Angelfish are probably one of the most graceful and elegant fish species one can ever own. Their bodies are tall and slim, and their fins certainly add to the decorous style.

Therefore, if they gain some weight or simply seem swollen, their human keepers start worrying immediately, and for valid reasons. Indeed, most of the times, this may be an indication that something is wrong.

If you are one of those concerned aquarists who are trying to find an answer to the question ˝why is my angelfish fat and bloated? ˝, we got you covered.

Swollen Angelfish – Causes & Treatments

So, here are the main causes and possible treatments for bloated or swollen angelfish:

– Pregnancy & Eggs

Let us start with the probably only reason which is perfectly safe- pregnancy. Obviously, angelfish cannot get pregnant in the literate sense of the word as they are egg-layers, but they still do carry their eggs inside their bodies and can get swollen because of that.

In order to confirm that your beloved pet is healthy you should observe its behavior for a while. If you are not sure whether your bloated specimen is male or female, try ruling that out first.

Next, your female angelfish should be slightly lethargic while carrying eggs, so you should be able of noticing her resting more than usual and spending most of the time around one particular area of the tank.

Next, her companion should also stick around one spot around the tank, cleaning it and getting it ready for the female to lay her eggs there. Indeed, male specimens are faithful and caring partners which usually choose one single female to pair with.

If you are suspecting of “pregnancy” and there are no visible signs of distress, you should be able to notice some eggs around the nesting spot pretty soon.

And, obviously, your female angelfish should return to her normal slim shape, too. But remember, female angelfish can lay eggs (unfertilized, though) even if there is no male around.

– Constipation

Constipation can become a much more serious condition than it sounds. In fact, it can soon develop into a fatal outcome if not spotted and treated on time. Angelfish which are eating too much will soon become unable to digest their meals and will become bloated.

Sadly, this is often quite difficult to confirm as the most obvious indication is also the most complicated to monitor. Indeed, in order to be sure that your fish is constipated, you should see whether it is able of digesting food and defecating.

However, even if you cannot spot this either because of a busy schedule or because of several fish swimming around, you can observe some other behavioral changes and treat your pet with some beneficial preventive measures. A constipated fish will probably avoid food for a while, or to at least eat much less than usual.

A super-simple yet highly effective treatment for constipation are peas. Simply boil some and then peel them afterwards and offer them to your bloated pet. Peas are an amazing source of fibers and they basically work as a sort of laxative.

They are greatly beneficial to their digestive system, so you can offer them to your pet from time to time in any case.

– Tumor

Unfortunately, fish can develop tumors during their lifetime, just as humans can. And if such unwanted tumor starts growing inside their guts or nearby organs, affected fish may appear extremely swollen and bloated.

Depending on the exact location, the size of the tumor and its progression, your fish may showcase more or less visible signs of distress. In some cases it may refuse to eat, in others it may become lethargic or stick to the bottom of the tank.

Fish which are in pain can start swimming erratically, while others can become extremely aggressive all of a sudden. Whatever the situation may be, you should certainly start noticing some clear signs of illness really soon.

If your angelfish pet is suffering from a tumor, you should definitely consult your vet. In most of the cases, there is sadly no cure, but sometimes fish may simply live with that tumor successfully.

– Dropsy

One of the worst diseases among aquarium fish nowadays is dropsy. It usually develops either because of poor water quality or as a consequence from bacterial infections, when fish are absorbing too much water into their organism. Whatever the cause may be, you should react pretty fast in such cases or your fish may die soon.

Dropsy is extremely easy to recognize. Affected fish develop highly bloated bellies, to a such level that their scales start protruding out, quite similar to spikes. Also, another distinctive sign is featuring bulging eyes.

If your fish is suffering from dropsy disease, the very first step is to isolate it into a temporary tank to avoid other fish getting sick. Next, you should medicate your angelfish for a while with antibiotics, and make sure that its tank water is pristine clean.

How to Prevent Bloating in Angelfish?

Even though not all bloating states lead to health complications, prevention is always the best medicine. In order to avoid your beloved angelfish of developing constipation or even more serious diseases, some simple guidance is all you have to follow.

  • Ensure that your pets are getting the right water parameters during their life in captivity and keep them stable once you obtain the ideal values. And, just as important, their water should be clean.
  • Feed your fish with apposite high-quality commercial food and a healthy variety of snacks and try avoiding overfeeding.
  • If you own a community tank, choose your fish species wisely and monitor their interactions.
  • And finally, always observe your pets and look for signs of distress or diseases.

Wrapping Up

Realizing that your usually slim and refined angelfish is suddenly fat or bloated is never easy, as the first thought which comes to your mind is negative.

However, even if your fish is not carrying any eggs, there may still be an efficient cure if you manage to spot this during an early stage.

Monitoring your pets is vitally important and can often mean the difference between life and death.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *