Betta Diseases – Dropsy

April 7, 2010

Betta Diseases – Dropsy

Dropsy in any fish, but especially the Betta, is a fairly uncommon disease. It is actually a symptom of a bacterial infection causing bloating and bloody eyes.The fish’s scales will turn perpendicular from the body, like the cones of a pine. This is a rather serious affliction and can lead to death if not treated properly. Let’s take a look at Dropsy, one of the deadliest Betta diseases.

Unlike most Betta diseases, Dropsy is dangerous and is usually due to no fault of the owner. Bacteria creeps under the scales of your fish, and attaches itself to your fish’s skin. This bacteria (usually gram negative) affects the kidneys in your Betta, and causes water retention and fluid retention in its body. It is this retention that can cause your Betta to bloat. In rare instances, a poorly maintained tank can cause bacterial growth which then leads to Dropsy.

This is one of the few Betta diseases that is life-threatening, and must be treated with urgency. Just as humans have periodic health checks, so should your Betta be tested regularly to assure years of healthy swimming. Regular “checkups” are going to consist of you constantly monitoring your Betta fish to learn what is regular behavior so that you will know what aberrant behavior and symptoms are when they appear.

If your fish should contract this dreadful disease, you must immediately change at least a quarter of the water in the tank, and treat remove the Betta to a quarantine tank. If there are any other fish in the tank, they must be quarantined and treated as well. Next, treat the water with a prescribed antibiotic. A medicated bath must be given to your Betta at least twice a day.

This bath consists of salt, methylene blue, Epsom salt, and electrolytes. This is agreat treatment for all Betta diseases.This mixture helps take excess moisture and water out of your Betta fish, and balances his electrolyte level. When administered properly, your betta should show gradual remission from the Dropsy symptoms. To get the correct proportion of ingredients, and more explicit instructions, consult the packaging labels, or get expert advice at a pet store.

After aggressively attacking the Dropsy, one of the deadliest Betta diseases, you should start to see a change for the positive in a couple of days. Your Betta will be well on the mend, and swimming regularly. Then simply maintain a healthy tank, and follow normal day to day maintenance.

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Elizabeth Christopher


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