Betta Hole In The Head (Symptoms, Causes & Treatment)

A hole in the head is a sickness that mostly affects tropical freshwater fish, with cichlids and discus being the most common victims. This isn’t to say that your betta won’t get it; while the odds are slim, it still has the potential to harm your betta.

If you’ve seen any paleness or unusual pitting on your betta’s head and aren’t sure what it is, it’s possible that it’s this sickness. However, you should read more to gain a better grasp of the sickness and what precautions you should take if your betta develops it.

Hole in the head disease is also called hexamitiasis. It is caused by a bacteria called Hexamita. When the Betta fish immune system is weak these bacteria cause infection resulting hole in the head. Other causes for this disease in Betta fish are lack of vitamins, poor diet, poor water conditions, and fluctuating parameters.

Before you go any further with the disease’s origins and symptoms, it’s critical that you understand the condition itself. You should have a good understanding of it so that you know what you’re dealing with while treating your fish.

What is a Hole In The Head?

A parasitic ailment produced by a creature called Hexamita, a hole in the head is also known as Hexamitiasis, lateral line erosion, and the freshwater head. This parasite is said to eat the flesh away from and around the fish’s head, leaving extensive sores. However, even experts are unsure if this sickness is developed as a result of parasites generating a wound or as a result of other germs causing the lesion to worsen.

However, there are a few reasons for a hole in the brain that you should attempt to stay away from.

Hole in the Head Disease

What are the Causes of Holes in the Head?

An infection can be caused by a variety of factors; we’ve listed the most prevalent ones below:

1. Absence of Needed Vitamins

Bettas are mostly carnivores; therefore, they require an adequate number of vitamins, particularly vitamins A and C, in their bodies. However, if you don’t feed them or can’t get these vitamins into their bodies, your betta may be more susceptible to illness due to a weakened immune system.

2. Poor Water Quality

Second, poor water quality, which can occur as a result of overcrowding, degradation, and not changing the water regularly, is the most prevalent cause of holes in the head. This is critical since this is when the bacterium manifests and strikes.

3. Changing Water Conditions

Fluctuating water conditions, in addition to poor water conditions, can compromise the betta’s health by weakening its immune system. If the pH of the water or the temperature of the water does not remain steady and fluctuates, the betta will be shocked to the point of death.

4. Hexamita

People sometimes believe that Hexamita is the major cause of head holes. This parasite, on the other hand, already resides in the betta’s and every other fish’s intestine.

Normally, it is completely harmless, but if the immune system of your betta is compromised, it may assault the fish. This has the potential to spread throughout the fish’s many organs. The virus finally consumes so much energy that it even impairs the fish’s sensory pores.

As this happens, the puss in the betta’s head emerges, and when the puss explodes, a hole in the fish’s skull is created.

Is the hole in the head fatal?

The death rate from a hole in the head is substantial. If the sickness is found later in the stage, your betta’s chances of survival are less since any other disease might enter his or her body and kill it. However, if you caught it early enough, it may be cured and your fish can live a normal life again.

Hole In The Head

What are the signs & symptoms of a hole in betta’s head?

The sooner you begin treating your betta after discovering the hole in the skull, the better your fish’s chances of survival. If you detect sores on your betta’s head, it’s too late to cure the illness because it’s already killed your fish. However, there are a few more signs to be aware of.

1. Feces that are White and Stringy

Aside from real holes in the skull, this is a sign that indicates your betta has the illness. Your betta’s excretion would turn white and stringy. To treat the illness, your betta’s gut will create more mucus, which will also come out of the feces, giving it a white stringy look.

2. Color Fading Away

Bettas have vivid colors, but when they develop an illness or sickness, they lose their color rapidly. So, while this symptom is relatively difficult to notice, it does not always signify that you have a betta hole in the skull, as color may also be caused by stress and despair.

3. Emaciation and Loss of Appetite in your Betta

When a betta is infected or sick, it loses its appetite rapidly. Because the hole in the head infection originates in the intestines, it generates stress in the fish, causing it to stop eating.

After your betta has stopped feeding for a while, you will notice that it is becoming malnourished. If you see this, you should inspect your fish for any more signs to be sure. Also, though the loss of appetite is a frequent symptom among betta fish when they are unwell, don’t make judgments based only on this because your fish might be suffering from something else, such as a swim bladder disease or constipation.

4. Holes in the Head and Holes in the Body

As the illness progresses, holes appear in the body and head of the fish, which is the most visible indication. This is a key stage of the sickness, and if your betta reaches this point, there is little you can do since treatment becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, and your fish may perish.

Symptoms of Hole in the Head Disease

How to treat your betta if it has a hole in the head?

There is no better approach to cure a betta hole in the skull than to use medicine. Dimetridazole and metronidazole are the two most commonly prescribed antibiotics. Also, if you’re giving your betta medication, visit a veterinarian or a specialist to ensure you’re using the proper prescription and delivering the right quantity of dose. In certain parts of America, getting medicine over the counter is fairly simple, while others may require a prescription.

In terms of therapy, the best thing to do if you notice your fish has this ailment is to relocate it to an aquarium tank. The drug can then be given to it either through food by adding it to the meal, or you can directly add it to the water in the tank.

Treating your Betta with Food

As previously said, betta does not feed when afflicted with a hole in the head; however, if you find it eating, this is a positive indication since it indicates that the virus is still in its early stages and is curable. The only method to cure it is to mix the medication into the fish’s diet before feeding it to them. However, be sure to double-check the drug dose.

Treating the Water

Now, if you’re going to cure your betta using this approach, you’ll need to put it in a separate tank so that the medicine won’t harm the other fish. This will not only protect the fish from other sicknesses but will also make it easier to examine and treat the fish individually. Make sure you put the proper amount of medication in the water; 125 mg per 5 gallons of water is a good rule of thumb. However, it is critical to have specific instructions from the veterinarian, since utilizing the incorrect dosage might result in the death of your fish.

How to Prevent Betta Hole in the Head?

Because recognizing a sickness may be difficult, and sometimes it’s too late once you do, here are some preventative strategies you can apply in your everyday life while inspecting your fish to prevent this disease from spreading.

1. Make sure your betta is Getting Enough Vitamins

Because bettas are carnivorous and do not consume green plants that contain vitamins, putting the correct quantity of vitamins into their bodies might be difficult. As a result, you should try feeding your betta live creatures that consume plants so that the betta receives some green in its digestive tract when it eats them.

Feed your betta live food like mosquito larvae and brine shrimp in addition to high-quality betta pellets. Some people feed blood worms to their bettas, but because of their fatty nature, it’s best to keep them as a treat for your betta.

2. Keep the Tank Clean

This is a must if you want to prevent your betta from contracting an illness. You should replace the water frequently and clean the pebbles. Ensure that 10 to 20% of the water is removed and replaced with new water. Also, vacuum the gravel in the tank to remove debris like as dead plants, decomposing food, and excrement.

Because the dead plant and food will emit ammonia, weakening your betta’s immune system and making it more susceptible to infections if you keep it in your tank.

The most crucial element of cleaning the tank is to clean the filter to see if there are any obstructions. Otherwise, the bacteria will remain in the water, possibly growing stronger as the circumstances worsen.

3. Do not Overflow your Water Tank

When you overstock your tank, the quantity of ammonia in it rises, as does the number of germs and parasites, making your fish sick. This isn’t the only reason you shouldn’t overload your tank; bettas may be hostile toward one another and get into continuous fights, so it’s best to keep them in different tanks. However, this will increase stress on your fish and decrease its immune system, making it more susceptible to sickness.

The Bottom Line on Betta Hole In The Head

If you suspect your betta has a hole-in-the-head infection, keep it away from the rest of your fish in a different tank and check it well before treating it. Watch for signs like stringy feces. and then begin taking the medicine as directed in the article. Remember that your first goal should be to avoid sickness in the first place, which requires keeping the tank clean and providing your betta with a balanced food rich in minerals and vitamins.

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