Unorthodox ways to do things

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Paul B, 9 Nov 2011.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

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    I thought it would be interesting to talk about some of the odder things some of us do that is not the norm.
    Thanks to computers and the internet much of this hobby has become a cookie cutter endeavour and many people do the same things the same way.
    I started way before the internet so there was no easy way to exchange ideas so I had to develop them myself. I have been doing these things for so long that I forget and think everyone does it that way, but I find that I am wrong. When I post these Ideas, people just look at me funny. Well, I can't really see them, but I think they are looking at me, or at least the computer screen funny.
    So I decided to write down some of the wierd-ish things I do that some people may not have heard of. If you did, just humor me.
    I think I will start with Pop Eye. I just answered a post about this and the person is still looking at me, or the computer screen anyway.
    Fish get Pop Eye all the time, I don't know exactly why and neither does anyone else. I know there are all sorts of theories but trust me, no one knows for sure. But no matter what caused it, it is easy to treat. This usually heals on it's own with no help from us and I would wait a while to see if that happens, but if it keeps getting worse, the eye could completely pop out. That is not real good and I know I would not like that happening to me. Of course I don't think fish feel pain like we do but that is for another post where everyone can yell at me for my opinion.
    If the fish has a severe case of Pop Eye, no matter what caused it, the eye is protruding for one of two reasons. One is gas behind the eye and one is pus from an infection. Either way it is not an eye problem but a malfunction in the way the fish was designed. If you look at a fish skull, you see a dent in it where the eye goes and a tiny hole in the back where the optic nerve attaches to the eyeball. Once gas or a infection gets back there, the preasure has no place to go so it pushes out on the eye. (we have sinuses and all sorts of places for preasure to go, not that it makes us feel any better but our eyes don't usually pop out) It does not seem like there is any blood flow to that area because there are no veins that I can see and no hole through the skull for the vein to enter. There also would be no need for blood flow there as the eye has it's own blood supply that seems to travel with the optic nerve. Of course I am not a fish surgeon but I do occasionally operate (if their insurance covers it)
    Anyway, the preasure needs to be releived so the eye can get back to where it is supposed to go.:(
    To do this, I catch the fish and hold it in a net. I position the fish so that I have access to his eye. Then I take a sterile hypodermic needle with nothing in it and gently stick it in the thin stretched skin that is still holding the eye in. Usually the top part is stretched the most. Then I pull back on the plunger and the eye instantly goes back to where it is supposed to be. Either air or a milky fluid will come out. Sometimes the eye does not go back all the way and I do it again the next day.
    If I notice that there is fluid and not just gas, sometimes I inject a little injectable antibiotic, then remove it.
    In the 45 years or so and the dozens of patients I have done this on, I have never lost a patient, been sued, caused blindness, or could not cure the fish.
    I don't puncture the eye and the needle can not penetrate into the brain because the skull is totally behind the eyeball.
    Now for people who think this is barbaric, and you know why you are. Just think, if your eye was hanging out of your head to the point where you could lose it and someone said to you that they could totally cure you in 5 seconds would you say, "Oh my God No, I kind of like my eye like this, maybe I could get on TV" Or would you say, "hurry up and do the dam thing?":yeahdude:
    I will post another one tomorow, in the meantime, if anyone has any un orthodox ways to do things, feel free to post as I am not the God of fish tanks.:biggrin:
     
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  3. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I didn't think it was such a bad idea when you suggested it to me. I've just never done it before and so I think I would be nervous. It makes sense though. I mean, they do this kind of thing in human medicine all the time... drain **** and fluid out of an infected wound. I don't think it's a bad idea if it doesn't resolve on its own and if you know what you're doing. In my case, with my Talbot damsel, I think I'd rather just see if the Epsom salt helps first. If it doesn't, maybe I'll start looking for a syringe...
     
  4. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    It usually abates on it's own, even without Epsom salts.
    Your post started me with this thread. I have been at this for over fifty years so I learned a few things that work and a whole lot of things that don't.
    Remember I am not saying for anyone to do these things. I do them, but I do a lot of things that a lot of people won't do.
    My first saltwater fish was a figure 8 puffer. Yes, I know they are brackish but I never told him that and I kept him in salt water.
    Anwyay after a few years he got a tumor on his belly and after a while he couldn't swim any more so I removed him and put him in some wet cotton. With an Exacto knofe I excized the tumor which was quite large. I put some Iodine on the wound and let him be. The next morning he was still alive so I took him out of the water and put some food in his mouth. I did that for a week and the fish lived 12 years. He thanked me every day for a few months after the surgery.
    As I said, I never lost a patient from surgery but that little puffer would certainly have died if I had not operated.
     
  5. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    mmmm .... Did not do this myself as I too am too scared to do it and I think one day if I have enough confidence might do it:p but I saw a friend relieve a fish of some "extra air" .... I think his fish was suffering from colic! Maybe someone can clarify .... His poor Moorish Idol was swimming kinda like sideways and very close to the surface, so he removed it from the water, stuck a syringe in closer to its belly and sucked some air out ... Put him back in and the idol went about swimming like nothing was wrong .... I was more in shock than the fish was I think:eek: but that was more than 2 years ago and seen it still alive and kicking about a month ago .... Also can anyone shed any light dipping fish in "Condy's Crystals" ... Purplish crystals that make a bucket R/O water turn a deep purple, almost blackish solution .... My dad used to dip his fish with whitespot for about half a minute and was very successful like in the 80"s ... I think correct term is "potassium permanganate" available at most chemists ... very cheap and we used to use like half a teaspoon in a 20 liter bucket ... very potent strong stuff ....
     
  6. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    @chikaboo think I'll keep you on speed dial...so far you'r the only one, although you don't practise it you'rself..knows someone who can handle a syringe on a Fish...might just come in handy...:p
     
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  7. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Funny you talk about speed dial .... My poor sister wants to remove me from speed dial coz she has a little 1 month old baby boy ... First grand child for my parents and what we talk about on the forum is just too scary for them ... Visions of me attacking the little one with fish remedies for his growing pains:lol:
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    very interesting! i would love to learn more on treatments and diagnosing fish ailments.
    got my first book on the subject and interesting read
     
  9. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Man alive id be poop scared to do that. what if i poke its eye out!
     
  10. shaunn

    shaunn

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    now i know why my wife does not what to have kids. the theroy is,if it good for a fish it good for children.
     
  11. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Just out of interest...if you can't get a syringe...or it's difficult to get hold of a syringe...could you use a thin sewing needle or pins..some dress pins are very thin...!? Obviously clean it with alcohol and although you can't "deflate" it by extracting the gas or fluid...surely the "hole" of the actual pin-prick would surely alleviate some pressure and therefore maybe help in preventing the eye from actually popping out..?
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
  12. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Dischem sells syringes with needles....about R5....
     
  13. Mc

    Mc

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    Very interesting methods you have. 50 years thats a long time congragulations.:peroni:
    Just cause a lot of people on the web and the forums do things a certain way doesn't always mean its the only way.
     
  14. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Thanks..I wasn't sure where to go if I ever had this problem...nice to know which shop I can go to, although SA doesn't have the same "difficulty" in getting syringes, I still wouldn't have thought of Dis-chem..:p...on the topic of the syringes...I was actually refering more to the USA public...as Sihaya mentioned that in the USA it's almost impossible to get....."I ask because, here in the US, it's not easy to get needles. We have a paranoia around drug addicts in this country. You can't even buy some kinds of cold medicine without showing an ID." ...so basically I was wondering if she could use that option and alleviate the pressure, to a certain degree then, if not possible to "cure" it that way...
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
  15. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    Chickaboo, I used potassium permanganate many times. There were no salt water medications available and we used what we had.
    My last moorish Idol had severe Pop Eye. I used my method and the eye went almost all the way back, the next day I completed the job and he lived another 4 years with good enough vision to pass his drivers test.
     
  16. seank

    seank

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    :lol: Only in the USA, here by us you need not have good vision :whistling:
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
  17. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    The second unorthodox thing is chlorine bleach treatment of sea water.
    Don't do this. Don't do a lot of the things I do. I am not responsible for anything you do, so just take it for what it is, unorthodox. First of all let me say that I did not invent this, that was Robert Straughn "The Father of Salt Water Fish Keeping".
    In the fiftees this guy who was my mentor collected and kept just about everything except corals. His favorite thing for a tank was an undergravel filter but he didn't understand the principal of how it worked. He used it as a particle filter and didn't know or understand the bacterial aspect of the deviceAnyway, he also explored using Clorox or chlorine bleach to treat sea water. In his day and in my early days you could not easily buy artificial sea water so we just went to the sea and collected it. Here in New York where I live I used to collect it in the Long Island Sound. For those not familiar with that body of water it is between Connecticut and Long Island and it is fed in part from the East River which runs past Manhattan. It is not the best place to collect water because of a few factors. There is chemical pollution from the city run off, industrial run off from the factories, bacterial pollution from sewage treatment plants and paracitic polution from the red tide that occurs almost every year when the Sound gets too hot.
    Not all of these problems can be fixed with bleach but organic, bacterial and paracitic pollution can. Bleach will not help with insecticides or metals so that water should not be used anyway. Of course we want to try to only collect pure water.
    The dosage of bleach is one teaspoon to every five gallons of water. After 3 days the water needs to be airated and preferably run over carbon. If you don't want to use carbon then don't use that water for a week. Either way add chlorine eliminater at twice the dosage available at any pet shop.
    It is very important that only "REGULAR" bleach be used. Any scents and your fish will die in about 10 seconds. Don't ask.
    Now I know most people don't use NSW but there is another use for bleach.
    If you have a tank of water where everything died from either a paracite, bacterial infection, flatworms, ich, fungus, the heartbreak of psorisis, whatever, you can still save the water. Bleach is just chlorine gas in water. If you left a bottle of bleach un opened, it would become fresh water as the gas evaporates. After the bleach does it's job, it evaporates leaving just pure water.
    I have done this quite a few times with excellent results. Some of that water is still in my reef as my tank has never been emptied.
    You remove any animals that are still living and add one cup of regular bleach to fifty gallons of water. You should leave in the rocks and sand. Airate it and after 3 days filter out any dead organisms (they will all be dead) and suck out tthe detritus with a canister filter. Add twice the dosage of chlorine remover and either run over carbon or airate it for a week. If by then there is no smell of chlorine, you can use it. I would test it first on some brave fish because I did once have an accident where I killed almost all of my fish. I used
    "New Fresh Scent Clorox" bleach and in less then 10 seconds most of the fish were dying, some tried to jump out of the water. I did manage to save a few. Oddly enough the corals did not die but for a few weeks after, they had a nice fresh scent.
    The first squid eggs that were successfully hatched, did so in bleach treated water.
    When I started in this hobby everything had ich. I just thought all salt water fish naturally had white spots.
    There was no copper so I used pennies. There also were no test kits so I lost a lot of fish. Sometimes the ich was so severe that the fish would start to get spots in the bag even before I put them in the tank. I think it was from osmosis. OK maybe not. But you know what I mean.
    When the water was like that and nothing would live in it, I took out the bleach and treated the water. If it were not for bleach, I would have quit the hobby.
    So to sum up. Please Don't do this. I do it but I am wierd. This is a thread of un orthodox practices, not necesarilly what you should do.
    Someone once called me yelling that his fish died because I told him to put bleach in his tank, "with" his fish. I never said to do this to a living animal unless you want it dead, but fresh smelling.
     
  18. saaid

    saaid

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    Wow,here I was sitting wanting to ask if anybody had "accidently" leached bleach into their tank. The first time I used Purigen I let it lay for longer than recommended time,I honestly forgot about it until I went to replace the floss.

    Anyway,at the time I really stressed because it really smelt strong so I figured I would let it lay longer in the de-chlorinator. That didnt go well either,it turned grey-ish and that left me having to soak it in NSW for a while and it "seemed" to work and had no obvious odour. But then came the drama,when I put it back in the sump,under 60secs later the skimmer went crazy! I seriously thought everything was going to die as the fish starting moving around a lot more and rather active.

    I sat there for an hour emptying the skimmer cup and adding RO water to break it down a bit. I lost one fish only,found him next morning. I was really pissed off with myself for being that stupid.

    Funny enough,water had a sparkle too but I then was so paranoid I done a 40% water change over a couple of hours.
     
  19. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    Remember I only use bleach in a tank with no animals. Don't put it in a tank of fish.
    Not even a little.
     
  20. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    Unorthodox feeding methods
    Again, I thought everyone did this stuff. OK maybe not but it was always common sense to me.
    Like I said there was not always commercially available stuff to feed our animals. The hobby of keeping the animals started first, then the hobby about feeding and careing for them came about. This is about food that is maybe not available to everyone.
    At one time or another I have kept everything available in the hobby except manta rays, I always wanted one of those.
    Before we kept reefs many of us kept predator tanks. I liked triggers, lionfish, moray eels, puffers and especially anglerfish.
    These guys are not especially difficult to feed but many specimins will only eat live food.
    I could always get goldfish and guppies but it was always thought you should not feed these freshwater prey to saltwater fish.
    In the summer I can collect saltwater fish for food but I don't like chopping through ice to collect saltwater fish in the winter so I came up with something that in my mind anyway I thought was better.
    Most predators love guppies and goldfish and they are cheap so I had a tank with these fish in it and just before I fed them to my fish I injected them in their belly with fish oil. You knew I was going to get fish oil in this post someplace, didn't you?
    Fish oil like cod liver oil is of course from salt water fish and very healthy for our fish. I figured if I injected this oil into a prey fish my predator fish would get the benefit of the salt water oil. It worked and whenever I have one of those fish that will only eat live fish, I fill the guppy or goldfish up with salt water fish oil. (I take the stuff myself every day)
    I also inject live grass shrimp with oil but I don't think this is needed, I do it just because I can and I think the extra oil helps.
    This also has another benefit but not so much for the guppy. The prey fish does not swim too well after this enhancement so the predator can catch it easier. Now don't be a Sissy, these are feeder fish that are going to be fed to fish anyway. I eat fish every day along with shrimp, clams, oysters and squid and I never really thought how that animal suffered before I ate it. I don't eat red meat so I don't hurt cows so it evens out.
    Besides those shrimp you are feeding your fish were also happily swimming around minding their own business.
    Another thing that some may find a little odd is feeding Plaster of Paris to fish. Don't re read that, I did say Plaster of Paris, the stuff your walls are made out of. OK not just plaster the way it comes out of the box. I do something to it first.
    And I only do this for special fish like moorish Idols and maybe angelfish. Plaster of Paris is just calcium, you can eat the stuff, (but don't)
    I also did not invent this but it was used many years ago, before we forgot some basics.
    When I keep moorish Idols or any fish I want to get extra calcium into I do this. I mix a little Plaster of Paris and when it starts to set, I can ad whatever I want like banannas. Moorish Idols love banannas, I have no Idea why. I also add some vitamins and greens like nori, maybe a little flake food and fish oil.
    The natural diet for Moorish Idols is sponge and in the sea that is al I have ever seen them eat. I found a sponge in New York that grows only on floating wooden docks and Idols love the stuff. They practically jump out of the water for it, but sometimes I ran out of this and needed something to fill in.
    This Plaster thing, wnen set becomes the same consistancy as sponge and moorish Idols along with some other fish love the stuff. I never tasted it myself. The Plaster gives the fish needed calcium, the texture fools the fish and I can add whatever I think will benefit the fish.
    I am able to keep moorish Idols for a while longer than many hobbiests do and that is, I think because I have spent some time diving with them trying to learn their secrets. In the sea I never say them eat plaster but that is only because Home Depot doesn't deliver to Tahiti.
    I am sure everyone on here knows how to force feed a puffer that does not want to eat. But just in case, you just grab him, being careful not to get bit and being a puffer, he will try to puff up. So you then stick the food in his mouth with a toothpick. They don't puke too well so usually the food will stay down, but not always. Fish also don't have tongues for anyone who never looked in their mouths. Thats probably why they can't speak well.
     
  21. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    Over the years I think I did a few things that most people think is odd for some reason. To me my tank is supposed to be like a part of a reef or at least a part of the sea so I add whatever I find in the sea that I feel will either enhance the feeling or at least be interesting. We all know what a real reef is supposed to look like but if you see enough of them you may get bored. Thats why I add some things that I feel "enhance" it.
    After so many years I have had every coral, fish and aquascape and I don't want to get bored so whenever I am at the sea, which is almost every day in the summer, I search tide pools and drag my net through the shallow water. Besides shrimp I find bottles, crabs, snails, cans, chains and various flotsam and jetsom that I find interesting. Much of it of course I can't put in the tank but if I feel I can coat it in some type of acrylic resin or if I think it can live in the tank, I take it home. I don't take anymore hermit crabs or horseshoe crabs because I know they will not live, but snails, shrimp and codium seaweed I bring home. Codium is cool seaweed and is very common on the east end of Long Island where I live. The stuff lives about 5 months in a tropical tank.
    The local mud snails and shrimp live forever and are free. I can collect enough snails to fill a 50 gallon bucket easily and I can collect enough shrimp in 5 minutes to fill a 5 gallon bucket, with no water, just shrimp.
    I also collect tiny anemones and amphipods.
    Those things are just for interest but the most important thing IMO is bacteria. I collect a little mud every time I go just for the bacterial diversity. Is it needed?
    I have no Idea. Is it good for the tank? I have no clue. But to me it seems to work.
    I don't know of anyone else who does that, but it is what it is.
    [​IMG]
    1/4" rock anemone
    [​IMG]
    Rock crab (very cool)
    [​IMG]
    Grass shrimp. (even cooler)
    [​IMG]
    Old bald guy collecting in a tide pool
    [​IMG]
     
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