Having a pet betta could bring happiness and entertainment to its owner. But sometimes we tend to neglect our pets and forget simple duties like cleaning their bowl. Betta fish diseases are easily avoided simply by properly maintaining the fish tank and providing it with the conditions that are closest to the conditions found in their natural environment. If you think that your fish is already sick, here are some examples of Betta fish diseases and their corresponding cures.
Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifilius)
Ich, which usually manifests as small white dots around the mouth or the fins of a betta, is a protozoan parasite. A betta usually contracts this parasite when the temperature in the tank drops below 80 degrees for extended periods of time. To prevent ich from affecting your betta, you can raise the temperature of the water above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and add 3 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water in your tank. If your fish already has ich, medicines with methylene blue or malachite green can help eliminate the parasite.
This usually happens when there are more than one betta in your tank. The weaker betta gets attacked by the the larger ones and the bites in the fin could be infected leading to fin rot. Segregation is the only way to prevent your bettas from fighting but adding a little salt and raising the temperature a little could lessen the chance of the injury getting infected. The use of antibiotics and anti-microbials is the advised cure for fin rot. An example of this is Maracyn-2, a wide spectrum antibiotic tablet that is used to cure multiple betta fish diseases like fin rot, dropsy, and septicemia.
Oodinium or Velvet
Manifesting as a velvety covering on the body of your beta, this algae parasite can be found in a wide variety of fresh water fish. This parasite often affects fish that are stressed out by bad water conditions, shipping or cold water. This could be prevented by properly caring for your betta and its tank. Medicines like Jungle’s Velvet Guard and acriflavine could help remove this parasite from your betta.
As you may have noticed, most betta fish diseases stem from neglect or improper care by the owner. Dirty water or water that’s too cold could become a very hospitable place for parasites which would then try to feed on your betta. Fish diseases could be cured with medicines but you’d never know if those chemicals could have a negative effect on your pet.
It is always better to keep your betta healthy and parasite-free than to worry later on about the right medication to cure your ailing fish. You must also remember that parasites are often very contagious and you might have a mini epidemic in your community tank that could wipe out all your pet fishes. If you can spare the time, monitor the quality of the water in your tanks and make sure that it is not too cold so that your fishes would be stress-free and healthy.
Copyright 2009 by betta-fish-care.net
Mischa Hill is a Betta fish enthusiast. He likes to contribute to the well-being and health of all Bettas by providing information and resources on Betta fish care and breeding Betta fish to Betta fish owners at http://www.betta-fish-care.net/.