammy. The water could be the problem, so you can have it checked.
Tammy on February 17, 2020:
I recently lost 3 of 4 females in my healthy sorority. They went from eating and normal activity to death within 36 hours. They have no outward signs of disease. I introduced 3 rasboras less than a week prior; I also noticed tiny white specs on on the plants that have been in the tank for about 1 month. Any suggestions? I'm devastated. They were happy and doing well together.....
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on February 11, 2020:
@Joseph looks like he's finding some comfort there!
Joseph on February 10, 2020:
My Beta is hanging around the filter a lot. Almost like he is sleeping right behind the filter. When I move the filter he will move out and swim a little, but withing a few minutes he will be right back by it. It will sit there for long periods of time without moving. I will add that this is a brand new fish. We have him in a 2.5 gallon tank. Filtered and heated. Is he staying by the filter as a comfort thing? Is the filter to strong or stressing him out? Will he get used to that and more active after a few days?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on February 05, 2020:
@Anna You can try reducing the amount you feed him and optimize the water temperature - see the swim bladder condition from the article.
Anna on February 05, 2020:
My betta fish had a cottony looking fuzz on his back ... I treated him with ich and jungle fungus. He seem to of gotten better his tail has gotten a little shorter but looks like it’s growing back healthy. I’ve I’ve done a lot of changes I do not understand he’s still lays at the tops of the leaves at the top of the water he does not swim around at all and if he does it sideways I don’t know what else to do this is been going on for about a month and a half for a while there I was feeding him like three times a day
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on December 28, 2019:
If it's hard/firm and not cotton-like, it is highly likely to be cancer, but you can also check out other symptoms from the article.
Merriweather on December 20, 2019:
My fish has a tumor that is yellow, and he has one on each side. How do I know if its cancer?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on November 06, 2019:
@Sharon, yeah, that is a strong indication that she need some more heat, so you can try increasing it.
Sharon on November 06, 2019:
Recently purchased a small heater for my betta's fish bowl. Now all she wants to do is stay by the heater. Is the water too cold otherwise?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on October 28, 2019:
@Charlotte It looks like the quality of the water is decreasing and this is overwhelming your fish. You can try changing and conditioning it regularly.
Charlotte Freeman on October 27, 2019:
I believe my Beta recognizes me. It will come to the side of the tank where I am at and start moving it’s fins rapidly. However, I am getting worried about Bailey because he’s looking frazzled lately. What can I do to fix this issue? Also, there is a film that develops on top of the water so does he produce some type of chemical ?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on October 17, 2019:
@cj You can try changing and conditioning the water regularly, and also optimizing parameters such as dissolved solids, ammonia, nitrites, pH, etc.
cj on October 17, 2019:
i bought my daughter a betta a couple weeks ago. Ive had bettas before but never had to deal with any skin/fin ailments. This otherwise active. bright blue betta, Sky, developed tiny red dots that resemble the red betta food balls.Sone look like they're sitting on his skin, others arent as raised. They are mostly on his tail but some on his underbelly fins.Weve been treating the tank with Bettafix. The fishstore said that it would treat most fungal, bacterial or parasitic problems but they also advised to me that they arent veterenarians. The dots dissipated but during the 7 day treatment, they reaappeared. Any advice?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on October 09, 2019:
@Crimson you can see how to deal with white spots from article, but as far as eating is concerned, it looks like he has the swim bladder condition and can therefore go for days without eating until the condition is gone.
Crimson on October 08, 2019:
My fish Crimson just recently got over dropsy we have taken good care of him but now he seems as pale as he was when had it but isnt bloated and has this white spot near his gill. He barely eats and it gets hard to feed him. I uavent fed him for a while and not on purpose he just wont see it or realize its there.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on September 23, 2019:
There are some more remedies under the disease description that you can also check and try on your fish.
Angela Nisbett on September 04, 2019:
I have diagnosed my Betta to have swim bladder disease. Have fasted for a length of time. Still swims funny but has the will to live. Finds locations to stay at the top of the tank otherwise unwillingly floats to bottom. Problem I am having now is he won't eat. Have tried his pellets, frozen bloodworms and peas. He is not interested. He has been fasted now for 2 weeks. What else can I try?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 22, 2019:
@Nimbus it is highly likely that there was a big problem with the water. It is usually recommended to change and condition it regularly, and optimize parameters such as pH, ammonia, nitrites, dissolved solids, etc.
Nimbus on July 20, 2019:
My fish Nimbus passed recently he would hang at the bottome of his tank and struggle to stay afloat, we tried treating him for swimbladder and because hus fins had been torn badly fin rot, he refused to eat for weeks i had even tried changing his food from dried blood worms to pellets and ended up needing to lower his water levels so he can breathe what did i do wrong?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 15, 2019:
@Lilly It's highly likely to be a fungal infection, and you can try changing the water regularly. You can also try the Bettafix Remedy mentioned in the article.
Lilly on July 14, 2019:
what does it mean when there is a yellow-white gunk near or on the gills of a beta fish?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on July 12, 2019:
@Diana if the light yellow stuff is cotton-like, then it's highly likely to be a fungal infection, and you can try changing and conditioning the water more frequently. You can also try the Bettafix Remedy mentioned in the article.
Diana on July 11, 2019:
My Betta fish has a bump or a lump on top of his head it has like light yellow stuff on it what should I do to cure it?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 18, 2019:
@charlie In addition to cleaning the water, you need also to change and condition the water regularly and optimize parameters such as dissolved solids, pH, ammonia, nitrites, etc.
Moreover, see velvet from the article and check if your fish has its symptoms.
charlie on June 18, 2019:
my beta fish is a female and shes smaller than usual. when i got her she was bright blue and turquoise, now maybe 3 weeks later, the very tops of her fins are turning brown along with the area near her gills, the brown is getting worse but only by a tiny bit, I've noticed shes inactive lately too. I've cleaned her tank and watched her more, but still keeps happening, i don't know if its the food I've gave her, but i doubt it, .my friend who is a fish expert told me this is the best food. i feed her a little in the morning and a little at night.
i have never had a fish before and this is my first one, could you please help me find out whats wrong with my fish please?
also if this one were to pass could you recommend me a fish that is easy for beginners, like me?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 17, 2019:
That's likely to be a fungal attack, and you can try the Bettafix Remedy mentioned in the article.
Ada Smith on June 16, 2019:
My Betta fish has a white ripped looking kind spot on its caudal fin. What is it and what can I do about it.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 15, 2019:
If it's a hard/firm one, then it's highly likely to be a tumor. Otherwise, it's a fungal, bacterial, viral or parasitic infection.
Tiffany McKenzie on June 14, 2019:
My Betta has a black lump growing on his pectoral fin, it doesn’t fit any common ailments. Cancer?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on June 01, 2019:
See how to deal with spots from the article.
Alexander on June 01, 2019:
My Betta has a white spot between its fin and gile what should i do
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on May 28, 2019:
@Brie check the swim bladder condition from the article.
Brie on May 27, 2019:
My Betta fish has been staying at the top of the tank and almost perching himself on top of one of the decorations. His belly overnight seems to have tripled in size and he seems to be breathing harder. What should I do?
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on May 17, 2019:
He might have been hurt by the other fish, or even bruised by objects in tank during the chase. If this is the case, he will get better with time. But you can use some disinfectants to keep the patches free from microorganisms.
Some fungal infections appear grey, so don't rule out these types of infections. You can just monitor him closely to see how the patches will develop.
Rajendraa on May 15, 2019:
My betta is not eating properly for some days. I have kept him in a 240 litres tank with 35 other small fishes.. earlier when i had 20 fishes my betta was doing fine swimming around and eating.. but after adding 10 Red rose tetras which were chasing my betta for a week now, my betta is not so active.. it always hides or rests between plants.. doesnt swim around like it did earlier.. its color has reduced and the fins doesnt flare like it did..
And also there are some light grey small patches on its skin.. they were not there earlier.. i do weekly water change of 25% as i have more fishes in the tank.. Kindly suggest me what I can do to save my betta..
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on May 13, 2019:
@Amethyst It likely that the old water had a high level of dissolved solids which flocculated on the scales.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on April 25, 2019:
Most spots are usually fungal and can be treated with medications like Bettafix Remedy (see it in the article). Others are parasitic like ich - see from the article.
As for the losing color, it could be due to poor water conditions, so you can try changing and conditioning it regularly, and also optimizing its parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrite, dissolved solids, etc.
Jade on April 24, 2019:
Hello I got my fish a couple of days ago and when I got him he had swim bladder and was on the top now he is better but losing his color and hasn’t some spots please tell me how to fix this and what’s it called thank you
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on April 03, 2019:
@SGH He's likely to be overwhelmed by the conditions of the water i.e., high ammonia, pH, nitrite, etc, or suffering from columnaris - see how to deal with the disease from article, and try changing and conditioning the water frequently.
SGH on April 02, 2019:
I have the most beautiful Betta. When I got him 6 months ago he was sociable, highly active always cane to the glass to meet me and would stay as long as I talked with him. He never hid from me and would flare and blow bubbles all the time. I literally just did a 30% water change in his 5.5 gallon tank. I also cleaned decor and put it back exactly where it was. Now I’m completely freaking out he’s swimming with clamped fins, jerking through the water and I found him up against the filter. And he’s hiding from me. All of these symptoms are completely alien to this guy. I conditioned the water, waited, added the appropriate bacteria and put some H2O drops in the water to reduce stress. This is the same routine I’ve been following with him and he has never behaved this way. Am I losing him? Please, please help.
jm on March 25, 2019:
my betta had tail rot lived 3 more years full life span is 4.5 years i use bath salt
harsha on March 24, 2019:
my betta fish was not moving it is floating on the top of water please tell me the solution for it
Mieko on March 24, 2019:
This is an amazing website thank you so much now my betta fish is healthy!
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on March 21, 2019:
@ZettaGirl in addition to the mediation, you may want to change the water regularly, clean the tank and maintain the right water parameters - pH, ammonia, nitrates, etc.
ZettaGirl on March 20, 2019:
My betta has had a swollen abdomen for 6 months. She also has one eye protruding and swollen. Additionally there are white colorations at the lower rims of the eyelids.
I give her 1 drop of colloidal silver daily. She is looking much happier even with these issues.
Fredrick aka JS (author) from Intercontinental on March 20, 2019:
It's highly likely to be the fin and tail rot disease developing, and so you can try a bacterial medication, change water and clean the tank.
Darien on March 19, 2019:
My male betta has white tips of his front fins, he should be healthy I feed him pellets and every 2 days I give him dried blood worms.
Any help on what the whit little tips might be?