SwordTail Problem - Ideas? Recommendations??

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vin

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I'vee got a young red swordtail that we've been raising since birth. I just noticed the other day that she appears to have an issue with her mouth being stuck open. She breaths rapidly and is hanging out in the current from the filter. She's lost weight indicating that she's not able to eat. I feel bad because I have no clue how to help her.

I checked several illness and disease charts, but none seem to address this condition. I'm thinking that she may have colided with another fish when feeding or perhaps she was involved in a fight.

All other fish are fine. No issues and water parameters are dead on.

Any ideas?
 

COBettaCouple

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does she have any spots on her? are her gills red? is she active & normal colored?
 
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vin

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So spots, no red gills. Weight loss is evident and her color isn't as vibrant and in fact she looks darker. Swimming, but not as actively as if normal. She's swimming in the current of the filter output without much energy. She doesn't appear to be able to eat.
 

COBettaCouple

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at least fish tb doesn't sound possible, or velvet.. if she has open sores with red edges or possible fin rot it could be ulcers & need a med for bacterial infections.

Lack of appetite, weight loss, small holes or eroding pits appearing in the head means Hole in Head Disease (Hexamita) if you think that fits her from your observations & you'd need a med for it like

If it's neither of those, please let me know how she's doing now and if there's any changes since your last post.
 
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vin

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Thanks, but that doesn't appear to be it. I thought it might be that too, but everything I've read says that Hole in Head occurs mostly in large ciclids, oscars and some larger gouramis....She doesn't have any of the other symptoms either....I'm at a total loss. I don't want to introduce medication to the tank for something without knowing what it is or exposing the other fish to something they don't need.
 

COBettaCouple

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is there any chance you could setup a hospital tank for her (and the other fish's safety in case it's a contagious thing)?
- vitachem could help & isn't a med.

if you were to go the meds route perhaps a maracyn & maracyn-2 combo would cover a lot of illnesses and maybe hers.. but it's really a guessing game at this point, unfortunately. i wish i knew what to treat with, but a quiet tank with vitamins might be all you can do for her now.. i'd also treat the water with Novaqua+ if possible to help out that way.
 
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vin

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I just took another look at her. Removed her into a small clear canister filled with tank water for a minute and it's definitely some sort ot jaw injury. She just can't close her mouth. The lower jaw is protruding causing her gills to work improperly. When she's in the tank she's swimming vigorously into the current and appears to be breathing this way.

I can try to set her up in a hostital tank, but it won't be an established one...So I'm not sure how much good it would do her and even with that, if her jaw is indeed broken, there's probably nothing I can do for her anyway....Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

COBettaCouple

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Hmm.. that's one i've not had any experience with unfortunately. hopefully someone here has advice for a jaw injury and what course to take.

I'd hate to say put her down if she can recover, because i like to give our fish EVERY chance possible to live, but then if she's going to starve to death then it's a dilemma. What I would hope is that her injury can heal and allow her to eat again.

The vitachem could be helpful to at least get vitamins into her to help her body have strength until she can recover and eat. Best of luck with her and I hope somehow she'll be able to eat and get recovered.
 
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vin

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Thanks. Can I use vitachem with any fish? Is it safe for gouramis, corys tetras, otos? Thanks for all of your assistence. It's much appreciated. I'd hate to see her starve because she's a real fighter.
 

sirdarksol

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I'm with BettaCouple on giving the fish a chance (and it sounds like you are too.) I don't know what to do about a jaw injury, but I do know that fish can go for a long time without food. They can also sometimes recover from unbelievable trauma.
My guess is the reason she was hanging out by the filter output is that she's having problems breathing for the same reason she's having problems eating. The water flow is pushing water past her gills without too much effort on her part.
I wonder if you could drop some food in right at the filter output while she's there. Something easy to swallow, like food for fry or ground up flakes. This might get her to accidentally swallow something, giving her extra energy to heal. This is completely theory. I've never heard of it being done, just came up with it while typing the above.

Another (potentially expensive) possibility would be to find and contact a fish-friendly vet and see what they suggest. I think swords might be too small to allow for surgery (I was amazed to find out that there are vets that do surgery on larger fish, like koi, to remove impactions and tumors) to help, but they might be able to move it back into place, if it is a broken/dislocated jaw. I have no idea. I have a koi magazine that lists a number of fish-friendly vets in America. If you live in the US and would like, I can look and find places near you.
 

COBettaCouple

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vin said:
Thanks. Can I use vitachem with any fish? Is it safe for gouramis, corys tetras, otos? Thanks for all of your assistence. It's much appreciated. I'd hate to see her starve because she's a real fighter.
The vitachem is safe for all fish as far as i know and i personally know people who've used it on otos and bettas so i'd feel safe using it on any fish i have.
 

chickadee

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Good for all aquatic life, all fish, snails, frogs, reptiles anything freshwater. Also has a saltwater formula for those things in saltwater environments.

Rose
 
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vin

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Thanks All! She's still fighting. I'll try the ground up flake food idea and pick up some vitachem today. We'll see what happens.
 

COBettaCouple

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I don't know much about those food blocks that are supposed to feed fish over a number of days.. do they just release regular food or do they essentially release liquid food into the water that fish absorb? would those blocks help this fish getting nutrients any?
 

sirdarksol

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The ones that I purchased had pellets in them (and pretty big pellets at that). I think there might be some that just dissolve into little bits of food, but I don't know how to tell the difference.
Another possibility would be food for filter feeders. It's naturally small.
 

COBettaCouple

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another idea that just occured to me is hikari freeze-dried daphnia.. it's so small and light that it might be relatively easy for her to catch and eat.
 
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vin

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Well, we finally lost her the other day...She hung in there for a pretty long time...Like a trooper she fought hard....The poor thing just couldn't eat though try as she might.....I tried the vitachem but I don't think that was enough nutrition for her....Oh well....I tried. Not sure what else I could have done.
 

COBettaCouple

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:'( we're sorry that you lost her. she did put up a real fight and you did all that you could for her.
 
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Thanks...She lasted nearly a month without eating and getting her only nutrition from the vitamins....
 

armadillo

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A month? Talk about not getting your hopes up. That's a long time to have a fish between life and death, I feel for you. What with the worry.
 
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