Betta Fish Diseases 0 153

Betta fish diseases

Just as with all freshwater aquarium fish, bettas can potentially contract a variety of ailments and diseases that may affect their health. Knowing how to identify these diseases and what to do about them is important for any betta fish keeper.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the more common betta fish diseases and what to do if you think your betta fish is sick.

Preventing betta fish diseases

Most betta fish diseases are highly contagious, and can easily be introduced to and spread around the various fish within the tank. Obviously it is important to do everything you can to prevent your fish from contracting diseases in the first place, and while this is not always possible, there are some steps that you can take to minimize the risk.

Always quarantine new fish before introducing them into your existing tank, do not overcrowd your tank, and ensure that the water quality is as high as possible and that the tank is cleaned regularly.

Fin rot

Fin rot is certainly one of the most common betta fish diseases, and as many bettas have long, flowing fins, it is also one of the easiest conditions to identify.

Fin rot causes the fins and the tails of the fish to look torn and raggedy, and the edges of the fins may appear to have a black or white film on them too.

The most common cause of fin rot is dirty water or poor water quality, and fin rot can be treated by correcting this problem and adding aquarium salt to the tank in the correct quantity over a period of treatment.

Velvet

Velvet is caused by a parasitic infection, and is highly contagious and will soon affect all fish within the tank. Velvet is both painful and annoying to your fish, and they may begin to act in an unusual manner when affected by the condition, appearing hunched up with their fins clamped closely to their bodies, and scratching themselves on the tank furniture in an attempt to relieve the associated itching.

The velvet parasite requires light to thrive and reproduce, and so velvet is best treated by a combination of keeping the tank in the dark, raising the water temperature slightly, and possibly adding aquarium salt to sterilize the water too.

Swim bladder

Swim bladder is one of the few fish illnesses that are non-contagious, and can be caused by injuries or poor feeding habits.

The swim bladder is an air-filled chamber within the body of the fish, which helps to provide their buoyancy in the water. Damage to the swim bladder that affects this buoyancy will cause the fish to have problems with swimming and maintaining their position in the water.

There is no specific medication for swim bladder problems and the situation will often correct itself over time. You can try fasting your fish for 48 hours then feed very small amount of boiled peas with the shells removed to help expedite the process.

Dropsy

Dropsy is probably the most severe of all the betta fish diseases and a killer among aquarium fish of all types. The betta is no exception.

Dropsy is essentially kidney failure of the fish, causing a fluid build-up within the body and the scales of the fish to take on an erect/protruding appearance.

While dropsy itself isn’t contagious, the bacteria that causes it is, and so affected fish should be isolated promptly to prevent the condition from spreading. Affected fish will usually die within 5-15 days, and the condition cannot be cured.

Now that you know about some of the main betta fish diseases to look out for, why not find out more about how to care for betta fish?

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 248

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 375

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.