Monday, July 5, 2010

Home Remedy for Fishy Swim Bladder

A couple weeks ago our sucker algae eater fish started floating to the top of the tank - belly up! Not. a. good. sign.

He would swim to the bottom if the other fish came near him but I could tell he was not doing well since he would immediately float back to the top of the tank. It was obvious he was having trouble maintaining his buoyancy. He’s in a tank with two goldfish. Those fellas can sense a sickly fish! They’ve eaten our snail, shell and all, plus the ghost shrimp we had in the tank! Fearing the carnivorous goldfish would eat my sickly sucker fish, I put him in a quarantine tank, even though I had no idea what to do to make him feel better.

After quarantining him and performing some research on the world wide web, I discovered he either had swim bladder or some fatal disease. According to my research, swim bladder is rare in algae eater sucker fish. I decided to treat the little guy for swim bladder anyway since the alternative would be a watery grave via a porcelain coffin!

I read on multiple sites one way to cure swim bladder in other fish species was to use crushed shelled peas but none of my research specifically mentioned how to treat my sucker fish. I had some frozen peas I got from the garden so I tried the only home remedy I could find.

I allowed the peas to thaw completely in the pod. Then, I removed the individual peas from their pods and pressed them between my fingers to shell them. Once the peas are shelled, I used a knife to cut them into teeny pieces. I tried using the back of a spoon to crush them but had no luck. Then I sprinkled the pieces of peas inside the quarantine bowl and let my sucker fish eat on them for a few days. One week later, he’s healthy and no longer floating! YIPPEE – Davey Jone’s Locker will have to wait for our little fishy friend!

I apologize for the lack of photos on this post but we were so wrapped up with getting our fish nursed back to health, I forgot to take any pictures!

frugal front porchJenn is a stay at home southern mom raising her kids in Northwestern Minnesota with her trucker hubby. She loves to cook, craft and blog. Soon she’ll be going back to school for a new adventure in Graphic Design. You can find recipes, crafts, parenting strategies, budget tips, product reviews and fabulous giveaways on her blog, Frugal Front Porch.


  1. WOW! I am totally impressed! You are like Dr. Dolittle!

  2. Ha ha! I agree with Princess of are surely Dr. Do-Little, incarnate! Good job! -Karen

  3. my son was given two goldfish and they are dirty critters! The tank gets dirty very quickly..any ideas on keeping it cleaner longer. I've never had fish so...


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