Sick Betta Disease Guide

  • Published: May 27th, 2011
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Sick betta? Here is a matrix of the most common betta fish symptoms and their corresponding illnesses and diseases to help you identify a diagnosis. This is not a complete list of all betta illnesses and not every betta disease is cut-and-dry. Our betta fish symptom checker is a tool to get you started.

Symptom Checker

Sick Betta Fish Symptom & Disease Identifier
AFFECTED AREASYMPTOMPOSSIBLE ILLNESS/DISEASEPRIMARY TREATMENT
EYECloudinessPhysical Injury (Wounds)
•Infection
Clean Water
Antibiotic
Swelling or Protrusion of one or both eyes.PopeyeAntibiotic
GILLSPartially open operculumGill Hyperplasia
•Parasite Irritation
•Clean Water
•Aquarium Salt
•Anti-parasitic
Rapid or Labored BreathingGill Hyperplasia
•Infection
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
Redness or DiscolorationPhysical Injury (Wounds)
Gill Hyperplasia
•Clean Water
•Aquarium Salt
Stringy Discharge, GrowthsFlexibacter Columnaris
•Overactive Slime Coat
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Lower Water Temperature
FINSBlackened or Bloody Fin TipsFin RotClean Water
Clamped FinsGeneral Symptom of Stress & IllnessVaries
Loss of Fin TissueFin Rot
•Fin Biting
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Reduce Stress
Ragged FinsFin Rot
•Fin Biting
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Reduce Stress
HEADChange in ColorAging
•General Symptom of Stress & Illness
•None
•Varies if caused by illness
Rapid or Labored BreathingGill Hyperplasia
•Infection
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
BODYBlackened Tissue•True Fungus
Septicemia
•Anti-fungal
•Antibiotic
•Clean Water
Bloated AbdomenConstipation
Dropsy
•Dietary Adjustment
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Epsom Salt
Color Loss•General Symptom of Stress & IllnessVaries
Cut, Open SorePhysical Injury (Wounds) •Clean Water
•Antiseptic
Fuzzy or Stringy GrowthsFlexibacter Columnaris
•Overactive Slime Coat
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Lower Water Temperature
Gold or Bronze "dusting" SheenVelvet ParasitesAnti-parasitic
Horizontal StripesStress•Reduce Loud Noises
•Reduce Jostling
•Reduce Movement
Lump or BumpPhysical Injury (Wounds)
•Tumor
Clean Water
Missing ScalesPhysical Injury (Wounds) •Clean Water
•Antiseptic
Multiple White Dots (size of salt granules)Ich ParasitesAnti-parasitic
Raised Scales "Pineconing"Dropsy•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Epsom Salt
Redness or Red StreaksSepticemiaAntibiotic
Single White Dot"Pimple"Clean Water
Vertical StripesBreeding StripesNone, (indicates betta is in breeding condition)
BEHAVIORAppetite LossGeneral Symptom of Stress & IllnessVaries
Inability to swim uprightSwim Bladder Disorder
Constipation
•Clean Water
•Antibiotic
•Epsom Salt
•Dietary Adjustment
Lack of Defecation (Poop)ConstipationDietary Adjustment
Lethargy, SluggishnessGeneral Symptom of Stress & IllnessVaries
Spastic, Jerky Swimming•Parasite Irritation
•Exposure to Toxins
•Anti-parasitic
•Clean Water
Stringy White Waste (Poop)Internal ParasitesAnti-parasitic

Written by

Christie F is a Betta splendens hobbyist that enjoys spending time caring for her fish and helping new betta keepers learn the ropes. More posts by:

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