Why is my goldfish sitting at the bottom of the tank?

When a goldfish sits on the bottom of an aquarium, it can be for a variety of reasons. Some causes include fish health problems, while others are not health related at all.

Usually goldfish sit at the bottom of the aquarium due to poor health for some reason.

Incorrect water conditions, parasites, stress, gastrointestinal problems, and swim bladder problems can cause fish to sit on the bottom of the tank.

You can sometimes see fish sitting on the bottom of the tank because they are sleeping, but all other potential health issues should be ruled out before assuming sleep is the reason your fish is sitting on the bottom.

Wrong water conditions

High levels of ammonia or nitrite can cause goldfish to sit on the bottom of the tank.

And high levels of ammonia or nitrite in the aquarium can lead to the death of fish.

They will show signs of lethargy, discoloration, and serrated fins. It is extremely important to check the water in the aquarium frequently to make sure that this level does not rise.

A properly maintained aquarium should be free of ammonia and nitrite.

If you suspect high ammonia or nitrite levels, you should test the water to make sure. If any of these are the cause, then a large water change is needed.

Frequent and large water changes and checking the water daily for ammonia or nitrite will help the fish feel better and return to normal.

Parasites, fungi or bacteria

Parasites can enter an aquarium due to the introduction of something new that has parasite eggs on it, such as a new fish that has not been quarantined or a live plant.

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Any parasitic load on the fish can make her feel unwell and want to sit on the bottom.

Fish can also scratch the surfaces of the aquarium because they are trying to scratch, and if the parasites persist, they will start to sink to the bottom more often.

Once the parasites attack, they eat the gills, fins, and body of the fish. Once wounds appear, bacteria or fungus can get in and cause an even bigger problem.

Fish can become infected with a bacterial or fungal infection secondary to the parasite.

Parasites can be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. There are two different groups of parasites.

Lice and anchor worms are in the same group and can be treated with parasiticides.

Flukes, worms and protozoa belong to the second group and can be treated with drugs based on praziquantel.

You should always check which parasite you are trying to treat for and isolate the affected fish so that other fish in the tank do not get sick from the treatment.


Stress in fish can occur due to unsuitable water conditions, overcrowding, aggressive fish in the tank, or transportation.

When you transport your fish by mail or from a local store, they can get very nervous and sit on the bottom. If you have a new fish and it behaves this way and you have ruled out health and water conditions, then you can leave the fish alone for a few days in a dark room to give them time to recover and rest.

If the stress is caused by overcrowding, it is necessary to remove the fish or purchase a larger aquarium that has more room for the fish to move around.

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An overcrowded aquarium will quickly pollute it with waste and create poor water conditions, which can lead to further health problems.

If you find that the problem is in an aggressive partner, then you need to remove the aggressor. If the new tank is not available to accommodate and maintain the aggressor, then it will need to be relocated.

Aggressive fish can harm tankmates and cause infections that can harm other fish.

Gastrointestinal problems

If there are any problems with the gastrointestinal tract, such as constipation, this can cause the fish to sink to the bottom of the aquarium or lose their balance in the water due to swim bladder displacement.

The swim bladder is what allows the fish to move around in the water thanks to small sacs that fill with air and allow them to move efficiently around the aquarium.

When constipation occurs, air is trapped in it, and the fish cannot move as it needs to. They may become lethargic, not want to eat, and in some extreme cases, they may swim upside down.

You should stop feeding your goldfish if he is constipated to allow him to try to overcome the blockage. You can try feeding peas to clear your digestive tract and get it back to normal motility.

After the constipation has passed and the fish return to normal behavior, it is recommended to change the diet to a more intestinal-friendly one and add some live food and greens.

It is extremely important to detect constipation at an early stage in order to ensure the normal movement of the fish.

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If your goldfish is sitting on the bottom of the tank, this could be for several reasons. This may be related to health or to the environment in which they live.

They may also sit on the bottom due to water conditions, the presence of parasites or bacteria, stress, or gastrointestinal problems.

If they are sitting on the bottom due to the condition of the water, then this needs to be corrected by checking the water daily and doing large water changes until the water is at the desired level.

Parasites can be treated with medication, but testing for the parasite and the growth of any associated bacteria or fungi is recommended to ensure appropriate treatment is given.

Stress must be corrected by allowing the fish to calm down in a dark room and allowing a few days to adjust to the new environment.

Problems with the gastrointestinal tract need to be treated quickly and properly, eating peas helps to get rid of constipation. Swimming problems can occur due to constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.

Bottom sitting is a health problem that should be dealt with in a timely manner to ensure the health of the goldfish in the aquarium.

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