Why Is My Fish Shaking? Common Causes and Solutions

Why Is My Fish Shaking? Common Causes and Solutions

Have you ever noticed your fish shaking and wondered why? Shaking in fish can be a cause for concern, but understanding the possible causes can help you address the issue and ensure your fish’s well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the common medical, environmental, and handling factors that may contribute to shaking in fish. We will also discuss prevention and treatment methods to help keep your aquatic friends happy and healthy. Let’s dive right in!

Possible Medical Causes

1. Swim Bladder Disorder: If your fish is shaking and having difficulty maintaining balance, it could be due to swim bladder disorder. This condition affects the fish’s buoyancy and can cause them to shake as they struggle to stay upright.

2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Abrupt changes in diet or a lack of essential nutrients can lead to shaking in fish. A diet that is low in vitamins and minerals, especially those needed for muscle function, may result in trembling movements.

1. Stress or Anxiety

Abrupt changes in the aquarium environment can often cause stress or anxiety in fish, leading to shaking behavior. This could include sudden fluctuations in temperature, pH levels, or water quality. To address this issue, it is important to ensure a stable and suitable habitat for your fish by maintaining consistent conditions and providing hiding spots for them to feel secure.

Abrupt changes in the aquarium environment can cause stress and anxiety in fish, leading to shaking behavior. Maintaining stable conditions and providing hiding spots for your fish can ensure a suitable habitat that promotes their well-being. Additionally, monitoring and adjusting pH levels regularly can alleviate stress-induced shaking behavior in fish.

In addition, acidic water can also contribute to stress and shaking behavior in fish. Monitoring the pH levels regularly and adjusting them within the appropriate range can help alleviate this problem. It is crucial to take proactive measures such as regular water testing and conditioning to create a healthy environment that promotes the well-being of your aquatic pets.

2. Swim Bladder Disorder

Swim bladder disorder is a common condition in fish that affects their ability to control buoyancy. It can be caused by abrupt changes in water parameters, such as acidic conditions or fluctuations in temperature. When the swim bladder becomes compromised, it can result in symptoms like shaking or trembling movements. To address this issue, it is important to maintain stable and suitable conditions within the aquarium and provide proper nutrition for the affected fish.

3. Parasites or Infections

Parasites or Infections can cause fish to shake. These issues are often accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in behavior, appetite, or appearance. If you notice your fish shaking and displaying any of the following signs, it is important to take prompt action to address parasites or infections:

  • Abrupt weight loss.
  • Lethargy.
  • Redness or inflammation on the skin.
  • Erratic swimming patterns.

To determine the exact parasite or infection causing the issue, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in aquatic animals. Treatment options may include medicated baths, antibiotics, or antiparasitic medications tailored specifically for your fish’s condition. Regular monitoring of water quality and maintaining a clean aquarium environment can also help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

4. Water Quality Issues

Abrupt changes in water pH levels can lead to acidic conditions in the aquarium, which may cause fish to shake. This can be attributed to poor water quality and inadequate maintenance. Regular monitoring of pH levels and proper filtration can help maintain a stable environment for your fish.

Another factor that contributes to fish shaking is the presence of harmful substances such as ammonia or nitrites in the water. These compounds are toxic to fish and can disrupt their nervous system, causing them stress and anxiety. Establishing a regular water change schedule and using appropriate dechlorination methods can help address this issue effectively.

5. Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies can lead to various health issues in fish. Abrupt changes in diet or feeding habits can result in an inadequate intake of essential nutrients, causing shaking or tremors. Additionally, an acidic environment in the aquarium can hinder nutrient absorption and contribute to deficiencies. Regularly monitoring and adjusting the fish’s diet as well as maintaining a balanced pH level are crucial for preventing nutritional deficiencies.

6. Fish Disease

When it comes to fish shaking, there are a few potential causes that can be attributed to fish disease. One common culprit is the presence of parasites or infections in the aquarium. These microscopic organisms can attach themselves to the fish’s body, causing discomfort and involuntary movements such as shaking. Another possible cause could be abrupt changes in water quality, particularly if the pH levels become too acidic for the fish’s well-being. In such cases, providing a stable and suitable environment for your fish is essential in preventing and treating this issue effectively.

Environmental Factors

Temperature fluctuations can be a major environmental factor causing fish to shake. Sudden changes in water temperature can stress out fish, leading to shaking behavior. It is important to maintain a stable and appropriate temperature for your aquarium inhabitants.

Poor water conditions are another common cause of fish shaking. High levels of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates in the water can negatively impact the health of your fish and make them shake. Regularly testing and maintaining proper water parameters is essential for a healthy aquatic environment.

Inadequate tank size can also contribute to fish shaking. When kept in cramped spaces, fish may experience stress and exhibit abnormal behaviors such as shaking. Providing enough space for your fish to swim freely is crucial for their overall well-being.

By addressing these environmental factors – temperature fluctuations, poor water conditions, and inadequate tank size – you can help alleviate the issue of why your fish may be shaking and create a healthier habitat for them.

1. Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature Fluctuations can cause your fish to shake and exhibit abnormal behavior. Here are some common causes and solutions:

  • Heater Malfunction: A faulty or inconsistent heater can lead to sudden temperature changes in the tank, which can stress out your fish. Ensure that your heater is functioning properly and set at a stable temperature.
  • Room Temperature Variations: Extreme fluctuations in room temperature can affect the water temperature in your aquarium. Keep your tank away from drafty areas or direct sunlight, and consider using a thermometer with an alarm to monitor any significant changes.

Maintaining a stable water temperature is crucial for the health of your fish. Regularly check and adjust the heater as needed, while keeping an eye on room conditions to prevent rapid fluctuations that may cause shaking or distress in your aquatic pets.

2. Poor Water Conditions

Poor water conditions can be a major cause of fish shaking. When the water quality in the tank is poor, it can lead to stress and discomfort for the fish, causing them to shake. Poor water conditions may include high levels of ammonia or nitrites, low oxygen levels, or improper pH balance. Regular testing and maintenance of the aquarium’s water parameters is essential to ensure a healthy environment for your fish.

Another factor that contributes to poor water conditions is overfeeding. Excess food left uneaten in the tank can quickly decompose and release harmful toxins into the water, leading to an imbalance in its quality. It’s important to feed your fish only what they can consume within a few minutes and remove any leftover food promptly. Maintaining clean and well-filtered water will help prevent your fish from experiencing unnecessary shaking episodes due to poor water conditions.

3. Inadequate Tank Size

If your fish is shaking, one possible cause could be an inadequate tank size. When the tank is too small for the fish, they may feel cramped and stressed, leading to shaking behavior. This can also result in restricted movement and hinder their overall well-being. To address this issue, consider upgrading to a larger tank that provides sufficient space for your fish to swim and thrive comfortably.

Handling and Feeding

Improper handling can cause fish to shake. Rough or careless handling can lead to stress and anxiety in fish, causing them to shake as a response. It is important to handle fish gently and with care, supporting their body properly and avoiding sudden movements.

Inappropriate feeding can also be a common cause of shaking in fish. Overfeeding or providing an unbalanced diet can result in digestive issues and discomfort for the fish, leading to shaking behavior. It is crucial to feed your fish the right amount of food that is appropriate for their species, taking into consideration their size and nutritional needs.

1. Improper Handling

Improper Handling can lead to fish shaking and should be avoided at all costs. Some common causes of this behavior include:

  • Rough netting: Using a net with sharp edges or rough material can cause stress and injury to the fish.
  • Frequent handling: Constantly touching or moving the fish can disrupt their natural environment, causing them to shake.
  • Incorrect water temperature adjustments: Rapid changes in water temperature due to improper handling can shock the fish, leading to shaking.

To ensure your fish remain healthy and calm, it is crucial to handle them gently and minimize unnecessary contact. Avoid using abrasive nets, limit physical interactions, and maintain stable water temperatures for their well-being.

2. Inappropriate Feeding

Inappropriate Feeding can lead to various issues for your fish. It is important to understand the common causes and solutions related to this problem.


  • Excessive food consumption.
  • Poor water quality.
  • Digestive problems.

Wrong diet:

  • Lack of essential nutrients.
  • Imbalance in protein, fat, or carbohydrates.

By ensuring proper feeding practices and providing a balanced diet, you can help prevent shaking in your fish and promote their overall health and well-being.

Preventing and Treating Shaking Fish

Proper care and attention is crucial to prevent and treat shaking fish. Addressing stress and anxiety is key, as these can lead to shaking behavior. Providing a calm and comfortable environment, minimizing sudden changes in the tank, and avoiding overcrowding are effective ways to reduce stress. Additionally, maintaining optimal water quality by regularly testing pH levels, temperature control, and proper filtration will contribute to the overall well-being of your fish. Lastly, ensuring a balanced diet with nutritious food tailored for your specific species will promote healthy growth and minimize any potential shaking issues. If despite these measures the problem persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek professional veterinary care specialized in aquatic animals for further assessment and treatment options.

1. Addressing Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can have detrimental effects on fish health, so it’s crucial to address these issues promptly. Environmental factors like overcrowded tanks, sudden changes in water temperature or pH levels, and aggressive tankmates can all contribute to stress. Providing ample hiding spots and creating a peaceful environment with appropriate tank decorations can help alleviate stress. Additionally, maintaining consistent feeding schedules and ensuring optimal water conditions are essential for reducing anxiety in fish.

2. Maintaining Water Quality

Water quality plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of your fish. Poor water conditions can lead to stress, illness, and abnormal behavior such as shaking. To maintain optimal water quality, it is important to regularly test the pH levels, ammonia levels, and temperature of the aquarium water. Ensure proper filtration and perform regular partial water changes to keep toxins at bay.

Moreover, you should also monitor the nitrate and nitrite levels in your fish tank as elevated levels can be harmful to your fish. Overfeeding should be avoided as uneaten food can quickly deteriorate water quality. Finally, remember to clean any debris or waste from the bottom of the tank promptly to prevent bacterial growth that could negatively impact water conditions for your fish’s overall well-being.

Remember: healthy fish require a clean and stable aquatic environment!

3. Providing Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential for the overall health and well-being of your fish. A balanced diet that includes high-quality fish food enriched with vitamins and minerals can help reduce the chances of your fish shaking or trembling. Additionally, offering a variety of food options such as live or frozen foods can ensure that your fish receives all the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive.

4. Seeking Veterinary Care

If your fish is shaking, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. Seeking veterinary care is essential to diagnose and treat the problem effectively. Here are some common causes and solutions for why your fish may be shaking:

  • Bacterial or fungal infection: A veterinarian can prescribe medication to treat the infection.
  • Water temperature fluctuations: Maintaining a consistent temperature in the aquarium can help alleviate this issue.
  • Parasites: A vet can recommend appropriate treatment options to get rid of parasites.
  • Stress or anxiety: Identifying and addressing sources of stress in the fish’s environment can help reduce shaking.

Remember, prompt veterinary care is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your fish.

What is causing my fish to shake?

If you’ve noticed your fish shaking or trembling, it can be quite concerning. Fish shaking behavior is not a common phenomenon and may indicate an underlying issue that needs attention. By understanding the root causes, you can ensure your fish’s well-being and maintain a harmonious aquatic environment.

1. Water Quality:

The most vital factor to examine when your fish start shaking is the water quality. Poor water conditions can trigger stress and cause fish to exhibit abnormal behaviors. Common factors contributing to poor water quality include inadequate filtration, improper pH levels, high ammonia or nitrate levels, and temperature fluctuations. Ensure you have a reliable filtration system in place and regularly test and maintain appropriate water parameters to prevent any potential issues.

2. Disease or Infection:

Fish shaking may also be a symptom of an underlying disease or infection. Several diseases, such as fish tuberculosis, velvet disease, or bacterial infections, can cause fish to shake. Observe your fish for any additional symptoms like loss of appetite, abnormal swimming patterns, or discoloration. If you suspect a disease or infection, promptly consult a veterinarian or an aquatic specialist who can diagnose the issue and provide suitable treatment options.

3. Stress or Aggression:

Stress is a common trigger for fish shaking behavior. Environmental factors like overcrowded tanks, aggressive tankmates, or sudden changes in the aquarium setup can cause stress and anxiety in fish. It is essential to provide a suitable and stress-free environment for your fish to thrive. Consider factors such as tank size, appropriate tankmates, hiding spots, and a consistent environment to minimize stress. Introducing new fish gradually and providing regular maintenance and cleaning of the aquarium can also help reduce stress levels.

4. Parasites:

Shaking can be a sign of parasitic infestation in fish. Parasites such as ich or anchor worms can cause irritation and discomfort, leading to shaking behavior. If you notice your fish shaking along with other symptoms like flashing against objects or visible parasites, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance. A veterinarian can recommend appropriate treatment options to get rid of parasites and restore your fish’s health.


Fish shaking is not a behavior to be taken lightly. It can indicate underlying issues related to water quality, disease or infection, stress, or parasites. By paying attention to these potential causes and addressing them promptly, you can ensure the well-being of your fish and maintain a healthy aquatic environment. Prompt veterinary care is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. Remember to provide a stress-free and suitable environment for your fish to thrive and minimize the chances of shaking behavior.

Is there anything I can do to stop my fish from shaking?

As an aquarium owner, witnessing your fish shake or exhibit abnormal behaviors can be concerning. Fish shaking is often an indication of underlying issues that need to be addressed promptly.

1. Maintain Optimal Water Conditions:

Poor water quality is often the primary cause of fish shaking. Ensure that you provide a well-maintained aquatic habitat by adhering to the following guidelines:

a. Regular Water Testing: Test the water parameters regularly, including pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, using appropriate testing kits. Maintain optimal levels for the specific fish species in your tank.

b. Consistent Water Changes: Perform regular partial water changes (around 10-20% of the tank volume) to remove accumulated toxins and maintain water quality.

c. Proper Filtration: Invest in a good-quality filter system that matches the size of your aquarium. Clean or replace filter media regularly to prevent clogging and ensure efficient filtration.

2. Temperature and Lighting:

Maintaining appropriate temperature and lighting conditions is crucial for fish health and overall well-being:

a. Temperature Stability: Provide a stable water temperature within the recommended range for your fish species. Avoid abrupt temperature fluctuations, as they can stress the fish.

b. Suitable Lighting: Research the lighting requirements of your specific fish species. Ensure that your aquarium lighting is appropriate in terms of intensity and duration. Some fish require specific lighting conditions to thrive.

3. Nutrition and Feeding:

Proper nutrition is essential for the overall health of your fish. Follow these guidelines to ensure they receive a balanced diet:

a. High-Quality Food: Provide your fish with a varied and high-quality diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. Research the dietary requirements of your fish species and choose appropriate commercial fish food or consider supplementing with live or frozen foods.

b. Controlled Feeding: Avoid overfeeding your fish, as excess food can lead to water pollution and health issues. Feed them small amounts multiple times a day, ensuring they consume all the food within a few minutes.

c. Avoid Food Contamination: Be mindful of the quality and cleanliness of the food you offer to your fish. Discard any uneaten food promptly to prevent contamination.

4. Minimize Stress Factors:

Reducing stress in your aquarium environment can help prevent fish shaking and maintain their overall well-being. Consider the following strategies:

a. Tank Size and Population: Ensure that your aquarium is appropriately sized for the fish species you keep. Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggression, and poor water quality.

b. Provide Hiding Places: Create ample hiding spots and ornaments in the aquarium to give fish a sense of security.

c. Maintain Consistent Routine: Keep the aquarium environment as consistent as possible, including feeding times, lighting schedule, and water changes. Sudden changes in routine can cause stress to the fish.

d. Limit Noise and Disturbances: Place the aquarium in a quiet area away from loud noises and disturbances. This will help create a calm and stress-free environment for the fish.

5. Regular Maintenance:

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your aquarium clean and the water parameters stable. Follow these steps to maintain a healthy environment for your fish:

a. Water Testing: Regularly test the water parameters such as temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. This will help you identify any issues and take necessary actions.

b. Water Changes: Perform regular water changes to remove pollutants and maintain optimal water quality. The frequency and amount of water changes depend on the size of your aquarium and the number of fish.

c. Cleaning: Clean the aquarium glass, decorations, and filter regularly to remove excess algae, debris, and waste. This will enhance the overall appearance and maintain a healthy environment.

6. Disease Prevention:

Taking preventative measures can help reduce the risk of diseases in your aquarium. Follow these guidelines:

a. Quarantine New Fish: Before introducing new fish to your aquarium, quarantine them separately for a few weeks. This will allow you to observe for any signs of illness before introducing them to your existing fish.

b. Maintain Cleanliness: Ensure good hygiene practices while handling the aquarium and equipment. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the fish or performing maintenance tasks to prevent the spread of any potential diseases.

c. Proper Nutrition: Feed your fish a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding. Providing the necessary nutrients will help boost their immune system and prevent diseases.

d. Regular Observation: Keep a close eye on your fish for any signs of illness or abnormal behavior. Early detection can help prevent the spread of diseases and allow for timely treatment.

7. Compatibility:

When choosing fish for your aquarium, it’s important to consider their compatibility with each other. Some species may not get along and can lead to aggression or stress among the fish. Research and select fish that are known to coexist peacefully to maintain a harmonious community.

8. Professional Help:

If you’re new to aquarium keeping or facing any challenges, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Aquarium specialists or veterinarians can provide guidance and support in maintaining a healthy aquarium environment.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can create a thriving and healthy aquarium for your fish. Remember, a well-maintained aquarium not only benefits the fish but also adds beauty and tranquility to your living space. Happy fishkeeping!

Is there anything in the water that could be causing the shaking?

Water is a vital resource that sustains life on our planet, and its quality is of paramount importance. Occasionally, individuals may observe shaking or vibration in water sources, sparking curiosity about its origins. In this blog post, we will delve into the potential causes of shaking in water and explore various factors that could contribute to this phenomenon.

1. Water Movement:

Shaking or vibration in water can often be attributed to natural factors such as water movement. Water bodies, including rivers, lakes, and oceans, experience waves, currents, and tides that can create a noticeable shaking effect. These movements are primarily driven by natural forces like wind, tides, and geological activities.

2. Water Contamination:

Another possible cause of shaking in water might be contamination by substances that have an impact on its physical properties. Presence of impurities, chemicals, or foreign objects can disrupt the stability of water, leading to visible shaking. This can occur due to pollution, industrial waste, or even naturally occurring minerals that cause turbulence.

3. Air Bubbles:

The presence of air bubbles in water can also give rise to shaking or vibrating effects. When water contains a high concentration of dissolved gases, such as oxygen or carbon dioxide, these gases can form small bubbles. As water moves or is disturbed, these bubbles can release and cause the water to shake or vibrate.

4. Water Pressure Changes:

Fluctuations in water pressure can also contribute to shaking in water. Changes in water pressure can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as changes in the water source, plumbing issues, or even natural phenomena like earthquakes. These pressure changes can create vibrations in the water, resulting in shaking sensations.

5. Temperature Variations:

Water temperature changes can also play a role in shaking or vibrating water. When water temperatures fluctuate rapidly, it can create movement within the water that leads to shaking. This can happen in natural bodies of water as well as in man-made systems like plumbing or aquariums.

6. Water Flow Rate:

The rate at which water flows can also cause shaking or vibration in water sources. If the flow rate is too high or uneven, it can create turbulence and shaking in the water. This can occur in water systems like pipes or fountains, where the water flow is controlled by pumps or other mechanisms.

7. Water Treatment Processes:

In some cases, the shaking or vibrating sensation in water may arise from the treatment processes it undergoes. Water treatment facilities use various methods to purify and disinfect water, such as adding chemicals or employing filtration systems. These processes can sometimes lead to subtle shaking or vibration in the water.


Shaking in water can be caused by various factors, including natural water movements, contamination, air bubbles, water pressure changes, temperature variations, water flow rate, and water treatment processes. By understanding these potential causes, individuals can better assess and address any shaking or vibrating sensations they may experience in water. It is important to note that not all instances of shaking in water are cause for concern, as some factors may be natural or harmless. However, if the shaking or vibrating is persistent or accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure the safety and quality of the water. Water testing and inspection can help identify any underlying issues and determine appropriate solutions.


Summary of common causes and solutions for fish shaking: Fish shaking can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor water quality, stress, disease, or even improper handling. To address this issue, it is important to maintain proper water conditions by regularly testing the water parameters and conducting routine aquarium maintenance. Additionally, providing a stress-free environment with adequate hiding spots and appropriate tank mates can help alleviate shaking behavior in fish.

Importance of addressing shaking behavior in fish: It is crucial to address shaking behavior in fish as it can indicate underlying health issues or environmental concerns that need immediate attention. Ignoring these signs may lead to further complications or even death for the affected fish. By promptly identifying and resolving the root cause of the problem, you can ensure the well-being and longevity of your aquatic pets.

Encouragement to consult a veterinarian or expert for further assistance: If you notice persistent shaking behavior in your fish despite taking preventive measures, it is advisable to seek professional advice from a veterinarian specializing in aquatic animals or an experienced aquarist. They can provide valuable insights into diagnosing any potential health problems and offer tailored solutions based on their expertise. Remember that seeking expert guidance will greatly increase your chances of successfully addressing this issue and maintaining a healthy aquarium environment for your beloved finned friends.