If you have a betta then you might have noticed that it sometimes has a problem keeping its balance and struggles to stay afloat. This is because bettas can develop a condition called swim bladder disease, which is a problem with their buoyancy. The disease can be caused by many different things, such as eating too much food, blockages in their intestines, or infections.
Fortunately, there are many different treatments available that can help cure swim bladder disease in fish. Read more to get familiar with the problem, and get to know how to solve it!
What Is The Swim Bladder?
The swim bladder is a small organ located in the fish’s body cavity that helps them control their buoyancy. This organ is filled with gas, which gives the fish its ability to swim up or down in the water column. If the swim bladder becomes inflamed or infected it can cause problems with the fish’s swimming ability and even lead to this illness.
What Is Swim Bladder Disease?
It is a condition where the fish’s swim bladder becomes inflamed or infected. This organ fills with gas and helps the fish control its buoyancy, but if it becomes damaged then they can have issues controlling their swim bladders which leads to strange swimming behavior. Sometimes the fish may seem to be hanging at the bottom of your tank or swimming awkwardly at the surface.
What are swim bladder disease symptoms?
There are a few different symptoms you may notice if your fish has swim bladder disease. Some common ones include:
-The fish hanging at the bottom of the tank
-Swimming awkwardly near the surface of the water
-Fish unable to keep upright and swim in circles
-Excessive gas build-up which can cause the belly to swell
-Lethargy and lack of appetite
Swim Bladder Disease Caused By Overfeeding
Swim bladder disease is often caused by overfeeding. This can be prevented by following a feeding schedule for your fish so they know when it’s time to eat. If you notice your fish with swim bladder disease symptoms then don’t feed them until you have visited the vet and gotten treatment!
Symptoms Related To Parasites And Bacterial Infections
Always make sure your betta isn’t displaying any symptoms of parasites or bacterial infections because these can cause weird swimming behavior, similar to that of swim bladder disease. Your fish may have other symptoms that show you what is going on inside its body if you’re unsure about which condition it’s suffering from. For example, your fish might scratch itself compulsively if it has a parasite infection.
Symptoms Related To Overfeeding/Constipation/Too Much Air In The Gut
This disease isn’t the only thing that can cause your fish to have problems with buoyancy. If you notice your betta is having some issues keeping its balance or it’s gasping at the surface then it might just have overeaten or have had some air gets trapped inside its digestive system. Constipation and swim bladder disease often go hand-in-hand and can cause similar symptoms in fish.
You will want to take action immediately if your fish is displaying these symptoms because they can be very serious and may require emergency treatment.
What are the causes?
There are a few different causes of swim bladder disease in betta fish. You’ll find that most cases are directly related to some kind of overfeeding or constipation, but some other things might be affecting your fish as well.
The illness itself can be caused by a bacterial infection in the swim bladder. This condition is very serious and will require professional treatment from your vet as soon as possible. If the bacteria eats away at the lining of the bladder then it can cause holes that allow gas to escape, leading to less buoyancy throughout your fish’s body.
Getting your fish to the vet as soon as possible will ensure it has a good chance of recovering from swim bladder disease caused by a bacterial infection.
Swim bladder disease can also be caused by parasites, which can lead to an internal infection in your fish’s swim bladder. This is especially common in betta fish, so always make sure your tank is fully cycled and free of any ammonia or nitrites before you add a single fish. These two things will often be the cause of the disease caused by parasites because they can lead to bacterial infections.
If your betta seems to have an issue with buoyancy then it might be suffering from swim bladder problems which is caused by parasites.
Shock can also be a cause of swim bladder illness in betta fish. This might happen if the water in your tank is too cold or if there is a sudden temperature change. If you’ve just changed your aquarium water and your fish starts having issues with swimming then it’s likely because of the shock of the new water.
If your fish is in shock then you will need to take it out of the tank and put it into a container of warm water until it recovers. Shock can often be fatal, so make sure you get your fish to the vet as soon as possible if you think this might be the cause.
Overfeeding and constipation are often the cause of swim bladder disease in betta fish. Constipation is a common problem for all fish because many of them don’t have a high enough fiber intake to keep themselves regular. If you notice your betta isn’t eating then it might just be having issues digesting its food, which can lead to constipation.
If your betta is eating but still having problems with buoyancy then it’s likely because you’re feeding it too much. Overfeeding can cause your fish to become overweight and have a lot of trouble swimming around. This is often the most common cause of swim bladder disease in betta fish.
If you’re noticing your betta isn’t eating its food or is having problems with buoyancy it might have overeaten and have a little air inside its digestive system. You will need to feed your fish less for it to avoid swim bladder disease caused by overfeeding.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your betta then it’s very important that you immediately feed it less and make sure there is no air inside its digestive system. This will help prevent the air from getting trapped inside its swim bladder and causing problems with buoyancy.
Betta fish can also suffer from a blockage in their intestines, which can lead to constipation and cause the disease as well. If you think this might be the problem then you will need to take your fish to the vet for treatment.
Low Water Temperature
If your fish tank’s water suddenly becomes too low in temperature then your fish might suffer from swim bladder disease. This is very common in betta fish because the vast majority of tanks are kept at room temperature, which doesn’t provide nearly enough warmth for them to thrive.
Bettas are tropical fish that need a steady water temperature anywhere from 75 to 86 degrees for them to stay healthy. If your tank’s temperature drops below this then your betta might have this issue, which will prevent it from swimming around properly.
If you notice that your fish isn’t eating or is having problems with buoyancy then take a look at the temperature of the water inside its tank. If it’s below 75 degrees then you will need to raise the temperature to help your fish recover from the illness.
How To Prevent The Disease
The best way to prevent swim bladder disease in betta fish is to keep their water temperature stable and make sure they’re eating a high-fiber diet. You can do this by keeping a heater in your tank so the water remains at a steady temperature and feeding your fish a diet that consists of high-quality food pellets.
If you’re having problems with your tank’s temperature then you can buy a heater to help keep it stable. There are many different sizes and types of heaters available, so make sure you get one that is the right size for your tank.
If your fish isn’t eating its food then you can try changing the type of food you’re feeding it. Feeding your betta a diet of high-quality food pellets will help keep it healthy and free from this menace.
If you’re still having problems with your betta’s buoyancy then you can try feeding it smaller amounts of food. This will help reduce the amount of air that gets trapped inside its digestive system and prevent it from developing the disease.
If you notice your betta isn’t eating or is having problems with buoyancy then you will need to treat it for bad swim bladder right away. Fortunately, there are many different treatments available that can help cure this condition in fish.
If your betta is suffering from a blockage in its intestines then you will need to feed it some food that can help break down the blockage. Bettas are carnivores, which means they eat meat, so you can feed them a live black worm to help clear up any blockages. They will also enjoy bloodworms, which can be purchased at your local pet store.
You will also need to feed your betta some food pellets so it can recover from any malnutrition caused by its digestive issues. If your betta is having trouble swimming then you should try feeding it some high-quality dried food pellets until it’s able to swim normally again.
Once the blockage in your fish’s intestines has been cleared up and any malnutrition is gone, it should return to normal swimming within a couple of days.
If your betta has a severe case of the illness then it might also have an infection, which can be deadly if it’s not treated correctly. If you notice that your betta is lethargic and its color has changed then you will need to treat it for infection right away.
To do this you should try treating your fish with a medication specifically designed to treat swim bladder disease. There are many different types of medications available, so talk to your local pet store about the best one to use for your betta.
You should also increase the water temperature in your tank to 86 degrees and add some aquarium salt to help your fish recover from its infection. Make sure that you don’t put too much salt in the water or it can kill your betta.
If your betta isn’t responding to any of the treatments mentioned above then you might need to try using some supportive therapy. This involves providing your fish with a temporary environment that will help it recover from its swim bladder disease.
One way to do this is by using a quarantine tank. This is a small tank that you can use to isolate your fish while it’s being treated for swim bladder disease. The quarantine tank will help keep the water temperature stable and make it easier for your fish to eat and swim.
If you don’t have a quarantine tank then you can use a small plastic container instead. This will also help keep the water temperature stable and make it easier for your fish to eat and swim.
Make sure that you keep your betta in a supportive environment until it has fully recovered from its swim bladder disease.
Epsom Salt For Swim Bladder Disease in Bettas
If you don’t have a quarantine tank or plastic container available then you can try adding some Epsom salt to your fish’s water. This might help reduce the pressure inside its swim bladder so it can start swimming normally again.
You should only add a small amount of Epsom salt to the water as this will make the environment too salty for your fish. Instead, you should try adding one teaspoon of Epsom salt for every gallon of water in the tank.
After you have added the Epsom salt to your betta’s water, you should leave it in the supportive environment for around 24 hours before moving it back into its original tank. Make sure that you remove any traces of salt from your betta’s water before returning it to the main tank.
If your betta becomes lethargic or stops eating after you have added Epsom salt to its water, then you should remove the salt and stop treating it for swim bladder disease. This can be a sign that there is something wrong with your betta and it might not be swim bladder disease at all.
As betta fish are very popular, you can buy them in your local pet shop, but make sure they are healthy and good-looking ones. If you want to breed bettas then here is a nice blog post on how to do it.
Remember that these steps should only be used as supportive therapy and you should always consult a veterinarian if your betta isn’t responding to any of the treatments mentioned above.
Is Swim Bladder Disease Contagious?
No, swim bladder disease is not contagious and you don’t need to worry about it spreading to other fish in your tank. However, you should still take precautions to prevent any other fish from getting infected.
You can do this by cleaning the tank and filters regularly and making sure that the water parameters are within the recommended range. You should also quarantine any new fish that you bring into the main tank for 14 days before adding it to the community.
This will give it time to recover from swim bladder disease and any other types of infections that might have been contracted at the pet store. Be sure to keep a close eye on your new fish during this period as its natural defenses might have been weakened.
If you have any other fish in your tank that are showing signs of swim bladder disease then you should move them into the quarantine tank or supportive therapy environment while they recover. This will prevent the infection from spreading to other fish in your main tank.
As mentioned above, it can take some time for a betta’s swim bladder to recover and there is no guarantee that it will be successful. However, by using the supportive therapies mentioned above you can improve your betta’s chances of making a full recovery.
Is Swim Bladder Disease Fatal?
No, swim bladder disease is not fatal and most bettas will make a full recovery if they are given the appropriate treatment. However, there is always the chance that your betta might not recover and might die as a result of the infection.
This is why it is important to keep a close eye on your betta and to seek veterinary help if it isn’t responding to any of the treatments mentioned above.
Swim bladder disease can be a terrifying condition and it affects many pet betta fish every year. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your betta recover from this condition and most of them will respond to one of the supportive therapies mentioned above.
This blog post has given you the steps that you need to take if your betta has swim bladder disease. Remember to always consult a veterinarian if your betta isn’t responding to any of the treatments mentioned above. Thanks for reading!
Hello, I’m Paul, a dedicated fish enthusiast with 15 years of experience. My family finds my hobby peculiar, but they humor me! Besides fish keeping, I enjoy playing the bass guitar and learning about wildlife adaptation.
I find fish captivating; observing their behaviors and routines in an environment so different from ours is enthralling. I started with a small aquarium and guppies, later progressing to African cichlids, which drove me to take fish keeping more seriously. Creating an artificial ecosystem that supports life brings me immense joy.
The goal of 4aquarium.com is to become a one-stop shop for all aquatic needs, cutting through the clutter of irrelevant information. I invite you to visit often, and I welcome any questions or comments via the contact form on fishkeepingcentral.com/contact-us/. Thank you for reading my story!