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A fishy survival story

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by gravity, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. gravity

    gravity New Member

    So... I'd decided to change the substrate in my 10g community tank at work. I'd never really liked the rocks and shells I had in there, so I was changing to black gravel. To do so without seriously disturbing the tank set up, I timed it with a water change AND filter pad change. I was using 1.5 gallon buckets to store the fish while I scrubbed the tank, cleaned out the old gravel and then carried everything back to my desk. While I was cleaning the tank, a zebra danio decided he didn't like the bucket and made a leap for freedom. Being down the hall, I didn't see it. After I added the first bucket of water back to the tank, I happened to glance down and see a dried, curled up little fish under a rack of files.

    I'd had problems with disappearing fish with this tank, and seeing the fish like that I assumed that it was one of the fish that had been missing for months. I casually grabbed a paper towel and picked up the 'corpse' to throw it away. Just as I was reaching the garbage can, I remembered some of the survival stories I'd read online, so I chucked him in the bucket and he immediately started breathing, albeit upside down without swimming. After a few minutes, he sank to the bottom of the tank (my heart sank with him), but when he hit the bottom he flipped himself over and moved one of his fins. It's now been 30 minutes and he's swimming around just like old times, although I'm hesitant to add him to the tank quite yet.
  2. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    wow, thats pretty cool......i havnt had a fish try that yet on me.
  3. Ellie

    Ellie New Member

    That's quite the story maybe next time when you out your fish in a bucket you should put a net or something over top of it. The Zebra Danio is a pretty Lucky fish. You should call him Lucky
  4. dude412

    dude412 New Member

    i have a lil feeder guppie as a pet named lucky because i was cleaning there lil 3 gallon when he to took a leap of faith for the sink i tried to catch him but he slammed into the edge of the sink pretty hard so he was rolling for the drain or flopping i should say so i grabed him by his tail fin and i crushed his tail not him and i threw him in the tank and he seemed fine he same o.k not near as good as beforebut he is now alive and well for over 6 months
  5. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    I had the same sort of experience with a dwarf gourami many years ago. I came home from school and discovered someone (probably me) left the lid open, and the fish was on the floor, dried out and crisp, with dog hair dried to his body. Being a kid, I just scooped him up and plopped him back in the tank. My sister asked me why I put a dead fish back in the tank, and I really didn't know. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time.

    Sure enough, within half an hour, he was swimming around. A bit wobbly, but swimming. He lived at least a year after that.
  6. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    thats pretty crazy....i wonder how they manage to do that.....maybe kc5gvn will know if he sees this thread?
  7. kc5gvn

    kc5gvn New Member

    grnlemonade, The best that I can offer is pure conjecture. I would speculate that as the outer skin dries the slime coating that helps protect them against small changes in water conditions begins to seal the skin tissue keeping them from dehydrating internally. Even though the outside is dehydrated, internally they are still hydrated. When they are put back into the tank the water rehydrates the outer skin and loosens the slime coating again. What is harder to understand is that, in that condition they go into heavy breathing which damages the gill plates. Again this is just speculation.
    There is however a species of catfish, the Clarus (walking catfish) that has been known to actually travel on dry land and shimmy from one lake to another because of it's ability to retain moisture. The story that I have heard regarding the Clarus is that they were in an experimental lake in Florida and actually traveled across a highway into a stock (gameing) lake and as a result have been outlawed here.
  8. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    wow, that explanation actually sounds pretty good.....how long of keeping the fish out of water until it starts damaging the gills? sometimes when im moving my FH's from place to place, i stop and take a picture of them in my hand so i can get better color and less movement as compared to free swimming in a tank.
  9. kc5gvn

    kc5gvn New Member

    It's not so much the time out of water that causes the damage. It's the rapid breathing that causes the damage. It's the same type situation that you get when tank water gets fouled. The fish start to breathe rapidly which damages the gill plates. Then after you get the water all straightened out and everything appears to be running fine, all of a sudden two weeks later you have a fish that dies for no apparent reason. The reason for it was two weeks before when the water was bad and he was breathing rapidly for an extended period of time. The damage that was done to the gill plates hampered his ability to process oxygen.

    Again, regarding the dehydration, that is just speculation, not fact.
  10. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    oh, alrite....like i said, sometimes i have to take my fish out of water to get a better look at them, like lastnite i thoguh one of my fry had funguys, but he moved to quickly in the 80 gallon so i had to net him and take him out to get a better look at him....he was only out of water for 30 seconds tops, would that have any damage do you think?
  11. kc5gvn

    kc5gvn New Member

    No, it's just the extended rapid breathing that becomes a problem.
  12. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    oh, alrite thanks.....didnt you used to work in a fish store or something for years? if not, how do you know all of this?
  13. kc5gvn

    kc5gvn New Member

    I worked two pet shops and one wholesale fish supply over a period of thirteen years and I've had home aquaria for about thirty-five years.

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