09-10-2009, 03:43 PM
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No on the salt. You have enough problems without adding more stress to the fish. I've explained elsewhere what the internal effects of salt on freshwater fish can be. But you have more important issues to solve now.
We need to know your water parameters as previous responders have asked. Without this, we are guessing. However, there are a couple of things that stand out on which I will comment.
The first "community" of fish was anything but; there were fish in that grouping that must never be kept in the same aquarium. You experienced firsthand why--the aggression of puffers and tiger barbs killed the others. It was not directly due to overpopulating, it was simply the nature of puffers and tiger barbs. It is true that in a much larger aquarium these fish can sometimes be less aggressive than in smaller quarters, but as it is their basic instinct to nip fins or attack any smaller fish, whichever, one must chose their tankmates carefully with this in mind.
Diagnosing disease/problems is not easy and sometimes extremely difficult. One should be quite certain of the disease before adding medications to an aquarium; some fish are highly sensitive to some or all chemicals, and while they may withstand it they often become weakened by stress and then are susceptible to even more issues. The appearance of the puffers you describe was not in my view ich but the result of the tiger barbs nipping their tails and fins. The white growths were probably fungus on the injured broken sites.
The fish you now have are better as a community, although you might see aggression amongst the gouramis. But it won't, yet, be to the extent of that from the barbs and puffers. However, the gouramis appear to be dying so this will not be an issue, but worth remembering to avoid in the future. The demise of the gouramis I would almost bet is due to ammonia and/or nitrite poisioning. New tanks must be cycled, that is, the bacteria must be established to handle the ammonia produced by the fish and subsequent nitrite. It takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks in a tank with no plants and no live bacteria added. At this moment, the best thing you can do is a partial water change each day, using a good water conditioner (one that also detoxifies ammonia would be best). Do not vacuum the gravel, and do not clean or change the filter until the tank is definitely cycled. I would also get a bottle of biological supplement such as Seachem's "Stability" or Nutrafin's "Cycle' when you go to the store. It will help in establishing the needed colony of bacteria and ease the stress on the fish that are left, and it might save them.
Ich occurs when fish are stressed beyond their capability to fight off the parasite. Before you jump into more trouble by adding other chemicals, let's get the water sorted out.
When we know your water parameters, namely ammonia, nitrite and pH, either with your own test kit or from the store, we can offer further suggestions. If you do go to the store, make sure they give you the numbers; something like "it's high" or "it's fine" is not good enough since that tells us nothing. We need to know the stage in the cycling at which your tank is now at, and then we can help.