The Signs and Symptoms of the Most Common Betta Fish Diseases

Click Here For The Best Betta Fish GuideWhen properly cared for by someone who understands the Betta fish - namely their environmental and dietary needs - they are incredibly easy to care for. However, as tropical fish that are incredibly sensitive to changes in their environment, they are prone to a number of diseases.

Thankfully, most of these are easily treatable with products found at most quality pet stores. What follows is a list of the most common Betta fish diseases, as well as the symptoms that indicate what they are suffering from.


Dropsy is fairly uncommon, but something you should certainly keep your eye out for. This infection is generally identifiable by bloating of the fish in the abdominal area. Bulging of the eyes is also commonly noted in fish suffering from this disease.

Fungal Growth

Betta fish are particularly susceptible to fungal growth, especially if they are kept in less-than-prime conditions. Even when kept in the cleanest and best of environments, Betta's can still suffer from fungal growth. This is marked by white fluffy spots or patches on the fish. Most pet stores have drops that you can add to the water that will easily clear up problems with fungal growth.

Lice and Other Parasites

Just like humans, Betta's are not spared from potential problems with lice or other parasites. These parasites generally affix themselves to the sides of the Betta's body. In the case of lice, you will be able to see small, round parasites, actually attached to the body. As with fungal growth, this is a common condition, and it is also easily treatable.

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Fin Rot

The reasons for fin rot are not entirely known, but it is a fairly common ailment that can afflict Betta's. You will notice fin rot when you see tears in the fins or tail, or even actual pieces of the fin or tail that have fallen off.


This is another common, infectious Betta fish disease. As with fungal and parasitic infections, if caught early, this can be easily cleared up. A Betta fish suffering from Ich will have small white spots (not fluffy like fungus) across the flanks of their body.

Swim Bladder

Swim bladder is a fairly uncommon, but rather serious disease that afflicts many fish - Betta's included. This is a pretty easy disease to identify, as the Betta will tend to float and have a very difficult time swimming.


Septicemia tends to be a disease that is a result of poor quality water, or water that is at a temperature or pH level that is not conducive to what Betta's actually need. The symptoms of this Betta fish disease include lethargy and a loss in appetite. A truly telling sign of this disease are the red streaks that are often seen on the flank of an afflicted fish.

Even well cared for Betta's can get diseases or infections, but most of them are not life threatening. Keeping an eye on your Betta, so that you know what is "normal" or "abnormal" for your Betta will help you to identify when something is not right. If you notice that your fish is acting strangely, consider the common Betta fish diseases and then figure out what actions you can take to remedy the problem as quickly as possible. 

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