Cory stuck in driftwood!!! still alive

KingOscar

I noticed one Sterbai cory missing and put on my glasses for a closer look. I expected to find him/her dead, but no, he's in a hole in my large piece of driftwood. He's still breathing and eye looks normal. Couldn't have been here for long. There was a snail on him and I flicked it off. Tapping on the wood didn't do a thing. Using my gravel vac to attempt to suck him out didn't work either.

I then drained a bit of tank water into a bucket and pulled the entire piece out. I banged it on the top of the bucket with Cory faced down hoping to dislodge him. I did this twice now but he didn't budge. There is no access from the back, only the hole on top. No room around him to wedge a tool, and I don't want to harm him trying. He's really stuck. I'm not sure what to do next. :eek:
 

Thunder_o_b

I can only say what Would do. Get a bucket of tank water with said wood and fish in it. Then with a saber saw (or the like) cut away the wood. Putting the wood and fish in the water as needed till the job is done.
 

MacZ

It's fins have probably lodged like barbs on a harpune or an arrow. There is likely no other way than cutting it out of the wood.
 

otterblue

Can you lightly poke him backwards?
 

KingOscar

Thanks everyone for the quick replies. The "hole" was not an open hole when this Mopani piece was placed in the tank 8-9 months ago, just a knot that was still filled. I suppose it rotted it's way open enough for a fish over time and I never noticed.

I highly doubt it was deep enough for him to go in and turn around, so he went in tail first? Again, there is no access from the back. So pushing him in doesn't seem an option.

Wouldn't barbs if lodged only prevent rearward motion, not forward?

Cutting seems likely to put the fish at great risk unless everything goes just right, and would of course tear up the piece. I guess I would have to cut part way and then snap the piece open. I'm not too excited about doing that.
 

otterblue

Maybe since it's waterlogged and a bit malleable, you could put heavy pressure on the underside (like a vice) and it would expand the top enough for him to get out.
 

KingOscar

Well, it appears he's been dead for a bit now. I poked and pushed him and there were no signs of movement or breathing. I'm going to wait to make sure and then pull out the remains with a tool and plug the hole. Sorry little buddy.
 

mattgirl

My first thought was "how in the world did this little guy go in there backwards"? and then "why couldn't it just wiggle back out"? this one is an unusual one. Sorry s/he didn't make it. :(
 

BradleyH2O

I learned the hard way with empty snail shells. If there’s a hole...the Cory will try to get in there. Sorry he didn’t make it
 

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