Betta Fungal Infection: Everything You Need To Know!




betta fungal infection

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Did you know that betta fish can get infected with fungal spores? Like humans, betta fish can get fungal infections when stressed, sick, or in unfavorable conditions.

How Do I Get Rid of Fungus in My Fish Tank?

The short answer is you don’t. Both humans and fish come into contact with fungal spores every day, and most of the time, they don’t get sick.

As long as your betta fish is healthy, its water is clean, and its immune system is in tip-top shape, fungus in your fish tank will not be a huge problem.

On the other hand, dirty fish tanks are a huge problem. Improperly maintained tanks allow the fungus to thrive, and you must keep your tank clean to avoid fungal outbreaks. 

In other words, a dirty tank is a recipe for a betta fungal infection.

When Does Fungus Become a Problem in a Fish Tank?

The fungus becomes a problem in your betta fish tank — and causes fungal infections — when the water quality is bad or your fish is unhealthy. This may result in infected fish. 

Many fish develop fungal infections when you bring them home because they are stressed from the move. This can result in loss of appetite and fish stress. Betta fish also face notoriously bad conditions in the pet trade, which makes them even more prone to fungal infections.

The best ways to prevent fungal infections in your betta fish are to maintain ideal water conditions and keep your fish happy and healthy. Poor water quality and poor water conditions may increase the chances of fungus infection. 

Is Fish Fungus Fatal?

Fungal infections are not usually fatal in betta fish but left untreated, the fish fungus can and will kill your fish. Some fish diseases commonly affect breeds of betta fish and may result in different types of infection. 

Betta fish fungus treatment is a form of medication used for common fish diseases. 

If the fungus gets to your betta’s gills, your poor fish only has a few days to live, and fungal infections spread quickly, so be sure to intervene as soon as you notice a fungal infection in your betta fish. 

There are different fish care products for ensuring appropriate fish health. You should always check the betta fish, especially on their body skin, to ensure there are no lesions on body scales.  

Other causes of fish fungus disease include high chemical levels, drastic temperature changes, or high dose rates for chemical treatment.

Poor living conditions, including accumulated uneaten fish food and fish tissues, can also lead to infections in fish. 

What Does Betta Fish Fungus Look Like?

If your betta fish looks like it has a patch of mold on its body, it likely has a fungal infection. Betta fish fungus may also look cottony on the body or fins.

Act quickly to keep your fish safe when you notice a patch of fungus on your betta.

What Does a Sick Betta Look Like?

In addition to having moldy, cottony, or furry-looking patches on its body, gills, or fins, your fish may look and behave differently if it has a fungal infection.

Sick bettas usually look duller and less colorful than normal, and they may act itchy, swim erratically, or refuse to eat.

How Do You Treat a Fungal Infection on a Betta Fish?

betta fungal infection

Take action immediately if your betta looks like it has a fungal infection. Start by moving your fish to a stable, clean quarantine tank for treatment.

While your fish acclimates to the quarantine tank, give your regular betta tank a good cleaning. Scrape the sides of the tank, scrub the aquarium filter, vacuum the substrate, and change up to 30% of the water.

Use aquarium test strips to ensure all the water parameters are correct and a thermometer to ensure the tank is heated to the correct temperature.

In the quarantine tank, you will need to medicate your betta fish. Choose a medicine that treats both fungal and bacterial infections because some bacterial infections look just like fish fungus.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and give your betta fish the full course of whatever medication you choose.

Monitor your fish in the quarantine tank for at least a week, and do not return it to its main tank until it feels better.

What if I Don’t Want To Give My Fish Medicine?

Some fungal infections in betta fish can be cured with a simple salt bath, but please be careful. Salt will not cure every fungus and may even harm your fish.

Fish keepers also swear by tea tree oil, but again, it may not be strong enough to treat all fungal infections, and medicine is the most effective choice.

Please give your fish medicine if it needs it!

Prevention Is the Best Treatment

The best way to treat a fungal infection in your betta fish is to prevent one altogether. With perfect water parameters, fungal infections are extremely unlikely.

Clean your tank regularly and quickly remove any decay you see, such as uneaten food or rotting plant matter.

Make sure your aquarium decor is betta-appropriate, and avoid any sharp items that can damage your betta’s fins or scales.

Betta fish naturally have a protective mucus layer that should stop fungal spores from infecting their tissue. Unfortunately, they will lose this coating and become more prone to fungal infections if their water is too cold or has too much ammonia.

Of course, if your betta is sick or injured from a source outside your control (like bringing it home from the pet store), there’s not much you can do to prevent an ill-timed fungal infection.

In this case, medicine is the best medicine.

So, Should I Be Worried About Fungus in My Fish Tank?

If you take great care of your betta fish and maintain a safe and healthy tank, you should not be worried about fungus in your fish tank. Still, you should watch your betta’s health and intervene if you notice the signs and symptoms of a fungal infection.

Additionally, you should work hard to keep your tank clean and maintain ideal water parameters. You should also be extra careful after a stressful event, like bringing your fish home for the first time.

If you see a furry or cotton patch on your betta fish, move it to a quarantine tank and treat it using medicine from the pet store (you can also order this medicine online). Make sure the product you choose treats bacterial infections, too — just in case.

Clean your tank thoroughly while your fish is in isolation, and return your betta to its home after notable improvement and a full course of medicine.

For all things betta fish, visit our 13-chapter betta guide and get more information.

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