Betta Fish Laying on Side But Not Dead: 3 Causes & Treatment

If you’re a betta fish owner, you may have encountered a concerning sight: your beloved betta fish laying on side but not dead. While this can be alarming, it doesn’t necessarily mean your fish is beyond help.

There are several potential reasons why betta fish laying on its side, and with the right treatment, you can help your fish recover.

In this article, we’ll explore three possible causes of betta fish lying on their side: swim bladder disease, water quality issues, and illness.

Pregnant betta fish bubble nest

We’ll also provide tips on how to fix each of these betta fish lays on side issues and keep your betta fish healthy and happy.

So if you’ve ever wondered why you find your betta fish laying on its side or betta fish laying sidewayskeep reading to find out how to help your fish swim back to health.

What If My Betta Fish Laying on Side but Not Dead?

Betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank or on its side may be a trouble, as it could be a sign of an underlying issue. Stress, poor water conditions, and swim bladder disorder are common causes of this behavior.

Stress can be caused by changes in the tank environment or the introduction of new tank mates. Poor water quality can lead to various health issues in fish, including lethargy and loss of appetite.

What Does Betta Fish Poop Look Like

Swim bladder disorder affects the fish’s ability to control their buoyancy in the water, causing them to lay on their side. It’s important to monitor your Wild betta fish on its side behavior and appearance regularly and make any necessary adjustments to the tank environment.

Seeking veterinary advice when necessary and maintaining a clean and healthy tank can help keep your betta fish healthy and happy.

Why is My Betta Fish Laying on Its Side?

There are several reasons why a betta may lay at the bottom of your tank or on its side. Below are three possible causes and how to treat them. 

3 Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Laying Sideways

1. Swim Bladder Disorder

Swim bladder disease is a common illness that affects many fish, including bettas. The swim bladder is an organ that helps fish control their buoyancy and remain upright in the water. When the swim bladder is not functioning correctly, the fish may struggle to swim or float properly and lay at the tank’s bottom or side.

Symptoms of swim bladder problems in betta fish include difficulty swimming, betta fish floating to the top or bottom of the tank, or laying on its side at the bottom. If your betta fish is suffering from swim bladder issue, there are several steps you can take to treat it: 

  • Adjust the water parameters in the tank: Lowering the water level in the tank can help reduce the pressure on the swim bladder and make it easier for healthy fish to swim.
  • Change the diet: Feeding your betta fish a high-quality diet low in fat can help reduce the risk of a swim bladder disorder. Try switching to a diet of high-protein pellets or live foods like brine shrimp or daphnia.
  • Add aquarium salt: Adding aquarium salt to the tank can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the swim bladder, which can help your fish swim more easily. Follow dosage instructions carefully, as too much salt can harm your fish.
  • Treat with medication: In severe cases, your betta fish may need medication to treat swim bladder disease. Consult a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper for the best treatment for your aquarium fish. 

2. Water Quality Issues

Poor water quality can also cause betta fish to lie at the bottom of the aquarium or on fish laying on the side. Betta fish need clean, well-oxygenated water to thrive, and pollutants like ammonia level, nitrite, and nitrate can build up in the tank and harm your fish. In addition, low oxygen levels can cause your fish to become lethargic, and betta fish is lying at the bottom of the tank.

Symptoms of water quality issues in betta fish include laying at the bottom of the tank or on their side, gasping for air at the surface, and a lack of appetite. You might find your betta fish laying or suspect that your betta fish is suffering from water quality issues; here are some steps you can take to treat it:

  • Test the water: Use an aquarium water testing kit to check the levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH in the tank. If any of these levels are outside of the safe range, take steps to correct them.
  • Perform a regular water change: If the water quality is poor, perform a partial water change of 25-50% to reduce the levels of pollutants in the tank. Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines from tap water.
  • Increase aeration: Adding an air stone or increasing the filter’s water flow can help increase oxygen levels in the tank and improve water quality.
  • Clean the tank: Clean the tank regularly to remove uneaten food, fish waste, and other debris contributing to poor water quality. 

3. Illness or Disease

Finally, betta fish may lay at bottom of tank or on side if they suffer from a disease. Common illnesses can affect betta fish, including fungal or bacterial infections, parasites, and fin rot. These conditions can cause your fish to become lethargic, lose appetite, and fish laying at the bottom of the tank or on its side.

Symptoms of illness in betta fish include lethargy, loss of appetite, changes in behavior or appearance, and betta laying on its side. If you suspect that your betta fish is sick, here are some steps you can take to treat it:

  • Isolate the sick fish: If you have other tropical fish in the tank, isolate the sick betta in a separate quarantine tank to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Identify the illness: Consult a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper to identify the specific illness affecting your betta fish. This will help you choose the most appropriate treatment.
  • Treat with medication: Depending on the specific illness, your betta fish may need medication to treat it. Follow the dosage instructions carefully and monitor your tropical fish closely for any signs of improvement or worsening.
  • Maintain good water quality: Keeping the tank clean and well-maintained can help prevent the spread of disease and promote healing in your betta fish.

What You Should Do if Betta Laying on Side?

If you notice your betta fish laying on its side, it’s important to take action to prevent any health issues from worsening. The first step is to assess the betta tank environment and make necessary adjustments.

This could include testing the water quality and performing a partial water change, adjusting the water level in the tank, and adding aquarium salt to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Feeding your betta fish a high-quality diet low in fat can also help reduce the risk of a swim bladder disorder. If the problem persists, consult a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper for advice on the best course of treatment.

Medication may sometimes be necessary to treat swim bladder disorder or other health issues. Isolating sick fish from other tank mates can help prevent the spread of disease. Keeping the tank clean and well-maintained can help prevent future health issues.

Taking prompt action and seeking veterinary advice can help keep your betta fish healthy and happy.

Best Practices To Prevent Betta Fish From Not Moving

Betta fish is not moving, and this can be a cause for concern for many fish owners. Fortunately, you can implement several best practices to prevent your betta fish from becoming lethargic or inactive.

Firstly, maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment is crucial to the overall well-being of your betta fish. This includes regular water changes, proper filtration, and appropriate water temperature and pH levels. Adequate space and hiding places can help reduce stress and promote healthy behavior.

Secondly, feeding your betta fish a high-quality diet low in fat can help prevent swim bladder disorder and other health issues that can cause inactivity. Overfeeding can also lead to weight gain and lethargy.

Thirdly, monitoring your fish’s behavior and environment can help you detect any early signs of distress. This includes checking for signs of stress, illness, or other underlying health issues.

Finally, seeking veterinary advice when necessary and addressing any underlying health issues can help prevent your betta fish from becoming lethargic or inactive.

In conclusion, preventing betta fish from not moving requires a combination of proper tank maintenance, feeding, monitoring, and prompt treatment of any underlying health issues. Following these best practices ensures that your betta fish remains healthy and active for years.

How to Keep Your Betta Fish Healthy

Prevention is always the best medicine for keeping your betta fish healthy. Here are some tips for maintaining good betta fish health:

  • Provide a suitable tank: Betta fish need a tank that is at least 5 gallons in size, with a filter and heater to maintain a water temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid keeping betta fish in small bowls or vases, as these do not provide adequate space or filtration for the fish to thrive.
  • Choose tank mates carefully: Betta fish are known for their aggressive nature and may attack or be attacked by other fish in the tank. Only keep compatible species with your betta fish and give your betta fish plenty of hiding places and territories.
  • Feed a high-quality diet: Betta fish need a varied and high-quality diet to stay healthy. Offer a mix of pellets, frozen or live foods, and occasional treats like freeze-dried bloodworms or brine shrimp.
  • Maintain good water quality: Regularly test the water quality in your betta fish tank and perform water changes as needed. Keep the betta tank clean and debris-free to prevent the buildup of harmful pollutants.
  • Monitor behavior and appearance: Monitor your betta fish’s behavior and appearance daily. Look for signs of illness, stress, or aggression, and act as needed to keep your fish healthy and happy.

What Should Do If Betta Fish is Hanging Vertically?

If you notice your betta fish hanging vertically in the water, it could be a sign of swim bladder disorder, which affects the fish’s ability to control its buoyancy.

This can cause them to float or sink uncontrollably, leading to hanging vertically in the water. You can try several treatments to help your betta fish recover from swim bladder disorder.

First, you can adjust the water level in the tank to make it shallower, making it easier for your fish to swim to the surface and breathe. You can also try feeding your fish a high-fiber diet or fasting them for a day or two to help regulate their digestive system.

If these treatments do not work, you may consult a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper for further advice. Medication or surgery may sometimes be necessary to treat swim bladder disorder.

Overall, monitoring your betta fish’s behavior and seeking veterinary advice when necessary to address any underlying health issues is important. With proper care and treatment, your betta fish can recover from swim bladder disorder and return to their active and lively self.

Commonly Asked Questions about Bettas laying on its side (FAQs)

Why Is My Bettas Laying On The Bottom Of The Tank?

Betta fish may lay on the bottom of a tank due to stress, poor water quality, or swim bladder disorder. It’s important to monitor your fish’s behavior and environment and take action to address any underlying issues that may be causing this behavior.

Why Is My Betta Fish Swimming Sideways?

Betta fish may swim sideways due to swim bladder disorder, poor water quality, or other underlying health issues. It’s important to monitor your fish’s behavior and environment and seek veterinary advice if necessary to address the root cause of this behavior.

My Sick Betta Fish Laying Bottom Of The Tank? Is She Dead?

A sick betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank isn’t necessarily dead. It could be a sign of stress, poor water quality, or a fish with swim bladder problems. Monitor your fish’s behavior and seek veterinary advice to address underlying health issues.

Is it Normal for a Betta fish Not Moving and Stay Still?

It’s normal to see a betta fish laying for short periods. However, if your healthy betta fish stays still for extended periods or shows other signs of distress, it could be a sign that your fish has an underlying health issue that must be addressed.

What is the Contrast Between A Sleeping Betta Fish and a Dying Betta?

A sleeping fish will be lying on its side or resting at the bottom of the tank but still breathing and responding to stimuli. A dying fish will have difficulty breathing, may float upside down, and will not respond to stimuli.

What If They’re At The Bottom Of The Tank Breathing Heavily?

If your betta fish is at the bottom of the tank breathing heavily, it could be a sign of stress, poor tank water quality, or an underlying health issue. Monitor your fish’s behavior and environment and seek veterinary advice to address underlying issues.

How To Diagnose A Sick Betta?

Signs of a sick betta fish include laying at the bottom of the tank or swimming sideways, losing appetite, lethargy, and unusual behavior. Monitoring your fish’s behavior and consulting with a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper can help diagnose and address any underlying health issues.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, betta fish laying on side but not dead can indicate several potential issues, including swim bladder disorder, tank water quality issues, or illness. By identifying the cause and taking appropriate steps to treat it, you can help your betta fish recover and thrive. In addition, maintaining good betta fish health through proper tank setup, diet, and monitoring can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. Always consult a veterinarian or experienced fishkeeper for advice on the best course of treatment to give your fish, and maintain good communication with betta fish lays on side to ensure their well-being. With proper care and attention, your betta fish can live long and healthy in your aquarium.

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About Me

I am the founder of infishtank.com, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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