Here are the fish in our tank:
Here are our problems with the tank (sorry, it's a long one):
So my boyfriend and I recently dove into the aquarium life and thought it was going to be a very easy hobby. We were sadly wrong and made pretty much every mistake we could. About 3 weeks after we loaded our tank with live plants (which have since been removed) and fish (which I know was our first mistake), we noticed a few of the fish itching profusely. After some research we realized our fish had a sever case of ick/ich. Our local fish enthusiast suggested we treat our tank with Formalin 3 as our loaches and catfish couldn't sustain a treatment stronger then this.
We removed the carbon from the filter, treated the tank daily and did a few 25% water changes over the course of treatment. Eventually (after about 3 weeks) we started seeing some improvements in our fish but they were still desperately sick. We continued to treat the tank for another week (and a few days) but started getting worried about the length of time our tank was going unfiltered. As our worries increased, the parasites decreased until there was no visible problem. The day we realized this, after working hours of course, our filter, which was still running however carbon-less, stopped working. We aerated the tank that night and the following morning using a jar to take water out and gently our it back in the tank. The next day we got a new filter and because, at this point, we could no longer see the ick spots, we stopped treatment and hoped for the best. 24 hours later, our 1 remaining clown loach of 3 has procured another ick spot on his tail. We are a little worried at the idea of removing the carbon and starting treatment once again. I'm not sure which is worse, running a filter-less tank or constantly bombarding our fish with formalin-3. Obviously, these pour fish need to be cured but what we need to know is; what would be the least stressful (for them) way to cure the fish. It is also important to note that our tank will not sustain a normal pH level (perhaps due to lack of filter) but we don't really know. It usually ranges from 7.4 - 7.6. We aren't sure of the ammonia levels as the aquarium store will not have any in stock for about 2 weeks, I am told.
So basically, we would like to know if you have any advise on how to fix these problems.