Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?

Betta fish are a popular pet, but if you’re not careful they can develop swimbladder malfunction. This condition causes the fish to swim sideways instead of forward and can be extremely frustrating for owners. 

In this article, we’ll teach you how to diagnose and treat swimbladder malfunction in bettas, and help you get your fish back swimming in the right direction again.

What is Betta Swimbladder Disorder?

Betta swim bladder disease (BSBD) is a disorder that occurs when the internal structure of the betta’s swim bladder changes (for unknown reasons). This can cause a number of symptoms including:

The giant betta fish will often circle around the tank or aquarium at high speeds. If he does this in your home aquarium it may look like he’s chasing his tail; however, 

if he does this in an aquarium with water flowing over it it will look like he’s swimming backward. The betta may also have trouble maintaining its buoyancy in the water and may float to the surface.

The betta’s gills will also become pale or pale-pink in color. This is because they are unable to absorb as much oxygen as normal when the swim bladder is malfunctioning. 

The betta may also develop a white sheen over its body and fins, which can make it look like it has a “snowflake” pattern on its body.

The betta’s fins will also become extremely weak. If the fish doesn’t have any fins at all, this is a red flag that something is wrong with his swim bladder. 

It may not be obvious at first glance, but if you look closely you might notice that he doesn’t have any gill filaments (the little bumps on the sides of his head). 

Although this isn’t necessarily a sign of BSDD, it should serve as a warning sign for owners who are unfamiliar with fish health issues.

Why is my betta fish swimming sideways?

Swimbladder malfunction occurs when the fish’s swim bladder (also called the swim bladder) becomes inflamed, swollen, and infected. The most common cause of swim bladder infection is poor water quality. 

If the water is dirty and contains high levels of ammonia or nitrates, your betta fish will develop swim bladder problems.

In addition to poor water quality, betta fish may also develop a swim bladder infection if they are exposed to toxins such as medications or household cleaners. 

These toxins can also be present in plants that grow near your betta fish tank. Another potential cause of betta fish swim bladder problems is an incorrect diet. Betta fish are omnivores; they eat both plant matter and animal food such as insects and worms. 

A plant-based diet encourages bettas to eat too much plant matter, which can lead to a build-up of waste in their digestive system and eventually result in swim bladder dysfunction.

How do you treat swimbladder disorder in bettas?

If you suspect your betta fish has swim bladder disorder, it’s best to take him to the vet for a proper diagnosis. The vet will be able to determine if he has an infection or if his swim bladder is malfunctioning. 

If your betta fish is diagnosed with a swim bladder disorder, the vet will recommend that you feed him a special diet for about three weeks and check up on him regularly.

If your betta fish does have an infection in his swim bladder, the vet may prescribe antibiotics that are specifically made for bettas (they are very expensive). 

In some cases, the vet may also suggest surgery to remove the infected section of the swim bladder. If you notice any of these symptoms in your betta fish, it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.

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