Betta Breeding
Betta Feeding
Betta Fish Care
Betta Genetics
Betta Problems
Home » Betta Fish Care


Submitted by on 7 October 2011 – 09:14

KIND OF BETTA FISH DISEASE AND TREATMENTon older post we have share some usefull information about same topic “Betta Fish Disease and Treatment”. Now, we want to continue the same discussion, about the types of disease in betta fish and how to treat / cure it.


  • Symptoms: One or both eyes will swell and bulge out. It in itself can also be a symptom of Dropsy.
  • Treatment: Usually not fatal if treated, but your betta might lose an eye. Conservative: If the swelling is extreme then use ES first. Perform 100% daily water changes. You may be able to treat the popeye with just Epsom and clean water. However, if the swelling goes down but the eyes remain cloudy/white, then switch to Aq.Salt at 1tsp/gal or use medications. Do not combine Aq.Salt with medications but you can continue to use ES during medical treatments.
  • Medication: If ES or Aq.Salt do not do the trick or it is a serious case of popeye, then combine the ES with API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API General Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Mardel’s Maracyn.


  • Symptoms: Your betta fish will have a bloated belly and raised scales. They will look like a pine cone. This is usually a fatal disease caused by an internal bacterial infection resulting in internal organ failure but many have had success bringing fish back when treated quickly.
  • Early Symptoms: Swollen eyes (important), Gray belly (important), Clamped fins, Lethargy. If your fish has swollen eyes and a gray belly, I suggest that you treat it for Dropsy.
  • Treatment: If you spot the early signs of Dropsy then treat him/her with ES at 1-2tsp/gal and Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets while performing 100% daily water changes. It helps to increase the temperature to 84*F. If he/she has begun Pineconning then do the full course as described below:
    Performing daily 100% water changes. Increase the temperature to 84*F. Add 1-2 tsp/gal Epsom Salt.
  • Medication: Use API General Cure OR API Erythromycin OR Maracyn II and/or Maracyn for best results. Feed something containing Metronidazole, for example, Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. If caught early, Dropsy is curable.

Swim Bladder Disease (SBD)/Bloat

  • Symptoms: Betta fish has trouble swimming, maybe he can’t stay upright and can only swim on his side.
  • Treatment: This is not a contagious or fatal illness. If it isn’t congenital (aka a condition that he/she has had since birth), then it is caused by over feeding or feeding the wrong foods. Bettas will typically recover after a day or two of Epsom Salt treatments (1-2tsp/gal) and fasting. You can help prevent a reoccurrence by switching to a better pellet food, feeding less and offering a more varied diet. To make it easier for the betta to eat and breath, you can make the water shallower. You can offer him/her frozen daphnia (sold at Petsmart) as daphnia will help him/her pass stool. DO NOT FEED THEM PEAS.

External Parasites

  • Symptoms: You may see parasites (other than ick) or you may not. Pay special attention to the area around the gills and fins. May dart and rub against decor, lose interest in food, lethargy, color loss.
  • Treatment: Some parasites can be treated conservatively with Aquarium Salt. For salt treatments, treat as you would with Ick. If conservative treatment does not work or if you have extenuating circumstances then there are a number of medications you could use. API’s General Cure and Jungle’s Parasite Clear fizz tablets are both affective ways to kill parasites. Do not combine with Aq.Salt.
  • Alternative Medicines: I like PP for all stubborn external infections. It has never failed me, but it should only be used as a last resort.

Internal Parasites

  • Symptoms: Betta is losing weight but eating normally and acting lethargic. He/she might dart or rub against decor.
  • Treatment: These can be hard to fight and can get confused with the fatal disease Tuberculosis. Perform daily 100% water changes (if possible, for larger aquariums change 3/4). Make sure you carefully clean the gravel to remove eggs/larva. Aq.Salt does not seem to be affective against internal parasites.
  • Medication: I find combining ES with an anti-parasite med is best. Treat with 1-2tsp/gal Epsom Salt combined with either Jungle’s Anti-Parasite Pellets, Jungle’s Parasite Clear Fizz tabs or API General Cure. PP is also effective against internal parasites.

Bacterial Infection/Open Red Sores

  • Symptoms: Betta fish has open red sores or red patches (that aren’t ammonia burns), lethargy, no apetite, clamped, sits at bottom or top, color loss.
  • Treatment: Perform daily 100% water changes and clean the gravel thoroughly (at least 3/4 water change for larger tanks). Treat the entire tank. Treat conservatively with Aq.Salt at 1-2tsp/gal but do not continue for more than 10 days.
  • Medication: If that fails, use API Tetracycline, API Erythromycin, API Triple Sulfa OR Mardel’s Maracyn I & II. PP is also effective.


  • Symptoms: Fish will start acting sick for no apparent reason. They could just die. Symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, open sores, deformities (scoliosis, bent spine), raised scales, fin and tail rot, gray lesions, and many others. Generally, if your fish are dying in large amounts everyday, it is probably TB. BEWARE HUMANS CAN CONTRACT TUBERCULOSIS FROM FISH, IT IS A POTENTIALLY DEADLY DISEASE.
  • Treatment: There is no known cure, it will generally kill all fish that come in contact with it. It is highly contagious. Bleach does not kill it so throw away all supplies.

Inflamed Gills

  • Symptoms: One or both gills will not close all the way and may appear red. The fish will be gasping for air and subsequently die.
  • Treatment: Isolate sick betta fish. Depending on the cause, there are different treatments. If it is genetic then there is no cure. If it was caused by nitrate/nitrite/ammonia poisoning (BAD HUSBANDRY) then treat with 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt and Stress Coat while performing daily 100% water changes. If it is a bacterial infection, then you can treat conservitably with 1-2tsp/gal Aq.Salt for up to 10 days.
  • Medication: If that does not work then use API Tetracycline, API Erythromiacin, API Triple Sulfa, OR Maracyn.

Septicemia(Red Streaks)

  • Symptoms: Bloody red streaks across the body and/or fins, lethargic, loss of apetite, clamped, gasping for air, bloated, ulcers.
  • Treatment: Septicemia is caused by an internal bacterial infection. From what I’ve read, it can be due to compromised digestion as a result of rapid drops in temperature. Since Nitrite poisoning can also cause red streaks, check for that first. I do not know if it can be treated conservatively as I have never tried. Though it is not contagious, isolate sick fish. Perform daily 100% water changes.
  • Medication: Treat with API Tetracycline, API Erythromiacin, Mardel’s Maracyn II OR Jungle’s Fungus Clear/Eliminator. If you are treating with something that does not contain Metronidoxole then combine the treatment with Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. During treatment, use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt and Stress Coat (as directed on bottle) to help prevent secondary infections.

Body Slime Infection

Symptoms: Your betta is covered in a white film. It may just be in a few areas and may rise of the skin a bit. Lethargy, clamped, loss of apetite, may have cloudy eyes.

Treatment: Body Slime infections or Slime Coat Sloughing are due to bacterial infections. Perform daily 100% water changes. Use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt for up to 10 days.

Medication: If that does not work then use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Jungle’s Lifeguard.


  • Symptoms: White spots on mouth, edges of scales and fins, Cottony Growth that eats away at the mouth, Fins rapidly disingrate, starting at the edges
    Gray areas around head and gills, As the disease progresses the gray lesions may change in color to yellow/brown/red, Lesions often occur in front of the dorsal causing a “saddleback” appearance, Lethargic, Loss of appetite, Clamped, Gasping for air.
  • Treatment: There are 2 versions of Columnaris: chronic and acute. Chronic Columnaris can take days to progress while acute can kill within a day. It is contagious so isolate sick fish. If more than one fish shows symptoms then treat the entire tank. Perform daily 100% water change in small tanks or ¾ water change in larger tanks. Make sure to clean the gravel. Treat with Aq.Salt: add 1 tsp/gal Aquarium Salt 3 times, 12 hours apart so that you end up with 3 times the normal concentration. Do NOT raise the temperature as it thrives in temps over 85*F, however, lowering the temperature does not seem to help fight it.
  • Medication: Combine salt treatment with Mardel’s Coppersafe, Maracyn I & II, API Erythromycin, OR API Triple Sulfa, combined with Jungle’s Fungus Eliminator (if possible).

Hole in the Head Disease

  • Symptoms: lesions (holes) will appear around the head area, Lethargy, Loss of appetite.
  • Treatment: HITH can be treated conservatively with Aquarium salt. Add 1 tsp/gal Aquarium Salt 3 times, 12 hours apart so that you end up with 3 times the normal concentration and remember not to continue this for more than 10 days. Keep the temperature between 80-82*F and perform daily 100% water changes.
  • Medication: If conservative treatment fails then use API General Cure OR Jungle’s Parasite Clear fizz tablets.


  • Symptoms: It’s hard to say for sure. But maybe your betta is lethargic, not eating, hiding, staying in a corner or at the bottom of the tank, he might look a bit pale or dart away when you get close to the tank. It could be a mild infection of some sort though too so be careful.
  • Treatment/Prevention: If your betta is housed with other fish then isolate him and see if he get better. His tank mates might be harassing him. On the other hand, some bettas become depressed when isolated. Other causes could be too much or too little light, too much current, too much activity near the tank, the temperature might be too low. Try changing things up, move the aquarium to a more isolated area and see if he gets better. Or if he’s on a food strike, offer live foods. If he is lonely, place the tank where he can see other fish. Make sure there are places to hide when he is stressed.

–The End of KIND OF BETTA FISH DISEASE AND TREATMENT post. We hopefully this become valuable post–

Tags: , , ,

Leave a comment

Add your comment below. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.