powder blue gourami with bad fin rot - when to let go?
Hi, I'm new to fishkeeping, and this is my first post - although I've been raiding forum posts on here for a few weeks now, and they've been incredible helpful, or just downright interesting. I'm asking for help with my first major disease problem with my knee dwarf gourami. I got two of them ten days ago, added to a 120ltr (25g) tank with 20 guppies + fry - always there is the fry! I actually chose gourami in the hope they'd help manage the guppy population, but that's another story.
I might have been a bit slow picking up on the problem, as both fish were shy and not visibly eating for the first few days, but the sick one seemed to succumb very fast. He remained lethargic and shy compared to the other one, and -although I'd set up two separate planted territories for them, which they'd taken to -I'd suspected tank politics. But two days ago, sick gourami went missing, and I found him hiding, with extensive rot in his tail, dorsal, and pelvic fins. I think the tips of his whiskers might also be damaged.
I've quarantined him in breeder net in a 10Ltd bucket, with a heater, filter and airstone. It's not ideal and hasn't cycled. I'm doing 100% daily water changes with stress coat and zyme. He had a salt bath when I first took him out two days ago, and I'm adding low dose salt, plus primafix and melafix daily. I have since learned that these are weak/palliative meds, but I'm not sure where to get antibiotics in the UK. At any rate, it seems to have been enough to halt it, but he has lost nearly all the effected fins. He is pretty lethargic still, and not eating.
All the fish in the main tank are fine - indeed the remaining gourami is delighted to be Vick if the walk with his guppy minions (which poses a second dilemma if this one survives, as I think I should have just gotten one now) As a precaution, though, I did a 50% water change, took out all ornaments and plants (which are potted still), gave it thorough substrate vacume, cleaned media/sponges in old tank water, and added low dose salt. I don't intend to keep salt in the tank, and am doing 10% daily water changes, and will do another 50% one in a few days, to clear the salt. Water quality is all good, and I'll add details in a first comment below for info.
So, given the extent of damage, and my concern that I might have more problems returning him to the tank with a dominant rival, what's your advice?
Main tank: 125ltrs (25g)
Fluval 3 biofilter
(Consistent since 27/11, after a crash/ cycle in Nov. Last tested pre sickness 11/12)
Water change: had just shifted from daily during cycle to 30% weekly. Last done pre sickness on 11/12
Temp: 79.5 (consistent, +/- up to 1 degree during water changes)
Air curtain on a Tetra AV2 pump.
Lighting: 2 x T8 (daylight & tropical), last changed 2? the ago. On a 12 hr timer. Air curtain also has low light leds, timed to go on two hours before and 1he after the main lights (I hate being shocked awake, and have projected this onto my fish!)
Tanks is 3years old, and the same/descendents of guppies have been in there in that time. However, I've had care of it for about two months, having taken it on as a "problem tank." The crash in November was due to a mix of inherited issues and rookie mistakes made during a steep learning curve!
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