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Hurt Fish Please Help

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I was cleaning the hospital tank that my goldfish is currently in about a month ago and made the biggest mistake of my life, I looked away for one second and his head got stuck in the vacuum. My husband quickly helped me get him out of it but he hasn't been the same since. I feel so horrible about this, he was already in the hospital tank due to other injuries sustained in our large tank, but at the time of the incident he was almost all healed up and ready to go back.

Since this happened he hasn't swam around very much and has been hanging around the bottom of the tank unless i physically move him, he has been eating pretty well up until about a day ago now I need to watch to make sure he even has a couple kibs.

I have been doing water changes every other day and just medicating with Melafix, two days ago I noticed his fins are starting to look like they are deteriorating and his mouth now has a sore on it, his mouth did have some slight damage from the vacuum but it seem to be worst.

I set up a reef pump today to try and get more water moving to maybe make him feel better and move off the bottom a bit, this was obviously the wrong idea because after about a half hour of the current just pushing him around I turned it off and now he is just on his side hardly moving at all, I think this might be it for him. I am so heart broken and just am willing to try anything.

I am sure I damaged his swim bladder and I just don't know what else to do to try and help him on my own so I am hoping someone here does.

Here are all my tank parameters: ( I did just do a change)

What is Ammonia Level?0mg/l What is Nitrite Level?0mg/l What is Nitrate level?10mg/l What is Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH)?8 What is Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH)? What is the brand of test-kit used(strips or drops)?Nutrafin Test kit- drops What is your water temperature?20.6 C What is the size of the tank (how many gals.) and how long has it been set up? 20g over 6 months and was originally filled with our very established tanks water What is the name and size of the filter(s)? 2 20g quietflow filters bu aqueon Is there any substrate in the tank? If so how deep? and what kind (sand, gravel)? bare bottom How often do you change the water and how much? half tank every other day How many fish in the tank and their size? just one he is about the size of a large apple Do you use water conditioner(if so, what kind)? Prime What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari Lionhead sinking pellets every morning



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I’m sorry he is doing poorly.  I lost a favorite fish to a vacuum accident a few years back and know how totally rotten that feels.  In the future I recommend cutting some pantyhose or netting and securing it with a rubber band over the tube, so it acts as a screen and prevents anyone from getting sucked inside.


Unfortunately there isn’t much for it with these injuries.  The best you can do is keep him in an extremely clean hospital tank, no substrate or anything, and give him no lights, a safe hiding spot like a mug turned on its side, and daily water changes to keep things pristine. The dark and clean are the best things to help him recover.  A few days of no food is also a good idea, if he is injured trying to eat will only add stress and foul the water.  If he’s going to recover I’d expect him to begin trying to swim again in two or three days, and that’s when I’d try feeding him too.


If you need more help, please fill this form of completely.  It helps us with background information so we can best advise you :)


Disease Diagnostic Form

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

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

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* How long have symptoms been going on?

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