Bettas are extremely hardy fish and will survive conditions that would kill other species in a short time.
Betta Fish can get sick easily but most betta fish diseases are curable. At the time of daily feeding, we should make it a habit to observe the bettas.
Overtime, our eyes will get trained to recognize a sick betta fish. As a betta fish lover, it is necessary to be aware of the betta diseases and be prepared to medicate a sick betta.
Early signs of sickness
A healthy betta fish eats like a pig and is very active swimming around the tank. It remains colorful and very vibrant. A sick betta fish does not eat or eats reluctantly and may spit out his food. When it looks pale or its colors get dull or turn grey, it is a sure sign of a betta fish sick. The body may have open sores, white cottony patches, red and white spots. One or both the eyes may be swollen or protruding.
Betta Fish Diseases
Betta Fish Fungal Infection Betta carrying fungal infection may have white cottony like patches on its body or head. He may be less active. Sometimes it stops eating and its fins may be clamped and its color may turn pale. To avoid fungal infection always add aquarium salt to your betta’s water (1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 2 1/2 Gal of water) and one drop of Aquarisol per gallon. Change water frequently. Though fungal infection is contagious, bettas will more than likely recover if treated promptly.
Betta Fish Fin Rot It is also called as tail rot. Bettas suffering from betta fin rot start losing their fins. The tails tend to get shorter and shorter. They may also change to darker colors. Betta fish fin rot comes mainly from dirty water in the tanks. Bettas kept in clean water will never get tail/fin rot. This disease is not very contagious and will more than likely recover if treated properly.
Advanced betta Fin Rot and Body Rot This can get serious and lead to death if not treated promptly. The disease starts as a regular fin rot but advances quite rapidly. It becomes difficult to stop. The betta will have no fins left. This disease is hard to reverse and if not treated, will die promptly.
Ick is a pesky little parasite. The betta has white spots all over his body. He may be less active and fins may be clamped. He may be scratching against rocks and plants. This is a very contagious disease but bettas treated promptly tend to recover fully. Always add aquarium salt and one drop of aquarium per gal, to the water in the tank. Doing so, betta will never get ick.
Velvet It is another pesky parasite that is very contagious. When one fish is found to have it, it is better to treat the whole tank. It is probably the most common disease that kills small bettas. When they have velvet, bettas will be covered with fine gold or rust mist. If you add aquarium salt along with one drop of aquarisol per gal, to bettas water, betta will never get velvet.
Popeye This is a bacterial infection usually caused by poor water conditions. One or both eyes start bulging out. Although Popeye is not fatal and curable, most times Popeye may be an indication of other diseases like tuberculosis which cause death. If the water is always clean, betta is not likely to get Popeye.
Dropsy This is the most fatal of betta fish diseases, often leading to kidney failure. This is said to be caused by the feeding of live foods, such as black worms. An abnormally big floated belly and raised scales are the signs of a betta with dropsy. Although not contagious, the disease cannot be successfully treated.
Swim bladder disorder This is a common disease that comes from overfeeding. It is not contagious and often cures by itself. Bettas suffering from this disorder will have difficulty swimming.
Internal parasites Bettas feeding on live worms often get internal parasites. Here bettas lose weight even though they are eating normally.
Preventing Betta Fish Diseases
Most betta diseases can be prevented by keeping the tank and water clean. Always add aquarium salt to the water. When you spot a sick betta fish, immediately remove it and treat it in isolation. Sanitize and disinfect the affected jars and tanks.