Why Is My Pufferfish Swimming Upside-Down? 3 Reasons Explained

why is my puffer fish swimming upside-down?3 reasons explained

Why is my Puffer fish upside down? I have read many people ask this question on social media and forums without getting many answers.

If you are one of them, then this article will help you understand why and how to solve the issue with your Pufferfish.

Pufferfish are very active, friendly, and nice fish to have in the home aquarium and they are very lovely.

Knowing how lovely and funny they are, it could be sad seeing them have one problem or the other such as Staying or swimming upside down.

If you are experiencing this, then here are the possible reasons and the solution.

Why Is My Puffer Fish Swimming Upside-Down?

1. Accumulation of air/gas inside the body: One of the commonest reasons why Pufferfish could be swimming upside down and sometimes taking a very hard effort to right itself is because there is a gas inside its body.

This could happen as a result of accumulating air inside their mouth when they open it to eat, when they gasp for air at the surface or the type of food they eat is accumulating gas in the stomach.

We all know that this is very normal and it happens to every animal, including human beings once. It happens, we only need to burp to emit the gas or air.

Why your Puffer is floating upside-down is because it has accumulated much of it which it doesn’t know how to emit and it is making the fish light, so it could hardly stay upright without floating.

The only solution to this is simply to make it burp.

Now you might be wondering how you could make a Pufferfish burp, well to do that, simply pick the fish and press the chest gently and that will be all.

Although there are some other tactics to make them burp such as drawing a circle around their neck gently, etc.

2. Swim bladder problem: Another reason why Puffer fish or any other fish could be swimming upside-down is as a result of swim bladder issues.

The swim bladder is an organ in fish that regulates their balance while swimming, but this organ could have issues that could make them to be losing their balance always and that’s why some fish could be swimming upside-down.

There are many reasons why the swim bladder could bloat and they are, overfeeding, diseases, and aggression from other fish or animals in the tank.

When this organ is affected, the balance of the fish is affected too.

If you noticed that your Pufferfish is swimming upside-down as a result of a swim bladder issue, I would advise you to contact a veterinarian doctor and avoid self-medication.

3. Toxins: Another reason why this could happen is as a result of the presence of toxins in the water.

Toxins such as Ammonia, Nitrite, Chlorine, Copper, Nitrate, etc are very harmful to all aquatic animals and could disorganize their health and even kill them if precautions are not taken.

This is why it is very compulsory to buy water testing kits so that you could be able to test your aquarium water regularly and be able to detect any toxin that might breed in the water.

Why Is My Puffer Fish Swimming Up And Down?

Sometimes you might find out that your Puffer is swimming up and down close to the glass which is called glass surfing.

The question you might have in mind is, do Puffer Fish glass surf? well, the answer is yes, they do glass surf.

They swim up and down or glass surf as many people might call it when they are very excited and happy.

They are very friendly fish that could relate to their regular feeder. Once they recognize your face, they are very likely to glass surf when you approach their tank.

Apart from glass surfing, they could sometimes go to the surface just to be petted on the head and fed.

So, whenever you see your Pufferfish swimming up and down when you are approaching or around, just know that the fish is very happy and excited to see you around and it is trying to be friendly and be fed too.

Puffers swimming up and down is a good sign and you have nothing to worry about that.


These are the reasons why your Pufferfish could be swimming upside-down, so get a professional to deal with the issue if you don’t have much idea on what to do and I don’t even recommend you do anything unless you are a Vet or professional fish keeper.


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