My fish has one...Nostril???

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by severage, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. severageValued MemberMember

    I dont know what to call it.

    The two things sticking out at the front of his mouth, yea, my fish only has one. I dont know how long its been like this or what. What could cause this? And will it harm him? Otherwise, he seems fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2012
  2. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    I'm not experienced with that type of fish but my guess is those things are barbells. If they are, he could be missing one because of it being worn down or cut off by something sharp (like substrate or sharp rocks). What substrate do you have? I know Cory cats prefer soft sand or smooth gravel because of their sensitive barbells, which is what I'm comparing your fish to :)
  3. severageValued MemberMember

    smooth gravel is what I believe I have, not 100% sure.
    Is losing a barbel very dangerous?
  4. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    From what I understand the barbels are used as taste buds, and also to search for food. I think they grow back but I'm not completely sure. I think it may be uncomfortable for them but in the aquarium finding food is not as much of a problem as in the wild, so I don't believe it's terribly bad for him to only have one.

    Sorry for the inadequate information, I'm still learning but this is just my evaluation of what I have found :)
  5. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    It should not be an issue unless losing it has caused a wound, which may become infected. If it appears to simply be missing, without soreness, he'd have a teensy bit more difficult of a time navigating and finding food in conditions where he can't see, but in an aquarium he'll probably be fine.
  6. severageValued MemberMember

    Thanks guys.
  7. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Just to play devil's advocate here, but isn't it rather presumptuous of us humans to decide that a fish with less effective taste buds is not a big deal? We have a relative who has lost the sense of smell, and as a result also most of his sense of taste, and he would travel from Ohio all the way to Washington DC regularly to see a specialist to try to fix the problem, because it is a big deal for him. Now this relative of our is human, and this is "just a fish" you might say, so yes from our point of view it may not be a big deal, but what makes you so sure that this is not a big deal to the fish? If I were yOu, I would switch substrata to sand, and also you might consider doing more frequent water changes to help in the healing process.
  8. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    If it has already healed, there's really nothing to be done about it; I seriously doubt they grow back, so it's a moot point. Sure, it's better to have two, but the question was whether it would harm him. The answer there is no, unless is still a wound with a possibility of infection. It also sounds like it had this problem before the OP got it. If it happened in this tank, then yes, I would recommend switching to sand, but I did not collect that it did.
  9. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    I'm sorry if I came off that way, I didn't mean it as saying it wasn't a big deal. I do believe the barbels are very important to fish that have them. I was only stating that in terms of survivability it is not terrible for them (meaning they would die without them, although in the wild they might/probably would) to lose a barbell (in the aquarium it is much easier for them to find food therefore domestic survivability is less of an issue here) but in terms of happiness and living a good life it would be important. The health of the fish should always be taken into consideration and be top priority in the fish keeping hobby! :) it is definitely a good idea to switch to soft sand to prevent anymore damage to the barbells if that is what caused the loss.
  10. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    If it's still eating and swimming fine, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.