Would You Euthanize At This Point?

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
I've had this Silver Dollar for about 9-10 years. A few weeks ago everything was fine. The fish was eating and living the life. Then we have an earthquake in LA area(5.3). The SD freaked and jammed itself upside down between two rocks and played dead (silver dollars actually play dead in stressful situations). I gently freed her and it just sat in the corner breathing rapidly for an hour or so. Everything went downhill from then on. First thing I noticed is the fish stopped eating. It still swims normally and doesn't look like its injured. It has also became very aggressive towards the other silver dollars (the rest are juveniles and only been in the tank for 8 months). All it does is chase the other SD's away from the one corner of the aquarium(her territory)all day long. She also became extremely skittish. I know SD's are skittish to begin with, but this fish is flipping out to any movement I make even 10 feet away from the aquarium. Any time I get up there is a 50/50 chance she will dart across the tank and jam itself up between rocks/plants. It has never behaved this way before the earthquake incident. At this point its in stress mode majority of the day and because she is not eating she is getting thin. Not sure how she has the strength to chase the other SD's.

I'm not sure what to do. It appears healthy but is not eating and is constantly freaking out. I rearranged the plants/rocks to give it more hiding places, but it hasn't helped.

Would you euthanize at this point or give it more time? Earthquake incident occurred on Apr. 5th. So it has been some time now and things are not improving.
 

shiv234

Well Known Member
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
566
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
Honestly.....all i can say is use your judgement here. If she has not eaten since the 5th, she should be emaciated. Can we see a picture?
 

Iridium_2256

Valued Member
Messages
193
Reaction score
48
Points
53
Experience
5 to 10 years
Stress isn't a killer disease, but it can be a pain. If you have the option too,maybe try put her in a different tank by herself for a while with some good hiding places, see if she comes around. Frankly i would be pretty nervous for a while after an earthquake of 5.3.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
shiv234 said:
Honestly.....all i can say is use your judgement here. If she has not eaten since the 5th, she should be emaciated. Can we see a picture?
Best I can take without making the fish flip out any more than she already is.
iypYQyp.jpg
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I kept silver dollars for 14+ years and I had several that lived over 10 years and one for over 14.

Sometimes they do get a little psychotic.

I would try letting the water down and rearranging everything in the tank plus add some more plants or something so it seems like a totally different place to the fish.

The only thing I can figure is that she doesn't feel safe in that place anymore and you must make it feel like a different place to her.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
As I mentioned in my first post, I did rearrange the aquarium to make more hiding spots for her. It hasn't helped.

It looks like she's getting worse. Today I noticed that about every hour or so she will shoot up to the surface and take a single gulp of air and then darts down. She's breathing and swimming normally for the most part, but at times it looks like she loses balance for a second or two and then continues on swimming like nothing happened. It's really weird. It has to be an injury from the initial freak out during the earthquake. The next few days do not look promising for her.
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I've had silver dollars hide in the corner of the tank nose down behind the pump.

I had to literally remove them with my hand as well, because they were wedging the plastic lift tubes apart from the undergravel tray.

All I can say is that the cleanest water you can give her is probably the only thing you can do.

Even if it doesn't save her she might pass more comfortably.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Just a quick update. The fish is progressively getting worse. Lots of upside down swimming and jamming itself into plants. It became pretty restless last night and spent the whole night swimming back and forth and resting up against plants/rocks for a few minutes at a time. I don't have another tank to put her in, but I have a 15gal container that I will be transferring her into. I have a filter and heater already going in the container. My dilemma is if I should start some sort of treatment? I have no clue what is happening to the fish, whether it's an injury or some sort of infection. I guess I'll let her settle in the quarantine container for a day or two and maybe start antibiotic treatment? :emoji_expressionless:
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I think this fish has eaten something in the past 25 days, else it would have perished or visibly be on death's door.

Have you tried to observe Its Behavior in very low-light conditions?

I think a silver dollar can survive on fish poop alone.
 

MissRuthless

Well Known Member
Messages
753
Reaction score
386
Points
78
Experience
5 years
I would not euthanize a fish because it is stressed, and I would not advise antibiotics because the fish is not presenting with an infection.

Do you have enough filter media in your tank to seed the new filter for her? If not, are you using prime? That would be helpful in case of an ammonia spike - but if you can spare even a bit of media I'd think you wouldn't need much for just her. You should add as many plants to the container as possible, preferably some floaters so she has cover, but obviously nothing she can get stuck in or under. Keep it covered with something dark at night, and something lighter during the day so she can see, but isn't being startled or stressed by movement around her. No lights. Don't keep it on the floor, put it up on a table with a blanket or egg crate or something under it to reduce the vibrations of nearby footsteps.

Have you offered her any live or thawed frozen foods? She'll be more likely to accept something like that than flakes or other dry foods. You could also try soaking whatever you offer in garlic juice - not only does it make the food more appetizing, but it's also a natural immune system booster.

It's probably not anything to do with it, but just in case, what are your water parameters?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Ulu said:
I think this fish has eaten something in the past 25 days, else it would have perished or visibly be on death's door.

Have you tried to observe Its Behavior in very low-light conditions?

I think a silver dollar can survive on fish poop alone.
I've been watching her daily. I honestly have not seen her bite at anything. Completely ignoring food floating by her. She got pretty thin in the last week or so. I can see her belly sucked in.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
MissRuthless said:
I would not euthanize a fish because it is stressed, and I would not advise antibiotics because the fish is not presenting with an infection.

Do you have enough filter media in your tank to seed the new filter for her? If not, are you using prime? That would be helpful in case of an ammonia spike - but if you can spare even a bit of media I'd think you wouldn't need much for just her. You should add as many plants to the container as possible, preferably some floaters so she has cover, but obviously nothing she can get stuck in or under. Keep it covered with something dark at night, and something lighter during the day so she can see, but isn't being startled or stressed by movement around her. No lights. Don't keep it on the floor, put it up on a table with a blanket or egg crate or something under it to reduce the vibrations of nearby footsteps.

Have you offered her any live or thawed frozen foods? She'll be more likely to accept something like that than flakes or other dry foods. You could also try soaking whatever you offer in garlic juice - not only does it make the food more appetizing, but it's also a natural immune system booster.

It's probably not anything to do with it, but just in case, what are your water parameters?
I did add one of the foam pads from the filter in the tank she came from, and I am using prime. I'll be monitoring for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and doing frequent PWC. I have offered just about all the food on the menu to her including live white worms. She absolutely shows no interest in food. She is breathing rapidly and just pacing back and forth. When I transferred her to the container I took a good look at her and saw no obvious injury or any signs of infection. At the same time I don't think it's just stress. It more and more sounds like an internal injury. I guess only time will tell. Can't treat her as I don't know what's wrong with her. I'll just keep the water as clean as possible and let nature take its course.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
MissRuthless said:
I would not euthanize a fish because it is stressed, and I would not advise antibiotics because the fish is not presenting with an infection.

Do you have enough filter media in your tank to seed the new filter for her? If not, are you using prime? That would be helpful in case of an ammonia spike - but if you can spare even a bit of media I'd think you wouldn't need much for just her. You should add as many plants to the container as possible, preferably some floaters so she has cover, but obviously nothing she can get stuck in or under. Keep it covered with something dark at night, and something lighter during the day so she can see, but isn't being startled or stressed by movement around her. No lights. Don't keep it on the floor, put it up on a table with a blanket or egg crate or something under it to reduce the vibrations of nearby footsteps.

Have you offered her any live or thawed frozen foods? She'll be more likely to accept something like that than flakes or other dry foods. You could also try soaking whatever you offer in garlic juice - not only does it make the food more appetizing, but it's also a natural immune system booster.

It's probably not anything to do with it, but just in case, what are your water parameters?
Forgot the water parameters. I did check 2 days ago as I started to wonder if my parameters were out of whack. However, ammonia is at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrate less than 20ppm, pH is right at 7
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I'm sorry but it doesn't sound like she is going to come out of it.

I doubt if it is internal injuries or she would not have lived this long.

I don't think exotic foods will tempt this fish if it hasn't had food for almost a month.

She probably has less than 5 days.
 

MissRuthless

Well Known Member
Messages
753
Reaction score
386
Points
78
Experience
5 years
I agree that it doesn't seem she's injured internally - maybe she is just too old to handle that level of stress, and she was maybe close to her end anyway and this just was a bit much for her. I still don't think I would euthanize, not yet anyway. Just try to keep her covered, comfortable and out of the way where she won't be bumped or disturbed. I don't agree that she will definitely not come out of it or ever eat again and is for sure on her deathbed, though it's possible. I have been very surprised quite a few times in my history with fish.

If you need to add something to a post right after you post it, please use the edit link instead of repeatedly posting.
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
This is always a tough situation and particularly if you had a fish for a long time.

I have had two sick fish in a hospital tank for several weeks now and one of them finally passed away last night.

Honestly, they were in poor shape and I did not think they would live this long.

But I had done every reasonable thing for these fish. They didn't appear to suffer enormously but they probably do. Nevertheless I could not bring myself to euthanize them.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Fish is still alive and is not getting any better, but it doesn't seem like it's getting worse either. Since she's in a plastic container I can't tell if she's eating any of the food. I do see that she has no interest in food directly in front of her. But maybe she nibbles on it from time to time? I don't know. She still flips out from time to time and wedges herself between the filter intake tube, sometimes in the upright position and sometimes upside down. Few minutes later she will swim normally until the next freak out. Very puzzling. At this point I'm thinking of putting her back in the main tank. I rearranged it some more and added a couple of big fake plants. I would think being with the other silver dollars would be better than being alone. I don't think it's any kind of infection so the other fish should be OK with her in the tank.

What do you guys think?
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
It's tough buddy. I had to euthanize one of my tetra this morning because after being sick for several months he finally could not swim upright.

There were problems with other fish from this brood as well, and I suspect again, very weak genetics.

I have had tetras on and off over the course of 40 years and I have never seen it this bad.

I have 6 tetras from another brood in a separate tank and they are doing fabulous. I still have 3 QT fish, and only one of them looks perfect.

One of them has a crooked spine and one of them is just puny. Out of 10 serpae tetra purchased last October, I think one will turn out to be a really good fish.

The six new ones I've only had for 3 weeks so no telling yet, but they went in a sterile tank and have had nothing but the best so far. Low stocking, constant fresh water, and the best quality food.

Okay it wasn't quite sterile. I did a fast cycle on it with media from a healthy tank. Also I gave them some low-dose prophylactic meds, even though they didn't appear to need anything.

Sorry to rant on so, but no I wouldn't euthanize IF you think she can make it in the general population.

But if she appears to swim Tipsy to the other fish they will bite her.

At that point they may get infected.

If it's an infection, or if she is infected in addition to another problem . . . but I think you may have a case of nervous system damage caused by swimming top speed and smacking head first into a glass wall, compressing the entire spine.
 

Ulu

Well Known Member
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
996
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I do recall now that I had a silver dollar that refuse to eat for nearly 60 days before he died. He was over 10 years old.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #20

UnderwaterGalaxy

Valued Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
40
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Update.

So after being more than 2 weeks in the container and not showing any improvement I decided to put the fish back in the tank yesterday. After I put her back in the tank I realized how terrible she looked. Basically, she was swimming upside down the entire day and could not go down as if she had a swimming bladder issue. She just kept trying to lodge herself between plants so she wouldn't bounce around in the aquarium. Rapidly breathing and just looking hopeless overall. This went on the entire day and night up until I went to sleep around 12AM. I thought she would be done by morning or I would have to put her down and end her suffering.

I woke up around 7am and quickly glanced at the aquarium. Lo and behold, the fish is swimming normally as if nothing ever happened. She is A LOT more calmer and is staying upright and swimming normally. Breathing is back to normal and she is swimming with the rest of SDs. However, she is still not eating. She is REALLY thin. I am starting to see the outline of her ribs(poor girly). I will be trying food soaked in garlic juice today. I have new hope. She is definitely a fighter
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom