Asked by: Mounya Wiescholek
pets fish and aquariums

Why is my fish floating sideways?

Last Updated: 13th February, 2020

If your goldfish is swimming sideways or upside-down, it may have swim bladder disorder. Constipation, enlarged organs, or infection can all cause the swim bladder to stop functioning properly. With proper care, you may be able to treat this disease and get your goldfish back to good health.

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Also know, why is my fish floating on its side?

The swim bladder is an organ that assists a fish in maintaining balance and an upright swimming position. When the bladder becomes too full or becomes blocked, or the fish has an infection, the swim bladder is unable to function properly. This causes the fish to swim or float on its side.

Additionally, can a fish die from swim bladder disease? Home Treatment for Fish with Swim Bladder Disorder Depending on the cause, swim bladder disorders may be temporary or permanent. If your fish has a permanent swim bladder disorder, they can still live a full and happy life with some lifestyle modifications. Fish with compromised swimming ability will need help eating.

Herein, how do you cure swim bladder disease?


  1. Keeping the water especially clean and between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Adding a small amount of aquarium salt to the tank.
  3. Reducing the water level to make it easier for the fish to move around within the tank.
  4. Reducing water flow in tanks with a strong current.

Why is my koi floating on its side?

Koi that swim sideways may be performing this motion to try to rid themselves of parasites on their scales and gills, such as skin/gill fluke worms. If you notice your koi has lost most of it's buoyancy control and does not ever swim normally, it's likely the swim bladder.

Related Question Answers

Nuhacet Gopfer


Will swim bladder go away?

If symptoms persist, the fish may have an untreatable problem, such as an organ deformity or internal damage. Give it a few more days to see if the symptoms of swim bladder disorder go away. If your fish never regains the ability to swim and eat properly, euthanasia may be the most humane solution.

Keba Zumholte


How do you revive a dying fish?

Part 2 Reviving Your Goldfish
  1. Identify symptoms of a dying goldfish.
  2. Look for symptoms in other fish.
  3. Remove the filter and treat the water.
  4. Treat the water with a heat and salt method.
  5. Feed your fish veggies and low protein foods.
  6. Excise parasites with tweezers.
  7. Use a commercial fish medication.

Yoana Aldabo


Do fish play dead?

Your fish could be resting, sick, or dead, but if it is dead, it will not react. If your fish is dead, you need to remove its body so no other fish you have in the tank get sick. One of my fish died in the tank with other fish.

Kaloyan Eddison


Can fishes feel pain?

In the past 15 years, Braithwaite and other fish biologists around the world have produced substantial evidence that, just like mammals and birds, fish also experience conscious pain. “Fish do feel pain. It's likely different from what humans feel, but it is still a kind of pain.”



How do I know if my fish is dying?

These are some of the most common signs of disease seen in pet fish:
  1. Appearing disoriented, such as swimming upside down.
  2. Leaving food uneaten.
  3. White spots on fins or body.
  4. Discolored gills.
  5. Trouble breathing such as gasping at surface of water.
  6. Bulging eyes (one or both)
  7. Mucus accumulation on the body.

Sanford Fanzeres


How do you revive a goldfish?

Place the goldfish in a container filled with cool water from his tank. The cool water contains oxygen and will help to revive your fish. Some experts also suggest placing your goldfish right back into the water in his tank, even if he appears dried out.

Nofre Meuwsen


Where is the swim bladder located?

The swim bladder is located in the body cavity and is derived from an outpocketing of the digestive tube. It contains gas (usually oxygen) and functions as a hydrostatic, or ballast, organ, enabling the fish to maintain its depth without floating upward or sinking.

Elisha Sepp


Can swim bladder spread to other fish?

Infection – Infections in aquarium fish are most commonly caused by parasites and bacteria found in their water. This makes the resulting infection contagious as it is water born. Since swim bladder disorder can be a result of infection, this makes it contagious to other fish by association with the infection.

Iman Barshay


How long does it take for a betta to recover from swim bladder?

Luckily for you if your bettas swim bladder disease is caused by overfeeding then the chances of making a recovery are good as long as start treatment immediately. If you have other fish in your tank then move your betta to a quarantine tank. Now that your betta is in the tank you should fast him for 3 days.

Zouhra Spiess


What does it mean when your fish is swimming vertically?

A fish stomach is about the same size as its eye! The most common cause is when flaky fish food floats at the top of the water, so when fish take a bite they also gulp down some air. This can cause their organs to become enlarged, leading to swim bladder disorder.

Jerobel Kaya


How do fishes sleep?

The simple answer is yes! They are sleeping, and they can sleep at any time during the day or night. Fish do sleep with their eyes open, because they don't have eyelids (except for some sharks) to close! For fish, sleep is more like a resting period similar to a daydream that humans might experience.

Jasleen Bellert


What is dropsy in fish?

Dropsy is a disease in fish caused by the buildup of fluid inside the body cavity or tissues. As a symptom rather than a disease, it can indicate a number of underlying diseases, including bacterial infections, parasitic infections, or liver dysfunction.

Kip Pablos


Can a fish have a seizure?

Fish that have seizures are not likely to recover and live much longer after the seizures occur. But fortunately for you there are a few ways to help lesson the risk of them. Betta or fish seizures are similar to human ones as their body shakes uncontrollably, it is an absolutely terrifying thing to watch.

Mimi Falces


How do you treat fish bloat?

  1. Move the sick fish to a "hospital tank."
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water in the hospital tank.
  3. Feed the fish fresh, high-quality foods.
  4. Treat the fish with antibiotics, either in the food or in the water.
  5. Test the water in the hospital tank daily to ensure it is appropriate for the fish.

Akane Astrahantsev


Irema Baiaram


Do fish see color?

Fish retinas generally have both rod cells and cone cells (for scotopic and photopic vision), and most species have colour vision. Some fish can see ultraviolet and some are sensitive to polarized light.

Shaukat Hinojar


How do you humanely kill a sick goldfish?

Inhumane methods
These include flushing fish down the toilet; immersion in ice or placing in the freezer, boiling, decapitation without stunning or pithing or suffocation by leaving fish out of water.

Dorinela Koberna


What does it mean when a fish is laying sideways?

You may notice fish lying on the bottom of the tank more if the water is not aerated. This is likely to be a problem if the water is too warm or too cool. Keeping the temperature uniform -- in the upper 70s, Fahrenheit -- and circulating the water mechanically will help ensure optimum oxygen content.

Agapito Jevaikin


Why is my fish swimming upside down and in circles?

If your goldfish is swimming upside down, the most probable cause is swim bladder disease or disorder. The swim bladder is a gas-filled internal organ that fish use to regulate their buoyancy and move up and down normally in water.