Shocking Dangers of Poor Goldfish Care (Part 4): Swimbladder Goldfish Disease

Goldfish inversion disease (also called “goldfish inversion disease”) is so common in goldfish that it must be high in goldfish problems to avoid.

Here’s the scenario: You wake up one morning and your goldfish is floating on the surface of the tank. It appears to be standing on its side or floating upside down. As you look at the goldfish it is still “breathing” and you can see it is alive. However, it appears to be swollen. It is almost like looking at an inflated balloon.

As the goldfish lies there, you look on in bewilderment. Why is he or she like this? Why can’t they swim down? Will they be okay?

Here’s a fact: This goldfish problem needs to be addressed urgently. You have a limited amount of time before stress and inability to feed means the end of your goldfish.

So what exactly is going on?

Goldfish have small air sacs that they use for buoyancy. With these air sacs, the goldfish can dive, submerge, or return to the surface. Under normal circumstances, flotation devices work well.

However, if the gastrointestinal tract becomes obstructed or the goldfish becomes constipated, the gizzards can swell excessively. And the goldfish loses its normal control.

Aquarium goldfish have several problems that can lead to swimbladder disease:

  • Water quality is not ideal. Nitrate or ammonia levels may be high: this can cause dilation of the capillaries in the air sacs
  • “Thermal shock” can cause Swimbladder problems
  • Overfeeding
  • Have a poor diet that lacks fibre

A lack of fiber from feeding bland or pelleted diets is often a cause of swimbladder disease in goldfish. In fact, goldfish do not have a stomach. Food is absorbed as it moves along the digestive tract.

If a goldfish is not getting enough fiber, this may be blocked. They suffer from gas buildup and have constipation-like symptoms.

In humans, this would be uncomfortable. In goldfish that have much smaller alveoli, this can be life-threatening. Once they pop to the surface due to the excess air, they stay there – unable to move. They cannot breathe, swim, or eat easily.

That’s why I developed the Swimbladder Resolution Protocol. Here’s an abbreviated version of it:

  1. Stop feeding your goldfish for three days
  2. This allows the gas to pass through
  3. Gradually start feeding them again
  4. Feed them vegetables and fruits in small amounts, chopped
  5. You should notice that after about a week the goldfish “rights” itself

Please be aware that the ‘Fancy Goldfish’ species are more susceptible to Swimbladder Goldfish disease. This means that you must pay special attention to giving them a varied diet.

I especially recommend peas or spinach as vegetables to include in their diet. Not only will this resolve your goldfish’s Swimbladder disease, but it will also keep your goldfish healthy.

Swimbladder Goldfish disease can often be prevented and treated by keeping the digestive tract clean with a varied diet.

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