HELP!!! Lazy fish with poor bladder control


Active Member
A week ago, my clown started laying on his side for about 5 seconds at a time, then he'd start swimming again, normally. I started checking everything in this little 10 gallon tank and noticed the water temperature was only at 68 degrees F. I keep this in my office with an analog titanium heater (couldnt begin to tell you the wattage, ive had it a while, though I know it's well rated for my water capacity). Someone had cranked the knob on my thermostat from 80 to 65 degrees. The next day, he was laying on his side pretty much the whole work day, in the back corner behind my rock structure, I was sure he was dying, i even thought about putting him out of his misery until I saw him doing better the next day. I now have the temperature at 81 degrees, all of my parameters are good. Currently (and for the last few days) he's been swimming, basically treading water, in a vertical position, no matter where he is in the tank, swimming as hard as he can, with his "face" pointing straight up, and tail fin straight down. Once he does this for a while, he hits the bottom of the tank and lays down on his side. His gills are going 100 mph and when they start slowing down a little, like he's catching his breath, he gets back up and starts swimming like that again. I finally got him to eat by turning off the powerheads, other than this, his darty feeding frenzy aim seems to have disappeared. He can't swim up to the top of the water column any more, even with no water flow at all. Im fearing that the low temperature somehow screwed up his air bladder.
Any theories or even treatments for this would be very much appreciated.
Ive had the little guy for about 3 years now, and he's become kind of a little mascot up here at work. The women up front even named him a very generic, uncreative name (i think one of them cried when my cleaner shrimp kicked the bucket a year ago).


Staff member
Is this the only fish in the 10 gal?
I agree this fish would likely not survive such cold temps. Be sure to restore water flow, but a gentle-normal flow. If he is able to eat, then still keep plugging for him.
What happens during the weekend, since the fish is in the office?


Active Member
You mean as far as feeding? He's on a timed feeder during the weekend. There isn't anyone around. I have an aquarium here at the house that I'm setting up. I got lazy and would have had it done and everything moved out of the 10 gallon and him here at my house a month ago, maybe this wouldn't have happened. He is the only fish in the aquarium. I have a small colony of start polyp hitchhikers, a TON of bristle worms, and a feather duster that's been around almost as long as my clown. I've had residents of this aquarium die before, but the clown and the feather duster have survived when other things were dying. There hasnt been a death in this aquarium in about a year.