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Author Topic: What would you suggest?  (Read 1339 times)
Goldiegirl
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What would you suggest?
« on: July 13, 2011, 02:58:51 PM »

Hello, I'm sorry for starting so many new topics lately, but I just wanted to get a little advice on what to do for my tank.

This Friday I am having spine surgery (the doctors are going to fuse 10 vertebrae in my upper lumbar with rods and screws) and my sister will be helping me to mantain my tank for the next month or so while I recover. Because I am staying 4-5 nights at the hospital, I am going to do a large water change the day before I go in. When I do the water change I'm considering taking out all the gravel to make it easier for my sister to help with weekly syphoning. Will it be too much of a shock for my fish to remove all the benificial bacteria housed in the gravel? Also, can they go without food for a couple of days while I'm with my family at the hospital? And do you have any suggestions for having somebody else care for your fish?

Thank you...any advice would be appreciated.  Smiley
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MB Gold
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 03:23:38 PM »

Good luck with your surgery, hope all goes well for you Wink  I wouldn't take out all of your gravel at once; I had the bright idea to make my tank bare bottom a long time ago, took out all of the gravel out (maybe 1/2 inch deep) and had a cycle bump that took a few days to clear up which you definitely don't need right now.  You could take out some of it, which would make it easier for your sister to clean, but shouldn't disturb your cycle.  For feeding, they should be fine for a few days, or you could pre measure some food for someone to feed them for you.  The only other thing I could think of would be a timer for your lights, if no one's in and out to turn them on and off at appropriate times.
Best wishes to you on Friday Wink
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 06:26:39 PM »

Thank you for your support, MB Gold.  Smiley So I should take out, like only a 1/4 of it or up to 1/2 tommorrow, and then the rest of it in a week or so? Like you said about the mini-cycle...definately don't want that to happen; especially while I'm not away to monitor them. I really don't like the idea of anyone having to take care of my fish for me, but it can't be helped.  Undecided Also, do they have to have the lights turned on and off for that ammount of time I'm gone? Just wondering and thanks for your help.  Smiley
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MB Gold
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 08:23:34 PM »

I think I would do 1/4 at a time, to be safe.  How thick your layer of gravel is will affect how much beneficial bacteria it carries.  I don't count on my gravel to hold much, since it's thin enough to see the tank bottom from top view.  I just keep enough for the finkids to play in Wink  If yours is thicker, it may play a more important role in your cycle than mine, so I'm guessing on the cautious side.  As for lights, if you don't have live plants and the room gets sunlight, they should be fine for just a few days. 
I'm glad you have your sister's help, it is soooo hard to trust others with pet care, lol Cheesy
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 01:35:57 AM »

I would leave it as it is, a giant water change will be all they need, and I wouldn't have anyone feed them until you're back home to supervise Smiley If the person doesn't have fish themselves it usually ends up with overfeeding. Goldfish can easily survive for 15 days without food since they're finding all kinds of edibles in the tank on their own Smiley

Good luck with the surgery!! It sounds intense, I hope you won't be in too much pain afterwards :/
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lreiden
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 08:26:15 AM »

good luck with your surgery, I'm sure your goldies will be just fine until you get back and will be happy to see you when you return! let us know how everything goes, my thoughts and prayers are with you! Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 08:43:19 AM »

good luck with the surgery Goldiegirl, its always a little daunting to go thru something like that, you might be happy to hear my mother had that op years ago and it really helped her back pain and mobility... and I speak from experience, Ive had a ton of operations as I broke my hip and shattered every bone in my left leg 8 years ago and then can you believe I did something similar again two years ago, both were motorcycle accidents, it is truly amazing what orthapedic surgeons can do these days...I think at last count just my lower left leg contains 20 screws, two plates, one steel rod and some sort of steel mesh wrapping the bone in places, and to top it off I have a massive skin graft from ankle to knee to really make it unattractive, lol... wishing you a speady recovery... Regards > Ron

Ps: also your post on choosing healthy goldfish became a sticky... well done
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 08:53:48 AM by Ron H » Logged
Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 10:32:26 AM »

Thank you all for your kind words and support.  Smiley You all are so kind and thoughtful. I must admit, I am a bit daunted, but I will be glad to get it over with if it helps reduce the pain I currently have in my back. Will keep you posted.

MB Gold, that's a good idea about taking out the gravel gradually...I can't leave it all in when my sister cleans the tank for me, as it would make a thorough syphoning too hard for her (I'm used to it however lol) but would hate to cause a cycle glitch. So perhaps 1/4 remove today and then 1/2 of what's left when I get back? I will be unable to clean my tank myself for the next 4 weeks or so. I hope they'll be ok.

Nossie, now that I think about it, my goldfish could probably be able to survive for months without food, lol they're so chubby! But I see what you're saying. I wouldn't trust anyone to feed them without me around unless I absolutely have to.

Ireiden, thank you, that means a lot to me.  Smiley

Wow, Ron, that really sounds intense...those surgeries that you have had to go through. It's remarkable that you have such a positive attitude after all that you went through. Thanks for sharing that story; that gives me encouragement to face what lies ahead...which is nothing compared to that! Shocked
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MB Gold
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 11:19:36 PM »

If you don't have any changes in your water test results, you should be able to remove about the same amount as you took out today when you do your next water change. I would just test a lot and err on the side of caution Wink
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 01:42:50 AM »

Oh, people. You're one awesome bunch! Cheesy
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 08:48:58 PM »

you take it a day at a time Goldiegirl, and it has given me the time to do other things that I really wanted to do... I wanted a change of life anyway... good luck and best wishes > Ron
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fantailer
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 07:56:34 AM »

Pheew happy it went well! Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 01:41:02 PM »

It's good to be back on the forum - the surgery was sucessful, though I ended up staying in the hospital for 6 days. Once the doctor got into my back he ended up fusing more than 10 vertabrae like as planned...not sure how many until I see the x-rays...recovery is very painful, today is the first day I am able to sit up at the computor. I am allergic to the narcotics (that was not enjoyable to find out) prescribed by the hospital so Tylonol is my only friend. Fortunately my fish are still alive and kicking, I was able to conduct a water change yesterday with many breaks in between and some man-power to haul the water. The gravel is all gone and I am monitoring the water quality like a hawk so no spikes occur.

Last night was the 2nd night I was able to get about 6 hours of sleep, and when I do I get night terrors...I haven't been able to sleep for more than 2 hours a night before so that was a milestone. Each day is slowly getting better, but this is seriously the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. Thank you for your advice so I can have one less thing to worry about.
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 01:23:00 AM »

I can imagine! Any surgery is very painful, but I bet this is far worse than the average "Go in, take out what's bad".
I really wish you and your babies all the best Smiley And you get as much rest as you can, but I understand it's hard to sleep with that constant pain going on...
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fantailer
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 05:43:40 AM »

Ummm Goldiegirl whats a night terror?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2011, 11:54:16 AM »

Yes, the doctor said it's one of the worst surgeries known to mankind and is even more intense than open heart surgery.  Undecided Lol I noticed I spelled Tylenol wrong...been pretty out of it due to strong meds. And Fantailer, night terrors are frightening dreams that come sometimes when the body is in shock or has a traumatic experience. Mine are quite painful and usually involve horrific fantasies of my family members. I know a young girl who was adopted from China and has night terrors every night around her birthday, due to the trauma that happened to her in her childhood.

Yes, my babies are all doing quite well...exept Onyx my black moor, who is having a bit of swim bladder trouble. My sister didn't bother to pre-soak the pellets... Roll Eyes however, they are all alive and healthy and I couldn't ask for more.  Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2011, 09:31:45 PM »

Sorry to hear of your pain Goldie, major surgery is always the worst, its the anaesthetic and how long your under that really affects you I think, I never handle it well, although over the years we have found better ways for my surgeons etc to deal with my reactions... Hows your sense of taste? it takes me a while to get that back... and you do get a little better each day, I would set small goals for myself, the hard part is not overdoing it and setting yourself back... sometimes we take 1 step forward followed by 2 steps back, which does affect you a bit mentally sometimes, you just have to try to stay positive and put it down to experience and move on...
and the night terrors go on for a few weeks, they are so vivid... and I get this other thing where I would feel as though I am drifting off into a deep sleep then I would wake up with a shock, as if someone stuck me with a pin... glad to hear your fish are ok and best wishes for your recovery... > Ron
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fantailer
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2011, 03:34:12 AM »

I had a night terror once is was actually funny if you think of it for a long time. Cheesy
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2011, 12:29:49 PM »

My sense of taste has been unaltered fortunately, though I am slowly trying to get an appetite back. I do have numbness in odd places...my entire right hip, for one thing, is completely unable to be felt, as well as parts of my side. No idea how long that will last. I know what you mean about the small goals, Ron, a major accomplishment for me this morning was getting out of bed without any help. It was very painful but well worth the effort. You never realize how much you take for granted; sitting at the supper table through a meal for one thing was one achievement I pulled off yesterday for the first time. Showering too poses challenges I've never thought possible. One of my small goals included simply getting onto this website! You really learn to take life on day at a time and you can't let yourself get too frustrated about your circumstances. It's hard to feel helpless, like an infant again, but you learn to rely on others until you can rely on yourself. And I'm the kind of person who hates being dependant, but it has been a good learning experience regardless of the pain. Fantailer, glad to hear your night terrors become laughable in the light of day again...mine don't...but sometimes you have dreams that frighten you out of your wits at the time, then are only a joke when you wake up.  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2011, 01:36:41 AM »

fantailer: That's probably just a nightmare. (I keep getting shot in mine though Shocked)

Goldie and Ron: Intense things you've been going through, really! :/ I had that appendix surgery once and got a secondary infection after that, so all in all, I couldn't get up from bed on my own in about a month or so, walking wasn't that much easier but I could at least do that with minimal support (Lol, switching position in bed was not even an option, I tried.) Guess I have a small idea of how it feels, but at the same time, the pain I had was more concentrated in my lower abdomen, not my entire back o_o
So I really wish you all the best, take it easy Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2011, 06:37:16 AM »

Cheers Nossie, your lucky, secondary infections in the abdomen can be lethal.. and sleeping in one possie is only comfortable for a little while, that I remember too well... the hospital gave me a staph infection in my leg as well, it was on a steel rod in my femur... that was the second time they said I could lose my leg (you get a sick feeling when they say that to you), but in the end I won out again, although it took 3 years of treatment to get it out of my bone though... > Ron
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2011, 05:43:03 PM »

Sleeping in one pose is comforable for about 5 MINUTES, if you can get to sleep, which I am grateful to. Wow Nossie! That sounds horrible! I'm sorry you ever had to have that. How nice a world without pain would be, but then, how could we feel joy if we never know pain? And Ron...I don't even think I could imagine the thought of having to loose a leg. I'm glad you were able to hold onto it!  Shocked
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2011, 01:55:03 AM »

Ron: Wow o___o I'm really glad you got to keep your leg! I don't know what I'd do, honestly, if I'd lose any of my little bits and pieces >>

Goldiegirl: True. But, it's been a couple of years now, and I actually think back on it with a happy feeling Smiley I was really happy to see everyone visiting me and all that Smiley It was in junior high, and I wasn't the most social creature there.... so getting a card from my classmates was totally cool xD
About that infection, at first, some doctor from Sweden or someplace said that I just have a minor infection and it'd go away with medication. Well, no. Next day I couldn't get up from the floor, just shivering :/ So I went with ambulance there and another acute surgery awaited. Lol, yea, they said I had this lump of pus there, size of an apple.

Arr, sorry about the rambling D:
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2011, 02:07:45 AM »

yeah I have to say its a long tail of woe Cheesy , and sometimes you wonder about karma... and what you did to deserve that (twice)...
and I feel I am rambling a bit too... anyway the last thing I will say about it is what kept me going (besides my partner) and that was a silly little thing that I latched onto and I saw as a sign when I awoke after my first accident, it was when I heard my blood group was B+ (B positve)... when things were bad I would remember that and know that was the way to think about things...
wow  Nossie Shocked the size of an apple, you dodged a bullet there, its scary to think about....
also for what its worth Goldiegirl, sleep is good, thats if you can get any, I think it helps you heal... all the best everyone  Smiley > Ron
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fantailer
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2011, 04:09:16 AM »

Goldiegirl that night terror was a zokeeper holding a umbrella with an elephant squirting water on it with load noises. I don't get how it was scary.
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2011, 06:17:11 AM »

fantailer, you crack me up...  Cheesy > Ron
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Nossie
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2011, 12:41:28 PM »

Well, point being, in the end it'll only be a sort of temporary thing, the body is incredible when it comes to healing, and I'd say it goes pretty fast too! Smiley All you need is patience, rest and nutrition c:
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2011, 06:52:47 PM »

your so right Nossie, nutrition is a big one ... Sharon would introduce things into my diet that she had researched to help healing bones, and I always have to check my iron levels, the hospital released me a couple of times when I was aneimic... cheers > Ron
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Goldiegirl
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2011, 10:19:04 AM »

My post-op appointment was yesterday, and the doctor said I was aneimic as well, Ron. I was wondering about the dark circles beneath my eyes and my fatigue...on iron supplements, hopefully that will do something. Calcium pills are also a must, as well as pain relievers.  Smiley I must admit I like getting all the cards and phone calls from people I sometimes don't even know!  Grin
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Ron H
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Re: What would you suggest?
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2011, 07:50:21 PM »

I would say you lost a bit of blood during surgery Goldiegirl... anemeimia leaves you looking pale and your eyes get a dull look, (thats alright, if your a goth,  Wink ) once your iron levels get better your fatigue and dark circles should disapate... a surgery like that is quite a shock to your whole body, it tends to go into self preservation mode by default... all the best > Ron
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