Swim Bladder problem in Ryukin *cries for help*
I'm desperate. I know euthenasia is probably my only option, and probably the most humane one, but I seriously love this fish- He still has the will to eat and looks fairly good (body condition, color, etc), considering- so I'd really be so grateful if there's any crazy ideas people have heard of that might, even if it's the longest long shot, do something to help him have more of a chance...
Story: I have two Ryukin together that have had issues with Swim Bladder problems. It started years ago, when I first got them, because I didn't know not to feed them floating food. (Thanks, Hikari, and your special floating food that says it's for ryuknis *anger*) I switched to sinking food and one got over it, but the other -Truffle- always had issues with it. For a while he seemed to be doing better but, about a month and a half ago, my filter crapped out and I didn't notice the motor was dead for two or three days. They had a bubble wand in there that was still working at least. Anyway, Truffle has been upside down since then. I'm sure he was gulping air when the filter was off or something. So, since then, I've been sticking my fingers in and holding the food for him while he eats out of my hand, upside down. He motors around, upside down, like it's normal. He gets bursts of energy and can right himself for about .05 seconds. Otherwise, he is at the top, with his belly sticking out. He gets sores on his belly and fins because they're always exposed to the air, but they heal and come back, heal and come back. (I know it must hurt- but he acts so happy to eat, and I'm so fond of him, that I just haven't been able to bring myself to put him down. I thought I would find him dead weeks ago when this started but he just keeps going) I posted here about a year ago about them, when the problem wasn't so bad -so I know about trying to feed them salt, the diet fancy goldfish should have, and the condition/temp that water should be in. I also realize that he is, more than likely, and long ago, permanently damaged and that there really is no hope. But, if anyone has heard of any crazy thing that someone has tried for something like this, please let me know. Are there medications that could help him fight some of the problem? He doesn't have to be 100% he just needs to be able to stay under more. I'd love to try and build a neutral buoyancy sling for him to try to keep him upright, at least long enough to see if his body could maybe help itself heal a little, but I don't know if that could even be possible. It seems like something touching his skin 100% of the time would do more harm than good. T^T I would just love to give him a chance before I give up for him.
His tank picture is in my profile. It's 29 gallons, eco-complete, no driftwood anymore though, a bunch of live penny-wort and 2 good sized anubis, 4 cories, 1 bristle nosed pleco, 1 other large ryukin (who seems concerned, oddly, it's very cute though.) A whisper filter for 40 gallons, a big air stone. The temp is 68 (as cool as I can get it in my house and have it be stable), the ph is 6.6, no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates 18 (are low every time I test, like 10-25 over the years) I siphon the gravel/water change about 5 gallons every two weeks, give or take. Gets new carbon about once a month. It's been set up for around 2 years, was cycled, and has been very stable. He eats hikari sinking food for lionheads and organic sushi nori (seaweed)
Have you tried feeding him deshelled peas?
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