This article talks about the most effective cures for Betta sicknesses.  Be certain to check out Betta Fish Illnesses in addition to reading this post, so you correctly diagnose the sickness, and also learn how to take care of isolating your ill Betta fish from the remaining fish.

When administering the treatments recommended, it is critical NOT TO OVERMEDICATE.  It is vital that you know how much water is in your fish tank so you can administer the exact amount of medicine.

Betta Illness – Fungus
Fungus is easily preventable by using either aquarium salt or Aquarisol to your fish tank regularly.  While fungus is contagious to your other fish, your Betta should make a full recovery if you begin treatment in the early stages.  When your Betta is cured, be certain to clean the entire fish tank thoroughly.

The most effective treatment is to use Fungus Eliminator and BettaZing at the same time – this will get rid of almost any kind of fungus.  You need to administer around 40 grains of Fungus Eliminator for every half gallon.  The correct dose of BettaZing is four drops for every 0.5 gallons of water.  Most local pet shops will carry both of these meds.  If not, go online.

Betta Disease – Ick
Ick is one more very contageous illness that can easily be prevented by using Aquarisol and/or salt to your tank regularly.  Ick means you need treatment of your whole fish tank and all the fish inside it, because it spreads so rapidly.

Ick is extremely sensitive to heat, so if you have a heater, raise the temperature of your tank to 85 degrees.  Add one drop of Aquarisol for every gallon of water.  This must be administered daily until your Betta is healthy.  To be on the safe side, it’s generally good to do it for an extra day or two.  Your Betta fish should be completely healthy in about 3-5 days.

Betta Disease – Fin Rot
Dirty water and a filthy fish tank are almost always the reason behind Tail or Fin Rot.  If you make sure your Betta’s water extremely clean, he will never be stricken with Fin Rot.  On the bright side, it’s not contageous and is easily curable.  Your Betta fish’s fins and/or tail usually will return, but could be shorter with another color.

Maracyn I and II combined at the same time will generally get rid of beginning stages of Fin Rot.  Most neighborhood pet shops will hold Maracyn I and II.  Before using them in your tank, the tablets should be completely crushed.  Use half the required dose of the two medicines.  Make sure not to use too much!  Each full tablet is ok for a 10 gallon fish tank, so if you own a five gallon fish tank, administer one fourth of each med (not half!).

If the Fin or Tail Rot is in the advanced stages, you could require something more powerful.  Both Ampicillin and Tetracycline work well for advanced stage Fin rot.  You may have to buy these meds on the internet, because they might be tough to find at a small pet shop.

It may be as much as a month for the fins or tail to stop declining, so make sure to provide the medication consistantly.  You can stop administering the medicine when you see your Betta’s tail and/or fins start to grow again.

Betta Fish Disease – Velvet
The biggest killer of Betta fries is the parasite known as Velvet.  Generally if you use Aquarisol your Betta fish will not be exposed to this disease.  Velvet is extremely contageous so you need to use meds on your whole fish tank, but you should still isolate your Betta in a small tank if it has Velvet and the other fish appear to be alright.  Make sure to disinfect your nets and all other things in or near your tank.  Place the tank in a dark area, and administer 12 drops of BettaZing for each gallon of water.

Betta Disease – Popeye
Popeye is a bacteria caused by unclean water.  It’s generally not going to kill your fish.  Your Betta will probably make a 100% recovery if you discover it soon (although he may lose his eye if the treatment is started too late).  As soon as possible do a complete water change and keep the water is extremely clean with changes every third day.  The antibiotic Ampicillin will work wonders, but can be difficult to administer to small fish tanks since it comes in a capsule that works for a 10 gallon tank.  Be certain to deposit the proper dose daily for one week AFTER the popeye disappears.

Betta Disease – Dropsy
Dropsy is believed to be caused by feeding your Betta unclean live foods, for example, black worms.  Make sure to quarantine your Betta from all remaining fish beause the Dropsy bacteria can be extremely contageous.  There is unfortunately no treatment, but rarely with a very mild case your Betta may recover on his own.

Betta Illness – Tuberculoses
This is thought to be caused by contaminated live food.  Your Betta may not display signs of infection for as much as six months.  Tuberculosis is really hard to destroy and is really lethal to your other fish.  Even bleach does not sanitize against it.  You will probably need to throw out your fish tank, fish net and all remaining gear.

Make sure to read this Betta Lovers Guide review for my favorite of all the best betta care guides.  This will ensure you’ll always take the best care of your Betta fish and prevent all possible illnesses.


Jason Andrews has been caring for Bettas for over 20 years.  He has a blog in which he writes about the different types of Betta fish as well as best practices in extending Betta life span.