Injured fish, what to do?

  1. pyth Initiate Member

    I came home last night, and one of my female swordtails appears to have suffered some rather serious fin nippng. Most of te wavy white part of her rear fin is simply gone, and she's just sitting on the bottom of the tank. She's still capable of swimming, but isn't trying to get food or anything. Is there anything I can do for this fish to aid in her recovery? If not, is there a humane way to put her down?

    Second part of the question, I believe it was my male swordtail who did the fin nipping. I've had him in a 20g tank, with 2 female swordtails, 2 female guppys and a male guppy for about 2 weeks now. He's never shown the least tendency towards aggression or fin nipping, but I watched him do some fairly aggressive chasing last night, and of course came home to a swordtail, without much of a tail. Is this typical behavior? Do I maybe just have an overly aggressive fish?

    Yesterday was also the first day I had ammonia readings from the tank, but it was still well within safe ranges, and I did a 20% water change anyways. Could the ammonia be annoying him and making him aggressive?
     
  2. uphill4me Member Member

    Ammonia could be annoying him, more likely it is a result of things getting stirred up by his chasing. Good call on the water change. Male guppies are prone to picking on sword tails and other bright colored fins when feeling dominant and unhappy. Likely adding one or two more female guppies would solve the problem; that's a horny dude that wants a harem of girls and won't tolerate a better looking potential victim until he gets gets his freak on. Another approach is to add larger or slightly more dominant fish but that may complicate things more.

    Got a suitable quarantine for that sword tail? Doesn't need too much swimming space right now. Floating a plastic container in the tank with really gentle air bubbles might do. Use water from her aquarium, add a few grains of aquarium salt, a few drops of water conditioner (preferably the kind that aids the slime coat) and do not over feed. Tea Tree Oil would help too, but not too much. Fungus is your worst enemy right now. Suck out debris with an eye dropper shortly after feeding, replace with aquarium water. Changing an eye dropper or few several times a day would be helpful, just don't disturb her more than necessary (and don't put her water into the tank). Leave her heal a little longer after she is swimming normally again. Continue to monitor the ammonia in the tank water.
     

  3. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    The only safe ammonia reading is 0ppm. So since you are cycling with fish you need to be doing daily partial water changes with a water conditioner that will detox ammonia and nitrites such as SeaChem's Prime.
     
  4. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    I was going to make the same comment, there is no safe ammonia reading. You need to be doing water changes everyday and using Prime as jdhef said in his post. That is really important. And I also agree on the Tea Tree Oil. You can use PIMAfix or MELAfix to help heal and to keep fungus or bacteria from attacking.