How to Treat Swim Bladder Disorder In Angelfish

Angelfish are usually very sensitive to their environment. They are quickly affected by dirty tanks or overcrowding. Swim bladder disorder is one of the health complications that frequently affect Angelfish.

How to Treat Swim Bladder Disorder In Angelfish

First stop feeding the angelfish for three days and add some aquarium salt to the tank. Relocate the affected fish to a treatment tank and keep the temperature between 78-80°F. Then feed the fish with a cooked and skinned pea on the fourth day to accelerate their recovery.

You should also test the water condition with a tester kit that you can purchase from amazon to make sure there are no water quality issues.

You can consider the inclusion of some supporting treatments. For instance, you can reduce the water level of the tank to ease their movement. Likewise, you can lower the current of the tank to help them get hold of their swimming ability more quickly.

You should also consider the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics if the causative agent of the disorder is bacteria. You should also consider visiting your veterinarian if the condition persists.

If you are looking for antibiotics I recommend melafix aquarium antibiotics which you can purchase from here

What is Swim Bladder Disorder? 

The swim bladder is a health complication that frequently occurs in Angelfish tanks. It is a condition where the swim bladder stops functioning normally. A lot of things can be responsible for the disorder, including physical abnormalities, diseases, environmental factors, mechanical factors, and so on.

Some causes of disease that you cannot quickly diagnose. Other times, it can occur as a combination of two or more of these factors. Once the disorder strikes a fish, they begin to exhibit some apparent signs.

Any fish that is affected by this disorder will have difficulty in swimming. They might not be able to swim to the surface of the water. They might also have problems with feeding correctly.

Causes of Swim Bladder Disorder in Angelfish

The overall cause of the swim bladder problem in fish is when the bladder stops functioning. A lot of things can, however, cause the bladder to stop working. It can be as a result of a compressed bladder or swollen bladder.

The notable factors that cause swim bladder disorder include;

  • Distended stomach resulting from constipation, overeating, or excess gulping of air.
  • When there is too much pressure on the swim bladder that arises as a result of the enlargement of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Enlargement of other internal organs, consequently putting pressure on the swim bladder.
  • Infections from parasites and bacteria that result in the inflammation of the swim bladder.
  • Accidental hard hit against the side of the tank or nipping from aggressive fishes can also affect the swim bladder of a fish.
  • Some fish are even born with swim bladder defects. This scenario is, however, an infrequent occurrence. Furthermore, fish that are born with this defect usually show the signs at very early stages of their life.
  • Poor water quality, particularly high nitrate concentration, might also be responsible for swim bladder disorder in Angelfish.

Symptoms of Swim Bladder Disorder 

You don’t have to wait until the swim bladder disorder in your fish becomes life-threatening before identifying the problem. Fish show apparent signs of discomfort and other swimming abnormalities. These signs can even be evident at the early stage of the disorder.

Most symptoms of swim bladder disorder have to do with the buoyancy of the fish. Once your Angelfish is hit by swim bladder disorder, you can find them sinking to the bottom of the tank. Alternatively, you can also find them floating aimlessly at the top of the tank.

Also, you can find them floating upside down, and some will be drifting sideways. Overall, the fish will find it hard to maintain a good swimming position. They won’t be able to control their ability to swim or sink.

The fish can also exhibit some other physical signs aside from abnormality in swimming. You can notice your fish having a curved back or swollen belly.

The feeding habit of the fish can also be altered. It is either they exhibit some distinct feeding disorder or lose appetite ultimately. In severe cases, the fish might not be able to swim to the food location.

Prevention of Swim Bladder Disorder

Prevention they say is better than a cure. There are ways you can prevent the swim bladder disorder in your tank before it grows to become a significant problem. These preventive measures are not out of the ordinary, and they are regular daily care.

The first way to prevent swim bladder disorder in Angelfish is to avoid overfeeding them. Too much food will only double the problem of your fish. Although it might solve the problem of hunger, it will create a digestion problem that can affect the bladder of the fish.

Likewise, you should avoid feeding you fish with too much-floating food or air-filled food. The reason is that swim bladder disorder can also arise when the fish gulp in too much air. It would help if you also diversified the diet of your fish.

You can also consider thawing frozen foods before feeding it to the fish. It would help if you also regulated their feeding time, particularly for adult fish.

Ensure that you keep the fish tank clean at all times. Carry out regular water changes and avoid the accumulation of nitrate in the tank. Likewise, you should maintain a stable temperature in the tank to ensure stability.


Angelfish are one of the aquarium species that are sensitive to their environment. They are usually prone to disease and disorders if they are in a dirty tank. Being in an overcrowded tank can also affect them.

Swim bladder disorder is a common problem. It has a lot to do with swimming abilities. It often makes the affected fish lose control of their swimming, thus, making them swim abnormally.

However, aquarists can learn to identify swim bladder disorder before it becomes life-threatening. At this stage, you can still bring the condition under control and get the necessary treatment.

Alternatively, you can prevent the disorder from happening in the first place by taking some precautions. You can avoid it by ensuring the cleanliness of your tank and regulating your fish’s diet.


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