Breeding Betta Fish 101:Everything You Need To Get Started

Breeding-Betta-Fish

Owning one or several betta fish can be a truly joyous experience. It can lead to the desire to begin breeding them. This can be done for strictly personal reasons, but some do take their breeding plans to the point of wanting to also sell them. While we can’t speak to one of those modes being superior to the other, we can say that when it comes to breeding betta fish, you are talking about a highly rewarding, extremely challenging endeavor.

Breeding-Betta-Fish
Bojan Žavcer

Why Do You Want To Breed Bettas?

As you might be able to imagine, there are many different factors to weigh. These factors can also be determined by why you want to breed them in the first place. Some breed to achieve a particular or even fin shape. Others breed specifically with the intent to sell. Knowing which path that you want to start off on can go a long way towards making sure you encounter as few hiccups as possible.

A Word Of Caution On Breeding Betta Fish

Make no mistake: While breeding bettas can be fun, even profitable (let’s not forget those who breed betta fish for show), it can also be fraught with challenges. There is a potential for trial and error that you may need to accept now. You can be successful at betta breeding right out of the gate, but many find it takes some time to get a knack for it.

You can eliminate a considerable margin for error by doing as much research ahead of time as possible. That’s where this article becomes useful. We’re going to cover everything you need to get started, regardless of your ultimate goals with breeding. You may want to read up additional articles and books, depending on what you would like to accomplish as a betta fish breeder.

At the end of the day, we would suggest starting small. Having a long-term goal is fine, and you can set off at any pace you please. However, as a newcomer, it makes more sense in terms of time, money, and the necessity of building experience to start breeding on a small scale. The choice is ultimately yours.

Getting The Best Tank For Betta Breeding

The first step is to establish permanent dwellings for your males and females. Here are the essentials that you’re going to need to keep in mind:

  • You’re going to need two tanks. At the very least. It is not a good idea to raise your fry (baby bettas) in the same tank with the males. At worst, the males will see them as a threat. They may also be devoured. You will need one tank for a permanent home, and then a second tank to handle your breeding efforts. For your two tanks, we should suggest something in the 10-20-gallon range. 10 is just fine, but 20 might be better for more ambitious first-timers. Do NOT opt for any tanks smaller than 10 gallons.
  • Before you set out to buy your fish, make sure you’ve cycled both tanks thoroughly. This is not difficult to do, but should be taken care of first and foremost.
  • Make sure you also have all of your equipment ready before buying bettas, as well. In a moment, we’re going to show you a comprehensive shopping list to that end.

Essential Equipment For Betta Breeding

Let’s take a look at the equipment you’re going to need:

  • Tanks: To reiterate, you want at least two. You may want a third to separate bettas in special situations, such as one who has become sick, but that’s entirely up to you. Make sure all of your tanks have lids, as well.
  • Submersible Water Heater: A 25-watt heater will allow you to reach and maintain your ideal temperature.
  • Seasoned Sponge Filter: You want to keep your water clean, but you also don’t want a filter so powerful it can potentially scatter about the eggs.
  • Air Pump: This piece of equipment will be responsible for gently moving water from the tank to the seasoned sponge filter.
  • Cover: There are a few different options in this arena. Some choose a glass top to create a humid environment, but not so much that the water gets too warm. Others prefer plastic wrap, although this considered to be problematic for at least a couple of reasons. Some even believe you don’t need a cover. Perhaps not, but you will lose more water to evaporation, so you’ll need to account for that.
  • Plant life: This gives your betta fish places to hide, rest, and it simply adds texture and personality to the tank. There are a number of different options that are worth exploring.
  • Indian Almond Leaf: These products are designed to soften your water. They also give your males the much-needed ability to build what is known as a bubble nest.
  • LED Lighting: These should be kept along the top of your tank. Make sure you purchase lights that can be controlled.
  • Tank Divider: When the time comes, the tank divider will ensure your bettas can get to know each other, but not in a way that risks their health and/or lives.

Keep in mind as well that all of the suggestions we’ve made for products are merely that. Research all of these items, and find specific products that will match your needs and budget.

At this point, you are decidedly ready to shop for and choose your bettas for breeding. This is where things can get challenging, but there are a number of tips and suggestions that can help you navigate your needs and possibilities.

How To Choose The Very Best Betta Breeding Pair: Pet Store Or Breeder?

It is not hyperbolic to suggest that this is the most important part of understanding how to successfully breed betta fish. As a beginner, you will find yourself looking at two distinct ways to buy bettas for breeding.

On the one hand, you can go to a pet store. On the other hand, you can get what you need through a reputable breeder. Our suggestion is to go for a breeder, and to find one as local to you as possible. Breeders give you a wider array of choices. This can be vital for situations in which you want to breed for certain types, colors, or fin shapes with your betta.

A pet store, even a chain like Petco, can make getting started pretty straightforward. If you simply want to get a handle on breeding, you can find everything from a single store. They also tend to be a little cheaper, when compared with a breeder, but this can be offset by the numerous benefits of choosing someone who has a focus on bettas. You can even buy betta fish these days.

Still, a local breeder means working with someone who is truly passionate and knowledgeable about bettas. You also stand to get the healthiest possible bettas, and perhaps even someone who can help you with other aspects of the enterprise.

How To Choose A Male Betta For Breeding

Careful consideration should be made with regards to choosing both the male and female you would ideally like to breed.

In terms of males, energy is one of the first things to look for. A male betta with poor energy levels will be seen as weak, possibly disease-filled by the female. The odds of the female choosing the male, based on this criterion alone, can drop dramatically at this point. You want an energetic male for breeding purposes.

Coloration is something else females are going to be looking for. While you are free to choose any colored betta you please, keep in mind that females tend to pick the brightest-hued examples. This is because such color indications good health, which also means they are a good forager. The brighter, the better is seemingly a rule of thumb, as well. One study suggested females were more apt to choose males with red coloration, as opposed to those with blue coloration.

Finally, we come to the fins. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of choosing the best male betta fish for breeding. You generally do not want bettas with damaged fins. This is another indicator of the probable health of the male to the prospective female. If they are a good forger, and if they have good energy, their fins are going to be strong and distinctive-looking. Such fins will also heal very quickly after suffering damage. This is generally no more than a couple of days.

Females also like a male betta with strong fins because it suggests they are good fighters.

How To Choose A Female Betta For Breeding

The truth of the matter is that female bettas for breeding are a little easier to choose, in terms of what you need to keep in mind while shopping. You still want a strong, healthy female. For this reason alone, it can be a good idea to choose legitimate betta breeders.

Females need to be strong. Beyond that, you really only need to choose one based on the personal criteria you are trying to achieve. In other words, based on the physical traits you may be trying to recreate in your fry.

Interestingly enough, female bettas can live together just fine. Males are going to compete with each other for space and mating opportunities. Not that you want your bettas to fight too much, but females do tend to choose males that win such fights.

A Few More Important Things About Choosing Your Breeding Pair

We cannot stress this enough: Buy from a reputable breeder! Anything less than the best almost certainly results in poor breeding results. At best, you’re going to be disappointed. At worst, your bettas will be dead.

The bettas will be anywhere between four and twelve months old, when you set about your task. Regardless of when you get your breeding pair, they’re still going to need about a month to get settled in.

Establishing The Best Conditions For Breeding Bettas

Time to set up the breeding environment! Here’s what you’re going to need to do:

  • Get your bettas ready. It will take at least two weeks for them to become comfortable and optimally healthy in their surroundings. It is better to wait for a month. This allows the female to build up their strength and eggs, as mating is rather stressful on them. You should also use this time to get them on a good live food diet. You’re also using this prep time to keep an eye out for any of the common betta fish diseases.
  • Get the breeding tank set up. This should be done in an area where your bettas can have peace and quiet from noise and any brightness. After filling the tank with three to five inches of water, add the sponge filter and air pump. Fully submerge your heater, and then tape the almond leaf to the front of the tank. Add your plant life. Leave the tank to settle for at least twenty-four hours.
  • Put the female in the breeding tank. This would be a good time to use the tank divider. Your female should be left alone to hang out in the tank for around thirty minutes.
  • Introduce your star-crossed lovers. Add the male to the tank. When the male becomes aware of the female, expect them to start turning deeper colors. Vibrant fin displays are something else to look for. The female will respond positively by turning a darker color, and by displaying vertical stripes along her midsection. You will be able to see the ovipositor a small speck of white between both ventral fins. The more your female flares up and waggles about, the more interested they are in your male as a breeding partner.

Look for the bubble nest. If the initial introduction has been good for all parties concerned, the male is going to start building a bubble nest. They will alternate between doing this and continuing to show off. Separate them for the evening.

Once Betta Breeding Begins

Once they’re back together, the female will check out the bubble nest. You want your female to be impressed. The male in turn will begin showing off even more. They will also probably start chasing the female around the tank.

Keep the heat and humidity inside your tank, using one of the suggestions we made earlier. Humid conditions are ideal for hatching and fry development.

Over the next several hours, expect lots of chasing and biting. This is pretty aggressive stuff, but it’s largely normal. Keep an eye out for extreme stress or physical harm. The female is going to continuously check out the bubble nest. The male will continue to show off, turning aggressive when it doesn’t feel as though the female is responding properly.

When both are engaged in a mating dance, you’re going to see them swimming side-by-side. They will stop sporadically to display sides, flare up, and so forth.

If the female swims up to the male with its head down in a submissive pose, or if it goes straight into the bubble nest, you’re in business!

What Happens During Betta Mating?

The male wants to be able to flip its female mate upside down, and then wrap himself around her at the point of her midsection. This creates a tight squeeze, which will cause them to float to the surface or sink to the bottom of the tank, if they are successful.

The male will eventually release the female, waiting upwards of five minutes before going again. It may take them a few initial tries to make the “connection”, in which the male is essentially positioning themselves to fertilize the female’s eggs.

Successful Betta Fish Mating And Beyond

The female will then release eggs, go into what will seem like a betta fish coma, and begin floating sideways. This is completely normal. While this goes on, the male begins moving the eggs to a safe location. It may even build a new bubble nest for this specific purpose.

The female will eventually wake up, and perhaps elect to help your male in this task. This is fine, but watch that the female does not eat the eggs. Furthermore, once the eggs have been moved, the female and male should be separated. Otherwise, the male will see the female as a threat.

For upwards of thirty-six hours after you’ve separated them, the male will attend to the bubble nest. They will wait for the eggs to hatch into fry. Once the eggs start hatching, your male will work towards catching eggs that fall from the nest, and other tasks along those lines.

After a few days, your betta fry are going to start swimming in the upright position. Congratulations, you have successfully bred your very own bettas! Now, you just have to go through the steps involved in raising your fry into healthy adults!

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Are Bloodworms For My Betta Fish A Good Idea?

Bettas And Bloodworms

Despite a name some find creepy, bloodworms in general have a lot to offer. In particular, they have been celebrated as basically a superfood for betta fish. As is the case with all other aspects of betta fish, you’re going to want to take a certain matter of care in what you decide.

Bettas And Bloodworms

The Complex Relationship Between Bettas And Bloodworms

Why? Because while there are some intriguing potential benefits of bloodworms for bettas, there are also some more problematic considerations that must be kept in mind. First, there is understanding the different types of bloodworms. This can include figuring out which ones are best for your betta.

Dosage is also very, very important, when it comes to whether or not you should feed bloodworms to your bettas. Even those who advocate including them in a betta’s diet will tell you to reconsider feeding them to your fish every single day.

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about bloodworms.

What Are Bloodworms?

There are essentially two different types being sold right now. The first type is an actual worm. The second type is a form of larvae. Knowing what you’re buying is obviously important.

The most common bloodworm type found in stores would be the Chironomidae. Despite being called bloodworms, they are actually larvae from midge flies. The Glycera genus is responsible for the second type you will find in stores. Chironomidae are more common because they are much easier to breed. Glycera types only come from select marine environments.

Why Do People Love Bloodworms For Bettas?

The different versions of bloodworms you can buy come with different benefits. For example, frozen bloodworms tend to come with a far lower risk for parasites than living bloodworms. Another example would be the fact that live bloodworms can be great for those who want to breed their bettas. There are several reasons as to why this is the case.

In a broad sense, people love bloodworms because they can give their bettas a wide variety of vital nutrients. When given to your bettas safely and correctly, which we will cover shortly, bloodworms can play a useful role in maintaining optimal health.

Which Type Of Bloodworm Should I Buy?

Beyond the two types we illustrated above, there are three different ways in which you can buy bloodworms for your bettas. There is no such thing as a universal choice for every betta owner, so let’s go over these three different options in greater detail:

Freeze Dried Bloodworms

This is another perfectly viable option for your bettas. Obviously, freeze-dried means being able to store them longer. This makes them a better choice for those who only have one or two bettas. Unfortunately, due to the nature of how they are freeze-dried, you’re losing a significant amount of nutritional value. You should also make sure to only buy Grade A products, while avoiding Grade B at all costs.

Live Bloodworms

As the name implies, this means buying bloodworms who are still alive, moving around. Since you’re feeding your betta the bloodworm in its most natural form, you stand to get the best possible range of nutrients. Compelling the betta to hunt the bloodworm can also be highly stimulating and beneficial in its own right. However, buying them isn’t very cost-effective, unless you have several bettas. Furthermore, live also means it could also contain parasites and other undesirables. These things can infect your betta fish. Live bloodworms are obviously best purchased at a store in your area.

Frozen Bloodworms

Finally, we have frozen. This can be an ideal compromise for those who want to give their betta a good range of benefits, while also being able to store them for a reasonable amount of time. Available in cubes, make sure to follow directions for dosage closely. Do not simply drop an entire cube of frozen bloodworms into the tank! Frozen bloodworms can be stored for up to six months, and they should always be defrosted before being served.

Make sure your bettas can get to the food! You also don’t want to leave it in there for too long, particularly with frozen. A nice benefit of freeze-dried bloodworms is that they float to the top of your tank, ensuring the bettas will eat them quickly.

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to look for. The next step is to understand how to administer bloodworms to your betta fish safely and correctly.

What Is The Proper Amount Of Bloodworms To Feed Bettas?

Obviously, since betta fish are carnivores, they’re going to love bloodworms. This, combined with their tendency to just eat and eat, means having to pay close attention to how many bloodworms you feed to your bettas.

Bloodworms: A Fine Treat, But NOT A Dietary Staple

To be clear, bloodworms should NOT be a staple of your betta’s diet. This is where some people make a mistake. Yes, bloodworms are rich in a variety of nutrients and other essentials. However, the key word there is “rich.” They are far too rich to be given to your bettas as anything more than an occasional treat. Ideally, you will only want to feed your bettas bloodworms once or twice a week.

Too much fat and protein can wreak havoc with the health of your bettas. It can cause constipation in bettas, and it can also lead to the common betta fish condition known as swim bladder disease.

Ammonia spikes, in addition to a higher threshold for transmitting disease, can also occur when your bettas consume too many bloodworms.

Finally, overfeeding your bettas bloodworms is just a waste of money. There is a fine line where the benefits of bloodworms end, and they become something that is doing your bettas far more harm than good.

How Should I Feed My Bettas Bloodworms?

While betta fish love to eat, remember that their stomachs are not nearly as large as their eyes. Some feed their bettas bloodworms as often as twice a day. This might prove to be fine, but it’s not recommended by most. Again, stick to the once or twice weekly schedule. This is particularly important when introducing bloodworms of any type for the first time.

You also shouldn’t drop an entire bloodworm into the tank. This is similar to our earlier advice regarding how to dispense a cube of bloodworms. In both cases, the bloodworm should be broken down into several smaller pieces. This ensures everything will be eaten. It also ensures your bettas aren’t going to give themselves any problems from trying to consume a larger-than-comfortable piece of bloodworm. Anything frozen should be broken up and thawed prior to serving.

If frozen, you also want to be sure that you drain the bloodworms carefully, before you put them in the tank to be eaten. The juices that come out during the defrost process can be highly contaminable, when included in the tank with the bloodworms themselves. If you are opting for frozen bloodworms due to them offering the most ideal balance of nutrients and protection from parasites/bacteria, dumping the defrosted juices in with the bloodworms can completely undo this benefit.

At the end of the day, your best bet for giving your betta fish bloodworms safely is to remember the following:

  • Follow the manufacturer directions carefully. These will generally steer you in the right direction, and usually cover everything you need to know.
  • Buy your bloodworms from a reputable vendor. Careful research on any company or product you encounter will ensure you’re buying something that will give your betta all of the benefits you have in mind.

As long as you keep these things in mind, combined with the directions we have listed above, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

What About Breeding Bloodworms?

Some might suggest breeding your own bloodworms. Potentially, and this is largely dependent upon how many bettas you have, this could prove to be an ideal solution. Breeding gives you a direct source to bloodworms suitable for betta consumption. This can not only save you some time, but it can also save you a good deal of money.

Again, these benefits are largely dependent upon having enough bettas to justify this effort in the first place. If you only own one or two bettas, the work involved in learning how to breed bloodworms for bettas likely won’t be worth it. You’re going to need a lot of space, and you’re going to need to make sure you are getting them to your bettas in time. It isn’t unfathomable to wind up with an infestation of midge flies.

Final Thoughts

Balance and variety are going to be the two most important things your betta will need in its diet. To meet these needs, you’re going to need to research the different types of food betta fish can eat. Live animals are generally considered best, including bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. Pellets, freeze-dried food, and frozen food are all additional possibilities you can explore. You don’t want to limit your betta to just one thing.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

The Essential Facts On Aquarium Salt For Your Betta Fish

Aquarium Salt for betta fish

Aquarium salt for bettas can make the difference between life and death. However, in other situations, it can be highly problematic to expose your betta fish to this product. This is certainly another example of betta fish care essentials in which research and a careful eye are absolutely essential.

Let’s start with a breakdown of exactly what aquarium salt is. From there, we can look at the different situations in which it might be a good idea to give some to your bettas. All of this information can help to better understand why it is so important to maintain the proper aquarium salt dosage.

Aquarium Salt for betta fish

What Is Aquarium Salt? What Is So Special About It?

At first glance, aquarium salt may not seem all that different from regular salt. The truth of the matter is that they are the same, when it comes to the chemical formula. Both maintain the 1:1 ratio of chloride and sodium. So, why not just give your betta fish regular table salt?

Aquarium salt is not just a marketing ploy, in which the word “Aquarium” is simply slapped on the package. It differs from regular salt on the crucial level of not having the same additives that are traditionally added to the salt you put on your food. Remember that table salt includes stuff for flavor, coloring, and more.

At the end of the day, regular salt can be highly harmful towards the water quality in your tank. Also keep in mind that aquarium salt, among other benefits, works at replenishing the natural electrolytes your bettas need to be healthy. Regular salt does not do that.

Marine salt should also be avoided, for the same reason that it contains additives that can harm bettas.

Where does aquarium salt come from? Evaporated sea waters. It really is that simple.

Let’s take a look at not only some of the most common diseases treated with aquarium salt, but some of the larger benefits of including it in your tank.

What Are Some Of The Diseases And Conditions Treated By Aquarium Salt?

Under the right circumstances, aquarium salt can be invaluable towards treating a number of serious conditions. Other medications are available. However, aquarium salt is not as serious a treatment option, so it’s often a good, relatively safe place to begin addressing an issue.

Here are some of the most common conditions that can be potentially treated with aquarium salt:

  • Fin Rot: Marked by noticeable damage/decay to the fin, poor water quality is considered to be the most infamous fin rot culprit. If your tank is under the ideal temp (78F), with cloudy, debris/poop-filled water, then the water quality needs to be improved IMMEDIATELY. Even darker fins can be an indication. Red spots, severe discoloration, and damage close to the body are all symptoms of a more serious type of fin rot.
  • Ich: This external parasite can attach itself to your betta. This in turn can cause a ton of problems for your poor betta. White spots appearing all over the body is one of the most common symptoms. You should also look for poor appetite, a lack of energy, relatively poorer socialization, and your betta rubbing itself against things inside your tank.
  • Dropsy: Despite the somewhat-silly name, dropsy should always be taken seriously. Not actually a disease, despite commonly being considered as such, dropsy is actually a collection of symptoms that can point to another issue. If your betta is hiding all the time, avoiding other fish, or simply not eating, these signs can point to the presence of dropsy. The presence of pinecone-like scales is considered to be the biggest tell of all.
  • Velvet: Another condition with a somewhat-disarming name, velvet occurs due to the presence of bacteria in your water. Also known as rust and gold disease, your betta’s reaction to the disease can appear in the form of what looks like gold dust on the body of the fish. Lethargy is another symptom to look out for, and this is another disease in which your sick betta will start rubbing themselves against objects in your aquarium.

Clearly, aquarium salt is something that can prove to be a lifesaver in many situations facing your betta. However, you are also going to want to take care to ensure it is exactly what your betta needs. Before we discuss the benefits of aquarium salt, let’s examine times in which your betta should not be exposed.

When Is Aquarium Salt A Bad Idea For Bettas?

While the aquarium salt benefits for bettas can make for a long list, there are also situations in which you should seek alternatives:

  • Do you have any scale-less fish? If you do, they should not come into contact with aquarium salt in any form or fashion. Consider the slimy coat which can be found on their bodies. Without this coat, which aquarium salt can strip, they become susceptible to a range of external infections.
  • Do you have living plants? Live plants are a great addition to your aquarium. They are also fragile to an extent. Some can be damaged severely by the inherent salinity of aquarium salt.
  • What about quarantine? The best decision is often quarantining your betta. This is going to involve a few steps, but it generally becomes the best arrangement for all concerned. Betta quarantine is a particularly good idea, if we’re dealing with something that can be transferred to other fish in your tank.

Barring the above situations, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Just remember that the directions for any aquarium salt product should be followed to the letter. Too much of this substance in your tank will not only negate its beneficial elements, but it will potentially be disastrous for all of the fish in your tank.

Nonetheless, overall, the benefits of aquarium salt are absolutely fascinating. You can apply this thought to the subject of whether or not you should regularly dose your aquarium with this specialized salt.

A Closer Look At The Benefits Of Aquarium Salt

One of the more common betta fish topics involves using aquarium salt to do more than treat specific conditions. Some, including many experts, believe it can have ongoing benefits. This again means adhering to a very minimal daily dosage, but it could allow your bettas to enjoy the following:

  • Parasites will be miserable: There are a range of parasites that can infiltrate your tank, attack your bettas, and cause all kinds of problems. Keeping a clean tank will go a long way towards keeping these pests out. However, it is ultimately almost impossible to have a 100% parasite-free tank at all times. Aquarium salt can keep them from ever even reproducing.
  • Nitrates and nitrites: Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder which can be caused by an abundance of nitrates and nitrites in the water in your tank.
  • Better for coats, gills, and even kidneys: Treating your aquarium with this salt has been shown to improve the functionality of your slime coat. As we mentioned before, this is the coat that protects your fish from getting sick. Aquarium salt can also make your bettas more efficient at using their kidneys to remove water from the body. This also applies to the gills, which should never absorb too much water.

Okay, we’re ready to start adding aquarium salt to your tank!

How To Treat Your Bettas With Aquarium Salt

Keeping in mind that you should probably quarantine your sick betta with what is known as a hospital tank, if you’re using aquarium salt to treat something specific, here are the steps to remember, regardless of whether or not you do that.

  • Do not go above one tablespoon for every five gallons of water in your tank.
  • Aquarium salt should NEVER be added to the aquarium by depositing it straight into the water. Instead, what you want to do is combine a little tank water with the aquarium salt in a container. You only need a very small amount of tank water. Once it has properly diluted, you can have it added to your tank.
  • Once it has been added to the tank, keep an eye on the aquarium for twenty-four hours or so. You should start to notice some improvements at this point.
  • Continue to dose your water in this fashion for a few days. You don’t want to go for any longer than four, five days at the most.
  • Once you’ve gotten to your last day of treatment, you need to change approximately twenty-five percent of the water currently in your aquarium.

This entire process can be repeated on and off for two weeks. After that, if your betta has not improved, their condition is more serious than previously thought. You are going to need to seek out stronger methods of treatment for your betta.

Now, while the above treatment strategy is the one most commonly used, you are not without further possibilities using aquarium salt. There is a method known as salt bombing. Under the right conditions, this can be a powerful way to aid your betta.

What About A Concentrated Aquarium Salt Dose?

This can also be called a salt blast or salt bomb. As any of those names imply, you’re giving your betta a significant dose of aquarium salt over an extremely short period of time. This should not be attempted as your first approach to improving the condition of your betta.

It should be reserved for situations in which your betta’s condition is more advanced, but you also don’t want to progress to a treatment stronger than aquarium salt. You also need to have everything set up ahead of time. Don’t forget that we are only going to expose your betta to this concentrated dose for a very short period of time.

First, get two containers. One is going to have a gallon of water and some aquarium salt. The second container will have a fourth of the recommended manufacturer’s amount, combined with another gallon of water. The second container exists to revive your betta after the initial treatment. You will need to do this prior to returning the betta to the main aquarium.

After you’ve set your containers up, heat your water up to somewhere between seventy-eight and eighty degrees. Put your betta fish in a plastic bag. With this done, your betta can be added to your first container for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. This is meant to get them used to these new, temporary conditions.

Take them out of the bag after fifteen minutes at the most. You can now leave them in the first container for anywhere from five to eight minutes. It is strongly advised that you only go to the eight-minute threshold when treating something serious in your betta. To reiterate, prolonged exposure to these extreme conditions can kill your betta.

You don’t want to shock your betta by adding them straight from the first container to the main aquarium. This can also kill them. The second container exists to make the transition as easy as possible. You only need to leave them in this container for around five minutes. Once you have finished with this stage, you can safely have them returned to the main tank. Put them in another plastic bag, and allow them to float along the top of the tank. You shouldn’t need to do this for more than a few minutes.

Final Thoughts

There might be some concern on your part about the pH levels on your aquarium becoming unstable by adding aquarium salt. You don’t have a thing to worry about. Neither the hydrogen molecules or oxygen molecules are going to be changed or harmed by adding aquarium salt.

Clearly, aquarium salt can be a vital part of your day-to-day care for your betta fish. As long as you maintain the proper dosages, and keep in mind everything else we mentioned above, your betta can gain a lot from aquarium salt. Whether you need to treat something in particular, or want to use it to maintain an optimal tank, make it a point to keep some in your home.

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Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Types of Betta Fish 2020 – By Tail, Pattern and Color

betta-fish-types

Whether you are a beginner aquarist or a seasoned aquarist, you know that Betta fish are one of the most popular freshwater fish available on the market today. Bettas come in a broad spectrum of colors and shapes. Because of this, they tend to be classified by their tail type, colors, and patterns. 

Although they have a reputation for having an aggressive temperament, as long as you know how to care for them and what kind of tankmates they prefer, you can avoid the aggressiveness by properly fed and care. 

betta-fish-types

Betta Fish Varieties

Betta fish, nicknamed Siamese Fighting fish because of their aggressive temperaments, is one of the most common fish purchased by beginner aquarists. These fish are the perfect starter fish with their small size, vibrant colors, and unique personalities.

Over the years, breeders have crossbred Bettas to create some very striking tail variations, along with vibrant and unique colorations. Bettas are also intelligent fish and can eventually begin to recognize their owners.

Bettas have a unique physiology that allows them to breathe surface air when their gills are unable to get sufficient oxygen from their surrounding water. This unique organ is called a labyrinth organ. During breeding, they will also create bubble nests to cradle the eggs spawned by the female Betta.

When classifying Bettas, you look at their tail shape first, then their pattern, and their coloration. There are many variations in the tail alone, from neat and short to flowing and long. The Betta’s body patterns will range from single body patterns to multi-colored patterns. 

But it is their vibrant colors that are the most attractive characteristic. You can find Bettas in every color of the rainbow. Between the Betta’s coloring, patterns, and various tail shapes, there are literally hundreds of types of Bettas on the market, with each fish being uniquely beautiful.

Betta Tail Variations

There are many distinctive variations of the Betta’s tails. Because of this, many Bettas are classified by the size and shape of their tails. Bettas have tails that vary from long and majestic, to spikey and short. Usually, the Betta’s name will give you an idea of what shape their tail is. Some of the more common names include Crowntail, Veiltail, Halfmoon, and the small Plakat. 

Crowntail Bettas

Crowntail Bettas
Helder Caçoila

One of the most popular Bettas is the Crowntail Betta. First bred by breeder Ahmad Yusuf about 25 years ago, this particular species hasn’t really been around long. The fins for the male Crowntail Betta are long and spikey, slightly resembling a crown. The female Crowntail’s colors are lighter, and they have a shorter tail. Unfortunately, their appearance is not as majestic as that of their male counterparts.

There’s another Betta that is very similar to the Crowntail, called Combtail. The Combtail has webbing on its fin that reaches about 2/3 of the way up the tail. 

Veiltail Bettas

Veiltail Bettas
Kausthubh Kamath

Veiltails are also quite common. The male Veiltails have tails that are long and flowing with a downward swoop of the tail. Veiltails come in a variety of color variations, making it a very striking Betta.

The Veiltail is a dominant characteristic when it comes to breeding, making it easy to breed. The female Veiltail looks different than the male. She does not have the same characteristics as the male Veiltail, but she does have brights colors occasionally, although their colors still tend to be lighter than the males. They also have short tails and fins. 

Plakat Bettas

The name Plakat comes from the Thai word “plakad”, which means fighting fish. This particular breed was bred and used for fighting quite commonly. Plakat Bettas are the exception to the rule for male Bettas. Instead of having the long and flowing tails and fins, their fins are short.

Despite having shorter fins, the male Plakat still has amazingly vibrant coloring. The Plakat is considered to be the Betta’s traditional form, which you would have found in their natural habitat in the wild.

Halfmoon / Over-Half Moon (OHM) Bettas

Halfmoon Bettas
Shane Morel

Halfmoon Bettas have a large tail that creates a half-circle that looks similar to a half-moon. You will not find these Bettas in the wild; they are bred only in captivity. Halfmoon Bettas are very popular among breeders and are quite common at the Betta shows and exhibits. 

The Halfmoon Betta was first created in the 1980s. They became so popular that breeders worldwide, especially in Europe, made this species famous internationally. However, these fish tend to be a bit more challenging to breed due to their overly aggressive behavior.

Double Tail Bettas

Double Tail Bettas​
Nikita

With two distinctly separate tails that are separated at the base, the Double Tail Betta is easy to recognize. Usually, this species of Bettas has a shorter body with a longer and larger dorsal fin. 

You can find this particular gene in various Bettas with any size and shaped tail. This can cause single tail Bettas to show the same characteristics as the double tail, with extra rays on their dorsal fins, which tend to give them a much richer appearance.

Dumbo Bettas or Elephant Ear Bettas

Dumbo Bettas

The Dumbo Bettas are unique and don’t exactly fit into one particular color or tail category because of their unique pectoral fins. Their name derives from their two pectoral fins’ funny appearance, which makes them look like elephant ears. 

The Dumbo Bettas that have been bred for the aquarium trade will have strikingly brilliant colorations, such as yellows, reds, turquoises, and bright blues. However, when found in the wild, they tend to be dull-colored, with colors ranging from brown, grey, to dark green.

Delta Tail Bettas

delta tail betta fish
☆HΞΔTHΞRFΔCΞ

Delta is the Greek word for the letter d, which is shaped like a triangle (∆). The Delta Tail Betta has a large tail that is narrow close to the body but widens into a triangle shape, like an inverted triangle.

While the tail spread of a normal Delta is usually smaller, without crowing or combing along the tail edges, the Super Delta’s tail reaches a flare of 180°.

Rosetail Bettas

Rosetail bettas
Kyaw Tun

The Rosetail Betta’s tail has branchy rays, which make the caudal fin look like a rose. A Half Moon variation that causes the caudal fin’s total spread to reach more than 180° gives the Rosetail a very striking appearance. However, it could be considered to be a Feathertail if the tail is exceedingly branch and has a ruffled appearance. 

Other Tail Variations

Although the tails we have already gone over are among the most common and ornamental, there are many more different variations of the Betta’s tail:

  • Spade Tail Bettas – the tails of these Bettas look exactly like the Spade from a deck of cards with its round and pointed shape.
  • Over Halfmoon – the not-so-clever name comes from the over 180° tail spread of a Halfmoon Betta. Basically like an extreme variation of the Halfmoon.
  • Combtail Bettas – these Bettas resemble the Crowntail Bettas. The way to tell them apart is by the length of the rays and the webbing. The Combtail’s webbing reaches up the tail over 2/3 of the way.
  • Roundtail Bettas – the edges of these Betta’s tails are fully rounded, quite similar to the Delta Bettas, just the tail edge shapes differ.
  • Half-Sun Bettas – selective breeding between Crowntails and Half Moons create this variation of Bettas. The fins and tail reach around the body over 180° with what looks like a slight crowning along the webbing and rays.
You might also be interested in: Top 7 Best Betta Fish Tanks 2020

Types of Betta Fish - By Color

Bettas come in a wide variety of colors, with some sporting uniform coloring, while others are a kaleidoscope of many different colors. Their brilliant coloring represents most of the colors of the rainbow with a few extras thrown in, such as translucent, copper, white, and black.

Blue Betta Variations

Blue Betta Variations​

Blue is not a simple color. There are many different variations of the color blue. In the Betta fish world, the most common shades of blue are Steel Blue Betta, which is a cold grayish-blue, and Royal Blue Bettas, which have a gorgeous, brilliant iridescent blue coloring.

Black Orchid Bettas

Black Orchid Bettas
Daniella Vereeken

Just like the name says, the Black Orchid has a blackish color to it with hints of blue or purple highlights around its body. There are three different variations of the black coloration that can be grouped into either the Black Lace, Melano, and Metallic Betta, which has iridescent scales that are almost translucent or copper-colored.

Red Bettas

Red Bettas

Amongst all the different variations of Betta fish, red is the most dominant color. The more common red is a striking, deep, and rich red. If red is not the dominant color on the Betta, you will often see red highlights across the body and fins of the Betta.

If your red starts to appear washed out, you may need to check their water conditions and diet to make sure they are healthy. 

Pink Bettas

Pink Bettas
Heather Klebs

Although it looks almost translucent and is often thought to be an albino variation, the Pink Betta is actually pink because it barely has any pigment and the flesh shows through the Betta’s skin. 

If the pink is a fuller pink, the Betta usually has a brighter, richer pink color on their fins and body. If this is the case, they will usually have additional color variations along the body and tail, such as whites, purples, and reds. 

Rose Petal Bettas

Rose Petal Bettas
Aquariumfish.net

Rose Petal Bettas are one of the more unique variations because there is not an easy way to define them. They have more color variations than any of the other Bettas, usually a light electric blue with some dark blue or copper highlights, with a dark-colored face. 

The Rose Petal Betta is one of the rarest on the market.

Yellow Bettas

Another common color you will find among Bettas is yellow. Yellow Bettas generally have a rich, full-bodied yellow coloring that extends along the tail and fins. There are many variations of yellow coloring, from a pastel yellow to a school bus yellow. The yellow variations are known as “non-reds” because they have similar characteristics as the red, but instead, they are yellow.

White Bettas

White Bettas
Atom

When comparing the white Bettas to other variations of Betta coloring, the white coloring may seem to be a little plain since they are entirely white. But with the right type of tail, these white Bettas can look very majestic. Shop around for the tail type that appeals the most to you. Swooping and flowing tails are very majestic when they are completely white-colored.

Purple Bettas

Purple Bettas​
matthias dieux

If you are looking for a Betta fish that is a true purple color, you might have a hard time finding one. It will be easier to Bettas that are a purple-blueish coloring or a rich violet. A lot of times, these Bettas will have various color highlights, such as blacks and coppers. You can find them with purple-ish bodies, but with the face and fins of a different color.

Purple Bettas have many different types of tails and color patterns. With so many different options, it should be easy to find one that suits your tastes. 

Green Bettas

Green Bettas

If you find a Betta fish that is entirely green, you will be gazing upon a rare Betta. They usually appear to be more of a turquoise color. Or, the green coloration will be masked underneath a darker color, but if you shine the light on it just right, you will see an iridescent green shimmer. 

Dark green and bright green Betta variations that are clearly discernable are rare, but they do exist, and they are considered to be quite precious. 

Mustard Gas Bettas

Mustard Gas Bettas​
Hnib

The Mustard Gas Betta is very remarkable with bi-colored variations that show different color variations between the fins and the body. The Betta’s body is usually a dark blue or green color, while their fins tend to be orange or yellow, which is where their name comes from. 

Sometimes this variation is called Chocolate-colored by mistake because the fin color is very similar. However, the Chocolate-colored Betta has a body that is completely brown.

You might also be interested in: most common betta fish diseases

Types of Betta Fish – By Pattern

Finally, the last way in which Bettas are classified is by their patterns. The way a Betta’s coloring is arranged along their bodies and fins in different patterns makes them one of the more popular sought after fish in the aquarist community. Selective breeding has created some unique patterning. 

Dragon Scale Bettas

Dragon Scale Bettas​

Selective breeding has recently created a new pattern called Dragon Scale. The vibrant metallic colorations make this particular pattern very popular with a full-bodied color and body scales that resemble those of a dragon or lizard. They usually have a rich base color like red with pale iridescent scales across the main body, which is sometimes copper-colored.

Butterfly Bettas

Butterfly-betta

Another relatively distinctive and common Betta pattern is the Butterfly pattern. The body is usually a solid color that will extend to the tail’s base and the fins, where the color will stop suddenly and then is replaced by a more iridescent, paler color. The tail and fins are usually transparent or white. 

Another popular variation of this particular pattern is for the body to be one color, but the tail and the inside fins will be a different color but fade to white or even transparent along the edges. 

Marble Bettas

Marble betta
David Sucianto

With striking color variations, the Marble Betta is another trendy variation of Bettas. Their body usually has a solid but pale body-color with rich blues and red that appear irregular and blotchy. The fins are the part of the Betta’s body that appears marble-like in pattern. Although, sometimes they have a translucent coloring, too. 

One remarkable thing about this particular variation is that their colors develop over time. They will also appear to be one color one week and a different color the next week. This ability will slow down as the Betta ages. 

Koi Bettas

Koi Bettas​
Marlo Lao

Through selectively breeding the Marble Bettas, the breeder created the Koi pattern that resembles the popular pond fish. You will not find this species in the wild. Rather aquarium hobbyists have carefully bred them while preserving the most unique and striking features and characteristics. The rich colorations and their brightness will vary greatly, resulting in no distinct coloration of this particular pattern. 

Summary

With so many different variations of patterns, colors, and tail shapes, the Betta is definitely not a boring one-size-fits-all fish. Through years of careful and selective breeding by experts, there are now hundreds of types of Betta fish on the market today. 

The Bettas you find in the wild won’t be as vibrant and colorful as the ones you will find with breeders and fish stores. With all the different varieties, you are sure to find the perfect Betta for your aquarium. 

Michele Taylor
Michele Taylor

Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons.

Does Your Betta Fish Have Popeye? Here’s What You’ll Need To Do

Popeye In Betta Fish

Don’t let the cute name fool you. Despite sharing a name with a beloved cartoon icon, Popeye is no laughing matter in the context of your betta fish. While the condition is not inherently deadly, it can make things quite unpleasant for any betta which catches it. Popeye is also complicated by the fact that it can lead to other problems.

Popeye In Betta Fish

The Good News About Betta Fish And Popeye

In other words, if you are just beginning to learn about Popeye, here is the most important thing to keep in mind: You want to deal with the problem as quickly as possible. Again, Popeye treatment is fairly straightforward, and it comes with a huge success rate. Nonetheless, as is the case with many other betta fish infections and diseases, a rapid response on your part is the most essential component to treating it effectively.

The other good news about Popeye is that it’s fairly easy to diagnose. It is unlikely that you’re going to be wrong, if you even suspect your betta has this condition in the first place.

Also, keep in mind that while Popeye in of itself is fairly easy to treat, it could be in of itself a sign of a more serious condition. To that end, we would suggest reading up on common betta fish diseases and potential treatments.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’re talking about, when we talk about Popeye and betta fish.

What Is Popeye In Betta Fish?

First of all, let’s get that name out of the way.

Popeye is exactly what it sounds like. It is a condition that can cause the eye of your betta to stick out, protrude, or “pop” out. Hence the name. While it can be fatal, if left untreated, there are thankfully a number of measures you can take. However, at the end of the day, prevention is considered to be the wisest course of action.

Avoid the conditions by which your betta can get the infection, and you really shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Next, we’re going to discuss some of the most prominent symptoms to watch out for.

Symptoms-Of-Popeye-In-Bettas
Saveena (AKA LHDugger)

What Are Some Of The Most Common Symptoms Of Popeye In Bettas?

Popeye can be extremely uncomfortable for your betta, as you might be able to imagine. This, combined with the very real potential for death with untreated Popeye in betta fish, makes learning about the different symptoms an imperative.

Here are the most common Popeye symptoms in betta fish:

  • The eye pops out: We’ve already touched on this particular symptom, but it is well worth mentioning again. Popeye can only impact one of their eyes, but it is not uncommon to see a betta suffering from this infection with both eyes protruding. This is the definitive symptom of this particular infection. If one or both of the eyes are sticking out, your betta DEFINITELY has Popeye.
  • The eyes change color: While the protruding eye is the most common symptom, there are a few more you want to look for. The presence of a different eye color is a good example of what we are talking about. If you see a cloudiness, or a milky texture, within their eyes, there is a good chance that one of their corneas has been broken. It could also simply be bloodstained. This can indicate physical aggression in some form or fashion.
  • The eyes have a white ring around them: This is another certain sign that your betta has Popeye. This is a good symptom to watch for prior to the eye popping out. If you notice this white ring, then there is an excellent chance that your betta is in the beginning stages of Popeye. At this point, treatment is all but guaranteed to be successful.

How Popeye Influences Your Betta In Other Ways

There are a number of additional Popeye symptoms you are going to want to keep in mind. However, these should be taken with a grain of salt. This is simply because they could be indicators of any number of infections or diseases. This is why it is a good idea to keep an eye on your betta, as soon as you recognize something about their appearance or behavior that seems off to you.

Obviously, if your betta is feeling stressed out, or happens to be fighting some sort of infection, other health issues are likely to emerge. If you notice that your betta is no longer eating or interacting with other fish as it should, then there is a good chance that at least something is wrong. It may or may not be Popeye, but you’re definitely going to want to keep an eye on your betta for the next few days.

Another red flag comes in the form of a betta that doesn’t seem to do anything but stay in one place.

With all of this in mind, you’re much closer to knowing how to treat Popeye in betta fish.

However, once again, prevention is in fact the best way to ensure your bettas never have to deal with Popeye. The best way to tackle this end of things is to study up on causes. The more you know about these possible causes, the easier it will be to see how to prevent Popeye in bettas.

What Are Some Of The Causes Of Popeye In Bettas?

Determining the cause of Popeye in your betta can be a bit difficult to do, in terms of pinpointing the exact cause. This can make treatment a little challenging, but still by no means impossible. This also points to what we were saying about earlier about prevention ultimately being easier and more effective than treatment.

Still, keeping that eye towards prevention, it can be very helpful to at least know some of the most common Popeye causes in betta fish.

These causes can be broken down into two distinct categories, which can serve to make things a little easier for you.

What Causes Unilateral Popeye In Bettas?

In order to have the best possible understanding of causes, when it comes to Popeye, we need to break things down into two categories: One is unilateral, which only impacts one eye. The other is bilateral, in which both eyes are impacted.

As you will find, the best treatments for bilateral Popeye are fairly different from the best treatments for unilateral Popeye in Bettas.

If only one of the eyes of your betta is damaged, the odds are low that you’re dealing with an infection. In all likelihood, the damage in question comes from something physical that happened to them. Yes, it is easy enough for a betta to cause some form of injury to their eyes. This can be caused by something as simple as bumping into something inside the tank.

By the same token, it can just as easily be something that comes from bullying caused by other fish. If that happens to be the case, then you will want to take the steps necessary to stop the bullying. This may or may not include isolating the abused betta from the other fish in the tank.

Now, if both eyes on your betta are damaged, this in of itself points to a good chance that your betta is dealing with some sort of infection. Such an infection can come from a variety of sources, including bacteria, fungus, and parasites. The best way to figure out which disease or infection your betta is suffering from is to look fore other symptoms. Click here for an article that can get you started in the right direction.

At this point, we can start to deep dive into exactly what your options are for treatment. We will also revisit the merits of prevention one more time with some specific suggestions.

What Are The Best Ways To Treat Popeye In Betta Fish?

Treatment should be started as soon as possible, regardless of the specific type of Popeye afflicting your betta. This is another example of a betta fish condition in which a minor problem can very quickly turn into something more serious, if you don’t make an effort immediately.

Once again, we’re going to break things down by the different types of Popeye you can run into.

Betta Treatments For Unilateral Popeye

Luckily, if you are only dealing with Popeye caused by physical harm, both the treatment and your prevention measures are going to be easy to address. To reiterate, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

At the same time, it is worth noting that this form of Popeye in betta fish is traditionally not fatal. If the stress becomes too much, however, your betta can potentially suffer in other fashions.

Here is what you’ll need to do:

  • Move roughly ten percent of the water in your aquarium to another tank.
  • The next step will be to purchase some Epsom salts. There are tons and tons of choices available to you on that front. Following all directions on the packaging of your purchase very, very carefully, you will next begin adding the Epsom. You should not be adding more than one tablespoon per gallon of water.
  • The Epsom salt should be fully dissolved, before introducing it to your betta.
  • How long to leave the betta in this new tank? A good rule of thumb is around ten minutes.
  • Give your betta a couple of minutes in which to get used to things, before you have them returned to the tank.

You also have the option of aquarium salt. This comes with the built-in, long-term benefit of improving the immune system of your betta to a meaningful degree.

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Betta Treatments For Bilateral Popeye

As we said before, a case of bilateral Popeye points to the strong probability that your betta is fighting some sort of bacteria, fungus, or other problematic disease. The treatment method you choose with eventually have to keep this fact in mind.

Here are the basic steps behind dealing with bilateral Popeye:

  • Your first step is going to be to set up a quarantine tank. This can be a 5-10-gallon tank with a filter, the ideal temperature, something for the bottom, and something for your betta to hide in or interact with.
  • Your original tank should be changed completely. This lowers your chances of the infection being passed to other fish in your tank.
  • A combination of aquarium salt and amoxicillin are going to be vital, in terms of treating this infection properly and safely. Follow directions for dosages. If you still aren’t sure, ask a trusted medical professional. The amoxicillin should be mixed with aquarium water, prior to adding it to the tank.
  • Every three days, swap out the water completely, while adding another doses of amoxicillin and aquarium salt. The amoxicillin should not be used for more than ten consecutive days.
  • With the treatment finished, keep an eye on your betta, and see if their condition improves.
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How To Prevent Popeye In Betta Fish

Prevention comes down to keeping in mind the two main avenues of what causes Popeye in betta fish. The first is an infection, bacteria, or even parasites. The second is damage.

Do not overpopulate your aquarium. This not only forces your fish to fight for resources, but it can create a highly stressful situation for your bettas. The more fish in your tank, the more poop you’re going to be dealing with. It is also possible for other fish to bother your betta, which can create Popeye in one way or another.

Make sure the water is being changed regularly. This also means having a good filter for your system.

It is also possible to cause damage by scooping them up too quickly in the net, keeping plastic furniture in the tank, or even the sudden turning on of the aquarium lights.

Conclusion

With all of the information above, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Remember that Popeye can be transferred from one fish to the next, if we are talking about an infection-based example.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

What Is The Deal With My Betta Jumping Out Of Its Tank?

Betta Jumping Out Of Its Tank

Do you have a betta who is jumping out of your tank on a pretty regular basis? If so, you aren’t alone! A betta that keeps jumping out of the tank isn’t something we are necessarily prepared to deal with. Yet it can happen for all sorts of different reasons. More to the point, it can naturally be very dangerous for your betta. This is something you want to address from the moment you first witness the behavior.

Betta Jumping Out Of Its Tank

Why Do Bettas Jump From Tanks?

To that end, your first step is to figure out why the betta is jumping out in the first place. The next step from there will be simple enough, as it will involve the best way to address whatever might be bothering your betta.

Dealing with this issue tends to be pretty straightforward, but there are still a number of things you are going to want to keep in mind.

Are You Keeping The Tank In Good Condition?

The condition of your tank is one of the first culprits to study in greater detail. Regular cleanings of your aquarium are essential for several reasons. One of the biggest is to get rid of the buildup on ammonia in the water, which comes about from pooping.

Fish can desire to leave an area, if they feel unsafe, sick, or otherwise in some form of discomfort or danger. However, unlike many types of fish, betta can actually try to do something about it by leaping out. Make sure your fish tank is being cleaned on a regular basis.

Are You Keeping Things Consistent In Your Tank?

In general, extreme changes to the atmosphere or conditions of the tank can cause the jumping behavior. This extends to not only the quality of the water, but to the pH levels and overall temperature, as well. When these things are not maintained, your fish in general can stop eating, become depressed, and compromise their immune systems. It can also compel them to jump out of the tank.

Does Your Betta Have Enough Space?

While it is true that bettas are a hardy type of fish, which means they can stand up to a great deal. However, like all other fish, they still need plenty of space to live, hide, sleep, and eat.

In the first place, you should aspire to have a tank which is at LEAST 5 gallons. In our personal experience, 10 or 15 gallons is even better. Anything smaller than that is going to be essential inhospitable for your betta.

If there isn’t enough room in the tank, the ammonia levels are going to climb. We’ve already discussed why that can be quite a problem. A betta can also become bored with their surroundings, so make sure you are adding and removing plants and decorative items on a regular basis.

Is Your Betta Getting Enough Sleep At Night?

Like almost everything else that’s alive, betta fish need to get plenty of rest. More to the point, they need to be able to maintain a regular, consistent sleep schedule. When this doesn’t happen, all kinds of problems can emerge. The frustration and boredom your betta will feel can become enough that they will try to jump out of the tank.

This is thankfully an easy enough fix, but you will need to keep several things in mind. Consult a good online guide to light and your betta fish. You will need to give your betta certain periods during the day in which the light in the tank is off, and they are able to rest in comfort.

Generally speaking, you should strongly consider just turning the light off at night.

Is Something Outside Of Your Tank Compelling The Betta To Jump?

As you can see, there are quite a few different reasons as to why the betta is jumping out of the tank. Obviously, in order to protect your betta from causing harm to themselves, you need to be able to identify the specific reason your betta is jumping.

For example, your betta may simply be jumping out of the tank because they see something they like. As incredible as that sounds, it’s true.

Flies can be a big reason bettas jump out of the tank. If your betta is jumping, and you notice the presence of flies around the tank, this could be the culprit.

What If None Of The Above Reasons Apply?

Let’s say you’ve exhausted every possibility we have covered so far. What then? Is it in the realm of possibility that bettas simply like to jump out of the tank?

Unfortunately, yes.

If you have gone through all of the reasons we listed above, and your betta is still leaping out of the tank, the reason could be very simple. They may just simply like jumping out. Obviously, this can be a little frustrating to deal with, but you still have options.

At the end of the day, it is still highly important to know exactly what might be driving your betta’s behavior. “Nothing” is just as important a reason as anything else.

A Few More Tips On Dealing With Jumping Betta Fish

Given the fairly small size of betta fish, you may not think they can jump very high. This assumption would be a mistake. On average, a betta fish can jump two to three inches high. This can be more than enough to clear the rim of your aquarium.

In certain cases, believe it or not, your betta can jump even higher!

Once a betta has jumped from the tank, they will live for approximately ten minutes. After ten minutes, even if they have been returned to the water, their odds of survival become very, very small. By ten minutes, too much as dried up. Too much damage has been done.

If you can get them back in the tank, give them a moment to get acclimated again. You may even want to consider adding some aquarium salt, which can go a long way towards improving the overall function and strength of their gills.

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Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

How To Treat Swim Bladder Diseases In Bettas SAFELY And EFFECTIVELY

betta fish swim bladder disease

Every part of a betta fish is obviously important in one fashion or another. Having said that, there is a special significance to their swim bladders. This vital organ plays an equally vital role in how your bettas swim in their surroundings. Responsible for maintaining their buoyancy, betta fish naturally need this organ to maintain their ideal lifestyle and optimal health.

betta fish swim bladder disease

An Introduction To Swim Bladder Disease

Unfortunately, like anything else your betta needs to look and feel their best, there are threats which can create complications. Swim bladder disease can indeed be treated, but this is something that must be done as soon as possible. This means being able to quickly identify the signs your betta is suffering from this condition. It also includes knowing the best ways to treat your betta.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly what we mean by swim bladder disease. The first challenge to keep in mind with this potential issue is that there are a lot of potential of places in which it can originate.

Breaking Down The Basics

In the simplest terms, swim bladder disorder is when a disruption occurs within the swim bladder of your betta. This is a fairly common disease among bettas.

However, it does have the benefit of being fairly easy to treat. As we mentioned before, the success of your treatment is going to be fairly dependent upon how quickly you notice the condition. It is a good thing indeed then that there are some fairly easy-to-notice symptoms of swim bladder disease.

Remember: Your betta relies on their swim bladder to essentially swim with as little actual effort as possible. As opposed to having to swim nonstop to stay in place, your betta’s swim bladder will take care of that instead. In other words, once we delve more deeply into the subject of swim bladder symptoms, you’ll already know to look for any signs that your betta isn’t swimming as it normally should.

Without the swim bladder, your betta is going to find it very difficult to swim properly. It will also waste enormous amounts of energy on trying to stay in one place. This can put a notable strain on its overall health on a variety of levels.

But, wait, is it true that swim bladder disease isn’t even what the name suggests it might be? This is true to a certain extent. Here is what you need to keep in mind.

Is Swim Bladder Disease Actually A Disease? What Exactly Happens?

In the most technical sense of the word, swim bladder disease isn’t actually a disease. It is a condition that can potentially be part of something else altogether. This is important to remember, as you learn about the different ways in which you can treat swim bladder disease.

What happens to your betta fish when it has this condition?

  • You are going to notice your betta either floating along the surface, which it does not want to do, nor should be doing. The betta may also be found along the bottom of your aquarium, if it does in fact have this condition.
  • The gas-filled sac which represents this organ becomes damaged or diseased. It is important to note that this condition can come from a variety of different places.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Swim Bladder Disease?

Before we take a closer look at common symptoms to look for, beyond the buoyancy issue, the next step is to see where the condition can come from. To reiterate, one of the most frustrating things about swim bladder disease is the fact that it can come from a variety of different sources.

The importance of diagnosing the specific cause of your betta’s swim bladder disease cannot be understated. Knowing the exact cause is going to go a long way towards knowing the specific treatment you should explore. In some situations, the wrong treatment can actually cause more problems than it solves.

Here are the most notable causes you are going to want to look for:

Cause #1: Overfeeding

Constipation, or simply overfeeding your betta, is one of the most well-known causes of swim bladder disease. One of the more annoying things about bettas is that they never know when to say “enough!” They love to eat, and they do not know the meaning of the word quit. To that end, you need to make sure you are taking special care to feed them exactly as your directions suggest. Failing to do so can lead to bloating, constipation, and eventually swim bladder disease.

Cause #2: Too Much Air In The Food

This ties into the first point mentioned above. Cheap betta food often has a lot of excess air inside it. In addition to the air they ingest while eating around the surface of the cage, airy food can add to this. The end result can lead to your betta becoming constipated.

A good diet is vital to the health of your betta on several levels. For this reason, make sure you are feeding your fish the best food on the market. There are several possibilities to that end.

Cause #3: Shock/Surprise

Stress can create a variety of problems for your betta. If your betta goes through consistent and ongoing stress, including bullying from other fish, or drastic changes to their surroundings, their health can be impacted on a variety of levels.

On a similar note, extreme shock or surprise can also cause problems. This includes swim bladder disease. While this cause is considered to be quite rare, something along the lines of a drastic water or light change can create this element of shock. This can perhaps diminish their immune systems enough to make swim bladder disease a regrettably viable possibility.

Cause #4: Parasites And Bacteria

Our last potential culprit is arguably the most frustrating of them all, in terms of being able to correctly identify it as a cause. Furthermore, parasites and bacteria can strike from a variety of different places. This in of itself can make it hard to give your betta the attention it needs to get better.

Parasites are particularly problematic. They can be created through unsanitary or stressful conditions. They can also get the parasites from another fish in your aquarium. General poor health, which can be caused by some of the items we just covered, can also create conditions ideal for parasites to appear. Click here to read up on parasites and bettas, and what you can do if this is indeed the case.

Bacteria is a similar headache. This is particularly true in terms of where bacteria can come from. An unclean tank in particular can create a wide variety of problems. Make sure you are cleaning the tank on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to make sure your aquarium has an exceptional filter. As long as you can maintain the best possible conditions for your betta tank, the odds of dealing with parasites and/or bacteria will go down considerably.

Keep in mind that if your betta is indeed fighting a bacterial infection, swim bladder disease is going to be just one the many symptoms you will notice.

If none of these causes apply to your betta, it could be as simple as a low temperature in the water. In certain extreme cases, it can be brought about by kidney cysts and the binding of eggs with female bettas.

Now, with a clear idea of the most notable causes to watch out for, we can come back to the subject of symptoms. All of this information is going to make it that much easier to find the best way to treat swim bladder disease in betta fish.

What Are The Most Common Betta Swim Bladder Disease Symptoms?

The most important thing at this point is to consider the causes we listed above, and then match the cause to the symptoms. Also, you will want to remember that poor buoyancy is the most consistent thread in this entire discussion. It is one of the biggest indicators that your betta has this condition.

For example, if the cause of your betta’s SBD is from overeating and/or constipation, you’re going to come across the following symptoms:

  • In addition to a betta that seems to stay on the top, or along the bottom of the aquarium, you should also look for a betta which is swimming in a lopsided fashion.
  • The constant struggle to keep a normal position while it is in the aquarium.
  • The presence of a distended stomach. A curved back is also an indicator that your betta is suffering from either constipation or just plain overeating.
  • A lack of energy is particularly troubling. Poor appetite is also often observed.

This is what we mean by how difficult it can be to diagnose the proper swim bladder disease treatment. Clamped fins, as well as shaking, are two very strong likelihoods that your betta’s SBD is coming from the many issues that can steam from bacterial infections or parasites.

Simply put, if your betta is spending ALL of their time along the top of the tank, combined with an inability to swim correctly, the odds are extremely high that they have SBD.

With all of this in mind, what can you do about effectively treating this condition in your betta fish?

What Are The Best Ways To Treat Swim Bladder In My Betta?

Here is some good news about betta fish and swim bladder disease: The condition is not inherently fatal. In fact, by paying attention to specific symptoms, and addressing your options for treatment accordingly, you should be able to get your betta back on the mend with ease.

There are a number of different SBD treatment options you are going to want to keep in mind. Here is a closer look at your most prominent possibilities.

Treatment Option For Overfed/Constipation

If this is the cause of SBD in your betta, one of the most obvious steps will be to change how you are feeding them. This is simple enough, but it won’t be the only thing you need to do.

Quarantine your betta (this shows up in other treatments). Then fast them for a period of three days, increasing the temperature of the tank to 80 degrees. This can cure the betta of constipation, or the consequences of being fed too much food. If the situation doesn’t improve for the betta, consider feeding it a maximum of two cooked, peeled peas for approximately one week.

Treatment Option For Parasites And/Or Bacteria

Once again, your first step when dealing with parasites or bacteria, specifically in the context of eliminating Swim Bladder Disease, is going to come down to quarantining your ailing betta from the rest of the fish in your tank.

While this is not something you absolutely must do, it is widely seen as the best way to ensure the rest of your fish do not get sick. Don’t forget that SBD can be carried to other fish.

After your betta has been safely cut off from the rest, you can begin treatment. Melafix is the most common and effective way of getting rid of a bacterial infection. It is also not harmful to bettas, and the odds of your betta having a bacterial infection are much higher than the odds of your betta having parasites. With these thoughts in mind, consider trying out the Melafix first.

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If that doesn’t work, start looking into the best ways to kill parasites in betta fish.

Treatment Option For Shock

Thankfully, this is one of the easiest treatment paths you are going to encounter. Remember that when your betta has been shocked, it means that something specific has likely shocked them. If this is in fact shock, and not just ongoing stress, your best bet will be to turn off the lights, and make sure the temperature for the tank is optimal for the betta.

Generally speaking, your betta is going to recover in short order.

What Are Some Of The Ways I Can Prevent Betta Fish Swim Bladder Disease?

While treatment is naturally important, there are also preventative measures that are worth keeping in mind. The more you are willing to do in this regard, the less likely it is that your bettas are going to get sick in the first place.

If it helps to motivate you, note that these measures can also go a long way towards preventing many other diseases and conditions with your betta.

The first suggestion is one we’ve mentioned before, but is worth covering again. We cannot repeat often enough the importance of a clean tank. This means maintaining the ideal temperature, which is somewhere between seventy-four and seventy-nine degrees. Anything higher than that should only be in situations in which it is part of a treatment.

As far as pH levels are concerned, the sweet spot is said to be somewhere around 7.0. Bettas are a hardy species, so some can handle small deviations from that number. Nonetheless, we would suggest starting there, if you are caring for bettas for the first time.

A good diet is something else we should touch on again. You get what you pay for when it comes to pet food. This fact unquestionably holds true for bettas, as well. If you want your bettas to be as happy as possible, then you are going to need to buy them the best possible food.

Watering down your betta food can also prove to be a good idea. Why? Because it will better sink to the bottom of the aquarium. When this happens, your bettas will do their eating there. That means they won’t be swallowing quite as much air, which is considered to be one of the chief causes of swim bladder disease.

Do not overfeed your betta, and make sure they are not getting into any fights with other fish in the tank. These fights are unfortunately common. The stress can put a serious toll on your betta, impacting how they eat and travel about the tank. Such conditions can cause several issues, and one of them can be the symptoms of swim bladder disease.

Conclusion

There is no question that swim bladder disease is something that you need to take seriously. Even so, it is not the most serious of the potential conditions and diseases which can cause harm to your betta. The preventative measures we mentioned above can all but guarantee that you will never have to worry about swim bladder disease, or just about anything else that can prevent your betta from living a happy, productive life.

However, if you do still encounter SBD, don’t worry. By keeping in mind everything we have covered in this article, your betta is going to be in the best possible hands. In all likelihood, they will recover in fine form.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Betta Fish Dropsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

dropsy betta fish

Despite the silly name, betta fish dropsy is in fact a very serious condition. The symptoms can be unpleasant at best for your betta. Dropsy can ultimately prove to be devastating, and this is particularly true if you fail to catch what is commonly and mistakenly referred to as a disease.

While not a disease in the specific sense of the word, dropsy nonetheless can mean your betta is not in the best of the health. By being able to correctly identify dropsy symptoms, which will then give you the ability to take advantage of the various dropsy treatment options that are available to you.

If time and diligence are in your corner, the chances of recovery are in fact quite high.

Let’s start by understanding what we’re talking about, when we talk about dropsy in the first place.

dropsy betta fish

What Is Dropsy?

One of the most frustrating things about dropsy is that there is no one specific thing that can cause. Conditions are established through the presence of gram-negative bacteria. There are a number of different causes that have been pointed to as a primary. However, dropsy ultimately seems to be a condition that can come from a range of sources.

Another thing we know for certain is that dropsy is extremely rare in healthy bettas. To put it another way, dropsy becomes a dangerous possibility for betta fishes with diminished or compromised immune systems.

Several factors can create such a weakness. Understanding the value of maintaining the best possible tank conditions is going to carry you a long way. We’re going to cover that. However, for the moment, let’s take a closer look at the most common symptoms of dropsy to watch out for.

It cannot be stated enough times that when it comes to seeing how to treat dropsy in bettas, a speedy response is absolutely vital.

How Does A Betta Fish Become Infected With Dropsy?

Another frustrating thing about dropsy is how slowly it sometimes spreads. In some cases, your betta can have dropsy for a while, before they ever show any of the symptoms we are going to discuss.

Dropsy works at slowly making its way into the scales of your betta. When this occurs, their entire inner workings can be impacted. Causing harm to both the kidneys and liver, dropsy also leads to fluid retention. This in turn creates the bloated betta stomach that has long been associated with this condition.

As you might imagine, this fluid buildup can make your betta very unhappy. Besides the fact that it can shorten their lifespan, particularly if it is left untreated, dropsy can also make your betta uncomfortable. They will swim and eat less, which in of itself will contribute to a decline in their health. You can see by now how easy it is for dropsy to shift from a minor infection to a life-threatening situation.

How To Treat Dropsy In Betta Fish

What Are The Symptoms Of Dropsy In Bettas?

If you already know what edema in human beings can look or feel like, then you have a rough idea of what dropsy looks and feels like for your bettas. Arguably the most notable physical symptom of dropsy is the presence of a bloated belly.

To reiterate an earlier point, dropsy is not a disease. It is a bacterial infection that can be created by certain conditions. In fact, the symptoms of dropsy are in fact the underlying symptoms of a more serious situation. This means that if you treat the situation, the infection will go away. Furthermore, through consistent aquarium maintenance and care, you will insure an extremely likelihood of dropsy never returning either.

Here are the main symptoms you need to watch for.

What Are Some Of The Earliest Signs Of Dropsy?

Early detection of dropsy can prove to be a little tricky. However, with a careful, trained eye, you can spot some potential red flags, before they amount to something deadlier:

First of all, look to their appetite. This is almost always where you can figure out if something is wrong. Just keep in mind that a poor appetite does not automatically mean your betta has dropsy. Poor appetite is connected to many of the diseases and infections which threaten your bettas. If this is the only symptom you’ve noticed so far, there isn’t a lot more that can be done, beyond simply keeping an eye on them.

You do NOT want to begin a dropsy treatment, until you are extremely certain that this is what your betta has. Treatments can be harmful, if there is nothing to actually treat.

Is your betta avoiding other fish? This is another possible warning sign. Again, this is another early symptom in which the presence of this behavior is not a guarantee that an infection is present. However, if you combine this with low appetite, the odds are going to start to climb a bit.

If the betta is not only hiding from other fish, but tends to prefer to stay in just one place, then you are definitely looking at a potential case of dropsy. If you take all three of these early symptoms, you will have a betta with a very high probability of having dropsy.

Even so, all of these symptoms can still be indicative of something else. Let’s break down the more serious symptoms you should appreciate in greater detail.

What Are The More Serious Signs Of Dropsy?

If your betta is expressing all three of the early warning signs we covered above, the most infamous symptom, the bloated belly, is likely to appear soon after. You can expect to notice the appearance of this bloating roughly two to three days after the early symptoms have become apparent. Yes, treatment is still well within the realm of possibility at this point, but it does get more challenging.

The stomach is going to look swollen. This is a clear sign that your betta has dropsy.

Like many other diseases and infections with betta fish, you are also going to want to pay attention to the scales. If you have heard the word “pinecone” in association with the physical symptoms of dropsy, then should have a pretty clear idea of what we are talking about. There is a reason why this is perhaps the most well-known of all the symptoms we’re discussing right now. When you see it on your betta for the first time, prepared to be shocked, as it is quite distinctive. The name comes from the fact that all of its scales are sticking out, similar to what you would have with a pine cone. By far, the worst part at this point is the somber knowledge that effective treatment becomes far less likely.

The Importance Of Dropsy Prevention In Bettas

Obviously, still do your best to get your betta back to good health, but understand the value of everything we have covered thus far. It is designed to give you a foundation that will hopefully prevent things from getting to this stage in the first place.

You should also pay attention to the gills. If their appearance lacks in color, resembling a more pale appearance, then your betta may have dropsy. Bulgy eyes and a red, bulgy anus can also be indicators that your betta is retaining a dangerous amount of fluid. A curved spine can also be a strong indicator, as well as a betta that is seemingly reluctant to swim to the bottom of your tank.

With a clearer idea of the symptoms you are trying to spot, you now have a firm foundation to learn about treatment options. While dropsy can be hard on your bettas, you’re going to be pleased to find the treatment path is pretty straightforward. What you want to do is make sure you get started from the first moment you know your betta has dropsy.

What Are My Dropsy Treatment Options For Betta Fish?

Let’s go through all the steps involved in how to treat betta fish for dropsy:

  • Start by setting up your quarantine tank. Like many other known diseases and infections which can befall bettas, you’re probably going to want to cut them off from the other fish in your tank. This prevents the bacteria from spreading, while also giving your infected betta a peaceful space with which to heal up in a stress-free environment. Five to ten gallons is fine for a quarantine tank. Make sure to add conditioned water, as well as places in which your betta can hide when the mood strikes. You should also have a heater, and you should also perhaps even consider getting a filter.
  • The next step will be to change out the water currently in your tank. This doesn’t have to be a lot. It doesn’t even have to be half. As far as the original aquarium is concerned, you only need to change around 25%. This is an important step in making sure the rest of the fish in the tank do not contract dropsy. Treatment and management become considerably more challenging, if you have more than one betta or fish displaying symptoms.
  • Get your hands on some aquarium salt. Thankfully, there are lots of good products available through Amazon and elsewhere. We don’t have a specific recommendation, but make sure you purchase what you need from a reliable, popular manufacturer. Anything you purchase will come with clear instructions for use.
  • Put your infected betta into a plastic bag with some water from the main tank. Put this bag in the water of the new tank. Allow your betta around twenty minutes to get themselves comfortable with the new tank. Then you can let them out of the bag.
  • Now, this next part is really a personal choice. If you only have the one infected betta fish, then disregard changing only 25% of the water. Our suggestion at that stage would be to change out seventy-five percent of the water. The entire tank, as well as everything associated with the tank, should be carefully scrubbed and cleaned. Some would suggest doing this regardless, but we’re talking about a considerable amount of work and resources at that juncture. It is not absolutely necessary, but it can make for a good measure for anyone who w ants to be completely confident in the treatment they are using for their betta. If you are interested in going this route, make sure you know everything there is to know about cleaning out your betta tank safely and effectively.
  • This is where we start administering the best antibiotics you have on hand. In our experience, amoxicillin provides the most effective relief against this bacterial infection. These products are usually distributed in 500mg dosages. Make sure you follow all of the directions associated with whatever you purchase, in order to ensure your betta gets all of the benefits.
  • The most effective way to give your bettas amoxicillin is to soak some into their food. This will be explained in the directions of whatever you purchase. If your betta is still eating, this should be easy enough to do. If not, do not panic! You can still administer the medicine!

Don’t Forget To Change The Quarantine Tank Daily!

This is regrettably something many people forget to do!

As we mentioned before, dropsy treatment will probably involve aquarium salt (do NOT use table salt, as it is NOT the same thing!) and antibiotics. Because of this, your water should be changed out every single day. This won’t take long, as it is only a 5-10-gallon tank, but it must be kept in mind.

Conclusion

At this point, you should have all the information you need. As we mentioned before, efficiency is the key to successfully treating the condition. In other words, if you notice all three of those early warning signs of dropsy in your betta fish, then you can almost certainly move on to exploring treatment options. It is highly unlikely that if your betta fish isn’t eating, and prefers to hide and avoid other fish, they have dropsy.

With the tips covered above, you’re on the right track to help your betta get better.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Fin Rot In Bettas Fish: What You Can Do Before It’s Too Late!

Fin Rot In Bettas Fish

If you are planning to own betta fish, understand now why it is so important to take fin rot seriously. This is one of the most unfortunate conditions which can befall your betta fish. While fin rot can be devastating to many different types of aquarium fish, it is considered to be more prevalent among bettas.

The more you learn about fin rot symptoms and causes, particularly among betta fish, the easier it will be to appreciate just how grave this condition can become. One of the most important things to remember about fin rot is the fact that time is of the essence, when it comes to how you respond.

We’re going to cover fin rot treatments for bettas shortly. For now, let’s start with a deep dive into everything you need to know about betta rot.

Fin Rot In Bettas Fish

What Is Fin Rot?

Let’s start our discussion of fin rot in bettas with some good news: Yes, fin rot is treatable, and the success rate, when you keep in mind all the steps and tips involved, is quite high. However, you need to understand what you’re dealing with.

Ideally, you’ll get all of this information before bringing your betta home. If that isn’t the case, relax. While fin rot can be absolutely brutal, betta fish retain their reputation for toughness. There is a reasonable window between detection and successful treatment.

Fin rot is essentially the consequence of too much bacteria in an aquarium. Obviously, we need a certain number of bacteria present to break things down and so forth. At the same time, too much bacteria can be problematic. The stress it can put on your fish, especially the bettas, can lead to things like fin rot.

It is commonly thought of as a bacterial infection. This is true, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Truth About The Origins Fin Rot

As it turns out, fin rot can be bacterial or fungal. These are two considerably different things, so it becomes crucial to be able to tell the difference between them. When you can do this, your treatment will have higher odds of being effective.

The type of fin rot you are dealing with is perhaps best understood by looking at the evenness of the damage. Fin rot causes physical wear and tear to the fins and other areas of your bettas. We will cover this in greater detail later. For now, just keep in mind that bacterial fin rot causes your bettas to look uneven. A fungal case of fin rot can be indicated by damage that looks more even.

What Is Fin Rot

What Causes Fin Rot In Bettas?

We have already briefly touched on the basic conditions that can lead to fin rot. As previously indicated, it is most commonly brought about due to unsanitary conditions in your tank. Don’t forget that even if you have one of the best aquarium filters on the market, you should still be cleaning out your tank on a regular basis. This means removing a certain percentage of the water in the tank (a minimum of 10%), as well as removing debris and untouched foodstuffs along your tank’s bottom.

The temperature of your tank, the number of fish in your tank, and even the size of your tank can all play a role in creating the conditions necessary for fin rot to occur. While fin rot in of itself is not the end of the world, it is often made much worse with the addition of stress. What does this mean?

The Relationship Between Stress And Immune Systems In Bettas

While it is obviously important to take fin rot seriously, it is just as important to see why fin rot is so problematic in the first place. It comes down to the issue of stress, and what that means for the immune system of your bettas.

Bettas are hardy fish for your aquarium. Unfortunately, they can be prone to stress. This stress can come from overcrowded conditions, the tank not being the ideal temperature for betta fish, bullying by other fish, and more. Females are particularly susceptible to stress from over-eager males and even other females.

When you stress your betta out, the same thing happens to him as happens to any of us when we’re way too anxious: The immune system tanks. This make us more susceptible to getting sick. This applies to bettas, and it can be realized in a variety of different ways. Not only can your betta be more likely to contract fin rot when it’s stressed out, but the stress and weakened immune system can make fin rot much more serious.

So, if we want to prevent fin rot, we have to keep conditions ideal for your betta on every possible level. Otherwise, it will not be long, before you start to see symptoms.

Symptoms Of Fin Rot In Bettas

Another point worth repeating: Time is definitely off the essence, when it comes to treating your bettas for fin rot. We cannot overstate the value of knowing exactly what to look for, when it comes to signs that your betta fish has fin rot.

Here are the most significant fin rot symptoms to keep in mind. Because it is important to be as specific as possible, when it comes to knowing what to look for with fin rot and bettas, we’re going to break things down into mild fin rot symptoms and serious fin rot symptoms.

Mild Betta Fish Fin Rot Symptoms

Obviously, the main benefit of being able to identify these milder symptoms is the chance to treat and prevent future outbreaks much more successfully:

  • Look for a slight darkness to the fins of your betta. In general, good betta maintenance will include being aware of what your bettas fins normally look like.
  • Pay attention to the tips, as well. If you suddenly notice the presence of brown, grey, or white colors in this area, there is a good chance that your betta has a mild case. The tips can also look irritated, with a sore appearance.
  • One of the most notorious symptoms of fin rot relates to the ragged edges that suddenly appear along the fins of your betta. The area can also look frayed, damaged (as though attacked). Check your bettas regularly to know when this symptom might be appearing.

If your betta’s case of fin rot is only mild, there should not be any indication of rot anywhere NEAR the body of the betta. This is far and away the most important distinction between mild and major fin rot.

Serious Betta Fish Fin Rot Symptoms

Remember the window of opportunity that rests between identifying fin rot and successful treatment? It is mostly open to the criteria of mild fin rot.

If your betta has a more serious case, the window closes to a noticeable degree. While successfully restoring a betta with serious or major fin rot is not impossible, it does become a good deal more difficult at this juncture.

Here are the most common signs of a serious, possibly deadly, case of fin rot for your betta:

  • The placement of the fins is once again very important in this arena. If your betta is fighting a bad case of fin rot, you will immediately see the fins receding towards the body to a highly dangerous degree.
  • Rather than a slow-but-steady change in color and appearance, serious fin rot cases will be highlighted by entire clumps of your betta’s fin simply falling away.
  • An actual, significant portion of the fin will be completely dead. This can be as much as 1.5cm.
  • Recall the light discoloration we discussed earlier with the milder symptoms. If the condition has progressed to a potentially critical point, this discoloration will be impossible to ignore. Look for something that is going to be extremely dark in appearance.
  • Do you see white fuzz anywhere on the betta’s fin? This is another guarantee that your betta is dealing with the worst possible version of the infection.
  • In addition to the white fuzz, you should also be able to see the presence of red spots all over the betta.

Again, treatment is not impossible at this point. Just understand that the odds are also rather stacked against you. Nursing your betta back from this point is extremely time-consuming, and it will not come with any assurances that the betta will recover. This is why we want you to be able to catch these symptoms as early on as possible.

Next, let’s discuss treatment and prevention.

How To Prevent Fin Rot

While there are indeed treatment options, which we will discuss in greater detail shortly, prevention is really the best way to deal with fin rot, regardless of the specific fish you own. Prevention means implementing simple steps that will ultimately make your betta and other members of your aquarium family as happy as possible.

Having said that, there are a few things you will want to consider, when it comes to fin rot treatments for bettas.

The Best Treatment Options For Fin Rot In Betta Fish

The first thing we should talk about is the subject of quarantine.

Should you isolate any and all fish, including your betta, which are confirmed to have fin rot? Yes. If your tank is larger than two gallons, or if you have any other living beings or plant life, you should cut off the infected betta from your actual aquarium as soon as possible.

Setting up a quarantine betta fish tank is pretty much the same as setting up a normal fish tank. Add your conditioned water, heater, and filter. Make sure, even with a filter, you’re changing out the water in the tank every couple of days.

Also: If you want to minimize the stress your betta might experience from being moved to a new tank, put them in the new tank in a tied-off plastic bag, filled with the water of the original tank. After about 15 minutes of floating along the top, they should be just fine. Let them out, and keep a very close eye on them.

Once the betta has been isolated, make them as comfortable and happy as possible. Your next measure will be to seek out and use an effective antibiotic.

For more information on treatment products for infections such as fin rot, check out this list of aquarium fish treatment medications that you can purchase at Amazon and elsewhere.

Regardless of where you decide to put your sick betta, make sure the tank conditions are always ideal. This means a temperature between 76 and 80F, with the pH being somewhere in the close vicinity of 7. The standards your specific betta is used to is going to ultimately be your best bet.

There is also some serious potential to be considered in using aquarium salt as a means of treating fin rot. If used sparingly and gently, aquarium salt can prove to be enormously effective. Just keep in mind that you do not want to use this product for more than ten consecutive days. Follow the directions for any product you purchase very carefully. Failing to do this can lead to even more health problems for your bettas, including kidney damage and liver damage.

Proven Prevention Strategies For Betta Fish Fin Rot

Let’s see what we can accomplish in the way of prevention:

  • A clean tank: This is worth mentioning at least one more time! A tank that is being cleaned on a regular basis, combined with the use of a filter and other conditions agreeable to bettas, is a tank that your betta fish will love. This diminishes stress, while keeping the potential for bacteria to build up and cause problems low.
  • The right size tank: Your bettas need the right size tank to be happy, as well. Five gallons is considered to be the absolute minimum. If you plan to have several fish, or if they’re going to share space with other types, the tank should be bigger.
  • The right number of fish: Overcrowding creates stress, but it also creates heightened conditions for something like fin rot to thrive. In a five-gallon tank, there shouldn’t be more than four or five fish, but even that is kind of pushing it. Figure out if your tank meets the conditions for problematic or even dangerous overcrowding. If that proves to be the case, it might be time to invest in a second aquarium.
  • Males and females: Male bettas and female bettas can live together. However, there are several things within this thought to keep in mind. Otherwise, you can wind up creating highly stressful conditions for the bettas in your tank.
  • Act fast: Prevention also involves preventing a mild case of fin rot from becoming something much graver. Remember the symptoms of mild fin rot we mentioned above. This isn’t something that needs to consume your life, but giving your betta a close look at least once a day can protect them from so much.

Q;A

Let’s summarize everything we’ve covered here today with a few of the most common questions and answers concerning betta fish and fin rot:

Should I automatically panic, as soon as I see that my betta has fin rot?

Certainly not. You have to remember that this infection is extremely common, Meaning the odds are pretty good that your betta is going to have it at one point or another. As long as you can spot the condition early enough, there is almost certainly nothing to seriously worry about.

Is one fin rot treatment method more effective than the other?

Not really. We wouldn’t suggest trying both aquarium salt and antibiotics at the same time, but each have their own solid respective track orders. We would suggest starting out with one of the antibiotics mentioned above. This should be combined with creating the best possible conditions in your tank.

Do I really need to isolate my betta from the rest of my fish?

We would strongly advise it. One of the easiest ways for fin rot to pass is for one fish to give it another fish. This can be done more quickly and easily than you might think. If you know in no uncertain terms that your betta has fin rot, they should be cut off from the others ASAP. It is also a good idea to keep as close an eye on the rest of your fish as possible.

What can I do to further aid in the recovery of my betta?

There are actually a couple of very helpful things you can do. In the first place, remove anything from the tank that might cause damage to the highly delicate condition your betta will be in while on the mend. You should also make it a point to keep your patient away from other fish, until the point in which it has healed completely.

Can my betta get fin rot twice?

Yes.

Conclusion

With this comprehensive guide, it should be easy to give your betta the very best of care.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Columnaris In Bettas: How To Identify And Eliminate Cotton Wool Disease!

Columnaris In Bettas

Known by a number of names, columnaris is unfortunately very common among many different types of fish. If you own one or several betta fish, you will want to keep in mind the prevalence of this disease among them. This is one disease that can be absolutely devastating to them on a variety of levels.

At the same time, treating columnaris is not impossible by any means. If you understand the symptoms, as well as the different treatment options available to you, columnaris can often be stopped, before it causes too much damage. There are also preventative measures that can dramatically decrease the likelihood of columnaris ever occurring.

Columnaris In Bettas

What Type Of Disease Is This?

As mentioned before, columnaris is known by several different names. Some refer to it as cotton wool disease. Others call it saddle back disease. It is also sometimes known as mouth rot or mouth-fungus. However, it is NOT a fungal infection. It is in fact a bacterial infection that can be external or internal. It can also be either chronic or acute.

Why is it mistaken for a fungal infection? This is likely due to the presence of lesions which can appear on your betta fish. They are mold-like in appearance.

Some even refer to the infection as guppy disease. However, it is important to remember that we are talking about a disease that can cause problems among numerous fish types. Regardless of the name, understand that we are talking about a very common type of bacterial infection. It can be found in many different types of aquarium fish, including bettas.

While cotton wool disease is a little more common among livebearers than fish like bettas, it is still something they are quite susceptible to. If you are planning to own one or several betta fish, you will need to be on the lookout for symptoms, as well as what to do about those symptoms.

What causes columnaris? There are a few different culprits that you will want to keep in mind.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Columnaris Among Bettas?

Before we learn more about columnaris symptoms, we should first take a look at what causes this infection in the first place. While it can indeed be devastating, some of the most common reasons for columnaris among betta fish are quite preventable on your end.

The name of the game with columnaris ultimately comes down to stress. There are other ways in which betta fish can catch this infection, which we will discuss in greater detail below. However, you will still notice stress is a consistent factor among many of the most common columnaris causes:

An Overstocked Tank

Generally speaking, it is suggested that you have one gallon of water for every inch of fish. This is why we often suggest getting a tank in the 15 to 20-range. Unless you have no plans to own more than one or two fish. If you have too many fish in the tank, you’re going to run into some problems.

When you have too many fish in your tank, an overabundance of bioloads is created. When this occurs, your filter can become overwhelmed with its task of trying to keep waste out. This can cause your tank to become too filthy for your bettas to comfortably live for longer.

Poor water quality can create a breeding ground for bacteria. This will be even more apparent if you don’t have a filter for your tank.

Columnaris is just one of the infectious bacteria that can become prevalent in your tank.

Harassment From Other Fish

This is one of the most common causes of how Columnaris can come from stress. All it takes for your betta fish to catch this infection is a weakened immune system. A dirty tank can cause this weakness, but stress is one of the biggest culprits you need to keep an eye on.

Harassment from other fish can very easily lead to cotton wool disease among bettas. It is rare that other types of fish will bother your bettas, but this is still something that can occur. What is more likely is that your betta can be harassed by other bettas. Male bettas can pick on other males, but they also have a terrible reputation for bothering females to the point of weakening their immune system through stress.

When the immune system is diminished, the odds of your bettas developing columnaris can skyrocket. We would suggest keeping only one betta, and then keeping an eye on their interactions with any other fish in your tank.

It is not impossible by any means to keep a male and female betta together, but it can lead to problems when not properly monitored.

Inconsistent Temperatures/pH Levels In The Water

This is another example of a common columnaris cause that can are easy enough to prevent on your end.

Simply put, bettas need certain levels in the tank to be happy. The good news is that you have a fair amount of wiggle room for both pH levels and temperature. Bettas have a great reputation for being a fairly durable fish.

That said, you still want to keep your tank levels between 76F and 82F for the temperature. On the pH side of things, you want to opt for around 5 to 8. These are not difficult levels to maintain, but it can get complicated, if you add different types of fish to your aquarium.

Check your tank levels. If your betta are not happy with the temperature/pH levels, they will become stressed out. As is the case with the bullying element we mentioned above, this stress can cause weakness to the immune system. This in turn creates the conditions for columnaris.

Poor Water Quality In General

This can actually be an entirely different problem, as opposed to the tank becoming filthy due to overpopulation. Even if your tank is not overstocked, you can still run the risk of conditions becoming unsanitary to the point of elevating the risk of columnaris.

Regular water changes are essential for the health of your fish. This certainly extends to your bettas. A filter is generally the best way to take care of your fish, but the filter still needs to be checked on a regular basis. You also need to make sure the water is changed consistently, as well. The rule of thumb in this arena is to have around thirty to fifty percent of your water changed every week.

Poor water quality can definitely impact your betta fish, leading to a weakened immune system.

And while it isn’t directly related to poor water quality, you should also make sure they are getting the best possible betta fish diet, as well. They are carnivorous fish. This means they should be eating small animals like bloodworms, daphnia, mosquito larvae, brine, worms, and more. The emphasis on good betta diet comes down to making sure they get plenty of protein and living animals to eat.

Brought From Another Tank

One of the most common questions about bettas and columnaris is whether or not it can be passed on from one fish to the next. The answer to this is an emphatic yes. More importantly, it doesn’t have to be a betta that can transfer the infection to another betta. Any fish can give cotton wool disease to another fish.

Quarantining your new fish is always, always a good idea. The window for this is anywhere from two to four weeks.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Columnaris In Bettas?

AS we mentioned earlier in this article, the presence of lesions along the mouth is a certain sign that your betta has columnaris. The presence of these lesions can appear slowly with a chronic case of the infection. The lesions can spread much more quickly with an acute situation. This can lead to your entire fish tank being wiped out by the bacteria in a matter of mere hours.

Worse yet, if the temperature of the tank is too high, this can exacerbate the spread of the bacteria. This is one of the most visibly distinctive symptoms of columnaris. If you notice these lesions on one or several of your fish, take steps to remedy the situation IMMEDIATELY. Lowering the temperature in the tank is NOT a solution, but it can slow down progression somewhat.

Beyond lesions, there are a few more symptoms you are going to want to look out for:

  • The presence of white spots or gray-in-appearance spots. These can also appear on your betta in the form of patches. Look for such spots along the head. You can also find them around its gills or fins. If your betta fish has bright, beautiful colors, as is commonly the case, you should pay attention to areas that are paler in appearance. As time goes on, these spots can be come yellow or even brown.
  • Look for lesions that go all the way down the sides of your betta. This common symptom is where the name saddle back disease comes from.
  • If you see lesions around the mouth, they will have an appearance not unlike that of mold, which is why the infection is misunderstood by some. If the condition is not dealt with quickly enough, the lesions will eventually become areas that have simply become eaten away by the infection.
  • As the infection worsens, you will also see various forms of damage to the fins. Erosion can occur, which in turn will give the fins a frayed, damaged appearance.
  • Even the gills of your betta can be impacted by columnaris. If you see your betta breathing more rapidly than usual, then it is likely that they are experiencing one of the symptoms. However, by this point, you will have likely noticed the spots and lesions.

In fairly rare cases, cotton wool disease can be entirely internal. This means that you will not witness any of the symptoms we have discussed so far. If your betta dies, and there is seemingly no other reason that you can see for this, there is a small chance they had an internal case of columnaris.

You can also look to a betta which is constantly rubbing itself against tank ornaments or whatever you have for the bottom of your tank. It is also very possible that if your betta has discomfort/infection around its mouth area, it isn’t going to be eating. A diminished appetite is definitely something to look for.

How Can I Treat Columnaris In Betta Fish?

Going through some of the worst offenders for cotton wool disease, we can see that many of them are preventable on your end. This extends to making sure your tank is cleaned and well-maintained at all times. Giving your betta a good diet is also a sure way to keep them fostering favorable infection conditions.

Checking on their stress levels, and making sure new fish are always quarantined after being brought home, are all great ways to lower the possibility of ever having to worry about any of this.

Even so, the infection can still occur, even under the best of circumstances. Understanding this can go a long way towards making sure you are ready with treatment options. You will want to start by quarantining any bettas or other fish you are certain have the infection.

Lowering the temperature by a couple of degrees can also be beneficial to a betta fighting the infection.

Furan-2 is one of the most popular treatment methods for betta fish with columnaris. Kanamycin is another popular antibiotic which can treat them. There are also medicated fish food options which can prove to be effective. Look for anything that contains Oxytetracycline.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent Cotton Wool Disease?

At the end of the day, your best bet for dealing with columnaris is to prevent it entirely. The tips we mentioned above will prove enormously useful. There are also vaccination options which you can explore.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.