It's no secret that people are crazy about their pets, but how much would you pay to save a goldfish?
A man spent 300 pounds or $460 in U.S. dollars on a procedure to save his 3-inch goldfish's life.
The pet owner brought the sick fish to Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham, U.K. for a consultation and was told the fish had two small tumors that would require surgery.
In an e-mail to USA TODAY Network, Faye Bethell, a veterinarian at the clinic, said one of tumors was preventing the fish from passing feces.
After initially refusing treatment because of the hefty price tag, the owner changed his mind.
Bethell said they began the procedure by introducing a small amount of anesthetizing agent into the goldfish's water.
After the anesthesia took effect, the fish was placed on a waterproof drape and anesthetic water was inserted into the fish's mouth through a tube and bubbled over the gills, Bethell said.
During the nearly hour-long procedure, Bethell used a miniature heart-rate monitor to ensure the fish was "under" and removed two lumps with a mini scalpel.
Finally, Bethell stitched closed the tiny incisions and covered them with a special "glue" to waterproof the scales before the fish was slowly awakened.
Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY
Enola, a 35-year-old African Sulcata tortoise, is one of three rescued or adopted by the videographer. She gets in the dog door occasionally, just looking for a little excitement.
New Tank Syndrome in Fish
Similar to "old tank syndrome," new tank syndrome is a fish disease that occurs in aquarium fish that live in water with high levels of ammonia.
New tank syndrome leads to ammonia toxicity in the fish, which can quickly become fatal. Fish will often die suddenly, without warning.
The aquarium water is frequently cloudy and smelly due to the excessive ammonia and nitrite levels.
Also known as the "break in cycle," the cause of the high levels of ammonia in a new tank are due to the lack of beneficial bacteria in the water — bacteria that keep the water levels safe by breaking down ammonia and nitrite into harmless nitrogen compounds. In a newly set up tank, these bacteria have not a chance to establish, allowing the ammonia and nitrite levels to quickly become toxic for the fish living in the water. This usually occurs in tanks that are just 1 to 20 days old, and maybe longer, since it takes a few weeks for the bacteria to establish themselves in enough quantity to keep up with the amount of waste the fish are producing.
This is not limited to new tanks, of course. Some other reasons for a sudden increase in ammonia levels include:
The key to preventing new tank syndrome is to allow the new water conditions to cycle through the nitrogen cycle before adding fish. Of course, the cycle cannot even begin until fish have been added to the water, so it is not helpful to allow the aquarium to sit for a few weeks before adding the fish. It is only through the cycle of waste and establishment of beneficial bacteria that will begin the cycle. Using a few "starter fish," to begin the new aquarium — hardy species of fish that are less susceptible to harm from ammonia levels — before adding any new fish will set the cycle in progress. You can then determine the progress of the cycle by checking the water chemistry over the course of about 4-6 weeks.
Some owners have also found it helpful to add already established gravel from an older tank to help speed up the process. If you do not have an already established aquarium from which you can take gravel, the handler that you will be buying your starter fish from may be able to help you with a sampling of gravel that the fish have been living in. It is not wise to change the water until the cycle has completed.
You can also control ammonia levels by avoiding overfeeding, since uneaten food will contribute to organic debris. Perform regular pH tests on the water throughout the initial process will help you to track the progress of the cycle and make changes accordingly, so that you can determine when to safely add new fish to your aquarium. Your tank will be cycled once you can measure nitrates in the water and ammonia and nitrite levels are at zero.
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