Healthy Betta Fish vs Unhealthy,16 Facts You Must Know

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It is important for betta fish owners to understand the characteristics of a healthy betta fish and how to keep its wellness. You can provide your fish the best care by identifying the symptoms of an unhealthy betta fish and taking care of any potential health problems.

Betta fish are a popular pet all over the world. With their vibrant colors, beautiful tails, and unique personalities, they easily attract everyone’s attention. In this article, we will introduce the interesting character of betta fish and explain the differences between healthy and unhealthy fish. You can give your aquatic partner the best care possible if you are aware of these differences.

Bettas are usually kept alone in tanks. Betta fish usually live for two to five years. Some toys and decorative items can be kept in the betta fish tank to keep the fish healthy and happy. For a healthy and normal life for Betta fish, it is important to feed them nutritious food and monitor their health regularly.

Healthy Betta Fish vs. Unhealthy: Ways to understand

Since pets cannot express their feelings through words, it is the responsibility of their owners to observe their pets very well. If you are a betta fish owner, then you must have proper knowledge about the betta fish lifestyle.

A healthy betta fish will never stay. Still, it will always be swimming around in the tank and moving its tail and fins. Being always active, they will always be hungry. Whenever you give them food, they will eat it. A healthy betta fish will have bright colors.

On the other hand, a sick Betta fish will be inactive most of the time. Their skin color will get lighter. When you give them food, they will not be interested in eating it.

It’s important to understand the basic characteristics of a healthy fish if you want to make sure your betta fish is happy and healthy. Let’s take a closer look at the signs of a healthy betta fish.

Here are some general signs for both healthy and sickly fish, as many new betta owners are unaware that their fish may be ill or hurt.

How to know whether a betta fish is healthy

A healthy betta fish will always be active. Everything from their fins to their gills is alive.

Bright and Vibrant colors

One of the primary indicators of a healthy betta fish is its bright color. Most of their body, from base to tip, including their fins, should be covered in vibrant color. Betta fish are available in red, blue, purple, and other bright colors.

Active and alert

A healthy betta fish is usually active and energetic. They are strong swimmers that usually swim fluently. It will look into its surroundings, swim beautifully, and be curious about its environment. If your betta fish appears slow or lethargic, this could be a sign of underlying health problems.


Fully extended fins

A healthy betta fish will have completely intact fins and scales. The fins should be fully extended with no signs of tearing or cracking. The scales should also be smooth and free of discoloration.

Clear Eyes and Gills

A healthy betta fish’s eyes should be clear and bright. Infection or poor water quality can cause cloudiness or redness in the eyes. Similarly, the gills should be clean and move freely while the fish breathes.

Slick fish scales

The betta fish’s body is covered with scales, which act as an exterior layer of protection. A healthy betta fish should have scales that are smooth, undamaged, and lack any growths or signs of discoloration. The betta fish’s body is covered with scales, which act as an exterior layer of protection. They provide structural support and serve as a buffer against potential harm.

Swimming with control

Healthy Betta fish swim actively and gracefully. When a betta fish is in good health, it will explore its environment and engage in various swimming patterns. A healthy betta fish will also be able to maintain a balanced posture while swimming, with its body held straight and fins fully extended. Their colorful, flowing tails make a beautiful display while swimming.

Will be hungry

A healthy betta has a hungry appetite. At least once a day, your betta fish should consume two to four pellets. Betta fish often eat quickly before departing. That’s a good indicator since it suggests they’re happy.

Signs of an unhealthy Betta fish

Some of the most common indications of an unhealthy betta are a lack of appetite or inactivity. Betta fish can become discolored, lethargic, and stagnant when health problems arise.

Common diseases of betta fish

Colors that have faded or become dull

When a betta fish becomes discolored or dull, it is often a sign of stress or illness. The pale color and loss of vitality can indicate poor water quality, improper nutrition, or even disease. Observing the color of your betta fish can help you detect any changes in their health.

Irregular or Lethargic Behaviour

Unhealthy Betta fish often exhibit lethargy or abnormal behavior. This may include staying under the tank for extended periods of time, struggling to swim, or erratic movements. Any significant changes in your betta fish’s behavior should be taken seriously and appropriate action taken.

Damaged Fins and Scales

One of the most common signs of an unhealthy betta fish is Fins that are frayed or split. If you observe that your betta fish’s fins are ragged, damaged, or have obvious splits, there may be an issue.

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins and can quickly deteriorate their condition. Infected fins may be torn, discolored, or rotting in appearance. Fin rot can spread to other parts of the fish’s body if left untreated.

Discolored or dull scales, and falling off

Healthy betta fish have bright and shiny scales. If the scales appear faded, pallid, or discolored, this may suggest a problem with health. If you notice that the scales of the fish have risen then this is a sign that your fish is sick. It can be the result of physical injury, aggression from tank mates, or fungal or bacterial infection.

Scars may become red, swollen, or inflamed due to infection or irritation. This could be a sign of a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection.

Cloudy eyes

Cloudy eyes in betta fish can be a sign of a health problem. A healthy betta fish’s eyes should appear clear and bright. If you notice that one or both of the betta fish’s eyes are cloudy or dull, this could be a sign of infection or other health problems.

In addition to being cloudy, an unhealthy betta fish may have red or swollen eyes. This is a sign of sick fish.


Labored breathing

If you notice your fish repeatedly gasping at the surface of the water or moving their gills rapidly, they may have a breathing problem. Labored breathing in Betta fish can have several causes. Such as 1. Poor Water Quality 2. Ammonia and Nitrite Poisoning 3. High Nitrate Levels 4. Oxygen Deprivation 5. Overcrowded Aquariums 6. Temperature Extremes 7. Bacterial or Fungal Infections 8. Parasitic Infestations.

Identifying the root cause of labored breathing is crucial to restoring your betta fish’s respiratory health. It is also important to act quickly.

Abnormal swimming patterns

If you notice that your fish is having trouble swimming, or is having trouble moving, this indicates that your fish is sick. If your betta fish is swimming wildly jerking, or having difficulty maintaining its balance, it could be suffering from a health problem. If your beta floats on its side or upside down, it could be a sign of a bladder disorder. It also indicates that your betta fish is sick.

Changes in excretion

Changes in excretion can be indications of an unhealthy betta fish. As a responsible betta fish owner, you must keep an eye on your fish’s excretory behavior and be alert to any problems.

Signs of sick fish include sudden increase or decrease in the frequency of defecation, excessive waste production or decrease in defecation, any significant change in the color, consistency, or texture of the waste, and hanging or sticking to the fish feces.

Fins Clamped

Bettas keep their fins erect when swimming and relaxed when resting. But never wrapped. Clamped fins are not an illness, but rather a sign of disease or poor water quality. The main causes of stuck fins in betta fish include high levels of ammonia and parasites.

Physical abnormalities

Bumps, growths, lesions, or any other apparent anomaly on the body of a betta fish can indicate disease or damage. Clamped fins keep the fish close to the body when it rests and swims.

Common Health Problems of Betta Fish

Betta fish, like other living creatures, sometimes get sick. You can prevent most betta diseases by keeping the tank clean and feeding the appropriate food. Let’s have a look at some of the most frequent Betta fish diseases and how to treat them.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a bacterial disease that causes the fins of betta fish to rot, causing the fin tissue to become worn, discolored, and decayed. This bacterial infection may first damage the fish’s fins or mouth.

This is usually due to poor water conditions that stress the fish and reduce their immune system’s ability to fight disease. f left untreated, the infection will spread to the betta’s body and eventually kill them.

White Spot Disease (Ich)

Ich is a parasitic infection that causes small white spots on the body and fins of betta fish. In this condition, the fish will also grip their fins and rub against any surface in the tank as they try to dislodge the parasites.


Overfeeding your betta causes constipation. Constipation symptoms include lack of appetite, abdominal bloating, and lack of stool at the bottom of the tank.

Velvet Disease

Velvet disease is another parasitic infection. On the body of the affected fish, a yellow or golden dust-like coating appears. It is caused by one of several species of Odinium, tiny parasites known as rust or gold dust illness. It is a parasite that affects both freshwater and saltwater fish.


Dropsy is a condition in which fluids accumulate in the betta fish’s body, causing swelling, pinecone-like scales, and general bloating.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can occur on the body, fins, or eggs of betta fish. Affected fish look like they are wearing cotton.


Swim Bladder Disorder

Swim bladder disease decreases your pet’s swimming ability. This causes difficulty in swimming, floating, or sinking. The problem is usually caused by a bacterial infection, often due to bad water conditions. But injuries sustained during transport, breeding, or fighting can also produce the condition.


Popeye is a disorder in which the eyes of betta fish swell and protrude from their sockets.

Proper diagnosis and treatment by a skilled veterinarian is critical to properly treating these health issues.

How to keep your betta fish healthy

The most essential part of keeping your betta healthy is to be proactive in their health and safety. Maintaining correct tank conditions and adopting preventative steps are critical to keeping your betta fish healthy.

Nutritious and balanced food for healthy betta fish

It is essential to the general health of your betta fish that you feed it a balanced diet. Feeding your betta fish the right foods in the right amounts will help prevent malnutrition and promote good health. Here are some suggestions for proper nutrition.

High-quality pellets for betta fish: Choose betta fish pellets that are particularly made to fulfill their dietary requirements. Snacks with a good combination of protein, fat, and important vitamins and minerals are ideal.

Food variety: Add frozen or live daphnia, brine prawns, bloodworms, or mosquito larvae to your betta fish’s diet. This will give them a wide range of nutrients.

Feeding schedule: Feed your betta fish two to three tiny meals per day. Overeating should be avoided because it can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Don’t give out too much food: Avoid overfeeding your betta fish by only giving them the quantity of food they can eat in a few minutes.

Occasional fasting: Betta fish can benefit from occasional fasting to help with digestion. Consider fasting them for one day per week.

Maintaining Clean Water for healthy betta fish

Betta fish require clean water for their health and well-being. Proper water quality promotes a stress-free atmosphere and helps in preventing illness. To keep your betta fish tank clean, follow these guidelines:

Water changes on a regular basis: Perform regular partial water changes to remove accumulated garbage, extra nutrients, and pollutants. Change about 25% of the water every week.

Use a water conditioner: Use a water conditioner to remove toxic chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals from tap water that can harm betta fish.

Overstocking should be avoided: Keeping too many fish in the tank can cause poor water quality. Therefore avoid overcrowding and ensure adequate space for your betta fish.

Clean tank decor regularly: Clean tank decor, artificial plants, and gravel regularly to prevent waste and algae build-up.

Maintain proper pH levels

Keep the pH level within the range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Maintaining proper water temperature

Betta fish are tropical fish that require certain environmental conditions. The ideal temperature for betta fish is between 76°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C). An aquarium heater and thermometer can be used to maintain the appropriate temperature.

Select the proper tank and decorations

Betta fish require a proper tank setup in order to live healthy, happy lives. When configuring the tank, keep the following things in mind.

A minimum tank size of 5 gallons is recommended for a single betta fish so that they have enough room to swim.

To stop the betta fish from jumping out of the aquarium, cover the tank with a secure lid. Make sure the lid has ventilation or tiny holes to keep the air circulation.

To provide your Betta fish with hiding spots and a stimulating habitat, add decorations to the tank such as caves, plants, and driftwood.

Avoid sharp or rough decorations that can damage the betta fish’s delicate fins.

Adequate Filtration for Betta Fish Tanks

Filtration and aeration play an important role in maintaining water quality and protecting the health of your betta fish. However, filters are not mandatory for betta fish. Betta fish can breathe oxygen from the air.

Installing a suitable filtration system in the tank helps to maintain water quality by removing toxins and waste.

Betta fish in nature prefer to live in calm water. Use low-flow filters for betta fish. Avoid creating strong currents that can stress the fish.

To know more about Betta Fish Cares Click Here

Final Words

In conclusion, keeping a fish healthy and happy requires proper care and attention.
By understanding the physical characteristics of a healthy betta fish and being able to recognize the signs of an unhealthy fish, you can provide the best possible care for your pet.
To ensure the longevity and health of your beloved betta fish, be sure to create a suitable environment, address any health issues promptly, and practice preventative care measures.

Questions: How often should I feed my betta fish?

Ans:- Betta fish should be fed two to three small meals a day. Feed them an amount they can consume in a few minutes and remove any inedible food to maintain water quality.

Questions: What is the ideal temperature for a betta fish tank?

Ans:- Betta fish live in tropical places in the wild. So when you keep bettas in a home aquarium, they will still need the warm water habitat they are used to. The ideal temperature for betta fish is between 76°F and 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
You can use a reliable aquarium heater to maintain a consistent temperature.

Questions: How often should I clean my betta fish tank?

Ans:- Regular partial water changes, about 25% of the water, should be changed weekly. Additionally, clean tank decorations, artificial plants, and gravel as needed to maintain a clean environment.

Questions: Can betta fish jump out of the tank?

Ans:- Yes, Betta fish are known to be skilled jumpers. It is essential to have a secure lid or cover over the tank to prevent them from jumping out and injuring themselves.

Questions: How can I tell if my betta fish is stressed?

Ans:- Symptoms of stress in betta fish include lethargy, loss of appetite, dull colors, fins sticking out, excessive hiding, and aggressive behavior. Providing a comfortable and appropriate environment can help reduce stress.

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