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How long can a fish be out of water?


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Posted by Wayne on May 21, 2006 at 00:27:54:

I know this is not dive related, but it is fish related and where else would I turn but this group.

Tonight my wife and I returned home from a hot date to Big Lots. When we returned home I heard a shriek from the wife and ran to the kitchen to find her running out white as a ghost. One of our 10 year old goldfish had apparently jumped out of the tank and was laying on the floor very dry and not moving. I could see spots of dried blood where it had flopped a few feet across the floor. I picked it up to dispose of it, but it moved.

I put it back into the tank and held it in the stream from the filter and after around 10 minutes, I noticed that it was trying to swim from my hand. I have removed its tank mates to make sure they do not go after their weak "friend". It has been a few hours and it is barely swimming, has no ability (or maybe no motivation) to control its orientation, but is breathing steadily.

I suspect that its gills were pretty dry and it is still hypoxic. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of injury / recovery? Any suggestions? As much as we often complain about these fish for living so long, we do not want to have the poor fellow die if we can help it.

Wayne



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