How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Vet Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 18530
Experience:  Vet Tech for 35+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 5" Oranda was stuck between objects in my tank and

Customer Question

My 5" Oranda was stuck between objects in my tank and injured her under belly (red and bruised). When I found her, she was not able to swim and floating upside down. I moved her from the community tank to quarantine tank and treated her with antibiotic and aquarium salt daily with 25% water change for 7 days. During this time, I did not feed her. Her under belly has completely healed, but she sinks to the bottom. I think her swim bladder doesn't have enough air. Yesterday, I put her back to the community tank, and she has been eating now. Now she basically just lies on her side at the bottom. When she want to move, she just paddles really hard with her side fins. She does that whenever I feed the tank. She would paddle so hard that her body is propelled straight up for a whole foot. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years and a Fish keeper for over 40 years.

Is she able to right herself at all to swim?

Does she seem distressed?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Occasionally she could right herself up but mostly just lie on her side. I can't tell whether she's stress. She breaths slowly. But she eats whenever I fed the tank.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

My biggest fear is the swim bladder is damaged and if that is case it may not be able to be fixed. Swim bladder is a delicate organ and if ruptured there is no repair. At this point if the fish if thriving as it is then we may have to just let it be as long as the fish is eating and able to get around it may be wise to leave the fish alone. If the fish gets bad then the option would be to euthanize the fish. Hopefully the fish can recover some bouncy and be able to swim again and right itself. I am being honest with this because swim bladder injuries are hard to fix.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Everyday I flip her a few times, so she is nor lying on the same side all the time. Luckily, I removed all the substrate from my 75-gal tank to avoid possible additional injury by scraping her skin on the gravel. Also, it's easier to keep the water quality. I do a 50% water change weekly and use UV light.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

You are better with a 25%-35% water change is better so there is no ammonia spikes that can cause further issues, You did well removing the gravel to protect the fish. Make sure That you use some aquarium salt as a tonic. It does help ailing fish.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Luckily, my ammonia level has always been 0ppm, and I do test my water daily. I will adjust to 30% from now on. How mich aquarium salt do I use for my 75-gal tank? Also, do you recommend using sodium chlorite or Epsom salt?
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

I suggest 1 teaspoon per gallon the first time. Then when doing water changes only put in 1 teaspoon full equivalent to the anout removed to go back in. I like strictly the Aquarium Salt. In some fish Epsom salts burns. When I have addressed your concerns, Please do not forget to rate my service.