Swim Bladder Disorder

What causes Swim Bladder Disorder?

Swim Bladder Disorder is one of the most common goldfish diseases, but in most cases it's easy to fix. This disease can be caused by different things including external factors, genetic factors, diet or diseases.

First, you need to know that Swim Bladder is an air filled organ that fish use to regulate buoyancy in the water. By using these air sacs, a goldfish can dive down, submerge or come back to the surface. If the air bladder becomes compressed, deformed or diseased or the goldfish can't regulate it, then it will start to lose balance.

Stress and bullying by other fish or water quality is not optimal eg. nitrate or ammonia levels may be high - these can cause the capillaries to the air sacs to dilate. 'Thermal shock' can cause Swim Bladder problems, but the most common causes are overfeeding and/or poor diet lacking in fiber. This can lead to bad constipation and the swelling of the abdomen prevents the Swim Bladder from functioning properly.

Fancy goldfish are more exposed to the Swim Bladder disorder because of their egg-shaped body and the genetically deformed internal organs.

What are the symptoms?

Swim Bladder disorder is very easy to spot, you can see you goldfish:

  • having problems swimming
  • flip over
  • list to one side
  • float upside down
  • unable to move from the bottom
  • unable to swim down to the bottom

Once they float to the surface because of the excess air, that stay there - unable to move. They can't breath, swim or eat easily.

How to cure Swim Bladder Disorder?

Eliminate pellets and flakes because goldfish don't get enough fiber and some can get gas from processed foods.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Feed your goldfish only peas or beans for 3 days. They need to be highly steamed, de-skinned and mushed or finely chopped OR
  2. Stop feeding your goldfish for 3 days. This allows the gas to pass trough. Gradually start to feed them again. Only feed them veggies and fruit in small chopped-up quantities. In about a week your goldfish will be feeling great

How to prevent Swim Bladder Disorder?

It's very simple. Keep a high quality water, don't overstock and overfeed your goldfish. Your fish need fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, happy, disease free and have bright colors. Feeding them fresh veggies and fruit and live food as occasional treats is the best way to keep your goldfish thriving.

Love to you,

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