Ways & How

How to Treat a Sick Betta Fish

How to Treat a Sick Betta Fish

If you need to find out how to treat a sick betta fish because you suspect your fish is not well, you must act quickly so as to keep the sickness from getting worse. Betta fish are some of the most beautiful fish to grace an aquarium, and seeing one get sick can be quite distressing; thus it is important to learn how to deal with any illness. Here you will find tips on how to care for your sick betta. Before pursuing any intervention, the foremost question you should ask yourself is whether the water in the aquarium is clean and has been changed regularly. It is obvious that for a water creature to thrive, its environment must be suitable and conducive to its welfare. If you know the water is overdue for cleaning, then that should be your first course of action. Even if it’s clean, replacing the water is still your first step. If there are several fish in the aquarium, you will need to replace the water and then isolate the sick fish in another bowl. Aside from clean water, you need to closely observe your betta fish and find out what specifically ails it, so you can give the appropriate treatment.

Here are treatments for common diseases, in addition to replacing the water:

    1. A bigger bowl with new or additional vegetation, reduced loud noises or disturbances—for stressed fish. Stress is usually manifested through bitten-off or ragged fins (different from root rot) where the fish bites its own tail off out of boredom and misplaced aggression. Other symptoms are aggressive behavior, color loss, and appearance of horizontal stripes.

    2. Lower water temperature to 76°F and add aquarium salt, 1 teaspoon aquarium salt per gallon of water – for fungal infection. Symptoms are blackened tissue, lethargy, white patches on the body, clamped and sickly fins, and change in color. If the treatment doesn’t work in ten days, or if the symptoms spread during treatment, then add anti-fungal medication and an antibiotic to the treatment.

    3. Use one teaspoon aquarium salt per gallon of water plus Stresscure—for fin rot. You will notice fin rot by obvious damage to the fins, which look ragged and dissolving, and getting smaller in size. The tips of the fins are black or red. You will need to change the water daily and replenish the salt as well. You may gradually increase the salt up to two teaspoons. If the rot doesn’t seem to abate, add antibiotics, but never use salt for more than ten days. However, if the rot is directly on the body instead of just the tips of the fins, add anti-fungal medication and antibiotics in addition to the salt and daily water change.

    4. Use one teaspoon aquarium salt per gallon of water, increased water temperature, and anti-parasitic medication OR potassium permanganate—for ick or velvet. Ick and velvet are parasites that infect fish. Ick is noticeable as white flecks on the fish, like it was sprinkled with salt. Velvet appears like fine gold, velvety dust covering the body of the fish. If one fish shows symptoms, you won’t need to isolate it; the whole tank is infected and must be treated. Increase the water temperature to 85°F to kill the parasites. Choose whether to treat with anti-parasitic medication or potassium permanganate. The first may not be very effective, and the second may be quite dangerous; so consult with a vet or a knowledgeable pet shop owner on the best course to take.

    5. A three-day fast and then feed with a pea – for constipation, symptomized by lack of poop, bloated abdomen, inability to swim upright, listing to the side. Move the fish to a bowl that has no sand, rocks, or anything on the bottom so you can monitor its poop. Don’t feed it for three days to allow it to empty its stomach before adding more food. On the third day, take a frozen pea and thaw in the microwave. Skin the pea and chop it very fine before feeding only about a quarter of it to the fish. The pea will greatly aid in digestion and defecation.

Sometimes, the biggest risk for a sick betta fish is not the disease itself, but an owner who doesn’t quickly notice that something is wrong, know how to diagnose the illness, and move promptly to treat the fish. With careful attention and the tips provided here, you should know how to treat a sick betta fish and keep it healthy.


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