Here are the symptoms of some common betta fish diseases you can use to try and identify what it is, that is making your betta sick. In most cases the greatest cause of a sick betta is poor water quality and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of properly maintaining your tank.

With that in mind here is the list of the most frequent betta diseases :

Betta Fish Dropsy

There are two signs you should look for in diagnosing betta dropsy:  the first is a bloated or unusally large belly. The second symptom to look for are raised scales, when you look at your betta from a top angle the scales will resemble an open pine cone type shape. see image below.

Betta fish dropsy is usually caused by bacteria that lodges in the body of the fish and affects the kidneys causing water retention in the body. Unless immediate treatment is administered, this condition can be fatal for your betta.

Mouth Fungus

This will resemble a white fungus similar in appearance to cotton that appears around the mouth and lips of your betta. The affected fish may become sluggish and stop eating all together.

Fin Rot

This one of the most common diseases that affect bettas and is rather easy to identify. The fins of your betta will have holes (pin type) in them and have a tattered worn appearance. The cause is usually poor care and seen in new betta’s typically because the pet store didn’t maintain proper tank conditions.

Fortunately this is an easy disease to treat, by making sure the water in your tank is in perfect condition and using aquarium salt. Be sure that ammonia, nitrite, and pH levels are at zero.


This is one of the worst betta fish diseases you can get and should be treated very seriously. It is an infection in the bloodstream that occurs through an open wound either through fighting with other fish or when you betta injures himself. It can also occur through bacteria in your bettas it is important to keep your water conditions especially clean as to not further aggrevate the condition.

It usually manifests as redness under the scales and can be localized in one area or appear throughout the body. It may be hard to identify in red or dark colored fish  Assuming you have corrected any water conditions that may hamper your betta’s recovery, the open wounds will usually heal quickly. Other symptoms are loss of appetite, clamped fins, sluggishness and color loss.

While no one likes to be faced with a sick betta the good news is that in most cases the majority of betta fish illnesses can be easily treated if acted upon quickly. In the majority of cases poor tank conditions are the cause and many problems can avoided all together with proper tank setup and cleaning.

If you would like to know more about betta fish diseases, and how to properly treat and care for you betta. Sign up for our free 12 lesson course that will show you the secrets to having the happiest, healthiest, Betta Fish around!