What Causes Bloating in Fish?

You may be wondering, what causes bloating in fish? Bloating isn’t an illness in essence, yet a condition found in exotic fish. It likewise passes by the names Malawi bloat – for cichlids – dropsy and edema. Whatever you call it, influenced fish experience swollen midsection, which makes their scales stick out. Other symptoms embody respiration difficulties, appetency loss, lethargy, red marks on the body, and long, white excrement.  It is anything but an unpretentious condition; your fish is clearly exceptionally debilitated.

Causes of Bloating in Fish

Bloat features a few common causes, and I’ll get to those in an exceedingly second. For now, let’s work out what causes this, shall we?

  • Internal bacterial infection
  • Viral or protozoan infection
  • Incorrect environment and “Malawi bloat”
  • Hexamita (HITH)
  • Overfeeding
  • Constipation
  • Egg-bound

True Dropsy Bloat from Internal Bacterial Infection

The accord is that once fish develop bloat thanks to microorganism infection. It’s sometimes a gram-negative bacterium. The Problem is, once they develop an indoor infection. Their whole system gets messed up. Fish have a posh gastrointestinal system choked with microorganisms and microfauna. Much like humans.

Once this technique is underneath stress, it gets out of whack, once it’s out of whack, the fish’s system drops, causing this gut system into additional chaos and repeating the cycle. This helps answer, what causes bloating in fish?

Additional Symptoms:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Protruding scales
  • Red gills
  • Red streaks on the body
  • Rapid gill movement
  • Excessive slime coat/mucus production

 Treatment of Bloating in Fish:

Treatment can, providing this is often the issue, be finished in a gram-negative anti-bacterial. I like Erythromycin for general antibacterial and for gram-negative if you find that Erythromycin isn’t working. Erythromycin is sometimes used for treating gram-positive however is used for gram-negative also.


If the fish is already experiencing microorganism issues, their systema digestorium is out of whack. Adding Associate in nursing medication can inevitably worsen the out-of-whack-ness. Which has wide-reaching implications? Treatment might create things worse. However, they’re unlikely to become higher while not treated.

Bloat from Viral or Protozoan Infection 

What causes bloating in fish? Several viral diseases can cause bloating. DGIV is one in all of them. However, it’s far away from the sole one. In this case, bloating may be secondary wellness. That was created by the first. To treat this sort of bloat, you’ve got to diagnose the first illness accurately and treat that first. With protozoans, bloat becomes easier to treat however more durable to diagnose.

Additional Symptoms: 

  • Curved spine
  • Itchiness (some)
  • Red skin or patches
  • Symptoms that seem unrelated to excess fluid build-up


 Alas, this is a hard one. If it’s one thing like DGIV, there’s no treatment. If it’s another microorganism infection. You’d have to be compelled to diagnose that initial to search out the cure.

 In the case of protozoan infections, that’s a small amount easier: salt dip is sometimes the answer.

 Dissolve four teaspoons of vivarium salt per gallon in a very bucket. Place the fish within the bucket and monitor for signs of stress. Well, more stress, anyway.

 Keep them during this resolution for half-hour and place them back in the tank. If the fish seems to “roll over,” you ought to take away them as quickly as doable and place them back in freshwater.


Freshwater fish don’t like salt. No surprise there. Additionally, the strain of plopping them in salt – Once they’re already sick – may any weaken their immune system. Provided it’s a protozoan you’re treating. If you’re handling one thing else. The designation is also difficult.

Bloat from Incorrect Care (Malawi Bloat) 

Malawi bloat is most common in African cichlids. But this isn’t to mention “Malawi bloat” will solely impact African cichlids. What causes bloating in fish?

 Improper care can give nearly any fish a bloat. Herbivores that are fed foods high in macromolecule and fats are particularly at risk of this version of bloat.

 But we all know 3 things invariably cause it; incorrect diet, poor water quality, and misuse of salt in routine water changes.

Additional Symptoms:

  • White feces
  • Bloody ulcers on the skin


In the long term, obviously, correct no matter what went wrong. If it’s from food, stop feeding them food. They are thus high in protein. If you’re unsure if your food had more meat proteins or plants, take to Google with the ingredients list on your fish food. Additionally, check the most effective by date on your fish food. If it’s bad, that’s doubtless the cause. If food was the culprit, you’re doubtless handling an interior infection.

Again, I like Erythromycin for general antibacterial and for gram-negative if you find that Erythromycin isn’t working.

For alternative conditions that will be at play, like water conditions, you’ll have to be compelled to do an analysis of your species and check against your water chemistry. It’s best if you’ll get them into moderately okay conditions 1st. So transition them into ideals if pH, temperature, or salt use is that the issue. Changing those conditions too quickly can shock them.


We don’t understand Malawi bloats that entire well. So we tend to don’t savvy to treat it all that well either.

Bloat from Hexamita (HITH) 

Hexamita is probably best known for causing holes in the head (HITH) and lateral line erosion (HLLE) in cichlids. Most of the time, there are not any symptoms. That it’s there till your fish’s face has been obtaining nibbled and gnawed at for who is aware of however long? This lack of outward signs is what makes. This therefore arduous to diagnose.

Additional Symptoms: 

  • Holes in the head
  • Holes in the lateral line of your fish
  • Sometimes no other symptoms other than bloat


 I hate to be the bearer of unhealthy news here. However, there’s no official treatment of bloat caused by Hexamita. The best you’ll do is follow the bearing toward the beginning of the treatment area (isolate, water change, downsize pressure, don’t take care of) and endure it. You will commit to treatment with metronidazole. Which is out there over the counter within the states as of late. However, it’s going to ought to be prescribed. If you’re elsewhere. 


We don’t knowledge to treat. The protoctist genus or a way to diagnose. It before it becomes advanced.