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What to do if the fish swims on its side or belly up?

It would seem that nothing foreshadowed trouble, but one not the most beautiful day you notice that your favorite aquarium fish swims up the belly or on the side. What is the reason for such a phenomenon and what, in fact, should an aquarist do? – we will answer these questions in this article.

  • Banal overfeeding. Overfeeding fish is dangerous: they may have intestinal sticking or constipation, and therefore coordination of movements is disturbed. A similar phenomenon is observed if the fish, along with the food, has captured a lot of air (in case of feeding with “floating” feeds – flakes, granules, chopsticks). It is necessary to set the glutton in a separate tank and not feed it for a day. Daily change a third of the water in the general aquarium, carefully siphon the bottom. In the future, it is better to give the fish sinking food (mixtures or frozen ground shrimp, daphnia, bloodworm and others);
  • Swimming Bladder Disease. Trauma or bacterial infection of the swim bladder also causes loss of control over buoyancy. In addition, this phenomenon may be a symptom of some diseases – Malawi swelling, dropsy, tumors, and so on. In this case, the fish must be shown to the veterinarian, he will prescribe medication. If there are no signs of recovery in 3-4 days, the only way out is euthanasia;
  • Foreign body. It happens that a fish begins to swim upside down due to the fact that a foreign body is stuck in its throat or a tumor has appeared. It is necessary to catch the injured specimen and inspect it carefully: a small and closely located foreign body can often be removed on its own using tweezers, in other cases the help of a specialist is required;
  • Stress. The fish can swim belly up, hide in the corners of the aquarium or decorative elements, trying to avoid the aggression of their relatives. Such stress is a serious threat to the health of your pet: if you notice which of the fish shows aggression, it should be removed from the aquarium faster;
  • Hypoxia. Fish that lack oxygen can swim up their belly or sideways near the surface where there is more oxygen. Check the water, turn on the aerator;
  • Diseases. If the fish swims on its side, it is likely that she fell ill. If a lack of coordination is accompanied by a bug-eyed, apathetic behavior, and the appearance of the cystitis — nodules on the body — these are alarming signs of glugeosis. This is an incurable disease, so it is better to recognize it in the early stages, because death threatens other inhabitants of the aquarium. Also, swimming on the side can be a symptom of other diseases, for sure it is impossible to say without tests, show the fish to a specialist.
    To distinguish the symptoms of the disease at an early stage, read the article Basic diseases of aquarium fish.
  • Violation of motor coordination;
  • Changes in behavior – the fish has become fearful, apathetic, lying at the bottom or looking for a darker place;
  • Poor eating or refusing to feed at all;
  • Rubs on the ground or decorative elements, rushes around the aquarium;
  • Unusual appearance – exhaustion, blurred eyes, discoloration of scales, the appearance of spots, ulcers, bloating, discharge or plaque, etc.

In this case, it is better not to hesitate and consult with specialists – the analysis will make the picture clear, and give your pets adequate treatment.

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