ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dealing with Dropsy in Betta Fish (Treatment Options)

Updated on June 24, 2012

What is Drospy and How Can I Identify It?

Dropsy is not a disease that is confined to Bettas. It’s not even confined to fish. In humans it is generally referred to as Edema. In fish, dropsy is the swelling up of the body due to retention of excess fluids. There are several reasons for this with the most common, and only treatable, being a bacterial infection. Other known causes are liver or kidney failure.

Dropsy in Bettas can be identified by the rounding of the abdomen and other areas of the fish. The scales will begin to stick out and look like a pine cone. The fish will become lethargic, refuse to eat and may lose some of its color. Fish with dropsy often have signs of other diseases as well because of the immune system’s inability to combat the bacterial infection that is present.

Why Did My Fish Get Drospy?

There are two major causes of dropsy. One is poor water quality and the other is introduction from an outside source. If you have recently added plants, fish or new decorations to your tank the dropsy causing bacteria may have hitched a ride in on one of them. If this is the case, there was really little that could be done about that. If, however, you have poor water quality, then the bacteria that was already present in the tank has been able to overcome the fish’s defenses because it has been fighting off other water-related problems. Check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels as well as the pH of your tank. If any of these are out of whack, then they need to be fixed as soon as possible.

How Do I Treat Dropsy?

Immediate treatment is required for fish with dropsy. The best treatment for Betta fish is to move them to a quarantine tank (unless they are already living alone) and treat them with Chloromycetin or tetracycline. These antibiotics have been proven effective against the particular bacteria that attack the fish’s kidneys. The treatment is best administered by adding 25g per fish to each feeding. Other treatments include using methyl blue and Epsom salt baths. The methyl blue and salt mixture should be added at 1/8 of a teaspoon per five gallons of water while also raising the temperature of the water to around 86 degrees.

Is Dropsy Contagious?

Although there is a chance that dropsy in betta fish can be contagious, it is more a disease related to tank conditions than the individual strain of bacteria. Still it is important to quarantine the fish immediately and begin treatment because the original tank is part of the cause of the disease. The original tank should also undergo cursory treatment so that the fish housed there are protected from the dropsy bacteria. Dropsy in Betta fish has a high fatality rate because once the symptoms are recognized there may have already been significant internal damage. To avoid this, it is important to check your fish everyday and be especially careful to notice any changes in behavior that may indicate that something is wrong.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)