Care Of A Goldfish: Constipation or Indigestion

Watch your goldfish for these signs:

  • swollen abdomen
  • inactivity
  • resting at the bottom of the tank

With constipation in fish, or indigestion, there’s good news and bad news. Good news first. Any other fish in the same tank or aquarium is not likely to become ill as well because this sickness is not contagious.

The bad news is if constipation or a bladder problem is not treated quickly the fish may not recover.

constipation in goldfish

Swim bladder problems and constipation are among the leading causes of death in goldfish.

Care of a pet fish is always important, but when one or more fish fall ill definite action must be taken.


Observation will go a long way to maintaining your goldfish’s health and well-being.

A few physical and visual signs that can indicate that your goldfish might have indigestion or constipation are:

  • the tummy or abdomen bulges or looks swollen (this usually occurs when food doesn’t agree with the fish)
  • fish is very inactive
  • goldfish is resting at the bottom of the tank

To nurse your fish back to health sometimes all you will need to do is change its food.

  1. Experts in fish care recommend adding one tablespoon of Epson salt for each 5 gallons of water in the hospital tank.

(A ‘hospital tank’ is a separate smaller tank used to treat sick fish. It’s a good idea to transfer your sick fish to a separate tank so you’re only treating the sick fish with medication and can monitor it’s progress.)

2. We suggest not feeding your sick fish for 3 to 5 days, until your fish returns to being its fully active little self.


3. Once your goldfish has become a little ball of energy again, feed him live or freeze-dried foods for 1 week.


4. After 1 week has passed, it’s safe to place the recovering goldfish back into its normal tank.


Since constipation and indigestion can be a recurring problem it’s best to keep watch to see if it happens again.

cure for constipation in fish
for 1 week after recovery feed with live or freeze dried food

Ryunkins, Veiltails, Tosakins and Pearl-Scales are all known to suffer with such illnesses repeatedly.


Taking care of a goldfish includes taking time to really observe your goldfish. By being vigilant you’ll be able to treat your fish effectively and ensure your fish get well soon.