Although tangs and other surgeonfishes are the most frequent hosts for the parasite that causes black spot disease, it may affect any fish or mollusc. In addition to its more common names, black spot illness is also referred to as tang disease or black ich. Tiny, raised black dots are the most obvious sign of an infestation on a fish, as suggested by the name.

Tiny flatworms of the genus Turbellaria cause black marks on fish. As opposed to protozoan parasites like Oodinium, Cryptocaryon, and Brooklynella, they are thankfully considerably less lethal and simpler to cure. However, it’s important to cure fish infected with Turbellaria since the parasite is detrimental to the fish’s health and may be rather ugly.

Black spot, sometimes known as tang illness, is a parasitic infection caused by a member of the genus Turbellaria, most often Paravortex. In order to complete their life cycle, these worms need a host organism, much like any other parasite. The worm’s reproductive cyst (egg-like structure) eventually becomes embedded in the aquarium’s bottom. Juvenile Paravortex worms (200 m in length and 50 m in width) leave the substrate and swim off in search of a host fish shortly after hatching. Juvenile Paravortex, after they locate a host fish, burrow into the epithelium of the fish’s skin or gills and begin feeding on the cell fluids of the fish.

The adult worm, now 2500 m in length and 750 m in width after eating on a host fish for approximately six days, drops off the fish and sinks into the bottom, where it develops a cyst. After around five days, the encysted worm ruptures, releasing a new generation of worms that are able to quickly find a new host and begin feeding on its blood. Once again, the cycle is repeated, but this time with more participants.

Do bettas get darker as they age?

Why Black Spots on Betta Fish Body: Guide to Do with Tips

Changing to a darker hue is a natural part of a betta fish’s maturation process. Sometimes a betta’s normally vibrant hues can turn almost black for no apparent reason. This is a normal part of the aging process for fish and should not be a reason for alarm.

For example, if you have a marbled betta, don’t be alarmed if its coloration fades and eventually becomes black. Goldfish, like other fish species, may undergo a dramatic color shift as they age, going from orange to white to black and bronze.

If you own a betta fish, you should monitor the water quality and temperature in its tank and keep an eye out for any additional symptoms of illness or stress.

What are common betta fish diseases?

In addition to being a producer of pet food and care items, Fredrick is also a devoted animal advocate. Dogs, betta fish, bees, and pigeons are his favorite subjects for writing. While there are a variety of health issues that affect Betta fish, the good news is that these issues may be avoided and addressed by attentive fish caretakers. It is possible to quickly diagnose and efficiently treat illnesses that arise in an aquarium setting.

All the common betta fish diseases and illnesses, along with their causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments, are discussed on this page. This article will teach you how to maintain a healthy environment for your Siamese fighting fish at home.

Betta fish illnesses and diseases fall under the categories of fungus, parasites, and bacterium. Generally speaking, preexisting problems are the root cause of fungal infections. Diseases caused by parasites are the most infectious and may spread quickly across an aquarium. Low water quality and improper fish storage and transport are major contributors to bacterial illnesses.

1. Fin and Tail Rot

The name of this condition accurately describes its effect on betta fish fins and tails. Bacteria and fungi are also potential culprits. The fins and the tail disintegrate or change color as though decaying. Cleaning the fish’s tank or other living space regularly can help avoid this disease.

Drugs like trimethoprim, erythromycin, and sulfadimidine, which include antibiotics, are effective against fin and tail rot. When properly managed, the mortality rate is around 50%. You may have tried treating your fish with Tetracycline, Jungle Fungus Eliminator (JFE), Maracyn, or Melafix if you’ve seen fin and tail rot.

However, the fact is that these drugs aren’t great at curing this sickness, and some of them can actually kill your fish. Unfortunately, I have had little success with JFE, and the other meds have done nothing except make things worse. My own experience has taught me that Hikari Revive, made by a reliable business, is the most effective prescription for fin and tail rot.

The prescription is designed to be taken over the course of five days, and the directions for doing so are laid out in detail. What’s really remarkable about this therapy is how quickly it begins to bear fruit. The company claims that it may treat a wide variety of medical issues, including “pop eye,” “hemorrhagic septicemia,” “dropsy,” “open red sores,” “body slime,” “mouth fungus,” “cloudy eyes,” and “open sores.”

I highly recommend this treatment for any aquariums that have been affected by fin and tail rot or other diseases associated with it. Since learning about it in 2010, I’ve used it regularly without any complaints.

2. Columnar 

Fins become ragged and frayed due to a bacterial disease. It may also lead to the coloring of the skin, scales, fins, and gills, as well as ulcers or sores on the surface of the body. Because of the illness and damage to the gills, the fish may have trouble breathing. In order to avoid contracting the disease, any cuts or sores should be bandaged, and any fungal infections should be eradicated. Avoiding conditions like low oxygen levels, high water hardness, and overpopulation in the aquarium may also help.

Oxytetracycline and medications comprising Sulfa 4 TMP, TMP Sulfa, and triple sulfa are effective against columnaris. Fish afflicted with a disease that is not treated within 72 hours are likely to perish.

3. Bleed out

Hemorrhagic, often known as redmouth, is a deadly disease that affects the eyes and mouth of fish. The disease-causing bacterium, Yersinia ruckeri may be eliminated from the aquarium by disinfection. It is possible to treat hemorrhage using antibiotics like ampicillin. Because antimicrobial therapy exists, the likelihood of death due to this illness is minimal.

4. Dropsy 

This disease may be fatal since it attacks the kidneys. Swelling of the belly or abdomen may be a symptom of infection in fish. White scales that protrude externally and sunken eyes are two other indications. Keeping the aquarium clean is the best defense against bacterial infestation. The disease may be avoided if fish are fed vitamin-rich diets.

Dropsy is an illness that currently has no known cure. However, treatment with drugs like Betta Revive may help alleviate symptoms. Dropsy is fatal to fish. Therefore most affected fish die.

5. Pop Eye

Due to this condition, one or both eyes may enlarge. It’s possible that the swelling is the result of a viral infection or a tumor. Pop eye is a sign of illness, so keeping your aquarium clean and free of pests will help keep your fish healthy. Tetracycline and other antibiotics are effective treatments for the condition. Even while pop eye might be painful, most fish that experience it will make it.

6. Eyecloud

This condition, also known as the clouded cornea, manifests as a white coating across the cornea. If water quality is increased, this problem may be avoided. In order to make the water more suitable for the aquatic creature, a water conditioner is required. Antibiotics like Meta fix and Fungus Clear are effective treatments for eye clouds. This bacterial illness is not lethal, although it may cause eyesight loss.

7. Oral Thrush

White lines or clusters appear around the mouth and lips of infected fish due to a bacterial illness. Keep the water clean by routinely changing and conditioning it, and this problem will go away.

The antifungal medication amoxicillin is effective against candida oral. In addition to the drugs specifically designed to treat fish fungus (detailed below), you may also find success with those that treat general fish fungus. If the sick fish aren’t treated quickly enough, they won’t make it.

Why is my betta fish turning black? 

Why Black Spots on Betta Fish Body: Guide to Do with Tips

Your Betta may be losing its pigmentation for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is helpful to be aware of the many factors that might affect color change so that the right solution can be implemented. So, let’s look at some of the more compelling ones.

1. Stress

Your Betta’s loss of pigmentation might be a symptom of stress, one of the most prevalent causes of this condition. It’s a common misconception that bettas can survive in any environment. If you want them to be happy and healthy, you’ll need to provide them with a 5-gallon tank that’s heated and has a filter (Find out the best 5-gallon tanks for bettas). Furthermore, they need carnivorous food, clean water on a regular basis, and consistent feeding schedules. (Take a look at the top betta fish foods and live foods!)

It’s important to do this because if you don’t, your Betta’s body will grow agitated, and its color will fade.

2. Their age is clearly showing

The likelihood of your Betta’s color fading as he ages is increased when he is in his later years. As your Betta nears the end of his expected lifespan of 5 years, you may notice he is losing some of his vibrant colorations. And they don’t even have to be exactly 5, just near enough. In as little as two years, a betta’s color might start to fade. Thus, if you’re certain that it’s not stress, it may just be an age-related change.

3. Illness

Age, stress, and illness are all potential causes of discoloration. Depending on the ailment, the affected area may become a shade of white. However, this is not always the case. If your betta contracts velvet, for instance, it may take on a golden hue. They will have white patches on them if they have ich.

4. Sadly, they suffered some kind of injury

After being hurt, your Betta may go through a period of time when they seem to be a different color. If a fish has fin rot, for instance, the new fins that come in might be a brighter or darker shade than the original.

5. Ich

White patches on your Betta’s body are a telltale sign that it has ich. Infection with the parasite Ichthyopthirius multifiliis results in the development of these white patches on your Betta’s skin. In addition to the appearance of white spots, your Betta may also show signs of loss of appetite, lethargy, and destructive tank behavior (in an attempt to remove the parasite).

What to do if my Betta is turning black?

The phenomena of color-changing betta fish are well-documented. However, bettas that suddenly turn black may cause some concern among fish keepers. Something similar occurred in my tank. Thankfully, I’ve matured enough to understand why they become black and how to deal with the problem.

As they become older, betta fish usually take on a dark black color. The primary indicator of this is the gradual darkening of their fins as they mature. However, environmental variables may make bettas black as well. Inadequate water quality, stress, and diseases like black spot disease are also contributors.

In this essay, I will examine the factors that could have turned your betta fish black. Then, I will provide a few easy remedies to reverse the situation (if environmental variables are involved) (if environmental factors are involved). If your Betta is going black, you should rule out potential environmental causes. Then, if all other factors are stable, you’re down to your genes and organic development.

1. Adjusting the water for bettas

To alter the water for bettas, you need to consider pH and temperature. As was previously stated, a pH of 6.8 to 7.5 is considered optimal. The API Aquarium Test Kit (Amazon link) is a fast and easy way to check for ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites in aquarium water. This kit has everything you need and more, and it’s really simple to use. The water quality may be quickly and easily assessed with the use of the test strips. In only five minutes, you’ll have a clear picture of what’s going on in your tank.

2. Remedying age-related macular degeneration

The best course of action if you fear your Betta has black spot illness is to get him examined by a qualified fish veterinarian to rule out any other possible diseases. The good news is that medicine for curing black spots is usually effective.

I think putting the fish in a quarantine tank would be a good idea as well. That way, you know it won’t spread to the rest of them. Use Seachem ParaGuard Parasite Control if you’d rather handle the situation on your own (link to Amazon). Increasing the temperature by two or three degrees Fahrenheit is another option. The API Aquarium Salt is another option (link to Amazon). One tablespoon per five gallons of water in the quarantine tank is all that is required. You may use it till you can go to a vet.

3. Reducing tension

The first step is to choose compatible betta fish tankmates. Kuhli loaches, ember tetras, harlequin rasboras, and cory catfish are just a few of the species that fall under this category. [7] It’s recommended you stay away from Angelfish, Oscars, Parrotfish, and male betta fish.

If your Betta lives in a community tank, plant life may help reduce stress on everyone. Amazon Swords, Dwarf Sagittaria, Pygmy Chain Swords, and Anubias are all good examples. This will allow the fish to avoid confrontations and provide them with a place to hide. I would also recommend spreading out the tank inhabitants or upgrading to a larger aquarium. Finally, think about putting in a foam separator. In this manner, the fish in the tank will have a quiet place to swim and reproduce without having to worry about being bothered by other fish.

4. Tank cycling: the proper way to maintain your water supply

Ensure the aquarium has been properly cycled before introducing fish. This step is essential for the colonization of good bacteria. They contribute to a gradual normalization of nitrogen levels in the water.

What this implies is that concentrations of ammonia and nitrite will be under safe limits. Keep the filter’s media in place when you clean the tank. These are the good microorganisms that keep your aquarium running smoothly. However, any accumulation of organic material must be removed. Six to eight weeks of cycling is a suitable duration, as was discussed previously. However, commercial solutions like the API Quick Start Nitrifying Bacteria may speed up the process (link to Amazon). Simply adding a few drops of this to your tank will do the trick.

5. Allowing sufficient oxygen flow

At the end of the day, bettas need to have enough oxygen. They are quite susceptible to hypoxia. Therefore it’s important to make sure your fish are kept in a healthy habitat. Using a water pump to create a continuous water circulation system is the simplest method for doing this. An airstone is a useful alternative method. For my aquarium, I recommend the Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit (link to Amazon). This one is excellent in every way; it is silent, dependable, and simple to use. Place it in the tank’s center, and it will perform the rest of the work for you.

How to prevent black spots on betta fish? 

Why Black Spots on Betta Fish Body: Guide to Do with Tips

There is a wide range of betta fish colors available, and certain betta fish species are known to undergo color changes as they age. While not at all unusual, betta fish sometimes show up with black spots. If you see black spots appearing on your betta fish, it’s best not to ignore them.

There are a variety of possible explanations for why betta fish get black patches. The black spot illness and velvet are among the most prevalent. If one of these conditions is diagnosed quickly enough, treatment is feasible. The signs of these illnesses are easy to recognize. Several black dots will appear on your Betta’s body as a result.

As was previously said, there are a variety of potential causes for black spots on betta fish. As betta fish mature, this might be a normal occurrence. On the other side, your betta fish might be developing the spot because of a disease. The velvet parasite and black spot disease, often known as tang disease, are the two most prevalent reasons for black spots on a betta fish. When caught early, both of these illnesses have excellent prognoses.

Although tangs and other surgeonfishes are the most common hosts for the parasite that causes black spot disease, the infection has been documented in other fish species and mollusks like mussels. Black spot illness is often known as the tang disease or black ich, despite the fact that a separate parasite causes ich.

The black spot illness is caused by tiny flatworms called paracortex Turbellaria that get embedded in the skin of infected fish. This is the root of the problem that results in black spots on betta fish. Comparatively speaking, black spot parasites aren’t nearly as dangerous or lethal as other types of parasites. Therefore, early detection is crucial since it makes treatment much simpler.

Black spots, about the size of a grain of salt, occur on the body and fin membranes of the betta fish when these worms (paracortex turbellaria) feed on a host fish. Since the spots don’t always stay there, the worms are free to roam the fish’s body as they like.

They stand up clearly on transparent fish but may be difficult to see on darker species. Fish with parasites will try to remove them by scraping against hard surfaces.

Allowing the illness to progress will cause the betta fish to become listless, lose its appetite and its color, and maybe develop respiratory distress due to gill damage. Such worm-caused open sores are vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections.

All affected fish should be washed in freshwater, given a formalin bath, and then isolated in a quarantine tank for the duration of treatment. Placing contaminated fish in quarantine tanks and administering praziquantel is a viable option for treating the disease.

It doesn’t matter how effectively you cure fish, and if the parasitic turbellarian worms aren’t removed from the main tank, they’ll infect the fish again. Since they can live without a host for a while (perhaps months), this isn’t always easy to do.

Until they are mature enough to locate a fish host, young worms live on the substrate, where they feed on decomposing organic matter. Sucking up the organic waste that settles at the bottom of the tank may be an easy way to reduce their population.

See a vet immediately if you think your betta fish is sick. Since they have examined your fish and know its medical history, veterinarians are your greatest resource for any health concerns. A parasite called velvet causes betta fish to become a rusty hue all over their bodies, gills, and fins. If your betta fish has velvet, you may be able to see it by shining a bright light, such as a flashlight, on it.

Bettas infected with velvet lose their vibrant colors and have a rusty skin tone and a scaly head, gills, and belly. Betta fish may have marbling or another unique coloring that has to be ruled out first. Even betta fish are known to undergo color shifts over time. Bettas with velvet will frantically look for surfaces to rub against in an effort to rid themselves of the parasites, which are similar to ich. If untreated, velvet may be lethal.

Better water quality and a low-stress environment in the tank may help prevent this parasite disease. To improve the quality of life, water conditioners are among the most useful substances. Though velvet is very contagious, it may be treated with the API Bettafix. Sodium chloride, copper sulfate, acriflavine, formaldehyde, sulfa 4 TMP, methylene blue, and malachite green are among the curative chemicals in this medication developed by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. It’s also easily accessible on the website

What are the signs that your betta fish is dying?

Most betta fish will drop to the bottom of the tank when they die, so if you find yours there, it might be a sign of trouble. Unusually buoyant Bettas may not be dead but rather experiencing swim bladder dysfunction. Do not lose hope if your betta fish becomes unwell or injured; most conditions are treatable.

For instance, if a fish has a swim bladder problem, removing its food source for two or three days and then reintroducing it to the tank with frozen pea pieces may help it recover. Medication is typically effective against infections and other disorders that affect scales and fins.

Having a pet die on you, especially one as long-lived as a betta fish (which may be many years), can be a devastating experience. Careful feeding, particularly when away, and keeping the water clean while yet retaining a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria in the tank will extend the life of your betta fish.

If anything goes wrong with your Betta, you’ll be able to make him or her more comfortable if you know the indications of disease or stress. Do you want to know how bettas live and what kills them? What do you think?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Stress, injury, overfeeding, and water quality problems are the leading causes of mortality in bettas. Keep an eye on your Betta for any symptoms of discomfort, such as a change in behavior, a loss of food, or discolored fins or scales.

The aquarium’s water and bottom, and sides should be kept spotless at all times.

Keep water changes to no more than a quarter of the aquarium’s total volume. Do not provide large servings of food. The aquarium should not have any pointy things in it. Betta fish do best when kept alone or with other mellow fish.

The ideal water temperature is between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep it at that. When people become sick, they need rapid care.

Watch 7 common betta diseases for betta lovers | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to black spots on betta fish

I don’t know what’s causing the black blotches on my Betta?

Betta fish infected with velvet can lose their normal coloration, appearing rusty with scaly areas on the head, gills, and belly. Increasing the purity of the water supply and eliminating sources of stress in the home are both effective measures for reducing the prevalence of parasite illness.

Why does my fish have black spots?

The disease is caused by dark spots on the skin. Small black patches may be seen on the skin, fins, and meat of infected fish caused by these parasitic flatworms.
There is currently no known means of management that might successfully eliminate this issue. There is scant evidence that this creature causes damage to fish. Black spot’s most obvious drawback is the potential for a less-than-desirable visual effect.

To what extent can velvet affect betta fish health?

To control Piscinoodinium development in freshwater velvet, raise water temperature and switch off lights. A salt-immersion therapy is the most secure and productive option (salt water dip). In addition, over-the-counter drugs containing copper should be taken with caution due to their potential to alter alkalinity and pH levels.

Explain what black spot fungus is?

The most devastating fungal disease affecting roses is called black spot. The first signs appear as tiny black dots with feathery margins on the lower leaves. The leaves become yellow and fall off as the spots get larger. This defoliation occurs all the way up the plant’s stems.

How does velvet sickness manifest itself?

The most obvious sign is the development of a velvety coating on the skin that looks like dust with shades of gold or rust. Although the film may be difficult to notice, it may be located by shining a bright light on the fish in a dim environment. Fins and gills are common locations for the parasite to cause problems.


There are a number of reasons why betta fish change color. However, stress is a leading cause of bettas losing their color and vitality. Check the tank’s temperature, water parameters, and water quality first since these are often the root causes of betta stress.

Bettas, like much other fish, alter their hue as they become older or when they’re sick. And if you’re the lucky owner of a marble betta, you may look forward to several different hues throughout the course of its life.

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