We have a weather loach, that got stuck in one of the tank decorations this morning. We've had the loach with this same tank set-up for years. She's really stuck. It's hard plastic that cannot easily be broken up by hand, not even with tools like channel locks - at least not by us. Do you have any suggestions for things we could try? Is there a safe lubricant we can put on the body to help her wiggle thru? Any tips are appreciated!!
This happened to my goldfish many years ago. One issue to check, if you possibly can, is whether you can poke something in that might help flatten the dorsal fin down (pressing it down gently from the front part so that it lies back in normal position) and then tug her out. In the case of my goldfish, he had swum in, raised his dorsal fin, then couldn't reverse out or be tugged out - it was only thanks to a quick-/practical-thinking friend that he was able to be removed by inserting something (a spoon handle, from recollection), flattening the dorsal fin and then tugging him out.
We were able to get her out using a combination of a sawzall & chisel/hammer. Sadly, we lost her anyhow. She was wedged in there tight, suspect severe internal damage (definitely had a messed up swim bladder), in addition to stress of the event, some lung complications from being in polluted water (the debris we sawed away), etc. At least we now have have knowledge to carry forward -- thank you for sharing yours! 🙂
Sorry to read about that - sounds indeed like severe internal damage. [Even in my own goldfish's case, and what seemed like a straightforward 'extraction', he didn't come out unscathed - he lost a lot of scales, had turned black in parts, and his dorsal fin was damaged and was never the same again.] In your case, therefore, although very sad to lose her, I'm sure, at least she didn't linger on battling all sorts of severe health complications as a consequence.
Since then, I've always tried to take into account the size of a fish with dorsal fin fully upright and pelvic fins extended, and ensured that no decor might pose a similar problem - although I've still had fish squeeze themselves fatally into seemingly non-existent gaps behind the filter or its bracket.