Heckel Hair Cut
Al Sabetta March 9, 2003

Well not really a Hair cut, more like a Fin trim!!

Recently I undertook the care of several wilds from my friend Francisco as he is moving. This is a temporary assignment, but one that I take very seriously as Francisco has put much time into rehabilitating these fish. The fish in question were very bad off when he got them, and though much much healthier, they bear the scars of their early neglect prior to being rescued by Francisco.

Having done some fin trimming in the past, Francisco and I discussed the potential applications of this radical reconstructive surgery, and it was decided that I would try to undo the damage that had occurred by fin rot.

I picked one moderately disfigured fish as a test case. If all goes well I will do the others as well. Francisco has given me permission to document the regrowth here, so I will post pictures as the fish heals and we can then see how well the procedure worked.

First I selected the fish, a heckel with moderate fin damage. Next I set aside a sharp pair of scissors and set it soaking in rubbing alcohol. Then I layed out some wet paper towels to lay the fish on, and carefully netted the test subject. With the fish layed out on the paper towels, I carefully trimmed the fins below the damaged area. The tail also was trimmed to remove a bad split. The whole procedure takes only a minute or two. The fish is then replaced in the tank.

Here are photos of the fish prior to the procedure...

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