Calliopepop

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I have a 36-gallon planted freshwater aquarium. The aquarium has been up and running for years now, and the current stocking is harlequin rasboras, kuhli loaches, shrimp, and a dwarf gourami. About a week ago I noticed one of my rasboras wasn't eating, and after some inspection I noticed he had a fungal infection. Unfortunately, I don't have any other tank I could put him in right now, but I do have a suction on breeder/isolation box, which I immediately put up in a space with almost no current and placed him in.
He was pretty rough for the first 24 hours, just resting on the bottom of the box and not moving. But with some aggressive ParaGaurd and StressCoat treatments, plus a bit of aquarium salt, he pulled through. The next day he was swimming about 1/2 inch above the bottom, and an inch the day after that. It's been about a week now and he swims throughout the box. He's still pretty stagnant most of the time, but when I try to feed him with tweezers he wakes up and zooms around the box.
Despite this, I still have him separated for two reasons: he still has pale coloration and possibly some visible fungus, and he hasn't eaten from the surface. He is noticeably paler than the rest of my school, and there does still seem to be a bit of white fuzz on him. It's had to see though, because my box is mesh and it's not visible from above. He also hasn't eaten from the surface that I've seen. I have seen him pick at floating debris and algae on the mesh of his box, and obviously, he's been eating something for the past week. But every time I drop any food above him he's completely disinterested. If I try with tweezers he swims away from them. I've tried his normal flakes, pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, and frozen baby brine shrimp. Unfortunately I cannot seem to find any live food.
I have wondered if he simply won't eat from the surface until he's back with his school and sees them eating. Is this possible, or is it just something I fabricated? Are there any other thoughts about how long I should keep him separated? I'm not in any particular rush to release him, but I do have a female dwarf gourami arriving tomorrow in the mail. Because I introduced my male first, I have considered putting him in the box to let the female scope things out in case he gets too aggressive, but I would think I should release the rasabora before putting him in. He's very peaceful, but I did see him briefly chase around one rasabora when I first introduced them. Is this a good idea, or should I not worry about it?
My water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrates and nitrites 0, ph 7.8 (working on lowering that with almond leaves and wood), GH 3, and KH 8. It's well planted, and the plants have root tabs and get Flourish fertilizer weekly. It also has an aerator. None of my other fish have any signs of a fungal infection. Since he got infected, I've done a 30% water change and gravel vacuumed out any debris I could get at.
 
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Rocky998

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I think you should try releasing him. You said its mesh so if you are treating him you are also treating the rest if the tank, correct? And if he still has even a little of the fungus the other fish in the tank can still get it. I understand you are worried about bullying from the other fish but try letting him back in. It may take a few days but he may perk back up in his "natural" environment.
But if you see any bullying then put him back into the mesh or if you can try a separate hospital tank. That always works better.
 
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Calliopepop

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Yes, I am treating the rest of the tank as well. My concern is less so bullying, more so just the size of the tank and the strength of the water current. I don't want to overwhelm him with my somewhat aggressive current which is in much of the aquarium, and if he's not ready I'd be concerned about the amount of swimming he would do to keep up with the school in a larger area. I may be a little over-cautious though, as I've had fish die in the past when I introduced them back into the larger tank.
 

Rocky998

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Yes, I am treating the rest of the tank as well. My concern is less so bullying, more so just the size of the tank and the strength of the water current. I don't want to overwhelm him with my somewhat aggressive current which is in much of the aquarium, and if he's not ready I'd be concerned about the amount of swimming he would do to keep up with the school in a larger area. I may be a little over-cautious though, as I've had fish die in the past when I introduced them back into the larger tank.
Ah ok that makes sense... I do not know what to add then to be honest. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can help
 

GaryE

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Without a separate tank, you can't protect him. His sickness might come from age - often when one fish gets ragged in a tank where everyone else is fine, it's age or individual disease. With a mesh trap, you can't treat him really.
Fish control their colours, and in a mesh trap, he will have to be pale. That's normal, healthy or not. He is in a frightening exposed place.
 
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Calliopepop

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Without a separate tank, you can't protect him. His sickness might come from age - often when one fish gets ragged in a tank where everyone else is fine, it's age or individual disease. With a mesh trap, you can't treat him really.
Fish control their colours, and in a mesh trap, he will have to be pale. That's normal, healthy or not. He is in a frightening exposed place.
That is good to know about the coloration. Unfortunately, the only separate tank I would be able to use is currently occupied by a caterpillar in its cocoon, so the mesh is really all I can do for now. I have treated the entire tank, and he is doing significantly better than the first few days, though I agree it would be much better to have another tank. I suppose my main concerns at this point are whether he needs to be moved out to eat properly, and whether I need to separate my male gourami before the introduction of the female.
 

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