How to Cure Betta Diseases
This article discusses possible causes and the best cures for Betta Diseases. Make sure to read Diagnosing Betta Fish Illnesses prior to reading this in order to correctly diagnose the illness and to learn how to handle isolating your sick Betta from the other fish.
When administering the medicines recommended, it is very important NOT TO OVERMEDICATE. Dosage is important, so make sure to measure correctly and use the right amount!
One of the most important things you can do to prevent illness is to always keep his tank clean and maintain the proper water temperature (this will prevent fungus and algea from growing). Remember, a little bit of effort goes a long way in extending your betta fish’s life span!
Betta Diseases – Fungus
If you consistently add aquarium salt or Aquarisol to your fish tank whenever you change the water, you will never again have a fungus problem. While fungus is contagious to the other fish, your Betta will recover if treated quickly. Make sure to clean out your tank thoroughly once the Betta is cured.
The best treatment is to use Fungus Eliminator and BettaZing together – this will eliminate almost all fungus infections. Use around 70-80 grains per gallon of water. With BettaZing you should use 8 drops per gallon. You can get both of these items at most local pet stores, or online.
Betta Diseases – Ick
Ick is another highly contageous disease that can easily be prevented by adding Aquarisol and/or salt to your water. Since Ick is so contageous it is best to treat the whole tank, not just your Betta. Ick is very sensitive to temperature, so if you have a heater, raise the temperature of your tank to 85 degrees F. Add a single drop of Aquarisol for every gallon your tank is. Do this daily until a day or two after your fish are better. It shouldn’t take more than 3-5 days to cure your fish.
Betta Diseases – Tail or Fin Rot
Fin rot comes from dirty water or a dirty tank. If you keep your Betta’s water very clean, he should never get Fin Rot. Make sure to read Water for Betta Fish if you think your Betta has Fin Rot. Fortunately, it is not contageous and is easily curable. Your Betta’s fins and/or tail will grow back, but may be shorter with a different color.
If this has just started, you can usually administer Maracyn I and Maracy II together at half the recommended dose. These medicines are easy to find at most local pet stores. They come in tablets which must be crushed before administering. Each tablet treats a 10 gallon tank – make sure to administer half the recommended dose but use both medicines.
If the Fin rot has progresses, you may need something stronger. You can use Tetracycline or Ampicillin. You may have to purchase these meds online, since they may be harder to find at your pet store.
Regardless of the treatment, it can take up to four weeks before the fins or tail stop receding and start to grow again, so be vigilant and don’t get discouraged! Once the extremeties start to grow again, you can stop medicating.
Betta Diseases – Velvet
Velvet is the number one killer of Betta fry (newborn Bettas) 🙁 Generally if you add Aquarisol your Betta will never encounter this parasite. Velvet is extremely contagious and can be lethal, so you need to treat the whole tank, but you should still isolate your Betta in a one gallon tank if it has Velvet and the other fish appear to be ok. Use 12 drops per gallon of BettaZing, make sure to sanitize fish nets and keep the tank in a dark place.
Betta Diseases – Popeye
Popeye is a bacterial infection caused by dirty water. It is usually not fatal, and your Betta should make a full recovery if you catch it early (although he may lose the eye if you start treatment too late). Immediately do a full water change and keep his water very clean with changes every other day (read Changing Betta Fish Water to learn how to do this safely). The antibiotic Ampicillin will work wonders, but can be tough to administer to small tanks since it comes in a capsule meant for a 10 gallon tank. Make sure to administor the proper dose daily for one week AFTER the popeye goes away.
Betta Diseases – Dropsy
Dropsy is thought to be caused by feeding your Betta unclean live foods, like black worms. The bacteria that causes Dropsy is contageous so make sure to quarantine your sick Betta. There is unfortunately no known cure, but sometimes with a very mild case your Betta may recover on his own.
Betta Diseases – Tuberculoses
This can be caused by live food. It may take as long as six months before your Betta shows outward signs of infection. Unfortunately, not only is there no known cure, but it Tuberculosis is extremely contageous, dangerous to other fish, and hard to kill. You will probably have to throw away your bowl, tank, net, and all other gear because even bleach doesn’t kill this bug.
Do You Want to Ensure Your Betta Lives a Happy, Healthy Life?
If you answered YES to the above question, then I highly recommend you get Caring for Betta Fish: a Guide for Betta Lovers by Marcus Song.
This regularly updated, essential guide includes the right plants to keep water clean and free from ammonia, ways to acclimate your Betta to other fish, and much more. Your Betta Fish will thank you for the rest of his life! Click Here to get it now!