Ichthyophthirius multifilius (Ich)
Ich is a protozoan parasite found on most freshwater fish. It appears as small white dots or spots on the beta fishes fins and body, which may look like white grains of sugar.
Outbreaks most often occur when the water temperature drops below 80 degrees F.
When your Beta Fish has Ich it look as if someone has sprinkled them with salt. These speckles show up on the fins and tails of the Beta Fish. If you look at them closely you will notice they look flat against the fish. If the Ich on your Beta Fish start to raise then the Ich is in the advanced stages.
The main cause of Ich is stress is. Beta Fish can get stressed as a result of many things. Ich seems to show up most often when a new fish is added to the tank.
Fish purchased at pet stores have had a large amount of stress. They have left their happy home, been transported to a new environment, then you buy them, transport them again and put them in another new environment, all within usually a matter of a few days.
Is is usually rcommended taht you watch your new fish very carefully for the first few days.
Another reason for Ich could be be dirty water. When the water gets cloudy or contains too much ammonia or nitrates this will stress the fish out a lot thus causing Ich.
Beta Fish Care and Treatment:
Elevate the water temperature to the mid to upper eighties F. Salt baths are effective against Ich.
Adding common table salt (sodium chloride) to the water can help reduce infection. Add one teaspoon per gallon as a preventative measure.
Medications containing Malachite green or Methylene blue, repeated at intervals of 2 days are also effective. See our Ich treatments.