What is Betta Tuberculosis?
To many it can come as a surprise to hear tuberculosis come up in the world of betta fish. When you take a look at their anatomy, however, it starts to make sense. Tuberculosis is primarily an infection of the lungs. Since betta fish have the labyrinth organ, which acts as a lung, they are vulnerable to this disease just like humans are. In fact, if you’re betta or other fish are diagnosed with tuberculosis you must take precautions while treating your tank.
Betta tuberculosis can be transferred to humans.
To start with diagnosing you should make a list of all symptoms your fish are experiencing. Now try to rule out all other diseases. The following are symptoms of betta Tuberculosis. Notice a lot of the following can be symptoms common to other diseases as well. That is why unless you see many of them in combination you may not be dealing with tuberculosis.
Note: It would be in your best interest to bring your betta to a vet to be tested when tuberculosis is suspected.
lesions(grey or dull)
red patches in belly(blood spots)
loss of scales
loss of color
frayed or deteriorating fins
Treating Betta Tuberculosis is tough so what are your options?
Tuberculosis is a very hard disease to treat. There are not a lot of options for treatment and in most cases the disease is far too advanced to be stopped. This is because it is a more difficult disease to pin point and is often mistaken for other illnesses.
To medicate you must use Kanamycin Sulfate Powder. This powder is used to treat gram-negative bacteria as well as strains of Tuberculosis. It can be found at most local pet shops. This product will need to be used for 30 days with daily 25% water changes.
If your infected fish are too far along and you choose not to treat your tank, be sure to not add new fish in with any survivors because they are most-likely to be carriers.
If choosing to leave your tank untreated or it seems as though any treatments used are not improving anything, you should euthanize your fish. It may sound inhumane but trust me it isn’t. Your fish is going through a lot of pain and cannot be cured so it would be better to end it quickly and painlessly.
Betta Tuberculosis is a very hard disease to treat, be sure to always monitor your betta’s health to prevent death from advanced illnesses.