It does not really matter if you have the most expensive 75 gallon aquarium or a simple 29 gallon aquarium with betta fish in each aquarium. The size of the aquarium simply doesn’t matter. It all boils down to two things – following the right tank set up procedures and how you take care of your betta fish.
Tank Set Up Basics
Focus on the size of the tank. It is the most important factor mainly because bettas love space. A large aquarium would be ideal if you have the space for it. Then as much as possible, be keen on the filter you choose for your betta fish aquarium.
Bettas cannot survive for long where there is a strong water flow. Their long fins are simply not strong. So choose a gentle filter, specifically designed for betta fish aquariums.
Be sure to also invest in a good water heater for purposes of regulating temperatures in the aquarium.
As you will later find out, bettas are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
Fish Care Tips
Your bettas should feel comfortable. They must feel as though they are in their natural habitat. To achieve that, invest in a few live under water plants.
If possible, ignore artificial plants completely. Live or rather real underwater plants will provide food and a comfortable environment for your better.
Be sure to invest in neutralizers. They are simply dechlorinators that get rid of chlorine from the water. You will need a good supply of neutralizers mainly because you have to change the tank water from time to time. With each change, you will have to use the neutralizer. Then always clean the tank after every water change process.
Dropsy: Betta’s Greatest Enemy
Dropsy in bettas is an indication of severe bacterial infection that causes fluid and water retention in the body of the fish. Unless the condition is treated, it can spread to the other fish in the aquarium, putting your entire fish population at risk.
The symptom shows up in the form of swellings on the fish which make the scales protrude much like the surface of a pine cone.
If untreated, the fish is likely to infect other species in the tank and is certain to ultimately die.
How to Deal with Dropsy
As with many other infections, the disease that causes dropsy in your bettas is harmful – not only to them but to all the other fish. This is why early diagnosis and treatment are the best ways to ensure the health of your aquarium fish.
Although the actual treatment must be done by a person experienced with fish diseases, there are several steps you can initially take to reduce the impact of the diseases in your bettas. They can also be used as preventive care if done on a regular basis.
Step 1: Change a portion of the water in the tank as a first measure. The new water must be treated as in step 3, and cannot be reused for any purpose whatsoever. Changing the water in this way introduces agents that can effectively fight the infection and preserve the health of your fish while you administer the treatment.
Step 2: The affected bettas should be put into a quarantine tank with fresh, treated water as described in step 1; the step also ensures that your other fish aren’t affected the same way.
Step 3: Treat the water with antibiotics and anti-fungal agents as a first step. Medicines that are effective are Tetracyclines, Neomycin, Kanacyn and Maracyn; there are also other anti-fungal agents that can be used periodically, and you will be able to get these through your fish dealer.
Step 4: Your affected bettas will need to be given medicated baths using prescribed combinations such as methylene blue with Epsom salts and electrolyte salts. The labels on the medication should tell you how much to use to get the right mix of ingredients. The “bath” needs to be given at least twice a day to begin with, and then taper off until the infection is completely gone. You can periodically give all your fish this type of treatment as a preventive measure.
These four steps should ideally deal with the problem of dropsy symptoms, but be sure that you also consult with your pet dealer or fish disease expert to make sure that the remedy is really working.
The Importance of Immediate Treatment
Proper care of your bettas will ensure that they live out their life span in good health. Precautions are best applied before any of these situations crop up; in the case of the infection that causes dropsy, this is of critical importance because of the transmittable nature of the condition.
If you’re unsure of any of the tips above, feel free to contact your pet shop to validate the information, but the important thing is to begin treating the condition at the earliest opportunity.