Why Is My Seahorse Swimming Upside-down? (reasons explained)

Seahorse Swimming Upside-down

Seahorses are rare and nice creatures to have in your aquarium if only you could be able to maintain and provide for their needs.

If you have this animal or you are about to, have in mind that it might not be as smooth as you think, because sometimes problems might arise which might get you very worried and depressed.

In this article, we will look at one of the problems Seahorses have, which is swimming upside down. If you want to learn all about this, then carefully read this article to the end.

Why is my Seahorse swimming upside down? Seahorses swim upside down due to gas build-up within the pouch in male seahorses, but can also be due to an over-inflated swim bladder.

Seahorses swimming or hanging upside down is not normal, there are more reasons for that.

If you are worried about your Seahorses swimming upside down, then you must have to read this article to the end to know everything and how to treat them.

The two reasons why they swim upside down is because they have accumulated air in their body, which is making the body very light, and so allows them to float on water, and not only floating but upside down.

Related: Why is my Crayfish sleeping on its back?

Many times, you will see them trying to keep balance in such situations by using their dorsal fins which could keep them normal, maybe for some time.

Why is my Seahorse swimming upside down?

Much bony fish has gas bladder which they use to lift themselves, and so do Seahorses too.

The seahorse’s gas bladder functions as a swim bladder, providing the lift needed to give them neutral buoyancy.

In essence, the swim bladder is a gas-filled bag used to regulate buoyancy

When this gas accumulates so much, then it will throw them off balance, making them float and flip over.

To know if a Seahorse is floating and flipping over due to positive buoyancy in a male seahorse, which is due to gas accumulating in its brood pouch or is as a result of an overinflated swim bladder, check if the pouch is bloated.

Related: Why is my Molly fish swimming sideways?

Related: Why is my Seahorse laying on its side

The pouch is located at the base of their tail, right where their abdomen and tail merge.

If it is bloated or enlarged, then you can be sure that the problem is due to a buildup of gas in the seahorse’s pouch (or marsupium, as it is also known).

But If the male’s pouch does not appear to be swollen or inflated, yet it is floating and flipping upside down, then the positive buoyancy is almost certainly due to a hyperinflated swimbladder, or gas bladder, as it is also known.

If the male’s pouch is swollen and bloated, then you must release the gas that has accumulated within the pouch to correct the problem.

To cure your Seahorse of floating and swimming upside down, the trapped air should be released.

The trapped gas should be evacuated using a fine catheter

The Second Treatment is Flushing the Pouch combined with administering Acetazolmide orally.

Although, as usual, I will advise you to contact a veterinarian doctor to direct you or do it for you.

Do Seahorses Swim Upside Down?

Seahorse Don’t swim upside down, they swim upright. They regulate the air in their swim bladder to float and use their dorsal fin to move up and down.

If you have a Seahorse or you have seen one before, you will notice that they are not like other aquarium animals, as they stay and swim upright.

So, they don’t swim upside down nor flip over when they swim, unless there is too much air in their swim bladder which prevents them from balancing or they are weak.

Why Is My Seahorse Hanging Upside Down?

A Seahorse may be hanging upside down because of too much gas in its swim bladder, it is weak due to poor feeding or it is a result of old age.

These are the common reasons why your Seahorse might be hanging upside down or flipping over as you may call it.

So, find out the reason and correct it if you can or get help from a Vet.


Seahorses don’t just swim upside down for no reason, so call the attention of a Vet for treatment other than doing it by yourself which could go wrong.