Welcome to our guides on betta disease and illness. If your betta is sick, we’re sorry to hear that and hopefully our guides can help you to cure it.
You can view our betta illness information using the links below, but we also have a handy Betta Illness Photo Guide that we send out to members of our email list. The guide includes the key points about betta illness and extra photos of symptoms.
Click here to download the guide, or use the links below to browse our online content.
My betta is sick, help!
The first thing to do if your betta is sick: DO NOT PANIC!
There are plenty of people here to help you, including us. The best thing to do is to remain calm, do your research, and plan the best course of action. Spend some time learning, and ask questions. You’re welcome to leave a comment anywhere on our site with questions that you may have.
Prevention is the best cure
When it comes to betta disease, prevention is of course the best cure. But even with the best intentions, your betta will still get sick at some point. The best way to safe guard against this is to be prepared, both in terms of knowledge and equipment.
The more you know about betta illness before it occurs, the better prepared you will be should it happen. Some betta illness can be a tiresome and complex issue – how the curing process takes place will of course depend on the illness in the first place.
Obviously one cure does not fit all. For example, curing a fungal infection does not take the same method as curing Velvet. Sometimes, using the wrong medication for an illness can do more harm than good! Don’t rush into anything, and do plenty of research before hand.
Healthy water, healthy betta
There’s an adage in the fish keeping world that goes: “Fish keepers do not keep fish, they keep water”. This is because poor water conditions are responsible for the vast majority of illnesses. Keep your water at a high standard and you’ve already won half the battle of illness prevention.
P.S: We’re not sure where it originated from, but we first saw the above quote in Martin Brammah’s Betta Bible book. This is an excellent resource for learning about betta’s, we highly recommend it.
Preparing an aquarium for medication: remove carbon from the filter
The majority of cures for betta illness will involve some form of medication. When adding medication to an aquarium, it’s important that you remove any carbon that you may have in your filter. Carbon will remove medication from the water, rendering the treatment useless. If your filter has a cartridge with carbon, remove the cartridge. If the filter has a separate carbon insert, remove the insert. Removing the carbon for a short period will not be detrimental to the aquarium. Once you have finished medicating the aquarium, simply re-insert the carbon and continue as normal.
Setting up a hospital aquarium
For some illnesses, a good course of action is to separate your betta in what’s known as a hospital aquarium. This gives it the best chance of recovery, can reduce stress, and doesn’t affect the cycle of your normal aquarium. We recommend reading our hospital aquarium guide before you begin treating illness.
On our pages about curing specific betta diseases, not only do we mention recommended medicines for those diseases, but also using aquarium salt to cure those diseases. If used properly, aquarium salt can be an effective cure for betta disease. However, you do need to ensure that you’re using it in the correct situation, and at the right dosage. If you’re thinking of using aquarium salt, we recommend reading our guide here.
Here are the betta illnesses and diseases we’ve written about so far. If you’ve got any questions about a particular disease, feel free to ask in the comments for that page: