My new Petco rescue is presenting something of a challenge for me. I haven't had a ton of rescues, but the ones I've worked with have just been general fin rot, sometimes very advanced, and a few that looked near death but just needed some fresh water and a few days before they perked right up. But my new boy, Russell, is presenting a different set of worries for me. The first picture is from Saturday, which is when I got him home, and the bottom one is from today.
And yeah, I know the lighting is different, but his colors really do look that different--especially the red/maroon. So that's a good thing. However, the pictures really don't show off how skeletal the poor thing is. I'm currently feeding him a mixed diet of flakes and pretty finely torn up freeze-dried bloodworms. He eats like a horse and would be gorging if I let him, but he's not having any digestive problems (poops regularly, etc). Should I just keep up the current feeding schedule and trust that he'll put the weight back on? I tried to get a picture from overhead to show off how stick-thin he is, but they ended up being pretty pictures of my gravel with a fuzzy black shape above it.
A lesser concern for me at the moment is also the way he's swimming. Probably because he's in such generally bad condition, he does have some trouble getting around, but that's been slowly improving. What's weird is that about a third of the time when he tries to dart forward, he ends up bent at a strange angle with his head down and his "butt" up at the surface of the water. He doesn't have any other troubles with balance, and doesn't have a constantly bent spine, but it's just... odd. What I'm really hoping for is anecdotal evidence from someone that they've had a fish recover from something similar, but any insight into the condition would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not treating him with anything special at the moment--just Stress Coat and aquarium salt. Temp is set at 80, and he's in a 3-gallon tank. I've been keeping the lighting on for eight hours a day, though he obviously gets whatever light I have on in my room as well.