Goldfish Swim Bladder Disease

Swim bladder disease is an incurable genetic disease that effects all goldfish breeds but is found more so in the fancy goldfish breeds. A deformed swim bladder can throw off its ability to control buoyancy and lateral stability. A goldfish can lead a happy life if this genetic disease is not an extreme case or exaggerate by other factors like constipation caused by a poor diet. Other buoyancy and stability symptoms can be caused by a parasitic kidney infection. A crash in pH can cause a goldfish to float at the surface with its head pointed upwards. Bacterial infections can cause a goldfish at rest to have its head point downwards and tail point upwards. High levels of nitrates are know to throw off the balance of the swim bladder and cause ‘flip over’ disease. Flip over is just that, the goldfish can’t stay up right and can roll completely over onto its back; an upside down goldfish. Flip over is also know to be caused by a damaged liver due to tuberculosis which can be passed on to humans.
three goldfish

There are two easy and cheap goldfish care treatment for these symptoms. The first is to not feed the goldfish for a few days or add more greens to its diet. Greens help lubricate the goldfish’s digestive tract and by not feeding the goldfish for a few days, will not add to the problem. The other is to test the water for nitrates and pH. If these are off, it’s a good idea to preform a aquarium water change and work on adjusting the pH and work on the tanks biological filtration.

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12 comments on “Goldfish Swim Bladder Disease

  1. Mere pas ek goldfish hai jo pahle to raat ko feeding karane k kuch der bad ulat jati thi aur subah phir se theek rahti thi lekin ab vo din me bhi ulat jati hai aur aquirium ke top water surface pr hi rahti hai jaldi bottom me ni aati hai .
    What shall I do to save it ??
    Please tell me…

    • I do not think my translator is accurate. I am not sure what you asked me. Your goldfish might have digestion issues if you gave it too much food. Try not feeding it for a few days. You can also try feeding it green peas or adding some aquarium salt into the tank. The green peas help with digestion and the aquarium salt can help regulate the swim bladder. I hope this helps

  2. One of my goldfish has swim bladder problems and I read it is in part to do with it being a fancy goldfish cause of the short fat body and it said not to feed it for 3 days so I moved it out of my big tank since my other fish still need to eat but I only have what I guess you would call a goldfish bowl to put it in so it doesn’t have a filter or air pump will it be fine to be without either of those for 3 days.

  3. I have a swim goldfish that is having the swimming bladder disease for about 25 days now.
    I am treating it with medicine in the water in the aquarium, also now I added the salt (3g/l) and the filter is without carbon since the beginning, and now I diminish the bubbles it makes to the minimum…
    But when he starts to float, I put him in a small 15l aquarium with medicine, a filter and pelled frozen peas, and he gets normal in about 6-8h. I leave him there for 2-3 days and he stays fine. Then when I put him back in the main tank, with water treated the same way, same food (sinking pellets), in less than 24h he is floating again!!
    He is very stressed as I move him from aquariums often now, and probably due to the infection (hard for him to sleep, he can’t stop swimming when he is floating).
    I don’t know what else to do and I am going on holidays in 3 weeks, He might die if I can’t cure him before!
    Please what should I do??

    • swim bladder is a genetical issue. intestine is not connected in any way to the swim bladder, no there is no chance of air going from the intestine. the only effective treatment is remove part (not all) of the air from the swim bladder. and you will need to do this periodically during the fish lifetime

  4. I have a swim bladder gold fish for almost two month now. I tried feeding peas, worms and shrimp. But still it is not recovered. I also kept it 3 days without food. Is there any way i can help it?

  5. Feed them the mush from the inside of peas ..this will help them digest and they will improve within a day or two

  6. i have a pond with goldfish in it, i found on slowly swimming yeastrday, i took him out and set him up a inside aquarium he is a lot swimming, but when he stops he is kinda like too tird to go anymore he kina go head dowm sometimes not as much today though, any thoughts?? help he is 4th generation fish

    • It could be a swim bladder problem or some other type of illness. I’d try the treatment method here for swim bladder first. If this doesn’t work, I might try a broad spectrum anti bacterial medication that can treat several ailments that might be causing the problem.

    • Yeah, it’s possible to get at any age. it might be a digestion problem though so try not feed your goldfish for a few days or try to get it to eat some greens.

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