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Butterfly Tele Vs Siphon Hose

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  • Regular Member

Hello! Long time since I've been here, but I'm now tackling something I've never dealt with before and could use some help. A little backstory: Last January, I was hired at my favorite LFS, and became manager there in August. Recently we hired a new guy, who usually gets stuck doing all the jobs nobody else wants to/feels like doing, such as water changes.

This past Monday, I had said coworker doing weekly water changes on our goldfish tanks,75%. I was helping a customer, and didn't think too much of it when I heard him say "oh sh--", figured he just spilled prime on himself or over drained the tank. Fast forward to Tuesday night, I was doing the closing time health checks, and noticed one of our smaller butterfly telescopes was missing not one, but both eyes, and that her mouth was hanging open. I immediately scooped her into a hanging breeder net to keep the other fish from picking on her, salted the tank, and let my boss know. I mentioned the Tele to that coworker the next day, and before I even asked if he knew what happened he was vehemently denying being responsible, which painted guilt all over himself. My other coworker, who has a bit of a crude sense of humor, dubbed her Helen when I mentioned it to him. Yesterday, Thursday, 2 days after I found her, I decided to bring her home to make sure she got the best treatment I could give her without unnecessarily medicating the rest of the fish in the system at the store.

Feel free to use metric units, I didn't use both systems here to keep things compact.

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrate level(Tank) 0

* Ammonia Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrate level(Tap) 0

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.0, Gh/kh currently unknown. I'll dig out those test kits after dinner.

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 6.0. Tap is cut with RO for the QT tank.

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API master liquid

* Water temperature? currently 69F. Will probably add a heater later tonight, and bring it to 72-75F.

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10G QT tank, set up last night.

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Deep blue 10G sponge filter, run off a tetra whisper 40, no flow valve.

* How often do you change the water and how much? Will be doing 50% every few days, or as ammonia becomes present, unless medication prevents it.

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Tank set up last night,100% new water.

* How many fish in the tank and their size?1, 1.5-2inch

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Well water, which contains around .25ppm copper, dosed with Prime anyways.

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Fed frozen bloodworms and my sister shrimp at store on Sunday, has not eaten since. Will be trying frozen brine or bloodworms tonight.

* Any new fish added to the tank? just the Tele.

* Any medications added to the tank?Voogle Day 2 of 5, just added 1tsp/gal salt

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. She was in a tank at the store that I had added salt 1tsp/gal and seachems stress guard to. She received a Hydroplex dip before going into the QT tank with Voogle last night.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? She's missing both eyes, and now has what looks like fuzzy/wispy things coming out if the sockets, which I'm assuming are the remnants of the eyeball. She also has been having issues closing her mouth all the way, and there appears to be another fleshy looking thing inside that looks like she'll be able to spit out later tonight or tomorrow morning. It moves every time she breathes. I'm tempted to try to grab it with tweezers, but don't want to risk doing more harm.

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? At the store she didn't swim much, more so hovering in place facing the back of the tank. Occasionally she'd swim around. Last night after moving to the QT she swam for a bit, then bottom sat until morning, when she swam/ hovered for a bit. She's now floating at the surface tilted a little sideways.

I'll try to get decent pictures after dinner, I hadn't wanted to turn a bright light on her in case she could still see that and freak her out even more. For now I have a short video I posted to Instagram last night of her.


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  • Regular Member

Unfortunatly,I just went to check on her, and she was gone already. :(

I would still like to know what else could have been done in this situation, should it happen again. Should I have brought her home sooner?

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  • Helper

I would assume with that video and your backstory that the poor fish had trauma to its brain, among other things. I'd personally euthanize it to put it out of its misery. I've had a syphon accident here and felt terrible, but my fish did survive it (died several weeks later of unrelated causes).

If you don't decide to euthanize, please do NOT yank anything off the fish. Leave the fish be in an impeccably clean hospital tank with a solution of methylene blue, .1% salr as you currently have it, and a temperature held steady at about 72-74 degrees Fahrenheit. Feed lightly if it will eat. You cannot do anything but inhibit infection and allow the fish to heal on its own if it can.

I'd also strongly recommend keeping the fish alone in quarantine to avoid being nibbled on. Frozen foods are t what I'd reach for either, because of possible contamination. We want to keep the bacteria load as low as possible. Soft sea vegetables or duckweed for grazing is going to be more gentle and with less risk of other pathogens being introduced.

Any questions?

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  • Helper

Unfortunatly,I just went to check on her, and she was gone already. :(

I would still like to know what else could have been done in this situation, should it happen again. Should I have brought her home sooner?

I'm sorry, I was posting when you posted this. Physical trauma like drops, crushing with tank paraphernalia, and syphon accidents are extremely difficult to manage. We cannot do much but keep the environment clean and low stress, inhibiting bacteria and fungal infections, and letting the fish heal itself if it can. With such severe trauma I always find it more kind to put the animal down than let it linger, but milder trauma or something borderline can be healed from if the fish is a fighter. Our job is to make their environment as conducive to that as possible.

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  • Regular Member

Sad. I doubt there was much you could have done. That's severe trauma.

Also, should it happen again, I'd be trying to hold someone accountable. An employee at a fish store really should be more careful. BOTH her eyes? So sad...

Edited by mjfromga
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