The prospect of having a betta fish is ultimately one of the most beautiful experiences in the world of fish keeping, at least in my opinion. However, it is also a daunting and a challenging task, because there are lots of diseases that pose a threat to them. You always have to be on the lookout for symptoms, because bettas can easily be stressed by certain conditions (strong filters, water chemistry not properly maintained, etc.). That’s why becoming knowledgeable as far as the health of your fish is concerned is an important step that you should take, to make sure they live a long and healthy life. In this post, we are going to cover betta fish fungus (aka fungal infection disease), so read on and get to know the symptoms you should be watching out for and how to treat it. (Note: Unfortunately, I don’t have access to any pictures demonstrating what it looks like, I can only explain the symptoms.)
The fungus is mostly found in tanks which are not well treated when the water is replaced. Once a fish in a community tank contracts this particular infection, there are high chances that the other remaining fish may also get infected, and this implies that once spotted, the disease should be eliminated quickly. A betta fish that has fungal infection seems to have a more pale hue of the standard color, and may not be seen to be active as usual. Additionally, the fins may assume a clumped appearance.
Diagnosing Betta Fish Fungus Infection
If you are wondering if your betta has contracted a fungal infection, try comparing his/her behavior to the list I’ve identified below:
- A fish that seems to have lost its normal color.
- A fish that scratches itself or rubs against the items of the tank.
- A fish whose fins are not widespread, and appear to be closed, unhealthy or clumped together.
- A fish that spends all of its time at the bottom of the pond and only emerges to the surface when wants to breathe.
- A fish that refuses to eat, and does not show the sort of excited reaction when being fed, or spits out the food.
- A fish having gills that cannot completely close because of inflammation. The inflammation can additionally result to the gills changing color to red.
If your betta fish has any of these symptoms, keep reading.
Treating Betta Fish Fungus Infection
Before talking about treating this particular betta fish disease, it is important to talk about some preventative measures that you can take, to increase the chance of them not getting it in the first place. First and foremost, buy your betta from a reputable source because it’s highly possible to buy a betta fish that already has a fungal infection. So when you are out shopping, keep an eye on the water quality that your future betta is currently living in. Not only his/her existing tank, but other tanks as well. See lots of fish “floating” around? Then stay away.
Another way of preventing this betta fish disease is to keep your tank clean! This means doing regular water changes, monitoring the water chemistry to make sure all the levels are in check, etc. The better the quality of the water, the less fuss you have later on.
Now, to get rid of a fungal infection, you will most likely need to treat your betta with an anti-fungal solution or even medication (antibiotic). Here are a few products that should be able to do the trick and which have worked for me in the past:
- Fungus Jungle Eliminator – This is a highly effective anti-fungal treatment that you can purchase online (from Amazon for example) or from specialty stores. This particular treatment is versatile and can be used to treat numerous fungus infections. As a concerned betta fish owner, this is a must-have medication.
- BettaFix or BettaZing – These are multi-purpose; treating parasitic, protozoan, and fungal infections. However, they are always more effective when used as preventive medication. You should always apply this medication each time you acclimate your fish to a new location or anytime you make a new betta addition into your tank.
- Maracyn 2 and Maracyn 1 – These medications are effective in curing mild fungal infections.
- Kanamycin – Most top-notch fish stores will always carry this particular medication, which is anti-fungal, mostly used for more severe infections.
- Tetracycline or Ampicillin – These medications destroy the betta fish fungus and also prevents further fungal infections.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you follow the instructions for each one. The last thing you want to do is over-treat your sick betta fish and make things work. If you were able to successfully treat a betta fish fungus infection using one of the products mentioned above, or even if you were unsuccessful, I would love to hear from you and get your feedback. Remember, the best betta tank is a clean betta tank!
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Additional Betta Fish Resources
Important Tips On Dealing With Betta Fish Fungus
Betta First Aid Kit
Betta Fish Anatomy
Where to find betta fish for sale?”