13 Common Betta Fish Diseases (With Photos): Prevention and Treatment
Betta fish suffers from a number of health conditions, but the good news to the keepers of this type of 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, their prevention, diagnosis and treatment. So if you keep the Siamese fighting fish at home, read on to learn how you can keep your aquatic pet healthy.
Betta fish diseases and illnesses are categorized into fungal, parasitic and 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.
In Brief, What are the Common Diseases of Betta Fish? Well, They Include:
- Fin and Tail Rot
- Pop Eye
- Mouth Fungus
- Fish Fungus
- Anchor Worms
- Hole in the Head
1. Fin and Tail Rot
As the name suggests, this disease affects the fins and tail of Betta. It can be caused by bacteria or fungi. The fins and tail appear to melt away 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 manufactured by a reputable company. Waterlife-Myxazin
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, body rot, raised veins, ulcers, 'redness', cloudy eyes and other 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 disease that causes the fins to rag and fray. It also causes skin ulcers or lesions, white spots on the mouth, cottony growth on the mouth, scales & fins, and gills discoloration. The fish can have breathing difficulties as a result of the gill infection.
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 abdomen as a result of accumulation of internal fluid.
Some more symptoms include; outward-sticking 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 survives 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 and clumps around the lips and mouth of the fish.
It can be avoided by keeping the water clean.
Amoxicillin as an antibiotic can cure Mouth Fungus.
The infected fish cannot survive if the illness is not treated early enough.
The symptoms of Furunculosis include skin ulcers and open red sores.
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 on the skin.
It can be prevented by avoiding primary infections and injuries.
Antibiotics such as Methylene Blue and Fungus Clear can cure Fish Fungus.
The sickness can become fatal if it is not treated early enough.
Betta infected with Velvet appears to have a rusty skin.
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 . 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. Bettafix Remedy
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 is a parasitic disease that causes white spots on the skin of Betta fish.
It can be prevented by changing the water regularly.
The sickness can be treated by Fish-zole, Malachite Green or salt baths.
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 & swollen and have protruding worms.
It can be prevented by treating any newly infected fish.
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.
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.
Fin & 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
Now you have it. With this information, you can keep Betta without any worries. 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.
Have you ever dealt with any of the above Betta fish infections and diseases?
Questions & Answers
I thought my Betta had fin rot, but there was only discoloration and a fraying of the ends. I put him in a new, clean tank treated with aquarium salt with daily water changes. Seemed to help but no new growth. Today his gills are slightly discolored. He is eating normally and active, but no bubble nests. He's in a 2.5-gallon tank, unfiltered with live plants. I've been doing 100% changes twice a week. All his water parameters are in safe ranges?
I think you are doing the right thing now. You just need someone who knows about Bettas, like a veterinarian, to check your water parameters and advise accordingly.
Can you advise me as to why my beta has stopped eating for four days and lies motionless at the bottom of the tank?
You need to inspect your fish further for more symptoms because any disease can cause a fish to stop eating and lie motionless!
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?
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.
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?
Can you help me? My fish has been sick for about a month. I've tried everything. He will have fuzz on his back that looks like Columnaris. It'll go away a little before it returns looking like a dandelion! I feel terrible that I can't help him...the fuzz looks like that in the Columnaris picture, but it could also be fungus. I've treated him with Lamenting and Metronidazole, and then fungus cure separately. I have also tried Methylene blue. Please tell me what I can do.
The problem could be the water and other elements in the tank. You need to start charging water regularly, and you can begin by performing a 100% water change.
Ammonia build-up has been studied to cause all sorts of ailments in fish. You need to ensure that the amount of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates is below 40 ppm. To lower these compounds, you can do the following.
- Change water regularly.
- Scoop out unnecessary organic matter like food remains, rotting plants and dead fish.
- Vacuum/clean the gravel.
- Unclog the filter.
- Cut down on feeding.
- Avoid overstocking.
- Introduce healthy bacteria.
- Lower pH.
- Increase aeration.
- Use ammonia neutralizing/removing pellets/drops.
When performing a 100% water change, let the tank dry in the sun and soak its accessories in hot water. If you have plants, get them outside to vaporize any water on them. When adding fresh water, include some aquarium salt or conditioner, and ensure the water temperature remains between 26-27 degrees C.
After changing the water, cleaning the tank and obtaining the right water parameters, you can continue with the fungal medication.
© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores