Betta fish are not as hardy as you may think.
They become easily stressed due to changes in the water levels, temperature, and exposure to tainted foods and new tank mates. Prevention is the absolute best way to keep a healthy betta fish. However, sometimes close attention and care is not 100% effective. At some point your betta fish will become sick or even just injured by another fish or rough ornament. When this happens you will most likely have to run to the store for some medication. Then you’ll read somewhere online that something else will aid in healing. So, you rush back to the store AGAIN. Finally what happens when you realize you were treating the wrong disease? Yep, you have to go yet again to the pet shop. How stressful!
Here is what I did, mostly because I like to be prepared.
Instead of wasting all of the time and gas money running back and forth I went to the pet store and bought everything I could possibly need in one trip. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for my fish. My oldest betta just turned 5 years old and is in peak condition. I plan to get at least five more years out of him. If you think about that and how long betta splendens can actually live you will probably use all of those products at some point. Want to prolong the life of your betta and be ready for anything? Let me help prepare you for the worst.
The BettaInfo.com First Aid Kit
Now before I get started with the list I would like you to be aware that most of my products are natural. I have always used more natural remedies in my fish keeping. It has been the most effective and long-term. If a natural remedy has not totally cured a fish, I will then try something more drastic. I have also linked many of the disease names to their pages for your benefit.
This is the main staple to having a healthy tank! Many water borne pathogens do not tolerate certain sodium levels. So when there is an infection of any sort adding aquarium salt can work wonders for killing off many strands of parasites, bacteria and fungi.
A salt bath consisting of one table spoon of salt to one gallon of water can aid in the relief of constipation. Swim bladder disorder is a disruption to the swim bladder organ, constipation can create a blockage or pressure to the organ so it is wise to help relieve your betta fish as soon as possible.
Garlic is known as a natural anti-parasitic. Soak your betta’s food in the juices prior to eating or if using jarred minced garlic you can try feeding a chunk of garlic to your betta. Regular clove of garlic can be used but will go bad if you are purchasing it for future use.
Used to relieve betta constipation. When constipation is left untreated it could build pressure on the swim bladder causing your fish to lose balance and buoyancy. Peas are high in fiber but unfortunately not totally appealing to such a carnivorous fish. Your betta will eventually agree to eat small chunks after a few tries.
West Indian Bay Tree extract used as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial treatment. It’s natural healing ability is enhanced when used in conjunction with BetaFix.
Melaleuca which is the active compound in Tea Tree Oil has been known as a natural anti-bacterial tonic. You may have seen also for sale MelaFix which is also a Melaleuca based medicine for fish. The difference is that the dosing is stronger in MelaFix making it too potent for betta fish.
Stress coat is an aloe vera based product which is great for replacing electrolytes and protecting damaged tissue from disease. It helps to heal damaged tissue and torn fins. It also removes chlorine and chloramine which means StressCoat can also be used as a water conditioner.
A Gallon Full and a Gallon Empty
I keep an unopened gallon of drinking water and an empty gallon jug handy for when medication needs to be mixed. It really simplifies dosing especially when mixing a salt bath. Also you will notice some medications come in huge tablets meant for bigger tanks. This will help you decipher how much is enough for your betta fish.
For Emergency Use Only:
When things are too far down the line and maybe natural remedies just aren’t doing the trick, you’ll want to have these two items as a just in case…
Lifeguard or Halo Treatment
This is a cure-all medication. I have used it and it works. It treats every known fish disease so when you are in doubt it is there for you. The reason why I don’t recommend you use it over the natural remedies is because you need to keep your beta’s natural immunities strong and self-sufficient. However there are times when you just need to do something to prevent the end, so here it is.
Because parasites really can suck! Literally…
Sometimes parasites are so relentless. When all else has failed this medication is strong enough to knock out any parasite you are dealing with.
Alright so there is my Betta First Aid Kit. You may choose to add what you would like or skip something if you do not trust my experience. However I can guarantee that this is the list for a successful betta lifespan. I know some of you may notice I did not list a tank heater. This is because betta fish require warm water so I would assume you already have one in your betta’s bowl/aquarium. If not, you will need to purchase one. My bettas live in water ranging between 80 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Best of luck to you all.