Fish missing tip of nose?


New Member
Sep 25, 2020
Reaction score
Hi all, this is my first post so I hope I've done it right.

I could use some advice regarding an issue I'm having with one of my new baby cherry barbs. A bit of backstory first: I'd had 7 of them in QT (cycled and filtered tank) about two weeks, and decided to introduce them to the main tank last night. I'm ashamed to say I messed up royally and didn't check them all thoroughly before they went in. It was only once they were in there that I noticed one of the barbs appears to be missing the tip of his nose/lips. I'm almost positive it wasn't like that when I bought him, but I suppose I can't say for sure. These guys are tiny after all. I certainly didn't notice it over the two weeks, so I think it must have happened in the past couple of days.

Now, Googling told me there's a disease/parasite called mouth rot, but from what I can see of it, it doesn't look like that. I don't see any white/cotton wool-like growth at all, and the rest of his body looks totally normal. He's also acting mostly normal otherwise. All of the others are 100% fine too, very lively and eating well. I tested the water in the QT tank and it's perfect, 0 ammonia and nitrites. Am I naive (or just blindly hopeful) to think it unlikely that it's some sort of disease, as opposed to an injury? Wouldn't they all be sick? Although, if it is an injury, I'm kind of at a loss of how that could have happened too. I didn't notice any aggression between them, and the only ornament in that tank is a small java fern, although I did add a handful of gravel a few days ago, just to give them something else to scavenge/try and make it a bit more interesting for them. Do you think it's possible he snagged his nose on a piece of that?

I guess I'm just desperately hoping there's an alternative explanation than disease, since I've basically just exposed all the fish in my display tank to it if it is. Because of this, I don't think there's any point taking him out again, is there? But the problem is, he can't eat. I just gave them some frozen mysis, thinking it'd be small and soft and easier to eat, but without any lips, the poor little guy can't grab any. He swims towards it looking like he wants to, but it just bumps into him. He's already looking skinnier than his buddies. I'm not sure what to do. Can this kind of injury even heal?

I did manage to take a short video of him-- can videos be posted here? If not, I can take stills from it, if you guys want to see.

Thanks in advance for any help


Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
Reaction score
Perth, WA
looks like a dud/ deformed fish that should have been put down when it was a baby.
Search tags for this page

fish missing tip


Staff online

Members online

Most reactions - Past 7 days