Understanding Betta Fish Seizures: What You Need to Know (2024)

Siamese fighting fish, commonly known as betta fish, have become a widely-loved aquarium species due to their vibrant colors and lively characters. Just like humans or any other animal, betta fish can suffer from medical issues, with seizures being one of them. However, to ensure the safety of owners, it is necessary to be aware of what causes these seizures, ways to avoid them, and appropriate measures to take when a betta fish has a seizure. This article will examine all the necessary information related to betta fish seizures.

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Introduction to “Do Betta Fish have Seizures”

Siamese fighting fish, more commonly known as Betta fish, is a popular freshwater fish distinguished by their bright colors and wavy fins. These creatures are native to Southeast Asia and are generally kept as ornamental pets in small fish tanks or bowls.

Introduction to Do Betta Fish have Seizures

Though not very common, seizures have been known to occur in Betta fish due to several factors, such as disease, trauma, or exposure to toxins. Signs of a seizure in these fishes might include twitching, erratic movements, and a loss of consciousness. For this reason, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance immediately if your Betta fish is having a seizure.

Moreover, ensuring a healthy environment for your Betta fish is critical, which involves providing the correct-sized tank or bowl, the ideal water temperature, and a nutritious diet. Consistent check-ups and observing their behavior can also help to prevent seizures and other health issues.

Signs and Symptoms of Betta Fish Seizures

Various signs and indications of a betta fish seizure may differ depending on its severity. Commonly observed signs and symptoms comprise of:

Signs and Symptoms of Betta Fish Seizures
  • Unstable Swimming and Whipping
  • Incoordination
  • Lack of Equilibrium
  • Contortions or Quivering
  • Inability to Breathe
  • Fading of Color
  • Struggle to Swim in a Direct Line

Act quickly if any of these symptoms are noticed in your betta fish, as seizures can be deadly if not addressed swiftly.

Causes of Seizures in Betta Fish


A variety of elements can be responsible for triggering seizures in betta fish, consisting of:

Causes of Seizures in Betta Fish

Environmental Factors:

  • Low-quality water parameters, considerable concentrations of toxins or chemicals in the liquid, and unexpected alterations in temperature or pH can all be factors for convulsions in betta fish or temperature shock.


  • Fungal or Bacterial infection, can generate an inflammatory response and impair the brain, eventually resulting in seizures.

Genetic conditions:

  • Certain betta fish may possess genetic traits that can predispose them to have seizures more frequently.


  • Betta fish can have seizures due to physical trauma, such as a blow to the head or disturbance to their lateral line.


  • Certain parasites, for example, flukes and tapeworms, can cause seizures due to the harm they inflict on the nervous system.

Nutritional deficiencies:

  • The well-being of betta fish depends on their consumption of an array of vitamins and minerals. Without the right amount of nutrients, these animals may suffer from convulsions.


  • Certain drugs may be associated with developing seizures as an adverse reaction.

It is critical to remember that seizures in betta fish may result from a combination of elements, and in some situations, the root cause may remain unidentified.

Treatments for Betta Fish Seizures

Various triggers, such as stress, degraded water quality, and illness, can bring about seizures in Betta fish. To treat seizures, it is essential to recognize and address the underlying cause initially. If the seizures result from stress, reducing the stressors in the fish’s environment is necessary. 

This can involve offering a bigger tank with more hiding spots, keeping the tank away from direct sunlight, and avoiding overcrowding. Additionally, it is imperative to keep the water clean and aerated. If the seizures are caused by inferior water quality, it is crucial to assess the water and ensure it is within the ideal range for Betta fish.

This includes testing the pH, temperature, and concentrations of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. If the water is not within the acceptable range, it should be replaced and treated suitably.

Seizures in fish that originate from a disease need to be recognized and treated according to the particular illness. This may necessitate a trip to the vet or consultation with a fish specialist. 

In cases where environmental variables cause seizures, it is imperative to eliminate toxins from the water and tank, using medicine from your local pet stores. Common contaminants consist of chlorine, heavy metals, and insecticides. Apart from addressing the source of the seizures, it is equally important to serve the fish with a diverse diet, as nutritional deficiencies can also be the culprit.

It is imperative to bear in mind that seizures might indicate a severe underlying condition. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian or a fish specialist for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

How to Prevent Seizures in Betta Fish

How to Prevent Seizures in Betta Fish

To safeguard against seizures in betta fish, a few precautions should be taken: 

Create a clean and steady habitat: 🐠

Regularly check the water in your Betta’s tank and ensure it is adequately filtered and the temperature is consistent to avoid temperature shock.

Check the water chemistry: 🐠

Keep the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the water within the appropriate range for betta fish.

Be mindful of overfeeding: 🐠

Overfeeding can lead to low water quality and constipation, which in turn can bring about seizures.

Reduce stress: 🐠

Bettas are sensitive to environmental changes, so avoiding rearranging the tank or introducing other fish is best.

Provide the proper nutrition: 🐠

Make sure your Betta has a well-balanced diet with various meals to guarantee they get all the necessary nutrients.

See a vet: 🐠

If you think your Betta is having seizures or you notice any unusual symptoms, consult a vet who is experienced with fish.

It is essential to acknowledge that numerous elements may induce convulsions, so it might be necessary to experiment with different solutions to obstruct seizures in your betta fish.

Tips for Calming a Betta Fish During a Seizure


Here are some methods to help soothe your Betta fish during a seizure:

Tips for Calming a Betta Fish During a Seizure

Remove the fish from the tank:

  • Use caution when attempting to scoop the Betta out of the tank and place it in a separate container filled with water from the tank. This will create a calmer atmosphere for the fish.

Reduce the water temperature:

  • Decreasing the water temperature may assist in reducing the intensity of the seizure.

Create a dark and quiet ambiance:

  • Bettas may become more flustered if exposed to bright lights or loud noises. Keep the region around the container as dim and peaceful as possible.

Keep an eye on the fish’s respiration:

  • Bettas occasionally find breathing difficult during a seizure, so it is vital to watch out for any indications of distress.

Speak with a vet:

  • If the seizure persists or any other strange symptoms appear, speak with a veterinarian who has expertise in dealing with fish.

Try to identify the cause of the seizure:

  • It is important to ascertain what might be responsible for the attack, such as the water quality if the fish was overfed, any stress factors, insufficient nutrition, or the presence of an illness.

A range of elements may be the reason behind a betta fish’s seizure, so it is necessary to try a few techniques to bring the fish back to its normal state.

What to Do When a Betta Fish Has a Seizure

In the event of your betta fish experiencing a seizure, it is essential to act quickly. Start by relocating the fish to a tranquil area, like a hospital aquarium. Afterward, try to relax the fish by lightly rubbing its body or providing a dark and serene environment. Additionally, it is important to analyze the water quality and take necessary steps to reduce tension from the environment, such as adding live plants to your aquarium. Ultimately, it is recommended to speak to a veterinarian for further guidance.

Aquarium Requirements for Betta Fish with Seizures

When establishing an aquarium for betta fish with seizures, there are key elements to bear in mind. Above all, the size of the tank holds great importance. A minimum of 2.5 gallons is essential for bettas; however, a bigger tank will be more effective for sustaining stable water conditions and decreasing the stress of the fish. Furthermore, a filter and a heater are also essential for preserving the correct temperature of the water and maintaining it clean and oxygenated.

Aquarium Requirements for Betta Fish with Seizures

Moreover, the temperature of the water is also an important factor. Bettas like the water temperature to be between 76-82°F, so a heater must keep water at a steady temperature. Additionally, the pH level of the water should be between 6.5-7.5, with 0 ppm of ammonia and nitrite and less than 20 ppm of nitrate to ensure that the water is healthy and safe for the fish.

Illumination is also an essential element that must be considered when establishing an aquarium light for bettas suffering seizures. Bettas require a low to moderate light intensity and must be shielded from dazzling lights, which can cause distress, seizures, and even heart attacks if the fish has not properly acclimated. Ornamental features like caves or plants can additionally be added to the tank to give the fish refuge and assist in diminishing their stress levels.

In addition, regular water changes (around 25-50% each week) are obligatory to maintain the water hygienic and suitable for betta fish. This will help to conserve the correct water chemistry and keep the water uninfected with harmful substances.

It is essential to remember that bettas with seizures may have specific needs or sensitivities, so it is recommended to confer with a vet or a fish specialist to ascertain the most suitable setup for your particular Betta.

Everything You Need to Know About Betta Fish Seizures

Betta fish seizures can be a severe issue caused by various causes, such as inadequate water quality, overfeeding, stress, lack of nutrition, and sickness. Here are some essential points to comprehend betta fish seizures:

Everything You Need to Know About Betta Fish Seizures
  • Indications of a Seizure:

    Seizures in betta fish can present themselves in several forms, including twitching, jerking, and losing consciousness. Bettas may also have difficulty breathing during a seizure.

  • Reasons:

    The origin of a seizure in betta fish may differ, yet it is usually linked to low water quality, overfeeding, pressure, absence of nutrition, or illness.

  • Treatment:

    If you suspect that your betta fish is having a seizure, it is essential to take the fish out of the tank and put it in a separate container filled with water from the tank. Decreasing the water temperature and providing a dark and tranquil atmosphere can also aid in calming the fish.

  • Avoiding Seizures:

    To avert seizures in betta fish, it is essential to maintain high water quality standards, offer a healthy diet, and lessen stress. This can be accomplished by providing a suitable tank size and temperature, keeping the water chemistry steady, and furnishing hiding places and other decorations in the tank.

  • Seeking Veterinary Advice:

    If the seizure continues or any other strange symptoms are noticed, it is best to consult a veterinarian with fish expertise.

It is essential to be aware that seizures in betta fish can be severe, and prompt treatment and care are critical to ensure the well-being of the fish. It is crucial to monitor the tank’s water conditions, temperature, and atmosphere to avert seizures.


It can be a daunting experience for fish keepers when their betta fish have seizures. To ensure your betta fish remains healthy and seizure-free, it is essential to learn about the triggers, indications, treatments, and prevention of seizures. By taking the appropriate measures to reduce their stress, preserve water quality, and offer them a pleasant environment, you can help protect your betta fish.

On our website, you can find numerous articles about fish keeping, including product reviews, top-ranking lists, tips on how to ask questions, and other related posts.


What are the signs of seizure in betta fish? how to calm your fish?

Seizures in betta fish are not common, but they can occur. Signs of a seizure in a betta fish can include jerking movements, swimming in circles, and even staying still at the bottom of the tank. Sometimes their fins may twitch and they may have difficulty breathing.

To calm your fish, you should start by ensuring the water parameters are ideal for them. Make sure the pH, temperature, and ammonia levels are all within healthy ranges for bettas.

You should also make sure the tank is large enough for them to swim around in. Additionally, you can add aquarium decorations and plants to provide hiding places and stress relief. Finally, avoid overfeeding and frequent handling as these can also contribute to stress. 

If your betta is experiencing seizures due to a physical injury or illness, you may need to consult with your local vet or an experienced fish keeper to get help. Treatment will depend on the cause of the seizure and could include antibiotics, vitamins, or other medicines. 

It’s important to take any signs of seizures seriously and take steps to reduce stress for your betta as soon as possible. With the right care and attention, your betta should be back to their normal selves soon!

How do help your fish Unstress?

Helping your fish to de-stress is definitely an important part of keeping them healthy and happy. Here are some tips to help reduce their stress levels: 

1. Maintain clean water: The quality of the water in their tank is one of the most important factors in keeping them happy and healthy. Make sure to maintain the tank, doing regular water changes and cleaning the filter to keep the water clean.

2. Provide plenty of hiding places: Fish need places to hide and feel safe. Make sure there are plenty of places in the tank where they can take refuge if they feel scared or stressed. This could be plants, rocks, caves or any other objects that they can hide behind or under.

3. Don’t overcrowd: Fish need space to move around and explore their environment, so make sure you don’t overcrowd the tank. If there are too many fish in one tank, it can cause stress for them as they become territorial and compete for space and food.

4. Avoid sudden changes: Sudden changes in the tank can be very stressful for your fish, so try to avoid them. This includes adding new fish, changing the temperature or pH levels, or rearranging the tank decorations. If you do need to make a change, do it gradually so that your fish can adjust more easily.

5. Give them soft music: Believe it or not, playing some calming music near the tank can help to reduce stress levels in your fish! Soft classical music has been found to be particularly effective, so why not give it a try?

Following these tips should help to reduce the stress levels of your fish and keep them happy and healthy. Good luck!
the stress levels of your fish and keep them happy and healthy.

Why is my betta fish having spasms?

Since betta fish are quite sensitive to changes in their environment, it’s possible that something in the water or tank conditions has changed.

Make sure your tank is clean and the water parameters are all good – ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates should all be in an acceptable range. If you’re not sure how to measure these, you can take a water sample to your local pet store and they can test it for you. 

It could also be a sign of a bacterial or fungal infection. If the spasms continue, you may want to take your betta to a vet who specializes in fish to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. 

Finally, there could be an underlying health issue that’s causing the spasms, such as organ failure or heart disease. Unfortunately, these types of issues can be hard to diagnose without a professional. 

How can you tell if a betta fish died due to temperature shock?

If your betta fish has died due to temperature shock, there are a few things you can look out for to determine the cause.

First, if the water temperature in your tank has recently changed drastically (up or down), it’s likely that the fish was affected by temperature shock. This is especially true if the change was sudden. If the water temperature is too warm or too cold, it can cause a massive stress response in the fish, eventually leading to death.

Second, if you notice that your betta fish is struggling to swim or having difficulty breathing, this could be a sign of temperature shock. If the water is too cold, it can cause their gills to constrict and make it difficult for them to breathe. If it’s too warm, their metabolism will speed up and they’ll expend more energy than they can take in.

Finally, if you spot any physical changes on the fish itself, this could be an indicator of temperature shock. For example, if their scales start to appear dull or discolored or if they develop white spots on their body, this could be a sign that something isn’t right.

Overall, if you suspect that your betta fish has died due to temperature shock, it’s important to take steps to make sure that the water temperature in your tank is stable and within the optimal range for your fish. If you take the necessary precautions, you can help ensure that your fish stay healthy and happy.

What are some signs of an unhealthy betta fish?

Signs of an unhealthy betta fish can vary depending on the individual fish and its environment, but there are some common signs that you should look out for.
Firstly, unhealthy betta fish may appear lethargic and have a decreased appetite. This is usually a sign of a poor water quality or a disease. If your betta is displaying these symptoms, you should first test the water parameters to make sure they are within the recommended range.

Another sign of an unhealthy betta fish is if it has discolored or frayed fins. This could be due to poor water quality or an infection, such as fin rot. If you notice your betta’s fins are not looking healthy, you should consider doing a water change and using an aquarium-safe medication to treat any potential infections.

Finally, if your betta is displaying unusual behaviors, such as swimming erratically or lying on the bottom of the tank, this could be a sign that it is not feeling well. If this is the case, you should take steps to improve the water quality in the tank and consider taking your fish to the vet for further diagnosis and treatment.

Overall, it’s important to keep an eye on your betta fish for any signs of ill health, as this can help you catch and treat any issues quickly before they become more serious.

Can a fish suffer from seizures?

Yes, a fish can have a seizure. Seizures are caused by a disruption in the normal electrical activity of the brain, and it is believed that fish can experience them as well.
Seizures can be caused by various factors, such as a genetic predisposition, toxins in the water, physical trauma, or even stress. The signs of a seizure in a fish can be difficult to spot, but some common signs include abrupt changes in behavior, such as swimming rapidly in circles or becoming unresponsive, as well as spasms or trembling. 

If you suspect your fish is having a seizure, it’s important to take them out of the water and place them in a bucket of clean, warm water. This will help reduce stress and make it easier to observe them. If the seizure lasts longer than a few minutes, you should contact your vet or an aquatic specialist for help. 

It’s also important to monitor your fish’s water quality and to ensure they have a healthy diet. This can help prevent seizures or other health issues in the future. If you have any questions or concerns about your fish’s health, don’t hesitate to ask your vet or an aquatic specialist for help.

can betta fish have heart attacks

Yes, betta fish can have heart attacks, although it’s not common. The term “heart attack” usually refers to a medical condition in humans, but it’s not the same for fish. A betta fish’s heart attack is more of a sudden, intense spasm of the heart muscle caused by an abrupt change in water temperature or water conditions.

In betta fish, heart attacks happen when the water temperature or other conditions suddenly change. This causes the fish’s heart to beat faster and harder than normal, which can be fatal. The most common causes of such sudden changes are temperature fluctuations, pH fluctuations, and water pollutants.

To prevent a betta fish from having a heart attack, it is important to maintain the water temperature and chemical levels in their tank. Betta fish need warm water that is between 78-82°F and should not be subjected to sudden temperature changes.

Finally, it is important to keep the tank clean by regularly changing the water and removing any debris or pollutants. This will help ensure that your betta fish stays healthy and happy and does not suffer from a heart attack.

Can you scare your fish when you tap the glass of an aquarium?

Yes, you can definitely scare your fish when you tap the glass of an aquarium. Fish can startle easily due to the fact that they have poor eyesight and rely heavily on their sense of hearing and vibrations in the water to detect potential danger. When you tap the glass, it creates a vibration that can be startling to your fish, causing them to dart away or hide. 

The best thing to do if you want to observe your fish is to just move slowly and gently around the aquarium. That way they won’t be too startled by any sudden movements or loud noises. If you want to clean the glass, you can use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid making too much noise. You can also move it slowly so the fish can get used to it before you start scrubbing. 

It’s important to remember that fish are sensitive creatures, so it’s important to take care when interacting with them. Tap the glass sparingly and try not to make too much noise when you’re around the aquarium. That way, your fish can remain at ease and enjoy their home without fear of being startled.

But what happens if the betta isn’t given time to fully acclimate to the new parameters?

If a betta isn’t given enough time to acclimate properly to a new environment, the results can be disastrous. Bettas are particularly sensitive to changes in water temperature, chemical composition, and other aspects of their environment. Sudden changes can cause a betta to become stressed and even sick.

The best way to acclimate a betta is to do it gradually. Start by floating the betta in its new tank for about 15 minutes so that it can adjust to the temperature of the water. Then, add a few teaspoons of water from the tank into the betta’s cup every 10 minutes. This will allow the betta to slowly get used to the different chemical composition of the water.

You should also be sure to monitor the water parameters of the tank closely. Make sure that the pH, hardness, and temperature of the tank are all within a safe range for your betta. Regular water changes are also important to make sure that the water chemistry remains stable.

By taking these steps, you can make sure that your betta is able to safely acclimate to its new environment.

Can Fish Have Epilepsy?

Yes, betta fish can have epilepsy, although it is rare. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect any species of fish. In betta fish, it usually manifests itself as periods of intense swimming, followed by bouts of complete paralysis.

If your betta fish is displaying symptoms of epilepsy, the first thing you should do is check the water quality in its tank. Make sure it is clean and well-oxygenated. You should also make sure your fish is getting enough nutrition by feeding it a balanced diet. If these measures don’t help, then you may need to take your fish to a vet who specializes in aquatic animals to have it checked out.

Epilepsy can be treated with medications like anticonvulsants, but the treatments can be expensive and may not always be effective. In some cases, the only option may be to euthanize the fish if the condition becomes too severe.

If you think your betta fish may have epilepsy, it’s important to act quickly and get it seen by a vet as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference in helping your fish lead a happy and healthy life.


Aaron White

Senior Editor at FishyFishPet.com

I am a passionate writer for FishyFishPet, a website dedicated to helping fish pet owners of all levels learn about the best practices for caring for their aquatic companions. On our site, you’ll find a wealth of information on everything from choosing the right fish species to setting up a healthy and thriving tank ecosystem. Whether you’re just getting started with fish ownership or you’re an experienced aquarist looking to expand your knowledge, FishyFishPet has something for everyone. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find our site helpful and informative.

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