Neon tetra floats helplessly at the surface


Last Saturday, I saw a neon tetra in my girlfriend's aquarium floating upside down at the surface. The belly was very bloated and apparently contained some kind of gas. The fish was still alive, and after being pushed below the surface it was drawn back up again like a cork (therefore I suppose some gas). However, it was dead on the next day. 

I would just be interested in what the fish suffered from (constipation or maybe bacteria that produced gas?).

this is one of several possibilities which would, hoverer, require a longer case history (loss of appetite, no feces for a longer while, etc.). 

Possible other causes are:

* a swim bladder disease or injury, I consider a swim bladder injury the most likely cause.
* air gulped when eating; however, this usually does not lead to serious problems and is expelled through the intestines within a short time (a few hours at the maximum).

Was there any chance to help it?

Probably not, except in an early stage of a swim bladder infection (→ sera baktopur direct). In case of such an infection, however, the fish proably would not have been floating helplessly at the surface but had hardly shown more than problems with stabilizing its swimming position.

Best regards

sera GmbH

Dr. Bodo Schnell


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