Why Is My Betta Fish Swimming Upside Down? [Probable Reasons]

Why Is My Betta Fish Obsessed With Filter

If you are concerned about your betta fish swimming upside down then you are in the right place. Well, there can be a number of reasons why your betta is swimming upside down. Therefore, in this article, I am going to find out all the possible reasons why your betta is swimming upside down.

So, stick to the last word of this article so that you can have the answers for which you have come here.

The main reason behind your betta fish swimming upside down is because of swim bladder disease. Swim bladder disease makes your betta fish’s stomach bloated which makes your betta swim upside down. Swim bladder disease can turn out to be life-threatening for your bettas if not treated properly.

Generally, swim bladder illness is mostly caused by bad water quality, a faulty filtering system, constipation, etc. At some point, your fish will either swim upside down or float keeping its body upside down. Therefore, if you don’t take action right away, the problem can get worse.

If your betta is swimming upside down, it is an indication of a serious issue, and you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The majority of individuals, however, struggle with what to do when their betta fish experiences swim bladder disease. This article addresses the causes of swim bladder disease as well as how can you treat swim bladder disease.

What Is The Reason Behind My Betta Swimming Upside Down?

Your betta fish might be facing issues regarding swim bladder disease if he/her is swimming upside down. The fish’s swimming bladder has been bloated due to which the betta has been swimming upside down. Constipation, an unhealthy diet, bad eating practices, or an illness might all be to blame for this.

In the subsequent section of the article, I will elaborate on and independently explain the two concepts, “swim bladder illness” and “betta fish swimming upside down.” Follow me through to the end.

When a fish’s swim bladder is bloated, its swim bladder doesn’t work correctly for a variety of reasons. The contributing factors may be mostly linked to environmental concerns, physical issues, mechanical issues, etc. These variables ultimately cause the fish to get swim bladder illness, which can negatively impact the fish’s health.

It becomes harder for your betta fish to maintain stability in the water or buoyancy if it has swim bladder illness. The bony fish’s swim bladder or gas chamber organ aids in its ability to float or move upright in the water.

Your betta fish will struggle in the following phases to swim straight or maintain a straight head. As a result, they may swim upside down until the fish dies. I’ve described swim bladder illness and the cause of your betta fish swimming upside down in great detail above, but if you’re still unclear, you may speak with a veterinarian to get the answers you need.

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4 Factors That Are Responsible For Betta Swimming Upside Down

Indeed betta fish starting to swim upside down is an extremely rare case for betta fish to do. The surprising fact is that betta fish are very sensitive to their environment. Therefore, if you ignore any small detail, your fish could display deadly symptoms like swim bladder disease..

When the betta fish keeper has reduced what betta needs to survive, diseases like swim bladder disease commonly occurs. For instance, poor aquarium care might result in increased nitrogen levels, which would poison the water and lead betta fish to get attacked by swim bladder disease. Without proper tank management, you run the danger of losing a betta to the swim bladder disease

The tank’s hygiene and the betta fish’s health must thus be closely monitored. Because it might be disastrous for your betta fish if you overlook one of the elements that can trigger swim bladder disease.

I’ve clearly listed all the factors that might cause swim bladder disease down below. If the instructions of the veterinarian or other professionals are difficult for you to grasp, you may read the following paragraphs, which will offer you a thorough understanding of the factors:

1. Water’s Qualitative State

The betta fish’s health and ability to fend off attacks from swim bladder illness are both significantly influenced by the water’s condition. Since betta fish are really sensitive species, the water must be completely acceptable for them. You must also decide on an appropriate proportion of chemicals to add to the water.

The likelihood of swim bladder disease of betta is actually decreased by 50% because of the quality of water. This means that you should always follow the instructions for creating a healthy betta habitat anytime you add water to the betta aquarium.

2. The Water’s pH Levels

Many elements of your fish’s health are determined by the pH levels in the water. If the pH level is below the prescribed range or beyond it, the betta fish will be harmed. The pH level will have a significant impact on fish fins and will cause challenges during their movement if it is greater than the optimum range.

It might be concerning because swim bladder disease occurs when the pH level is lower than the acceptable range. Water with a lower pH has a greater amount of acidity, something fish cannot handle.

3. Constipation

Keep in mind that bloating in the stomach can also be caused by constipation. Constipation won’t stop a fish from swimming unless it is really bad, which is usually caused by overfeeding or irregular eating.

You can tell if bettas are swimming upside down due to constipation or a swim bladder issue by looking at the fish’s waste. If the fish’s excrement is hanging on them rather than dropping off and drowning, constipation may be to blame. Recognizing and acting quickly on these signs is essential to prevent your fish from dying.

4. Overfeeding

Betta fish often swim upside down as a result of overfeeding. Betta fish consume insects and larvae, which have a higher moisture content, as fresh food. It’s a point that plenty of individuals forget to consider. Pet betta fish are usually given bloodworms and granules and these feeds are more abrasive which can cause the fish to bloat if they consume too much of them.

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The swim bladder may get obstructed and stressed as a result of the expansion. The fish will then swim upside down as a result of their bloated stomachs. As a result, you must be careful not to often overfeed your betta fish and listen to the fish veterinarian’s recommendations.

What Are The Treatments Prescribed For This Disease?

Swim bladder failure is typically to blame if you see betta fish swimming upside down. Determine the root reasons for the swim bladder condition before beginning therapy for your betta and make the necessary adjustments to help your fish recover quickly.

The cure that we are outlining down below includes the cure for a bloated swim bladder brought on by constipation. The following treatments are essentially the fundamental treatment for a betta, and you may absolutely consult a vet for more guidance. However, before performing the therapy, make sure you have listened to the advice of a fish-certified veterinarian. 

Detailed descriptions of the medications are provided below:

1. Primary Healthcare

Well, if you think that the betta’s swim bladder has been bloated then you can certainly go for antibiotics that are prescribed by the vets. Regarding this, you may want to speak with your veterinarian. The bloated stomach or the swim bladder is the reason why your fish is swimming upside down then you will need to prevent your fish from eating any food for at least 3 to 5 days.

Infected fish that swim with a part of their body constantly exposed to the air might avoid developing blisters and brown spots by dabbing on a little Stress Coat water softener. The water should be extremely clean, and the temperature should be kept between 76 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lowering the water level will allow the fish to move around the tank more comfortably.

Tanks with strong currents should have less water flowing through them.

2. Feeding Them Peas

If your betta develops swim bladder sickness as a consequence of constipation, you may speed up the healing of its stomach by restricting its food for 2 or 3 days before reintroducing it to food with only peas. Your betta may, under severe circumstances, last up to 10 days without nourishment.

After the initial wave of hunger has passed, cook peas for approximately 6 to 15 minutes, remove the skin and then chop it into little pieces. The peas may alternatively be broken into smaller pieces and dropped into the tank one at a time. They just require half a pea, but you are welcome to give them extra if required.

3. Taking Care Of The Water Conditions

If you suspect that poor water condition is the reason your betta fish is swimming upside down, you can help it to heal by taking a few measures. Your aquarium’s water should be cleaned, any fungus should be removed, and you should change at least 20% to 25% of the water each week.

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The quality of water that the betta fish are kept in also has a significant impact on their health. For example, although tap water can be treated with chlorine, chloramine, or a chemically related compound to disinfect it, still it is devoid of hazardous microorganisms.

Tropical fish die when exposed to substances with a chlorine base. These pollutants may be reduced and made safe for fish using a water filter, that you can purchase.

4. Constipation Treatment

If your betta has swim bladder sickness because of constipation, you may help its stomach heal by depriving it of meals for 2 or 4 days before giving it a pea. Your betta can last a maximum of 12 days without food, so you should not worry about not feeding it for a day.

After getting rid of constipation, make sure your betta only consumes the required amounts of each meal. It can receive meals either twice per day. Only 2 or 3 pieces of bloodworms must be given to your betta fish during each feeding period.

Every meal should consist of 3 to 4 pellets, which should be soaked in water for at least 12 minutes before consumption.

How Long Can A Betta Survive After Being Affected With Swim Bladder Disease?

A swim bladder illness has a mixed prognosis. It’s a short condition that only affects some of the affected fish. The severity is often determined by the reason. For instance, the condition will improve within a few hours to a day if it is brought on by excessive or quick eating. The recovery time might be extended, though, if the disease is brought on by infections or an unhealthy diet or water quality. Additionally, it might not always be treatable.

Treatments depend on the type of symptoms that the affected fish is showing. This means that the problem cannot be directly treated. Instead, the causes and symptoms are addressed and corrected.

Most infections should improve within 1-2 weeks of medication. It is best to euthanize the fish if they still don’t react to the medication.

Why Is My Betta Floating Upside Down But Still Alive?

Most often, swim bladder illness is to blame for betta fish floating upside down. Your betta fish eventually floats or swims upside down and can be alive until it passes away. This is due to the reason of swim bladder disease.

The factors that cause swim bladder disease can be significantly influenced by environmental factors, health limitations, mechanical issues, and other issues. These elements ultimately cause the fish to experience swim bladder illness, which could be dangerous to the fish’s survival.

If your betta fish has swim bladder sickness, it gets tougher for it to stay buoyant or keep its balance in the water. Eventually, your betta fish will die if you let him/her suffer from this disease for a very long period of time.

Wrapping Up

Swim bladder disease can be deadly for your betta if it’s not treated with proper treatments. In addition, swim bladder disease is one of the common diseases that bettas experience which is why I have explained more details and facts about it in my next article.

Betta Fish Vertical Death Hang? [Causes, Treatment, Prevention]

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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