Anyone know anything about fish?? Please help?

mokaneeJune 23, 2009

Hello all,

I have been away for a long while because I just become so emotional reading other people's pet stories... I love animals so much!

But my current question pertains to my fish... I have been to numerous pet stores and no one seems to be able to answer my question...

I have two dojo loaches (or weather loaches) in my tank (they are the only fish in there). The older and bigger one is about 7 years old. I have read that they should live to about 15 years so I don't think it's old age that he's suffering from. But anyway it started about a week and a half ago that I noticed that his back end was starting to float a little bit and that he was breathing quite hard. It has progressed to the stage where he literally floats at the top of the tank on his side and I think he's dead but then he will dart into action when I approach. He is having trouble even getting down past the halfway part of the tank (and for anyone that doesn't know these are bottom dwellers). He is still always breathing so hard even when he is floating.

I have noticed that sometimes, when he is trying to get to the bottom so his head is down and his rear end is up, that some gas bubbles will escape his... um... rear end...

I wonder if he somehow has a build up of air in his system (he has been going to the surface to gulp air lately) that he can't get rid of... I have tested my water and it is fine. I do regular water changes and the other fish is not exhibiting any of the same signs.

One pet store told me it might be "bloat" and that the cure is to not feed the fish for a couple of days. I have done that, but it is not helping. I am concerned now that even when I do put food in the tank (algae wafers) that he will not be able to get to it because he has trouble going to the bottom. They also suggested frozen peas, which I tried but they remained un-eaten.

It has been a week and a half so I don't know what to do at this point. I just feel like I'm watching him slowly die a little more every day and I hate it.

Does anyone have any experience with either these sympotoms or this fish? Everyone that sees them are disgusted by them (they look like little eels) but I think they are the cutest things and they do have their own little personalities...

Please help if you can. Thank You.

Mokanee

(PS. I am also adding some aquarium salt to the tank to try to minimize his stress level...)

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mazer415

I know nothing about fish, EXCEPT I happen to see a show about this guy who loved his KOI. His fish developed the same basic thing you are describing and apparently the fish had air bloat problem. It was corrected with a needle aspiration and subsequent surgery.
You might try and contact an exotic pets vet to see if there is anything you can do. Good luck

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:06PM
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mokanee

Thank you for the websites and the suggestions... I seem to have been doing everything they suggset, except for the surgery/needle thing... I don't think I could do that because a) I couldn't keep the fish still and b) I wouldn't know where to poke!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 4:29PM
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todancewithwolves

Sounds like swim bladder. Try feeding him peas. Yes, PEAS. Peel the skin off and break it into bite size peices. It'll clean out his system. Most fish love peas.

Check the aquarium forum as well.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:33PM
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annzgw

You could try moving him to a smaller, shallower container if he has trouble getting to his food. You don't have to leave him in the container 24/7, just try it for a few hours so he can eat without working so hard to reach the food. Then move him back into his regular container.

From what I've read they are mainly carnivorous and their diet should consists of insect larvae and small worms. Has he been getting any protein or mostly 'greens'?
I hope things work out OK for the little guy........

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:53AM
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mokanee

Well, I really appreciate the suggestions, and I did try peas (he would not eat them), and I really hate that I sometimes have such difficulty thinking outside the box... putting him in a separate container so that he may have been able to eat is such a good idea... but unfortunately it came too late.

I am sad to report that my swimming companion of the past 7 years was not able to recover from his illness and that when I got home last night he was no longer among us.

I am so sad and had a long cry. I also hate that there is no dignified way to 'bury' these guys. He was definitely too big to be of the 'flushable' kind (and I don't know if I could bring myself to do that anyway...) so I had no choice but to put him in the dumpster (I live in a condo, so no other choice, really). That made me even sadder. I hated giving him such an undignified ending to his life (I'm even crying now just thinking about it). But I hope that somehow, even though he was a fish, he knew that I really cared about him. I'll miss him.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 3:02PM
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trinigemini

So sorry for your loss. Losing any pet is hard.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:21PM
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todancewithwolves

I'm so sorry :-(

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:23PM
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junebug1961

Losing any pet is hard. Be extra kind to yourself for a while...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:10PM
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annzgw

I'm so sorry to hear he's gone. If it helps, most sites I've seen say the average life span is 7-10 years, so it's very possible he died of old age. Doesn't make you feel better but at least you know you gave him a good, long life.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:33PM
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mazer415

mokanee.....sorry bud...you did a good job tho, that is a long time for a fish to be cruising around his tank.
PS - If, gawd forbid you ever lose another fish, bury it in a friends garden....they are great feeders for flowers, and that way they get recycled...even planting its fish body under a tree or in a planter where you can enjoy a flower means your fish can provide a better life for a plant and you get to relive with your fish as a plant. The ultimate in recycling. Take care of yourself

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:40PM
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mokanee

Thanks all!

This is such a kind community... I really should hang out here more often... maybe just try to stick to the cheery, happy stories that are posted (I'm sure there are more than a few)... I do most of my 'computing' from work and I'm sure people look at me funny when I just start crying for no reason while looking at my computer screen...

Again I really thank you all for the suggestions (even the post mortem ones were good) and I wish you all good times and happy days ahead with your furry (or scaly) loved ones!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 3:32PM
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