How can I help a fish with unspecific symptoms?
I have a 200 liter aquarium. I could not observe anything unusual until yesterday. This morning, a female guppy floated in tjhe aquarium. I took her out of the tank; she is still alive but very weak. I cannot recognize anything optically, everything seems to be OK. Your guide booklet "Healthy aquarium fish" could not clarify this. She is underneath the water surface, fins widely spread. There are also no symptoms of dropsy. What can I do as an immediate measure?
without specific disease symptoms you will unfortunately not be able to do much more than put the fish into a separate tank, provide plenty of oxygen in the water (possibly aerate) and hope for the best.
I consider three possible causes plausible:
* Exhaustion after having given birth for many times. This is very exhausting also for fish and weakens them.
* An attack by another fish, possibly with inner injuries.
* If the fish has been in the tank only for a few weeks: Some of the sold fish, especially livebearers and some other species, originate from (mostly Southeast Asian or East European) mass breeding where they were kept with medication additives from their birth. These fish de facto do not have an own immune system. Such fish typically become ill after 2 - 4 weeks in "normal" aquariums and are virtually impossible to heal. There is unfortunately no way to help them. It is advisable to look for domestic bred fish as they are usually considerably healthier.
Is there any experience of saving fish that weak?
Yes for the second of the mentioned options, provided no essential organs were injured. However, it does not look good at all in case of the firth and third options.
Dr. Bodo Schnell