Velvet is also known as coral fish disease, rust, or gold and is very common in beta fish. Velvet is caused by a parasite Oodinium, which is a member of organisms known as the dinoflagellates.
Often symptoms appear slowly and fish can become sick or even die before you have any idea something may be wrong.
In beta fish the gills are usually the first to be infected. You may notice your beta fish becoming lethargic or rubbing against hard objects in the tank in an effort to try to dislodge the parasites.
After a few days of infection you may notice velvety looking patches on the beta fish's body or fins.
If untreated these velvet patches will spread to cover the entire beta fish. When the velvet is in an advances stage it may look as if the beta fish is covered in small white spots resembling sugar or salt.
Velvet is a deadly disease. It can wipe out your entire aquarium in a matter of a few days if left untreated.
Some of the more common symptoms to watch for are: Your fish rubbing against objects in the tank. Your beta fish may become lethargic and loose their appetite as well as weight. You may also notice rapid breathing or gill movement and a velvet coating appearing white, gold or rust colored will appear.
It is extremely important to get treatment for Velvet as quickly as possible.
You should increase the temperature in the beta fish tank a few degrees and ensure the tank is not in direct sunlight.
Medication such as Methylene Blue or Jungle's " velvet guard" should help treat this parasite. Bowls or tanks should be drained and cleaned. Dyes should not be used since they contain mercury.
See our selection of Antiparasitics .