Featherfin catfish looking very sore, and missing skin


I brought the baby home from my father in law to put it in a little hospital tank cause it looks in so much pain and he does not know how the fish got like this. I got Metroplex to add to the water yesterday. And taking it day by day. It's there anything else i can do to help him heal?


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did it have a pleco tankmate?
Barring that, generally speaking they are really med sensitive, most smooth skin catfish are. Like Ich treatment can burn off or blister their skin at a normal tank dose. Synodontis don't handle acidic environments well either, they like it alkaline so if the pH was low that could have done it also.

Keep the water really clean, metroplex can help from it getting infected, so could some aquarium salt but since you're using some metroplex, stick to that don't do both. it's a similar result and it won't work any better combining the two.
if it's not improving or getting worse in a few days to a week, with really clean water and something to keep it from getting infected, the humane thing would be to euthanize the fish.

It looks relatively clean in the picture, So I think it's an injury or a burn of some sort, and not a disease or parasite type thing. if it's breathing well, I'd say it's probably not a "burn" like from an acid, that would also affect the gills. Sucker type fish, especially larger ones, could suck the skin off them or any fish really. I think it's too clean to be bacterial caused, but it can get a secondary bacterial infection to the injury if that's not looked after. water changes and metroplex should promote it staying clean and healing, but if that doesn't work, it's only going to get worse, so take a picture if you need to and keep an eye on it for comparisons to tell if ti's healing or getting worse.

I wish I had better news, I love those fish, so pretty when they are well kept and looked after.

86 ssinit

Hard to tell in the pic. How long did it take to get like that? How long has it been like that? Could be a few different things. Do not use anything from that tank on your main tanks and wear gloves and clean your hands before working on a main tank. You do t want any water from that tank passing into main tank. I’ve never seen plecos do that type of damage but they do have the ability too. How were the rest of the fish in his tank?
I’m not much of a medicator. That said as sparky said metro is a light med that may help. Even though there scaleless salt may also help at one tablespoon per 10g.


Yeah, no joke, it didn't even cross my mind until 86 ssinit mentioned using caution... not to scare but it could be a flesh eating bacteria of some sort, but it looks so clean, seems hard for it to be something like that. it should eat the flesh under the skin also and just be more ragged. it doesn't appear to be like lesions or any starting point. doesn't appear like there was a puncture.

just technical information here, but those thick spiky barbs on the dorsal and pectoral fins are technically venomous, likely to get punctures that are painful and just irritating and likely to get a secondary infection.
I don't know if it's bacteria or actual venom but all the mochokid family of the Siluriformes order are said to be poisonous to some extent, that they produce different proteins in them of varying molecular weights that cause troubling immune system reactions and nervous system pain responses. That said, if you don't already know, don't get spiked, it really hurts a lot and can get easily infected.

Maybe a slight puncture through the skin by a tank mate that got out of hand and caused skin necrotizing but not the flesh underneath? is there anywhere that could look like a starting point or puncture area on it? in the damage area?

Did it have any tankmates? was there a heater? was the tank clean or filthy and neglected looking?

I'm also thinking possibly it went to sleep way to close to a heater maybe, it came on and got up to temp and burned him and woke him up?

the tail fin is very clamped for sure, with the amount of damage I'm not surprised though.

Anyways, be very careful until with this until you know what you are dealing with.

those guys, when kept alone or without other nippers get long trailers off the tail and dorsal fin and the mouth feelers get kind of long also. It looks like it's been nipped and picked on.
"featherfin" is right, the dorsal is normally like a rooster comb kind of waves around excpt for where the spines are..... Maybe he was mouthed by a bigger fish for a good while in an attempt to eat him and he jammed him up until he was spit out?????

I really don't want to think the worst and that is just an injury that will heal up in time and nothing worse than that.

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