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Old 01-30-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
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Silver/Bala shark mouth stuck open

So tonight I noticed my silver shark , Bruce (as named by my daughter) was looking a bit weird.
Upon closer inspection, it seems his mouth his stuck open, as if he was straining for food.
I hoped it would fix itself, as it wasn't like this this afternoon when I popped a bloodworm cube into the tank.
So I have come back to the tank now to check him out and he is barely moving. Just floating in the same spot. I guided him into the floating hatchery I have as one of my gouramis was picking at his tail.
I can't see anything stuck in his mouth or gils. Everything looks good apart from his mouth. I will try and include a picture.
I'm concerned that he will not be able to eat.
Has anyone seen this or had this happen to their fish before? Anything I can do or chance it will heal on it's own?

180l tank
2 dwarf gouramis
2 corydoras sterbai
11 cardinal tetras
4 serpae tetras

Fed 6 days out of 7: flake food, bloodworm and sinking pellets.

pH6.5
Ammonia 0
Temp 26C
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:20 PM   #2
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:26 PM   #3
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I've read of fish fracturing their jaws by ramming into the glass/decorations. Also, some cichlids “ratchet” their jaws stuck open which is supposedly fixed by extending it open slightly more to release it. However, I wouldn't try that myself as it may make a fracture worse....

I'm sorry to hear about your shark. Hope he recovers!
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:40 PM   #4
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It is very possible he swam into something in the tank and this has been the cause. He's really fast when he goes. Only been in our tank for about 3 months, but such a pretty fish who has been coming along great. Makes me very sad to think that this might be the end of him.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:30 AM   #5
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They can get a rock stuck in there too, check up and back if you can look in better since his mouth is sucker shaped.

Have had Goldfish with pebbles stuck in ther mouths.

Get a sanitized and rinsed in treated tank water tweezer ready just in case and a tank water moistened towel or clothe that wouldn't have fabric softener or any soap residue on it to hold around it, you don't really want to stress him out any more than nec.

Have had to dislodge a barbed Oto catfish from the mouth of a fish I used to have - barbs skewered her mouth open after she tried to eat it.

It could be fractured I guess after a smack into the glass or some thing. But if out of joint you might be able to massage it back in, does it look at all crooked from the side?
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:56 PM   #6
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Hi, I have by mine closed the mouth with the fingers. All is good. Lives already 3 years by me


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Old 02-02-2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody for your replies, sadly we lost him last night and he's now gone to the big aquarium in the sky
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:14 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear he didn't make it. Any time there is a loss my standard protocol is 50% pwc and check the parameters. Another 50% soon there after. Fresh, clean water is good.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your loss 😢
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