Swim Bladder Disorder in Black Skirt Tetra

The black skirt tetra is a beautiful fish that can be found in the rivers of South America. They are known for being one of the most peaceful freshwater fish, but they are also prone to swim bladder disorder. This article will discuss everything you need to know about this condition, including what it is, how to diagnose and treat swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetra at home!

Swim bladder disorder can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms can vary from fish to fish. The good news is that there are a few common signs that will help you figure out if your pet has it or not! If your black skirt tetra is bloated or swimming erratically, then possibly they have the swim bladder disorder.

We will go over them here and also discuss how to treat the condition.

What Is Swim Bladder Disorder in Black Skirt Tetras?

Swim bladder disorder (SBD) is a condition that affects the swim bladder of fish. This organ helps them control their buoyancy and keep from floating to the surface or sinking to the bottom of your aquarium. The lack of function in this organ causes them to float near the top, unable to dive down lower where they prefer to be!

Symptoms of Swim Bladder Disorder in Black Skirt Tetras

If you suspect that your black skirt tetra may have swim bladder disorder, then it’s time to start checking for symptoms.

The most common symptom is swelling near the belly area or along their sides! They will also be unable to control themselves and will continuously float at different levels in your tank.

Swimming At Top Of The Tank and Floating Near Surface Of Your Aquarium

Black skirt tetra might also start to float near the surface, unable to dive down lower where they prefer. If you notice this behavior or symptoms of swelling then it is likely that your fish has swim bladder disorder!

Can’t Swim Down

Another symptom that may signal SBD in black skirt tetra is if they are constantly floating at different levels in your tank and can’t seem to stay below the surface for very long.

They will often try their hardest but eventually end up back on top again because their organ isn’t working properly.

Floating Near Bottom Of Aquarium

If you see them lying on their side at the bottom of your aquarium, not moving, then it is likely that they have swim bladder disorder.

When your fish has this condition, you will often notice them bumping into tank ornaments and decorations because of their inability to move down in the water column!

Lying On Side At Bottom Of Aquarium

Another common symptom of black skirt tetra with SBD is when they are lying on their side at the bottom of your aquarium.

They may sometimes struggle a bit but usually remain stationary on one side for extended periods of time. This can also cause injury if done too much so be sure to remove any sharp objects from your tank beforehand!

Causes of Swim Bladder Disorder

There are several different reasons why black skirt tetra might develop swim bladder disorder including constipation or impacted waste material, stress and injuries from tank ornaments, bacterial infections affecting internal organs, and poor diet.

Constipation Or Impacted Waste Material

One of the most common causes of swim bladder disorder is when their digestive system becomes backed up with stool.

This can be due to eating too much, not enough fiber in their diet, or constipation caused by other health problems. When this happens, the excess waste material blocks the organ and affects its ability to function properly!

Stress And Injuries From Tank Ornaments

Another reason why your black skirt tetra might develop SBD is if they are constantly stressed out from their environment.

This could be due to overcrowding in the tank or having sharp objects that they can bump into and get injured. If this is the case, then you will need to remove sharp decorations from your aquarium! Sometimes just providing a bigger space for them to swim in or covering any open areas with plants will help reduce stress.

Bacterial Infections Affecting Internal Organs

Swim bladder disorder might also be caused by bacterial infections that affect their internal organs including their digestive system.

This condition could make it difficult for them to digest food properly which would lead to constipation over time if not treated!

Poor Diet And Not Enough Fiber

Finally, another common cause of SBD in black skirt tetra is a poor diet lacking fiber and other nutrients necessary for digestion.

When these fish don’t get the right food, their digestive system becomes overloaded and impacts their swim bladder.

Home Treatment For Swim Bladder Disorder in Black Skirt Tetras

If you are able to identify that your fish has swim bladder disorder early on, there are a few things you can do at home to help them recover. The most important thing is to avoid overfeeding them because this will only make the problem worse!

Try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day instead of one large serving. You should also change the water regularly in your tank – about 25% every week – to help keep it clean and healthy.

Good Tank Mates

Another way to help your black skirt tetra with SBD is by choosing good tank mates. Choose other small fish that are active and don’t cause stress to your fish. You should avoid keeping them with bigger, aggressive species because they can become stressed and put a lot of pressure on their organs!

Do Not Overcrowd The Tank

When trying to treat black skirt tetra for swim bladder disorder at home, you also need to consider the tank size.

Make sure that you provide an adequate amount of room so that everyone has enough space but don’t overstock the aquarium either! This makes it much more difficult for your filtration system to keep up which will only make the problem worse in the long run.

Quarantine Your Black Skirt Tetra

If you have a black skirt tetra in your tank, it is important to quarantine them separately when treating black skirt tetra for a swim bladder disorder.

This is because they are known to carry and spread the bacteria that can cause this condition!

Good Tank Conditions

In order for your fish to recover properly from SBD, they need good water conditions in their tank.

Make sure that the temperature and pH levels are stable and try not to change them too often. You should also keep the water filtered and clean by doing regular maintenance on your aquarium.

Hiding spaces like  PVC pipes or Aquarium Decoration Rock Caves are best in a black skirt tetra tank.

Good Diet And Fiber

Along with keeping the tank clean, another way to help your black skirt tetra get better is by providing a good diet. Make sure that their diet is high in fiber and other nutrients to help them digest food properly.

Some good options for a high-fiber diet include peas, lettuce, and spinach!

Change The Water Regularly

When treating black skirt tetra for a swim bladder disorder, you should also change their water regularly.

You can do this by removing 25% of the tank’s water every week and replacing it with fresh tap water that has undergone treatment to remove chlorine or chloramines. You could even use bottled mineral water instead!

Avoid Overfeeding

Black skirt tetra will bloat if you overfeed them. Feeding them a perfect amount would be a good way to keep them healthy.

Can You Prevent Swim Bladder Disorder In Black Skirt Tetra?

The short answer is yes, you can prevent swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetra by keeping their environment stress-free, providing a good diet, and changing the water regularly.

While you can’t always prevent swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetra, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances of it happening.

Do Not Overcrowd

Making sure that they have a good diet and plenty of room to swim will help keep them healthy and active. You should also avoid overcrowding the tank which will only put stress on their organs.

Good Tank Environment and Healthy Diet

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent swim bladder disorder from happening in black skirt tetra. However, by providing a healthy tank environment with good water conditions and a balanced diet, you can reduce the chances of your fish developing this condition.

Are Black Skirt Tetra More Inclined To Having Swim Bladder Disorder?

There is no evidence that black skirt tetra is any more prone to developing swim bladder disorder than any other fish species. However, there are some environmental and dietary factors that can increase the chances of this condition occurring.


Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetra. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask

Can You Cure Swim Bladder Disorder In Black Skirt Tetra?

Yes, you can cure swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetra. However, it is important to seek medical help from a qualified veterinarian to ensure that the condition is properly diagnosed and treated.

Why Do Peas Help In Swim Bladder Disorder?

Peas are a good source of fiber which helps fish digest their food properly. This is why they are often recommended for black skirt tetra with swim bladder disorder.


Swim bladder disorder can be a serious condition that can cause your black skirt tetra to become lethargic and bloated. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take your fish to a qualified veterinarian for treatment.

There are many ways you can help prevent swim bladder disorder in black skirt tetras, but the best way is to provide a healthy environment with plenty of room for them to swim.

Have you ever had this problem? What treatment did your fish receive and what steps have you taken to prevent it from happening again? Let us know in the comments below!

Scroll to Top