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Mark_C

Comet Not Opening Mouth Fully, Trouble Eating

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Good work Mark. It does sound as if she is slowly healing herself now the infection has been blasted out. It will take some time which is why it is so important to keep trying with any food that you can get into her in however small a quantity. The zuccinni needs to be fairly soft if you cant get them to bite immediately it also gradually gets soft in the tank water. Don't tell but I will leave my veggies in there for a couple of days sometimes (have to keep checking params to be safe) and then it gets reeeeeally soft and they all get some because small pieces fall off. I think you're doing great. Maybe your daughter has some ideas too, anything is tryable.

At work right now so I've prob. got heaps of typos too as I try to dodge people looking over my shoulder- fish boards are not part of what Im supposed to be doing ! and didn't notice your "c" probs!! I'm so happy to hear semi-good news. Definitely very hopeful :D

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Wooohooo! I just saw a poop :clapping:

I never thought I would be so pleased to see a fish poop, but I am :)

It was very little, but greenish in colour, she has hardly stopped nudging at the algae wafer all day, this is a second one as I think the other 2 polished off her last one.

I don't think she is out of the woods yet, but, if something is coming out something must be getting in, so that must be a good sign

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YAY for poop :bounce:flowerss:clapping::carrot:

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I've been following this thread since the beginning and I never thought that hearing about a fish pooping would make me want to cry!! :cry1:rofl

Anyone who believes that a fish isn't a pet should read this thread through. How many fish owners would go to the time and trouble that you have, Mark? Your love for your fish and your willingness to do whatever is necessary to help them is wonderful and heart-warming! :heart

To me, thats what this forum is all about and why I enjoy coming here so much.

Here's a toast to a speedy recovery! :alc

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Same here, Vickie!!! I have been keeping up with this post, but haven't really said much, as I didn't want to interupt the treatment. I am SOOOO happy for you and Splash, Mark! You have done an EXCELENT job treating her and Imogen...what can I say??? SO many ppl on this forum have saved their pets because of YOU and your genious!!!! I wanted to ask if the food in the basket is working? If the other fish seem to be stealing her food, you could put a divider in the tank, temporarily, until she gets better. The divider would keep the other fish away from her and she could actually swim around and eat in peace. I have one in my tank because my fantail bullies my moor. It is clear, so they can actually see each other, My fantail just can't get to my moor. Also, my fantail is bigger than my moor, and faster, so he tends to be greedy with the food. This way, my moor gets to eat his share and I can also monitor their poos, etc. I got my divider from vvvv for about 10.00. Good luck to you and I hope Splash keeps on with her recovery!!!

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:clapping: Hurray for fishy poo!!! :rockon

That is SUCH wonderful news!! What a life saver those algae wafers were! And what a life saver Trinket is! You are a great fish Dad! :exactly

Now that she's getting nutrition in her, I hope it'll speed up the recovery progress! Congratulations, Mark! :D

:goodjob

Debbie

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Thanks everyone who has joined in in thes post for all of your kind comments and help :)

And especially thanks again to Trinket for sticking with me right through this your help and advice has been wonderful.

I am going to do a water change and have a good vac in the gravel this morning before feeding, will let you all know how she gets on today.

And Nickie, the basket is working quite well for now, she usually swims in there when I open the lid and put my finger in, she learned very quickly that I would try and feed her seperately, I just leave it in the tank then slide it up the glass when she is feeding and I want to monitor her, the others do attack the food from under the basket but it wasn't as much of a problem with the wafers, she spends a fair amount of time swimming into it when not feeding too, so she seems quite happy.

With the divider you got is that also made of netting? because that was what my first thoughts were to try and get, but all I could get at the time was the breeder basket, if I can find one I may give that a try so she has more room while feeding

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Mark,

The divider I have is made from a very soft, flexible plastic. It has plastic guards around all the sides and there are no rough corners or anything. It has holes all thru the plastic to allow water circulation. As I stated before, it is clear, almost like looking thru a window. It came with two hangers that you mount on either side to keep is stable. Very easy to put together and my fish like it because they can see each other thru the divider. They often stay very close, one on either side, looking at each other.

I am slowly letting them get used to each other by taking the divider out a few times a week and letting them swim together. Jaws has not been near aggressive as he was when they were first put in the tank. I think that having the divider in there and him seeing Hammy (my moor)thru the divider, has let him get used to the idea that he is sharing HIS space. LOL!

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That would work quite well Nickie, I will have to look out for one of those, although I may have trouble attaching it to my tank as it has overhead filter and light setp that fits right around the edge, so unless clips are very small its hard to hang stuff over the edge.

They have had a water change and clean again today, and have a couple of flakes and 3 algae wafers in the tank, I put one in the basket for Splash but left the basket so she can swim and out, will see how she gets on, if she is not getting much I will seperate her with it for a while so she can eat in peace.

On a slightly different subject, my plants have been sitting in the small tank since before I did the PP treatment, and the roots look a bit brown now, the tank had .1% salt, so that probably wasn't too good an idea.

I have put them in a bucket of unsalted treated water, and popped them outside to get some sunlight for a while, not sure whether they are OK or not

do you think I should maybe just get rid of these ones in case there could be any bacteria or problems with them?

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Splash has been attacking one of the algae wafers for about 3 hours now in her basket, she isn't isolated but the others are leaving her alone to swim in and out and get the food.

The water in their tank suddenly looks a bit green-brownish in colour, I have not seen this happen after a water change before, I just tested the water quickly for ammonia and nitrates, will do full test later, and the ammonia is 0 Notrates have edged up slightly nearer to the colour for 10.

Could it just be the algae wafers? or perhaps some of the oxidised stuff from the Pp treatment loose in the water? I need some new wool/carbon filter cartridges so will see if they make a difference.

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Hey Mark, Good to hear that your treatment seems to have made an improvement! The carbon will help eliminate the oxidised pp, but don't forget to remove it as the pp is adsorbed to the surface of the carbon and the adsorption quality of the carbon diminishes when all surfaces are spent, and it can dispense of your pp from its surface if other 'sticky' molecules such as other organic wastes/componds start to accumulate. I'd remove it after a week or two, or even better, once your water looks ~clean~ or at least once that brown colour has gone, not sure about 'greeny-brown' colour... could be left-over pp and algae wafers? :idont

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Hi Mads,

It's strange that I have done a few water changes since the PP, and the water has been clear every time, there is some brown on the surfaces of the ornaments, pump power head and glass, but not a huge amount.

It's just after this change that sudenly the water is brown looking, although I did vac the gravel very thoroughly this time so may have stirred something up a bit, but it looked clear for the first hour or so after the change too, then I popped out and came back to a murky looking tank, the fish seem happy and the params are OK, so I have no idea why it looks like this suddenly, I hope it is OK

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How is the patient today Mark?

I think you'll find that murky water might also be a bit of a bacterial bloom- nothing to worry about at all if all your water params are reading good but those bbs- the good ones-have been under attack...removed form their home and now replaced and expected to do their job as well with half their work force MIA so to speak :) I think it will take a few weeks to get the whole colony back in full working order, with all thats been going on here including the salt.

How many days have you had the salt at 0.3% now? Depending on Splashes progress it may be time to step back on the salt soon.

How is that caustic burn doing on Splish?

What did you decide about the plants? A very short sharp dip in that leftover PP or bleach at 1/10 and you could rinse them off well and put them back.

Your idea about the algae wafers was a really good one. I didn't think of those. They are made up of powder so crumble back into powder form easy- that was a brainwave. You really have done a wonderful job with her. It is a truly wonderful thing to see what is possible when people are attentive and patient .And care.

Looking forward to an update soon :)

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Splash is doing well, her mouth is still crooked and the spot looks much the same, but she pooped a little again yesterday so was happy about that.

She spends about 3-4 hours on an algae wafer so obviously still has trouble eating, but at least she is getting food now, she has developed a technique for pinning it in a corner of the breeder basket (which is hanging at an angle for them to swim in and out of freely) and she works at it there until it has gone.

I will keep a close check on the water params, but so far all is OK I was just a bit concerned by the slightly murky appearance, although the glass also has a bit of brown coating still (I didn't wipe anything in case I could get some algae growth) so that is adding to the way it looks, also the carbon/wool filters are probably overdue a change with all thats been going on, so will pop some new ones in and see what the water is like then.

I never increased the salt to .3% in the end, it has been at .% for a while now, and I just made sure it stayed at that level with each water change, as I could see she was opening her mouth more and once I started having success with the algae wafers I decided not to increase.

Splish seems fine, the small hole is still there and hasn't changed at all, it is very tiny and neat hole, almost looks like a piercing, I dont know if this will stay or not?

I was unsure what to do with the plants, the roots of them have gone a bit brown (like a lettuce that is getting a bit old) but the leaves all seem fine still, with the tank still at .2% salt I didn't know whether it was a good idea to try and put them back.

Should I cut the salt back now from .2% what do you think? I am water changing 30% every other day so could start tomorrow and maybe dip the plants i pp and put them back then

I am so happy that she is eating again, I think it may be a long time though before her mouth recovers properly, and I suppose it may even be a permanent injury, but she seems happy and is energetic and feeding so hopefully she will recover or this will not hinder her too much.

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Mark did you get a de-activating kit with the PP solution :unsure: ? Usually you have to squirt a 3% solution (1.5 mls per gallon) of straight hydrogen peroxide in to help get rid of the brown completely. As said, it is not harmful once brown-- it is now deactivated at that color- but the brown will not go without the HP or many water changes over time. Did he mention this? He may have just said a larger water change? That also works because of the de-chlorinator in there. If you have no HP -next water change double or triple your Prime. Try a 60% w/c. That should really help.

Be careful with the filter media. Rinse dont throw! OR what I do, if you have space, rinse the old mucky ones and lay new oones on top for a week and then remove the old ones. A lot of the good bbs will have transferred themselves or re-establsihed on the new ones and you can then remove the old. Never replace all your media!

Splishes hole should heal in perfect water. I suggest you keep the salt at 0.1% for a few weeks.

Splash does seem to be mending. Food will help her natural immunity kick back. Keep an eye on the pimple. If more appear, she may need another treatment of some sort at some point but hopefully not.

The main thing now is healing time. It can take a long time. I still have a fish recovering from some fin problems and he is getting better but not all better yet and its been 3 weeks. Be observant as you are to anything new, but if there isnt anything new, know that the fish ARE getting better and it only needs more time in perfect water at 0.1% salt.

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Thanks Trinket,

No I didn't get any de-activator with the PP, I did a big water change and used over double dose of Prime (I always use at least a double dose anyway as the water here is a bit Chloriney)

It looks a bit clearer today, the brown on the ornaments and stuff looks like a light coating of algae that got blasted by the PP, but it hasn't really gone away despite a few water changes.

The filters I have are 3 plastic baskets, with from bottom upwards:

ceramic Noodles

Black coarse sponge (this was at the top as the fish shop told me to put it like that, but I have since changed as filter/tank manual shows it in this position)

And cartridges filled with carbon bits and with a wool/floss pad on top.

The water sprays down on top of these and then runs through the whole stack and back into the tank at one end creating current and aeration.

I have found when trying to clean out the carbon cartridges they do not take it too well, often the wool will start to self destruct, and other times the carbon seems to crumble and lots of black carbon dust appears in the water I am cleaning with, they dont seem very robust, and are really made like a disposable item.

I was advised the ceramics and black sponge were for the bacteria to live on, and that they should not be changed ever, but to change the carbon filters fairly regularly, to be honest it is costing me a small fortune and I was thinking of removing the carbon and just using a thicker wool pad instead (these are also available from the manufacturer as an option)

Is the carbon really important?

I am a bit confused over the best course of action with these filters, as the manual always says to replace, but it goes against what everyone else advises.

I will be adding a second filter for sure once things are settled in the tank, I will get a good external one I think.

I will do a big change next time probably 50% would be easiest as it makes it simple to reduce the salt down to .1% I won't need the calculator then LOL

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I see. Your filter sounds supercapable. I've not seen that type but I do have several overhead filters similar sounding. Those carbon pads are very useful for times like now when you want to clear meds -the carbon picks up a lot- but it has a short lifespan and yes people do throw the carbon when its done its job. You dont have to but it has used up its usefulness as a chemical filter. . It will over time, colonise bbs for you and therefore keep providing bio filtrartion but then so will most items in your filter and tank. And so will your cheap old white wool mats and ceramic hoops which dont need replacing (wool mats do wear out and can be replaced in the way I said in the last post to avoid losing and help transfer the valuable bbs).

Carbon is a stronger chemical filtration than most. But there is a lot of confusion about it. Basically its useful for certain situations. If you have plenty of bio media to be honest you dont need it though. I only use it for draining meds and cycling tanks. Then chuck it. It is pricier yes. Some people ONLY use biomedia!! But I like the shiny clarity that the white sponge wool mats will give you and use them along with ceramic hoops, etc.

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I went to a few fish shops today and couldn't get any filter cartridges, but after some discussion one guy reccomended I save myself a small fortune and just use the white wool stuff (cant remember the proper name for it) which comes in big sheets for $1, and if I really wanted to I could use some carbon (or activated charcoal, I assume its the same) in bags underneath which were about $3 much, much cheaper than the genuine aqua one filters.

His suggestion was the same as yours Trinket, that it isn't really needed, if you have good filtration and do regular water changes.

So I bought a couple of sheets of wool and 1 carbon bag I will fit the bag in the centre media tray and swap the filtration over a couple of days as you suggested, starting tomorrow, the carbon bag will hopefully help to remove the last of the browness with a water change, after that I probably will only use the wool and leave the bio bits alone.

Splash ate her wafer a little quicker today, and did a very large poop, I found myself telling her what a good girl she was :D It reminded me of potty training my kids LOL

she still cant pick up the other food but she chases it really hard, so I am very pleased I got the wafers for her

Should I clean the brown from the glass and ornaments by hand now? or will algae just grow over it?

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Splash ate her wafer a little quicker today, and did a very large poop, I found myself telling her what a good girl she was :D It reminded me of potty training my kids LOL

That made me smile! I know how fond you have become of Splash. I never knew a sick fish could wrench your heart till I had one either :) Splash is a good girl- I've got really fond of her too!!!

You should clean the brown 'algae' off. The green will not grow there and no magic wand will turn it green unfortunately as far as I know! Thing is, the brown stuff competes with the green for oxygen and space so when you remove the brown you'll find more green may grow back in the very same place. I find green algae takes several months and the brown always precedes it..almost like the brown has to check out the territory and then go report to the green...conditions are right guys move on in :P !

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I did a 50% water change yesterday, and added no new salt, so salt level is now at .1% used a triple dose of Prime incase there were any remnants of the PP.

Gave the gravel a good vac and cleaned all surfaces.

The water I removed was a little murky, not very clear and a bit brown looking

I gave the plants a trim and bathed them in a PP solution for about 25 minutes, then rinsed them really well with fresh water and a big dose of prime to de-activate the PP, put them back in the tank.

I removed the carbon/wool canister from the centre tray, and added a sheet of wool/floss and the big teabag of activated charcoal/carbon I had bought from the fish shop, left the other 2 old cartridges in for now

By last night the tank water was not coloured at all, it was a bit cloudy as there was some fine bits of sediment floating around (from all the vac cleaning and digging in the gravel, but I hoped the filter would pull these out over a few hours as it normally does,

Got up this morning and the tank water has a golden brown hue to it again, the wool is quite dirty/brown looking too.

I can only assume that the carbon cartridges are just overloaded and are dumping crap back into the tank, so I am going to pull the other 2 out today and replace with wool, I cant even get any replacements at the moment either, but I may try to take them apart and see if I can DIY re-fill them.

As for the patient, she still seems to be doing well, she is getting even tamer now, whenever my hand is in the tank she keeps coming over to me, it's very sweet :)

Her mouth still looks very crooked underneath, the 'V' in her lower jaw goes a long way to one side, and her top lip still sticks out a lot, she is still unable to suck food in like the others, but is doing OK with the algae wafers, and has managed to corner 2 granules and slowly eat them, the spot looks much the same still.

There are some behaviour changes in the others too

Splosh has now joined her in coming over to my hand a lot as well, and I was hand feeding him flakes last night.

Splish is getting very big very quickly, I swear he has grown significantly in the last couple of weeks (Perhaps it looks more as Splash got thinner/smaller looking) his behaviour has also got a bit aggressive when it come to feeding which is not helpful right now, he will try and chase the others away from any food, if he spots them digging the gravel he nudges his way in to try and get their food, strategic feeding is now called for to make sure everyone gets something

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I can only assume that the carbon cartridges are just overloaded and are dumping crap back into the tank,

May well be so.

Sounds like you have done all the right things again -re- plants/salt/filtration -well done. Just wondering if it might not be a good idea to set up the second filter (the small one with the waterfall) on the side there. You could add some totally new media which would help clear the leftover brown -it does take time to get rid of that stuff completely and extra filtration seldom hurts and would be esp.useful now to clear the water up. Also another place for the bbs to colonise.

Still sounds to me like there was an injury there with Splashes mouth and then the injury became a vulnerable open place for the bacteria to enter. It is going to take a long time maybe to heal completely. Try as many different foods as you can. Now your fish are hand feeding its a great pleasure to feed them I'll bet :heart

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I gave up and bought another set of carbon filters, the water is now crystal clear again.

I will dismantle the old ones and see if I can get media to repack them for future use, should save a few dollars that way.

I had a look at the waterfall filter but because of the way my tank is set up there isn't an easy way to hang it on the edge, the filters and the light hood form a complete top and there are access lids from there, if I hang something on the tank edge the light hood would not be able to go back on.

I am looking at the external setups to see if I can add one of those.

They are great fun when they are feeding by hand, they are also very nosey when I am cleaning the tank, so I am really enjoying the time with them.

Splash is still getting food OK all be it very slowly, and Splish is still being a bit of a bully at feeding time, but I am managing to feed them at seperate ends of the tank a bit so they all get some.

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Wow Mark, it sounds like you're getting your "kids" in line there! :rofl I think we've all grown fond of Splash and are rooting for her to have a complete recovery. :heart

I know what you're saying about the filters. They are so expensive. I haven't changed mine as of yet, and hadn't thought about the carbon in them dumping stuff back into the water. When I do water changes I gently rinse them out in old tank water before I dump it, and they've held up ok. I've just gotten my tank cycled, and to tell you the truth, I'm AFRAID to change them, and not really sure how to go about it without messing up my params. I have 2 filters, so I guess when it becomes necessary I'll do one first, then wait a week or 2 before I do the other. Its such a delicate balance...

Thanks for the idea about the algae wafers. I hadn't thought about using them...for some reason I thought they were only for plecos. That would be something different for them to eat, which is their favorite thing to do!

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Just had a few mad days trying to get my house sold, thought I would give a quick update.

The tank water is lovely, and params have been consistent for days, still at .1% salt, I will keep it there for a while I think.

LOL Vickie, you are right about getting the "Kids" in line feeding times are very carefully planned and observed at the moment, Splish looks absolutely enormous compared to the others now, he is definitely getting more than his share of the food, and still bullying a bit, so I have to trick him into being away from the others while they eat

When Splash first got sick they were very similar in size (she was slightly smaller) but now the difference is obvious, she looks a bit better now though, not quite as thin looking, but her mouth still looks the same :(

She is doing quite well with the algae wafers, I have the breeder basket hanging at a 45 degree abgle in the tank, and she uses that to corner the wafer and work at it till its gone. The others nibble at it from under the basket, and Splosh will sometimes go in there with her now and have a go at it too, but she is definitely still getting food as she is still pooping.

I am going to have a go at some DIY refills on the filters this week, so if I have some success will post some pics in case it is helpful to anyone else.

Once again thanks to all of you for the help and support

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It was a pleasure to work with you on Splashes recovery Mark. I think this can be moved out of emergency now .

If you have any other worries about Splash or the others and if Splashes mouth gets worse be sure to post back! Good luck with all your fish, they are lucky to have you as their owner :heart

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