STOP! Your Pet Fish May Not Be Dead!
Ever found your pet goldfish floating listlessly at the top of the tank on its side? Most people who make this discovery assume that little goldie has passed on to the other side and immediately scoop him or her from the tank and toss them in the toilet for a traditional goldfish funeral. Unfortunately, in many cases the fish isn't actually dead, rather suffering from a problem with their swim bladder due to over feeding.
There are plenty of warnings about over feeding fish, but many people are unaware of just how easy it is to over feed. The danger of over feeding is that it can lead to constipation, which can in turn lead to problems with the fish's swim bladder.
The swim bladder is an organ that is flexible and filled with gas. Fish use this organ to maintain their buoyancy in the water. The gas expands in lighter pressures, helping the fish to rise, and is compressed when the fish dives, which helps it descend into deeper waters. Problems with the swim bladder can lead to the fish floating on the surface, or even standing on it's head at the bottom of the tank, or sitting at the bottom of the tank.
If you find your fish floating on it's side, not feeding it for three or four days can often solve the problem as the fish's body recovers from the gorging and rights itself again.
Feeding small deshelled peas can help alleviate constipation, which in turn will help the fish's swimbladder to work effectively once more.
The problem may also have been caused by the fish swallowing air, so pre soak the fish food in future to avoid this problem.
Feeding a fresh diet as opposed to fish flakes or pellets. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and even small amounts of vegetables can help your fish be more healthy.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing you can to to prevent these problems is to regularly test your water, and ensure good water quality.
You should also change your water frequently (the 50% per week rule holds here), and ensure that you do not stir around in the gravel when you change the water. Doing so can unleash nasties into the water that otherwise would stay trapped in the gravel.
NEVER use water straight out of the tap, instead use a water conditioner and test the water for the correct pH before adding it to your fish tank.
This has been a basic article aimed at the beginner fish keeper. I know I wish I had known this when I was keeping fish as a child, as I am sure I killed at least one fish unnecessarily who may have simply had a swim bladder disorder.
More Information Please?
More by this Author
A cold water Oranda on the left, and a tropical Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) on the right. Newcomers to the fish keeping hobby will often mistakenly think that it is better to keep cold water fish such as goldfish...
Was your filter designed by this guy? You know what's useless? Common knowledge. The sort of knowledge that makes claims, but never supports them. Aquarium filters can be loud, even if you buy a good one, and some...
So dirty, how to make it clean again? If you're anything like me, when you started out your new hobby life as an aquarist, you bought a second hand fish tank. Second hand fish tanks, assuming they don't leak,...