When your betta’s fins appear ragged or discolored, what should you do? But, more significantly, why is it developing in the first place? This might hint that your betta has fin rot. Although this sickness may appear to be distressing, there is no need to be concerned because it is simply treatable.
A bacterial attack is the source of this ailment. However, there is no need to be alarmed because it is fairly frequent among betta fish and may thus be healed. If your betta has fin rot, you must treat it fast to prevent the infection from worsening. Otherwise, the infection could become lethal over time.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the infection, its treatment, causes, and symptoms.
What is Fin Rot in Betta?
Fin rot can be bacterial as well as a fungal infection. Believe it or not but it is true, and once you’re able to look for the reasons it will make it easy to determine the type of infection that your fish has.
1. Fungal Fin Rot
When your fish is afflicted with a fungus, the rotting will emerge more evenly on the fins. Your betta might also have a white edge. Some people may mistake it for white spots or ich (another disease). Fungal infections can only infect your fish if its immune system is compromised.
2. Bacterial Fin Rot
Bacteria are already present in your aquarium. As a result, as a fish’s immune system weakens, bacteria, take a chance and attack your betta. Unlike fungal fin rot, bacterial fin rot hits bettas in a more uneven manner, which can make the decaying appear more ragged.
What Causes Fin Rot?
It is vital to understand the source of any condition before beginning treatment. Poor water conditions are the most prevalent and leading cause of fin rot, as well as practically every other ailment that your betta is susceptible to. Bacteria, parasites, and fungal illnesses thrive under poor water and tank conditions.
Furthermore, stress causes your fish’s immune system to weaken, making them more susceptible to sickness.
Poor water conditions include not only unclean or foggy water or tank, but also the temperature of the tank, as well as any uneaten food or feces in the tank. if the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are too high it can affect the water conditions making it hard to maintain a nice immune system for the betta.
What are the Symptoms of Fin Rot?
Before you begin treatment, you must be certain of the disease. What if it is something else? You’re probably already aware of the most typical symptom of this condition, which is rotting fins.
Before we go into all of the symptoms, there is one thing we want to make sure you understand. That is, fin rot can progress through several stages, which are outlined below:
Symptoms of Mild Fin Rot in Betta
If you caught fin rot in your betta at this time, the prospects of recovery are good, and your betta will look fantastic.
The following are the signs and symptoms:
- The tips may turn brown, grey, or white.
- The fins are a shade darker than the rest of the body.
- The tips could also appear inflamed, painful, or red.
- Also, the edges may have just started to show signs of wear.
- Most importantly, the rot will not appear on your betta’s body.
Symptoms of major Fin Rot in Betta
If your betta develops serious fin rot, you must intervene fast before the disease impairs the immune system of your betta. If this happens, your betta will become more susceptible to illnesses and ailments, as well as stress.
The following are signs of significant fin rot:
- Your betta’s fins will have more dangerously retreated from its body
- Whole clusters of fins may fall off from your fish rather than fall gradually.
- 1.5 centimeters of your betta’s fins may die
- The fins may also start to cover in white fuzz
- At this point, you’ll be able to tell the fins are dying because their color will be quite dark
- The fins may also have red spots all over them
What are the Symptoms of Severe Fin Rot & Body Rot?
If you didn’t catch the condition early enough, the disease may have advanced to your betta’s body, causing body rot. This is quite harmful to your fish, and you will have to work extra hard to treat it because it is tough to heal and can progress to the point of death. Body rot/severe rot symptoms include:
- White fuzz at the base of the fins
- The body of your betta starts to rot away
- And the fins may have retracted from the body
If you see any of the aforementioned signs in your fish, follow your veterinarian’s advice and begin therapy. If you don’t observe anything similar, your fish might be carrying something else.
How to Treat Fin Rot in Your Betta?
Depending on when fin rot was discovered, treatment will be simple. If it’s discovered sooner rather than later, however, if it’s discovered later, it may be more difficult to cure. So, after the disease has been identified, the first and most vital task is to determine whether to split the fish into quarantine tanks or keep them in the same tank. If your betta is currently living in a tank larger than 2 gallons, or if it is sharing space with anything else like plants, it is best to relocate it as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading.
By transferring the fish to a quarantine tank, you will not only prevent the disease from spreading to other fish and even plants, but you will also be able to examine the diseased fish separately, and other fish in the main tank will not be subjected to frequent water changes. Also, whatever medicine you use to treat your betta will not affect the other fish in the tank.
Setting up a Quarantine Tank
If you already have everything planned out, that’s wonderful, but if you don’t, then follow the steps below to make the necessary arrangements:
It is necessary to guarantee that the quarantine tank is not excessively large; two gallons is the ideal size. This is because a smaller tank is easier to maintain, such as changing its water regularly, and administering medicine is also simple in a tiny tank. Plus, if you can add a heater to keep the tank at the appropriate temperature and a filter to keep the tank clean, that would be ideal.
The first step in setting up a quarantine tank is to add water and fill it to the top with conditioned water. After that, install a heater and a filter within the tank, followed by the treatment medicine (it will be listed below)
After you’ve made these arrangements, double-check that the temperature is set to your betta’s liking, then gently transfer your betta from the main tank to the hospital tank.
Make sure your quarantine tank includes areas for your betta to hide during stressful times. Soft decorations and silk plants can be used.
Before transferring your betta to the hospital tank, be cautious to acclimate it. You can accomplish this by putting a bag full of main tank water in the quarantine tank and letting it sit for about 15 minutes for your betta to acclimate before releasing it.
If your tank has a filter, you won’t need to replace the water every day because you can merely do a partial water change every 72 hours with 25% of the water.
If you don’t have a filter, you’ll have to clean the tank every day by draining all of the water. You’ll perform the same thing by putting the fish in a separate bag, filling the tank, maintaining the temperature, and filling it with conditioned water before re-acclimating your fish.
Which Medicine is Best for Betta Fin Rot?
Fin rot treatment is determined by the severity of the problem. Also, whether you’ve kept your fish apart from the rest of the community or if it’s in the same tank as others, will affect the outcome.
You can use the following to treat betta fin rot:
1. Aquarium Salt
You may be familiar with aquarium salt. This is one of the most popular remedies among betta owners because it may cure any condition and is especially effective for bettas. The addition of aquarium salt may cause your betta to get stressed, but when used correctly, it poses no threat to the fish.
It should be used only when necessary, just like any other medication. There are a few minor details to bear in mind. Do not use aquarium salt for more than 10 days, as it can harm the fish’s kidneys and liver.
Second, you must always use the correct dosage as indicated in the instructions.
Also, keep in mind that aquarium salt will not work in dirty water and will not be as effective in severe cases as it would be in typical ones.
2. Use Betta Fix and Melafix
Medications are another often advised therapeutic option. Melafix and betta fix are frequently mentioned as the best treatments for fin rot. Both of these treatments contain identical chemicals, with the exception that betta fix is a less concentrated form.
Betta fix and Melafix should never be used on betta fish because they harm the labyrinth organ of the fish. As a result, if your fish has fin rot, you should apply aquarium salt. If your fish does not have a labyrinth organ, however, you can take both of the medicines listed above.
3. Treating Mild Betta Fin Rot
It will not be essential to cure your betta directly if it has mild fin rot. Fin rot is caused by bad water conditions, as you may know. It is, therefore, necessary to clean the tank and execute a water change. Follow these basic steps to do so:
1. Make certain that the pH and temperature of the water are ideal. The water’s pH should be as near to 7 as possible. The water should be between 76- and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. The next step is to clean everything and remove all of the old food and feces with a gravel vacuum.
3. If you have a filter in your tank, clean the tank to assist keep the good bacteria in and the ammonia levels down.
4. If your tank is congested and you believe it is becoming dirty as a result, move some of the animals to another tank.
5. Finally, maintain a close check on your fish and, if you see anything unusual, quickly examine your fish and, if you find anything, begin treatment.
If your fish’s condition doesn’t seem to be improving after you’ve treated it in this manner, you might want to try a different treatment approach.
4. Treating Major Betta Fin Rot
If your betta has severe fin rot, keeping the water clean won’t help; instead, you’ll need to attempt a stronger treatment to help your fish. If you haven’t already done so, isolate your fish in a different tank.
1. Move your betta to the hospital tank as soon as possible.
2. Keep your tank’s filter clean to keep good microorganisms alive.
3. Once you’ve completed all of this, drain the tank completely and clean everything with warm water.
4. Once you’ve completed all of this, return everything to where it was before you started filling the tank with conditioned water.
5. separately mix aquarium salt and completely dissolve it in water before adding it to the tank. 6. perform a 100 percent water change daily and make sure you don’t add aquarium salt to the same water twice.
7. Repeat this process every day for a week, and if your betta improves, the treatment was successful.
5. Treating Severe Fin Rot in Betta
If your fish has body rot, aquarium salt won’t help; instead, you’ll need harsher treatment to get rid of the condition. API Pima fixes (anti-fungal) and API furan 2 are two options (anti-bacterial).
1. Move your betta to a quarantine tank once more for this treatment, but this time make sure it is oxygenated. Add a bubbler or an airstone to the tank to help with this.
2. Clean everything as previously, add conditioned water, and check for normal water parameters.
3. Give your betta the doses, making sure the treatment is appropriate for its nature, such as bacterial or fungal.
4. Do not reduce the dosage too soon, even if the betta appears to be improving, as the betta will not mend correctly.
5. Remember to completely drain the water before re-dosing your fish.
6. Acclimate your betta and return it to the main tank once the treatment is finished.
How to Tell if Rot is Getting Better?
Now that you’re aware of the signs and symptoms of fin rot, you can treat it. It’s critical to keep track of your betta’s recuperation to evaluate if the medicine is working. If the treatment is effective, indicators of improvement will appear, such as:
1. You may have noticed that the white margins of the fish have faded or are vanishing.
2. If the fin rot was severe, the fins may have degraded, but they may now be growing again.
3. The fins and tail should be more appealing. They’ll look better and feel better.
4. if the fins had any dark color deterioration in the past, but it was now returning to normal.
Is Fin Rot Contagious?
Yes, fin rot is highly contagious. If you discover a fish with fin rot and determine the source, whether bacterial or fungal, you should perform a complete water change, scrub every portion of the tank, and filter with hot water to remove any fungus and bacteria. After that, return your fish to the tank and keep an eye on it for a few days to see if it has developed the sickness or is exhibiting any symptoms. If this is the case, follow the instructions outlined above.
Can Fin Rot Kill a Betta?
If not handled promptly, fin rot can be lethal. As a result, you should begin therapy as soon as you suspect it, as it will only be a matter of weeks before your fish’s life span shortens and it will be on the point of death. In the worst-case scenario, folks may euthanize their fish.
How to Prevent Fin Rot?
If you’re concerned about your betta developing fin rot, don’t be. Because this is just an illness that can be easily avoided. Here are some preventative measures you may take to keep your fish safe and healthy.
1. Make sure you’re completely cleaning the tank. If your tank is tiny, wash it every 2 to 3 days; if your tank is larger, wash it once a week.
2. If your tank holds more than 5 gallons, you should replace the water every week by 25%.
3. Check to see if the tank is congested.
4. Provide your betta with high-quality food.
5. Use a filter in your tank to aid with water cycling.
6. Remove any waste, dirt, and food from the tank with a gravel vacuum. 7. If you notice another fish nipping at your betta fish, you should separate them by putting them in separate tanks.
The Bottom Line On Betta Fish Fin Rot
Finally, there’s no need to be alarmed if you notice something unusual in your fish. Instead, take the time to examine it thoroughly before administering the appropriate therapies. To keep your fish safe, employ the proper treatments and preventative strategies. Another thing to keep in mind is that if your fish has fin rot, remove sharp things from the tank and replace them with soft ones to prevent the problem from getting worse.