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Old 07-11-2018, 03:17 AM   #1
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Hi! Desperate for dojo loach injury advice

I have a 55 gal tank with incredibly spoiled (and a bit overweight) fish. But it's the dojo's fault! If they weren't so funny and affectionate between their toothless piranha like feeding frenzy, I wouldn't be so entertained and feed them too much.
Back to the problem. My absolute FAVORITE dojo became too big for one of the hiding shelters and got stuck! He must have been struggling to get out like there was a bloodworm just out of reach. He has a ring around his body just behind the front fin where the skin is badly damaged. And apparently someone took a few nibbles from an area in the back, either a birth defect or injury before I got him.
At first he just floated with tail in air like he was a java fern leaf and was very lethargic. I was sure he was dying when he didn't eat the bloodworms I tried to feed him. I came to the painful decision that he should be euthanized to save him from a slow, painful death. Then as if he read my mind, he started acting normally! He was resting on the sandy bottom, then would swim around as normal. My daughter (27 yrs old - mine isn't the only heart he stole) is begging me to try to save him, but I wouldn't know where to start! My time as a paramedic doesn't help me here. I see his missing skin and and can only think of infection and how painful it must be! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! If it's possible to save him, I would love to. There would be many happy hearts here. But if it would be too cruel to even try, I get it. I strongly believe in quality over quantity of life!
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:31 AM   #2
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Might try an antiseptic med like Melafix. That will likely keep fungus from taking hold. I've seen fish come back from worse injuries. I'm a loach fan as well, keeping Red Fins and Tiger Loaches.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by V227 View Post
Might try an antiseptic med like Melafix. That will likely keep fungus from taking hold. I've seen fish come back from worse injuries. I'm a loach fan as well, keeping Red Fins and Tiger Loaches.
Really? I am happy to hear it isn't a death sentence. I will run out this morning and get some.
Thank you so much!
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #4
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Make sure your water is pristine as well.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:20 PM   #5
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I have him quarantined in a 30 gal tank now. The guy at the fish store said not to let his bff join him, not add the beneficial bacteria to pseudo cycle, to keep water as close to what he was used to as possible so not to buy the reverse osmosis water. But when I went out a little while after putting him in there, he was floating upside down. When I gave him some attention and tried to feed him, he righted himself but didn't eat. I don't have any substrate or plants in there. Should I put some in? His partner?
(I'm already up to over $90 in costs at a very tight time. I don't mind cutting some needed corners if he looks like he will live, but I got nervous I was just throwing this $ away when he was floating like that.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:27 PM   #6
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Here is a more recent pic of his injuries right b4 we moved him. Btw, I added metafix, prime and a tbls of salt to water
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:34 PM   #7
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Hold off on the salt next WC. Loaches don't handle salt well. If a bad fish related situation ever occurs again check in with the forums first. Chances are someone will provide useful advice and save you a lot of money.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:57 AM   #8
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I only added salt bc he said to keep the water as close to other tank as possible AND had recommended adding some - I don't remember the reason he gave, but it made sense atm. I looked at the spoon I used. It was a 1/2 tbsp instead of 1 tbsp. Is that too much for 30 gal? It was only half of what he recommended.
Another issue. Once we moved him into the quarantine tank, despite making sure the prime and metafix were circulated in b4 putting him in, he started crashing quickly. He suddenly started floating upside down and seemed to be quickly giving up. I remembered the dr trying to explain away my brother's "miraculous" returns from death's door once we had discontinued life support - if there is too much stimulus, lights etc, the brain stem will act on a primal level and continue to respond thus keeping him alive. (That did not explain how his heart and breathing had stopped and THREE times when he heard my mother's cries of grief, his heart rate ad breathing returned. He did not want to die in front of her. I get that. I wouldn't want to cause her that magnitude of pain either. But after I told both of them someone has to give, saw her look of "I'm not leaving his side" so told him (supposedly brain dead) that all he was doing was educating her all the ways a body could fail and instead of watching her son die once, she would have to watch her son die 4 times if he "gave her this one." Next morn he opened his eyes for the 1st time letting us know he was leaving and went as peacefully as death can be.)
So I have put him back in the tank with his buddies. I did not realize he and the frog were close until I put him back. He is now resting, socializing (he's part butterfly) but will only eat a bite or 2 if I stick my arm in and hold in front of his mouth as he lies there. Then he will move forward a bit to tell me that's enough.
Opinions wanted. Alone he almost immediately starts crashing. I've never seen a fish come back from floating upside down, but I also haven't tried this hard to save them.
Is taking advantage of the stimulus to the brain keeping him motivated just extending a painful death or is it buying time to possibly let him heal?
Any further suggestions for my social butterfly?
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:10 PM   #9
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As noted above, consult with the forums first regarding any fish related advice. Chances are the information obtained will be far more accurate that the info provided by your LFS employee.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:35 AM   #10
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Oh I do hope he is doing better. Poor little fella.
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