How To Spot And Treat Common Betta Fish Diseases

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Bluel beta fish swimming in tankKeeping a Betta fish is one of the more colorful experiences in the fish keeping world but it can also be particularly challenging. Unlike other pets, keeping a Betta fish can be frustrating because your fish cannot communicate its needs. There are a number of common Betta fish diseases. Find out how they can be identified and what should be done to treat them.

Article Overview

Act Fast: Timing Is Everything

There are a wide variety of Betta fish diseases and while it may seem to the untrained eye that the symptoms of these diseases are similar, oftentimes they can be distinguished when you know what you are looking for. Becoming educated in regards to the health of your Betta is one of the biggest steps that you must take in order to ensure that your fish remains healthy.

Something else that is just as crucial is timing. Knowing what to look for when your Betta fish is feeling under the weather is important but so too is having the appropriate medications on hand in order to treat your Betta as soon as possible. Many of the common Betta fish diseases are fast-moving and it is important that once you ascertain that your Betta is in need of medical care, that you have the appropriate treatment on hand in order to stop the progression of the disease in question. Timing is everything when it comes to treating any Betta fish disease.

Create Your Betta Fish First Aid Kit

Like most pet owners you are likely to already be attached to your Betta fish which means that you are prepared to care for it like you would any other pet, this means that you should always have a first aid kit handy for your fish. It may sound absurd to create a first aid kit for a Betta fish but the truth of the matter is that the medications most often required to treat Betta fish diseases are not available in most pet stores.

If the time comes that your Betta fish is ill we have already discussed the importance of timing and this means that mail order medication for your fish’s treatment may take too long to arrive in order to treat your fish before it expires. As a responsible Betta fish owner, you should always have a basic first aid kit available to treat the most common Betta fish diseases.

How to Choose the Best Betta Fish Tank

What Should Be Included In A Betta First Aid Kit?

To make things simple a number of Betta fish experts actually sell pre-made Betta fish first aid kits that can be purchased online; however, if you choose to put together your own first aid kit you should think about including the following products:

BettaZing Or Bettafix

Editor’s Pick

BettaZing and BettaFix are anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-protozoan medications that are great when used as a preventative medication to prevent the development of clamped fins or velvet fins. This medication should be applied as a preventative measure any time you acclimate a Betta to a new environment or anytime you add a new Betta fish to your tank.



Editor’s Pick
Kanaplex Branded KanamycinKanaplex Branded Kanamycin

Most top of the line fish stores will carry Kanamycin, an antibiotic that is most commonly used for more serious bacterial infections that your Betta fish may contract.


Tetracyclin is available from a number of pet stores and is also used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial infections. Where Kanamycin is used to treat more serious bacterial infections, Tetracyclin is used more often for less serious bacterial infections.


Ampicillin is another antibiotic worth carrying in your Betta fish first aid kit and is available in specialty fish stores as well as online. Ampicillin is used for gram positive infections, some gram negative infections and pop-eye.

Jungle Fungus Eliminator

Editor’s Pick
Jungle Fungus ClearJungle Fungus Clear

Jungle Fungus Eliminator is an anti-fungal treatment that can be purchased online or from fish specialty stores. This treatment is generally used for a number of fungus infections and is particularly useful to keep on hand for any Betta fish owner.

Maracin 1 and Maracin 2

Maracin 1 and Maracin 2 come in hard tablet form and are both anti-fungal and antibiotic treatments. These medications are utilized when your Betta fish has contracted a mild infection like fin rot but they are not as effective as some of the other medications listed when it comes to the more serious infections.

Recognizing Signs Of A Sick Betta Fish

Green betta fish swimmingThe first step in treating any Betta fish disease is to recognize when a Betta fish is sick, this can be particularly difficult due to the limited communication that Betta fish can provide to their owners.

There are, however, behaviors that healthy Betta fish exhibit and the first sign of a potentially sick Betta fish is a change in these behaviors. Below are some signs that you should watch for that may suggest a sick Betta fish:

  • A fish that stays at the surface of the water in the corner of its tank.
  • A fish that lies at the bottom of the tank and only comes to the surface to breathe.
  • A fish that does not eat, does not show an “excited” reaction to being fed or a fish that spits out its food. It should be noted that some Betta fish pellet food can come in pellets that may be too large for your Betta fish, a healthy Betta may spit these out and wait for them to become soggy before trying to consume them a second time – this does not indicate a sick fish.
  • A fish that appears to have “lost” its color or appears to be a much less vibrant colorful shade.
  • A fish that appears to be scratching itself by rubbing against items in its tank.
  • A fish that appears to have unusual sores or markings on its body that were not present previously.
  • A fish whose tail or fins are no longer spread out and have the appearance of being unhealthy, closed or clumped together.
  • A fish with gills that do not close completely due to inflammation, inflammation can also cause the gills to appear red in color.
  • Swollen or protruding eyes.
  • A swollen stomach or “hollow” appearing stomach.
  • Raised scales that give your Betta the appearance of having a prickly texture.

A Betta fish that exhibits any of these signs should always be isolated from any other fish if it is being kept in a community aquarium because a number of common Betta fish diseases can be easily communicated from one fish to another. Having a disease pass from one fish to another is not only unfortunate for the fish involved and more expensive to treat but it is also a way for the disease to be contracted a second time by a fish that has already been effectively treated.

If you have a Betta fish that has become ill that is kept in a community tank make sure that you do keep an eye on other fish in the tank for any signs of the disease in question being contracted by them.

ALWAYS wash your hands with an antibacterial soap if you handle a fish that has any type of illness or disease to ensure that you do not spread the disease from one fish to another – not to mention that this is the sanitary thing to do whenever you handle your fish.

Identifying Common Betta Fish Diseases

Only a licensed veterinarian or fish expert can identify particular Betta fish diseases accurately in order to treat them; however, a number of Betta fish diseases are so common that they can be readily identified by someone who has experienced them before or knows what to look for. With that said, this information should not be taken as professional advice or utilized for diagnosis to treat a sick Betta fish.

Fin Rot And Tail Rot

Fin rot and tail rot are often classified together however, they may or may not both occur together. Tail or fin rot tend to be contracted by a Betta fish through contact with dirty water so it is important to ensure that you maintain a clean and healthy Betta fish tank. Fortunately for the Betta fish that contracts tail or fin rot damage done to the fins or tail is repairable if treatment is issued in a timely manner and fin and tail tissue will regrow (although it may not be as resplendent as it previously was.)

A fish with fin or tail rot will exhibit a variety of symptoms but the most obvious are clumped fins or tail tissue or fin or tail tissue that appears to be disintegrating and disappearing little by little. This type of Betta fish disease should be treated with Ampicillin or Tetracycline and your Betta fish tank should be thoroughly cleaned and clean water should be used in the new tank. Ensure to treat the new water before filling the tank.

A fungus eliminator should also be utilized in the new tank to ensure that your Betta begins recovery. It is important to be consistent with tank cleaning and water change when treating fin or tail rot, this should be done once every three days or so with medication being added with each water change. Once your Betta fish no longer shows signs of losing tissue on their tail or fins and begins to show signs of new growth you can resume a normal tank cleaning schedule.


Ich may sound funny but there is nothing funny about this parasite! This parasite is most commonly contracted by your fish through frozen live food and most commonly presents as small white dots on your fish’s body, head, tail and fins. Ich can be prevented by ensuring that you add a small amount of aquarium salt and Aquarisol to your Betta fish tank when maintaining your tank.

If your fish does contract this parasite it should be treated quickly. Fishes with ich not only present with small white dots but they also appear to be scratching themselves against items in the tank and may become less active than normal. Ich is an extremely contagious parasite and if one fish in a community tank has it there is an extremely high likelihood that other fish have it or will develop it so you should always treat the entire tank. Ich is most commonly treated by raising the temperature of the Betta fish tank.

However, this can only be successfully done in tanks lager than 5 gallons since smaller tanks can quickly overheat killing your Betta fish. In larger tanks, temperatures of 85 degrees will quickly kill off the ich parasite. If heating the tank is not an option because of a smaller tank you should completely clean your tank, replace all water in the tank and treat with Aquarisol and aquarium salt. It is also commonly recommended to put your Betta fish in a holding container after cleaning the smaller tank and raising the temperature of the water to 85 degrees to kill any remaining parasites without risking overheating your Betta fish.

How To Treat A Sick Betta Fish

Watch this success story of Captain Redbeard being treated from Ich and how he recovered.

Fungal Infections

Fungus is common in tanks that are not treated with salt and Aquarisol when water is added. Once a single fish in a community tank contracts a fungal infection there is a high likelihood that another fish may also contract the fungal infection so it should be treated quickly when spotted. Betta fish that have fungal infections can appear to be a much more pale hue of their normal color, they may not be as active as they usually are and their fins may have a clumped appearance. A fish with a fungal infection can have patches of a white cotton-like appearance on their body.

Eliminating fungus should begin with a full water change and treatment of the new water with a fungus eliminator, this type of medication will cause the water to change to a gold-like color, this is normal. Every three days the water in the tank should be replaced and a new dose of fungus eliminator should be administered. Once all visible signs of the fungal infection have disappeared ensure that you treat your tank with BettaZing or Bettamax to treat any trace signs of the fungal infection that may remain.


Popeye is one of the more noticeable diseases in Betta fish because as its name suggests, a fish with this disease will appear to have one or both eyes protruding from the head. Most commonly popeye develops from dirty tank water because it is a bacterial infection; however, popeye can also be the result of a much more serious illness. Most commonly when popeye does not respond to treatment it is a symptom of a much more serious disease like tuberculosis which is incurable and your Betta fish will be unable to survive.

For the fish that has contracted popeye as a result of dirty tank water however, treatment can quickly remedy the bulging eyes that result from this disease. Treatment for popeye should be immediate in order to prevent any long-term damage or loss of sight in your fish. To treat popeye clean your tank and do a complete water change and add Ampicillin to the clean water. Clean water should be changed every three days and medication should continue to be added until one week after your fish’s popeye symptoms disappear.

Advanced Fin And Body Rot

Advanced fin and body rot is a case of regular fin rot that goes on for far too long. When regular fin rot is not treated or when it progresses extremely quickly it can be extremely difficult to stop. A fish with this disease will experience a loss of fin and body tissue as the rot progresses. Once the rot progresses on to body tissues there is very little that you can do to help your fish as the bacteria quickly eats your fish alive. In cases of extreme fin or body rot you may begin to see small bones protruding from your fish’s body. If the affected fish is not treated in time they will die quickly but this death likely causes the fish to suffer a lot of pain. It is occasionally possible to control the progress of advanced rot and the fish can continue to live while being treated.

Stopping advanced fin and body rot is difficult and you will need to completely change your fish’s water and combine a number of medications designed to treat fin rot. In cases of severe rot you may want to over medicate the water and then continue cleaning your fish’s water every three days adding new medication each time. Once your fish shows new growth in the fins and on the body you can switch to a medication designed to prevent bacteria from growing in the water again.


Velvet is a parasite that can be prevented completely by adding aquarium salt and water conditioner to your fish’s tank. Velvet is particularly contagious and if you have shared aquarium nets between tanks and have a case of velvet, you will want to ensure that you treat all of your fish for velvet. Velvet is completely treatable but it can be difficult to see in your fish. In order to check your fish for velvet you will want to shine a flashlight on your betta and if they have velvet you will see a fine mist over their body that looks gold or rusty in color. Betta fish that have velvet will clamp their fins to their body, will lose its color, will not eat normally and they will scratch against the gravel of the tank.

Velvet is a parasite and it can be treated. If you have a number of fish in a tank and one shows signs of velvet, it is best to treat all of the fish due to how contagious velvet is. A medication called BettaZing is effective at eliminating velvet completely.


Dropsy is seen often in betta fish and it is particularly fatal. Dropsy is most often contracted through the feeding of live food. Not a lot is known about dropsy other than the fact that it comes from feeding contaminated food. A betta fish with dropsy will present with raised scales as a result of a buildup of fluid underneath the fish’s scales. The buildup of fluid is the result of kidney failure and just as with any animal, once the betta fish’s kidneys fail, the fish will die. The bacteria that cause dropsy are very contagious and it is these bacteria that cause kidney failure. Spotting dropsy in your betta fish is relatively easy, your fish will have puffed out scales that look similar to pine cones and it may also appear to have a big bloated stomach.

There really is no known cure for dropsy but a good preventative is to avoid feeding worms to bettas. It is important if you have a betta that presents with dropsy, that you keep it away from other fish.

Swim Bladder Disorder

Swim bladder disorder is not contagious but it is a common illness among betta fish that comes as the result of overfeeding. Young bettas and double-tailed bettas are susceptible to this illness. The swim bladder of the fish is located between the belly and the spine of the fish. When the betta fish has a swim bladder that is too short they will not be able to swim horizontally. When a betta fish has a swim bladder that is swollen they will float on one side. Many times when fish have shorter swim bladders they will prefer to lie at the bottom of the tank because swimming is too difficult.

A betta fish with a swim bladder disorder can recover by themselves but it is also important to pay attention to how much food you are feeding your fish. You should know that swim bladder disorder does not hurt the fish and at any point it can recover from this condition so you should not kill your fish out of “mercy.”

External Parasites

It is possible for a betta fish to contract external parasites in the pet store or from the foot that they are being fed or from other fish being introduced to the tank. It is usually possible to see parasites by looking closely at your fish. In the case of some parasites like anchor worms, you will have no problem spotting them. A fish that has external parasites will show symptoms of needing to scratch itself against anything it can find and it will not behave as it normally would showing signs of being uncomfortable in its tank.

If your betta fish shows signs of external parasites you will want to change out 70% of your fish tank’s water. Changing out a percentage of your fish’s water will help to reduce the population of the parasites and their eggs but it will not remove them all completely so it is important to treat the remaining water. After replenishing the water you will want to treat it with BettaZing, a product designed to clean the water and kill the remaining parasites and their eggs.

Betta Fish First Aid Kit Infographic

This infographic made by The Aquarium Guide summarizes many of the items above as well as some additional solutions for how to help with your Betta’s diseases.

Betta Fish First Aid Kit Infographic

The Importance Of Prevention

Prevention is the most important part of Betta fish diseases because prevention is much easier than treating or trying to cure Betta fish diseases. Most Betta fish diseases require a large amount of work in order to save your Betta fish from succumbing to the disease that they have contracted, most often this involves cleaning the tank and replacing your Betta’s water once every three days in addition to the application of medication. In most cases, Betta fish diseases are easily preventable by maintaining a clean tank and feeding a healthy diet.

There are occasions where a Betta fish is purchased with a pre-existing disease or condition and in this case, treatment is required in addition to taking preventative measures in the future. It is important to note that while prevention is the preferred method of “treatment” it is not always possible but purchasing a Betta fish with a pre-existing condition does not mean that your fish is doomed to die. As it has already been mentioned, the majority of these diseases are completely curable when treated appropriately and often times purchasing the fish that appears to have a pre-existing disease may be the only chance it has at survival. If you feel up to the challenge of Betta fish first aid, why not give a sick Betta a chance and put your fish doctoring skills to work!

Learn more Betta fish facts and how to choose the right aquarium for your Betta fish.

Is your Betta fish showing signs of sickness?

Maybe someone else’s Betta is experiencing similar symptom’s and you can get answers and advice below. NOTE: While we have provided some information about common illnesses, we are not a certified fish doctor, so if you are experiencing issues with your Betta fish please contact your local pet store or seek professional help.

About The Author:

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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July 26, 2020 5:37 am

My betta has white patch on its body and it stoped eating two days ago . It always stays at the bottom of the tank. Pleas help!

July 26, 2020 5:35 am

My betta has only one white patch on his body and he lost his colour and stopped eating and also is laying at the bottom of the tank . Please help

July 16, 2020 9:51 am

My beta fish has small white stuff on his tail. He is very active. He eats his food when I feed him. Can anyone please tell me what this is? I would appreciate the advice thank you.

Dave Pucciarella
May 11, 2020 8:47 pm

I have a betta with gray fuzzy balls on its fins. I change the water regularly and this has not happened before. I have had him well over a year or more.

Alex Schenker
May 13, 2020 9:31 am

Hi Dave, it’s possible your betta has cotton wool disease (Flexibacter columnaris). It’s caused by gram-negative rod bacterium (Flavobacterium columnare) that commonly infect fish in aquariums. Anabantoids, like Betta fish, are especially susceptible.

When you say “gray fuzzy balls” does it look like a white, yellowish-brown or whitish-gray growth? Is it only on the fins or also on the body or mouth?

Cotton wool disease can be fatal but if caught early is treatable. You’ll want an aquarium antibiotic that treats gram-negative bacterial infections, like Mardel Maracyn-Two.

More from our experts over at Nippy Fish:

For serious instances, a combination of both Maracyn and Maracyn-Two may be best to cover any secondary infections. The two medications together will treat both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterium. The antibiotic, oxytetracycline, has been regarded as a very effective cure and may be a key ingredient in some medicated fish foods. If your betta is still eating, feeding these medicated fish foods, or soaking your own pellet foods in an appropriate antibiotic will help to get the medicine into his system faster thus increasing his likelihood of recovery. Following the recommended treatment on the medicine box is encouraged in addition to medicating the food. Because the bacteria flourishes in warmer water you may find it beneficial to slowly lower your water temperature over the subsequent couple days. Aim for a temperature on the low spectrum of bettas’ comfort zone. Approximately 75˚F – 77˚F [23.8˚C – 25˚C] is recommended.

April 23, 2020 9:58 pm

My betta’s scales are turning white in some places, he looks a little bloated and he keeps lying on the floor but his gills are moving and he swims around occasionally. I also find some white flakes at the top of the tank that seem like fish scales. I cleaned his tank and added a little conditioner, but he’s still doing this. What do you think he has and how should I treat him?

January 7, 2020 2:03 pm

For my betta all the fins and tail are not spread out and it stays always on the surface of the water. Tried changing water and also gave salt bath once. May I know why is this happening and the solution as well? Any details would greatly help. Thanks in advance

November 17, 2019 12:10 am

I just cleaned the tank and now my beta’s eyes are bulging and the fish is erratically swimming and trying to jump out of the water and it seems desperately trying to escape the water I just cleaned. Something is wrong and I don’t know how to save it

Phyllis Mulford
September 30, 2019 12:50 am

Hello; I have a male Betta that was white with beautiful dark blue spots. The blue spots are gone and have been for some time now but the problem I do condition I do have is when before changing the water I let the chloride go out by leaving the replacement water out for about 24 hrs. then use the drops prior to adding the fish. Meanwhile, the fish is still in old water until all temps are the same. He started acting funny a few months ago by hanging around the side and being listless. In a day or two he is back to normal. This last time we thought he was dead. I left him in the water in hopes he would come back and sure enough, three days after the water change he is swimming around again. I am unsure if he needs to be put out of his misery or we can help him. I have had Bettas or yrs but this is a new one on me. HELP!!!!

March 10, 2020 11:51 am

It might be bloating, what I do for that is I take a pea and blanch it in boiling water, 60 seconds for a frozen pea, 30 for a fresh one. Then take it out and put it in cold water to cool it down. Remove the skin and cut into quarters, then give a quarter to your betta, this is all I know, and I am definitely not a veterinarian, but it wouldn’t hurt to try, and it won’t hurt the fish. I hope he gets better!

Mary Ann mazza
September 12, 2019 11:28 am

Hi I have owned a Betta fish for 4 months he was so active and knew when to eat by coming to the opening
But today he seems very jumpy and Jerking all the time I have treated him with medication for ich and he still not doing well.
What do I do for him I don’t want to lose him please help me

September 22, 2019 4:55 pm
Reply to  Mary Ann mazza

He might just be excited…I wouldn’t jump to medicate for ich until you actually see the white spot.

Sydni Hause
August 27, 2019 10:41 am

So I have a female betta in a 5.5 gallon tank by her self. When I got her 9 months ago, she was extremely social, happy, swam around like she was racing. Hence her name, Racecar. fast forward 9 months, she barely moves, the water quality is prestine, and has stayed that way. Proper filtration, feeding, ive done all the research I feel I can do…and still nothing. She lays lifeless practically 24 hours a day, wont come out of her castle for food, I have to feed her where she is, other wise she wont eat. I have done a few rounds of antibiotics, cleaned the tank well, etc. I am at a loss and SOO sad that I cant help her. Thought I would reach out and see what yall think before I have to give up her suffering.

October 8, 2019 8:19 am
Reply to  Sydni Hause

We have a similar experience with our male betta now 11 months old. Sleeps all day and night. Used to be social and curious. Now doesn’t swim at all. Just eats and goes back to sleep. Water is perfect.

September 22, 2019 4:57 pm
Reply to  Sydni Hause

Maybe she’s depressed? I know that sounds odd, but it’s a thing. Change her aquascape or get her a bottom feeder friend or two.

August 10, 2019 8:47 pm

Hello, I have a dumbo Halfmoon betta that I’ve had for a little over a week know. I’m not sure if he has popeye but he isn’t showing any of the other symptoms

March 10, 2020 11:59 am
Reply to  Lucky

I would check with a veterinarian before treating your betta, but if your bettas condition worsens, definitely treat him for popeye.

August 7, 2019 9:39 am

I’ve had my betta fish for about a year. He’s my desk friend and I clean his bowl once a week.
I’ve noticed that he is starting to get this slime all over him and he’s lurking on the bottom of the bowl to only come up for air and then he ‘sinks’ back down. He’s appetite is non existing too.
He also will lay on his back and there’s been a couple times I thought he was dead.
What can I do for him?

April 23, 2020 10:06 pm
Reply to  LScott

I have the same problem with my betta fish minus the slime, but my betta is shedding scales and is a little bloated.

Esther Sillevis
August 10, 2019 11:38 am
Reply to  LScott

First of all how big is this bowl? Common misconception is that betta fish are fine in small containers with no filtration of any kind. Depending on the size of your “bowl” you may be actually changing the water not frequently enough especially if there aren’t life plants or filtration.
Betta actually will be much happier is at least a 5 gallon but preferably larger aquarium with a gentle filter. Add life plants for added filtration and oxygen supply and a bubbler maybe. Fish in small places just aren’t happy and will eventually get depressed and develop illness which is the slime you are witnessing. This is a fungus or bacteria so he needs to be treated with some broad spectrum med.
I would suggest to provide him with a 5 gallon (there are some pretty nice ones at petsmart for not that much money) and add plants, gravel and maybe a snail or otocinclus fish for company. You will see a nice aquascaped tank will look very pretty and will be soothing for both you and your betta.

Jo Nel
July 18, 2019 1:33 pm

Hi, we have a female tank and we got 6 females at the same time from the same pet store to set up the tank. all of them except for one died in a two week period. We thought perhaps it was something in the tank, we actually removed the remaining female from the tank, we actually had put one of our males in there without anything happening to him. Once moving him onto his propper tank we then got 4 more females from a different pet store and they were fine as we had kept this female in quarantine until she looked 100% better as we couldn’t find anything online as to what it could be. Once we put her back in the tank with the new females one has died without showing any symptoms and another has gotten sick and we’ve removed both and quarantined each of them separately. The only symptom we’ve had at all is lethargy and a lack of interest in food, heavy breathing and some have had color loss but it has varied from fish to fish.

March 10, 2020 12:04 pm
Reply to  Jo Nel

I don’t know, I would go to the vet and bring the quarantined female and an infected one so that the can try to find the source of the illness.

July 15, 2019 5:40 pm

I’ve noticed my betta has one cloudy eye however, it’s not bulging out. He is still active and eating. My filter broke for about a week and I tried to change the water as often as I could however, since the broken filter I noticed the eye. I’ve been doing water changes almost every other day. Will this go away without the use of medication?

Thank you

March 10, 2020 12:07 pm
Reply to  Elena

Not sure, might just be because he is getting older, I don’t know if fish get cataracts, but I would go to a veterinarian and get him checked out.

June 16, 2019 8:22 pm

My Betta, Pearl has been very lethargic for awhile now. I noticed that she gets air ALOT. I got her when she was a baby, she will be a year old soon and she did not act like this when I got her. It has only been a few days since I started noticing this. I change her tank every week. She is also not eating and has a pale color, as well as not swimming horizontally and sometimes gets bursts of energy. I don’t know if she is itching on the aquarium plants or what. Could this be multiple problems that happens at once?
What should I do?

March 10, 2020 12:35 pm
Reply to  Isabell

Might be a bloated swim bladder, not sure, I really hope she is okay!

July 13, 2019 8:44 pm
Reply to  Isabell

If I am not too late, do a 90% water change and add some kanaplex by seachem, (I saved my betta from dropsy with this) follow the directions on the package, except I would water change everyday instead of every second day because when you water change every second day it still allows time for the disease to live and continue to hurt your fish. Keep water changing 90% every day until she is back to normal. Sorry if i’m too late! I know what it feels like to lose fish.

June 9, 2019 1:50 pm

My betta fish hasn’t been swimming around much and isn’t excited for food. He has a brownish gold color over part of his head. Also his back is oddly bent. I recently noticed this. I’m not really a betta fish expert but does anyone know what’s going on with him?

March 10, 2020 12:37 pm
Reply to  Lulu

Most likely velvet, I would treat him for it, I hope he is okay!

October 2, 2019 7:08 am
Reply to  Lulu

Did you find out what was wrong with your beta fish?

September 22, 2019 4:54 pm
Reply to  Lulu


June 3, 2019 10:04 pm

I’ve had my male Betta for about two years and we’ve had a few health issues. Recently, he’s very lethargic, very pale, not interested in food, and just sits at the bottom of the tank. When he does swim, it’s a very downward position and lopsided. It started when I moved him to the basement for the summer, where is it pretty chilly for him. I just got a heater for his tank. I was thinking maybe the temperature and some swim bladder issues from eating too much previously but I’m out of my element here. Is there any other advice or anything I could do?

Mr. Mans
May 27, 2019 8:16 am

My beta has a balloon coming out from his Gill. I thought it looked like lymphocytosis at first. What could that be? It’s like a skin bubble coming out from the Gill.

March 10, 2020 12:39 pm
Reply to  Mr. Mans

Go to a veterinarian and get him checked out.

Kathleen Lansdowne
September 26, 2019 12:46 pm
Reply to  Mr. Mans

Mine has the same thing. This bubble just keeps getting bigger and I keep expecting it to pop. Anyone know what it is?

May 23, 2019 2:49 pm

My Betta (female) is lethargic and has a long clear/white-ish stringy strand hanging from it’s anus. Is this a sign of parasite? How should we treat it? Thanks!

Mr. Mans
May 27, 2019 8:19 am
Reply to  NBB

I’ve heard that white, stringy poop in Bettas could be a sign of internal parasites.

May 1, 2019 1:25 pm

Oooh I really wouldn’t recommend Bettafix or any -fix meds like melafix

They contain tea tree oil, which is why they work, but the oil actually coats their labyrinth organ making it hard to breathe and can kill them

Sandra Day
April 10, 2019 1:12 pm

As Tiffany indicated below, my betta has a large whitish spot on his lower fin. I have owned my fish for over a year with no problem until now. I believe his fin may have been damaged whe attempting to remove him to clean his 3 gallon bowl. I have used Bettafix several times, and he is getting worse. The directions say to put 18 drops per quart of water and not to change the water for 7 days. I bought a floating log for him to hide in whenever he wants. Now he stays in it. He doesn’t swim around in the bowl. He looks faded as well. I never owned a betta before. Any ideas on what I should do now? Thank you for a response!

Mr. Mans
May 27, 2019 8:25 am
Reply to  Sandra Day

Large whitish spot? Maybe fungus. Fungus usually looks like cottony. If so, you can follow the instructions for treating fungus, such as API fungus cure, which will dye the water green. They also recommend raise temp, and add salt to help treat fungus. Of course, if you have plants the salt won’t be good for the plants.

Debbie Knight
May 23, 2019 4:54 pm
Reply to  Sandra Day

That is the same thing that has happened to my 3 year old Betta. He has not eaten anything for days now and I don’t know how to help him.

April 4, 2019 11:21 am

*My betta is using her hind fins like feet

April 4, 2019 11:20 am

My bad fortune is using her hind fins like feet and she has a hard time swimming to the highest level of her Aquarium I don’t know what I should do I really appreciate some help please ps she also lost some pigment

Mr. Mans
May 27, 2019 8:33 am
Reply to  Tiffany

Maybe fish bladder. The treatment kind of depends on the cause. There can be various reasons to cause issues with swim bladder. One of those reasons which can cause color fading is bacterial, in which case you could follow the instructions for treating bacterial infection.

March 25, 2019 3:19 pm

My betta fish has fin rot and it is quite serious. I’ve been treating him with Melafix, but it just keeps getting worse. This morning when I woke up he was fine but now his middle fin was worse and had red at the tips. He also looks like he has ick. Please help me I’m desperate I care about him very much. He is a veiltail.

Mr. Mans
May 27, 2019 8:36 am
Reply to  Abby

I would treat with E.M. and lifeguard simultaneously. An earlier comment aid how any of the “fix” medications continue to tree oil which makes it harder for them to breathe.

March 11, 2019 7:33 pm

I have had my batta fish “snape” for a year and a half and recently I thought he had pop eye but his “eye” plural is looking a lot better now he has swelling around that one eye and there is a “dent” in between his mouth and his head and there is discolouration also he has some scales that are white and a tiny bit translucent that are sticking up a little on the top of his head and is swollen can you please tell me what to do