Can You Revive A Betta Fish? (And Other FAQ’s)

Betta Fish are beautiful, elegant fish, but despite their beauty, they are often susceptible to many illnesses and conditions, such as fin rot, constipation, swim bladder disease, and ich, unfortunately leading many of the blue beauties to have short-lived lives.

However, if cared for properly, your Betta Fish can live for up to six, happy years. If you think your Betta Fish is dying, there are many ways to treat its condition and revive it. While most conditions are curable, a few may be fatal.

In fact, Betta Fish are also known as Siamese fighting fish. Honor their name by fighting to keep them alive, rather than giving up!

What Are The Signs Your Betta Is Dying?

Like all living creatures, Bettas are susceptible to illnesses and diseases. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, they may become sick or die. Knowing when your betta is dying can be difficult, but there are some signs to look out for. Let’s go over some of them.

1. Loss of Appetite

If your betta is not eating or showing any interest in food, it could be a sign that they are dying. Bettas are known for their voracious appetites, so if they are not eating, it could indicate that they are not feeling well.

2. Lethargy

One of the most common signs of a dying betta fish is lethargy. If you notice that your betta is resting at the bottom of the tank more often and is less active than usual, this could indicate a serious problem. They may also show little to no interest in their surroundings or other fish.

3. Difficulty Swimming

Bettas that are close to death may struggle to swim properly. They may swim erratically, tilt to one side, or have difficulty staying afloat.

4. Changes in Appearance

A dying betta fish may exhibit changes in its appearance. If you notice that your betta’s color has faded or its fins are clamped or torn, this could be a sign of poor health. Additionally, if you notice any growths or unusual spots on your fish’s body, it may be a sign of an infection or disease.

5. Gasping for Air

Betta fish breathe through their gills, and if they start gasping for air at the water’s surface, it could indicate a problem with their respiratory system. This is often a sign of a serious health problem.

6. Erratic swimming

When a betta fish is dying, it may exhibit erratic swimming behavior as one of its symptoms. This erratic swimming can be due to several reasons, such as a swim bladder disorder, poor water quality, or a lack of oxygen. In some cases, it may also be a sign of paralysis or organ failure.

(Find out all the signs of your betta fish dying.)

Is My Betta Dead Or In Shock?

While you may think your Betta fish is dead, it could also be in shock.

For instance, if the temperature of your tank is too cold, it may become very slow and lethargic, and eventually be too lethargic to move altogether. It may even sink to the bottom of the tank if it gets cold enough, where more warm water may be.

If you see your Betta fish slip to the bottom of the tank, act fast to warm up your tank before it enters a coma, a state of shock.

Alternatively, your Betta Fish could also suffer from excessive heat. In response, they may start to breathe rapidly at the top of your tank, near the surface (this can also be cause by ammonia poisoning as well).

Another sign of too high temperatures is excessive energy, which could be signalled by your Betta swimming around the tank rapidly. While it may seem like a cute trick to you or your kids, it is really a call for help!

Ultimately, if you think your Betta Fish is in shock, work quickly to clean and regulate the temperature of your tank, as these are the most important aspects of Betta’s health.

Betta Fish

How Do You Revive A Dying Betta Fish?

Now you know some of the signs to look for, all hope is not lost. If you act quickly, there are still so many ways you can save your betta fish! So make sure you try the following.

Understand and Recognize Signs of Illness

If your betta isn’t eating, isn’t excited to see, or appears pale or less vibrant in color, it may be sick. Alternatively, it may have protruding eyes, its fins may seem clamped together, and it may rub against things in the tank- in an attempt to scratch itself.

Improve Living Conditions and Prevent Illness 

You can try to prevent an illness by regularly cleaning your Betta’s tank. In addition, you should feed them a balanced diet, purchase a large enough tank, and ensure your tank has a filter and heater. And of course, if you ever suspect something is wrong with the tank or your betta, move them over to a quarantine tank as soon as possible.

Check Your Water Parameters

For a safe environment for Betta fish, your water temperature should be between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25.5 and 26.5 degrees Celsius. 

You should also purchase a water test kit to determine the water’s ammonia and nitrate levels. Your water is safe for your Betta if it is at 0 ppm ammonia and below 30 ppm nitrate. If not, immediately remove your Betta from the tank, and change fifty percent of your tank water to prevent further nitrate poisoning.

Purchase Fungus Eliminator

If your Betta has fins that appear clamped together or has white or yellow patches on its fins or scales, it may have a fungal infection. If you have other fish, immediately quarantine the infected fish, and clean the tank. Purchase a fungus eliminator specifically for Betta fish at your local pet store or online to treat the infection itself.

Treat Fin or Tail Rot

Unfortunately, your Betta Fish’s fin or tail can begin to rot, due to poor water quality or cold temperatures. If this is happening to your beloved pet, their fin may appear to be dissolving or turning red or black. You may also notice holes.

When dealing with fin rot, you must act quickly. In extreme cases, the fins can rot away completely and your betta will end up dealing with body rot, which is usually fatal.

Fortunately, in mild cases, fin rot can often be treated by improving the water quality and adding some API Stress Coat or aquarium salt into the tank.

Can You Revive A Betta Fish_ (And Other FAQ’s)


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about reviving their betta fish¬

Can Betta Fish Freeze And Come Back To Life?

Betta fish cannot freeze and come back to life. Betta fish are tropical fish that require warm water temperatures to survive, and extreme temperatures, such as freezing, will be fatal to them.

Why Did My Betta Die After Water Change?

A sudden water change can cause stress and shock to bettas, leading to illness or death. Especially if the temperature, pH levels, change, or you didn’t condition the water beforehand.

Remember, it’s important to acclimate bettas slowly to new water and maintain consistent water parameters.

Do Betta Fish Die Easily?

Betta fish can die easily if they are kept in poor water conditions, fed a poor diet, or exposed to extreme temperatures or stress. It’s crucial to provide bettas with a suitable environment and care for their specific needs to keep them healthy and thriving.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Betta Fish?

The lifespan of a betta fish is typically 2-4 years, but with proper care, they can live up to 5 years or more. Factors such as water quality, diet, and genetics can affect their lifespan. It’s important to provide a suitable environment and care for bettas to ensure they live a long and healthy life.

 Do Betta Fish Look Dead When They Sleep?

Betta fish often sleep at the bottom of their tank or on plants, and they may appear motionless or unresponsive during this time. You can tell if your betta is sleeping by observing its gills, which should move slightly to indicate breathing.

In Summary

While Betta Fish are beautiful, they are also prone to many different diseases and conditions, which could cut short your time with them. It is important to be informed on the potential issues your Betta Fish could have so that you are able to help keep it alive.

Fortunately, most conditions are treatable, and your Betta Fish will live to swim another day if treated promptly and properly.