Why is My Betta Fish Going Crazy?

Why is My Betta Fish Going Crazy?

If your betta fish is going crazy, you should find the main cause of this problem. Here are 11 reasons that explain this unusual behavior of betta fish.

Why is My Betta Fish Going Crazy? Your betta fish may act crazy for several reasons like improper water quality, stress or depression, nutrition, disease, old age, or hypoxia. All these factors badly affect your betta fish’s mental and physiological health, making it act unusual. There may be single or multiple reasons behind this unusual behavior. Immediate identification and treatment are essential to save for fish, or the fish may die. 

Why is My Betta Fish Going Crazy?

Betta fish is a beautiful and playful fish that adds so much beauty and life to your home fish tank. The fish entertains you while swimming with its stunning flares and look gorgeous while playing in the tank.

It is possible only when you maintain the life-quality of your fish with the maintenance of water quality. Buying a fish and leaving it in the aquarium is not enough, and you have to pay full attention to its care and health.

Sometimes, you may observe that your fish is acting differently and exhibiting abnormal behavior in the tank. It may show abnormality in the swimming pattern or may perform awkward actions.

It may also look anxious and confusing, and all these behavior are generally the outcome of your negligence and carelessness. In this case, you can not leave your betta fish helpless in the tank.

You have to keenly observe your fish and try to figure out the cause and problem behind this disturbing behavior and activities. If you keep avoiding the issue, your fish may die of stress or depression, leaving you to regret it.

Here are the reasons behind the crazy and abnormal behavior of your betta fish. So, identify and treat it immediately so your fish can become happy again.

How do you know if your betta fish is acting crazy?

Your betta fish may show symptoms that help you to know that there is something wrong with it. 


Aggression is common in many fish, but when you observe your betta fish is showing too much aggression and anger, there may be some issue with it. 

It occurs when they are sick or ill; you have to diagnose the disease by close observation. Eliminate the cause that may be bacterial, fungal, or parasitic disease or improper water conditions.

Floating near the water surface

Sometimes, you see that your betta is going upward towards the water surface to breathe and remains there for all time. In this condition, there may be an issue with it.

The two main reasons are the lack of oxygen or swim bladder disease that causes your fish to float at the surface. Try to eliminate the issue as soon as possible to retain the betta health.

Rubbing or attacking objects

When you observe that your betta fish is rubbing or scratching itself to the different tank objects or it is banging or attacking object, the reason behind may be some disease or parasites.

They cause itching and irritation on their skin and making it acts in this way. There may be other reasons for this behavior, so try to figure out the actual cause and treat your betta.

Swimming issues

The most frequent symptom that your betta may exhibit in response to an issue is the abnormal swimming pattern. It may swim frantically, erratically, or differently once it gets a problem or disease.

Your fish may look drunk or confused and can not swim to the bottom or can not raise itself from the bottom. When the issue is severe, it may start moving in circles, upside down, or twirling abruptly. Some of the swimming problems are:

Swimming in circles

The betta fish may start abruptly swimming in circles due to stress or depression or due to small size tank.

Circular movements are usually not wrong, but when the fish continuously moves in a circle-motion without stopping, it is abnormal. Remove the problem, and your fish will become happy and lively again.

Swimming upside down

If your fish is swimming upside down, it is another common sign or symptom your betta exhibit in abnormal situations.

Although a fish can move in all directions in the tank, when these movements become frequent and abrupt, it may be suck or diseased. Diagnose and identify the problem to eliminate it and make your fish normal again.

Twirling or corkscrew

Twirling and corkscrew fashion swimming is another symptom that tells you that your fish is not well and suffering from an issue. Betta fish may suddenly start moving in this pattern that shows that it is going crazy. 

All these disturbed, crazy, or cringe activities of your betta fish occur when there is severe health or environmental issue. You may notice that your betta fish is doing a headstand.

Reasons and causes of this unusual behavior of betta fish


Diseases are the most common reason behind the craziness of your betta. When they get sick, they lose control over themselves and act differently.

Neurological disorders or diseases

Neurological diseases may occur due to any microbial or parasitic infection, or it may be a birth-defect. It may also occur due to persistent stress or depression and because of bad water and environmental conditions.

When your betta is mentally sick, it shows unusual swimming patterns, such as swimming in a circle or twirling. You have to identify the issue and treat the fish to prevent it from dying.

You have to make or betta more peaceful and relaxed and make the aquarium very similar to its habitat. If the cause of the disease is microbes or parasites, treat it with preferred medications.

Respiratory disease

When betta is suffering from difficulty breathing, it can exhibit abnormal behavior and aggression. It moves around to search for oxygen and can become aggressive. 

You can treat your betta using medications. Also, increase aeration in the tank for a better supply of oxygen.


Parasites can cause potential harm to your beautiful betta. These minute disease-causing species attack your betta skin and gills and result in several diseases or infections.

When you notice betta scratching itself with tank objects, the most probable reason is the ich disease. The common parasites are anchor worms, gill flukes, ich, and velvet. 

You can stop and eliminate these parasites by early diagnosis and treatment. It is preferable to move the betta to a quarantine tank where the water conditions are parameters are stable. It will prevent the spread of infection to other tank mates. Cure and treat the betta with medications and care otherwise your pet fish will keep dying.

Swim bladder disease

The swim bladder of betta helps maintain the buoyancy in the aquarium. When your betta has this disease, it swims abnormally and shows crazy behavior, as it can not swim stationary and struggles a lot.

Overfeeding, constipation, and gas compresses the swim bladder and makes it unable to regulate. Parasites, bacteria, or another injury can also cause this disease. 

You have to avoid feeding your fish too much and raise the water temperature to 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is better to skip feeding initially for three days and after three days, serve thawed food to the betta, more preferably peas. When bowel movements become normal, resume their feeding routine.

Poor nutrition

Poor nutrition has a disastrous impact on fish health. You can not avoid or neglect the nutritional care of your betta. When the fish become weak, its swimming capabilities decrease. Also, in the absence of a high-quality diet, especially fiber, constipation is the most common outcome.

Betta fish are carnivores, so provide them with live food and meat. Serve them all their favorite food along with frozen food or commercial fish food to keep them healthy and active.


Hypoxia is the lack of oxygen that severely affects your betta fish, and it starts floating on the water surface and may look crazy. Also, it may lead to adding swimming patterns of betta and can affect its mental condition.

Your fish may swim frantically in search of oxygen in the tank. If your betta fish is living in a vase then change the tank size.

Keep the aquarium oxygenated all the time by using air pumps or air stones and never turn them off. Add live plants in the tank to produce more oxygen. In too hot water, the oxygen level decreases, so try to maintain appropriate water temperature.

Poor vision

Betta may suffer from poor-vision or eyesight, which leads it to swim abruptly or fish is unable to see objects in the dark. It is the result of a disease like cataracts and damage to the eye cornea. The issues may occur due to poor-nutrition or sometimes are hereditary. Parasites can also be the reason for poor-vision, such as tapeworms.

The parasitic infection needs medications for a cure, while good and high water quality of tank can also help you eliminate the issue. You must provide high-quality nutrition, as well.

Low water quality

Low water quality is the cause of all problems and diseases in the tank. If the water is not pure and clean, it leads to the invasion and production of several microbes and parasites in the tank.

All these microbes and parasites attack the betta fish and result in deteriorating its mental and physiological health. Also, inappropriate water parameters impact your betta fish and favours a lot of issues and problems.

You have to change and renew the tank water at least every month, but the preferable water change is every two weeks. Keep an eye on water parameters and set them to the most suitable range so your betta fish can survive and live happily in it.

Stress and depression

Stress and depression are other factors that harm your beta fish. There may be various reasons that stress your betta such as, incompatible tank mate, impure water, pH and temperature differences, diseases and disorders, and certain chemicals. All these lead to depression and ultimately to health complications. 

You should calm down a stressed fish and establish a peaceful environment in the aquarium. Also, try to add some beautiful plants and decorations so the betta will feel more safe and secure in the tank. You have to provide it a clean and healthy tank conditions.

Ammonia and nitrite poisoning

When the levels of ammonia and nitrites increase in an aquarium, it results in toxicity. These compounds are harmful to your betta fish and can burn gills and other organs.

Excess of nitrites also causes a lack of oxygen in the tank that further harms betta. Beta starts scratching itself, swimming abruptly and erratically. 

Frequently change the water and add live plants in the tank to eliminate the ammonia and nitrites toxicity. Check the water parameters at least daily to identify an excess of compounds.

Old age

The immune system of the betta weakens with time, and the motor skills decrease. The old betta may develop many diseases and is more prone to infections.

You can not reverse the age-related deterioration in your betta. You can improve the quality of life by providing a balanced diet and healthy nutrition. 

Keep healthy tank conditions that serve to decrease the risk of several problems.

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