Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side?
Care & Breeding

Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side? These might be the Reasons

Oscar fish is from the species of cichlids family. It’s a beautiful but territorial fish but nevertheless, it’s a fun creature to keep as your pet. 

If you also have an Oscar fish as your pet, then you might have observed it spending more of its time at the base of the tank. Sometimes you may see them laying on their side more often.   

Now this could be due to different reasons mentioned below

Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side?
Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side?

Why is My Oscar Fish laying on its side?

Oscar Fish is sick

One reason your Oscar fish might be laying on its side is that it’s ill. If your fish is not feeling well, it will spend more time at the base of the tank because it doesn’t have sufficient energy to swim around. You may think “My oscar fish is not active” but something you might not know is that it’s sick that’s why it’s not active, and it’s laying on its side. Also, your oscar fish is laying on its side because it is trying to discard excess heat.

In another scenario, if your Oscar fish is spending more time at the base of the tank and lying on its side, then check for other indications such as lethargy, anorexia, and oscar fish acting weird. If you observe these signs, take your fish to a vet or experienced aquarist urgently.

Oscar Fish is pregnant

Oscar fish may be laying on its side when it’s pregnant. Female Oscar fish specie usually lay on their sides when they feel they are ready to lay eggs. If you notice your fish is pregnant and is laying on its side, then you should consult a veterinarian or experienced aquarist as soon as possible for advice on how to take care of your Oscar fish during this time period.

Regulating body temperature 

Another reason might be that it’s trying to regulate their body temperature. By lying on its side, Oscar fish can warm up or cool down more frequently depending on the temperature of the water. 

Oscar Fish Has Swim Bladder Disease

The swim bladder could crash due to several reasons like illness, injury, or deformity. These things might affect the fish’s cheerfulness, causing it to swim in a weird manner. Apart from lying on the side, the fish can also swim upturned, sink to the base, or face difficulty in maintaining a normal position. 

If you think oscar fish is lying on the side due to swim bladder disease, then slightly raise the temperature of the water. The next step is to feed a skinned pea on the fourth day and keep doing so for a few more days. And when you feel your oscar fish is getting better, then slowly move them back to their staple diet. 

Water Is Toxic for Oscar Fish

Your fish may be lying on the side because the water must be too toxic for it. You should never skip water changes, and mustn’t cut corners when buying a reliable filter. If the water is toxic, your fish won’t just lay on its side but will also tremble or shake, and will suffocate. Toxic water is the number one reason behind oscar fish lying on its side. 

Oscar Fish is in a new environment

When you buy your oscar fish from a pet shop, it gets packed, shifted, and then transferred into a completely new environment which is your tank which most probably has entirely different water parameters. So mainly that might be the reason your fish is anxious and is lying on its side.

Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side?
Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side?

More information about Oscar Fish

 Reasons Why Your Oscar Fish Is Lying On Tank’s Bottom 

  • Your fish ate more than usual  
  • Oscar fish was fed with too much protein 
  • Oscar fish is stressed 
  • Oscar fish is sick
  • Oscar fish is resting

Signs Your Oscar Fish Is Dying 

Lack Of Appetite  

Lack of appetite as mentioned above also is a major sign that your oscar fish is dying because when they stop eating it means they don’t have much energy or hope left.

Distant behavior 

Oscar fish are naturally cheerful fish who likes to swim and play around but when they act weird or distant from others it means they are close to death as they stop participating in tank activities and detach themselves from other fishes in the tank.

Breathing heavily 

A dying oscar fish will be panting or breathing heavily. If you look at a dying Oscar fish closely you will see them gasping for air hardly.


Your Oscar fish lying on its side must be a sign of illness or stress or several reasons mentioned above. In critical situations, you must consult a vet to save your Oscar fish.

To read more about fishes visit our site fishcaringnow.com and much more!!!

Why is my Oscar Fish Laying on its Side? These might be the Reasons
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