Swim bladder - nothing has worked

🐠 June TOTM Voting is Live! 🐠
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
🏆 Click here to Vote! 🏆


New Member
Nov 24, 2020
Reaction score
We believe our neon tetra has swim bladder. We have tried Melafix, stress coat, withholding food, peas, general tetra antibiotic treatment, aquarium salts, and even bought a new warmer to make sure the temp stays warm enough. Our poor tetra is still floating at the top and topsy turvy. He’s actually torn up his fins because he tries to wedge himself into spots where he’ll get stuck so he can rest.
What else can we try?


Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
Reaction score
Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Any chance of a picture and short 30-60 second video of the fish?
If the pictures are too big for the website, set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more. The lower resolution will make the images smaller and they should fit on this website. Check the pictures on your pc and find a couple that are clear and show the problem, and post them here. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after you have taken the pics otherwise all your pictures will be small.

If the video is too big for this website, post it on YouTube and copy & paste the link here. We can view it at YouTube. If you are using a mobile phone to take the video, have the phone horizontal so the video takes up the entire screen. If you have the phone vertical, you get video in the middle and black on either side.

You should only use medications on known ailments and then you need to use the correct medication. Fish medications do damage to the fish as well as the diseases affecting the fish. Throwing chemicals into the tank can cause liver, kidney and heart damage to the fish, and it can kill them.

You should only use anti-biotics as a last resort for known bacterial infections that have not responded to normal treatments. Improper use and mis-use of anti-biotics has lead to drug resistant bacteria that kill birds, fish, animals, reptiles and people.

There is no cure for swim bladder problems. Anyone who tells you there is a cure and you should buy this or that, is ripping you off.

Swim bladder problems are uncommon in fish. The symptoms include:
1) Fish will sink to the bottom as soon as it stops swimming.
2) Fish will float to the surface and struggle to swim down. This can also be caused by air in the fish's digestive tract, which they get from eating dry food, or taking food and air in when feeding from the surface.

A lot of the time when fish float up it is caused by air in their intestine and taking them off dry food for a week and feeding them frozen (but defrosted) or live food often fixes the problem.

Jan Cavalieri

Fish Addict
Pet of the Month!
Jun 2, 2019
Reaction score
Topeka, KS
I've had 5 or 6 gourami with swim bladder problems. Some die quickly but some are real figters - the problems Gourami and Betta face is that they must get a breath of air every few minutes (although I had a gourami with swim bladder problems that sat on the bottom for more than a month. I always tried to provide an arrangement of decor that was tall enough for them to rest on - every one of them used it so I at least felt like I was helping them, but they couldn't live a normal live as a fish so if giving them a few blanched and shelled green peas didn't work then I would euthanize. There is no point in watching them struggle and starve when they are not going to make itl. One of my gouramis would appear to get over it for a few days but then she'd be back to struggling. When she gave up and was sitting on the bottom that's when I euthanized her with clove oil (just a little in the water to make them sleepy then a bunch more to put them to sleep. Others would say to just slam a book on them and get it overwith quickly.

Most reactions


Staff online

Members online