Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

  • andirisyad
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andirisyad created the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

Heyas people recently i caught my 8 inch oscar stuck in a cave like structure with his top spines and two antennae shaped fin on its belly lodged on either side of the cave. i wrestled him out using two fingers and after 5 minutes he got out but i broke several of his top spines and both of his lower fin-thing that has bones in it :blush: it happened 3 nights ago and i noticed after the event he ain't swimming as fast as he used to and he doesnt move around from one spot to another except for feeding. also when he is swimming i noticed his head is facing down no matter which direction he's heading. could it be i have accidentally broken his swim bladder too alongside few of his spines while i was wrestling him out of the cave? if so, can his swim bladders (and spines) heal overtime? usually he recovers out of injuries rather quickly so how come after 3 days his spines are still bleeding (albeit very lightly).

He is in a 150 gallon tank together with a 8 inch long alligator gar, 10 inch long silver arowana and a pair of 4 inch long red parrot chiclid. i do water change twice a week (25% midweek, 50% every weekend) and 80% water change every month. I put 2 tbspoon of salt every water change. just thought you guys might want to know. thanks :)
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OFL replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

hi there, it really depends on how damaged the fins are. If they have been severely damaged at the base then it may not heal completely, very difficult to say without seeing it, even then no one can really tell until the fish has had time to recover.Obviously if the fish has had some kind of trauma to its body, it might find it difficult to swim around so just be a little patient and wait a couple of days.

As for the swim bladder, I doubt very much whether you have done anything to harm it. It might just be because the fins are not quite right that he is swimming strangely. If you have damaged to swim bladder then I think the fish would probably be in quite a bad state and may not even feed. Just see what happens in a few days time, keep an eye on the fish, that's just take everything goes back to normal

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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CalebZachary replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

I agree with Penn. But there is another issue we should talk;

Your tank is well overstocked. I'm sure you know how big arrowana's get. I'd get the arrowana a new tank soon. The BP's and Oscar would be fine in there.

Best of luck. :)
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robham7770 replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

I agree with Penn, only time will tell, and I also agree with Caleb somewhat. The arrow is the least of your worries, alligator gar can grow to 10 feet, and unless you plan on donating it to a public aquarium I can't see that working out very long. They are native fish in my area.
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CalebZachary replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

@Rob, I had no idea they got so large! Wow!
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robham7770 replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

CalebZachary wrote: @Rob, I had no idea they got so large! Wow!


Yep, they get massive. I assume there are other gars on the market that don't grow as large, but as bad as I want one, I would never get one of these(sold $40 at 18' at my LFS).

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  • Darth Nandopsis
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

Usually when fish wedge themselves in somewhere, they can get out. If it happens again, wait a few hours before you attempt anything, as you can do more harm than good, as you found out.

Yup, severely overstocked. And there is no reason to add salt to freshwater aquarium, barring disease. I would stop that practice immediately.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

Also may not hurt to separate him from the others while he is healing for a little while.
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  • andirisyad
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andirisyad replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

CalebZachary wrote: I agree with Penn. But there is another issue we should talk;

Your tank is well overstocked. I'm sure you know how big arrowana's get. I'd get the arrowana a new tank soon. The BP's and Oscar would be fine in there.

Best of luck. :)



yes thanks i do know arowanas get massive (used to have a 3 footer back in my home country and he lives on a pond) and i'm already starting to look for 250-300g+ aquarium around the net. problem is in dubai they don't really sell massive aquariums unless you speficially order them to be custom made for you :S

Darth Nandopsis wrote: Usually when fish wedge themselves in somewhere, they can get out. If it happens again, wait a few hours before you attempt anything, as you can do more harm than good, as you found out.

Yup, severely overstocked. And there is no reason to add salt to freshwater aquarium, barring disease. I would stop that practice immediately.


The oscar has both its lower and upper spine stuck the same way if an oscar were to swallow a catfish whole and try to spit it back out and the catfish's spines got stuck on the inside of the oscar's mouth so there was no way he can get out of there on his own. also, thanks for the advice, i will stop putting salt in every water change from now on then :)


robham7770 wrote: I agree with Penn, only time will tell, and I also agree with Caleb somewhat. The arrow is the least of your worries, alligator gar can grow to 10 feet, and unless you plan on donating it to a public aquarium I can't see that working out very long. They are native fish in my area.


The gar really belonged to one of my close friend. it's just that he got this massive 500 gal-something predator tank with alot of fishes that would make a quick work of a 5 inch alligator gar, so he's giving it to me to care for throughout the summer while he's gone (and maybe a few months more) until it is big enough to be put into HIS community tank. i plan on giving it back to him once it hits round about 12 inch-ish :)


CalebZachary wrote: @Rob, I had no idea they got so large! Wow!


They do, and they grow very fast too :pinch: mine is growing like 1.5inch-almost 2 inches per month just by feeding at chiclid pellets, bloodworms and occasional feeders.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Can broken bones and swim bladder heal?

"The oscar has both its lower and upper spine stuck the same way if an oscar were to swallow a catfish whole and try to spit it back out and the catfish's spines got stuck on the inside of the oscar's mouth so there was no way he can get out of there on his own."

Unless that Oscar was hooked and/or pierced by a decoration, he very well could have gotten out on it's own. Fish can raise or lower their dorsal & pectoral spines so they can wedge themselves into something so a predator can't get @ them. Again, you are going to do more harm than good yanking them out....let them try to work themselves out 1st, & then I would recommend trying to gently break apart what they are enclosed in, rather than forcing them out & damaging the fish. Just because you think they can't get out doesn't mean they can't!!! They got themselves in, USUALLY they can get themselves out. Intervening is always the last resort.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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