Signs Your Fish has Buoyancy Issues

Did you know that your fish can have buoyancy issues? Believe it or not, it’s more common than you think. To start, this is when a fish has trouble trying to swim in their tank. While sometimes this can go undetected by a fish owner (especially if this happens to be your first one), it is something that you should be on the lookout for. Here are a few common signs that your fish may be experiencing this:

Signs to Look For

When you imagine your fish swimming, you’ll picture them gliding around the water with little-to-no effort at all. However, with buoyancy issues (also known as Swim Bladder Disorder), your fish will struggle to stay afloat. Some other common signs to look for, but are not limited to are:

  • Staying at the bottom of the tank; unable to swim to the top.

  • Starting to float upside down.

  • Can’t stay upright.

  • Having a noticeably curved back.

While some of this might seem like normal fish behavior or characteristics, they should actually be causes for concern. 

How Buoyancy Issues Can Start

Believe it or not, there are a few possible causes as to what can lead to swim bladder disorder. One of the more common ways is tending to overfeed your fish. While it can seem innocent to give your little buddy a bigger helping of food, thinking that they’ll stay fuller longer, it’s rather dangerous to their well-being. If you’re going to feed your fish, it’s best to give them a gentle sprinkle of flakes from your fingertips — not going back into the container for seconds or thirds.

Another way that swim bladder disorder can be formed is by giving your fish any food that tends to expand when placed in water. Think about it: if the food grows in water, then it’s sure to continue to grow inside of the fish’s tiny stomach — which is a cause for concern.

While these are only a few of the ways that Swim Bladder Disorder can be caused, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to see if your fish has buoyancy issues and for solutions on how to help treat it.

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