Goldfish Lays on Bottom of Tank – Causes and Treatment

4 reasons why goldfish stay on the bottom of the tank

1. Swim Bladder
2. Constipation
3. Overcrowding
4. Aggressive fish behavior

Goldfish are generally easy to take care of, but when problems arise, finding a solution can be difficult. One thing that causes great concern is when you find your goldfish laying on bottom of the tank.

Treating the goldfish with all kinds of different medications before knowing the actual cause of the problem is definitely not the answer.

It’s essential to regularly check ammonia and nitrate levels and keep clean water in the tank

Early detection of symptoms and implementing the appropriate treatment provides the best outcome for your fish. It’s important to understand there’s no one quick answer to why this is occurring.

Aim to rule out some possible (and easily treatable) causes first. If your fish is generally vibrant and healthy he may just be sleeping.

4 reasons goldfish lay on the bottom of the tank

#1 Swim Bladder

  • One of the reasons you might find a  goldfish laying on bottom of the tank is because of a swim bladder problem. In healthy fish the swim bladder fills with blood gasses to allow the fish to swim to the top of the water. Problems with the swim bladder may keep the blood gasses from filling leaving the goldfish stuck at the bottom of the tank.
  • Find out more about swim bladder disorder and treatment on this page.

#2 Constipation

This could also be causing the goldfish to gravitate to the bottom of the tank.


Feeding the goldfish peas has been known to help improve both constipation and swim bladder problems.

#3 Overcrowding

Overcrowding in the tank is another reason a goldfish lays on the bottom. Keeping too many goldfish in a small tank causes the fish to become stressed.

Also the more fish in a tank the higher the chances are of ammonia or toxins infecting the water.

  • Tanks with high nitrate or ammonia levels can be deadly to goldfish.


Keep a maximum of 2-3 goldfish in a 10-gallon tank. Less fish and a bigger tank. This will minimize the chance of overcrowding and risk of disease. It’s essential to regularly check ammonia and nitrate levels and keep clean water in the tank.

why goldfish go to the bottom of the tank

Limiting the # of fish in a small tank & regular water changes keep you on track for keeping goldfish healthy

#4 Aggressive Fish

Watching the behavior of the goldfish can provide the answers you’re looking for. If there are other fish in the tank that are aggressive, a goldfish may go to the bottom of the tank to hide. There’s nothing physically wrong with the goldfish.


By removing the aggressive fish or placing the timid fish in a floating basket you might solve the problem.

Overall, there are many reasons why you might find a goldfish laying on bottom of your tank. It’s not necessarily a sure sign of dying. Some problems require medication, and others may just need an adjustment to the environment.

It’s important to try to figure out the exact problem before starting a treatment as it might not be necessary.

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