A Fish Swimming Sideways In the Aquarium
Probable Health Issues
An aquarist seeing a newly added fish swimming on its side will generally be concerned as to the health of the new pet. This creature, after all, is a natural-born swimmer equipped with the anatomical structures for mobility in an aquatic environment.
In all likelihood, the fish has been swimming normally while it was inside the tank of the pet shop where it was purchased.
Fish muscle blocks known as myomeres enable a fish to swim. Generally, movement is generated by a series of contraction and relaxation of the myomeres. These contractions and relaxations starts at the head and progresses down to the caudal fin or tail of the fish. These successive movements create in successive waves in the water that in turn propels the fish. In addition to this muscular structure, a fish relies on its swim bladder to control its buoyancy. Angular changes in the dorsal and caudal fins dictated by the nervous system of the fish enable directions of its movement.
Causative Environmental Factors
For a fish to swim normally, its muscular and nervous systems have to be in good health. Any abnormal swimming behavior, such as sideways or upside down, may indicate a fish illness or disease. These fish health issues are many and include parasite or fungal infection, sleeping sickness and tuberculosis. An aberration in the swim bladder will also adversely affect a fish’s normal swimming capability. The advice of a fish vet will be a good approach to seek remedies these fish health issues.
Adverse aquarium conditions are the other factors that can cause abnormalities in fish swimming. These aberrations can be traced to the water temperature, oxygen level, alkalinity, and the other parameters which dictate the environmental conditions in an aquarium. These are the very same conditions that an aquarist or hobbyist in fish-keeping needs to watch out for when adding new fish to an aquarium.
Some Tips Prior To Adding New Fish
Careful attention to the aquarium’s environmental condition, therefore, has to be observed before adding a fish to the tank. This will entail testing pH levels of the water which has to be close to that of the prevailing aquarium of the pet shop where the fish was purchased. The presence of chlorine in the aquarium water is a no-no. It has to be ensured that the water has been dechlorinated.
The aquarium temperature is also crucial in conditioning a tank for the addition of fish into it. As a precaution, the aquarium’s lighting fixture has to be turned off before the fish is added in the tank. This will help in making a less stressful transition to the new aquarium denizen.
Fish stress can also be avoided by refraining from immediately removing the new aquarium addition from its plastic bag and transferring the pet at once to the tank. A good approach is to a put the sealed bag with the fish on the aquarium and let it float for ten minutes. After this time period, the new pet can be released, to avoid the situation of having a fish swimming on its side.