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Old 04-16-2004, 07:38 PM   #1
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Damage to catfish barbels...

I was just wondering, (not a big deal or anything) but do catfish barbels grow back (regenerate)? I have a catfish that got uneven mandibular barbels, it's a very noticeable difference...he was bought that way. Do you guys think this will affect him in any way, as far as scavangering for food goes?
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:06 PM   #2
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Others have reported that the barbels do grow back.
The injury is a potential site of bacterial infection, tho. Best thing would be to keep the water extra clean with more frequent water changes ill they grow back. And make sure your gravel is smooth so the injury doesn't get any worse. You could also dose the tank with Melafix to speed up healing and prevent infection.
He really shouldn't have any trouble feeding if you are using veggies or sinking pellets - cats use their barbels to sweep up tiny bits of food out of crevices.
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Old 04-17-2004, 12:09 AM   #3
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Re: Damage to catfish barbels...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil'nemo
I was just wondering, (not a big deal or anything) but do catfish barbels grow back (regenerate)? I have a catfish that got uneven mandibular barbels, it's a very noticeable difference...he was bought that way. Do you guys think this will affect him in any way, as far as scavangering for food goes?
The barbels will grow back over time, but what kind of substrate are you using? Catfish love sand and I find that in my sand tanks the cories I bought had their barbels grow back in a few months whereas in my planted tank with normal gravel and laterite they took almost a full year to grow back (probably due to the laterite, but who knows).
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:06 AM   #4
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The barbels should grow back. I agree that the area may be a site of infection and you will want to keep an eye on them. If they suddenly deteriorate, there is an infection and the catfish should be QTed and treated.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:23 AM   #5
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Hmm...thanks for the peace of mind. I don't think that I'd be too comfortable knowing that it would have affected him in any way. I must admit that I never realized that it could become something serious though. Guess it makes perfect sense like any other wound. Thanks for the suggestion. I will surely be watching him carefully and keeping water conditions at their prime. I can't really add any other medications to the tank right now...I'm treating it for ich and don't want to add any more meds into the tank...he's sensitive.
The substrate I'm using currently is the Seachem Gray Coast Calcite...but I'm thinking of switching to the CaribSea Tahician Moon.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:34 PM   #6
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What are you using to treat for ich? Just asking because some catfish are extremely sensitive to salt and certain meds. Did you read Allivymar's ich article? The heat treatment worked great for me.

Does the calcite substrate have sharp edges? The safest substrate for cats is rounded river pebbles, IMO.
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:13 PM   #7
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QTOFFER....Thank for the concern. I'm treating with (Jungle) Ick Clear Tank Buddies. I've read the directions and cautions on the back carefully. (I know that catfish are extremely sensitive period and they are my favorites.) Specifically it says to use 1/2 a tablet on scaleless, weak sensitive, or small fish. (1 tablet treats 10 gallons.) I've used 1 tablet to treat 50 gallons (to weaken the dose to a bare minimum so as not to disrupt their well being.) And so far it looks very well, within 36 hours or so the ich has decreased dramatically. There is still a few traces of it on my clown loaches though. I'm doing to do a 25% water change and add another dose (as suggested by the instructions.) I've tried doing the heat treatment, plus frequent water changes first off (I didn't really want to use meds in the first place) but that just kept the ich from getting worse but it was still there. Once I started noticing that it was spreading I knew that another action had to take place.
As for the Gray Coast Calcite substrate...the larger peaces do have sharp edges that make me uncomfortable having it in there. That's why I'm seriously considering changing it all together. Rounded river pebbles would be awesome looking. What kind of pebbles would you suggest? Preferably I'd like a darker type pebble or substrate.
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:43 PM   #8
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Ich on loaches is a PITA because of the limited medication options. Hope you get rid of it soon.

If you like natural-looking pebbles, Estes Natural Aggregates packages several different sizes and colors. I got the 1/2 inch pebbles because they are easy to gravel vac. The 1 in or bigger stones are hard to clean, I have been told. You can get these in 5 lb or 25 lb (oof!) bags at most lfs. The shipping cost is prohibitively expensive from online sources.

Originally, I got light brown/cream colored stones ( http://www.petluvers.com/estesnatura...echpebble.html ), but I found they were way too bright with the tank lights on! So, I changed out to a darker colored pebble ( http://www.petluvers.com/estesnatura...teswalnut.html ). It's a much more pleasing look (lights on and off) and the fish seem more at ease with the darker substrate. The pebbles have been thoroughly tumbled and lightly epoxy-coated, so there are no sharp edges to hurt my corys' barbels.

HTH
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #9
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I like the walnut colored ones!
lil'nemo, just look around and you will find a color of rock you are happy with. I went for a lighter colored gravel/stone and mixed it with smaller gravel of the same color for my 50 gal community tank. The effect is great.
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