Why is My Angelfish Swimming Sideways

Robert Blaylock

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Why Is My Angelfish Swimming Sideways

When you notice your goldfish swimming sideways then there is a problem and the most common causes of this problem is as a result of the inability of your goldfish to be in total and firm control of its swim bladder.

This condition that your goldfish has found it self will causes the goldfish to have too much air trapped in the swim bladder as a result unable to release air that will aid it to swim upward.Why Is My Angelfish Swimming Sideways

Swim bladder disease dont just surface ordinarily without an underlying problem. There is a underlying problem that trigger this failure such as – an infection, constipation, a poor diet, or eating habits


What is swim bladder disease?

Swim bladder disease is a situation that causes your goldfish to loses its ability to regulate the inflow and outflows of air in and out of it’s swim bladder.

When your goldfish is affected by this kind of disease then it might swim sideways or at times even swim upwards in some cases

You might ask ” what is the function of the swim bladder”? Well the swim bladder has one special function in goldfish which is to aid your goldfish remain stable in water and also be in control of how it floats.

How the fish bladder helps the fish to remain buoyant in the water is by aiding the goldfish to release air whenever the fish wants to swim upwards and also take in more air whenever it wants to swim downward the water.

Does water change help?

Water quality is often an overlooked issue, but it contributes significantly to the overall balance of your fish.

If your fish is constantly exposed to poor water parameters, it tends to mess with the balance of your angelfish.
This is because poor water quality can hinder the homeostasis of your angelfish which in turn reduces the fish’s locomotion.

I mean, just imagine you trying to live in a room filled with a pile of dirty laundry, stale food, and bad ventilation; you’d agree that you won’t function as you’d normally would.
Therefore, if you find your fish swimming in irregular patterns, you can check the water parameters to see if the water needs to be changed.

What does swim bladder disease look like?

The swim bladder helps fish maintain their standard posture and balance. Swim bladder disease is when the fish’s swim bladder cannot perform its duties optimally due to illness, environmental factors, etc.

Although swimming sideways is one of the most common symptoms of swim bladder disease, there are other noticeable symptoms like; your fish is constantly shaking, the fins are clamped together, and it is difficult to eat due to its inappropriate posture.

Sometimes, your angelfish might float to the tank’s base if the bladder is too small and will constantly stay afloat if the bladder is too big.

Does swim bladder disease go away?

With the right treatment, yes, swim bladder disease can definitely be cured. What is most advisable to do after detecting swim bladder disease in your fish is to turn up the temperature. After this, you can administer further treatment.
You can try several home fixes to help treat your Angelfish, like feeding the fish with your hand if the fish is unable to eat independently. Ultimately, taking the fish to the vet would likely be the best option.

Does salt cure swim bladder?

Saltwater is a very popular quick fix most fish owners use to help cure swim bladder. But the question of whether it cures swim bladder won’t receive an outright yes or no.

This is because salt, while proven to have healing tendencies for swim bladder disease, it’s still not a substitute for a vet’s treatment.

However, as a supportive treatment, you can add a little dose of aquarium saltwater to the tank. This won’t magically cure your fish’s swim bladder disease but would definitely help fortify any ongoing treatment given to the fish.

Does Epsom salt help swim bladder?

Epsom salt has so many great uses in an aquarium. It is so beneficial to Angelfish because Epsom salt contains Magnesium, a mineral that helps with fish disorders, constipation, and swim bladder disease.

Epsom water helps fishes with swim bladder because it hardens the water used in freshwater aquariums. This makes the water more suitable to move around.

Aside from helping out with swim bladder disease, giving a fish an Epsom salt bath can also help relieve the fish from constipation due to the muscle relaxant properties of the mineral.

Can I leave Epsom salt in my fish tank?

Epsom salts are great minerals, especially for freshwater fish. Aside from treating infections, Epsom salt can also regulate water conditions in an aquarium.

Fishes live in aquariums containing hard or soft water.Some fishes prefer hard water while others prefer soft. Hard water contains much alkaline, while soft water is very acidic.

These water conditions are suitable for specific fishes. However, when you introduce Epsom salt into a freshwater aquarium, it tends to alter the pH of the water.

Sometimes, you intentionally want to alter the water condition. However, you’d have to monitor the aquarium closely because if there is a swift drop or increase in the pH of your fish’s tank, it can stress them and ultimately kill them if the change is not swiftly resolved.

Leaving Epsom salts isn’t harmful if monitored, but leaving it unsupervised might prove catastrophic.

How can you tell if an angelfish is stressed?

Just as humans have to cope with stress throughout their lifespan, fishes also deal with stress throughout their lifecycle. Now, this stress isn’t because of too much workload at the office or getting stuck in traffic, no.

Angelfish are often stressed when their living environment is faulty.Stress in fish can lead to serious health complications, so how do you know if your Angelfish is stressed?

First, loss of appetite is probably the most common; if your Angelfish is constantly refusing to eat, the chances are that the fish is stressed.
Another visible symptom of stress in fish is gasping at the surface.

If a fish is gasping his mouth at the surface, this is a sign that the water conditions are not suitable. Strange swimming is also a popular symptom of stress in school.

How do you destress a fish?

Since there are tons of reasons why your fish is stressed, it’s not always easy to find out how to destress the fish. However, the best way to destress your fish is to find out what’s stressing the fish and eliminate that cause.

If it’s poor water conditions, try to test the water to examine your fish’s behavior. You can repeat this step until you find the perfect living condition for your fish.


If you’ve ever walked by or been to an aquarium, chances are you’ve seen an Angelfish; only you might not know you did. These fishes are very hard and are stored in exquisite tanks scattered worldwide.

These fishes are very beautiful and unique; they come in various patterns, designs, and colors. Angelfish is a delight to have as a pet or even in your aquarium. However, these fish species often exhibit a funny swimming movement that’s pretty different from their normal swimming patterns.

If you own an Angelfish, that fish has probably swam sideways at one point, and the reason behind this unusual swimming pattern is never always certain. However, if you are wondering why your Angelfish is swimming sideways, this article has already provided answers to it.

Seeing your Angelfish swim sideways isn’t always a pleasant experience. If you’ve been searching for possible reasons why your Angelfish is swimming sideways, this article has provided you with some solid answers and helpful remedies to help you handle the situation.