How to Treat Sick Betta Fish - fish-hobbyist

How to Treat Sick Betta Fish

Meta description: Just like any other creatures, Betta fish can fall sick and even die if left untreated. To avoid that from happening, treating Betta fish is necessary.

Among many freshwater fish species, Betta fish are one of the most common to keep as a pet. Just like any other fish, they also can suffer from diseases caused by parasite, bacteria, and fungi. These diseases can worsen if your betta fish is stressed and left untreated. Therefore, identifying sick behavior and treating Betta fish as soon as possible are necessary.

Before it’s too late to save your finned friends, here are some stressed or sick Betta fish behaviors to identify:
Sluggish, inactive, hiding
low appetite for a long period
faded and dull colors, mainly in male Bettas
difficulty in breathing
damaged or torn fins
white spot on body or mouth
abnormal swimming

Disease and treatment

Here is a list of the most common diseases of Betta fish and the treatments. Treating Betta fish as soon as possible can minimize the damage.

1. Columnaris 
Columnaris, usually called as mouth fungus, is a bacterial disease attacking stressed or unfit Betta fish in contaminated water through cut, mouth, or gills. Usually, there will be visible cotton-like patches around those areas. However, if the infection is internal, the symptom might not be visible and unidentified.
To treat this disease, remove bacteria from your entire tank by changing the water, cleaning gravel, and adding aquarium salt. Then, you can treat with antibiotics and anti-fungal medication.

2. Dropsy 
The symptoms of Dropsy are extreme Betta’s body swelling, especially in the abdominal area. Those indicate other ailments, such as failing organs (kidney or liver), breathing difficulty, and extremely low appetite. The disease might be caused by viruses, bacterial infection, poor nutrition, and parasites.
You can treat them with Kanamycin Sulfate/Maracyn II and isolate the sick Betta from healthy ones as the disease is contagious.

3. Hole in Head
The indication of this disease is visible holes above the eyes and in the head caused by poor nutrition and water quality. If left untreated, it can spread, and the hole becomes larger. Treating betta fish suffering from this disease can be done by changing water and feeding proper Betta fish food.

4. Ich/Ick
This parasitic disease can be identified by small white dots on body and fins in size to a granule of sugar. It is caused by poor water quality, stress, or other infected fish.
To treat Betta fish with Ich, put them in a separate tank with the healthy ones, progressively raise the temperature of the water, and add one teaspoon of aquarium salt for one gallon of the water tank.

5. Popeye
This disease makes one or both fish eyes bulge, caused by prolonged exposure to poor water quality or Tuberculosis. It is preventable by regularly monitoring water quality and not feeding them live food. This disease can be treated by changing water and giving Maracyn II antibiotic or Kanaplex.

However, keep in mind that taking preventive action is better than treating Betta fish because sometimes it can be too late to save them. Be aware of the symptoms, maintain your water quality, don’t put them in a stressful environment, and tailor their diet to their dietary requirements. A happy fish is a healthy fish.


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