Betta Diseases – Quick Reference Manual

BETTA FISH DISEASES

QUICK REFERENCE MANUAL

 

One of the most common mistakes one could make when treating betta fish is in accurately determining the right dose. It’s essential that you know the level of water should be in the fish tank so you can give the precise amount of medicine.

 

Septicemia

Description: Infection in the Bloodstream due to nitrite or food poisoning

Type: Bacterial

Contagious: No

  • Redness or streaks under the scales
  • Open wounds
  • Ulcers
  • Popeye
  • Clamped fins
  • Lethargy
  • Color loss or loss of appetite

 

Columnaris (Cotton Wool or Mouth Fungus)

Description: Caused by stressful environment or unmaintained water. This diseases causes ragging, fraying of fins that can lead to lesions or ulcers, scales, fins, and gills discoloration. Betta fish can experience difficulty in breathing due to gill infection.

Type: Bacterial

Contagious: No

  • Commonly identified when white or grayish spots or patches can also look yellow or orange on the head and all around the fins and gills

 

Dropsy (Pineconing)

Description: Organ failure caused by viral diseases, parasites, and/or bacterial disease. Believed to come from giving your fish with contaminated live food, like for instance black worms. A bacterium which spreads this disease is infectious so ensure to separate the sick fish. Sad to say, there is no cure available

Type: Symptom

Contagious: Yes

  • Grossly swollen belly
  • Scales that stand out with a pinecone-like appearance
  • Eyes that bulge
  • Gills that are pale
  • The anus that becomes red and swollen
  • Feces that are pale and stringy
  • Ulcers on the body, along the lateral line
  • A spine that curved
  • Fins clamped together
  • General lethargy
  • Refusal to eat
  • Swimming near the surface

 

Fin / Tail Rot (Melt)

Description: Red/Black edges along the infected areas. Normally due to filthy water or a dirty fish tank. Usually the lost parts of fin or tail will generate.

Type: Bacterial

Contagious: No

  • Inflamed patches on the fins
  • Faded color or discoloration on the edges of the fins,
  • And fraying of the fin or tail
  • Others symptoms include, lethargy and loss of appetite

 

Fish Lice (Argulus)

Description: Visible crustacean parasite that feeds and lays eggs on Betta fish

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Green to brown lice visible on skin
  • Ulcers
  • Wounds and round parasite attach to the skin
  • Clamped fins

 

Fungal infection

Description: Cotton like growth on fish/eggs

Type: Fungal

Contagious: Yes

  • White blotchy patches on the body and head of the betta
  • Reactions to the illness will also occur, such as a loss of colour, loss of appetite, lethargy or clamped fins

 

Gill/Skin Flukes

Description: Parasites will breed and lash onto any part of your Betta such as the gills, fins, or body.

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Gasping for air at the waters surface
  • Damage to the gills
  • Gills covered in mucus
  • Scraping
  • Ulcers and wounds

 

Anchor Worms (Lernea)

Description: Highly visible parasites will lash onto your Betta’s skin

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Scraping
  • Ulcers/Sores from rubbing against objects
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Lethargic Behavior

 

Ich/Ick 

Description: White spots will be found on the body and/or fins of your Betta. Very hard to detect on white colored Bettas. Very sensitive to temperature, therefore when you use a heater; increase the temperature of the tank to eighty five Fahrenheit.

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Small white dots on the body, fins, or gills resembling sugar granules
  • Behavioral symptoms rubbing against objects in the aquarium

 

Internal parasites

Description: Best treated with medicated food

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Lethargic and lazy
  • Worm hanging from anus
  • Sporadic swimming and movements

 

Popeye

Description: Bacterial infection of the eyes. Your fish will usually make a complete recovery, however it is likely your fish loses his eye when you notice it too late. If popeye is presented in only one eye, it’s mostly due to injury and not a bacterial infection. Salt baths and 100% daily water changes are recommended.

Type: Bacterial

Contagious: No

  • Bulging swollen eye
  • The eye may also have a thick white ring around it
  • General reactions to illness will also occur, such as loss of appetite and lethargy

 

Slime Disease

Description: Characterized by an over production of mucus coating

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: 

  • Include a grey / white to blue looking mucus coat and rapid breathing (gilling).
  • Extreme cases, obvious physical damage to the skin occurs, secondary infections such as fungus and fin rot can develop
  • Weakens immune system

 

Swim Bladder Disorder

Description: Caused by Overfeeding/Constipation or internal parasites.

Type: Ailment 

Contagious: Maybe

  • Primary involve buoyancy, including sinking to the bottom or floating at the top of the tank, floating upside down or on their side, or struggling to maintain a normal position

 

Tuberculosis

Description: This is the only fish disease known to be contagious to man. It can be as long as six months prior to show any symptoms of infections. Unfortunately, not just is there no known treatment, but it is very spreadable, lethal to nearly all other sea life, and hard to get rid of. Even using bleach can’t sanitize against it. You will most likely need to dispose of your bowl, tank, net as well as all other gears.

Type: Bacterial

Contagious: Yes

  • Thinness, loss of appetite, and emaciation
  • Grow body deformities such as popeye, 
  • suffer from bloated gills and scales, 
  • red clamped gills (otherwise known as pine-coning) 
  • fin and body rot, 
  • red patches on its body and 
  • grey lesions along its side
  • Curved spine/crooked skeleton
  • Sluggish movement/lack of movement
  • Eye damage

 

Velvet

Description: Yellow spots will be found on the body and/or fins of your Betta. Very hard to detect on Yellowish/Gold colored Bettas. Number one killer of betta fish.

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Scratching body against hard objects
  • Fish is lethargic
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Rapid, labored breathing
  • Fins clamped against the body
  • Fine yellow or rusty colored film on the skin (giving a velvety appearance)
  • In advanced stages, skin peels off

 

Hole in Head

Description: Believed to be caused by Hexamita or poor water conditions

Type: Parasite

Contagious: No

  • White Stringy Feces
  • Loss Of Color
  • Loss Of Appetite & Emaciation
  • small holes located in the head

 

Tumor

Description: Can be seen grown on skin. If the tumor is growing internally, swelling and protrusion will be visible.

Type: Genetics

Contagious: No

 

Camallanus Worms

Description: best treated this is through medicated fish food

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Red/Brown worms protruding from their fish cloaca’s or anus

 

Leeches

Description: Usually introduced with the addition of live plants or snails

Type: Parasitic

Contagious: Yes

  • Scraping
  • Ulcers/Sores from rubbing against objects
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Lethargic Behavior
  • small worms hanging from body

 

 



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