What to do what to do? Betta fish fall ill a surprising amount, especially when it can be hard to maintain the exact conditions that are ideal for them. If your Betta fish is acting weird, you may have no idea what’s going on with it, but you know it needs help. Below you will find the signs to look out for and learn why they are frequently symptoms of a sick Betta fish. Additionally, you will also be given some great resources in regards to both curing a sick Betta fish as well as care in general.
Signs to look out for:
Before jumping straight to illness, you need to consider other external factors that might influence your fish’s behavior.
- Extreme Lethargy: Is your fish extremely sluggish or inactive? Bettas, especially during the day, are very active creatures. I can look over across my desk right now and see my fish happily flitting about his tank. Lethargy can be caused by a number of things, the most common being water temperature. Water that is too cold, such as that that drops well below 76°, will cause your pet to slow down. Alternatively, a slow-moving pet can also be a sign of poor water conditions, such as that of ammonia build up. Knowing whether lethargy indicates a sick Betta fish or not will depend on your examining of the factors at hand: If your temperature is where it should be, it’s time to look into the ailments that your Betta might have. If it isn’t, you’ve lucked out and got an easy fix on your hands.
- Excessive Trips to the Surface: Because Betta fish have developed their own labyrinth organ, allowing them to breathe normal air as well as the oxygen and water, a fish that comes to the surface to breathe is not uncommon. A warning sign you should take note of, however, is a Betta fish that is taking extremely frequent and prolonged trips to the surface. This can be a sign that the oxygen content in your water is being depleted. Oxygen depletion can happen when the tank is too warm, or when your chemicals are too high (such as ammonia or nitrite).
- Discoloration Around The Gills/Spots On Body or Fins: if you ever see obvious streets around the gills (usually reddish-brown) or discoloration/spots or fins and body; these are surefire signs that your Betta fish is in need of immediate help. These symptoms usually indicate that ammonia levels in your water are seriously skewed. Or, in the case of white spots, that your pet has acquired a parasite known as the “ich”. Both of these conditions are potentially deadly and you need to begin treatment right away.