Swim Bladder Disease Clownfish? {How To Treat & Prevent}

Have you noticed that your clownfish is swimming funny and you think they might have swim bladder?

Can Clownfish Get Swim Bladder? Yes, Clownfish can get a swim bladder which is a  disease caused by overeating, a weak immune system, sudden change in water condition, or damage to the internal organs. 

Can Clownfish Get Swim Bladder

Signs Your Clownfish has Swim Bladder

When your clownfish has a swim bladder, it starts to exhibit awkward swimming behavior. The clownfish will be battling with objects in the tank and bumping into them as if they were blind.

Swim bladder disease is a life-threatening problem for clownfish. However, if you pay attention to your tank, you can quickly detect some signs and adopt immediate first aid measures. Some of the signs that will be exhibited includes:

  • Staying afloat 
  • Bumping into objects in its tank
  • Awkward swimming techniques
  • Popeyes, and
  • Bloating 

In the wild, Clownfish are coral reef settlers, which means they enjoy swimming close to the tank’s base. However, with a swim bladder, swimming becomes a challenging task for them.

How to Treat Swim Bladder in Clownfish?

As soon as you notice symptoms of the swim bladder in your clownfish, quickly separate it from the circus. This will help reduce the stress and pressure caused by the other fishes. You can also issue antibacterial treatment.

Here are treatment measures you can also use

  • You should remove the clownfish from its original tank and quickly transfer it to a hospital tank
  • Check for irregularities in your tank and adjust water condition
  • In severe cases, quickly issue antibacterial, this will help rebuild their immune system
  • You should quickly seek professional medical attention if symptoms persist.
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How to Prevent Swim Bladder in Clownfish?

You can prevent swim bladder in clownfish by not overfeeding them, regulating the water condition, providing nutritious diet and keeping them in bigger tanks.

Clownfish are one of the easiest and coolest fish to breed. Most breeders will choose to have them in their tank because they live long and are usually fuss-free. If you give them a nutritious meal and provide them with a healthy living environment, many health-related issues will be averted.

Like other animals, clownfish have its relapses and health problems. You can also use the following approach to prevent your clownfish from swim bladder disorder.

  • Quarantine your fish before putting them in your main tank
  • Avoid overfeeding 
  • Regulated water condition 
  • Provide nutritious diet
  • Provide bigger tank

1. Quarantine

After acquiring a new fish, you should start by keeping them in a different tank, but they should share similarities with your main tank. Transporting fish from a pet store could be stressful for them and could cause them to swim bladder.

2. Avoid Overfeeding

Do not be consumed by that mentality that overfeeding will enhance their growth. One of the primary causes of the swim bladder in clownfish is overfeeding.

3. Regulated Water Condition

The constant change in the temperature, pH level, lights, or habitat features will stress out your clownfish. They will struggle to get acquainted with the tank constantly and, as a result, accumulated a lot of pressure.

4. Provide Nutritious Diet

It would help if you always supplied them with adequate nutrition. As omnivores, a healthy mix of protein and plants is highly recommended as they will help build your clownfish immune system and help fight diseases and bacteria threats.

5. Provide Bigger Tank

Clownfish are aggressive and territorial. If your tank is overpopulated with the fish, they constantly fight each other for territory. This could make them get stressed out and could come up with swim bladder disorder as a result of the stress.

Can Swim Bladder Kill my Clownfish?

A swim bladder disorder can kill your clownfish. If not properly taken care of or given adequate medical attention, swim bladder could be a death threat to your clownfish.

The disease could force the fish to live against their underwater nature. They will also be very slow and be bullied by other clownfish.

In severe cases, the affected clownfish’s immune system would be broken down, and if not given the needed medical care, it would lead to their death.

Clownfish are naturally aggressive and tend to fight each other often. The infected clownfish could be bullied to death by other clownfish.

Can Swim Bladder Disease Transfer to Other Fish?

No, swim bladder disease is not a contagious disease and will not affect other fishes. However, it could also be caused by other diseases, some of which could be transferred to other fish.

If you notice swim bladder disease on a clownfish, you should immediately remove it to a separate tank and closely watch the other fish for irregularities.

Swim bladder disease might not be contagious, but it can be caused by a contagious disease and therefore spread to other fish.

Can all Clownfish get Swim Bladder Disease?

Yes, all clownfish can get swim bladder disease. However, it is almost impossible for all the fishes in the tank to be infected with swim bladder disease at the same time. This is because not all of them share the same body or endurance capacity.

Clownfishes are not immune to swim bladder disease, therefore, all their species are prone to the disease.

The hatchlings or old clownfish in the circus might easily get affected compared to the mid-age ones. In contrast, some clownfish tend to endure irregularities in tank pressure more than others.

What is Swim Bladder Disease?

Swim bladder disease is a secondary symptom of any medical condition of a fish that causes the swim bladder to inflate. When a fish is affected by swim bladder disease, it displays physical malfunction like swollen swim bladder that causes them to float and bloat.

The swim bladder is in charge of buoyancy and swimming activity in a fish. It is a ball of a thin membrane filled with gas, otherwise known as a fish air bladder. In a clownfish, it is located beneath the spine at the center of the fish.

A clownfish with swim bladder disease will have a swollen swim bladder and swimming will be a challenging task for it.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.