Category Archives: Fish!

Neon Tetra with Swim Bladder Disease

Poor neon tetra with swim bladder disease

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Make sure the water is about 80°
  3. Leave 2-3 inches at the top of the tank to make it easier for the fish to move up and get air.
  4. Don’t feed for 3 days.
  5. 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.

The causes?

  1. [Rarely] – they are born with a defect
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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 😉