Is this swim bladder?

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Fish Fanatic
Apr 14, 2021
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South Carolina
I woke up to one of my roselines doing this. Is it swim bladder and how do I treat it?

0 ammonia
0 nitrites
5 nitrates
pH 6.8

Also is there a better way to add videos on here?


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First on the question about adding a video, upload the video to YouTube, and then post the link in your post on TFF. Videos directly cannot be uploaded to TFF.

As to the issue, "swim bladder" is very rarely the actual problem, but it is one symptom of several other problems. The issue itself may or may not b something that can be treated (example, if this is genetic, or due to an injury) but if it is due to a problem that might be treatable... . I myself have never known a fish to recover from this inability to maintain itself in the water, and sometimes it has continued for some time, other times death is fairly rapid. Other members with mor experience with problems like this will have advice.

To find which is the issue here, they will ask for more information. Tank size, fish present and numbers of each species (including the Roselines), water change frequency and volume, perhaps foods being fed, and importantly any substances entering the tank water (conditioner is one, but any others). The water conditions (amonia, nitrite, nitrate) are helpful, they look good; the pH of 6.8 is good for this species, so that is not an issue unless it fluctuates.
Thank you for the information, here are the videos.

I haven't changed anything with the tank maintenance and have had them for over a year without issues which is why I am confused.
Thank you for the video. To be honest, they do not tell us what we did not already know, as to this particular symptom. There is still the issue of what it is symptomatic of. And that we cannot tell from appearance. I will tag a couple of our members who have experience in this area. They will want to know the answers to the questions I posted previously.
@GaryE @Colin_T
A second roseline is showing the same symptoms so would that mean it’s a bacteria thing that’s spreading?
The swim bladders inflate with gas from the intestine. If one ruptures, that's fatal. If there is a fish torpedoing itself into the side of tankmates, it can rupture swim bladders. What else in there. No red tailed sharks (who seem to be good at nightime attacks)?
If there is an infection in the intestines, it will affect the gas needed to maintain balance. At that point, you have to deal with the infection or the blockage.
It's impossible for us to see what's going on, and like most fish health treatments, there is a huge degree of guessing.

Roselines need clean water and consistent water changes, beyond good test kit readings.
the fish in the 2nd video (couldn't view the first one, says video unavailable) appears to have an issue with the brain. I would euthanise it.
Now all three of the roselines have the same issue. The weird thing is the cories, angel fish, peacock gudgeon, otos, and lamp eye tetras are all fine.
Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use the media. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens so any medication (if needed) will work more effectively on the fish.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Add some salt.


You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for 2 weeks.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

When you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
When I got home today all of the rose lines have died and I now have 3 of the tetras showing the same behavior which leads me to believe it has to be a bacteria or parasite thing or something like that. Will the salt help with that or do I need some medications too?
Colin will have advice, but I will just say that given the rapid deaths reminds me of something I introduced with new fish, a marine biologist online in another forum suggested it sounded like an internal protozoan, and she recommended metronidaloze in the food. It worked. Like any antibiotic, it takes a few days to get going, but after that the deaths (2-3 every day) stopped.
I noticed what looked like red poop in the bottom of the tank when I was cleaning it today so would that be from the internal protozoan?
I noticed what looked like red poop in the bottom of the tank when I was cleaning it today so would that be from the internal protozoan?

I've no idea, wait for Colin or Gary or @Uberhoust .
This is an infection in the brain. They are most commonly caused by protozoa but can also be from bacteria or a virus. In most aquariums it's caused by protozoa and cleaning the tank and adding salt will usually prevent more fish catching it. However, the fish that are already showing symptoms will probably die.

Salt can treat minor bacterial, fungal and protozoan infections. If you don't want to use salt, get a broad spectrum liquid medication that treats bacteria and protozoan infections and use that. But clean the tank first to reduce the pathogens in the water.
I doubt this is a parasite issue it seems to be progressing too fast. Are you suggesting that the red poop is the parasite, or the poop is red because of the parasite, if the former you should post a picture? Right now I would suggest you follow @Colin_T suggestions, short of an autopsy and a lab you might not ever find out what this issue is.

A quick look at the internet only provided the swim bladder disease, but in this case the swim bladder would likely be the symptom than the cause as @Byron suggests. Have you considered an external source to the issue, something fell into the tank, new addition to the tank, new food, missed water treatment during last water change.

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