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Swim Bladder Disease

General Information
Swim bladder disease is most often noticed when a fish floats at the of the water, or a fish that stays on the bottom of the tank and doesn’t seem to be able to rise easily . A fish that has normal buoyancy but is laying on one side or the other does not mean it has swim bladder disease, but could have other diseases. The swim bladder is a small epithelium-lined sac in the abdomen and is responsible for maintaining buoyancy in the fish. It has a close association with blood vessels so that gases can move across and in and out of the sac according to the fishes needs. The sac inflates when and if the fish needs to be more buoyant, and it will deflate when the fish needs to be less buoyant.A few different things can cause swim bladder disease.Some of these include, A Virus, Bacterium, And diet.

Fish that have swim bladder disease appear to have an abnormal swimming pattern, usually with the tail end up. The fish may even float upside down or look to be stuck at the top of the water and unable to swim down, or sometimes its the other way round and they may lie on the bottom of the tank,and then are unable to rise to the surface of the tank. Fish that have swim bladder disease will continue to try and eat,with a normal appetite.The most common cause of swim bladder disease is improper diet. An improper diet can end up leading to intestinal gas or intestinal blockages. Intestinal blockages can irritate the bowel, which gives bacteria or other parasites an entry point where they can cause damage to the fishes swim bladder.Fish that are fed a lot of dried foods, like pellets, are more likely susceptible. This condition is frequently observed in the later stages of Malawi Bloat, which is normally due to an improper diet as well an intestinal irritation.

This disorder is due mainly because of an improper diet, a change to their feeding needs should be made. Dried food that contains lots of protein should be kept to a minimum. Pellets and other dense foods should be soaked before feeding or completely removed from their diet. Food contains alot of fiber should be introduced, such foods include zucchini, squash, spinach,lettuce, peas, and grated carrots. If you think that your fish is a victim to a bacterial infection, treat the fish with some sort of medicated food.

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  • jiten said:


    I was browsing to find information on cichlids. As i have around 18 left in various sizes. the biggest an inch long and 3-4 the smallest will be not even half an inch and the rest less than inch long.

    I had around 30 of cichlids, the orange, the blue with dark n light blue stripes, the bottom yellow with black stripes and then then plain white ones with red eyes.

    i have been feeding them with dried frozen bloodworms and initially with tetrabits also. however, i stopped the tetrabits, as the small ones started to die. last night they were fine, however, one of the yellow with black stripes was dead and a small blue one was breathing heavy and at the bottom of the tank and kind of jumping instead of swimming and floating at the bottom the tank. i guess it wont survive for long.

    i keep the track of the nitrate levels and change the 20 to 30 % of water almost 3rd or 4th day. i don’t know if they are dying due to the feeding of dried blood worms or not. If that is the case, what is the best option that i can feed them, as mentioned somewhere that too much of protein is not good also. im not sure if it is swim bladder or not.

    Would appreciate if you can help with the issue.



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