The swim bladder, gas bladder or air bladder is an internal gas-filled organ that helps the fish stay level and at the depth it wants to be without expending excessive energy. In a home aquarium the swim bladder of some fish (especially goldfish) may become over inflated, causing the fish to swim head up or head down, or even upside down. It may float to the surface and be unable to swim down to the bottom, or it may sink to the bottom and be unable to swim to rise. It is likely that swim bladder problems are uncomfortable to the fish and may be causing considerable distress.
An example of how this condition was recently managed was through syringe deflation. This method involved anaesthesia using AQUI-S® at a dose of 2 ml per 100 L followed by x-ray (to locate swim bladder) and syringe deflation. This proved to be a very safe and effective method. The fish went on to make a full recovery. Pictures of the operation are below:
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