Tuberculosis In Betta Fish – Can It Be Cured?

So, you’re saying your betta has a bent spine? That might be because your betta is infected with TB. Although this is a relatively rare condition in betta, it can nonetheless occur. To be able to treat the sickness, you will need to act promptly.

This sickness may rapidly become fatal if prompt action is not done; therefore you should be extremely cautious while dealing with it or seek advice from a veteran.

We’ve covered all there is to know about TB treatment, causes, and symptoms in this guide. So, for a clear understanding, continue to read through. We understand how aggravating it would be for you as betta fish owners.

What Is Fish Tuberculosis?

Mycobacterium marinum, a species of bacteria prevalent in aquariums, causes tuberculosis in fish. Although it is unlikely that your betta would be impacted, the bacterium does exist. However, there is little you can do to prevent or treat it in your betta.

If your betta has tuberculosis, there’s a good possibility you won’t notice any symptoms at first, which is the worst-case scenario. In fact, your betta might have been infected with fish TB for up to 6 months before you can see any signs. And that’s one of the reasons it’s so deadly: it grabs hold of your fish and weakens it to the point where it can’t fight the sickness.

Most of the time, the bacteria target the betta’s inside organs, and you may see after a long time that the betta’s internal system is completely debilitated and there is nothing you can do.

What Causes Betta Tuberculosis?

Your betta can contract tuberculosis for a variety of causes. However, infections may be readily prevented if you keep your betta in a healthy tank environment because the betta simply needs particular attention and time.

What Causes Betta Tuberculosis

1. Poor-Quality Water

One of the most common causes of TB in your betta is poor water quality. This can happen if you overstock your tank, resulting in a high bio load that your filter can’t handle. Only 1 inch of fish is suggested per gallon of water. Your betta should also be kept in a tank with a minimum capacity of 5 gallons. You should not only prevent overstocking your tank but also keep it clean on a regular basis. The more frequently the tank must be cleaned, the smaller it is. Regular water changes and gravel vacuuming are both recommended.

Fluctuating water temperatures and pH increase the chances of your betta contracting TB for two reasons. Your body temperature will become the ideal breeding habitat for germs if it swings too much and becomes too hot. Changing water temperature and pH, on the other hand, will stress your betta and impair his immune system. This, in turn, increases his chances of contracting TB, as well as a variety of other illnesses and disorders.

2. Stress

When it comes to stress, everything that causes your betta to get stressed will impair your immune system. If you’re keeping your betta among other fish, make sure he doesn’t get irritated or attacked. If one of these things occurs, you may need to relocate him to a different tank.

Make sure he’s receiving enough food and isn’t injuring himself by chewing on anything in the tank. Both of these things might make your betta feel anxious.

Even if TB is present in the tank, if you maintain your betta’s immune system robust, he will be less likely to contract it.

3. Diet

It has been hypothesized that tuberculosis is commonly transmitted through food. Your betta may get TB if you feed him live tuberculosis-infected food. In addition, if your betta eats another fish that has died of tuberculosis, he is more likely to catch it himself.

It isn’t much you can do about it, unfortunately. It’s a risk since you must feed your betta live food to keep him healthy. Purchase your food from reputable and trustworthy suppliers to prevent this risk. This eliminates the possibility of acquiring a bad batch.

If you believe your betta’s diet is lacking, you should make an effort to modify it. A bad diet will lead to a weakened immune system.

4. Originally From Another Aquarium

Any new fish should always be quarantined before being introduced to your main tank. This is one of the primary causes!

Even though the fish appear to be in good health, they might be carrying harmful illnesses and pathogens. Always isolate them for 2-4 weeks so you can monitor them for any changes or deterioration.

What are The Symptoms Of Tuberculosis In Betta Fish?

Tuberculosis signs might help you prevent the disease from spreading to other fish. However, it’s vital to note that by the time bettas show symptoms, it’s likely too late. Tuberculosis frequently causes extensive damage to the kidneys, liver, and intestines before any external symptoms appear. However, you might anticipate noticing the following signs in bettas suffering from tuberculosis:

Symptoms Of Tuberculosis In Betta Fish

1. Emaciation, Thinning, And Loss Of Appetite

These are the most prevalent TB symptoms. If you find your betta has lost a lot of weight and seems gaunt, TB may be the cause. It’s considerably more common if the emaciation is limited to the upper part of their bodies. If you find your betta’s body fading away or losing muscular density, TB is a high likelihood. There are, however, other conditions that cause bettas to lose their appetite and become skinny.

2. Skeleton With Curved Spine

This is the most obvious indicator of TB, and if you observe it, it’s a good bet that’s what your fish is suffering from. Instead of curling to the side, as in dropsy, the spine will curve vertically. If your betta’s spine is bent, it’s either because the organs have been so injured that they’ve begun to swell, distorting the form of the spine, or because the spine has become infected.

3. Skin Issues

In bettas and other fish, tuberculosis can cause a variety of skin problems. The loss of scales is one of the most common skin defects. This symptom is very specific to fish tuberculosis, and it’s a good indicator when other symptoms are present. You may see blood spots, open sores, discoloration, lesions all over the body, and folded fins in addition to a loss of scales. However, because these symptoms might be indicative of a variety of ailments, you shouldn’t diagnose your betta based just on them.

4. Movement That Is Slow Or Non-Existent

Another obvious symptom of sickness in any fish is sluggish movement, or worse, a complete lack of movement. Your betta may not be as active as he previously was, or he may spend most of his time floating at the top of the tank. Remove him from your tank and confine him if you see this together with other symptoms.

5. Eye Damage

Finally, your betta may sustain eye damage. The organs behind betta fish’s eyes grow and stretch when they become unwell, causing their eyes to protrude. However, you may notice that your eye begins to discolor.

6. Take Caution

You must be positive that your betta has TB while diagnosing it. There are a variety of ailments that might produce these symptoms, and misdiagnosing your betta could result in his death. so be very careful.

How To Treat Tuberculosis In Betta Fish?

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for tuberculosis in betta fish. While some individuals speculate about possible solutions, there is no universal solution. Because, as I previously stated, TB is so aggressive and does so much hidden damage that by the time you discover your betta has it, it’s too late.

Some people say that if you can medicate an aquarium with antibiotics and clean any wounds with penicillin, your betta will live. This, however, will be quite difficult for the average fish keeper and will almost always need the assistance of a veterinarian. Furthermore, even if you tried to treat your betta with antibiotics or penicillin, the chances of your betta surviving are still poor. Because your betta’s internal organs have been damaged beyond repair.

The bacterium that causes TB in bettas prefers higher temperatures, thus increasing the temperature will only make it more aggressive. While aquarium salt will not make it worse, it will not improve it either. Unfortunately, TB may also be found in saltwater fish, so adding aquarium salt won’t help.

There are only two options if you are convinced that your betta has TB. Put him in a quarantine tank for the rest of his life or euthanize him. And the second choice may be preferable to avoid him suffering.

How Do You Prevent Betta Tuberculosis?

Fortunately, your betta’s chances of contracting TB are quite slim. You won’t have to worry about treating it if you attempt to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are a few things you can do to keep your betta from developing TB.

1. Maintain Their Immune System

Even if TB is present in the tank, it is exceedingly improbable that your betta will become infected. Your betta is more likely to contract TB since he is already frail.

Avoiding stress and feeding your betta a well-balanced diet might boost his immune system. It also helps to ensure that the water conditions where he lives are suitable.

2. Maintaining Good Water Quality

Maintaining great water conditions is another way to keep your betta free of TB. Regular water changes and gravel vacuuming are recommended. In a smaller tank, you may need to do this once or twice a week, but as the tank becomes larger, you will not need to do it as often.

Also, make sure you’re not overfeeding your betta. If any food is left behind, it will decompose in the tank, increasing the number of bacteria that grows.

3. New Fish in Quarantine

And, of course, quarantine any new fish you intend to introduce to your tank. They will not display symptoms of TB right away if they are afflicted. Even if they appear to be in good health, there’s no guarantee that they don’t have TB or other ailments.

4. Purchase Fish from a Reliable Source

You shouldn’t buy your fish from the first pet store you see. You should first read internet reviews and ask your friends for their opinions. If you buy fish from a shady or untrustworthy source, you’re inviting disease and sickness into your tank.

Can Humans Catch Fish Tuberculosis?

You may have heard that people can contract TB from fish, which is correct. However, it will not be as fatal for you as it is for your fish. And it won’t be the TB you’re thinking about.

The bacterium that causes TB in fish is not the same as that which causes tuberculosis in humans. Fish keepers disease is the term for when a human develops fish tuberculosis.

Can Humans Catch Fish Tuberculosis

While it is less hazardous for people, it is nonetheless unpleasant. If you contract TB from your fish, you will develop chronic skin infections that are unpleasant and irritating.

To avoid contracting TB from your aquarium, always wear gloves and properly wash your hands after coming into touch with the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Can You Do To Avoid A Bent Spine In A Betta fish?

It is often believed that prevention is preferable to treatment. Similarly, to avoid a curved spine in your betta fish, you may always observe these fundamental betta fish habits:

– Develop a robust immune system – Properly feed them – Maintain suitable water standards

2. What Other Factors Contribute To The Bent Spine Of Betta Fish?

The twisted spine of your Betta fish is merely an indication of TB in your fish. While other symptoms might be caused by different illnesses, the bent spine is unique to tuberculosis.

3. Betta Fish Can Develop Scoliosis?

Yes. Nutritional deficits in betta fish can cause scoliosis. Scoliosis is a lateral bend in the spine that is abnormal.

The Bottom Line On Tuberculosis In Betta Fish

To summarize, if you see a bent spine in your betta fish, your fish may be suffering from TB. There is no simple method to deal with it. There are, however, several ways to avoid it. Simply follow the precautions outlined above, and your betta fish will be totally healthy for the rest of its life.

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