Can a fish survive after being stuck in filter?
I don't think my water parameters are important for this question so I won't include them.
Yesterday my green glofish Sprite got caught in the filter, twice. The first time he was just plastered on the outside of the filter vents, like he was just stuck there by the vaccuum (I assume there must be some kind of pull?) My filter is a Tetra Whisper 10i. I've never had this happen before, atleast not that I was aware of. I've seen dead fish stuck on the filter vent before, but I assumed that they died and then got stuck, not got stuck and then died. Anyway so when I saw Sprite stuck like that I first thought he was dead, but then I noticed him breathing and moving his mouth. I unplugged the filter and gently moved him off. He didn't seem right, he wasn't swimming well, leaning too much on one side. But I thought, maybe he will be better tomorrow. Maybe 20 minutes later I check on him and he is stuck again! This time with his body halfway in the filter vents. I unplug the filter again (maybe I should have just kept it unplugged the first time?) and he is able to swim out. But he seems worse now, like part of him got a little mushed. My gut tells me he is just going to die tonight. He acts mostly lifeless, occasionally trying to swim, but mostly laying on decorations or the gravel, on his side. I prepared the freezing method of euthanization per the instructions here, and I let him go.
It is still eating me up inside though, wondering if I did the right thing. Did I make the right judgment call? It was my first time euthanizing a fish. Usually I hesitate too much and they die before I have a chance to put them down. So this was my first. But I just keep wondering, would he have survived? :(
I would believe that a healthy fish would be strong enough to avoid the filter intake suction, unless it's super powerful. It likely was stressed out and wasn't able to get away when it got stuck the first time. Those Glo-Fish are somewhat small. I think if it didn't get seriously injured it would have been fine. I've read of a few fish injuries on here and they do heal.
I've wondered the same thing myself. But other then a few surprise fry I haven't had anything filter related happen. If you are that worried. Head to a pet store and buy a foam filter big enough to fit over the intake and cut a hole in it an place it over the intake. Look at the Aguaclear 50 foam, $3 for 3 and they are pretty big.
It may have recovered from whatever reason it was sick in the first place, but getting stuck twice was likely going to be the icing on the cake.
You did the right thing.
(I combine the clove oil and freezing method... I use bag buddies to ship fish, and clove oil is a major ingredient. I add the fish to a small amount of water with a bag buddy, which puts it to sleep.
In a seperate container, I freeze some water until it totally freezes over on the top.
I remove the top layer of ice, and add the already-sleeping fish to the ice. I then place the super-cold water in the fridge. (freezer would be too cold in my opinion. I don't want the fish to get frostbite before it dies)
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