Betta Fish Diseases

Betta fish diseases are very common in every tank no matter how well the fish are taken care of. It is just one of those things that happen just like with us – we get sick no matter how well we take care of ourselves. Bettas can be treated and healed just as we can.

Fungal infection

A fungal infection is one of the most common ailments in Bettas. If your Betta has a fungal infection, the first symptoms you will notice will be cloudy white patches on their head and body. Your Bettas will tend to be less active than the normally are. Some Bettas will stop eating and start losing their color. The cure for this fungal infection can be found in the pet store. It is called Fungus Eliminator and is easy to use. Another way that you can prevent a fungal infection is to add one teaspoon of aquarium salt to your tank and one drop of Aquarisol to each gallon of water. This is a way to prevent the fungus from ever showing up.

Tail rot or fin rot

Tail rot or fin rot as it is also known as is another of the horrid Betta fish diseases. This is normally caused by dirty water in the tank. As the first sign of tail rot, Betta’s fins start getting shorter or they start to separate. His tail and fins may also start to turn much darker around the edges. The first step in the treatment of tail rot is a full water change. Clean everything the in the tank and treat the water with fungus eliminator. Every three days the water should be completely changed again and retreated. Once the tail rot has been cured, the fins and tail will begin to grow back. Treatment can take up to four weeks, so be patient. You cannot stop treating the water until you see new growth on the Betta.


Ick is one of the most common Betta fish diseases. It is a parasite that attacks the entire body and head of the Betta. You will know it when you see it. It appears as little white dots that are sprinkled all over from eyes to tail. Some live food that you feed your Betta may be carrying ick. Ick is contagious and if not treated as soon as it is noticed, it could spread to other fish in the tank. When treating ick, you should treat the entire tank and all of its contents, even the gravel. Wash out the tank before refilling with water. When treating the tank, bring the water up to around 85F degrees. At this temperature, ick will become a free swimming parasite. It is very sensitive to heat and will loosen from the Betta and other fish in the tank. Adding aquarium salt and Aquarisol to the 85F degree water will kill the ick parasites.


Velvet is one of the hardest and most contagious of the Betta fish diseases to spot. The best way to check your Betta for signs of velvet is to shine a flashlight onto his body. If you see a very fine rusty or gold mist, then your little friend has velvet. You should treat the entire tank even if only one of your fish have it. Hikari Betta Revive is one of the treatments along with aquarium salt in the tank coupled with with Aquarisol.


Dropsy is one of the most fatal of all of the Betta fish diseases and is usually contracted when they eat black worms or other types of live food. In the case of Dropsy the scales will rise up and fluid will start to build up underneath their skin due to kidney failure. Once the kidneys start to fail in the Betta, he will surely die. When trying to diagnose a Betta with Dropsy the first sign to watch for is a pot belly. He will look like he swallowed a big marble when seen from above. His scales will look rigid and stick out from his body. Once the Betta starts looking like this it is too late for him, his kidneys are already failing and he will soon die.

You can prevent many Betta fish diseases before they ever start just by placing aquarium salt in the tank. As we all know salt kills bacteria and many of the diseases that Bettas get are a form of bacteria. Keeping your Bettas tank clean and free of debris can help keep your Betta disease free.