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Author : Deepak
Article ID : 19
Audience : Default
Version 1.00.01
Published Date: 2010/10/23 10:10:00
Reads : 13474
Disease and Care

Swim Bladder is an illness or disorder that affects a fish's equilibrium. Swim Bladder is extremely common in Betta and Goldfish. If affected by the Swim Bladder, the fish floats uncontrollably to the top of the tank, or sinks to the bottom. It struggle greatly while swimming, swims sideways or upside down or appears to swim standing on its head and often will swim at an unusual angle.

Swim Bladder disorder can be caused by several things, and finding the root cause will help you determine the right treatment. The most common causes are:

Constipation: Constipation is the number one cause of Swim Bladder disorder. Constipation puts pressure on the swim bladder and clearing constipation can easily solve Swim Bladder disorder. In case of constipation, treat your fish with green peas. Take 2 frozen peas and defrost it(you can use fresh peas too). Cook or boil them till they get soft. Remove the skins by squeezing the peas and feed them to your sick fish. If the sick fish does not eat the peas, remove the peas and try again later. You should see results within 3 to 5 days of feeding the fish peas. The peas will clear the digestive track and fish will be able to inflate and deflate the swim bladder properly. Feeding peas, finely chopped melon and orange slices/sections (without the membrane) on a regular basis is a good way to avoid swim bladder problems. Another option is to give a regular feed of spirulina based fish/goldfish food. You can read my article on Feeding vegetables to your fish here.

Overfeeding: If your fishes are displaying symptoms of Swim Bladder Disorder immediately after feedings, and the symptoms tend to go away after a few hours, you are probably overfeeding. Feeding a fish flakes or pellets might lead to swim bladder problems because the production process introduces air pockets into the food. These air pockets can adversely affect a fish's swim bladder. To counteract this, soak the flakes or pellets in a cup of tank water for 5 to 15 minutes prior to feeding. You can read my article on feeding fish here.

Injury: Swim Bladder can also develop due to injury (either due to internal conflict within tank mates or by mishandling). In such cases, many times there is permanent damage to the swim bladder. If it is caused by injury, then unfortunately there is no real cure for the disorder but you can manage the illness by isolating the fish to a shallow, quarantine tank with one table spoon Aquarium Salt added (per 5 gal of water). This will ease the fish's discomfort and subsides the until the swim bladder issue. You may reintroduce the fish to its normal, deep tank after 1 to 2 weeks.

Birth Defects: Some fish gets Swim Bladder as birth defects. Very rarely you will get fishes with birth defects, because wholesalers/breeder will destroy any fish with birth defects before they ever make it to the stores.

Bacterial Infections: Swim Bladder disorder can occur due bacterial infection. It could be difficult to treat these cases. Poor water conditions exacerbate Swim Bladder problems, so maintain a healthy tank at all times. You can read my article on Common aquarium water problem and it’s solution here.

Good Luck


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