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Old 06-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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'Choking' Goldfish?

So, about a week ago I happened to glance down at my aquarium and the biggest fancy goldfish in the tank had a big piece of gravel lodged in her mouth. As I have seen them sift through the gravel and pick up rocks, I didn't want to panic over nothing so I spent the next 5 or so minutes watching her try to expel the rock. However, It was clear the piece of gravel was stuck, and to make things worse the Goldies have started to show breeding behavior and she had three males chasing her all at the same time. I totally panicked (I mean, how do I help a fish?) and ran to my dad for help.

He ended up fishing her out of the tank, and while she calmly laid in the net he took tweezers and removed the rock from her mouth. All in all it took no more than 2 minutes at most and she was released back into the water. My question is, did we do the right thing? Could we have gone about it differently? Is there any protocol for this type of situation? I don't trust my goldfish to not do it again so I'd like info for future instances incase they arise. Thank you

P.S. She is doing great a week after the incident! The picture is of the fancy and the rock that got stuck in her mouth.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoOo
So, about a week ago I happened to glance down at my aquarium and the biggest fancy goldfish in the tank had a big piece of gravel lodged in her mouth. As I have seen them sift through the gravel and pick up rocks, I didn't want to panic over nothing so I spent the next 5 or so minutes watching her try to expel the rock. However, It was clear the piece of gravel was stuck, and to make things worse the Goldies have started to show breeding behavior and she had three males chasing her all at the same time. I totally panicked (I mean, how do I help a fish?) and ran to my dad for help.

He ended up fishing her out of the tank, and while she calmly laid in the net he took tweezers and removed the rock from her mouth. All in all it took no more than 2 minutes at most and she was released back into the water. My question is, did we do the right thing? Could we have gone about it differently? Is there any protocol for this type of situation? I don't trust my goldfish to not do it again so I'd like info for future instances incase they arise. Thank you

P.S. She is doing great a week after the incident! The picture is of the fancy and the rock that got stuck in her mouth.
There is no wrong way to do it I don't think. You did good lol. I had a similar problem and I just scared the fish around until it fell out. But in your situation, it wasnt gonna come out. I'm glad it worked!!!
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:12 AM   #3
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Wow that's the first time I've heard something like this (the whole tweezers thing not the gravel) but go dad! Lol it doesn't surprise me at all that something like that would get stuck in their mouths, when I had my goldies they were always scrounging through rocks looking for food. IMO changing the substrate might help prevent future problems
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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I agree ^^^
It's not recommended to have pea sized gravel with goldfish. Sand, larger river rocks or a bare bottom are recommended for that exact reason.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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I have that pineapple house for my goldies!
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice! When I got the aquarium two years ago the Goldies were so small the gravel suited them at the time. But they have all grown and now two of them are definitely at risk due to their in increased size. Knowing this, when I upgrade to a bigger aquarium (within the next month or two) I will get some bigger rocks and try for a more natural decor. Maybe get some flat pond rocks to cover the bottom along with some aquarium sand. I will probably be upgrading to between a 30-40 gallon tank, which I know will still be overstocked, but is much better than their current 20.

I would like to find good homes for a few of them so they're not so overcrowded but not many people around here treat fish very well. Goldfish especially. I want to ensure they have a good home no matter what. Sometimes I feel like a bad owner I wasn't prepared for goldfish. I kind of rescued them from the jaws of impending doom without realizing I was ill equipped to keep them.

I do my best though!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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I've actually read an article on what to do in that situation... I don't have it at my fingertips, but the article suggest to do exactly what your father did do. So I agree...

Go Dad!

Additionally, if the tweezers can't dislodge the stone (the first option), one can try inserting a Q-tip into the gill and trying to push the stone forward and out of the mouth that way.

But to answer the question, based on what I've read, that was the perfect approach.
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