Bettas, also called Siamese fighting fish, are loved for their beauty and ability to bond with their owners. And as a pet owner, as much as possible, you’d want to provide them with a healthy and clean environment while also making sure the water temperatures are ideal.
However, there may be instances when your beloved pet fish can get sick. In fact, several health conditions could affect bettas, such as constipation, tuberculosis, fin or tail rot, white spots, velvet, and swim bladder diseases. And if you suspect one of your pet fish is ill, seek immediate help from an aquatic veterinarian for treatment. More so, it’s also advisable to keep them away from the others. This is so they can be better observed, and some diseases are highly contagious.
If it’s your first time keeping bettas, it may be challenging to tell if your fish is ill and what they may be suffering from. For this reason, this article provides some signs to watch out for and what they could be symptoms of.
If your betta finds swimming difficult, chances are, they may be ill. You’ll notice the fish lying on its side at the bottom of the tank, moving upside down or sideways, or floating at the water surface. Trouble swimming often indicates a problem with a betta’s swim bladder—an organ that helps them stay buoyant and change their depth effortlessly.
Swim bladder disease (SBD) may be caused by overfeeding, improper water temperature, poor quality aqua, bacterial or parasite infections, or injuries. SBD might also be a symptom of an illness like edema.
Generally, many swim bladder issues are curable. However, you must ensure immediate treatment if you suspect your betta fish has swim bladder concerns. Failure to do so could cause a minor issue to progress into a severe problem or become fatal.
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A healthy betta fish is usually active. You’ll see them swimming around the tank most times. Also, they’ll seem happy to see you as their owner and respond by wiggling their tails and coming towards you. That said, bettas also take some time to sleep and rest. However, if your fish is at the bottom of the aquarium for longer, sluggish, inactive, irresponsive, or aren’t exploring around the tank, as they typically do, they may be sick.
Usually, bettas may prefer water temperatures between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. And so, if your fish appears lethargic, check first if their tank’s water is tolerable. If the water is okay, your pet might have intestinal parasites or fungal infections. Seek immediate medical attention in this case.
Little Or No Interest In Food
It helps to know how to care for a pet before buying or adopting one. This way, it could be easy to identify if something is wrong with them. For instance, looking after fish may be easy. You must ensure their tank water is clean and its temperature, nitrate, ammonia, and Potential Hydrogen (pH) levels are right. Besides that, you should also feed them well by providing the right food.
If you’re doing all the above, but your betta fish seems to have little or no appetite, they may have fallen ill. This might happen because the tank water quality is poor, and its temperature isn’t ideal for them. And in some cases, the fish may be stressed or constipated. Besides that, they might be suffering from slime disease, velvet, or bacterial septicemia. To get to the bottom of this symptom, visit a veterinarian right away.
If your betta has white spots on their fins or body, they may be suffering from white spot disease, also known as ich. This is believed to be a common illness with Siamese fighting fish, caused by a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifilis, that’s present in many aquariums.
Besides white spots, a betta with ich will swim erratically and seem less active. Also, you may see them scratching against items in the aquarium or the tank’s glass. Fortunately, ich is treatable. You can take your pet to the vet if you suspect they’re suffering from the disease to get the proper treatment. In addition, you can also clean their tank and raise the water temperature levels to eliminate parasites and bacteria present in the tank.
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If you’re new to keeping betta fish, it may be a bit challenging to identify if your pet is sick and what they may be suffering from. And as you’ve learned, difficulty swimming, lethargy, little or no interest in food, and white spots are some of the signs that could tell you your betta may be sick.
If you notice these symptoms, take your pet to an aquarium vet. And after treatment, always ensure their tank water quality is good, their home is clean, and they’re eating well. These steps can help reduce the likelihood of betta fish becoming ill again.