Injured black moor laying at bottom of tank
Some basic stuff about my tank: It is a 40 gallon started August 2012. We do about a 30 - 50% water change every two weeks because we have an overstocked tank. We test the water using an API kit weekly. Our last PWC was a few days ago. Our test tonight showed readings of:
Nitrate: 2 ppm
We had the typical problems with Ammonia or Nitrite while our tank cycled, but not since. We are on well water but still add de-chlorinator. Our tank has a pleco, a Shubunkin (6 inches - we are in the process of moving him to a pond), 3 fancy tails and a Black Moor. We 'inherited' these fish and were told at the pet store 40 gallons would be enough. Believe it or not, they used to all live together in a 10 gallon tank!! Next August, our daughter moves out permanently and will be taking a couple of the fancies with her, so the situation will soon be remedied.
Anyhow - about our 'incident'.
Our Black Moor was added about 6 months back. (Another 'gift'.) He has always floated at the top and away from the other fish. They tend to school on one side of the tank, he stays on the other. Well, he began showing signs of constipation (unable to swim to the bottom of the tank, floating upside down), so we stopped feeding daily and went to an every other day cycle. Fed him some mashed peas and stuff and it got better within a day. He was all over the tank. The next day, I woke up to find one of his eyes was completely gone. (The lady at the fish store said it was probably the Shubunkin since it is the only thing in the tank really large enough to hurt him and they could sometimes be territorial?) We did a water change and added a .01% salt solution to help with healing. We have started a 10 gallon hospital tank, but I don't want to put him in it until it is completely cycled. In the meantime, to protect him, we inserted a divider into the tank to separate him from the other fish. The first day after the accident, he seemed completely normal. He continued to be normal into the second day. Once I inserted the divider, he began acting a little strange and began laying on the bottom of the tank. He swims to the top whenever we lift the lid (he thinks he is going to be fed) and he is eating well. Occasionally, he will take a swim around, but always comes back to the bottom of the tank. The eye cavity is now white (was silver and red when it first happened) and there seems to be no outward sign of infection or parasites. The only other change is that his breathing seems to be more rapid.
I'm sure he is stressed, and I really want to move him to the other tank, but not until it is cycled. Is there anything else I can or should be doing for him? I really love this little guy and don't want to see him die!