Here is how I have treated the betta illness I have encountered. These are all natural treatment methods advised by OldFishLady.
Keep the water temperature around 77 degrees F (bacteria thrive in warmer water, so keeping it on the cool end of the betta temperature scale will help keep the bacteria from multiplying. Add 1 tsp per gallon aquarium salt, doing daily 100% water changes. Do this salt treatment for 7-10 days, but do not exceed ten days.
Ich is a parasite that cannot survive salt, so quarantine the fish and do a ten day aquarium salt treatment: 1 tsp aq salt per gallon, with 100% daily water changes for ten days. Ich cannot be killed while on the fish, so keep the temperature at 82-84 degrees F. Higher temps will help accelerate the parasite's life cycle so it will fall off and be killed by the salt more quickly.
Swim Bladder Disorder
Fast the fish for three days as you begin an epsom salt treatment. For the first two days, add 1 tsp per gallon of epsom salt. Then, for eight days, add 2 tsp per gallon epsom salt. Do daily 100% water changes. EDIT: forgot to add: if the fish is having problems surfacing, lower the water level so it can surface and breathe more easily.
For all of these diseases, if you have access to India almond leaf or fallen oak leaves (only use if you know there are no pesticides used in the area), it's a good idea to use them. These release tannins that will help to destress the fish and accelerate healing. If you don't have access to IAL or pesticide-free oak leaves, you can try decaffinated green tea. It will darken the water to help reduce stress, but the high heat used to process the tea leaves may or may not inhibit the effects of the tannins. So it will do in a pinch, but your best tannin sources are IAL and oak leaves.
I think this article is a fantastic idea; I was hoping someone would create a sticky about common betta diseases and treatment methods. It will be so nice to have one resource where we can look up different treatment options for various diseases. When I have a sick fish I hate having to search through a bunch of threads, or bother everyone by creating yet another thread about a common illness. This will be a great resource. I know nothing about fungus, bacterial infections/columnaris, and parasites other than ich, so I hope people can continue chiming in with advice, and I look forward to reading the article once it is put together,
Last edited by LolaQuigs; 03-28-2011 at 12:30 PM.