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I'm hoping someone can help diagnose what's going on with my scarlet badis. I purchased a pair (one is male, the other's sex is undetermined, but I think it's a male) from my LFS about a month ago for my 10 gallon planted containing one stiphodon goby. Though picky eaters, the two seemed to be thriving on whatever they felt like pecking at in the tank and the frozen brine shrimp I tossed in every other day (they don't always want the brine shrimp so I don't offer it to them everyday to keep the tank water clean.) About a week ago, both began ignoring the brine shrimp, but only the smaller of the two began isolating itself and hanging out at the top of the tank near the filter. He would swim around with the other badis often enough that I considered it a personality quirk for a little while. However, I noticed his lack of color and what appeared to be a reddening of the gills, so I decided to quarantine him about three days ago. Attached is are some pictures of it in a 1.5 gallon kritter keeper (the little corner where it is picture is where it hangs out most often, though it will swim about when it feels like it. Also, I apologize for the horrible lighting) and another picture of the pair soon after purchase. I'm only medicating so far with a tsp of aquarium salt per gallon of water and water changes every other day. I have also tried switching up the brine shrimp with frozen bloodworms and daphnia to see if either fish will accept them. The quarantined fish hasn't eaten in what seems like a week. Meanwhile, the healthy fish must eat when my back is turned, because he has nearly doubled and size, increased coloration, and seems active and happy. This is the first time I've kept these fish so I don't want to incorrectly medicate it. By the way, my tank is over two years old and I diligently change 20% of the water once a week. I need to buy new testing strips, but nitrate and nitrite were at 0 when I tested about a week ago. Temp in the tank stays between 74-78 degrees. Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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Sorry to hear you're having trouble. I've never kept them so my advice is going to be more of a broader stroke.

In my experience the first few weeks are the hardest, in that if the fish survives that period then there's a good chance that you want have any problems with it. I've purchased fish that looked as healthy as could be, that died in a matter of days. I've also received fish online that looked like they were on deaths doorstep, that survived and thrived.

There's just so much of the fishes state of health that we are unaware of. That's why quarantine is so important, for EVERY fish. You just never know.


Now with regards to the fish themselves - doubling in size is certainly a good sign, so it's definitely eating while you aren't looking. The one that's not well - I wouldn't feed it if you know it's not eating. It takes a really, really long time for fish to starve to death. Whatever is ailing the fish will surely kill it well before it has a chance to starve to death, so don't worry about the food too much. I wish I could tell you what to medicate with, but when there is no obvious indicator of what the problem is, all you can do is guess. My guess would be to treat with a broad spectrum antibiotic.
 
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