Can Betta Fish Break Bones? – The Definitive Answer

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Do you recently notice your betta fish having a deformed or bent shape as if it has broken its bones? Now, the money question here is, can betta fish break bones? And if so, then what makes fishes vulnerable to breaking bones?

Well, betta fish cannot break its bones. But it can get a bent or deformed bone and physical structure due to the effect of some diseases. Fishes like betta fish bear a very flexible bone structure that is surrounded by a thick flesh layer, except for the fins. And thus, a fish can’t have internal fractures like humans.

We know, this makes you more curious to know about the diseases that might have led to this condition in your betta fish and the causes behind it taking place in the fish in the first place. Don’t worry, we’ll answer all your curiosities by the end of this article. So, keep going.

Can Betta Fish Have Bone Fractures?

The structure of betta fish doesn’t support it to have internal bone fractures like humans due to physical trauma or injury. The only visible bone fractures your betta fish can have, are of the fins and the tails, which many times take place due to placing it with other betta fishes.

As betta fishes are territorial, they tend to fight with their own kind and nib the fins and tails of their tank mates. And so, many times, you will find your betta fish having a broken fin or tail caused by fighting. However, internal bone fractures except for the fins and tails in betta fish won’t cause due to fighting.

To break the bones of the betta fish, any physical trauma needs to damage the thick layers of flesh first. Besides, the layer of fish scales is also there to save them from getting injured from external trauma. So, unless your fish has external injuries, there is a rare to no chance of it having bone fractures internally. Also, the fish won’t survive, if it is injured that much.

What Can Make Betta Fish Bones Break?

Betta fish cannot have broken internal bones by itself. They have strong and flexible internal bones that are tough to break from outer force. However, the thin and fragile bones of their fins and tails aren’t strong enough to resist external force or injury.

Hence, if there is any part of the fish that has a possibility of getting a fracture or tearing apart, it would be either the fins or the tails. The fins of the betta fish can be broken due to getting hit by the walls of the tank, especially if the tank is too small for the space-loving fish.

Other than that, if your betta fish is sharing the tank with some more bettas, it can be the result of the brutality of its tankmates, since bettas are not really kind or friendly to their own kinds. However, if the fish seems to be broken from inside, like getting an internal bone fracture, the reason most probably is a disease.

What Can Make a Betta Fish Deformed in Shape?

Many times, people claim their betta fish lost its shape and gradually adopted an unusual shape. This can take place due to several bacterial or fungal diseases. However, there is a particular disease that causes the backbone of the fish to bend. This disease is called Broken Back Disease.

Usually, people who suspect their betta fish of having an internal backbone fracture, later find out that this was an effect of the Broken Back disease. You must be wondering what could possibly be the reason behind your betta fish having a Broken Back disease. 

Well, did you check if the food you have been providing to your betta contains an adequate amount of vitamin C as per the nutritional requirement of your fish? If you were unaware of the fact that betta fish requires a sufficient amount of vitamin C to live a healthy life, now you know how important it is. Because the deficiency of vitamin C in fish is the leading cause of Broken back disease.

Betta Fish

Are Betta Fish Physically Fragile?

The answer is yes but also no. Betta fish can be considered fragile because of their water and nutritional requirements. Since betta fish are hardy, they require a strict range of pH for survival. Moreover, bettas are vulnerable to several infections and diseases when the water, food, or temperature does not suit their habitat.

However, if you keep these minimum conditions for caring aside, betta fish are much more adaptable than many other fishes. Besides, they are strong and have the ability to defend themselves in times of emergency. Therefore, they can be simply categorized as strong among fragile.

Can a Betta Fish Heal from a Broken Back?

Fishes suffering from the Broken Back disease can be cured if detected within the early stage. However, it is required to separate the fish in a different tank if the existing tank of the affected betta fish is shared by other fishes. Because even though the disease is caused due to nutritional deficiency, it is contagious and can affect the tankmates of the affected fish.

It is required to consult a vet as soon as the symptoms of Broken Back disease are observed within the fish. The vet might prescribe some supplements rich in vitamin C along with the correct way to deliver and treat the fish for recovery. The chance of your fish recovering depends on how well you treat its condition.

happy betta fish

How to Prevent a Betta Fish from Getting Its Bones Broken?

The key to preventing Broken Back disease is ensuring sufficient delivery of vitamin C to the betta fishes. All fishes have some nutritional requirements. Before or after having a fish, you should earn proper knowledge of the nutritional requirements of your fish to prevent disorders that take place due to the deficiency of a particular nutrient.

Moreover, along with proper nutrition, it is necessary to maintain proper water conditions, temperature, and pH for the fish to remain healthy. Many times, improper water leads to different types of fungal and bacterial infections in betta fish that often cause them to get deformed.

Besides, it is very important to pair up sensitive or territorial fishes like betta carefully. As they are fond of fighting. And fighting might often lead to injuries within the fish. If you ever notice your betta fish getting deformed or broken, you should not waste time and rather call a vet to detect and treat its condition as early as possible.


After going through this article, if you suspect your betta fish to have either Broken Back disease or any other infections, you should immediately consult with a vet. 

There shouldn’t be any hesitations now since you don’t need to worry anymore about getting embarrassed by asking silly questions like, “can bettas break its back?” You already know the answer!

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