Vertical Death Hang In Betta Fish: 4 Critical Things to Know

One of the most common species of pet fish in America are betta fish, which are kept in tanks in many pet stores. There are more than 70 species of betta fish, did you know that? Pet stores and children typically buy Betta splendens, which can survive up to five years in captivity.

Betta fish are resilient. Nevertheless, they may experience life-threatening conditions like vertical death hang. To learn more about what betta fish owners should know about vertical death hang, AZ Animals spoke with two animal specialists.

What Is Vertical Death Hang in Betta Fish?

There’s a problem when your betta fish starts swimming vertically.

A peculiar vertical swimming style in betta fish should raise alarm flags, according to Dr. Mollie Newton of PetMeTwice.

A worrying condition in betta fish is vertical death hang, sometimes referred to as vertical stress stripes, or VSH. A betta fish with its head pointing down and tail up, hanging vertically in the water, is the hallmark of VSH. In bettas, this peculiar stance frequently indicates extreme stress or disease.

Some betta fish do not dangle downward. Some will hang so their mouths are in contact with the water’s surface in their aquariums.

Without having to swim constantly, betta fish use their swim bladders to regulate their buoyancy and maintain a neutral posture. The only means of survival for a betta fish is compromised when something damages or infects the swim bladder.

There are various reasons of swim bladder disease. It’s possible that your betta fish is constipated or has had a difficult voyage. Alternatively, it can have a bacterial infection or an internal parasite.

What Causes Vertical Death Hang in Betta Fish?

If you’re not usually at home or close to your betta fish’s tank, it could be initially difficult to observe a vertical death hang in your fish. Your betta may hang vertically for a few minutes or hours after the illness’s abrupt start, then resume regular behavior.

They are not “fixed” as a result of this.

The issue will worsen if you ignore your betta’s vertical hang for an extended period of time. A well-maintained aquarium environment and prompt intervention will enhance your betta’s health and minimize vertical death hang, according to Dr. Newton.

There are several reasons why betta fish hang vertically. These may include the water’s pH, the food you give your betta, damage to or illness in their swim bladder, and other factors.

Four Important Things to Understand About Betta Fish Vertical Death Hang

If owners observe their betta fish swimming vertically, they should treat swim bladder disease first, says Augustinas Maciulis, co-owner of The Aquarium Keeper, before looking into alternative options.

According to Maciulis, “any owner of a betta fish should be aware that if they notice their fish swimming vertically, there is an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.”

When taking care of their betta fish, owners also need to consider physiology, water vitality, and diet.

Diet Can Cauzm Bladder, Your Betta May Have A Tumor

If you’re positive that your betta’s diet isn’t the issue and their water meets all the requirements, but they’re still not getting better, your fish might have a more significant health issue.

Vertical death hang can result from enlarged internal organs brought on by tumors or cysts that impair the swim bladder’s ability to function. If your betta has a tumor or cyst, it will show up soon. They will appear as growths, either inside or outside their body, to the unaided sight.

Birth Defects Can Cause Vertical Death Hang, Too

Your betta fish may occasionally be born with a birth abnormality that makes it more likely for it to experience vertical death hang. Maciulis told AZ Animals that because betta have been bred for appearance, some of them have really bad genes. Swim bladder issues are more common in betta fish with longer fins.

Your fish has a better chance of surviving if you consult a veterinarian who is experienced with aquarium fish as soon as they show signs of illness. They will be qualified to recommend the appropriate medication or offer a course of treatment to help your betta recover fully.

Taking Care of Your Betta Fish

By giving your betta fish a healthy diet and well-maintained tank, you can prevent vertical death hang. Take your betta fish to the vet or give them a call as soon as you see something strange to determine the best course of action. You can determine how easy your betta fish recovers to full health by treating it early on.