How To Treat Swim Bladder Disease In Betta Fish

by Aquarium Scoop | Last Updated: November 29, 2022

Swim bladder disease in betta fish is not uncommon and can be caused by many factors.

In this guide you’ll learn:

  • What is swim bladder disease?
  • How to treat swim bladder disease at home
  • Common causes of swim bladder disease
  • How to prevent swim bladder disease in bettas

What Is Swim Bladder Disease?

Swim bladder disease is a general term used to refer to any disorder, damage, or illness that makes your betta’s swim bladder stop working as it should.

This means that when treating swim bladder disease, you’re trying to treat the symptoms of another condition most of the time.

The swim bladder is a sac-like organ that bettas (and other fish) use to control their buoyancy. When functioning correctly, the swim bladder allows your betta to swim at different depths and even do nifty tricks like swimming upside down.

However, if the swim bladder is damaged or diseased, it can cause your betta to float abnormally, swim upside down, or even cause them to lay at the bottom of the tank. In severe cases, swim bladder disease can be fatal.

Home Remedies for Treating Swim Bladder Disease in Betta Fish

For constipation and digestive problems:

Try adding green peas to their diet.

Peas are rich in fiber and nutrients that can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, which can be a contributing factor to swim bladder disease.

You can also adjust the water temperature to around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

Finally, ensure the tank has plenty of oxygen by using an air stone or bubbler. Following these simple tips can help your betta fish live a long and healthy life!

For bacterial infection:

If it is due to a bacterial infection or parasites, you will need to move your fish to a hospital tank and treat their specific condition with antibiotics. Bacterial infections are more common, so try treating them with melafix or bettafix first. Visiting a veterinarian is recommended.

Once the underlying cause has been treated, there are a few things you can do to help your betta fish recover from swim bladder:

With proper treatment and care, your betta fish will recover from swim bladder and return to their happy, healthy selves in no time!

What Causes Swim Bladder Disease in Bettas?

Swim bladder disease is a common ailment in betta fish and can be caused by various factors. If the swim bladder becomes diseased or damaged, it can cause the fish to float awkwardly or even sink to the bottom of the tank.

There are several possible causes of swim bladder disease in bettas, including:

If you notice your betta fish floating awkwardly or sinking to the bottom of the tank, it is important to take them to the vet for a check-up. The vet can determine the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.

How to Prevent Swim Bladder Disease in Your Betta Fish

If you own a betta fish, you may wonder how to prevent swim bladder disease. This is a common problem in betta fish, but there are some things you can do to help your fish stay healthy and avoid this disease.

First, it’s important to provide your betta with plenty of places to swim and hide. A crowded tank can stress them out and lead to swim bladder problems. Instead, ensure they have plenty of space to move around and explore their environment. 

Second, feed your betta a high-quality diet full of variety. Avoid overfeeding, as this can also contribute to swim bladder disease. Please give them a variety of foods so they get all the nutrients they need for good health.

Lastly, keep an eye on your water quality and change the water regularly. Dirty water can make fish sick, so it’s important to maintain cleanliness in their habitat.

Following these simple tips can help prevent swim bladder disease in your beloved betta fish.

Expert Tip 🧠

To prevent swim bladder disease in bettas, provide them with plenty of space to swim, feed them a high-quality diet, and keep their water clean.

When Should You See a Veterinarian About Your Betta’s Swim Bladder Issue?

Swim bladder disease is a common ailment in bettas and can be caused by many factors, including constipation, infection, or injury.

If your betta shows any of these symptoms, you should take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. There are many potential treatments for swim bladder disease depending on its underlying cause.

In some cases, simply changing the diet of the fish can help relieve constipation and ease pressure on the swim bladder. However, more severe cases may require antibiotics or surgery.

A qualified veterinarian can determine the best course of treatment based on a thorough examination of your fish.


Can a fish recover from swim bladder disease?

Yes, a fish can recover from swim bladder disease. However, catching this condition early is critical for treatment to be effective. If not appropriately treated, swim bladder can cause long-term damage to a fish’s health.

How do you treat swim bladder in betta fish?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the best way to treat swim bladder in betta fish will vary depending on the underlying cause. However, some possible treatments include changing the diet of the fish (e.g., increasing their protein intake), adding more plants or other objects to their tank for them to rest on, and/or using medication prescribed by a veterinarian.


If your betta fish is exhibiting any symptoms of swim bladder disease, seek treatment from a veterinarian as soon as possible. With prompt and proper care, most bettas fully recover from this condition.