Diseases Diseases

How To Treat Swimbladder Disease in Gold Fish


Goldfish have a very unique body shape and because of this, faces problems controlling its movement in water at times. Sometimes, goldfish trap themselves in an upside down position and are unable to right themselves. When this happens some fish may come to the top of the fish tank, while others move to the bottom of the tank. This type of problem is called swimbladder disease, or it may be referred to as a flip over. Swimbladder disease is common in fancy goldfish, but it may affect others too.

Step 1

Swimbladder is an organ in the fish that is used to maintain their balance in water. If this bladder is somehow diseased or deformed, then the fish are unable to keep their balance. Besides this, constipation can also cause swimbladder problems. Some veterinarians have researched the causes of swimbladder disease, and have concluded that intake of air while feeding at the surface or eating food with too much air inside can also cause this disease. In case of female fish, the swimbladder disease can also be due to egg impaction.

Step 2

This type of disease may be very disturbing to fish owners, but it has a very simple and easy treatment. The first thing that you need to do is not feed your fish for 2 or 3 days, and after that feed it with peas. The skin of the peas should be pealed and they should be lightly steamed. If the fish refuses to eat the peas then try again and again. Eventually, it will eat, since goldfish are generally hungry most of the time.

Step 3

Apart from this, you also need to check the water of the tank. High levels of nitrate may cause swimbladder disease and you should adjust your nitrate level to just above 40ppm. Next, you need to check if your fish has any redness on the fins or belly. If these things don’t work, then it means that there is gas in the gastrointestinal tract of the fish. This can be determined if the fish releases gas or if there is floating stool in the water after the fish eat the peas.

Step 4

For this, you have to check the diet of the fish and check if any of the food has been causing this problem. If your fish is stuck at the bottom, then it is advised that you remove half of the water so that there is less water pressure on the fish, and if the fish is at the top of the tank then some plants should be used to give it protection.

Step 5

Apart from this, if some of the skin is exposed then you should apply Vaseline on the surface, so that the skin does not get sore.


Swimbladder disease is not contagious, however if it is not treated properly, then it might cause problems for the fish. It is advised that you check the water parameters of your tank on regular bases and also keep the tank clean, because many of the problems, including swimbladder disease, are caused by contaminated water. Apart from this, a healthy and balanced diet should be given to the fish and it is recommended to feed them fresh food.

Sources and Citations


By Sidra Rana, published at 03/04/2012
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How To Treat Swimbladder Disease in Gold Fish. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.