How To Notice Betta Fish Cotton Wool Disease and How To Treat It

Betta fish cotton wool disease is also known as Columnaris, Cotton Mouth disease, Guppy disease or Saddleback disease. It has also the scientific name Flexibacter Columnaris. Most of the novice fish keepers figure out that this disease is just a type of fish fungus which is mainly caused by the bacterium’s cotton-like look, hence the name suggests.

However, this disease is actually caused by a gram-negative rod bacterium named Flavobacterium columnare. This cotton wool disease commonly occurs in tropical aquarium fish particularly anabantoids like bettas.

No worry! Fungus is pretty rare in betta fish, though, it can affect the dead tissue sometimes.

How To Notice Betta Fish Cotton Wool Disease

There is a variety of symptoms but it is very easy to notice the disease that attacking your betta fish. Actually, the betta fish cotton wool disease manifest itself on some noticeable stages as follows:

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation may develop when your betta rub its body against the tank decorations, substrate or plants, making it developing rash of tiny white spots.

Fading Colors

Betta fish can lose his bright colors and become pale.

Fin Damage

Fin damage is a sign that there is something wrong with your betta. This way, his fins are usually frayed or ragged.


Notice when your betta develops sores and ulcers on his skin. Well, ulcers are the clear signs that your betta has coumnaris, not a fin rot.

Cotton-Like Growths

Cotton-like growth can appear on your betta due to the bacteria colonies that look like cotton. It is signed by the yellowish-brown or whitish-gray fluffy-looking growth on the betta’s mouth, body and fins. Another cotton-like sign also a reddening skin around the infection area, general inactivity and poor appetite.

Gill Necrosis

If you leave your betta columnaris untreated, his gills will start changing his healthy pink to an unhealthy brownish color, meaning that the skin around the gills is dying and the necrosis is existing.

If the disease are reaching these symptoms, your betta fish is extremely sick. He might try hard to take a breath. Thus, you need to give an immediate treatment.

How To Treat The Disease

The first common treatment for betta fish cotton wool disease is moving him to a quarantine tank. Later, you can lower the water temperature gradually and give drug therapy as well as add aquarium salt and change the water.

Final Words

Finally, it is important to notice the betta fish cotton wool disease to ensure that your betta is living healthy and happy. Make this article your simple guidance!

Read more about the other betta fish disease treatment such as betta fish fin rot treatment here. Visit our social media page on Instagram and Facebook here.

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