Betta fish are some of the most colorful and vibrant freshwater aquarium fish to keep around your home. The best thing I love about betta fish is that not only are they the most brilliantly colored freshwater fish out there, but they are also relatively easy to care for. But, that doesn’t mean that they are maintenance free. Just like many freshwater fish out there, they can be prone to catching diseases and other ailments if you don’t take the necessary precautions. That’s why I think that every betta fish owner needs to have what I call, a “Betta First Aid Kit”, so that you are able to treat your betta fish as fast as possible in case of any illness or infection.
What Your Betta First Aid Kit Should Include
The following are a few products which you should include in your betta first aid kit, along with some information on the different issues that each one can treat. Word of caution though – always make sure you follow the recommended dosage provided with the product. Giving your betta fish more than the recommended dosage will not make its recovery any quicker and it’s possible that it will introduce other issues, so stick to the instructions. (If you want to purchase one of these items, just click on the image and you will be brought to Amazon where you can buy it. I will get a small commission if you do so).
Water Testing Kit
This is an absolute must, for a few reasons. First, in order to avoid diseases altogether it’s important to check the water chemistry on a regular basis to make sure all the levels are accurate. For those of you with bigger tanks, you might get away with every 2nd week or so because water in bigger tanks does not fluctuate as much as smaller tanks. Another reason is that if you end up seeking help for a problem with your betta, normally the first thing you’ll be asked to do (by people on betta fish forums or at your local fish/pet store) is to provide an image of your betta as well as the water parameters. Without that, it will be difficult for them to help.
For more information on the importance of the water chemistry, please read our post What Kind Of Water Do Betta Fish Need?
Indian Almond Leaves
Indian almond leaves have traditionally been used by betta breeders in South East Asia to mimic the natural habitat for their betta fish. They have been known to make fish stronger, healthier, and even more reproductive. Indian almond leaves are also known to help betta fish heal quick from certain wounds (e.g.: if they scrap themselves on sharp decorations.). Indian almond leaves can help in the prevention of fin rot,aiding in fin repair, and even helps build a healthy slime coat.
Betta fix is anti-parasitic, anti-fungal,and anti-protozoan medications – perfect when used as the preventative medication to avoid the development of velvet fins or clamped fins. You can use it whenever your betta exhibits signs of bacterial or fungal disease, like frayed or torn fins, red ulcers, cottony growths or slimy patches. You can use Betta Fix as the preventative measure each time you adapt your bettas to new surroundings or anytime you add new betta fish to your tank.
Epsom Salt and Aquarium Salt
Two types of salt for aquariums? Yes, there are two types and in my opinion, it’s good to have both on hand just in case. Aquarium salt (aka sodium chloride) is great for helping with gill-related functions. If used properly, it helps with the reduction of parasitic infection with freshwater fish. It can also your betta’s slime coat which makes your fish more resistant to external stressors, and infection. On the other side you have Epsom Salt (commonly known as magnesium sulfate. This one is great for aiding with constipation and bloating. It’s commonly used in the treatment of popeye and dropsy.
MaracynI and Maracyn II
Experts recommend using the Maracyn I andMaracyn II to treat bacterial diseases to get a well-rounded treatment for gram-positive and positive bacteria. The Maracyn I is responsible for treating columnaris, body fungus, popeye, and gill disease whereas the Maracyn II is ideal for treating fin rot,gill disease, septicemia, and cotton mouth.
Jungle Fungus Clear
Fungal infections are a common type of ailment with betta fish. There are two types that commonly plague bettas: fish fungus and fin rot. Jungle Fungus Clear is an antifungal treatment which can be purchased online or even from fish specialty stores. Jungle Fungus Clear helps fight the fungal diseases and also helps fight the bacterial infections like a cloudy eye, furunculosis, popeye, and treat any swim bladder disorder. Jungle Fungus Clear can also help with treating columnaris, and treat fin rot as well.
Tetracycline is another great option as an antibiotic to treat bacterial infections, such as bacterial tail rot, gill disease, cotton mouth fungus and more.
Another antibiotic that’s worth including in your betta first aid kit is Ampicillin. This produce is generally used to treat gram-positive infections, gram-negative infections, and also treat popeye.
Betta Fish Disease Quick Reference Guide
Below is a list of several betta fish diseases that we’ve written about in the past:
The infographic below made by TheAquarium Guide summarizes the products I have discussed above.
Courtesy of: The Aquarium Guide