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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation injured fish, please help!

Hello everyone!

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!

Anyhoo.

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...
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:39 PM
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It sounds like he's healing on his own (if you have a picture of his condition, you could also post that and I'll take a look). Keep the water super clean (like you've been doing) and make sure he's still eating, swimming, etc. You could add a small amount of freshwater aquarium salt to prevent infection (and Melafix can sometimes speed up recovery--it's a liquid additive).

I do want to point out, though, that a 20-gallon will get too small for him very soon. Common goldfish get HUGE. They also do better with companions (other goldfish)--which would require a significantly larger aquarium/pond. It will be difficult to maintain proper water quality in your 20-gallon.




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"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the reply! I will try to get a decent picture of it to post. It was rather startling to see the dead bits falling off even though I knew it would happen. If it does start to get infected, what will that look like? I just want to be sure I'm keeping an eye out for the right things.

I will make a trip to the pet store and grab the freshwater salt and melafix - I'm assuming the package has dosage instructions? Can I use them together? Will those be ok for my snails? Sorry, I don't actually know what kind of snails they are... I left my fish in the care of my family when I went out of the country for a year, and they made a few... "improvements" to his tank (pointy rock and snails among them).

I know what you mean about getting huge. He stayed tiny for the first 2 years I had him, then suddenly grew to 6 inches. I have a 55 gallon tank in my basement that I'm hoping to clean out and get ready for him soon. Do you think that will be big enough, or should I start shopping around for something larger?

As for fish friends, I have tried oh-so-many times to get him a companion or two. He actually came as one of a pair, but the other one died within a year. After that I tried three more times to introduce a few more fish (always testing the water first, and the second and third times I kept the new fish in a smaller tank with the same water for a few weeks before adding them to the larger tank), but none survived past 2 months.

I suppose I'll give it another shot, but it's rather disheartening!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 10:35 AM
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If you notice slimy and/or "fuzzy" white stuff, it's probably an infection.

Yeah, they can be used together. Neither are actual medications so they won't conflict or anything. They shouldn't harm the snails .

The 55-gallon will be fine for a while. If he was a fancy goldfish (like an oranda or black moor) that would probably last his lifetime. But if he really is a common goldfish, he'll eventually outgrow it (it may take years so you have some time!). They're really pond fish, honestly. He'll need a 75+ gallon aquarium or a large container providing the same room at some point.

What kinds of goldfish did you try and where did you get them? It's possible that you just got unlucky but maybe we can figure out what happened. Maybe the pet store water is drastically different? If that's the case, they'll need to be acclimated slowly.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all your help! you've been great

I tried to take some pictures, but they are really awful, sorry. My camera is crap and just wouldn't focus on him properly... that, and he won't sit still. And likes stirring up the gravel. Oi. Update: I just tried to attach them and apparently I'm not allowed to do so until I've had 20+ posts. Grand.

Anyhoo!

As for friends, I always tried to get the same kind of fish, which always seem to be from the feeder tank. Oh dear. I know, I know, that's awful, but that's the only place I could find others like him! First I went to the big commercial pet store, petco or something like that, but none of the employees seemed to know anything about fish. After that I went to the local fish store which had more knowledgeable employees, but still, feeder tank, and not much luck.

I really do wish I had a pond to put him in! It was never my intention to get a fish that would get too big for me to handle... he was actually a bit of a rescue fish, carnival win (yyyyeah) and a friend who didn't actually want to take care of them. Sad.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 04:33 PM
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Melafix will be great for him. I had a koi rip open his gill last year-ish, it really looked like he wasn't going to make it but he healed up just fine.

What I did though was go easy on the melafix. I noticed that when I put the right dose in, all of the three fish in the tank went kind of nuts. Swimming around violently and all in all looking more stressed out. This occurred with the salt as well. So just keep an eye on him while on that stuff, lowering the dose may be the best way to give him medicine but also keep from overloading him.

Good luck!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TisRaining View Post
Thanks so much for all your help! you've been great

I tried to take some pictures, but they are really awful, sorry. My camera is crap and just wouldn't focus on him properly... that, and he won't sit still. And likes stirring up the gravel. Oi. Update: I just tried to attach them and apparently I'm not allowed to do so until I've had 20+ posts. Grand.

Anyhoo!

As for friends, I always tried to get the same kind of fish, which always seem to be from the feeder tank. Oh dear. I know, I know, that's awful, but that's the only place I could find others like him! First I went to the big commercial pet store, petco or something like that, but none of the employees seemed to know anything about fish. After that I went to the local fish store which had more knowledgeable employees, but still, feeder tank, and not much luck.

I really do wish I had a pond to put him in! It was never my intention to get a fish that would get too big for me to handle... he was actually a bit of a rescue fish, carnival win (yyyyeah) and a friend who didn't actually want to take care of them. Sad.
You should be able to post the image with the picture icon, you just can't attach. Feel free to PM me the link, also.

Ah, yeah, it's going to be hit or miss with the feeders. This is what I would do:

-Move him to the 55-gallon. Transfer the old filter media and some of the water and gravel. Consider using Tetra SafeStart (used to be called BioSpira) to make sure the new tank is cycled and stable.

-Keep the 20-gallon as a quarantine/hospital tank. Slowly acclimate a feeder goldfish or two (float the bag and add a small amount of aquarium water every 5-10 minutes until the bag's volume has doubled--then remove half the water and start again until it's doubled again; net the fish and release it into the aquarium without getting the pet store water in the tank) and keep them in there for at least a month (I'd recommend 2 months to be certain they're free from disease, being feeders and all. Plus, they'll need to get their strength back). Get them eating well before they transfer to the big tank.

-Both aquariums should have the same water so you shouldn't have to go too crazy with acclimation when moving them a second time. Test both tanks just to be sure.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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