I woke up this morning to find my little guy here swimming with his tail up, struggling to stay down in the water and gulping a lot. A quick Google on this behavior points to something called Swim Bladder Disease.
The cure, they say, is to do the following things:
- Move the fish to a “recovery tank” by himself to avoid other fish picking on him (other fish know when a fish is sick and they can become cannibalistic).
- Make sure the water is about 80°
- Leave 2-3 inches at the top of the tank to make it easier for the fish to move up and get air.
- Don’t feed for 3 days.
- When you do feed on the third day, give the fish a de-skinned pea to help flush out the digestive system
I’ve read quite a few articles at this point and they all seem to agree that if you catch it earlier enough and treat properly, most fish will recover.
- [Rarely] – they are born with a defect
- They’ve been gulping air or eating too much too fast (You know, my neons like to play in the bubbler bubbles in the tank….hmmmmmm). A tip I read in a forum said that if you feed your fish only once a day and you notice a higher incidence of swim bladder going on – maybe they are just hungry and when they are fed, they gulp. The answer here is to try feeding lesser amounts 2-3 times a day (pinch here, pinch there – one flake feeds 1 fish) and see if that helps.
- Environmental conditions in the tank are poor or not consistent (like allowing the water temp to go down or letting nitrates build up to too high a level)
- And as you might expect, there are lots of other theories.
Keep your fingers crossed! I hope my little guy makes it. I’ll keep you posted! Hey, now that was funny – posted on a blog 😉