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How To Treat Dropsy In Betta Fish


Betta fish seem to be a popular pet these days. And while they may not require as much attention and care as some other types of pets, such as dogs or cats, it’s still essential that you know how to take care of them properly. Many issues can affect betta fish in the short and long term. One issue is dropsy, which we will talk about today.

What Is Dropsy?


Dropsy is the swelling of particular body parts, most often one or both eyes. However, it can also affect other areas, including the belly and muscles near it. This usually happens because fluid builds up in these locations due to an issue with filtration or diet.

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What Causes Dropsy?


Dropsy is usually caused by an internal bacterial or fungal infection that affects fish’s kidney and liver functions. It can also happen when there are issues with food consistency (not enough fiber) or waste products due to poor filtration in betta bowls. For example, your betta may have developed dropsy because he was stressed out for some reason (e.g., too much activity near his bowl). Some other reasons this might be happening include high nitrate levels, overcrowding, overstocking your aquarium, lack of vitamins/minerals in their diet and genetic predisposition to certain diseases like atrophying kidneys.

Symptoms Of Dropsy


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Some other symptoms that might indicate dropsy include loss of appetite (which you should be aware of if your betta doesn’t eat for a couple of days), lethargy, white spots on his fins or scales, red streaking around the stomach area, cloudy eyes instead of clear ones and bulging scales around their face (although not all fish will exhibit every symptom).

Treatment For Dropsy In Bettas And Other Fish Species


The first thing you should do is take your betta to the pet store where the shop owner will take new betta fish for sale and do a diagnosis. They will likely put him in a quarantine tank and give you medication (and possibly food) specifically designed to treat dropsy.

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If the fish is too ill, he may not make it long enough for treatment or might die during transport – which means that this step is vital if there’s any chance of saving your little guy.



As we mentioned before, however, many fish won’t show all symptoms listed above, so don’t assume that because they look like something could be wrong with them, they definitely have dropsy or need immediate care. Likewise, if it has been longer than two days since noticing his lack-lustre behavior without any other signs of illness, it’s probably not dropsy.

Can Fish Recover From Dropsy?


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Dropsy can be deadly, but there’s a chance that your betta will recover if you treat him properly. However, this should only be done under the supervision of a professional because it is quite dangerous for them to live in bowls or small tanks without proper care and medication administered by someone who knows what they’re doing.


If you suspect dropsy, take your fish to a store as soon as possible, so he doesn’t die on his own before you get help from an expert. However, don’t wait too long – remember that most symptoms won’t show up until after the damage has been done already. Also, make sure to follow all directions carefully when medicating (and feeding) your little guy.

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