Fin rot is a common disease that can affect your betta fish. So, it is necessary to know about the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of fin rot disease.
Treating fin rot at early stages is necessary as it can be difficult to treat once it reaches advanced stages. So, How do you treat fin rot in betta fish? Let us find out.
Follow these steps to treat fin rot in your betta fish:
- Perform a 60% water change of your betta fish tank and add conditioned water.
- Clean the substrate using a gravel siphon to eliminate solid debris and other waste.
- Maintain a stable water temperature between 75-78 °F.
- Remove the carbon from the filter.
- Treat your sick fish with the required medications as per the severity of the disease.
- Perform a 100% water change every time you apply the dosage.
- Regularly check water chemistry and maintain ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm.
- Feed them high-quality food.
- Once your betta fish is recovered, you can add the carbon to the filter.
This article will discuss how to treat fin rot in betta fish. Also, we will discuss the reasons and prevention of fin rot. So, let us get into it.
- 1 What is fin rot, and how is it caused?
- 2 What are the symptoms of fin rot in betta fish?
- 3 What are the causes of fin rot in betta fish?
- 4 Complete steps to treat fin rot in betta fish
- 5 Is fin rot contagious?
- 6 Will my betta fin grow back after suffering from fin rot?
- 7 How to prevent our betta fish from fin rot?
- 8 Conclusion:
What is fin rot, and how is it caused?
Fin rot is a condition that is caused by pseudomonas, vibrio, and Aeromonas bacteria.
Stress, poor water conditions, inadequate parameters, and injury also promote fin rot in your betta fish.
Stress is the primary reason for fin rot in your betta fish.
Betta fish become weak under stress and become vulnerable to diseases like fin rot.
Preventing fin rot is much easy than curing it, as when fin rot reaches advanced stages, it becomes difficult to treat it.
So, we should always try to prevent our fish from such conditions.
What are the symptoms of fin rot in betta fish?
There are two types of symptoms that your betta fish will show when suffering from fin rot: physical signs and behavioral symptoms.
Your betta fish fins will get discolored and appear milky at the early stage of fin rot disease.
Fin rot will not be noticeable in the early stages until betta fish fins get shabby at the edges.
Your betta fish fin will start falling off with time, leaving an uneven shape at the edges of the tail.
Your betta fish fin will get shorter as the disease spreads.
Their fin will appear red and swollen.
All these are the physical changes you will notice when your betta fish is suffering from fin rot disease:
- Milky edge
- Frayed fins
- Uneven tail shape
- The whole fin is rotting away.
When your betta fish suffers from fin rot disease, it will also show behavioral changes.
Your betta fish will become weak and lethargic and will be less interested in swimming.
You will usually find them at the bottom of the tank most of the time.
They will also lose their appetite and will start avoiding eating.
You will find them inactive most of the time.
Symptoms of Mild, Major, and Severe fin rot
|Betta will develop a dark-colored fin.
|Betta fish will get darker in color, with white fuzz being developed on their fin’s edge. (This will happen if the reason behind fin rot is a fungal infection)
|In severe cases, your betta will suffer from body rot, as the fin rot will get extended towards your betta fish body.
|Their fin’s tips colored will get change.
|A major part of your betta fish fin will be already rotted.
|The bacteria will completely eat up your betta fish fin in severe cases.
|Your betta fish fin will become tattered.
|The remaining part of your betta fish fin will start getting discolored.
|Your betta fish body, too, will start getting affected by the bacteria.
|The tip of your betta fish fin will look worn and sore.
|Your betta fish fin will start dying completely by that time.
|Your betta fish will develop a white fuzz on the base of their fin. (This will happen if the reason behind fin rot is fungal)
|The disease will only appear at your betta fish fin edge and will not come near their body.
|You will notice behavioral changes like loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy, and sitting at the bottom of the tank.
|Your cory catfish will lose its appetite because of high-level stress and will become weak.
What are the causes of fin rot in betta fish?
Fin rot is caused by bacteria named Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, and Vibrio. All three bacteria are gram-negative, which promotes the disease’s spread.
Now let us discuss more causes that make your betta fish suffer from fin rot.
All these are the causes for your betta fish suffering from fin rot:
- Your betta fish is living in poor water conditions.
- The parameters of your betta fish tank are inadequate.
- Your betta fish is under stress.
- Your betta fish is living in a poorly set-up tank.
- Your betta fish is physically injured.
- Lack of nutrients
Poor water conditions
Poor water conditions are the primary reason your betta fish suffer from fin rot.
A tank with poor water conditions is the best breeding place for bacteria and parasites.
Also, betta fish living in poor water conditions will suffer various issues like stress, loss of appetite, gasping air, and lethargy.
All these issues will make them weak, and they will become vulnerable to diseases like fin rot.
Inadequate water parameters
Like poor water conditions, inadequate water parameters can make your betta fish suffer from fin rot.
Bettas are very sensitive when it comes to water parameters.
Bettas require a well-heated tank that ensures stable water temperature to thrive.
Also, they require adequate and stable pH and water TDS levels to ensure their healthy lifespan.
Keeping your bettas in a tank with inadequate and unstable water parameters will make them under high-level stress and become vulnerable to fin rot disease.
From the above points, we can easily see that stress plays a major role in your betta fish’s vulnerability to diseases like fin rot.
Your betta fish can be stressed for various reasons, including poor water conditions, poor feeding, unstable water temperature, and inappropriate living conditions.
When bettas are stressed, they avoid eating because they lose their appetite, making them weak.
Weak betta will lose its immunity and become vulnerable to diseases and parasites.
Also read: Why Is My Betta Fish Not Active?
Poorly set up tanks
Betta fish living in a poorly set up tank will also be stressed.
Bettas are tropical freshwater fish that require a well-heated tank with plenty of live aquatic plants to thrive.
When you keep them in a poorly maintained tank with no heater, no plants, and filter, they will come under stress and become weak.
Weak betta fish will lose their appetite, and their immunity will weaken.
Betta, with low immunity, will become prone to various diseases and parasites.
Bettas are active swimmers who can hurt themselves by hitting hard objects like decors, heaters, and other things in the tank, injuring their fins.
Injured betta fish will become weak and vulnerable to such parasites and bacteria.
Complete steps to treat fin rot in betta fish
The first thing we should consider when treating our betta fish with fin rot is whether we should quarantine the sick betta.
Now, it completely depends on the severity of the disease.
If your betta fish is in a condition that can only be treated with medications, then you have to separate them and place them in a hospital tank.
Also, if you have other fish in your betta tank with plants, medication can harm them, so in that case, also you have to separate the sick betta.
Now let us discuss the treatments we can use according to the severity of the fin rot disease.
There are three types of treatments you can use according to the severity of the disease:
- If your betta fish suffers from mild fin rot, then a water change and keeping the tank clean will solve the issue.
- If your betta suffers from major fin rot, salt medication will help you solve the issue.
- If your betta suffers from severe fin rot, which is also known as body rot, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medication will solve the issue.
You don’t have to separate your betta fish in mild fin rot.
However, if your betta fish suffers from major and severe fin rot disease, you must separate and place them in a hospital tank.
Let us first discuss separating and placing betta fish in a hospital tank.
Follow these steps to separate and place your sick betta in a hospital tank:
- Choose a small tank as a hospital tank for your sick betta (2-gallon will do the work.
- Fill the tank to the top with conditioned water. (Treating the water with a water conditioner is necessary to eliminate chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals from the water.
- Add a filter to ensure clean water conditions.
- Add a heater for adequate and stable water temperature.
- Once the water temperature matches the temperature of the home tank, you are ready to place your sick betta in the hospital tank.
- At this point, you have to add medicine, whatever is necessary, according to the severity of the disease.
- Now, take a bag, fill it with the betta tank water, and place your betta into the bag.
- Let that bag float for around 20 minutes to acclimatize your betta fish, and then open the bag and place your betta fish in a hospital tank.
- Perform a partial water change of at least 30% every two days.
If you are not using a filter in a hospital tank, then you have to perform a 100% water change.
Follow the acclimation process every time when doing a 100% water change.
Now that you know how to isolate your fish in a hospital tank, let us discuss how to treat your betta fish with fin rot.
Steps to treat mild fin rot in your betta fish:
- For treating mild fin rot, all you have to do is super clean your tank.
- Start with a water change of 50% and add treated water to your betta tank.
- Check the water parameters and ensure adequate and stable water parameters.
- The water temperature should be between 75-78 °F and pH 7.
- Clean your tank by siphoning all the waste in the substrate using a gravel siphon.
- Clean the walls of your betta fish tank, decors, and plants with warm water.
- Clean your filter using aquarium water to keep the beneficial bacteria alive.
- It will be wise to separate some fish and place them in another tank if you have overcrowded your betta tank, as it will help you reduce the excessive amount of waste.
- Keeping the tank clean and water-toxic-free will help you cure your betta fish with mild fin rot.
Watch your betta fish for some days, and see if they are recovering.
However, if your betta fish is not showing any recovery symptoms and the disease is increasing, it’s time for a major fin rot treatment.
Step to treat major fin rot in your betta fish:
- Prepare a hospital tank by adding conditioned water, heater, and filter and setting up the water temperature and ph at 75-78 °F and 7.
- Once the water temperature is stable and adequate, your fish is ready to get shifted.
- Now, in a container, make a solution of aquarium salt by mixing the aquarium salt in some water (Take the water from the hospital tank).
- Make sure to add one teaspoon for every 5-gallon tank.
- Once the salt is dissolved, pour the solution into the hospital tank.
- Add your sick betta to the hospital tank by following the acclimatizing process.
- Perform a 100% water change every day. Don’t add aquarium salt again in the same water.
- Follow this medication for a week and notice if your betta fish is recovering.
Consider using API FRESHWATER AQUARIUM SALT to treat your betta fish fin rot.
You can buy this product at amazon: API FRESHWATER AQUARIUM SALT.
Don’t run the salt medication for more than a week, as it can result in your betta fish suffering from salt poisoning.
Too much use of salt can damage the kidney and liver of your betta fish.
Now, while running these steps, this is all you have to do in your main tank:
- Perform a 100% water change and add conditioned water.
- Clean the filter using aquarium water to preserve the beneficial bacteria.
- Clean all the plants and decors with warm water.
- Run a proper ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate check and ensure to maintain nitrite and ammonia at 0ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20ppm.
If the fin rot is severe and is extending towards your betta fish body, which is also known as body rot, then follow these steps to treat your betta fish:
- To cure your betta fish with body rot, you must place your sick betta in a hospital tank.
- This treatment will require anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medicine, which will remove a lot of oxygen from the tank, so adding an air pump is necessary.
- Treat your sick betta fish with anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medicine as required, according to the issues.
- The dosage to apply will be mentioned in the medicine.
- Make sure to complete the treatment and don’t stop it early.
- Perform a 100% water change every day when dosing the betta again.
- Once your betta fish recovers, you can add it back to the main tank, following the acclimatization process.
Use the API PIMAFIX to treat fungal infections on the body and fins of your betta fish body.
You can buy this product at amazon: API PIMAFIX.
Use the API FIN AND BODY CURE to treat bacterial infections on the body and fins of your betta fish body.
You can buy this product at amazon: API FIN AND BODY CURE.
Again, when following these steps, make a 100% water change of your main tank, clean the tank, decors, and plants, and bring the water parameters to an adequate and stable level.
Is fin rot contagious?
Fin rot is contagious and can spread all over the tank, infecting the fish present in the tank.
Fin rot is caused by gram-negative bacteria, which can spread over the water and infect all your fish.
It is necessary to separate the infected fish and place them in a separate tank to prevent the remaining fish from such bacteria.
Will my betta fin grow back after suffering from fin rot?
Betta fish fin growing back wholly depends on the severity of the rot.
If your betta has suffered from mild fin rot, then with proper care, they will regain their fin in weeks.
However, if your betta has suffered major fin rot, then it will take months to regain its fin.
Also, they will only be able to regrow their fin when you provide them with excellent water conditions and adequate water parameters.
Bettas are sensitive when it comes to healing from such issues.
So, ensure that your betta fish have good water conditions, stable and adequate water parameters, and high-quality nutritional food to help them recover.
How to prevent our betta fish from fin rot?
To prevent your betta fish from fin rot, you can ensure all these things:
- Provide your betta fish with good water conditions.
- Ensure ideal and stable water parameters.
- Feed your betta fish regularly with high-quality food.
- Keep your betta fish in a large size tank.
- Avoid overcrowding your betta fish tank.
- Provide your betta fish with their ideal living conditions.
- Create a stress-free environment for your betta fish.
Good water conditions
The primary cause of fin rot in your betta fish is poor water conditions, and providing them with good water conditions will help you prevent such issues.
To ensure good water conditions, perform a weekly water change of at least 35% to keep the water clean.
Performing a water change will also maintain ammonia and nitrate level at the ideal range.
Ensure treating the water with a water conditioner to eliminate chlorine and chloramine.
Consider using the API water conditioner to treat the tap water, as it will help you eliminate chlorine, chloramine, nitrite, ammonia, and heavy metals from the water.
You can buy this product on amazon: API TAP WATER CONDITIONER.
Add a good filtration system to your betta fish tank to prevent the tank from excessive waste and protect your fish from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
You can consider using a Fluval high-performance aquarium filter for your tank, as it will ensure that your water is clean and protected from harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.
You can buy this product at amazon: Fluval High-Performance Aquarium Filter.
Keep a regular check on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, and make sure to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm, whereas the nitrate level should be below 20 ppm.
Consider using the API freshwater master kit, as it will help you check the tank’s ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH level as it shows the accurate result.
You can buy it from amazon: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT.
Ideal and stable water parameters
Providing your betta fish with ideal and stable water parameters will prevent them from stress and will keep them healthy.
Healthy betta fish will not be vulnerable to diseases like fin rot.
Provide your betta fish with a water temperature between 75-82 °F.
Consider adding a heater to your betta fish tank to ensure stable and ideal water temperature.
We recommend using the Fluval M200 Submersible heater for your tank.
You can buy this product at amazon: Fluval M200 Submersible Heater.
Maintain the water pH level between 6.5 and 8.
Performing regular water changes, removing dead and decaying plants and fish, and cleaning the tank regularly will help you maintain the pH level at the ideal range.
The TDS level of your betta fish tank should be between 250-280ppm.
A regular supply of high-quality food
Food plays an important role in your betta fish’s life to keep them healthy and ensure their longer lifespan.
It is necessary to feed your betta fish regularly with high-quality food to maintain their immunity and keep them strong enough to fight such bacteria.
Bettas are carnivore fish and require meat-based, high-protein food in their everyday life.
Consider feeding them with betta pellets as they contain all the nutritional value required for their healthy lifespan.
Also, you should feed them live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods like earthworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and tubifex worms once or twice a week.
To avoid overfeeding, provide them 3-4 pellets a time, two times a day.
Remove the leftovers, if any, to keep the tank clean.
Also read: Can Betta Fish Eat Mosquito?
Large size tank
Bettas are active swimmers and require ample space to swim comfortably.
Providing your betta fish with enough space to swim and live comfortably will prevent them from stress.
Also, the bigger the tank, it will be easy to maintain the water conditions and parameters.
You should consider keeping one betta fish in at least a 5-gallon tank.
An overcrowded tank will come with all these issues:
- The crowded tank will get polluted faster than usual.
- All your fish will not be able to live comfortably.
- There will be oxygen deficiency in an overcrowded tank.
- There will be a risk of ammonia poisoning in the tank.
- Your fish will not get a regular supply of food.
All these issues will stress your betta fish and make them weak, making them vulnerable to fin rot diseases.
To avoid overcrowding, follow the on-inch one-gallon rule, which means one inch of fish per gallon of water.
Provide betta with a 5-gallon tank and then increase the gallons according to every next fish you are adding to their tank.
Also read: How Many Betta Fish Can live Together?
Ideal living conditions
Providing your betta fish with their ideal living conditions will help them live comfortably and happily in the tank.
When bettas are healthy and living comfortably, their immune system prevents them from issues like fin rot.
Provide your betta fish with a well-heated tank and plenty of live aquatic plants.
They will also require a hiding spot to relax sometimes.
Providing your betta with a stress-free environment is necessary to ensure their healthy life.
Ensure all these things to provide them stress-free environment:
- Provide them with a large size tank to live comfortably.
- Add plenty of live aquatic plants to their tank to mimic their natural habitat.
- Ensure stable water temperature by adding a heater to their tank.
- Keep your betta fish water toxic-free, which means ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, and nitrate below 20 ppm.
- Avoid adding fish that are bigger and more colorful than your bettas.
- Avoid adding two bettas in the same tank.
- Add an air pump to your betta fish tank to ensure enough oxygenation.
- Perform a weekly water change of at least 30%.
- Feed your betta fish regularly with high-quality food that is rich in protein.
- Add a filter to your betta fish tank to prevent the tank from excessive waste.
Fin rot is a common disease that can affect every freshwater fish.
Once in your betta-keeping journey, you can encounter your betta fish suffering from fin rot.
Treatment of fin rot disease depends on the severity of the disease.
If your betta suffers from mild fin rot, you can treat them in the main tank.
To treat mild fin rot, you must perform a water change and keep the tank super clean.
And, if your betta is suffering from major and severe fin rot, isolating is necessary.
There are two types of treatment you can perform one is salt medication, and another one is antibiotic medication.