Betta fish is twitching or swimming irregularly then this can be a symptom of an internal fish disease called Ich
Ich is a highly infectious fungal infection that attacks the fins, gill membranes and other soft tissues in your Betta fish.
Its symptoms include white patches on the body and fins, and the fish will often become stressed and depressed, and in extreme cases may even die.
If you are unfortunate enough to find your Betta fish with Ich, don’t panic – there is a treatment for Ich that can effectively cure your Betta fish.
- In fact one of the most successful treatments known for treating Ich is to use an Ich antidote (Ich-ify).
- Ich-ify is a liquid that you simply spray into the water of your tank, once it has been mixed with warm tap water.
- Ich-ify will kill all forms of Ich in the tank, preventing your Betta fish from suffering further stress and illness.
There are several other types of fish diseases that can affect your Betta fish, including bacterial and parasitic infections.
Betta Fish Twitches
But what if your fish starts to twitch or shakes? Well this is also considered as one of the symptoms of fin rot or as termed as ich, velvet or something similar to it.
Even though it is common to see a fish twitching for most of us, it is always best to know for sure if your fish is really sick or suffering from such condition.
You can try to look for other symptoms like white colored water, white or pale colored feces, mucus like discharge, scales on the body and a lot more.
Betta Fish Twitching May Be Indicated As An Ammonia Problem
If you have ever kept a Betta before you would notice that when they do not get enough food and/or water it’s obvious that there is ammonia present in the water and you may want to check the water quality yourself to see if this is indeed the case.
- What you need to do is to first identify the ammonia source and then, once you have identified it, you can conduct a water change.
- Ammonia is known to be one of the most destructive and toxic chemicals to have ever discovered in water; hence it is crucial to change the water quality immediately after you have identified the problem.
- Usually, the ammonia comes from the waste matter that the Betta eats along with his diet.
- The waste materials include small pieces of shells, insects, etc. and the Betta eats these and excretes them along with his breath through his gills.
- However, there is an upper limit to the amount of waste a Betta can consume and if he goes over this limit he will start displaying unusual behaviour such as, floating at the surface, squatting and stretching, and finally, the twitching.
The fish may also begin to produce abnormal bubbles along with white foam during respiration.
This may continue for a while until the ammonia levels come down.
Normally, for every five gallons of water there is one gallon of ammonia released thus if you observe the amount of ammonia being released by your Betta fish, then, this is considered to be normal.
If however, there are large amounts of ammonia being produced in the water, then, there are chances that something wrong is going on with the metabolism of the fish or the aquarium itself.
Chlorine Compounds in Water Causing Irritation in Betta Fish
If you have ever kept a Betta fish in your home, you would most likely be aware of the fact that these fish are prone to getting affected by various water causing irritants like ammonia and nitrite.
Although these two compounds are not harmful to the Betta fish themselves (they are harmful to the fish’s eggs and larva), their presence in the water causes a lot of discomfort for the fish once they get affected.
The best thing to do when you notice these symptoms is to remove these fish immediately from the water, which means that the Betta fish will no longer have to experience the pain caused by these chemicals.
When you decide to keep a Betta fish in your home, you have to be very careful when it comes to the type of water they are kept in.
It would be wise to get Betta fish products like Aquaverve that can help you find ways to eliminate the cause of the water causing irritation for your fish.
There are a lot of water testing kits that you can buy that are very useful in determining what the PH level of the water is.
If the level is more than 8.5, you should immediately add some of the recommended chemicals to the water so that the Betta fish can experience relief from the water causing irritation.
Once you have done this, your fish should start feeling better in no time at all.
There are many reasons why your bet may be twitching. First, he may be stressed, anxious about something. Stress can make him twitch, as well as making his gills very sensitive to the air around him, making them vibrate.
If your betta is stressed out, you may notice that his water gets really dirty, which will lead to dead skin cells and higher ammonia levels in his tank.
The higher the ammonia levels, the more stress your betta is under.
Another reason your betta might be twitching is due to a lack of oxygen in his water.
If there is no oxygen in the water, especially near the top of the water, your best could possibly suffocate due to his inability to take in the oxygen that he needs.
This is why it is important to keep the water of your betta tank as clean as possible at all times, this helps keep your betta healthy but it also keeps him from trying to escape from whatever he is doing that is causing him to panic.
If you have a glass enclosure, you should be sure that the water is constantly filtered in order to remove the ammonia that may have settled to the bottom of the tank.
Many betta owners have told me that they have noticed betta twitching while the fish was sickly.
I’ve heard this before, but I believe it still holds true even today.
While sickly bettas don’t typically twitch, they can still do so if they have the opportunity.
My betta, while sick, would occasionally twitch when he wasn’t feeling well.
I’ve gotten him used to it though, and while he always twitched during the summer months, they were much less frequent than they were at his other health levels.
Can Hypoxia Cause Your Betta Fish To Swim In An Odd Way
If you have ever witnessed a Betta fish swimming strangely in large quantities or erratic swimming patterns, then you have probably concluded that it is suffering from Hypoxia.
In the wild there are various different types of Hypoxia that can affect your fish but this is not the case in tanks.
In our examples earlier, we had two fish, one alive and the other dead. This scenario is common in non-wild fish but it can also happen with your betta.
The first step in diagnosing if your Betta fish is sick or suffering from Hypoxia is to notice changes in the behaviour of the fish.
Does he act lethargic?
Or does he suddenly swim agitatedly and circles the tank repeatedly?
Signs that your Betta fish is suffering from Hypoxia can be detected quite easily if you are observant.
For example, did you previously keep your fish in small, shallow water, perhaps 1″ deep?
If so, the sudden increase in water depth could mean that your Betta fish is sick.
Conversely, if you previously kept your fish in larger, deeper water, is this the case again? Obviously the latter is more probable and should be your next observation.
Betta Fish Twitching Spends a Lot of Time at the Water Surface
Most betta fish owners have encountered the frustrating problem of their Betta fish not wanting to eat.
If you’ve noticed your Betta fish not eating, it could be due to the Betta fish having much more developed fins than other bettas.
When feeding time comes, your fish should be eager to eat and should show signs of enthusiasm in the water.
You should also notice your Betta fish spending quite a bit of time at the surface of the tank.
This is normally when they are feeding and are not digesting their food properly.
If you have betta fish that is constantly eating the surface of the tank, it’s quite possible that they are hiding from something.
- Many fish owners suspect that the reason their Betta fish is eating so much and not showing any signs of hunger could be due to something small in the tank that is bothering the Betta fish.
- One common cause of a Betta fish acting up is tiny objects like particles of gravel or bits of coral that are caught in their fins when they move.
- If these tiny objects are not removed by gently removing them from the Betta fish then they can become lodged in the Betta fish fin and cause it to twitch or rub against the gill covers.
- Removing the objects will usually make the Betta fish calm down immediately and will stop whatever action it was doing causing it to become anxious.
- Although this can sometimes cure aggressive behavior, there is generally no permanent solution as it will usually come back later.
Betta twitching is also called fin rot and is often confused with fin rot in other types of fish, but the two are actually very different.
Betta twitching occurs when a sick Betta gets stressed and is unable to swim properly.
It can also be caused by gill disease or anemia, which will weaken the fish and cause him or her to rub their head on surfaces or other objects, which rubs the tissues and causes inflammation.
- You should look for the following symptoms when you suspect that your Betta is suffering from this condition.
- As mentioned earlier, it can be caused by a number of conditions and diseases and is not limited to just one.
- The fish may become lethargic, swim slower, produce less or no swimming activity, and rub against objects of all sorts, such as aquarium plants or other fish, instead of swimming laps.
- They may also display peculiar behavior, such as rubbing their eyes, rolling on their backs, or tail flicking.
- Treatment of Betta twitching involves removing the stress causing the fish, either from another tank of disease, or a change in diet.
- It is important to reduce the temperature of the water that your Betta is kept in, as this can cause the fish to gasp for breath and lower their metabolic rate.
- It is also important to watch for changes in color and temperament, as well as their behavior while you are keeping them.
What Are the Reasons For Betta Twitching That a Fish No Longer Control Its Nerves and Muscles?
Betta twitching is something that is caused by a problem with the nerves and body muscles of the Betta.
The body and nerves of a Betta cannot be stressed enough to ensure that they remain in working order.
The nerves and muscles of the fish must be kept as flexible as possible and not tensed up for any reason.
The reason for the Betta twitching is due to stress, that the fish is experiencing from not being able to move as freely as it would like to.
The good news is that if the twitching continues or gets worse there are certain things that you can try to help.
If your fish is exhibiting more frequent twitching then this could be a sign of a tumor or other type of growth that is placing undue stress on the Betta’s nervous system.
If the problem is due to a tumor or other growth, treatment will most likely consist of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
What is the Difference Between Betta Twitching and Stress?
When your Betta strikes, he will rub his abdomen and gills in what is called a defensive behavior.
This is a self-protective maneuver to help protect him from a perceived danger.
If you do not know your Betta is stressed, you will not know why he is rubbing his abdomen.
It is best to recognize this behavior for what it is – a stress reaction.
If you see your Betta flushing or scratching himself and making a popping sound, there is a good chance he is stressed out and needs some help to calm down.
Stress is the number one killer of many species of fish, and there are several ways to avoid stress such as exercise, feeding at a different location, and avoiding constant interaction with a pet owner.
You may find it helpful to place a drift of some kind in your Betta tank in order to create some “hideout” space.
Your Betta should also have plenty of toys to keep him occupied in order to keep him from feeling alone.
Why Is Betta Twitching So Often Because Of Environmental Issues?
Betta twitching is one of the most common and annoying symptoms of fish illness.
It is also one of the most misunderstood.
Most people are under the assumption that the twitching is due to poor health or stress of living in a small enclosed space.
While these things could play a small part, it is the overwhelming majority of factors that play the major role.
Betta fish are omnivorous fish. This means they eat both meat and plants, but they will do just as well with either.
However, they live much of their lives in water, so any poor quality water (silt and sand are the worst) or dirty tank mates could affect how the fish interacts with you.
Their main enemies are bacteria and parasitic protozoa, both of which attack the fish tissue directly.
However, these two groups of issues are usually not enough to cause the twitching alone. Bacteria can cause digestive issues, while parasites can cause skin irritations or other direct physical problems.
The best thing to do when dealing with these annoying but common fish illness is to make sure your tank has everything it needs to stay healthy.
Proper filtration and water circulation, as well as the correct Ph levels and other variables play a major role in keeping your fish healthy.
Betta Twitching Caused by Gill Flukes
Betta twitching caused by gill flukes is an uncomfortable and often frightening experience for both the Betta and his or her owner.
Symptoms of this affliction include: constant twitching, head shaking, squinting, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, coughing, and loss of movement in the fins.
The entire body will suffer from extreme stress when the Betta is afflicted with gill flukes, resulting in abnormal loss of movement and abnormal behaviors like aggression towards the owner, other Betta fish, and even other members of the tank.
When the Betta’s intestinal tract comes into contact with the parasite, it is immediately killed.
This results in abnormal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and mucus discharge.
In worst-case scenarios, it can even lead to death due to the impact on the heart and the blood circulation.
Treating Betta fish that have been infected with gill flukes is not hard, but it is a challenge.
Since the symptoms are caused by the presence of a parasitic organism, any fish suspected of having it should be quarantined until the source of the infection is identified.
Treatment involves removing the affected fish, applying oral drugs like Nolvasan, or, if it’s determined that it’s the actual parasite causing the problem, a topical treatment using a fin rot treatment.
Fin rot, which originates from ill-treatment in the aquarium, can also be administered to help speed the process along.
The best way to keep your Betta healthy is by keeping everything clean and healthy, so be sure to keep a close eye on his or her health at all times.