There are a number of diseases that can affect any betta at any given time, and you always have to be on the lookout for signs of sickness. Betta fish Ich is one parasitic infestation that commonly affects betta fish. Knowing the signs of Ich and how to treat it is vital if you want to save your bettas, because if it is left untreated for too long it can be fatal.
What is Betta Fish Ich?
Ich is a common aquarium parasite that is scientifically known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. They are very small white pests that stick on to the face and body of bettas. They cause itchiness and general unease in the fish that they infect. Ich are known to attack bettas that are stressed because of poor water conditions or other factors that can cause stress.
Betta Fish Ich Symtoms?
The most obvious sign of Ich in bettas are the tiny white spots that you will see on the bettas body and face. The spots may look like salt granules. Ich causes itchiness and you will find that affected fish often rub themselves against items in the aquarium. Bettas that have Ich also tend to be less active and have a loss of appetite. Here’s another picture to help you identify where your betta has it or not:
How Is Betta Fish Ich Treated?
Ich is a treatable condition and most bettas who are treated early enough will be able to survive the disease and return to normal. You can prevent Ich by adding Aquarisol and a small amount of aquarium salt to your betta tank. In the event that your bettas do get Ich you should treat it immediately. Ich is very contagious so you want to treat all your bettas. Ideally you will want to move all the bettas to a different tank with treated, clean water. If you only have one tank then change all the water, thoroughly clean the tank and put in a water conditioner before you return the bettas to the tank. If you have a large tank (i.e.: 5 gallons or more), you can try increasing the temperature of the water to 84-85 degrees since Ich tends to thrive in colder water. I wouldn’t recommend it for tanks that are smaller than 5 gallons though, because you run a chance of overheating it and that’ll kill your bettas.
Dirty tanks and stressed fish are easy targets for an infestation of Ich. Keeping your tank clean and your bettas well fed and happy are the best ways to ensure that they remain Ich free.
Have any of your bettas had Ich or any other betta fish diseases? Do you have any advice that you would like to share? Please post your experiences and comments below!