Sick Betta Fish- Help my betta fish is sick!
Dealing with a sick betta does not have to be a heartbreaking experience. Although very beautiful, betta fish are unfortunately very fragile creatures and everyone will at one point or another have to deal with a disease or other problem.
The first step if your suspect that your betta is sick, is to properly diagnose what is wrong and than determine a proper course of treatment.
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It was written by an avid betta lover and experienced breeder who put experience in keeping and caring for betta fish into an easy to follow manual that no betta owner should be without.
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Here are some common symptoms that a sick betta may exhibit.
- Erratic swimming mostly on his side.
- A bloated or enlarged belly .
- Lack of appetite or your betta fish won't eat.
- Large bulged or swollen eyes
- Dull lifeless color -or color is fading.
- White fungus around on face around lips and mouth.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Dark red sores under the scales
- Ragged or torn fins with pin size holes in them.
If your betta exhibits any of the above symptoms than you are likely dealing with one or more betta fish diseases or some environmental condition that is causing your betta to be sick and you need help. In many cases you can reverse the problem and bring your betta back to health by making sure that the water conditions in your tank are at pristine conditions.
Make sure that ammonia and Ph levels are at zero and that your water temperature is at a suitable degree. Betta's are native to tropical climates and a temperature of between 74 -78 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal. If your water temperature is to cold your fish’s immune system will be weakened and diseases or other problems will begin to occur.
On the other hand if your water temperature is too hot, bacteria will grow and with polluted water you are inviting disease. Another thing to remember is that betta fish have an organ that allows them to breathe air directly from the atmosphere, so it is important to make sure that there is sufficient well ventilated space above the water for them to breathe.
More signs Of A Sick Betta Fish
My betta fish is bloated
There are two usual causes of a betta fish developing a bloated stomach. The first is over feeding and the second is feeding your betta dry food. Dry pellets when they are eaten by your betta will swell as moisture in the stomach expands them. For this reason you should soak your pellets before giving them to your betta to avoid any future bloating. While on occasion it can be a symptom of dropsy typically incorrect feeding is the culprit.
While not pleasant to look at the good news is that this condition can be easily treated. If your betta fish is bloated try feeding it little pieces of cooked peas (with the shell off) for a day or so to clean out the digestive system and than resume a proper feeding regiment.
my betta fish has fin rot
Fin Rot develops from a bacterial infection and often appears with one or more other betta fish diseases. sadly this is one of the most preventable conditions if proper betta fish care is maintained.. If your betta fish has fin rot it was likely caused by stress due to poor water conditions. If you don't change your tanks water regularly, any excess food or feces will begin to decompose and contaminate the water. This creates a perfect environment for bacteria so it is important to set up your beta fish tank properly and maintain good overall aquarium conditions.
If your betta fish has fin rot you will need to completely change the water and make sure that the entire tank is completely cleaned. Be sure to wash all decorations and pebbles thoroughly with hot water. There is medications you can buy at the pet store to treat this condition and have proven successful in curing sick betta fish.
Fin Rot is also very contagious so any fish that are uncontaminated should be separated from the others in your tank until cured to prevent the disease from spreading to other healthy Betta fish.
my betta fish wont eat
Unless your betta fish is sick they will usually eat as much food as you give them, even to the point of eating themselves to death. So if your betta fish won't eat than likely he is either stressed due to a change in water conditions such as a different temperature or after a water change as it takes them some time to adjust to the new water. Or he may be suffering from a bacterial infection or other illness such as ick or dropsy.
If you have determined that a betta disease is not the culprit than make sure that first he is in a properly sized tank (fish bowls are not suitable) and that the water is clean, and your aquarium temperature is kept at 78-82F. If he doesn't respond in a few days try feeding him tiny pieces of cooked pea's to clean his digestive system out and your betta should go back to normal activity.
my betta fish is laying on it's side
If you find your betta fish is laying on it's side than likely he is suffering from swim bladder disease which can cause your fish to swim erratically. This is can be caused by constipation due to over feeding or other illness. You may notice him swimming to the bottom of the tank and floating back to the surface, going in circles or laying on his side at the bottom of your tank.
Swim bladder disease is easily treatable first stop feeding the sick fish for a few days. Than feed him a cooked pea cut into very tiny pieces with the shell removed to relieve any constipation. Make sure that the water conditions in your tank are clean and that any gravel or decorations are cleaned using just hot water (no soap)
If after trying this treatment and find yourself still saying "help my betta fish is sick!" or your betta's condition doesn't change than he may be suffering from a bacterial infection or other parasite.
Remember prevention and proper care is always the best strategy to avoid having a sick betta fish. But with quick treatment most problems can be easily reversed and your friend can go on to live a long happy life.