01-23-2012, 06:42 AM
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It won't hurt, in fact I recommend it, if you leave the air bubbler in the tank. You can't have too much oxygen in the water. Your fish, like many, has general symptoms that could be caused by a number of different things. Without being sure, people are going to be hesitant to recommend anything for fear of suggesting the wrong thing.
It could just be ammonia or nitrite poisoning, but it sounds more like the fish has some kind of internal problem like parasites or an infection. If you've seen long stringy white poop, then it's likely parasites. I believe that fish infected with parasites such as tapeworms will commonly continue to eat, but still waste away since the parasite is getting all the nutrients from the food.
Since your fish has tail damage and refuses to eat, bacterial infection may be the problem. Do you see any red blotches or horizontal redish striping thru the skin? These would be signs of a bacterial infection.
Can you see inside his gills? If so, are they bright red, swollen, or brownish colored?
Even if you lose this fish, you shouldn't give up on fish completely. The filter is a necessity to keep virtually any type of fish so that won't be money wasted.
The number one key to healthy fish is clean water, clean meaning no ammonia and no nitrites, not just clear water. Secondly, they need as little stress as possible. This means keeping the right number, and the right type of tank mates as well as providing plenty of hiding spots for the fish. As soon as a fish feels unsafe, its immune system will be compromised and it will get sick from opportunistic invaders. Like us, fish are always under attach by various fungi, parasites, bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately many of these things can cause similar symptoms such as panting and sitting still. Rubbing against things is generally a sign of parasites of some type.