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Old 05-05-2012, 04:54 PM   #1 
Pataflafla
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Sick Lake Catfish

So my sister went over to a friend of hers that she works with because the lady got a brand new 125 gallon tank.

she came home with a sick catfish. A short google search leads us to the images of the bullhead catfish.

So this little guy, he's only maybe 4 inches long, is clamped up, had white patches, and his a pale goldish color up near his head while the rest of his body is black. his barbels look wispy and a little messed up.

I'm playing the bad guy here and saying we should euthanize him since he was received in this condition by his current owner and we don't have the space or funds to house him while he gets better and afterwards (My sister is terrible about letting go).

Since my sister is determined to help him, however, what can we do to help him?
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:37 PM   #2 
Sakura8
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The white patches are probably excess slime coat. Is he wild-caught? A switch from native waters to domestic waters could easily stress him out. Do you know more of his history at all? Like how long she had him and what his care was?

Don't bullheads get uhm . . . huge?
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:50 PM   #3 
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I've got no info on previous history unfortunately.

If he is a bullhead, they're known to be a little aggressive and try to eat anything they think will fit in their mouth. They typically grow to 25 inches.

Apparently the lady my sister just got him from has another in the tank that is healthier too.

she's got good intentions, but I don't see us being able to mend him up since we only have a 5 gallon to spare at the moment.

he's already too big to be in the 5 gallon as is since he's similar in size to the two sharks she brought home to mend up a few months ago, and they had trouble turning around in the 5 gallon.

We unfortunately don't have the money to buy him a giant tank like he should be in. We already took in a cat from her work since no one wanted her with an unkown food allergy, double hip dysplasia, and a bulldog face.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:57 PM   #4 
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Poor cat. Your sister has a real soft spot, doesn't she? But unfortunately, I would agree with you. I was under the impression bullheads typically lived in ponds because of their size and aggression. Even if you did mend him, you would almost certainly need to rehome him somehow.

Mending him may be difficult without knowing his history. If he's wild caught, he might have very specific food preferences, ie live fish. He might also react poorly to proprietary medications. You could try him in a dose of AQ salt at 1 tsp per gallon and see how he does and if that clears up his slime coat problem. His barbels would probably heal in clean water over time. My main concern is that he has a bacterial infection and some possible external parasites that are causing the slime coat problem. AQ salt should help but I also know that some catfish are extremely sensitive to salts. I don't know if bullheads fall into that category.

Unfortunately, I would tend to agree with you that euthanasia may be this fellow's best option. :( It would also spare him from a life of being kept in a tank that will most certainly be too small for him. Even the lady's 125g will become too small for a mature and healthy bullhead.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:27 AM   #5 
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I'm assuming he might fall into the sensitive category since he does not have scales.

She does have quite the soft spot, but this new cat is quickly becoming my cat since she likes to sleep with me and eat in my room.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:31 PM   #6 
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This lady friend of your sister's kind of needs to do some research on size before she acquires more fish. Everything I'm reading says they're mainly pond fish. And they "may" take prepared foods. Evidently live foods are their favorites.
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