Help on adjusting a new and very stressed fish?
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:37 PM   #1
TurtleShark
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Help on adjusting a new and very stressed fish?


We were out ice fishing today. Normaly, had it been summer, I wouldn't be having as many issues as I am now.

Well, we were catching Sun Fish and Blue Gills, both of which look similar with the sunfish having a yellow belly. They are both a dark green and black color. But, I managed to catch a small, blue blue gill. The fish is nearly purple in color. Never have I seen a blue gill that was blue...

Anyway, I decided to try and keep it and put it in with my turtle. The tank is a 30 gallon tank, and would be temperary should this fish survive. I have a 55 gallon, but one of the fish has a little growing to do before I can put such a big (5-6 inch) fish in that tank.

Anyway, I've had it in just enough water for it to breath. I haven't dared to put any more in it. Chlorine is too much of an issue here at my house. Finally, I've managed to get home and get some of the turtle's tank water tested (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) and I've tested the pH of the water the fish was in.

Here's the specifics of the fish's jouney.
Caught (hooked on the lip.)
Tossed on ice.
Put in a plastic bag filled slightly with lake water and floating in the hole in the ice.
Picked up, taken to car.
Driven about 5 miles to my grandparent's house.
Put in a large CoolWhip container with a little bit of tap water (their water does not have cholorine.)
Driven about 15 miles in that container (too small for the fish to swim correctly.)
Put in a 1 gallon ice cream bucket at my parent's house.
Bucket filled 1/3 of the way with the water from the coolwhip and some bottled water.
Driven about 20 miles.
Water teseted.
2 cups of water added to bucket.

The fish is floating, barely breathing, but is responsive. I know I have to get it into the tank asap, but with the fish being in water with a pH a little lower than the turtle's tank, I've got to do this slowly.

Any help would be appreciated! The fish is large enough that the turtle will not bother with it. Turtle's tank came out with 0 ammonia and nitrite and a nitrate of less than 40. Turtle's pH is about 8.2, fish's is about 7.4 .

Any tips on reducing stress???
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:57 PM   #2
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Just began floating the bucket to see if I can't get the water tempeartures to equalize quicker.

I'm going to do another pH test on the fish so I can see where we are at there in a few minutes. It needs a break from the move from the floor into the tank.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:23 PM   #3
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Anyone at all out there that could offer some help? The water temps. are nearly equal, now all I need is that pH test done. Fish is no longer responsive. I'm going to get it in the tank asap...
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:54 PM   #4
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Swim bladder? Can that be caused by stress? Is that why it's floating? If so, how do I help the fish? Would a little MelaFix help at all?
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:25 AM   #5
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Have you checked if it's legal to keep a wild caught sunfish/blue gill in your state?
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:42 AM   #6
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I can't think of anything you haven't already done. I suspect the huge temperature change, plus all the other stresses the fish went through were just too much for it.

I tried keeping a sunfish that came into my irrigation ditch in the past, but it wouldn't eat anything I had available so I took it to a pond nearby.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:38 AM   #7
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Yes, it's legal.

And, neither can I... Right now it's laying sideways on the bottom of the tank. The turtle's taking advantage of it's weakness, as well, I'm afraid. I really doubt it'll make it till morning. I can't move it to a different tank, there's to big of a risk that the fish will get sick and die because of it. I've never had my turtle around fish before, I guess this was the test. If I want to keep a bluegill, I'm going to have to start smaller with something that would be fine in a 10 gallon so I can quarantine it. But, that fish is simply too big for a 10, and my quarantine tank is already in use. Oh well... I hate to give up but there's not much I can do at this point.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:55 AM   #8
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I think I'll just have to put it down. It's been a good 3 hours now and I can't take watching it gasp like that and be picked on by the turtle. He's left the fish alone, for now, but what when I go to sleep? No. I'll just put it out of it's misery and give my brother some lunch tomorrow, as horrible as that sounds. That's why we were catching fish in the first place, and it's a whole lot better than having it just waste it's life being buried in a whole, right? Sorry if the fact that we are going to eat it upsets anyone, I don't mean to. I just would prefer not to let the fish go to waste rotting somewhere. This was a learning experience, and now I know I've got to be a whole lot more careful when I get fish to bring home; and make sure they are not nearly 7 inches long and in freezing water when I get them...
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55 gallon -- 2 bala sharks, 8 tiger barbs, 1 rainbow shark // 29 gallon -- 1 four inch painted turtle // 10 gallon -- many small ramshorn snails, 2 plants, 5 serpae tetra, 2 guppies, 2 nerite snails // 10 gallon -- 6 mollies // 10 gallon -- nothing // 2 gal Jar -- 2 endlers, plants, snails // Recent losses / gains -- 2 male endlers
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