Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?”. We will discuss potential causes and some manners to treat them.

Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?

The unique and offbeat personality of the betta fish, according to some, makes it an excellent first aquarium pet for new aquarium owners. In the aquarium, this fish tends to float, swim, and hold itself in unusual poses. You will, however, notice that this adorable fish is swimming sideways. 

The reason for this is most likely due to your pet having a swim bladder condition, which has impaired its ability to swim normally. The most essential thing to remember about this sickness is that it might be a symptom of anything more severe going on with your betta fish if ignored. 

Swim bladder disease

Swim bladder illness manifested itself in the form of swimming sideways or not swimming at all. Betta fish have a swim bladder, which is an organ that helps them to adjust their buoyancy when swimming. This organ allows the fish to swim more effortlessly and conserves energy while swimming. 

Swim bladder illness, in all honesty, is not a disease in the traditional sense. The simplest explanation is that the fish’s swim bladder has been injured as a result of a variety of factors, causing it to no longer function effectively.

Constipation and Overfeeding

Betta fish have the unfortunate tendency to overindulge in food. Once you have fed them, they will continue to eat even after they are satisfied or the food has been consumed. Constipation is a common problem for people with this sort of mentality. 

Constipation can also impair their swimming bladder, which can impair their ability to swim if they have too much of it. Constant constipation can also contribute to the accumulation of large amounts of fatty deposits in the bladder, which can have a harmful influence on the health of the bladder.

Low temperature

It is also possible that the water temperature in your aquarium is too low, which will cause your fish to get swim bladder illness. When the temperature is too low, the bladder’s activity slows down, which might result in the fish being constipated. 

To avoid this circumstance from occurring, make sure that the water is kept at the optimal temperature at all times. Constantly check to see that the water temperature in your fish tank does not go below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bacterial infection

A bacterial infection in a betta fish’s swim bladder is one of the reasons it might develop the condition. Rather than this, it is the opposite way around. A bacterial infection is a sickness that may occur in a fish, and one of the signs of this condition is the fish developing a swim bladder infection. 

Most of the time, bacterial illnesses occur as a result of improper water maintenance. If the water quality in your aquarium is poor, there will be several additional symptoms that will manifest themselves on the fish in addition to the bladder problem. Fish in distress may exhibit symptoms such as pinecone scales and extreme bloating.

Parasite infection

Parasites, particularly in the stomach and intestines of your betta fish, can infect and infect your fish as well. It is generally the result of having to overfeed your fish, which causes the parasites to infect their body and infest your tank as well. Once this occurs, you will see that the fish is swimming unusually, maybe even sideways.

Serious diseases

There will be occasions when your betta fish is affected by cysts in the kidneys, and this will be the case. Female bettas egg binding can also cause the fish to develop swim bladder illness, which can be fatal. The majority of these illnesses are so bad that there is nothing you can do but wait and see what happens to your pet fish.

What to do if your fish is swimming sideways?

If your fish is swimming sideways, it is most likely because it has been afflicted with a disease of the swim bladder. What you do in the next few days will be critical in aiding in the resolution of the problem and, potentially, the survival of your favourite betta fish. 

First and foremost, you will need to relocate your fish to a new tank. The fish will be cared for in this new aquarium, which will be constructed in the future. It should be a small aquarium or even a fishbowl, but it should be large enough to allow the fish to move freely even when the tank is turned sideways. 

Then you should research the disease’s likely origins. Because of constipation, it is best not to feed your fish for a few days while you are dealing with the situation. To be accurate, it took three days. The digestive system will be able to repair and rest while also cleansing itself as a result of this procedure. 

If your fish has been infected with a bacterial illness, antibiotics should be administered to treat it. In this scenario, I recommend that you speak with a fish specialist so that he can be the one to treat the fish in this situation. During this time, consulting with a veterinarian is the safest and most straightforward course of action. 

The majority of the time, swim bladder illness is not lethal if the underlying cause is regular constipation or bloating. The good news is that your betta fish will ultimately recover, even if it takes some time. Your fish’s life may be at risk if the reason is serious, such as a bacterial illness, as this is the case with the example above.

Symptoms of swim bladder disease

Betta fish are well-known for their stunning, brightly coloured scales as well as their pleasant dispositions. Some Betta owners, on the other hand, will quickly discover that their pets also have a swim bladder, which is an organ that is positioned immediately below their stomach. There are various symptoms associated with swim bladder illness in Bettas, and the condition is frequent. 

Bettas can suffer from swim bladder illness, which can cause a variety of issues. Fish that frequently swim sideways around in their tank or aquarium is the most prevalent sign of this condition. This can be difficult for the fish’s owner because the fish cannot be left alone and must be observed at all times, which can be exhausting. Additionally, a fish suffering from swim bladder sickness may grow swollen and incapable of eating. Swim bladder illness might potentially result in the death of a fish if it is left untreated.

Symptoms of improper diet and constipation

Swim bladder illness is frequently caused by overeating or constipation in dogs. This might result in an enlarged and unsupported swim bladder in the fish if the abnormalities are not addressed immediately. This makes it difficult for the fish to swim and breathe correctly, and it may eventually die as a result of this condition.

Symptoms of bacterial and parasite infection

Swim bladder illness in Bettas can be caused by bacterial and parasitic infections as well. This might result in the fish’s intestines becoming obstructed if the problems are not addressed immediately. As a result of bacterial illnesses, fish might get constipated, which limits the quantity of oxygen available in the fish’s body. Parasites will also impair the capacity of the Betta fish to consume food and breathe normally. Both bacterial and parasitic infections are extremely common in bettas because they have such a difficult time defending themselves against such attacks. As a result, they are frequently infected with disease-carrying bacteria or parasites, which allows these diseases to gain access to their bodies.

How to take care of betta fish with swim bladder disease?

Bettas and other fish can be affected by chronic swim bladder disease, which is an illness that affects their bladders. Bettas suffering from chronic swim bladder illness may have difficulties breathing as a result of the accumulation of fluid in the fish’s lungs, which can be fatal. Bettas suffering from chronic swim bladder illness may also have difficulty eating as a result of the restriction in their oesophageal passage. The most common form of treatment for chronic swim bladder disease is surgery to remove the afflicted organs from the body.


In this post, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?”. We also discussed potential causes and some manners to treat them.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?

What should I do if my betta is swimming in the wrong direction? 

Water maintenance, diet adjustments, and maybe antibiotics are all part of the treatment process. Allow the fish to move quickly: If it is suspected that a swim bladder disease is caused by an expanded stomach or intestine, the initial line of treatment is to refrain from feeding the fish for three days. 

What is it about my betta that she is constantly facing the wrong way? 

In addition, because betta fish are not powerful swimmers, they will grow fatigued and sluggish if the water flow in the tank is too vigorous. However, if your water flow is small and your betta continues to swim sideways along the gravel, your fish may be suffering from a swim bladder disorder. 

What causes fish to begin swimming sideways? 

Fish suffering from swim bladder disease are unable to maintain control over their depth and begin swimming sideways, upside down, and/or with their heads or tails down. The sight of a fish suffering from swim bladder illness might be a distressing sight to see, but it is treatable. 

What is causing my fish to move sideways after a water change? 

What exactly is it? It is the malfunctioning of the fish’s swim bladder that causes them to float less than normal. When a fish is plagued with Swim Bladder Disorder, he or she will frequently lose the ability to swim normally. Even though they are still alive, they will float uncontrolled to the top of the tank, where they will be flipped upside down. 

What is the reason for the fish swimming up and down the side of the tank? 

The act of glass surfing (also known as pacing) is one of the numerous activities that fish engage in to communicate how they are feeling to humans. This occurs when the fish swim up and down the sides of the aquarium glass consistently. One of the reasons people do this is because they are stressed. It might indicate that they are dissatisfied with their surroundings for a variety of reasons.


Betta Fish Laying in Side (When To Be Concerned). https://zenaquaria.com/betta-fish-laying-on-side/

Why is my Betta Fish Swimming Sideways – https://www.aquatic-eden.com/why-is-my-betta-fish-swimming-sideways/

Why Is My Betta Fish Swimming Sideways: Everything You Need To Know About Swim Bladder Disease. https://expertaquarist.com/betta-fish-swimming-sideways-swimbladder/