Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? (9 Reasons)

We will answer Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? In this article. We will talk about all the causes that can make your goldfish swim sideways along with the symptoms and treatments of those causes. So, let’s begin with our discussion.

Why is my goldfish swimming sideways?

Your Goldfish is swimming sideways because of swim bladder injury or abnormal functioning of the swim bladder. We will talk about the swim bladder diseases in detail in this article.

 Keep in mind that as a pet owner you have to protect your fish against any kind of disease or injury.

The swim Bladder helps the fish to maintain continuous water movements. If it fills up with water it can cause the imbalanced swimming of the fish. 

Keep in mind that the fish might be in pain and that is why you have to take it to a vet as soon as possible. 

Before getting into the detail of the swim bladder disease or injury it is essentially important to know what is a swim bladder and how it is important for the fish to swim.

 Understanding the physiology of the swimbladder will help us find the better answer to the question Why is my goldfish swimming sideways?

The Swim Bladder of Goldfish

You have seen fish moving in the water beautifully and effortlessly. Have you ever thought about why the fish never floats nor drowns? 

Well, it is possible with the help of an essential organ in the body of the fish called the swim bladder. The swim bladder helps the fish to survive underwater easily.

The swim bladder is an organ that is filled with gas to keep the fish swim in water without spending much energy. 

If the swim bladder of the fish is injured or under some serious pathological stress the flow of the air inside the swim bladder is disrupted and the fish face difficulty in swimming in a streamlined straight fashion.

If you observe your fish swimming sideways it might happen because of any kind of injury to the swim bladder of the fish. Make sure that you get it treated as soon as possible. Prolonged conditions can result in unwanted consequences. 

Therefore if you are thinking Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? You should probably run to your vet immediately and do something about it.

Fish are delicate and sensitive creatures and they depend on you for their proper feeding and care.

 If you are not properly taking care of your fish it might lead to conditions like the fish swimming sideways or the fish not swimming at all.

The Swim Bladder Disease

If your fish is swimming sideways instead of in a streamlined elegant manner, it might be the sign that your fish is going through a swim bladder disorder. 

So what is a swim bladder disorder?  A swim bladder disorder means anything that can cause the abnormal functioning of the swim bladder of the fish that may lead up to the conditions like sideways swimming.

The main cause of swim bladder diseases can be straining on the delicate organ of the goldfish. Keep in mind that fish are delicate and if they are not fed properly or being taken care of well. They might develop conditions such as swim bladder disorder. 

The swim bladder disorder causes can be various, Let’s find out the various causes that can lead to the swim bladder disorder

Physical Causes of Swim Bladder disorder

If you are wondering Why is my goldfish swimming sideways?  Check for the conditions that can cause injury or physical strain to the delicate organ of the fish. Any kind of trauma or injury can lead to swim bladder disorder in the goldfish.

Aggressive tankmates of goldfish can cause injury to the swim bladder of the goldfish that can result in the sideways swimming of your goldfish. Make sure that you don’t put your goldfish in a tankful of aggressive fish. The territorial behavior of some fish can make them attack small little peaceful creatures like goldfish that is why you have to save your fish from getting attacked by other fish.

Touching your fish or moving it to the other tank can cause swim bladder injuries sometimes, therefore avoid touching the body of your goldfish and slowly transfer it from one tank to another.

Chemical causes

Some agents such as cleaning agents or chemicals are not good for the health of the fish or any aquatic life. The chemicals can destroy the tissue of the soft body masses of the goldfish. 

Such necrosis can lead to diseases in the swim bladder of the goldfish and make it move sideways instead of normal swimming patterns of the goldfish.

Avoid using disinfectants or insecticides in places that can contaminate the water of the fish tank. Once the chemical gets dissolved in the water it can cause harmful effects to the normal functioning of the fish’s body. 

So if you are thinking Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? You should probably look around if you are using harmful chemicals near their tank or not.

Improper feeding

Overfeeding the goldfish can lead to constipation and bloating. The bloating or constipation in the delicate organs of the body can put a strain on the swim bladder of the fish and make them move sideways. Therefore feed them properly to avoid complications like the swim bladder disorders in the fish.

Microbial  Diseases

The swim bladder diseases can be due to viral, bacterial, or fungal infections in the swim bladder of the fish. Therefore it is essentially important to keep the water tank clean and adopt proper hygienic measures for the welfare of your fish. You can go for some antimicrobial drugs if your vet recommends you to use them. 

Otherwise proper hygienic measures are good enough to protect your fish from conditions like swim bladder disorder or microbial infections. Make sure that you are not underfeeding your goldfish, as it can cause the immune system to be compromised.

Let’s find out how you can tell if your fish have swim bladder disorder.

How will I know about swim bladder disorder?

It is vital to know about the signs and symptoms regarding the swim bladder disorders of your fish. Following are some important signs that will confirm if your fish has swim bladder disorder or not:

  • The fish will move up and down continuously and will come up to the surface again and again. Instead of swimming smoothly under the water, it will move up and down in a zig-zag or sideways manner. Note the pattern of swimming of the goldfish as it is one of the main signs in diagnosing swim bladder disorder.
  • Loss of appetite in fish is a sign of some pain or stress. If you note that your fish is not even eating properly along with the unbalanced swimming, it is certain that it has a swim bladder disorder and it needs to be treated right away.
  • The stomach or belly of the goldfish can become swollen or fat so observe this condition in the goldfish by taking a fine look at its belly. Dropsy or constipation can cause the swelling up of the swim bladder and lead to swim bladder disorders in the fish.
  • If your fish keeps on sinking in the bottom of your fish tank, it means it has a swim bladder disorder. You will observe that the fish is sinking on its head or its side in the tank continuously.

Keep these signs in your mind and take your fish to the vet immediately.

Treatment of Swim Bladder Disorder

You don’t need to worry as the swim bladder disorders can be treated.  The best option is to go to your vet and get a proper treatment to plan for your fish. Once you have found the cause, start working on it. 

Following are some other additional points that can help you treat the swim bladder disorder in your fish efficiently and effectively:

  • Control feeding of the fish. You don’t want to overcomplicate the situation. That is why a small number of meals should be given to the fish to help it in the quick recovery. Keep in mind that the quality of feed also matters a lot in the treatment of the fish.
  • Don’t let the temperature of the fish tank become cold. Keep the temperature levels warm enough for the fish to feel comfortable. The warm water helps in the proper digestion of the food in the GIT of the fish and that is why it helps in the recovery of the fish quickly.
  • Use a high fiber diet to enhance the digestion of food in your goldfish. Feeding dry much more often can lead to blockage of feces in the goldfish. The blockage of feces in the fish can lead to constipation which ultimately puts a strain on the swim bladder of the goldfish making it swim sideways in the tank.

Conclusion

We answered the question Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? In this article. We talked about all the causes that can make your goldfish swim sideways along with the symptoms and treatments of those causes. We found out that swim bladder disorders are the main cause of the sideways swimming of your goldfish.

Feel free to ask anything about Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? In the comment section below:

FAQs Why is my goldfish swimming sideways?

Frequently asked questions about Why is my goldfish swimming sideways? Are:

What do I do if my fish is swimming sideways?

Go to your vet as it is usually because of the swim bladder disorder. You don’t need to worry as the swim bladder disorders can be treated.  The best option is to go to your vet and get a proper treatment to plan for your fish. Once you have found the cause, start working on it.

Why is my goldfish swimming in the corner?

Your goldfish is swimming in the corner indicates that it may not be well or going through some stress conditions. Remove the fish from stressed conditions as soon as possible and ask your vet to check and treat your fish properly.

Can goldfish recover from swim bladder?

It depends upon the condition of the injury or pathogenicity of the swim bladder. You don’t need to worry as the swim bladder disorders can be treated. The best option is to go to your vet and get a proper treatment to plan for your fish.

Why is my fish on its side but still breathing?

It happens when the swim bladder of your fish is not working properly. If the swim bladder of the fish is injured or under some serious pathological stress the flow of the air inside the swim bladder is disrupted and the fish face difficulty in swimming in a streamlined straight fashion.

Does swim bladder go away?

With proper care and management, the swim bladder disorder can go away. Get a proper treatment plan from your vet and provide suitable conditions to your fish, that helps in the quick and effective recovery of the fish.

References

https://www.thesprucepets.com/swim-bladder-disorder-in-aquarium-fish-1381230

https://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Swim-Bladder-Disease-in-Goldfish

https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/health-wellness/Understanding-Erratic-Swimming-in-Aquarium-Fish.html

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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