Fish Stuck In Filter Emergency

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by penguin02, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. penguin02

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    If you've read my posts before, you might know Kevin. He's an orange balloon molly, and the sole reason I got into fishkeeping. I swear, he has more personality than any other fish I've ever seen. He's the boss of his little 26g tank and I always told myself that I need to prepare for when he dies. Livebearers don't live very long... :(

    Well this morning, I found him squished up against the fitler intake.

    I used to have this problem when I first started fishkeeping. The intake had broken off of the used filter, and I figured putting a panty hose over the gaping hole would protect my fish from harm. I lost two fish to that filter. After replacing the filter, I haven't had any problems. My guess is Kevin's long, flowing fins and curious nature got him stuck there.

    I turned off the filter right away, crying my eyes out. That might sound stupid. It's just a little $3 balloon molly, after all. But if you think that, you've never met Kevin. ALL my friends and family know Kevin. He's the only fish in the tank that swims up against the glass to greet us. So his death was heartbreaking.


    Kevin, who decided to fight for his life after five seconds of floating, began to kick and thrash until he was able to swim again. Now he's slowly exploring the tank with his injuries. From what I can tell, it's not too severe. One of his pectoral fins, which are very long and flowy, must have been what got him stuck. It's bent against his body and he doesn't appear to move it very well. He swims normal with one fin, but as soon as he tries steering he gets a little unbalanced. The hole side of his body what was against the intake seems to be "flat", which could just been from being stuck for who knows how long. It's already looking a little better, so I think it'll puff back out in a few hours.

    Does any of this seem severe? I'm trembling right now. I don't want to lose my Kevin! Please help us! Will he recover? Should we purchase a hospital tank and separate him? The tankmates are leaving him alone (other livebearers and a school of black skirts) because he's the boss of the tank. Seriously, they leave him alone no matter what. If he wants to school with the tetras, they let him. Bullying isn't really a problem if he needs time to recover.
  2. Miaw

    MiawValued MemberMember

    Wait, let me show you some pictures let me find them.

    This guy got caught in the filter somehow. I thought I'd have to euthanise him because he was in such a bad way. I figured it's all things that grow back and heal and I would want to be given a chance!

    Day 1
    day 1.jpg
    3 weeks later
    3 weeks later.jpg

    I can get a photo of him later (6 weeks later) and you might not even know there was ever anything wrong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2017
  3. OP

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Thank you, this really helped us keep our spirits high. I showed this to my family, and now we're more confident he'll be alright. He's trying to move his injured fin but can't move it far away from his body without tipping over. I'll try feeding the tank and see how he fares.
  4. KimberlyG

    KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Just keep an eye on him. Good Luck Kevin!

  5. kayla.s

    kayla.sWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah my one cory also likes to stick himself against the filter. All you can do is give it time and hope everything comes right :)

  6. Cory & the CatzValued MemberMember

    Good luck Kevin!!! Also adding stress coat may help? maybe he lost a little rubbing against the filter? Not sure that's a way he could lose it but just incase...
  7. Floundering_Around

    Floundering_AroundWell Known MemberMember

    He may have gotten caught if he was too weak to swim against the flow, due to illness or age. However, since other fish are getting caught, I suggest that you put a sponge over the filter to alleviate this problem. Plus the sponge allows bb to grow and help maintain the tank water. Plus, it will allow fish that like to graze to do so with out getting injured! 4508483c6fe8a38a8bd9a25b0d00ec8e.jpg
  8. OP

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    He already looks a ton better. We've never had any problems with the new filter, and I suspect Kevin was just being overly courageous and curious. If anyone else gets caught, we'll look into getting a sponge. His injured fin is opening up and he's using it more and more. We may have overreacted a bit! :p
  9. Floundering_Around

    Floundering_AroundWell Known MemberMember

    Completely acceptable! Your baby got hurt!
  10. OP

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Kevin passed away this morning. I think I'm still in shock. The sponge was supposed to arrive today, but I think it was old age that killed him. He had no visible signs of sickness and water parameters are good. That's what I get for having a tank full of livebearers. They don't live very long.

    Any ideas for a fish funeral? I think I want to bury him by a nearby lake.
  11. KimberlyG

    KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Very sorry to hear about Kevin. I think he will like the lake. Take care.
  12. Miaw

    MiawValued MemberMember

    I hope you don't feel that bad about it. I'd just flush it, you've done all you can.

    Just some healthy perspective. I mean what do you do when they eat their own fry?
  13. Fabouls

    FaboulsNew MemberMember

    Happened to me a couple of months or so. I had 5 neon tetras that I got for free for buying a new tank (very first) One morning I noticed only four in the tank, i was SO worried. I opened the filter section and saw a tiny pale tetra between the sponge lying on the side
    I took it out hoping it was still alive, put it in a bowl but it was floating. Touched it and saw a little struggle!
    Some weeks later, it healed (thanks Lord, what a miracle) was swimming and eating normally and when I put it back in the main tank, it was noticeably smaller than the others. Months passed and it grew bigger and bigger, I couldn't see the difference.

    Long story short, last month, one of them showed like a swimming bladder problem. Couldn't eat and swim properly, sinking all the time. Sometimes it was so fatigued that it let itself sink and trembling (suspect it's the one that got sucked in the filter) I put it in a bowl, same night my mom woke me up i don't know how, it was found dry on the table next to the bowl!

    Couldn't sleep, first death, first grief. 5ca980e20d9724f2f3584af0315e8506.jpg
  14. OP

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks for all the support. We put Kevin's body in a glasses case, filled it with rocks, and threw it in the lake. Now he'll be with us forever. :)

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