InvisibleRain

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Hello. I joined this forum to ask this question.

Here's my current tank set-up:

I have a 20 gallon tank with an under-gravel filtration system as well as a new power filter (rated for 20-30 gallon aquariums). I don't have a good water testing kit but the pH is pretty much 7.0, no detectable nitrates, nitrites or ammonia that I know of. The tank is long cycled and is pretty well established at this point. It is pretty heavily planted (not sure what kind of plants.) I generally keep the temperature in the upper 70's or lower 80's through the use of a water heater.

I have 5 ghost shrimp, one fancy guppy, one juvenile black ghost knife, one golden mystery snail, and one (new) oto cat.

I'll be honest. I bought the oto cat because I had seen him in the fish store looking like he was going to die for several days in a row. He was laying upside down and was extremely thin. So, being the dumb person I am, I bought a guppy breeder/isolation thing, stuck it in my tank, and put the oto in the breeder (after acclimating him to my water, of course).

He has been slowly improving (I think) but is still very sick. He basically acts paralyzed most of the time. If you use your hand to create a current, he'll kind of just drift around, not making any effort to save himself. He breathes pretty heavily, almost gasping. I have been providing algae wafers as well as some weighted down algea-covered leaves from my aquarium plants. He has been eating as he looks much less thin and has been pooping.

Sometimes he CAN swim, and he'll swim aroud extremely quickly and panickedly, but when he's acting paralyzed, you can take him out of the water and he won't do anything to save himself.

I'd like to let him loose into my tank to give him a chance, but I tried and he just sank to the bottom on his back, and I know that that would be too tempting for my ghost knife to harass him.

What could this possibly be? I know I shouldn't have bought a sick fish, I just felt bad for him. Any suggestions? I really want the little guy to live.
 

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