I suppose it will be best for me to tell the whole story. I received an 8" Cichla piquiti "Sau Francisco" on Saturday. I noticed the UPS deivery man holding the box side-up. When I opened the box, it was well-insulated and heated, but there was maybe 4 inches of water depth in the bag, approximately 3 inches of air and maybe a foot in length of water. The fish was packed using oxygen and tripple-bagged. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.
I acclimated it by floating the bag for a while and then slowly and incrementally adding tank water until there was enough to put the fish and the water into a short bucket. From there, I added more tank water until the temperatures in the bag and the tank were within a couple of degrees from each other. Then, I netted it out of the bucket into the tank. It went to the bottom for a while to finish acclimating to the tank and then finally started swimming around. The other peacock bass (total of 3 about the same size, but none larger) were at it for a little, which is usual when I put a new fish in there, but they usually stop quickly, especially with other Cichla. However, it was getting picked on, so I removed the festae, which is smaller than the bass, thinking that is was the one doing the picking (didn't notice the other Cichla messing with it). Unfortunately, I had to leave (probably 10 hours) and when I got back, it was still getting picked on and was still looking very pale...I will attach a picture that the seller took when it was in his tank. I also started noticing some hemorrhaging, mostly towards the base of the fins.
So, it appeared that if I didn't do something, they were going to beat on it until it died, so I made the risky and unfortunate decision to move it into a quarantine tank. While I was acclimating it in a bucket, I made the very unwise (read: STUPID) decision to put the PraziPro (which I was treating the rays in the tank with, along with salt and a little MelaFix) and MelaFix into the bucket...I was not thinking clearly due to being frantic about losing such an expensive fish (for me, at least). As was the case when I moved a C. ocellaris to another tank (that time without adding anything), it went belly-up. I then transfered it as quickly as I could (the water temperatures in the 300 and the 40 are about the same in the first place) into the quarantine tank. The time was approximately 1900 hours. Also, its caudal peduncle has noticeably curved dorsally.
It has remained that way until now. Some more information: I changed one-third of the water and added more salt and MelaFix. If I try to put it upright, it will struggle a good bit and swim around upright for a bit, but then quit swimming, "belly-up" (not necessarily in that order) and lay in its dorsal...usually in the same corner. With all of the brilliant minds that frequent this sight, I'm hoping someone will be able to tell me something to do that I haven't or know what is wrong with it. Please help...and to add to the stress, my balas were nipping at my Hyrdrolycus armatus, which has caused it to shed its slime coat and get ich.
FYI, The tank is a 40 Breeder with AC70 HOB filter, 125 gallon-rated sponge filter and an extra airstone that I added after putting the new fish in.
edit: the temperature is about 83F. I would really like to move it so the rays don't have problems, but that would certainly seal its fate.