SOS Fish mouth won’t close

ohhithere

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I just got a small fancy goldfish from petco 2 weeks ago and recently i found out it had really bad ick. I treated it in a quarantine tank and gave it the jungle brand ick fizz tablet meds. That was 2 days ago and It’s completely gone now, but NOW its mouth is wide open and won’t shut, i figured it choked on a food pellet since the pellets are way too big for it (New life Spectrum Large goldfish pellets) but i waited over night and hes still okay but his mouth is still open. Last night he seemed to show the signs of choking like sort if looking like he was coughing and flairing his gills, but his mouth is still wide open today so it must not have been a pellet. what are some possible causes for this? I heard it might be an infection? I dont know how much more treatments this little fish can take so i just wanna make sure its a good guess
 
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FishBoy101

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ohhithere said:
I just got a small fancy goldfish from petco 2 weeks ago and recently i found out it had really bad ick. I treated it in a quarantine tank and gave it the jungle brand ick fizz tablet meds. That was 2 days ago and It’s completely gone now, but NOW its mouth is wide open and won’t shut, i figured it choked on a food pellet since the pellets are way too big for it (New life Spectrum Large goldfish pellets) but i waited over night and hes still okay but his mouth is still open. Last night he seemed to show the signs of choking like sort if looking like he was coughing and flairing his gills, but his mouth is still wide open today so it must not have been a pellet. what are some possible causes for this? I heard it might be an infection? I dont know how much more treatments this little fish can take so i just wanna make sure its a good guess
Did you overdose? if so that might be the reason. Other than that, idk.
 
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ohhithere

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? ~ 10gal
How long has the tank been running? 2 days, quarantine
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes tetra 10 gal to speed up ick lifecycle
What is the water temperature? 78 ish
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
1 fish
Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every day as advised by meds
How much of the water do you change? 25%
What do you use to treat your water? seachem prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? no substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? i used old filter media from another tank
What do you use to test the water? i havent tested the water
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 3x day he hasnt eaten in at least 1 day though
How much do you feed your fish?4 or 5 3 mm pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? new life spectrum
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no not yet

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 2 wks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? last night
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? mouth wont close possible choking, though it has lasted 8+ hours
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? im guessing it had ick from petco but i couldn’t tell
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? yes, he doesn’t swim around as much as he used to possibly from the ick
Hopefully that’s enough details!

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

FishBoy101 said:
Did you overdose? if so that might be the reason. Other than that, idk. Giving this post a boost!!!!
it’s possible! this sounds dumb but i dont know the exact gallons of the tank and i assumed it was bigger than 10 gal so i didn’t do a water change before the 2nd treatment
 

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ohhithere said:
it’s possible! this sounds dumb but i dont know the exact gallons of the tank and i assumed it was bigger than 10 gal so i didn’t do a water change before the 2nd treatment
Who made this the best answer? And sorry, but you should definitely make sure you know the volumes of your tanks.
 
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ohhithere

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MacZ said:
Who made this the best answer? And sorry, but you should definitely make sure you know the volumes of your tanks.
oh sorry i did a thumbs up, i didnt know what that did . Umm, yeah, u right i dont know if that would be the issue though, i guess idk how these symptoms work
 

MacZ

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ohhithere said:
oh sorry i did a thumbs up, i didnt know what that did . Umm, yeah, u right i dont know if that would be the issue though, i guess idk how these symptoms work
You neither can give yourself a thumbs up nor make your own posts "best answer". So no worries there.

Well.. about how symptoms work, just use some common sense. And maybe a picture of the fish might help in this case, as would filling out the template.
 

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Generally mouths being open is going to be a physical issue versus illness/medication related. Can you post a photo of your tank and measure it? We can determine how many gallons/liters it is by the dimensions. My guess is either the food is still stuck or maybe he picked up a piece of gravel or something trying to get the food out.

Please stop feeding the food that is too big for them and get a pellet that is the right size for your fish to avoid this happening in the future.
 
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ohhithere

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MacZ said:
You neither can give yourself a thumbs up nor make your own posts "best answer". So no worries there.

Well.. about how symptoms work, just use some common sense. And maybe a picture of the fish might help in this case, as would filling out the template.
oh, it’s awaiting moderation, hopefully itll be up in a sec. i just havent seen this kind of symptoms before and ive had 2 other goldfish for a year and a half with virtually no issues. The fish is like 1 inch-1.5 inches, fantail calico, i dont think its short bodied but too early to tell

image.jpg
heres a picture. i definitely won’t feed him large pellets again, for some reason i assumed he would wait till it was softened to eat it. i dont have substrate in the tank. i just checked the container im holding him in during quarantine and its a 14 gallon tote and i have it filled to the line

** hes also makes a kind of chewing motion with his mouth but it’s been like this for 8+ hours
 

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Hey, how long has he been in the quarantine tank? include a photo of how big the tank is.

Maybe it is something physical, but I think he could be in distress due to water quality. A build up of chemicals that you have been using + ammonia etc. If this is the case do a 75% water change for the tank he is in.
 
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ohhithere

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James105 said:
Hey, how long has he been in the quarantine tank? include a photo of how big the tank is.

Maybe it is something physical, but I think he could be in distress due to water quality. A build up of chemicals that you have been using + ammonia etc. If this is the case do a 75% water change for the tank he is in.
it has been 2 days. i think the ick is basically gone, I could do a large water change. We’ll see if that helps. If he’s choking on something, i dont think there’s really any way i can help him because hes so tiny. im just worried its a bacterial infection or somethig, but i have the meds for that if it is.

image.jpg
okay heres my setup. the filter is a 30 gal tetra the air pump is a 8 gal the heater is a 10 gal submersible tetra. i did a 75% water change, did not replace the medication and added 2 tbs of salt as recommended for disease healing on the bag. i made sure it was completely dissolved before adding. The tub is a 14 gallon tub but its not completely full as you can see. ill check on him in an hour and keep y’all posted.
 
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ohhithere

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Okay, so i just checked and its still an issue, let me know if you guys have any more ideas
 
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ohhithere

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Just throwing this out there, maybe an epsom salt bath would relax the muscles and if there’s anything in there it’ll allow it to be dislodged? I’ve heard if people doing epsom salt baths for fish which have backed up digestive tracts. Just an idea

or should i treat it for a possible bacterial mouth infection?
 

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Can you pick him up to look in his mouth? I wonder if something is stuck in there. Does his normal tank have gravel that he could have gotten stuck in his mouth? Or perhaps large food pellets? I think you need to look in the mouth, it sounds like something is mechanically stoping the jaw from working.
 
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ohhithere

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Megaanemp said:
Can you pick him up to look in his mouth? I wonder if something is stuck in there. Does his normal tank have gravel that he could have gotten stuck in his mouth? Or perhaps large food pellets? I think you need to look in the mouth, it sounds like something is mechanically stoping the jaw from working.
ive looked in his mouth before and i didn’t see anything. i dont have any gravel in the quarantine tank, but i did feed him pellets before this happened. I know they were definitely too large and im sort of thinking it may have caused an injury/infection and he may have lockjaw? I didnt do the fungal treatment but i dosed the tank with1 pack of furan 2 and im giving him an epsom salt bath to possibly dislodge anything stuck or relax the jaw muscles
 
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ohhithere

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ohhithere said:
ive looked in his mouth before and i didn’t see anything. i dont have any gravel in the quarantine tank, but i did feed him pellets before this happened. I know they were definitely too large and im sort of thinking it may have caused an injury/infection and he may have lockjaw? I didnt do the fungal treatment but i dosed the tank with1 pack of furan 2 and im giving him an epsom salt bath to possibly dislodge anything stuck or relax the jaw muscles
so it may have been a pellet but this has been going on for 24+ hours and i figured it would have disolved by now but idk.

Edit: also he hasn’t been eating and im worried about if he’ll be able to eat and stay alive long enough to figure this out. i dont know if there’s any way to feed him or what. i know bacterial infections can be stubborn
 

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ohhithere said:
so it may have been a pellet but this has been going on for 24+ hours and i figured it would have disolved by now but idk.

Edit: also he hasn’t been eating and im worried about if he’ll be able to eat and stay alive long enough to figure this out. i dont know if there’s any way to feed him or what. i know bacterial infections can be stubborn
Good point, the pellet probably would have dissolved if thats what it was. Is the fish still able to eat (sorry if you already said). Was the fish in any other tank at your house or did it go straight into the qt tank?
 

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It looks like lock jaw. If you look up lock jar goldfish on you tube or even google there’s a few ways to help treat lock jaw easily without any meds. In one article it says to gently use a small syringe filled with tank water and slowly move the tip of it back and fourth in the mouth to help loosen the jaw.
 
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ohhithere

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Megaanemp said:
Good point, the pellet probably would have dissolved if thats what it was. Is the fish still able to eat (sorry if you already said). Was the fish in any other tank at your house or did it go straight into the qt tank?
it was in a 10 gal with 2 snails before, temporarily, until i realized it had ick. he hasn't been eating. i might try feeding him repashy gel food tomorrow.
 
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ohhithere

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Desi said:
It looks like lock jaw. If you look up lock jar goldfish on you tube or even google there’s a few ways to help treat lock jaw easily without any meds. In one article it says to gently use a small syringe filled with tank water and slowly move the tip of it back and fourth in the mouth to help loosen the jaw.
oof, i read lock jaw has a super low survival rate especially with small fish. I’ll try the syringe method, idk if his mouth is even big enough to fit one though.
 

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ohhithere said:
oof, i read lock jaw has a super low survival rate especially with small fish. I’ll try the syringe method, idk if his mouth is even big enough to fit one though.
You can get 1 ml syringes from the pharmacy ( I use these for my guinea pigs meds) they are super narrow, hopefully they’re small enough. Sorry you're having to deal with this :(
 
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ohhithere

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Desi said:
It looks like lock jaw. If you look up lock jar goldfish on you tube or even google there’s a few ways to help treat lock jaw easily without any meds. In one article it says to gently use a small syringe filled with tank water and slowly move the tip of it back and fourth in the mouth to help loosen the jaw.
i think i have one of those, (tiny syringe) i just checked and im pretty sure that’ll be too big. I think im going to approach this by using antibiotics and epsom salt to relax the muscles and irradiate the bacteria. i havent seen this as a treatment method before but it makes sense since it’s a bacterial infection causing tightened muscles
 

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ohhithere said:
i think i have one of those, (tiny syringe) i just checked and im pretty sure that’ll be too big. I think im going to approach this by using antibiotics and epsom salt to relax the muscles and irradiate the bacteria. i havent seen this as a treatment method before but it makes sense since it’s a bacterial infection causing tightened muscles
What about using something else like a plastic chopstick or cake tester or meat thermometer. You just need something to wiggle the jaw with right?
 
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ohhithere

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Megaanemp said:
What about using something else like a plastic chopstick or cake tester or meat thermometer. You just need something to wiggle the jaw with right?
i was under the impression that you were supposed to squirt water on the sides of their mouth, but i might be wrong
 

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ohhithere said:
i was under the impression that you were supposed to squirt water on the sides of their mouth, but i might be wrong
Oh ok I though you just needed to wiggle the syringe to loosen the jaw, I could be totally wrong though!
 
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ohhithere

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Yo! Guys! Huge win, his mouth is functioning like normal now!!!! idk if what i did helped or it just fixed itself but cant really complain lol. The only thing is he hasn’t eaten anything yet and he doesn’t really swim around that much. he might be weak or sumn... any advice on how to get his strength up? i tried to feed him repashy gel food
 

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ohhithere said:
Yo! Guys! Huge win, his mouth is functioning like normal now!!!! idk if what i did helped or it just fixed itself but cant really complain lol. The only thing is he hasn’t eaten anything yet and he doesn’t really swim around that much. he might be weak or sumn... any advice on how to get his strength up? i tried to feed him repashy gel food
That great the jaw is working! Maybe he just needs to rest up for a bit, keep offering easy to eat foods every couple of hours maybe.
 
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ohhithere

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Megaanemp said:
That great the jaw is working! Maybe he just needs to rest up for a bit, keep offering easy to eat foods every couple of hours maybe.
okay, sounds good. i have quite a bit of salt in the tank... 2 tbs aquarium salt and 1 tbs epsom salt... should i try to dilute it? Also I have an antibiotic in there... 2 packs of furan 2 should I do a water change or would that make an the infection worse if there was one?
 

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ohhithere said:
okay, sounds good. i have quite a bit of salt in the tank... 2 tbs aquarium salt and 1 tbs epsom salt... should i try to dilute it? Also I have an antibiotic in there... 2 packs of furan 2 should I do a water change or would that make an the infection worse if there was one?
Honestly I’m not too sure I think it’s your call, perhaps if he had actual tetanus causing the lock jaw the salt may still be necessary? I’m no expert but i do know salt also causes a bit of stress. Hopefully someone else with another more experience will chime in here :)
 

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