Fish floating vertically is often a symptom of swim bladder disorder. Fortunately for fish-keeping hobbyists, it is neither contagious nor fatal.
What Can Cause Swim Bladder Disorder?
- Vertical swimming or floating at the bottom of the tank is a common symptom for swim bladder disorder.
- This disorder often affects goldfish, betta and other tropical fishes.
- Constipation is often a trigger for swim bladder disorder.
- Overfeeding the fish can leave it feeling full, thus it can display symptoms of swim bladder disorder.
- Trauma from stress or injury can leave the fish feeling disoriented.
- A rare cause of swim bladder disease is congenital birth defect.
Why is My Fish Floating Vertically – Treatment
- Short-term relief includes feeding the fish medicated food, salt baths and raising the temperature to 76 F.
- First instances of vertical floating should prompt the aquarist to partially change the water to rule out bacterial infection or the rise of nitrate levels.
- Veterinarians can perform a minor procedure called periodic aspiration in which the swim bladder is deflated with a small prick of the needle.
- Monitor the water temperature that is idea for the specific fish species.
- Follow the vet’s orders on which type of medication can be used. Shops selling fish specialty products sell antibiotics, anti-parasite medication and medicated food.