When I left home on Friday to spend a couple days at the boyfriends for his birthday all was well with the fish. When I got home today and checked on them, I found something looked very off with Austin my new HM who was given to the rescue. Upon closer inspection it looks as if part of his lips are missing, if you look at him you can see his teeth, he was absolutely not like this on friday, and I cannot figure out what could have possibly caused such an extreme injury!
I am not sure what to do for him either, I have treated some crazy things, but never something like this. I don't know if he'll ever be able to eat or live a normal life after this... Right now I have begun treating with aquarium salt to hopefully stop any possible infection that may set in.
Any ideas? Thoughts? anyone seen anything like this before? Thanks in advance!
I don't know what this could possibly be... I would keep his water extremely clean, nice and warm, and watch for the slightest sign of infection. Can he eat?
So far he hasn't even bothered to try eating, I'm going to try him on some soft brine shrimp tonight. I know the pellets are probably to big right now. I have just never seen anything like this, I am completely stumped!
I once had a girl where her entire lower lip was eatten away. I assumed it was caused by columnaris but I honestly have NO IDEA what actually happened. I treated with maracyn 2 but no idea if it worked as she died due to extreme cold temps in the backseat of the car in the yukon. Only 2 that left alaska made it to NY alive. I think it was working though as she seemed to be doing better but I cant say for certain.
Like others said, it could be a disease or infection, but I wondered if he injured himself somehow while you were away. His mouth reminds me a tiny bit of when reptiles get raw noses from rubbing it repeatedly on mesh or something, poor baby! It difficult to tell in the pic, but on the right in the background along the side of the tank is there some sort of mesh grid (a tank divider maybe) in the tank? Also I was wondering what the thing in the background on the right side near or at the top of the photographs behind the edge of the net is? If there was another fish on the other side, maybe he tried to fight with it and had an accident with the divider. Or he kept rubbing (or chewing!?) on that or something in the tank, or snagged himself on something and tore some scales and flesh off trying to get free. Maybe there is just one little stone, plant leaf, wood splinter, filter, heater, or decoration malfunction, etc. with a sharp or jagged edge and he found it? Perhaps while he heals he should be in as minimalistic tank away as possible with no gravel or decorations, maybe just a live or silk floaty plant for cover and security, away from seeing other similar looking fish up close, to avoid either him re-injuring (if it is an injury) himself in the same way, or keep from aggravating it by poking around on the gravel etc and all the other things little fishies like to do. All of the other suggestions sound good too, hopefully with a little TLC and R nR he'll pull through!
There are numerous diseases and parasites that could cause this kind of damage, unfortunately. Columnaris (aka cotton-mouth), vibrio bacteria, external parasites . . . yuck, the list goes on. Most likely we're looking at a bacterial infection. If you want to treat it with medication, I would suggest API Furan-2 OR Seachem Kanaplex OR API Triple Sulfa if you aren't allergic to sulfa medications.
If you wish to go a holistic route for a while, then I'd suggest adding Kordon Fish Protector or another very good slime coat product, 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon to help ward off further infection, and Indian Almond leaf.
In the aftermath of setting up my sorority tank, I ended up with 2 deaths (my guess at this time is stress induced opportunistic infections) and...one girl alive but by the time I found her (she hid for 2 days) she was stuck on the filter intake and her lips were just like your guys.
She's a fighter. I turned off the filter to free her and put her in a 2 gallon KK. Her meds were Stresscoat, Indian Almond Leaf and AQ salt. Even from the start, she *wanted* to eat. Normal pellets are a no-go, but she does manage micro pellets by basically lunging at them and scooping them in. It's been 3 months now and the raw wounds are healed, but I imagine the lips will never be as they were. Her KK is now a fully planted mini tank and she does quite well for herself.
I'd suggest trying the micro pellets with your guy, and give him a clean environment to heal in. (Stresscoat, IAL or dried Oak in a pinch, and a 10 day course of AQ salt) Good luck - it's very possible he'll make it, just be prepared for him to require different food.
I came across this today while trying to read up for my fish. Maybe this is the problem:
MOUTH ROTFlesh eaten away around mouth.Saprolegnia fungus with Pseudomonas or Aeromonas bacteria.Use FUNGUS ELIMINATOR or BINOX.Can enter other aquariums by splashing water or using nets from infected aquarium. Clean nets with NET SOAK