Columnaris Betta: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Columnaris betta is a highly contagious and often deadly bacterial infection that affects bettas and other fish. It is caused by the bacterium Flavobacterium columnare and can result in rapid breathing, skin lesions, ulcers, fin rot, and death.

The bacteria can infect any part of the fish’s body but typically affects the gills and fins. Symptoms of columnaris include redness, inflammation, lesions, and difficulty breathing. Treatment typically involves antibiotics, and prompt treatment is essential to prevent death.

What is Columnaris?

Fish columnaris is a fatal bacterial disease of fish. The bacteria that cause the infection are called Flavobacterium columnare or Flexibacter columnaris. The disease is most commonly found in fish that are stressed from overcrowding, poor water quality, or injuries.

The bacteria can enter the fish’s body through the gills, mouth, or skin wounds. Columnaris causes a white to gray film to form over the fish’s body. The film can cover the entire body or be concentrated in specific areas. In severe cases, the film can restrict the fish’s movement and lead to death.

Columnaris can be treated with antibiotics, but it is important to identify and correct the factors that caused the infection in the first place. In addition, good water quality and adequate space for fish are essential for preventing columnaris infections.

What is Betta Columnaris?

Betta columnaris is a fatal bacterial disease affecting betta fish. It causes them to lose appetite and swim slowly. It also makes them very lazy. It comes in two forms, one affecting the fins and another affecting the whole body. It’s named after its appearance, being columnar shaped.

The bacteria that causes columnaris disease is called Flavobacterium columnare. This bacteria can cause severe damage to the betta’s fins, body, and mouth. Columnaris disease is a serious infection and can be fatal if left untreated.

What Causes Columnaris in Betta?

Columnaris disease is most commonly found in cold-water fish such as goldfish and Bettas, but it can also infect other freshwater fish species. Columnaris disease is not a very common problem in Bettas, but it can occur if the water quality is poor or if the Betta is stressed.

Columnaris occurs when there is an excessive amount of bacteria in the water. This can happen because you overstock your tank (with more than enough fish) or because you use dirty water (from a tap).

Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures and poor water quality. When this happens, the bacteria multiply rapidly, causing a buildup of toxins. These toxins can cause illness in your bettas.

Bad interactions with other fish cause columnaris.

Stress Condition

Columnaris infection may come from stress. Stress causes a weakened immune system. Fluctuating water temperatures and pH levels – Both of these are also stressful to the betta.
Poor water Conditions

A tank doesn’t need to be overstocked or have bad water quality for the water quality to drop. If you aren’t performing regular water changes and cleaning it regularly, the quality of the water will also drop.

Poor water quality is responsible for making fish susceptible to disease. Insufficient dissolved oxygen in the water column creates an unfavorable environment.

Improper Diet

Inadequate diet and malnutrition make a fish sick.


Columnaris is an infectious disease that can be spread between tanks. Contaminated equipment should be cleaned thoroughly before using it again. Be sure to use separate equipment for each tank.

Signs and Symptoms of Columnaris Betta?

The symptoms of columnaris disease in Bettas include

• White patches or grayish spots on the head, body, and around the fins or gills. Gills are swollen abnormally.
• Skin lesions and fins turning black.
• Lethargic and abnormal swimming behavior.
• Loss of appetite, rapid breathing, and fish becoming weak.
• Lesions or inflammation are visible around the mouth, gills, and fins. Fins are eroded simultaneously. In acute cases, lesions spread quickly.
• If left untreated, columnaris can be fatal to the fish.

How To Treat Columnaris In Betta?

You can take several steps to treat columnaris disease in your betta fish.

The first step is to isolate the sick fish from your fish tank and place it in a quarantine tank. This will help prevent the bacteria from spreading to any of your other fish. Dead fish are separated immediately from the tank.

The most common treatment for columnaris is antibiotics. Treatment for columnaris disease usually involves using antibiotics such as erythromycin or tetracycline. Oxytetracycline is effective against internal infection.

The recommended dose for antibiotics is 1-2 gm/ kg feed. The proper dosage is strictly followed. otherwise, healthy fish are become stressed by medication.

Medicated feed along with vitamin C is also effective for secondary infection. However, other treatments can be used depending on the severity of the infection. These treatments include using aquarium salt, raising the water temperature, and using potassium permanganate.

Medicated fish bath containing methylene blue is also recommended for columnaris bacteria.
Salt should be added to the water to help prevent osmotic stress on the fish.

Salt may be added to the aquarium water (1 to 2 teaspoons per gallon of water). It helps to protect the fish from the damage to its epithelial cells caused by the bacteria.

In some cases, it may be necessary to euthanize the fish if it is not responding to treatment.

How to Prevent Betta Columnaris?

Columnaris disease is a bacterial infection that can be fatal to betta fish. However, several things can be done to help prevent this disease from occurring.

One of the most important is to maintain clean water conditions. This means partial water exchanges and keeping the tank water free of contamination. In addition, organic wastes should be reduced to prevent disease outbreaks. For raising the oxygen level of aquarium water, aeration may be used.

Another key factor is providing a healthy diet for your betta fish. A balanced diet will help to strengthen their immune system and make them less susceptible to infection.

Finally, giving your betta fish plenty of room to swim and play is important. This will help keep them healthy and stress-free. In addition, transferring sick fish to the quarantine tank will impede the entrance and growth of the disease.

If you suspect that your Betta has columnaris disease, you should take him to a veterinarian for treatment. The veterinarian will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.


Where Does Columnaris Betta’s Disease Come From?

Columnaris disease is a bacterial disease that affects fish. The bacteria that cause columnaris disease are often present in the environment and can infect fish when they are weak or stressed.

Columnaris disease can also be spread from fish to fish through contact or by water that has been contaminated with the bacteria.

How Columnaris Betta Disease Spreads?

The bacteria can spread through water, food, and contact with other fish. The disease is highly infectious and may be transmitted via contaminated nets, specimens, containers, and even foodstuffs.

It can also be spread through dirty nets, tanks, and other equipment. Fish that are stressed or weakened are more likely to become infected. Infected fish act as a vector and is responsible for the quick spreading of disease.

Is Columnaris Betta disease fatal?

Columnaris is most commonly found in tropical fish and can cause major health problems, including death. While columnaris is not always fatal, it can be not easy to treat and often requires antibiotics.

Therefore, if you think your betta may have columnaris, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Can Columnaris Infect an Already Sick Betta Fish?

If a Betta is already sick when Columnaris strikes, recovery can be more difficult. Treatment for Columnaris includes antibiotics and good water quality. Bettas recovering from Columnaris should be kept in a clean, warm tank with plenty of oxygen.

How Long Can a Fish Live With Columnaris?

Columnaris can be deadly if not treated. Many fishkeepers ask how long a fish can live with Columnaris. Unfortunately, there is no one definitive answer to this question. The length of time a fish can survive with Columnaris depends on several factors, including the severity of the infection, the age and health of the fish, and the treatment options available.

Columnaris can be successfully treated in some cases, and the fish will recover. In other cases, the infection is too severe, and the fish will die. Fishkeepers should never assume that a fish with Columnaris will automatically die. There are many cases where Columnaris-infected fish have been successfully treated and recovered.

Can Columnaris go away on its own?

While Columnaris can be a very serious infection, it may go away on its own in some cases. For example, if your fish’s health begins to improve and the symptoms of Columnaris disappear, then it is likely that the infection was not as bad as you thought.

However, if the symptoms continue to worsen or your fish dies, then it is likely that the infection will be more severe, and treatment will be necessary.

Is Columnaris transferable to humans?

Columnaris are commonly found in fish. While the infection is not typically considered to be transferable to humans, there have been a few isolated cases in which it is believed that the bacteria may have been contracted from a pet fish. In most cases, however, the transmission of Columnaris from fish to humans is considered to be highly unlikely.

How does columnaris get inside your aquarium?

Columnaris can enter your aquarium in a few different ways. It can be brought in on live plants or fish or introduced through the water supply. If you have an open tank, the bacteria can also travel through the air and settle on the sides of the aquarium.

Once columnaris is in your aquarium, it cannot be easy to get rid of it. The bacteria can survive in water temperatures from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to take steps to prevent them from entering your tank in the first place.

Final Words

In conclusion, Columnaris betta disease is a serious infection that can cause death in betta fish. Therefore, it is important to identify the symptoms and treat them as soon as possible. There are several ways to treat Columnaris, and the most effective treatment will depend on the severity of the infection.

1 thought on “Columnaris Betta: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment”

Leave a Comment