Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Types of Betta Fish Diseases

A Healthy Betta Fish

Water Conditions

Many times when a betta fish loses its color, holds its fins close to its body and appears lethargic, it is not a betta fish disease but the water temperature that is the problem. Adjusting the water temperature to 78 to 80 degrees is a simple solution to the problem. If the betta fish does not respond to the correct water temperature, then a betta fish disease is the likely cause of the symptoms. Review caring for betta fish guides to ensure the health of the fish.

Fin and Tail Rot
Betta fish display very interesting features, especially their striking colorful, flowing fins and tails. Unfortunately, fin and tail rot often strike betta fish. The disease is the result of bacteria build-up from infrequent water changes. Leftover food and feces causes stress in bettas and their tails and fins begin to rot.

Jagged, torn fins and tails are symptoms of the disease. Eventually the fins and tail disappear completely and the betta is unable to swim, leading to death. The first thing to do when fin rot appears is to change the water and clean any ornaments or plants with hot water. Fin and tail rot is also contagious, infecting any other fish.

The most common medications for fin and tail rot are Tetracycline and Maracyn. These medications are available at pet stores. Adding about ¼-teaspoon aquarium salt to a one-gallon tank often helps with healing.

One of the most common betta fish diseases is constipation. It causes death in betta fish if left untreated. An inappropriate diet of too many bloodworms, not enough variety, or overfeeding leads to betta fish constipation. The symptoms of a constipated betta fish are an enlarged, swollen stomach and little fish waste appears in the tank.

Treatment of betta fish constipation requires no medication but a simple diet change and fasting. To cure betta constipation, do not feed the fish for one to two days. After fasting, feed the betta fish a tiny piece of a peeled pea until the abdominal swelling decreases.

When the betta fish is having normal bowel movements, feed a variety of betta pellets, brine shrimp, and flake food. A couple pellets or flakes in the morning and at night are all betta fish require. Fast the betta fish once per week to allow its system to remain clear and prevent constipation.


A small parasite causes ich in betta fish. Stress caused by changing water temperature is the most common cause of ich and it is extremely contagious. The symptoms appear as tiny white dots covering the betta’s body. The betta will hold its fins tight to the body, stop eating, and start rubbing against ornaments in the tank.

Treat the entire fish tank if ich is present. Ich is usually fatal but if diagnosed and treated soon enough, it can be cured. Begin treatment by raising the water temperature to 85 degrees and change the water throughout the 14-day treatment period. Coppersafe, Maracide, and Aquarisol are the medications needed to treat ich. Continue the medication for the full two weeks even if the white spots disappear.

Betta Fish Center: Betta Diseases
Healthy Betta: Fish Illness and Cure Information


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