What is the best way to cure Velvet illness in Betta fish?

In this article, we will answer the question “What is the best way to cure Velvet illness in Betta fish?”. We will also discuss the most prevalent symptoms of Velvet illness, as well as ways to avoid contracting the condition.

What is the best way to cure Velvet illness in Betta fish?

Few steps will assist the recovery process by interrupting the life cycle of the parasite that causes the Velvet disease. These steps are dimming the lights, raising water temperature and adding aquarium salt. 

What is Velvet disease in Betta fish?

Velvet disease is an illness that can provoke several serious issues in fish if not treated. It is a tiny parasite known as Oodinium that is responsible for the transmission of Velvet sickness. These parasites are golden-yellow dots that develop on the fish body and form a thin “dust” layer. Velvet sickness is often referred to as rust disease or gold dust illness. Betta fish are extremely vulnerable and prone to the Velvet disease.

Is it possible for Velvet illness to be caused by bacteria or a virus?

No, the velvet disease is caused by fungi. Fungi are more complicated creatures than bacteria and viruses, therefore they require more sophisticated environments to survive. Velvet disease also does not rely on its reproduction in a host. The fungi can reproduce asexually.

What are the Velvet disease symptoms?

It is important to note that the symptoms of Velvet illness vary according to the severity of the contamination. Furthermore, it is not easy to determine the destruction caused by this organism at the establishment of the infection, but it is possible to notice that the fish’s body has a thin golden layer, similar to velvet.

The behaviour of the diseased fish will be altered: it will appear lethargic, debilitated, will swim with shrunk fins, and rub against the tank structures in an attempt to remove the fungi.

You may also notice a decrease in appetite and a dulling of your complexion. Your Betta fish will also stay most of the time in the surface area of the tank trying to breathe more easily and absorb more oxygen: as the fungi destroy the gill epithelium, reducing the gas exchange process.

As the infection advances, small yellowish spots appear on the fish body, and a type of mucus becomes visible as a full cover. The mucus produced by the Betta fish immune system is an attempt by the fish to rid itself of the infection.

Advanced stages symptoms:

–       Torn skin;

–       Cloudy eyes;

–       Ulcers;

–       Contracted fins;

–       Bloated or protuberant eyeballs.

Steps to treat Velvet disease in Betta fish

Reducing the lights

These parasites are somewhat photosynthetic, so reducing the lights will depress the parasite’s chances of surviving. Juvenile individuals rely on this process for survival before invading a live host. 

By restricting their capability to complete photosynthesis, the juveniles are more probable to die before invading a live host. This will protect your Betta fish from developing Velvet disease.

Increase the water temperature

In the case your fish is already infected, increasing the temperature of the water to 82 °F will accelerate the parasite life cycle. This means that the parasite will detach from your Betta fish quicker, as soon as it reaches maturity.

Even after the parasites have left your Betta fish body, your tank and fish still need care and treatment. This is crucial because otherwise, the juvenile parasites will begin to invade your fish’s body again and the new cycle will begin.

Consider adding aquarium salt

The aquarium salt will assist your Betta fish to osmoregulate. Thus, as the Velvet disease affects the gills, this will improve the gills functioning. In order to achieve the best results, we suggest putting 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water. The aquarium salt will also accelerate mucous production. Thus, it will reduce or minimize the injuries caused by the parasites.

Some medications for Betta Velvet disease your Vet can prescribe

In the case your Betta fish is infected by Velvet disease, it is important to visit the veterinarian to medicate your Betta fish as soon as possible. This will increase the chances and the speed of recovery. Most of the treatments aim to eradicate the parasite during the juvenile stage.

Visiting a veterinarian is required before administering any drug to your fish tank. Additionally, when adding a medication to your tank, you must discontinue the carbon filtration. The tank should be cleared of any sources of activated carbon to avoid the possibility of capturing any drugs you may be using. Some medications that can be prescribed are below.

Copper Sulphate

Copper sulphate is commonly recommended as Velvet disease treatment because it is highly efficient against most external parasites. In this case, it acts by confronting them while juveniles. 

It is possible to find countless varieties of copper sulphate treatments in pet shops, and the dose you will use will vary according to the manufacturer. To eradicate the parasites from your Betta fish tank, you will have to use the treatment for around 14 days.

Malachite Green

Malachite Green is also an effective medication against external parasites that infect fish. It is also very efficient when treating Velvet disease in Betta fish.

This is a very strong chemical. Thus, it is important to keep in mind your fish’s age and general condition before choosing a strong chemical as a treatment method.


Atabrine is also referred to as mepacrine or quinacrine hydrochloride, and it is used to treat many ailments. It is an anti-malaria medication that has been effectively used as fish parasitic infections treatment. Lights in your Betta fish tank should be turned off while this treatment is happening.

How long does the Velvet condition treatment take?

The complete process of eradicating Velvet from your Betta fish tank usually takes between 3 to 4 weeks. This is due to the fact that the parasites will need to be eradicated from the aquarium for numerous generations.

When the juvenile parasite finds a host, it takes around 2 weeks to become mature and perpetuate the cycle of infection. The only way to successfully rid your Betta fish tank of Velvet illness is to completely eliminate all traces of the parasite from the tank. 

How can Betta fish be protected from Velvet disease?

However Betta Velvet disease is completely curable, prevention is always better than cure. Once the Velvet disease is quite difficult to detect, some actions would avoid the contamination, and thus, will protect your animal from suffering. Some tips for preventing Velvet disease in Betta fish are:

–       Maintain high water quality;

–       Quarantine any new arrivals (e.g. fish, decorations, and equipment);

–       Provide a high-quality diet or your Betta fish;

–       Have high-quality equipment;

–       Keep a water test routine (e.g. pH and temperature) 

–       Consider your fish’s personality;

–       Always observe the fish physical appearance (e.g. body, fins, tail, etc.);

–       DO not overpopulate your tank.


In this article, we answered the question “What is the best way to cure Velvet illness in Betta fish?”.  We also discussed the most prevalent symptoms of Velvet illness, as well as ways to avoid contracting the condition.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is the best way to cure Velvet illness in Betta fish?

Is Bettafix substance treatment for Velvet disease?

Not directly. Bettafix will not eliminate the parasite. However, it may help your fish during the healing and recovering process.

How long does Velvet disease last?

Usually, these parasites can live up to 2 weeks in the host body, then they will naturally detach from its body and a new cycle is started. However, eradicating the parasites from your tank, it will take up to 4 weeks.

What kills Velvet parasites in fish?

The most usual medications that are added directly to tanks are Copper sulphate, Malachite green, and Atabrine. All of these should be prescribed by a veterinarian.

What causes Velvet disease in fish?

The dinoflagellates Oödinium pilularis or Oödinium limneticum are responsible for the Velvet disease in freshwater fish.

How long can Velvet survive in the absence of a host? 

Velvet parasites may survive in water for up to 24 hours without a host under most circumstances.

Is Velvet disease a contagious illness?

Yes, Velvet disease is highly contagious. In general, when one of the fish in the tank is with Velvet disease, it is very difficult for the other fish will not develop it.


Stanton, L. 2022. Velvet Disease in Betta Fish: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention. https://www.itsafishthing.com/velvet-disease-betta-fish/

Short, A. 2018. Care & Treatment of Velvet. https://bettafishcenter.com/velvet.shtml

Wanda C. 2021. Betta Velvet Disease – Symptoms, Cause & Treatment. https://www.tankarium.com/betta-velvet/

Velvet In Bettas 101 (Symptoms, Cause & Treatment). https://aquariumfishcity.com/freshwater/labyrinth/betta/velvet/