Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Poor cat. Your sister has a real soft spot, doesn't she? But unfortunately, I would agree with you. I was under the impression bullheads typically lived in ponds because of their size and aggression. Even if you did mend him, you would almost certainly need to rehome him somehow.
Mending him may be difficult without knowing his history. If he's wild caught, he might have very specific food preferences, ie live fish. He might also react poorly to proprietary medications. You could try him in a dose of AQ salt at 1 tsp per gallon and see how he does and if that clears up his slime coat problem. His barbels would probably heal in clean water over time. My main concern is that he has a bacterial infection and some possible external parasites that are causing the slime coat problem. AQ salt should help but I also know that some catfish are extremely sensitive to salts. I don't know if bullheads fall into that category.
Unfortunately, I would tend to agree with you that euthanasia may be this fellow's best option. :( It would also spare him from a life of being kept in a tank that will most certainly be too small for him. Even the lady's 125g will become too small for a mature and healthy bullhead.