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Mauled Fish- No Tail, One Fin

Guest FishLikeSequins

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Guest FishLikeSequins

I rescued a little calico rhyukin today from mmm- I don't know what happened to him, but he has no tail, and only one pectoral fin. I brought him home to euthanize him, because the store won't take him out until he dies, and I don't want him to suffer! He looks like a half a fish! :( He's fairly fiesty, he wiggles and swims in little circles with his one fin. Is there anyway I can save him? Will his tail and other fins grow back, or would it be more humane to just euthanize him?

I put him in a 2.5 gallon tank with aquarium salt and a C-100 ammonia removing pillow. He's still acclimating in his bag right now, so I think it's too soon to bother testing the water. I don't have an air pump or a filter for him, or a bigger tank.

Should I euthanize or not? I've already named him Anakin, and I'd like to see him live, but I don't want him to suffer.

Please help!

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Guest JustJayde

I can't offer your help but it's good you bought him.

Jeez I am so shocked at how badly lil ones are treated in petshops :( all animals I guess are simply "money" or "Dead" :angry:

I hope you can save him, but if not you are doing the right thing for him.

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Hi FLS, it is highly likely that you fish can and will survive given good treatment. Have his fins been ripped off at the joints or do they appeared to have frayed or rotted away?

If you think it's the second case then his fins probably will grow back over time, especially the tail fin. If the other fins (pectoral, pelvic and anal) look like they've been torn off at the joints they may not grow back. It's hard to make a guess without a picture.

Even without fins, your fish can survive but it will always be an invalid and need special care, mainly to make sure it gets enough food.

How big is your fish because a 2.5g isn't really big enough for a goldfish and it is likely your fish will become sick from water problems.

I'm going to suggest the bucket-to-bucket method, which is a lot of work. You need 2 containers, a minimum of 5g/20ltr each if your fish is small (less than 2"/5cm), if your fish is bigger than that I strongly suggest your containers need to be around 10g/40ltr each.

You will also need an airpump and bubble stone.

This is how it works. Fill a container and treat with water conditioner to remove chlorine, etc. Match temp as close as possible with existing water by adding a bit of hot water to container if necessary. Rather than just sitting the fish bag in the water, gradually add small amounts of the new water to the fish bag (or holding container). Take around an hour until the fish is in majority new water. Transfer fish to container.

Now fill second container, treat with water conditioner and leave someplace out of the way for 24 hrs. Next day simply transfer fish directly into new container. Fill other container and let sit for 24hrs, repeat the process. The benefit of this process is that the fish is always in clean water. Pristine clean water is the major ingredient if your fish is going to heal.

The second important thing is to salt your water, this is a general tonic and stress reducer for fish and can help in healing. I am suggesting just a low dose of .1% which is 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. To achieve .1% you can use any aquarium salt brand and follow the instructions or use rock salt, sea salt or kosher salt from the supermarket, as long as it is pure salt with no additives such as anti-caking agents. You should use salt until your fish is healed.

Another helpful product is called melafix. It is a natural product based on tea tree and has antibacterial properties and aids in healing. For long term use (more than the suggested treatment regime) I suggest using half the recommended dose, everyday. I have used this product consistently for more than a month at half dose and it is very safe.

Because melafix is based on tea tree oil it does leave a film on top of the water. This can limit oxygen availability to the fish, so this is why I recommend an airpump and bubble stone. The rising bubbles disrupt the oily layer and allow oxygen exchange with the water.

Good luck with your little fella.

I am wondering if you have any other fish and what type of tank arrangements you have.

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