I had our little buddy Alvin in a cycled, heated, 2.5 gallon tank that had been planted with an anubias and two java ferns. I had been changing his water about every 5 days, and his water readings have looked good for a while. On Sunday morning, he looked fine. I fed him, and an hour later, he was gray on the bottom of his tank within an inch of his life.
I put him in a cup with fresh water and floated him in the tank and changed the water every six hours or so. He was so weak, he was floating on his side at the top of the cup. His fins became very brittle, and now they look shredded.
I've been having problems with the filter system on his mini-bow tank, so I got a new 10 gal aquarium for him with a heater. I also got rid of the java ferns as they didn't seem to be thriving, but I kept the anubias.
Right now he's still in his quarantine cup floating in the new aquarium as I get a cycle started on it. I got some aquarium salt, and mixed up some salt water to use in his cup. I'm hoping to have the tank cycled by the time he's healed.
The good news is, each day he's looking better. Now he's comfortably relaxing mid cup without so much gill gasping. His color is a lot better, though his fins are still very fragile and breaking. He doesn't have any blackness on them, or anything that looks like a parasite or a fungal infection. He also ate a pellet today and pooped.
So here's my question. I think he may have been poisoned by something, though I don't know what. Whatever I'm doing, so far he seems on the mend, so what is the best course of action from this point forward. I'm not sure what the best concentration for the aquarium salt should be, or if I should tweak the water temperature to promote healing.
I also have the small tank now with the little heater, and while it wouldn't be filtered, I was thinking it might make a better "recovery room" once I'm sure Alvin has the strength to swim to the top to breathe.
BTW, thank you guys. If I hadn't found this forum months ago, Alvin would not be here right now. I wouldn't have known what to do, and I probably would have done something to hurt him worse, not help. I'm very relieved he seems to be on the mend.