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Fish with damaged tail and lost scales!


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  • Regular Member

Hi everyone,

It's been a good long while since I've posted on here as thankfully my fish have all been very healthy up until this point!

Basically one of my fish, Hugo (a pearlscale we think), managed to wedge himself between the filter and the glass at some point last night. When I came downstairs this morning I found him stuck right at the top of the filter, goodness knows how he got himself in there but he obviously couldn't get out again! Thankfully he was still breathing but he wasn't moving at the time when I found him! I gently pulled the filter away from the glass and he sank down and away from the filter. After a few second he began to swim again but looked a little shocked, I have no idea how long he had been stuck there (as I said it was at some point during the night). After a few minutes he seemed to perk up a bit and was very interested in food when I fed them to see if he was still into his food (he's always been very food driven - to the point where he would take pellets from out fingers after only a few days of getting him!)

I noticed that on his right side (the side that was against the filter when we found him) he's missing some scales and looks a little "squished" for lack of a better word! He seems to be moving ok and doesn't have any clamped fins. It looks pretty sore where he has lost the scales but it is not red or swollen at this point. I have also noticed that his tail looks a little damaged. I'll try and get a picture or a video so that you can have a look. Poor little thing!

What would you suggest we do to help him heal up without getting an infection? His moral seems high still and is happily swimming to the front of the tank when we come close but i'd hate for him to catch an infection!

Do you suggest salting the tank to help him? I don't have a quarantine tank and it would probably take me a while to set one up for him. Would it be dangerous for Finnigan to stay in the tank if we started salting it to help Hugo heal? I've never had to salt a tank before and would appreciate any advice anyone can give me!

Test Results for the Following:

Other Required Info:

  • Ammonia Level - 0.25ppm
  • Nitrite Level - 0ppm
  • Nitrate level - 5ppm
  • Ph Level, Tank - Ph 8
  • Ph Level, Tap - Ph 7.6
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? - API Drops
  • * Water temperature? - 18oC (64oF)
  • * Tank size (60 Litres) and how long has it been running? 7 months
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Fluval 3Plus
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? Every 10 days (33% changed)

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? - 2 days ago 33% Changed (20 litres)
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 fish (Hugo - 2 inch body , Finnigan - 1.2inch body)
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Just dechlorinator.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Sinking pellets twice a day (3 pellets at a time)
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? Finnigan added 2 months ago
  • * Any medications added to the tank? None
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. None
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Lost scales and torn tail fin on Hugo.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? None

Thanks for your help everyone and i'll get some pictures on the next post that will hopefully help!

- Natalie

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  • Regular Member

Aw, poor guy! He doesn't look too bad though, so that's good. Here are a few things I noticed:

1. Why do you have ammonia in the tank? Is there a cycle bump? Ammonia should be zero at all times, and it's not ideal to salt a tank when ammonia is present.

2. I recommend that you change the water more frequently, and change more at a time. A good starting point is 50% (or more) every 7 days at least. This will improve general health, and will go a long way in preventing illness.

3. I think you can feed a little more than what you are feeding, but that depends on the pellet size. Do you know the pellet size? What brand of food is it?

For the salt, I would hold off since you have ammonia in the tank right now. If you can do very frequent water changes to keep ammonia at zero consistently, then I think it would be okay to do .1% salt to help his wounds heal. This means 1 teaspoon of pure salt (nothing added) per gallon of water. Each time you do a water change, you will need to add back the amount of salt you removed. But for now, I would just work on getting the ammonia to zero. :)

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Thanks Sakura,

I think we will do another water change tomorrow to try and get the ammonia down... not really too sure why that is present at all seeing as we only did a water change a few days ago! But I will keep a close eye on him and do another water change then post the params up tomorrow once that is done. Off to bed again now; I really hope he doesn't get himself stuck again tonight! I might find myself checking on him in the middle of the night for a few days, or at least until I reassure myself that he's not going to get stuck again!

Thanks for your advice and i'll keep you updated!

- Natalie

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  • Regular Member

Can you move your filter so there is enough room for your fish to get in to either side of it without getting stuck ? I started with a Fluval 3 Plus on a 60 litre tank i had a few years back. I honestly don't think that it is capable of coping with the waste of 2 goldies and i ended up having to do 3 large water changes weekly. I would up the volume of your water changes, try doing 80-90% at least once a week. I switched to a Fluval U2 and a U4 in the tank and it worked much better. Do you use the carbon pads that come with it ? Do you have any Melafix ?

Edited by alistairw
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What are the dimensions on that tank? My calculator said that 60 L is only 15 gals but that can't be right. Just trying to figure out why you're getting ammonia. I think once the ammonia thing is sorted, if your fish is still need help healing you can salt the tank. If the fish really takes a turn for the worse and the ammonia issue isn't resolved, you can resort to a salt dip. Right now though I'd just focus on keeping the water good so the fish can heal itself. :)

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60 Litres is 13 UK gallons or 15.8 US gallons. Even though i live in the UK i use all my measurements in US gallons as it keeps everyone on the same page seeing as this is an American site :)

Thank you dear. I had 2 cups of coffee but my brain is acting like it hasn't had any.

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