Why is my Fish Twitching?

Do you know those moments when your fish just starts to twitch? Or maybe it’s been twitching for a while and you can’t figure out why. Well, don’t worry-you’re not alone!

Fish moving erratically is actually a common occurrence that many people experience. The good news is that there are lots of reasons why this could be happening, so no need to panic or jump into action yet!

We are here for your help, there are many reasons why your aquarium fish may start to twitch and we have the answers for you!



What is Twitching?

Before we continue, we need to know what twitching actually is. It is a spontaneous muscular contraction in which the body of an animal, usually a fish, works in a jerky, rapid spasms. This is an involuntary action in which a fish’s muscles tense and relax. In fish, twitching can be observed in their mouths or pectoral fins.

It may also appear as jerking motions of the body, rapid breathing, inflating and deflating, and darting of the eyes. These are often signs of an infected fish, especially if twitching is accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, swelling, or discolouration and heavy breathing.

Fish twitching, why does it happen?

There are many reasons why a fish may start to twitch. It is a natural part of their behavior, and can also be signs of stress. However, it can also be caused by a number of different illnesses or infections, parasitic infections, or other diseases. There are many causes for twitchiness in fish. Some of the most common reasons include:

StressDecorated Freshwater Aquarium

Fish may twitch simply because they are stressed as a result of some change to their environment. This is especially true when the fish being moved into a new tank and is subjected to stress.

Boredom Fish may twitch when they are bored just like you get fidgety when you’re bored . They may not be getting enough physical activity or stimulation in your aquarium.

This can be easily remedied by adding more decorations and hiding places, moving plants around to make his environment more interesting, and creating more hiding places for your fish.

Boredom can also occur when you do not feed your fish enough. Don’t forget to feed them! Feeding is important especially during winter months when the days are shorter. Your fish need it to keep their metabolism up so that they can stay warm in cold water.

Poor water Quality – Freshwater Tank is important

Freshwater fish Swimming in Drity Aquarium WaterAquarium water quality is very important for a healthy aquarium environment. Poor water quality can cause stress and lead to many health problems, including twitching. A sudden change in water conditions can also cause fish to be stressed out, especially if mature aquariums and/or well-established ecosystems are being disrupted.

To prevent stress, it’s important that you regulate the changes that your tank undergoes. It is important that you plan water analysis of your fish tank on regular basis. Poor water conditions, low nitrate levels and abrupt water changes can stress out your fish and cause twitching.

Poor water quality is very harmful for fish. Elevated ammonia and nitrate levels, high temperatures , and low levels of oxygen all contribute to stress. When fish are stressed, they may twitch or become aggressive towards other fish in an attempt to distract themselves from the environment that’s causing it.

It is important that you monitor the ammonia levels and nitrate levels of your tank. Aquarium fish are very delicate animals, they need freshwater tanks and certain water chemistry to live a healthy life. It is important for pet owners to keep their water clean, to avoid contaminates like Mulm.

A freshwater fish can start twitching if the water chemistry is not right, it is important to know your aquarium water is soft or acidic water. So you can keep the water conditions normal for the fish                    


Spastic movements

Spastic movements are a natural part of a fish’s behaviour. It is caused by stimulation such as water flow and vibrations from the aquarium filter. It can also be caused by stress or hunger.

Spastic movements would happen when a fish is severely starving, moving erratically in an attempt to confuse predators that are hunting for them. Aquarium fish have a sensory organ on each side of their heads called the lateral lines. This helps them detect movement and vibrations in the water

If you don’t have enough fish food in your tank, they may start to twitch as a result of hunger. It can also be caused by some external factors such as low oxygen levels or ammonia buildup.

Fish are smart creatures-they are able to adapt and overcome challenges. Fish that show spastic behavior would usually use their body and fins to dart away from objects that they perceive as a threat. Some fish may even create imaginary predators when there are none present in the tank.

Circulation of tank water Is not Good

Poor circulation may lead to increased concentrations of dissolved waste products that harm the fish . Water turnover can also remove oxygen from the water, causing fish to die.

It is important to have good filtration and aeration so that your fish are healthy. Un-aerated tanks usually have a buildup of dissolved waste products and may cause many health problems in fish such as twitching.


Your Fish Aquarium Is Overcrowded

fish twitching

Photo by Duy Nguyn

Overcrowding is a common problem in home aquariums, especially those that are poorly maintained.

Overcrowding is considered one of the worst mistakes any Fish owners can make. If you don’t have space for your fish to swim away from each other, they will be stressed and aggressive towards each other. Stressed fish may start twitching.

Something Is attached on his body

Another reason that fish may start to twitch is if something is attached or stuck on its body. This can include plants, algae, and even the remains of their own food.

These may act as irritants in your tank that cause them to be stressed out. It’s important to check your fish regularly for any foreign objects in their bodies that might be causing it to twitch.

Can I do anything to help my fish when it’s twitching?

It can be hard to tell if a fish is just spastic or stressed out. But don’t worry-there are things you can do to calm your fish down and lessen the chance of it getting injured.

  1. First, make sure that they have enough room in the tank to swim around instead of bumping into other fish. Don’t overcrowd your tank! The more fish in a tank, the more likely it is that their twitching will be due to hunger or overcrowding-make sure they have plenty of food and space! Overcrowded tanks are one main reason of twitching in fish.
  2. Do regular water checks to see if you need new filters or other equipment. Freshwater tanks are very important to keep you fish healthy, one sick fish can affect all other animals in your aquarium.
  3. If you’re still not sure, try feeding them more food.
  4. You could also add an air stone or improve water circulation in the tank. If this doesn’t work after a few days, get some help from an aquarium specialist!
  5. Clean your freshwater fish tank often. It is important that you clean your tank often to prevent diseases from appearing. Some of the more common causes for fish twitching are caused by dirty tanks, so it’s important that you keep it clean!
  6. If your water has high nitrate levels, this may cause some fish to twitch-check with your vet for solutions. It is important to keep water surface clean
  7. Fish don’t like light too much, so you should try to keep them as dark and calm as possible when they go into distress/
  8. Look out for diseases like cryptocaryonosis (saltwater) or columnaris disease (freshwater). They can both be caught from other infected fish if there’s damage to the skin cells where bacteria grows.
  9. You may also want to consider adding vitamins to your fish’s diet, such as vitamin C. This may help with twitching or any other signs of stress they might be showing.
  10. If the fish are still twitching after a few weeks, you will need to take action! The best way is usually to move them into a quarantine tank and treat them there-you can get advice on this from your local vet.

Healthy Aquarium GoldfishHow can I tell if the cause of my fish’s twitching is serious or something that can be easily fixed?

Some fish twitching can mean something is seriously wrong, but other times it’s more harmless.

When a fish starts to twitch or shows similar signs, there’s a few ways you can tell if it is serious or not. Look at the color of the fins . Are they raggedy and discolored? If so, this could be anindication of a bacterial infection.

Look for any redness or swelling around the fins, gills, eyes, or underbelly of the fish. If they are red and swollen this may be an indication that something is wrong. If the twitching gets worse over time, especially if it’s accompanied by raggedy colored fins and gills, it’s time to take action.

If your fish starts to twitch, you’ll need to act fast! Don’t delay because the longer you wait the more likely it is that they will become injured or sick from their twitching. If your fish are still alive, act fast by treating them yourself or getting a vet involved. 


Fish are a great addition to any home aquarium, but they can be more sensitive than many people think.

If you’re noticing that your fish is twitching or showing other signs of distress, it’s important to act fast and ask yourself “Is this twitching Normal?”!

Make sure there isn’t anything in their tank like an air stone that might cause them discomfort and make sure the water quality is at its best with regular testing for nitrates or ammonia levels.

It may also help if you add some vitamin C into their diet-you can ask your local vet what would work best depending on their species. Remember: don’t hesitate to call your vet if you have any questions about how to care for your fish during this time!

If you have any other questions or comments , feel free to comment below ! I love it when people comment on my articles ! 🙂