injured fish, please help!
A week ago, my dad found my fish (a wild goldfish about 6 in. long in a 20 gal. tank) stuck under his decorative rock. He tried to lift the rock off of him but before he could lift it all the way, the fish struggled and pulled himself out from under it.
All of this happened while I was gone, so I'm not sure of the exact events, but when I got home and saw him, he had a huge gash across his back just in front of his fin with a huge area of missing scales, a lot of white flesh exposed (an area about 1in. x .5in.), and a deep area with some pink showing (it seemed to be about 1/4in. deep). It looked absolutely awful.
I called the local fish vet, but he was unable to make a house call and would not give advice over the phone. I called local pet supply stores and they all basically said "he'll be fine".
I tried to get an account and post here the day it happened, but my confirmation e-mail didn't arrive until yesterday!
I did everything I could think of to create ideal healing conditions for him, did some online research, but admittedly I am no expert. I don't have an isolation tank, but there are no other fish in the tank with him, just an abundance of snails. I made sure the water was as clean as possible, removed the evil rock, and put a towel around the side of the tank that gets the most outside light.
It has been 7 days, and he is behaving fairly normally (a bit subdued), but now it looks like the dead flesh is starting to fall off and a lot of pink is being exposed. I'm not sure what the normal healing process is for wounds like this, and I wanted to check in with you guys to see what I should be doing for him. I know I should be checking to see if it is infected, but I'm not sure what that will look like on a fish.
Can you guys point me in the right direction? I want to do everything I can to make sure he heals (maybe his injury is no big deal and I'm over reacting). What signs of trouble should I be looking out for? Is there something I should put in the water to help him? (I tried to research that, but kept getting conflicting information).
Thanks so much for any help, and my apologies for the super lengthy post...