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This reader wonders if his fish is having heart attacks. Have you ever witness this kind of fish behavior? Visit the forum and share what you know.

"My fish is constantly like having heart attacks. He slams himself all around the aquarium and then flips upside down. After flipping his lips are like trembling and shaking. Then awhile later, he flips back over and he's fine. What can I treat it with? "


November 24, 2006 at 6:05 pm
(1) andrew says:


November 28, 2006 at 7:04 am
(2) Lauray says:

fish heart attacks….

December 5, 2006 at 11:37 pm
(3) Charles says:

hey lets be open minded. the wright brothers were mocked about dreaming of flying….. so please dont hate . merry christmas =D

December 17, 2007 at 8:28 am
(4) lauray says:

merry christmas a year ago dear ^^
x x

May 12, 2008 at 8:36 am
(5) Samanthay says:

Fish heart attack??? That’s a new one on me. Hmmmm good luck with that.

May 12, 2008 at 8:40 am
(6) Samanthay says:

You can treat it with…..Nothing. Or maybe love. They need love. Or maybe……nothing.

May 12, 2008 at 8:48 am
(7) samanthay says:

Try doritos, quavers, mccains micro chips, a can of pepsi, a galaxy, a dairy milk a glass of ribena or a sunday dinner. Let me know how it goes…..

August 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm
(8) marnie says:

I wish someone had a better explanation for you, because not even 5 minutes ago, one of my fish swam freakishly all over her tank then ended up on the bottom of the tank upside down. If that wasn’t enough she swam around again for abit, then died just like that…would love help on this one

August 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm
(9) Masha says:

im actually trying to look this up. i HAD a female molly fish until this morning. i was on my laptop, saw her jerk up a few times then she gave out with her mouth open and everything. gills werent moving, nothing, then i try to take her out, she jerks up again. i freak out. put her in a zip lock bag, then see her jerk again. now im too scared to flush her down the toilet :[ she looks dead, but after those all those twitches this morning, im too scared to go near her. im just gonna wait till my roomate gets home to flush her :[

February 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm
(10) Mea says:

Masha, you should have never taken your fish out of the tank! By removing it from the tank immediately after something like that happens, there is no way to know if your fish died, or just had a shock tremor. By placing it in a bag- You effectively suffocated your fish to death. NEVER take a fish out of a tank until it’s eyes fade! Ie: Their eyes suddenly lack ‘life’ ‘luster, etc, also known as ‘fogging’. That’s really the only way to tell if a fish is actually dead. You mentioned your fish jerked up a few times and it’s gills stopped moving. Jerking up means your fish was shocked and needed an immediate supply of air to regain it’s ‘composure’, and it’s actually very common for a fish’s gills to ‘stop moving’- It’s similar to ‘deep breathing’, absorbing oxygen through the skin and outer surface of the gills to better process it in times of shock. PLEASE, never do something like that again. It’s better to let your fish have it’s moment of peace if it’s going to die, than remove it too early and have it die a horrible, gasping death!

April 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(11) Lisa Olson says:

It something to think about do fish really have heart attacks? Knowing that fish has one ventricle and one atrium. It something that I wonder

June 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm
(12) Belinda says:

I agree. YOUR FISH MAY LOOK DEAD AFTER A SEIZURE, BUT IT MAY STILL BE ALIVE! My fish had a seizure last night then stopped became completely still, turned white, eyes black and floated up. We moved him to the quarantine tank (we shoulda acclimated him but we had no idea what was going on) and after 3 minutes he slowly thawed back to life. He’s still sick and still might end up dying, but it wasn’t his time yet yesterday.

August 5, 2011 at 11:35 am
(13) Sue says:

We believe our goldfish has also had a heart attack, or so we have been told by the local koi company.
I came down this morning and he/she was at the bottom of the fish tank just spinning over and over again. We have now put it in its on “tank”/bowl with some of the fish tank water and its still doing it, and its now 16:30 hours. Its horrible to watch and I’m not sure what to do! Any one any (decent) advice?

January 13, 2012 at 9:39 am
(14) Matt says:

Im thinking fish having heart attacks is more of a reality after this morning. One of my roselines died but not in that fashion, he acting fine then started twitching, went sideways on the ground, blood started flowing from his gills, then went belly up. All happened during my morning feeding and observation time.

February 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm
(15) james says:

Actually yes they can. As taught in biology any animal that is warm blooded can suffer from heart attacks. More than likely the creature was stressed from something such as a parasite, bad water parameters, or unstable pH. We tend to see this syndrome more in saltwater tanks due to the high sensitivity of the animals people are trying to care for. Hope this helps.

November 20, 2012 at 10:48 am
(16) Scott says:

I was just sitting down watching TV and out of nowhere one of my fish went mad. I got up straight away and watched him swim upside down to the bottom at the tank. His mouth was wide open and then nothing. I fished him out but appears dead. Heart attach or a stroke. This came from nowhere. Crazy…

August 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm
(17) andrea says:

My fish just did the same….went for a crazy fast swim and then basically conked out.

S/he was out for at least a few minutes. Long enough that I nearly went and got my daughter to tell her that her fish was dead.

There was no gill or eye movement at all.

And then suddenly, the gills started moving and away s/he went again. Seriously strange!

Can’t find a lot about it online. People seem to just laugh- but it must be some kind of illness or symptom? I’m not searching for an answer as there is not much I can do for a little 2 cm long goldfish. But wanted to show my support for the others who have a fish mysteriously dying and coming back to life!

November 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm
(18) jess says:

my 4/5 inch red tail shark has done exactly the same! he’s the most dominant in the tank, then boom all of a sudden he’s shaking, jumping out of the water and has turned white. He has stopped breathing but his colour has re-appeared!!? i dont want to remove him in case he’s alive, but i dont want him to stay in the tank in case he has a disease?

February 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm
(19) Sharon says:

I feel my Orinda Goldfish had a heart attack he was swimming around just fine then all of the sudden the fish dove up to the top of the tank back to the bottom and just died floating around.

March 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm
(20) guy says:

how do you tell a heart attack?mine just swims to bottom of cup,rarely comes up. help!

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