Emergency, Cory Stuck in netting
I was moving my cories to the bigger tank because I got frogs for my smaller one and don't have room in there for them...
Anywho, when I netted them, and one of my emerald cories got his fin tangled in the fish net, I cannot get him out and he couldn't either. I cut the net to the smallest piece I possibly could without getting him, but he's still got a good bit stuck on him. It's on one of his arm-fins, or pectoral fins I think is right. I cannot get it off, this can't be good for him! After he found he was stuck, he held still and I tried to untangle him, but I just couldn't get it unhooked without risking injury to him. Anyone have an idea? Surely it could do serious damage if not removed. I tried cutting it until it was small hoping it'd come off, but it's in his scales pretty good. I've never had such a problem before. ><
I would catch him in a cup and drain out all the water. Its likely you are going to have to handle him to get the netting off. Cories do 'freeze' for the most part as a defense mechanism, with both their pectoral fins errect. Those fins are barbed if i remember right or they are straight spines. It works well to avoid being swallowed by something and its a good way to get snagged on the nylon nets. Thats why its not recommend to net corys, use hard containers next time. He will hold fairly still for you tho so that is helpful.
Awuh, well I know now I can't be using nets, but I never saw anything on it before. >< He's an adult emerald green corycat, if this helps.
But yes, I did try handling him to get it off, but I could not get it. I tried spreading his fin to unhook it, but it's really on there, I fear if I cut anymore, I'll cut his fins too. I want that to be a last resort to even try further. Oh geez. >< I'm such a MORON! I mean I shoulda thought about that, I know they're kinda like sandpaper.
If I have to hold him and try to get it off again, exactly how long can I actually keep him out of the water to try it? I know they can be out for a little while, but it's going to take atleast one or two minutes MINIMUM if I'm lucky.
I got it. I found if I catch them and hold them in the water I can still work with him and not have him move much. I had my grandma cut the excess netting off and I managed to push it down a bit and get it unhooked. I have problems with my nerves, so I couldn't do it myself.
He looks ok, I'm gonna keep the lights out today and let them settle, he didn't lose anything but maybe his dignity and I lost my faith in my ability to safely handle fish ever again. I think I am paranoid now. I'm gonna use someone elses idea to use the soda bottle from now on when moving any bottom dwellers.
Let my own silly folly be a lesson to everyone else though, if not everyone knows about it. x.x That was really scary.
Awww! I'm glad you got him out okay!!!
Mikaila had the best action. Something else that usually works if you do it right away before there is a lot of struggling, is to simply place the net with the fish in the water and allow the fish to free itself. They usually will. But after there has been some attempts by the aquarist to "assist" the net may be so entangled this won't work.
And yes, the pectoral spines are very, very sharp. I'm rather surprised you did not get stabbed during all this. Mikaila mentioned being barbed, and in some species they are. Corydoras serratus for example was named by Dr. David Sands for this very reason; the fish is near-identical to Corydoras duplicareus, but the pectoral spine is serrated. It depends upon species, not all corys have serrated spines.
And the fish also releases a strong toxin, perhaps through the pectoral spine, or via the gills. This toxin is quite poisonous, it may kill another fish including another cory. To humans, it is painful and some aquarists report having a swollen finger for up to two weeks. It is not fatal to humans. When the fish is transported in bags, if they get too stressed they may release this toxin, and this can be fatal (to them). One reason why corys are best transported home in individual bags. I must admit that I have never seen this, as far as I know, though it may be that the rare cases when the new fish didn't make it could be linked to this, I can't say.
That explains a lot. I lack full feeling(In otherwords I have some feeling, but not like most people, I can get a bad burn and it feels like a light one, that's one way to put it), in my fingers and have some nerve issues, however I did have a very painful itch go up one of my fingers and my arm, noticed I did get cut. But I don't know it it was from toxin or something in the water that got in. I fully deserved it. I did try to let him free himself first too. =( But again, now I know. And he's ok. I got some just in-case meds should he have injured scales.
Here is a scientific paper on the subject that may be of interest.
I'll second the barbs, granted I wasn't playing with a corydora but I had to catch one of my larger catfish, redtail catfish, with my hands and three of his barbs hit the skin inbetween my thumb and pointer finger. Granted it didn't hurt right away but eventually I lost feeling in my whole hand for two hours.
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