The swim bladder disease in betta is usually caused by overfeeding, gastrointestinal problems, or parasite involvement. The initial symptoms are that they remain at the bottom with no appetite. You can treat it by identifying and curing it with the right treatment.
Keep reading, so you can also take of swim bladder disease in betta by yourself.
What is Swim Bladder and its Disease in Betta, Symptoms, Treatment, Cause, Prevention
The swim bladder is an organ in the body of a fish that provides buoyancy. The swim bladder helps your fish to be balanced and comfortable while swimming, assisting them in conserving energy and swimming peacefully. They are located at the back of other organs and, if affected, can be catastrophic to your fish. It is usually filled with air which helps your fish gain buoyancy and moves toward the depths of its choice.
Bony fish majorly possess swim bladders. When affected, your fish may swim in an unspecific direction, and it may not be able to move toward the depth in which it surfed easily before.
what is swim bladder disease in betta?
Swim bladder disease is one major disease that affects betta fish. This disease can also be called swim bladder disorder, and it often makes your fish float irregularly; they struggle to reach the water surface for air, and it also makes them lazy and inactive to conserve their strength while swimming.
A fish diagnosed with bladder disease grows a swollen stomach, which can lead to loss of appetite and lethargy. A ruptured or affected swim bladder causes swim bladder disease. It can be caused by feeding on a large amount of food, usually young ones with a lesser developed swim bladder.
Fortunately, this disease is not contagious; it usually doesn’t last and may last for fewer if treated early. Sometimes it is caused by bacterial infection or rear in the fin of your fish. When detected, try taking it to veterinarians to help cure the disease; a healthy fish is a happy fish.
what are the common causes for swim bladder in betta fish?
Swim bladder disease is a common disease that affects your fish, and many diseases cause it. While curing any disease, animal, or plant, knowing the main cause of the such disorder is the first and major step to take.
Make sure you find out their mode of formation and how to prevent it; if not, if you try any drug without knowing the main cause of your fish problem, it can be very vitals and may come with negative eventualities. One of the major causes of bladder disease is living in an environment with bad /poor water quality. Exposure to dirty water can grow microorganisms and germs affecting your healthy fish.
Overfeeding is one major factor that leads to swimming bladder disease. Bettas are described as gluttons because they still take in food even when filled up. This also leads to fatigue and sluggishness, negatively affecting their swim bladders and fat pilling.
Aside from overfeeding, too much air intake can also cause a rupture of the swim bladder. They mostly feed from the surface, so they are likely to take in the air. Feeding your fish meals with a large quantity of air in it can cause fatigue. Meals with low nutrients tend to carry a large portion of air; high-quality nutrients are preferred.
Overfeeding and rapid feeding can lead to a swollen stomach, pressing hard on the swim bladder. These problems are generally concentrated in fish that feed on the water’s surface.
When your fish feed on live and frozen meals, it tends to enlarge in contact with water, which leads to stomach enlargement and causes discomfort to the swim bladder, leading to swimming bladder disease.
The last factor for swim bladder disease is a shock. Some factors cause shock. Fluctuations in temperature and lightning are the major causes of shock in the tank. Stress and shock can be very drastic to the health of your fish. Shock is also caused by water conditions changes leading to swim bladder disease.
To avoid shock, your tank must undergo sanitation. The rocks and soil should be removed regularly; factors like temperature change, lightning, water condition, and hardness in water should be monitored and regulated every time to avoid fluctuations. Failure to adhere to these factors will lead to swim bladder disease.
Infections from parasites can also cause swimbladder disease. Parasitic organisms like worms can get into your fish’s stomach or intestines, causing swimming problems. Although parasitic infections are not that disastrous to the health of your fish, they can also promote swim bladder disease.
If your fish haven’t experienced shock or been overfed lately, then be sure they are experiencing parasitic infections. Parasitic organisms attack the stomachs and intestines, which makes it difficult for your fish to swim.
Their effects aren’t consequential, but in rare scenarios, it leads to swimming bladder disease.
A bacterial infection is roughly the same as a parasitic infection in its causes. Using bad-quality water can also cause bacterial infections. Swim bladder disease is also a symptom of infection in your fish’s body; when such diseases caused by bacteria highly infect the swim bladder, euthanasia must be prescribed.
Your fish must be treated for dropsy if there are signs of high bloating affecting your fish; it is caused by bacterial infection. Sadly, the chances of your fish’s survival will be very low in this area.
Injuries caused by bacteria diseases can also be a major factor for your fish swim bladder disorder. Ensure your fish is regularly subjected to bacterial infection checkups to prevent them.
LOW WATER TEMPERATURE
A tank temperature below 78 degrees Fahrenheit could invite swim bladder disease. When the temperature in your tank reduces below its moderate level, it affects the easy digestion of your fish. Constipation occurs as a result of retardation of the digestive system, and it affects other organs of your fish, causing them to swell. They have been very keen sense reaction towards temperature fluctuations.
When a fluctuation is detected, it reduces activities done by the digestive system; a slow digestive system may cause food to obstruct the digestive tract and occasionally add more force to the swim bladder.
Always inspect the temperature fluctuation in your tank frequently, and having a thermostat will help to adjust and maintain an acceptable range of temperatures of 77-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a few occasions, the reason for your fish swim bladder disease may differ from the abovementioned options. Then, you can check if it results from cysts in the kidneys or egg binding, which mostly occurs in females. Development of cysts in the kidney of your fish and egg binding, which occurs in females, can also be a common cause of swim bladder disease. But this state is very critical, so you may only be able to do a little about it, only to wait for the result.
what are the symptoms of swim bladder disease in betta fish?
There are different symptoms you can notice when your fish is living with swim bladder disease. Although, some symptoms may not be gotten simultaneously. Symptoms will be concerning the causative agent of swim bladder disease.
When your fish is suffering from an infection or disease, it portrays some indications which are majorly concerned about their buoyancy and the way they swim, which include:
- constant floating on the surface of the water
- going to the bottom of the tank on some occasions
- floating the wrong side up
- Floating uprightly
- Floating on the edge of their body
Other registered symptoms are having their spinal cord bent to a shape that looks like a curve and having an inflated stomach. Although sometimes, they continue feeding normally even when infected, or they suddenly stop feeding.
Symptoms Related To OVERFEEDING/CONSTIPATION/TOO MUCH AIR
If your fish suffers from any of the above infections or problems, below are related symptoms.
- Problems with swimming and buoyancy: with constant observance, you might see that your fish will be having problems with movement, even when at the bottom of the tank; he may find it hard to float around the substrate and then will find refuge at the surface of the tank.
- Unbalanced swimming: a fish with swim bladder disease finds it hard to be stable while swimming or floating, their body may be tilted to one edge, and it will be swimming with caution and sluggishly.
- Having a hard time maintaining its posture is very important to your fish’s health. No matter how hard your fish swim in a particular area, he will feel stressed and either go to the water’s surface or drop to the bottom of the tank; dizziness and fatigue are major factors.
- A bloated stomach or bent back signals a high level of constipation. And if, in the long run, you observed that the scales of your fish are pinecone, then he must be treated for dropsy. If not, it may have a negative effect if not cured.
- Loss of appetite: your fish may lose its appetite and won’t eat anything; even if it eats it, it will be hard for him to digest. Loss of appetite is majorly caused by indigestion and constipation.
- Being lethargic: picture yourself eating too much and you attempt to move; how stressful and painful it is, that’s how it feels in the case of your fish. Lethargy is a very popular sign of constipation, but it also comes from infection.
Symptoms Related To PARASITES Ans BACTERIAL Infections
Apart from constipation and overfeeding, your fish also suffer from infections caused by microorganisms like bacteria and parasites. Below are lists of symptoms related to such microorganisms.
- Having a clamped fin: one of the most popular diseases caused by infection is fin clamping. Their fins tend to stay together with the body when they feel stressed. When you start observing this, you should go for their treatment immediately.
- Constant shaking: when you observe that your fish experience shaking at intervals, that signals that they have an infection.
- Fin rot: fin rot is also an effect of bacterial infection; it occurs when your fish is left in dirty water, which can invite the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. Fin rot can lead to visible injury to the fins of your fish, supporting a free passageway for bacteria to enter your fish and causing damage to your fish.
- Hemorrhagic disease: having a serious name, this disease is also a serious infection that affects your fish. The causative agent brings a disease called Aeromonas hydrophilia, which is discovered majorly in fresh waters. This disease is contagious and spreads through physical contact of an infected fish to a healthy fish or using the same tank equipment with other bettas. Its major symptom is red lesions covering parts of the body and fins. Such lesions are usually small at the beginning but rapidly increase and cover a huge portion of your fish body. In rare cases, your fish may be affected by hemorrhaging, which causes constant bleeding from its delicate parts, such as its eyes, fins, and gills.
What is the treatment for swim bladder disease in betta fish?
Swim bladder disease is mostly caused by overeating, and it also may be caused by tuberculosis. However, there is no means of knowing what the cause is. If your fish is trained in a large tank with tank mates and it starts showing such signs, you should move it to a separate tank to avoid transmission to others.
But if you notice that fatigue and lethargy result from your fish eating too much, it is easier to revert to such action because it isn’t that serious.
You must reduce the rate you feed them; if possible, feed them once in two days, and then try giving them a healthy meal. Then you can tell if your fish is ill due to small symptoms of SDB if they become healthy.
If the problem affects the youth stage, there will is the possibility that it will vanish as it ages. If your fish finds it hard to swim, reduce the height of the water in your tank, so it will be easier for them to reach the surface.
SWIM BLADDER DISEASE CAUSED BY OVERFEEDING
- If the problem of your swim bladder disease is overfeeding, then it is not that drastic; they have a huge chance to recover as long as they are treated as soon as possible.
- If your fish is kept in a tank with other tank mates, it is best to isolate it.
- Once your fish is in a separate tank, you must restrict him from eating for 2 to 3 days. This may sound like a long period, but it is fair enough because even in their natural habitat, your fish could starve for days without eating.
- While starving your fish, ensure you gradually increase the tank’s temperature to about 79 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This increase will boost their rate of digestion.
- After they have completed their three days, check to see if their behavior has turned normal. Sometimes this method can cure most swim bladder diseases in your fish.
- If symptoms persist after the 3 days of starvation, then it is best to give them a diet of daphnia, which contains high-quality fiber.
- If your fish finds it hard to hunt down the daphnia, then you can hold some daphnia which is freeze-dried, to your fish to conserve their energy. Make sure they are dipped in water, and it reabsorbs some of it before you feed them to your fish.
- If the symptom persists after a week with no sign of change, then your fish is suffering from something more than overfeeding.
If your fish is suffering from an infection caused by a bacteria or parasite, then they will undergo a process that is alike; you should give them medication in this case than starving them.
- Isolate your fish in a different tank where their water can be treated.
- Then suitable dosage must be used. If the disease results from bacterial infection, it should be treated with melafix for a betta, but if it results from parasites, then betta-max must be used. Still, most importantly, parasitic infection occurs on rare occasions, so bacteria dosage must be applied first.
- If the steps and guidelines written on the body of the drug are followed efficiently, your fish will get whole soon. Although parasitic and bacterial infections are rare causes of swim bladder disease. But sometimes, our assumptions may be tragic; ensuring all protocols are observed will make your fish healthy.
If there’s a noticeable decrease in the temperature of your tank or if your fish has an injury, this may lead to shock. If you notice that your fish is sick as a result of shock, then there is more you can do for him. The major solution is gradually increasing the temperature to its perfect condition and putting off all lights.
When the lights are switched off, it will give an impression to your fish to encourage rest and sleep, which promotes fast relief. Please make sure the tank condition is very conducive for them to tolerate, and make sure you turn off the lights to reduce their rate of activeness. Ensure your tank has a stable temperature; devices like tank thermometers and regulators are very efficient in detecting temperature fluctuations and maintaining a stable temperature.
EPSOM SALT FOR SWIM BLADDER DISEASE
Epsom salt is also an effective medication that cures swim bladder disease in your fish in the case is overfeeding or constipation. Epsom salt bath has been very effective in curing swim bladder disease; below are some guidelines:
- Add one teaspoon of Epsom salt with half a gallon of water in a container.
- Please wait until the Epsom salt dissolves, then add half a gallon of tank water.
- Ensure the water from your tank is replaced with tap water at a temperature similar to yours.
- Then, place your fish in the solution container, and wait for 10 to 20 minutes. If the illness persists, place him back into his tank.
- Keep observing your fish daily to see if you will notice any excretion or if they are back to normal behavior.
How You Can Easily prevent swim bladder disease
SBD can be prevented if you know how, but sometimes things may go differently than planned. Just like the saying “prevention is better” is efficient because it is cheaper and easier to avoid than to cure, below are steps that can prevent SBD:
- Purchase of high-quality meals: quality meals are good to boost their health; it reduces the risk of contracting SBD. Lower-quality meals majorly contain high quantities of air. This can produce constipation which is a primary effect of SBD.
- Make sure their meals are soaked: always make sure your fish meal is soaked in water before feeding them so as to support sinking, when they feed on the surface of the tank, they easily take in air, too much intake of air leads to STD.
- Avoid overfeeding: this is a good idea because your fish has a very small stomach, so they don’t need too many meals. No matter how often you feed them, they will still be hungry, so maintain a meal of 2 to 4 pellets daily.
- Maintain a tank with quality water: the water in your tank should be removed and replaced regularly, even vacuuming the gravel and removing unwanted plant-like algae, which are harmful. Cleaning the tank prevents SBD and other dangerous infections affecting your fish. Ensure the ammonia level is always stable to avoid further damage to your fish.
Is swim bladder disease in betta fatal?
The adverse effect of SBD depends on the causative agent. If it results from overfeeding or constipation, it will be easy for him to make an easy recovery, but if it’s dropsy, they have little chance of recovery.
Injuries your fish get are usually very encouraging for SBD, because your fish may find it difficult to swim to the tank’s surface, exposing its skin. This may lead to sores and infections when the coating on the surface of the fish scale begins to dry.
Again, having problems swimming away from the substrates below can make your fish scrape its skin against the soil, and it removes its skin coating as well.
is swim bladder disease contagious
This idea, too, depends on the causative agent. Once your fish has SBD due to constipation or overfeeding, you know it has to be a personal problem that is not contagious. Moreover, if your fish is kept with some tank mates, and then he develops constipation due to overfeeding, then obviously, the majority of its tank mates too will get it because they will eat the same proportion, thereby suffering other fish.
If the causative agent is bacteria or a parasite, then there is no reason why it won’t be transmitted to other fish if they carry the same level of immune system. It will only happen if it affects a tank they all dwell in with your infected fish. But if your fish has a strong immune system, he may have a slim chance of avoiding SBD.
our final thoughts
Below are useful formations to help your fish stay healthy after passing through swim bladder disease in betta fish.
- SBD occurs due to injury, overfeeding, shock, and parasitic or bacterial infection.
- Signs of SBD are constant floating of your fish on the tank surface, inability to maintain a posture or stay in a spot, bloated stomach, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- If it’s caused by infection, use the appropriate medication and dosage.
- Also, if it results from stress, there may be no cure, only being patient and waiting for its outcome.
- Ensure they are not overfed and the tank is cleaned regularly to prevent constipation.
- And then lastly, SBD isn’t contagious, but if it is due to bad water quality, it is possible to be transmittable.
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