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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning aquarists.

I have 3 years experience with saltwater aquariums. I have multiple reef tanks, but I’m new to planted tanks, and freshwater in general. I have a heavily planted 29 gallon aquarium with 11 Neon Tetras, 6 Black Skirt Tetras, 3 Otocinclus Catfish, 1 Hillstream Loach, 10 Ghost Shrimp, 5 Cherry Shrimp, and 2 blue shrimp. I run one bubble/ second of CO2 and Thrive Ferts. My Water parameters are Temp: 74*, pH: 7, Nitrate: 15-20, Ammonia:0, Nitrite:0. I’m also treating the tank with Paraguard as an Ich preventative measure.

One of the Neon Tetras has isolated from the group and has been swimming by himself in the corner of his tank this morning. He (assumed gender) had no lesions yesterday, but today his mouth looks like he got in a fight with a blender. It doesn’t look “cottony” compared to the pictures of the Cotton Mouth photos I’ve found online. Does anyone know what is going on?

Thank you in advance.
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I would just make sure the water is super clean and a little on the warm side (a couple of degrees higher than the tank he was in before) you could add a little aquariums salt and make him comfortable (keep lights low/off, keep the tank in a quiet corner in a room with very little activity). If your lfs has frozen bloodworms or live bloodworms and seachem nourish you could attempt to get him to suck a couple down using a mixture of the nourish and thawed or live bloodworms using a pipette. I managed to save a pearlscale fantails goldfish that way that had half its face bitten off by a red eared slider. She sounded like she trying to suck a marble through a straw (loud kissing like noise) every time she ate but she managed to live for 8 1/2 years with not mouth and only one eye.... But that would be the exception, not the rule. If you're up for giving it a shot go ahead, but the likeliness of survival is minimal, unfortunately.
 

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I wouldn't use reef salt, completely different chemical makeup. It's really just a matter of keeping the water as clean and stable as possible and trying to get him to eat. Bloodworms are my usual go to for attempting to get tetras to eat and the nourish is like a vitamin boost. The picture isn't head on so I can't tell if the whole jaw is gone or not but he is in pretty bad shape. If he does make it you're probably going to have to feed him separate from the rest of your shoal as he will likely not be able to suck food down as quick as the rest of your fish. I wish you the best of luck!!
 

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Can the fish still eat? If he can't eat it's best to euthanize him instead of letting him starve to death. One easy and humane way to euthanize a fish is freeze it. just put it in the freezer for about 10 mins and the deed is done. I do wish you luck though! We gotta hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
 

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Can the fish still eat? If he can't eat it's best to euthanize him instead of letting him starve to death. One easy and humane way to euthanize a fish is freeze it. just put it in the freezer for about 10 mins and the deed is done. I do wish you luck though! We gotta hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
This is not a humane way to euthanize a fish. The humane way to euthanize a fish is to use clove oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: The fish died early this morning. I wasn’t able to get aquarium salt because the roads are iced over pretty bad in Dallas. I also lost a Zebra Fire Fish from my reef tank this morning. He just jumped right through the lid. Pretty frustrating day so far.
 

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Update: The fish died early this morning. I wasn’t able to get aquarium salt because the roads are iced over pretty bad in Dallas. I also lost a Zebra Fire Fish from my reef tank this morning. He just jumped right through the lid. Pretty frustrating day so far.
Ah, Im sorry. The fish looked like it was a goner. Really wasnt anything could do because was a severe injury.
 

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Update: The fish died early this morning. I wasn’t able to get aquarium salt because the roads are iced over pretty bad in Dallas. I also lost a Zebra Fire Fish from my reef tank this morning. He just jumped right through the lid. Pretty frustrating day so far.
I'm so sorry for your losses!! I hope your day gets better!!
 

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Oh, I was told by my local vet that freezing the really any small animal (such as mouse, rat or even fish) was humane because they would just be cold for a minute or so and then fall asleep, and die.
I've never heard of that before. I'll admit my form of euthanizing isn't very "humane" either- I feed my deathly injured to my turtles. My sick ones I never have the heart to euthanize and treat them until they pass on their own.
 

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Oh, I was told by my local vet that freezing the really any small animal (such as mouse, rat or even fish) was humane because they would just be cold for a minute or so and then fall asleep, and die.
Since fish are cold blooded, it is a natural function to sink into torpor as the temperature drops. I don’t believe they would feel discomfort if frozen, although a mammal most certainly would.
 
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