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Presumed dead rescue doing surprisingly well

Subject: Presumed dead rescue doing surprisingly well
by OutOfMyDepth on 11/3/2019 3:45:22

Hi there ! I’m new, and made this account because spending 2am panicking about my newly adopted fish child probably isn’t healthy.

Disclaimer: this is going to be all rambly. Sorry. :s
Now, please know this before the (really painful) backstory: We are chasing it up.

So my friend works with properties, and someone hadn’t paid their bills in ages. Over a month. Company sends them to investigate. Finds the place an absolute wreck. Finds the fish tank... allegedly, green water, brown and mouldy stuff growing it in, handfuls of fish corpses. Gross and upsetting. Gets instructed to have the place cleaned up and etc.
Realises ONE of these poor things is still alive. Barely. Calls me, knowing I have a fish tank. (I’m an absolute doofus who only got the tank to briefly observe critters that show up in my garden ponds; wound up saving a “mean” danio and an injured pregnant platy’s five children- the other ?? 30 ? were rehomed. Point is, these are hardy fish that pull their weight as much as I do- I don’t know how to handle this fancy thing).
Naturally, we don’t know anyone else and the pet shop isn’t interested. I now have (what I believe to be) a fantail/fancy goldfish.

I can’t tell if it’s meant to be pale, if it’s albino, or if it’s super, SUPER sick. (Guessing the latter). Now, because I don’t know what it’s sick with, I’ve had it in a large bowl with an air rock and a cave to hide in. I’m changing the water daily because I’m scared of the water values fluctuating and hurting it; luckily they’re not getting stressed by it. Err, I guess having water changed isn’t too bad when you’ve been starved and surrounded by corpses for a few weeks, huh ?
Anyway. The good news is they’re eating and swimming well. (And they haven’t tried to eat the small snail I put in to keep them company). They seem lively under two conditions: low light, and believing I’m not nearby. I don’t know if they forgot humans already, but it’s actually quite jarring not having a fish come up to me to want to brush against my fingers or get excited for food (I’m not taking it personally, just weird to experience !). When I’m nearby, or when they’re near light, they hide in the cave. Which is awkward because google says goldfish need a day and night cycle like humans, and that they become healthier and more physically vibrant with light exposure ? If I have a gothic child I can set up a dark tank, but would that be bad for their health ?
I’ve been putting in snail algae pellet things which is what it ate most on the first day (maybe because they’re easy to see and eat on the bottom of the bowl when it’s too weak to swim much ?), temperate fish flakes, and goldfish flakes. Not too much, don’t want to poor thing getting constipated. (Gosh goldfish poop a lot). Is it true that goldfish don’t know when to stop eating ?

It’s been maybe 3-4 days since I got this new fishy friend, and I thought here might be the best place to get some answers. I want to introduce this fish to my other kids; they’re all really, really friendly (even to small snails and shrimp!), so that’s not holding me back... but I’m scared this fish is contagious. I mean. Weeks. Surrounded by corpses. In those disgusting water conditions. It’s got to have SOMETHING wrong with it, more than just being hungry and a little scuffed up, right ??

So here’s what I’ve noticed (maybe some of its normal ? Idk, I’ve never had a sick fish before): It’s too skinny, maybe bloated or constipated, it’s too pale, it’s scales look spiky instead of flat, some of its scales are missing, and it appears to have little red bits on it’s fins so maybe that’s like a fish bruise ? And a weird kink in it’s tail that doesn’t unkink even when it’s swimming well. When I go too close to the bowl and they see me, they STOP and start breathing heavy as if they have PTSD ?

Now, all knowing google has said that fish in bad water conditions quickly get sick, and usually get cotton fluff and gill flukes. What on Earth is that supposed to look like ?? On close inspection, their nose looks a little funny. Honestly that could just be what their nose is supposed to look like though.

I’d really appreciate feedback on what I’m doing right or wrong here, and help identifying what’s wrong with the fish (and maybe when would be a good idea to get them back in an actual tank with friends and plants and stuff).

Also, I’m expecting my next pets at home order to come tomorrow which will contain: Interpet Anti Fungus and Finrot Aquarium Treatment 100ml, Interpet Anti Internal Bacteria Fish Treatment 100ml, and API Aquarium Salt 453g. I figured these would be good to own even if they won’t be helpful for the new fish (did I cover the bases okay ?)

As it’s now 2:40am I won’t be posting pictures as that would involve blinding the poor thing with my phone’s flash. I will post pictures in the daytime though, probably as soon as I clean the bowl out and refill it with fresh water (and tapsafe stuff) so everything’s clear and visible as possible.

Thank you for any help !!