Injuried Snowflake Eel
Hello! This is my first time posting on here, I'm excited to join the community.
Unfortunately my husband and I are having problems with our Snowflake Eel. It's now January 2, he has not eaten a decent amount since August (he does live in the tank by himself). It's pretty normal for him to decide to fast and go a few months without eating. In November we did notice that he hasn't been opening his mouth (which is pretty normal for eels to keep their mouth open to smell). He seems to be losing a lot of weight and his jaw appears to be injured. For a while he was hanging out next to the filter, we made some adjustments to the tank raised the temperature to 80 F and adjusted the PH to 8.4. He looked to be doing better and went back down to hanging around in the bottom of the tank, but he hasn't been burrowing. Since we noticed the injury we've upped the water changes and increased the stress coat dosage.
We tried to soak his krill in garlic and he seems interested in eating as he looks around and rubs his face in it. We tried to feed him frozen shrimp, I believe he managed to open his mouth a little to eat a string of it. Next we tried 3 live ghost shrimp, 2 of them we found dead stuck on the filter in the following days, but the smallest one has not turned up. I believe that he ate it, but my husband doesn't think so. Anyway we wanted to get the community's advice on what to do next. I answered the questions I found on the forum below, I've also attached pictures. Thank you for your help! I'm sorry for the long post!
1. How long have you had the fish? Do you know if it was wild caught, or tank raised? 2 years, tank raised
2. How long has the fish been in the tank? What are the tank mates? Any aggression? He's been in the tank 2 years, currently no tank mates, he has never been aggressive towards another fish, but we did have a trigger that bit him across the face about a year ago, that has healed up.
3. Is the fish eating? If so what does it eat? Not eating, normally eats frozen shrimp or krill
4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using? pH 8.4, ammonia 0.1, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, salinity 1.020, API Saltwater Master Test Kit
5. Is the fish showing any physical signs of disease, grain of salt size spots, discoloration, ragged fins, misting or spots on the fins, cuts, cloudy eyes, etc? No signs of illness, just possible injury, thinness from lack of eating
6. Is the fish "flashing" (scratching or rubbing on rocks, decorations or substrate)? No
7. How is the fish acting? Is it swimming around, or just hovering in one spot or corner of the tank? He hangs out on one side of the tank, doesn't move much, occasionally swims around.
8. Did you use quarantine? If so for how long and did you have a need to treat for any ailments? Is it in qt now? Are you currently treating with any medication(s)? No, has no tank mates. There is decor in the tank though.
9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated. He's lived in the tank for over 2 years, we sat the bag in the tank until they were the same temp and left him out. He's lived happily in there ever since. Tank was set up for a year before adding any fish.
10. What size system? What type of filtration do you use? Do you have any live rock or sand? 55G tank, Cascade Power Filter 200 (hangs off the back), live sand.
11. Do you use any additives? Have you used any sort of meds in the main tank? We recently used pH up and increased the saltwater stress coat to 50.5ml per week.
I went to our local store to get advice. They said according to the photos it looks like he's suffering from an infection from when the pH was low. They said that it burned off his nostrils so he can't smell his food. I suspected that he wasn't able to smell the food. I purchased Fritz Maracyn and started treating his tank after removing the carbon filter. We'll see how it helps. I hope this helps anyone who might be having the same issue with their eel.