There are so many considerations when it comes to a sick betta fish. The first of these is how to tell if the fish is sick. This means becoming familiar with the diseases and conditions that are common among betta fish. The next thing to consider is being prepared. After all, if you try to get the medicine that your sick betta needs once you find out he’s sick, you may not have time to save him.
So how can you tell when your betta is sick? Well, to do this, you need to know what your fish looks like when it is well. What does your normal, healthy betta look like? Once you know this you will have a point of reference from which to gauge the health of the fish. There are a number of diseases that are common in betta fish. These include: fungal infection, tail and/or fin rot, advanced fin and body rot, internal and/or external parasites (including Ick and Velvet), popeye, dropsy, swim bladder disorder, bacterial infection, tuberculosis, and inflamed gills.
I know that is a very long list, but you need to be aware of these if you have a betta fish. The ideal situation when you have a sick betta is to have the proper medication on hand so that when it happens you are prepared. It is not good enough to deal with it when it happens because the medications are commonly not carried by the pet stores. This means having to order them online and waiting a few days to receive them, during which time your fish might die.
Consider creating a betta fish “first aid kit” so that you will be prepared if anything should happen to your fish. In this kit you will have a few of the more common medications, including BettaZing, tetracyclin, kenamacin, Ampicillin, maracin 1 and maracin 2, and jungle fungus eliminator. With these on hand and a good sense of what you fish should look like, you will be able to catch and treat most diseases immediately.
Ideally, it is better to prevent illness rather than treat it. For this reason, there are a few simple rules to follow. These are as follows:
- Always quarantine new fish when you first get them
- Always keep your aquarium water clean
- Always add aquarium salt to the water
- Clean your hands before you touch the aquarium water
- Remove dead fish immediately
- Immediately isolate sick fish
- When changing water, ensure that the new water is of the same temperature and pH as the water the fish has been in
With these tips for prevention and being prepared with the proper medication on hand you might just save your betta’s life. Whatever you do, don’t decide your sick betta won’t live before you have tried to help it. Many times bettas do recover and you owe it to your fish to try your best.