Neon Tetra Bloated

Neon Tetra Bloated (Constipation)

One of my neon tetras is bloated/constipated. It has trouble sinking, it is swimming heads down and tails up. Hopefully it does not progress to the dreaded swim bladder disease or dropsy. Possible reasons is that it could have eaten the lion’s share of the TetraMin flake food the day before. I tried dosing Melafix (do not have any other suitable medication). I find that flake food tends to make neon tetras bloated (they may swallow air at the surface), but usually it subsides within a few hours. This tetra has been bloated for one full day, which is quite abnormal according to my experience.

Neon Tetra Bloated Recovery

Good news! The neon tetra recovered from bloat! Its stomach is noticeably more normal sized (previously there was a small lump). I am not sure if it was due to the Melafix or not. It is swimming normally now.


Update: I found out that one way to prevent neon tetra from getting bloated, without pre-soaking pellets and flakes, is to scatter the floating pellets in a wide area around the tank. This allows more time for the pellets to absorb water while the neon tetras are searching around. I found that this is much better than feeding through the “feeding slot” area at the top of my tank lid.

Another advantage is that slower fish can also get a better chance at eating the pellets while the fast neons are swimming around searching for their food. If I drop the pellets in a small area, it is likely that a few neon tetras will gobble up all the food, leaving none for the rest (and those neon tetras will end up bloated).