How to tell if your betta fish is sick?

In this blog, we’re going to provide some tips on how to tell if your betta fish is sick, so you can take appropriate action. This blog will help differentiate between a healthy betta fish and a sick betta fish.

Overview

In this blog

  • How to tell if your betta fish is sick?
  • What are the signs that may indicate your betta fish is sick?
  • How to take care of a sick betta fish?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

How to tell if your betta fish is sick?

Caring for fish in a controlled environment will not be easy. Fish may be under stress for many reasons such as the size of the tank, water parameters, food quality, incompatibility with tank mates.

If your fish are under a lot of stress, it could be harmful for them and cause them to get sick.Stressed betta fish are more likely to get sick and this can make their immune system weaker.

Main signs which indicates betta fish is sick are:

  • Swimming difficulties
  • Breathing difficulty 
  • Dullness
  • Less active

There are various indications that suggest that your fish is sick. I will list down all the signs that may indicate that your fish is not well in the next section in detail.

What are the signs that indicate your betta fish is sick?

There are various changes in your betta’s behavior that may indicate that he is sick. In this section, I will elaborate on all signs:

  • Sick betta fish will appear pale and dull.
  • Sick betta fish will have damaged fins.
  • The sick betta fish will not be able to breathe properly.
  • Sick betta fish will stop eating.
  • Sick betta fish will hide under covers and behind filters.
  • Sick betta fish will avoid swimming.
  • Sick betta fish look lethargic .

Sick betta fish will appear pale and dull

A healthy and normal betta fish looks sparkling and colorful, their scales gleam and their fins look healthy and strong.  A sick betta fish will have a dull appearance and this could be due to poor quality food. Avoid feeding your betta fish food which is not good for their health.

Sick betta fish will have damaged fins due to fin rot, velvet infection and other parasitic infection

  • A sick betta fish will likely have damaged fins due to bacterial or parasitic infections.
  • Fin rot, white spots, velvet infections, or shredded fins are clear indications of a sick betta fish.
  • Bacterial infections can be caused by the accessories that are used with a tank. To avoid the growth of harmful bacteria, tank accessories should be washed regularly. 
  • Harmful bacteria is responsible for deteriorating water chemistry in betta fish tanks.
  • Sometimes betta fish get injured from things in their tank, like accessories, and that can lead to infections. This can make the betta fish sick.
  • Avoid decorating your betta tank with sharp or pointed objects. This will likely cause injuries to the fish.

The sick betta fish will not be able to breathe properly

A sick betta fish may struggle to breathe due to poor water quality. They can be seen floating on the surface of the tank to escape the poor water quality.

In nature, betta fish can escape if the water quality is poor, but in a controlled environment they would have a hard time because they would lack the space to do so. Thus, when Betta fish are exposed to breathing problems, they will remain on the surface of the tank.

Sick betta fish will stop eating

Betta fish are voracious feeders and a healthy betta fish will have a balanced diet. A healthy fish will always wait for its owner to feed them when it is their meal time.

A sick betta fish will lose the zeal to eat anything, even their favorite food including live food and betta-specific pellets. So, if your betta fish is skipping its meal, it’s a sign of their illness.

Sick betta fish will hide under covers and behind filters

Betta fish like lots of cover in their tank because in their natural habitat they have the same set up to feel safe and protected from predators and to rest, but if they tend to hide all the time, that’s not normal. A sick betta will hide a lot and avoid going out from their covers.

Sick betta fish will avoid swimming

The best way to know if a betta fish is sick is to watch their swimming patterns and how active they are in the tank. A sick betta fish will swim in an abnormal manner.

If the betta fish is swimming abnormally or not moving at all, you should see a veterinarian or take immediate action. There could be various internal problems causing this.

Sick betta fish look lethargic 

Betta fish usually enjoy swimming around in their tank, but when they’re sick, they may become less active and avoid swimming. They often stay in one place because they don’t have the energy to move around.

How to take care of a sick betta fish?

​​Caring for a sick fish can be tricky, but there is no need to panic if you monitor your fish daily and take action immediately if there are any signs of illness. Problems can arise when you wait too long to take care of your sick fish, and as a result, they die.

Shift your betta fish to a hospital tank with proper water temperature and filter settings and treat them there until they recover back. Monitor your fish daily for the recovery sign.

You can give a saltwater bath to treat external infections, or you can feed frozen peas to help treat internal problems related to the digestive system.

If your betta fish are showing signs of being sick due to bacteria, please see your vet and get antibiotics prescribed by them to help treat the infection.

Avoid feeding low-quality betta fish or expired foods during the treatment period.Never compromise on the quality of food, whether during normal days or during periods of illness.

Don’t overfeed your fish during the treatment period as it could make the situation worse for you and for your fish. Feed according to your veteratian instruction.

It is very important to change the water in a betta fish tank. Make sure to plan your water changes carefully, and avoid adding water without acclimating your betta fish first.

Don’t stress your betta fish when they are sick, as stress can lead to multiple infections and even a weakened immune system.Remove all the sources of stress from your betta fish tank or outside the tank. Stress can be very harmful to your fish.

Create hiding spots in hospital tanks, but leave some space on the top of the tank so your fish can breathe.

Please remove plants or other tank decorations during antibiotic treatment from the hospital tank. This can kill live plants and increase ammonia spikes in the tank.Ammonia surges can deteriorate the health of sick betta and can even lead to death.

It is important to avoid adding too much sharp decoration to your betta fish’s hospital tank, as this can be harmful to them. It can make their infections or illnesses worse.

Water testing should be done every day, preferably without disturbing your fish. A good quality water testing kit will help you determine the quality of your water.

When you are caring for your fish in a hospital tank, give them all of your attention.if your fish is not getting better even after you’ve done everything, it’s best to go to the vet and ask for the right solutions.

Summary

If you watch your betta fish every day, it will be easier for you to distinguish between a sick fish and a healthy betta fish.

If your betta fish is sick, it will probably be less active, stay hidden, and eat less. It is possible that the weakened immune system will lead to more infections.

Maintaining good water quality and providing a good diet to your fish will help keep them healthy and sickness at bay.

Never leave a sick betta fish unattended – take action immediately.

Frequently asked questions

Do betta fish get sick from poor water quality?

Yes, betta fish can get sick if their water quality is not good. It is important to keep water parameters in betta fish tanks consistent.

Do betta fish get sick from poor quality food?

Yes, betta fish can get sick from poor quality food. Avoid feeding your betta fish expired or low quality food.

Do sick betta fish swim?

Betta fish with a sickness avoid swimming because they don’t have the energy to swim.

Do betta fish hide more when they are sick?

Yes, betta fish that are sick tend to hide more than betta fish that are healthy.

Is it easy to care for a sick betta fish?

Caring for a sick betta fish will require a lot of attention and care, as they need more care than a healthy fish.

Reference 

https://www.wikihow.pet/Tell-if-a-Betta-Fish-Is-Sick

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