What to Know about Betta Fish Dropsy Symptoms

Whereas most people think that betta fish dropsy symptoms would mean something, it’s not always the case. Dropsy isn’t a disease, but it’s about a secondary symptom of an underlying condition. Be aware if you see your fish suffer from pineconing of the scales or they suffer from extreme stomach bloating or body swelling. The issue is typically fatal, but you can always talk to your vet and discuss the best treatments or solutions to deal with the issue.

Fish Dropsy: What Is It?

As it was mentioned before, fish dropsy isn’t a disease, but it isn’t a secondary symptom. If you see that your betta fish are experiencing physical changes (mentioned above) and it is also accompanied by other symptoms like lying on the side, darting to the water surface (gasping for air or oxygen), being bottom dweller, lethargic, and doesn’t have enough healthy appetite, then it’s most likely that you have a sick fish.

The issue may not be fatal if immediate treatment is done and the internal causes aren’t severe. The sooner you find out about the symptoms, the higher chances that the treatment would be successful.


Dropsy Causes

Dropsy is typically associated to poor diet and kidney failure. Osmoregulation or internal medical issues are also responsible for the symptom. Dropsy is generally the result of internal swelling. The fluid builds up, placing pressure on the abdominal and body area. That’s why dropsy is quite common among aging bettas as they are more sensitive to kidney failure (or other parasitic or bacterial infections).

An ecosystem that is too small, too many living creatures in the tank, or high bio-loads are responsible for the quick manifestation of harmful bacteria and infections. Proteins and live foods aren’t suggested for bettas because they can lead to kidney failure and digestive problem. That’s why you should know the proper feeding and food for bettas.

The General Treatment

  • You need to do 25% of water change
  • Prepare a hospital or a quarantine tank that is separate from the main tank
  • Have a built-in thermostat on the heater. Make sure to keep it around 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Make sure that the water level is lower (than the normal) so your bettas won’t encounter any difficulty when surfacing for air
  • Have air stone (with air pump). It will oxygenate the aquarium’s water to speed up recovery
  • Add the specific aquarium salt to the quarantine tank. The rate should be 0.5 teaspoon for each gallon. It would help release the built-up fluids and also swelling
  • Always acclimate the bettas to the quarantine tank
  • Make sure to administer the antibiotics correctly. Follow the directions

The obvious sign of fish dropsy is bloating. That’s why you need to take immediate actions once you notice Betta fish dropsy symptoms on your fish. You can also read about how to treat popeye in betta fish here.

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