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FishDeals.com | Aquarium Fish Disease Identification, Diagnosis & Treatment
 
Swim Bladder Disease - Identification & Treatment

Major Sick Fish Diseases:

Much has been written on the topic of stress & disease, below is summary to help guide you throughout Swim Bladder Disease prevention and identification. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to Ask An Expert.

 Ask a Question in the Sick Fish Stress & Disease Forum

Name: SWIM BLADDER DISEASE
Symptoms:
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy

  • Symptoms of Stress & Disease
  • Swim Bladder Disease General Description
    Swim bladder disease is a multifactorial illness which primarily affects ornamental goldfish which have globoid body shapes, like orandas, ryukins, and fantails. It most often presents as a fish which floats at the surface, or a fish which stays on the bottom and doesn't seem to be able to easily rise. A fish which has normal buoyancy but is listing to one side or the other often does not have swim bladder disease, but may have other diseases.
    Swim Bladder Disease Treatments
    This is a problem more common in fancy goldfish, and there is no cure for it. Feeding medicated food (see bottom of page), adding salt to the tank, feeding peas, and raising the temperature to 76 degrees may help but only for a short time. Eventually the fish may be unable to eat and will have to be euthanized.

    Feed your fish a couple of peas. That's right, peas. Just get some frozen peas, thaw them, and feed them to your fish. A professor of fish medicine at N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine has done this in several cases with very good results. He thinks that the peas somehow encourage destruction of the impaction. No hard scientific data yet, but it's worth a try.

    Fast your fish for a couple of days. Withhold all food for three or four days, and sometimes this alone will break up the impaction and return things to normal. Most fish can go a week to ten days without food and be just fine.

    Periodic aspiration of the swim bladder works very well. Basically, you stick a needle in the swim bladder and suck out some of the air. Not something to be entered into lightly, but does work well. This is not a cure, but a successful treatment. The head veterinarian at the Baltimore Aquarium prefers this method.
    Swim Bladder Disease Prevention
    As always, the golden rule of fish disease is Water Quality. If swim bladder disease does have an infectious cause, your fish will be better able to resist this infection (and others) if your water quality is good. Regular water changes and water testing are a must.

    Pre-soak your flake or pelleted food. This will allow expansion to occur prior to the fish eating it, and will lessen the chance of impaction.

    Even better, switch to a gel-based food or other food source, i.e. frozen or live food.
    Image Gallery of Swim Bladder Disease
    No Pictures have been Submitted, please send one, Ask An Expert
    Swim Bladder Disease Frequently Asked Questions
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    #ImageDisease TitleTop 3 Symptoms
    1. Ammonia Poisoning
  • Red streaking on the fins or body.
  • Purple or red gills.
  • Fins are torn & jagged.
  • 2. Anchor Worms
  • Tiny white-green or red worms in wounds.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Ulcers may appear.
  • 3. Black Spot
  • Small black speckles on body.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Small black smudges on fish.
  • 4. Cataracts
  • White or grey "foggy" eyes.
  • Eye looks like it has a slime coat.
  • Tendency to bump into things.
  • 5. Cotton Mouth
  • White "Cotton like" fungus on the mouth.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins.
  • 6. Curved Spine (Fish TB)
  • Curved or Crooked Spine.
  • Lesions on the body.
  • loss of scales.
  • 7. Dropsy
  • Huge, Fat, Bloated Belly.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Scales almost popping off.
  • 8. Fin Rot
  • Fins turn Jagged or whitish and die back.
  • Fins look like they were ripped off.
  • Fish is not eating.
  • 9. Hole in the Head
  • Hole in the head.
  • Small sore on head.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • 10. Ichthyophthirius
    (white spot or ick)
  • Small white "salt-like" pimples on fins & body.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • 11. Neon Tetra Disease
  • Restlessness.
  • Whitened areas deep into the fishes' flesh.
  • Spine may become curved.
  • 12. New Tank Syndrome
  • Sudden Death.
  • Cloudy Water.
  • Unexplained Death.
  • 13. Oodinium (velvet)
  • Fine grey-gold to whitish 'dust' on the body.
  • Very rapid gill movement.
  • Scratching or flashing.
  • 14. Parasites (External)
  • Large ugly sores on body.
  • Skin looks grey in patches.
  • Fish swim aimlessly.
  • 15. Planaria
    (white hairlike worms)
  • Small White Hairlike Worms.
  • Tiny, Wiggley Worms often found in the substrate.
  • 16. Pop Eye
  • One or both eyes protrude from the head in an unusual fashion.
  • 17. Skin / Gill Flukes
  • Fish gasps for air at the water's surface
  • Gills open and close rapidly
  • Gills are covered in mucus
  • 18. Swim Bladder Disease
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy
  • 19. Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • View Symptoms per Vitamin
  • References/Further Reading

    The Manual of Fish Health
    Dr. Chris Andrews, Adrian Exell and Dr. Neville Carrington.
    New Jersey: Tetra Press, 1988

    Handbook of Fish Diseases
    Dieter Untergasser
    Translation by Howard H. Hirschhorn
    T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1989


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