Rescued Rope Fish With Missing Tail. Ideas For Recovery?

Spidey

Hello everybody! I went to my LFS recently, and I noticed that they had a poor little rope fish that was getting harassed by the other fish in the aquarium. His tail was completely bit off, and they were starting to get to his actual flesh! Being the person that I am, I couldn't resist taking him home and getting him out of that place. Every one of their tanks were incredibly overstocked with fish far too aggressive for my little buddy, and I knew that they wouldn't put him in a quarantine tank if I suggested it (yeah... I tried that last week trying to help a fish that I didn't have the facilities for at home. They just moved it one tank over, where the poor thing proceeded to get beat up again). Sooo, now I have a rope fish named Eddie in my quarantine tank (about 2.5 gallons of water; yes, I know that this is small). I have a cycled sponge filter in there and I am dosing the tank with KanaPlex. I do a 50% water change every day, but I am worried that the bacteria on the sponge filter were murdered by the KanaPlex (an antibiotic). I tested the tank's ammonia before I did a water change this morning, and it was at 1ppm. (Yikes!) I'm trying to figure out if it would be better to simply put him in my stable, clean 55 gallon aquarium immediately and let him heal himself, or if it would be better to dose him with antibiotics to keep the bacterial and fungal infections away and maybe add something like prime or ammolock to keep the ammonia down. I hate ammolock (and most fish chemicals, for that matter), but I will use it if I have to. Thanks for any advice that you can give!
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Oh, and I also can't really get him to eat. I tried frozen blood worms, and he had no interest. Would ghost shrimp or live fishing worms be better to get his attention? I've only had him for about a day, so I'm not too concerned, but I would feel so much better if I saw him try to eat something.
 

V1K

I'm not sure about the need of antibiotics, but 2.5 gallons is really small volume, so no wonder you get ammonia buildup despite daily water changes. Maybe you have a larger bucket, a tub or something? It doesn't have to be pretty, just spacious and clean. Also, maybe it's the way the photo was taken, but that decoration looks like it takes up a significant space in already small volume, so you actually have even less than 2.5 gallons there. If a bigger container isn't an option, maybe you could take it out and provide the fish with a more compact hiding space, like a pleco cave.
 

Spidey

I measured out the water volume for medication purposes and then I added the decor, so it is definitely 2.5 gallons. I guess I could set up my extra 15 or 20 gallon tank; I just liked this one because smaller water volumes mean less medication waste, and it has a spout for getting the water out without using a siphon for easy water changes. The ammonia probably spiked because I left some blood worms in there last night for him to eat; he didn't touch them and they ended up being ammonia diffusers. I'm really just trying to figure out if he really needs the medication; I'm just trying to stop infections. I would prefer to put him in my 55 gallon after I do a water change to reduce the nitrates a tad. They are never higher than 20ppm, but I'd rather double clean to be safe.
 

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