There are many known betta fish diseases, over fifteen to be exact. Some are very common, while others are quite rare. However, there are three of which you should be aware. While they aren’t the most lethal betta diseases, they can create distress and hinder your fish’s well being. These three diseases are Fin Rot, Ich, and Velvet.
Fin Rot is the most common disease of the three. Fin Rot is usually caused my Aeromonas and Pseudomonas in fishes resulting from crowding, decaying food in the fish tank or irregular water temperatures. When your betta has fin rot, you will notice his fins start to become brown or dark. To eradicate fin rot, first, change the water and add Melafix along with one teaspoon of aquarium salt for every five gallons of water. Raise the temperature of the water to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also beneficial to increase aeration as well as reduce the light. Also, try not to feed your betta fish any dry foods until he is well.
Ichthyophthirius multifilis, also known as Ich, is a protozoan springtime disease of tropical fish. You will find Ich in all of the natural waters when fish are stressed, hence their immune systems are lowered by cold temperatures. Thankfully, once a fish has recovered from it, he will develop immunity and will rarely become infected again. However, it is possible for them to be carriers.
The most common incidence of Ich occurs when a new fish from the pet store (and the bag of water it came in) is mishandled during the transfer. The first introduction of the disease will be a few white spots on the fins or body. Unfortunately, after a few days, you will notice the size of the spots grow considerably. Bettas with Ich can stay alive much longer than other fish, but if left untreated, they could die.
The best way to treat Ich is to raise your water temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain this temperature until the disease begins to subside. Another easy way to remedy the situation is to add aquarium salt to the water which can stop the disease from spreading.
Similar to Ich, Velvet is also a protozoa disease and it is caused by Piscinoodinium. Fortunately, Velvet is treated similarly to Ich. Heating the water warmer as well as adding aquarium salt will help your betta recover in a short period of time. To prevent future infections, it is highly recommended to frequently change your tank water. Poor water quality is the most important killer; it is where Velvet flourishes. When uneaten food festers, the bacteria releases toxins and wastes, and devours oxygen. This then makes it difficult for fish to breathe or resist an infection.
All three diseases can show up frequently in betta tanks. Knowing what to do to prevent the disease and how they can recover their health can be the difference between life and death for your betta fish.
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