Diseases Diseases

Common Types Of Beta Fish Diseases

Published at 03/28/2012 17:04:03


From the family of Osphronemidae, the Beta fish is characterized by the small size, beautiful color, and by an unique feature named labyrinth, that allows him to breathe air from the atmosphere. For this reason, these fishes are adapted to live into waters with low oxygen level. There are known 28 species of beta fishes, from which the most popular for aquariums is the B Splendens. Even if you can take care easily of a beta fish, is some conditions this can develop a disease. In general the beta fish diseases are categorized as bacterial, environmental or parasitic. Below are listed the most common forms of these categories of beta fish diseases.


The environmental conditions are very important when setting up the fish’s aquarium. If the bowl or fish tank is maintained clean, you can avoid these types of beta fish diseases. Ammonia poisoning is one of the most common diseases caused by inappropriate environment conditions. This disease can occur when too many new fishes are added at the same time into a tank, when the filter fails, or when the medication from the water or changes to water conditions are leading to the death of bacterial colonies. If the fish is affected by this disease, you will notice the fish gasping at the surface of the water for air more often, and in some cases he can change its color into lilac or reddish. A very obvious sign is when the beta fish stop to eat and becomes lethargic.


All bowls or tanks are containing bacteria, but these are having their role. In some situations the beta fish can be infected by a bacterium, and this can occur slowly or in some cases can spread fast, leading to death in few hours time. The most common bacterial beta fish diseases are those caused by the infection with Flexibacter columnaris. This disease is also known as Cotton-Mouth, Cotton-Wool, Columnaris or Mouth Fungus, and is a very common bacterial infection encountered in cultured fish. An infection with these bacteria can occur when the fish is stressed by various reasons: a poor diet, a poor quality of the water, or when is handled often. The bacteria will enter through the mouth and gills, and can spread rapidly. The first symptoms that are showing a Columnaris infection are: white spots on the mouth or at the edge of scales and fins, which can later turn into a yellow or brownish color, and sometimes with a red tinge around.


The parasites are small creatures that are having a positive role of feeding off of the fish. The most common parasite that can cause beta fish diseases is called Oödinium Pilularis, and it is also known as Velvet, Rust or Gold Dust Disease. Despite his tiny measures, this parasite can decimate an entire population of fishes. Oödinium is using its flagellums to adhere to the fish’s skin and to penetrate it. This way the parasite can destroy the cells and starts to feed from the inside nutrients. The first symptoms are when the fish starts to scratch against hard objects, when this becomes lethargic, loses appetite and weight.