My worst affected fish were rainbows, and they went into a Q tank (so the lion share of the ick would drop into a bare bottom tank to be vacuued up). I treated the main and the Q with 50% strength Rid Ick, lots of water changes and vaccums and heat. I lost a lot of cool catfish, my 2 largest clown loaches, a rainbow and a 4" Giant Danio. It was a horrific experience. We are on the road to recovery, and I am breaking down the Q tank, and the rainbows went back to the main tank. While I was drip acclimating the rainbows back to their tank, the male jumped out. I was distracted, and didn't see him and by the time I found him he was dry and stiff. He had been on the carpet 10-20 minutes -- can't believe the cats didn't tell me! I put him in a breeder in the tank and he floated upside down with no signs of life. His eyes were clear and he didn't smell, so I thought he could be revived. Clear eyes and the sniff test are my ways of figuring out if a fish is dead. I held him in my hand face up into the flow of the filter. I held him there for 1/2 hour, my arm in the water, me standing next to the tank. No signs of life. I continued to hold him in my fist, face in the filter flow, and ten minutes later a fin twitched. I checked. I thought it might have been the water. Took a look and pectoral fin feebly waved in the water. I continued to hold him in the filter for ten more minutes. I put him in the breeder and he floated upside down. I held him another 10 minutes, and put him in the breeder propped up with plants, and he floated right side up. 1/2 an hour later, he was moving. He was bumping the breeder, so I let him out. He started to hang out with the other rainbows, stayed near the top, ate a little dinner. This morning he is swimming normally. I won't say he has survived, unless he is with me for two weeks, but it looks good. Certainly better than when I found him on the carpet.
I learned the sniff test when I had my water go bad a couple years ago. I had two lifeless B striatas. I took them and put them in a Q tank with high oxygen and clean water. Their bodies floated to the bottom. But they didn't smell and their eyes were clear. The next morning they were swimming normally. I still have them.
I had a yoyo jump the tank a few years ago, and I missed it. I found out when I stepped on her. Augh! I put her back in the tank, held her under the flow, and she is still with me, two or three years later.
When I first brought banjos home I thought they died in the bag. I could pick them up out of the water and not even a twitch. Floated sideways, upside down in the water, . . . and then scooted away.
What a fantastic save, and I am so glad that you shared it with us.
Really, the only way we learn is by our mistakes and experience (and by hearing from others willing to share what they have learned through amazing experiences like this).
I have been lucky (not a lot of jumpers, or really horrible illnesses, other than relentless ich)
I'll bet you felt like a MILLION bucks when that guy started to LIVE again!!!
Everytime I have a near fatality I post about it, so people can learn from my mistakes. I worry about the fish I have tossed that may have been alive.
A month ago I had a panda garra get stuck in the hole of one of the coconut shells. I had to cut the coconut with wire cutters, but happily he got free. He's with me too. He had horrible abrasions and a bit of swelling, and I am sure he was uncomfortable for a while. He is just fine now.
I haven't had ick in so long, I didn't even recognize it. That's why I lost so many fish. I had started losing fish before I realized the problem. But things are better. Thank goodness for Q tanks and cycled filters. I have extra filters on every tank, so I can just pop them on a tank, and I am ready to have a Q.
I found that foolish pleco on the floor underneath a shelf behind the tank stand, completely covered in dust and completely dry to the touch. I estimate that he had been out of the tank 4-5 hours at least.
Back into the tank he went (after I rinsed the dust off), and he lived several more years after that. Needless to say, I filled in the gaps in the tank lid...
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