Oh jeez that's terrible, it's always a concern when you leave tanks on their own for a period of time.
As Fishlady says the bacterial colony may recover quicker than you might imagine, bacteria are more resilient than people think and although you will clearly have had considerable die-off it may not be case where you are starting completely from scratch.
Hope everything goes well in terms of getting the tank back into shape.
I don't use bogwood in my current setup but I used to have a large piece of bogwood a few years back and I kept that in the centre of the tank.
Personal opinion of course but I think bogwood always looks best as the centre-piece of a tank with the fish and plants around it, therefore the more unusual / striking piece the better - good pieces of bogwood look odd tucked away in a corner.
There are some incredible pics of aquascaped tanks with bogwood on the internet if you need some inspiration!
My next tank is definitely having bogwood in it - kind of miss it!
It's never an easy decision to make but in my opinion if the fish no longer exhibits healthy behaviours, i.e swimming normally, eating normally, looking active etc and this continues for a prolonged period of time then ask yourself if you would want to continue living in that condition.
Without sounding selfish you also have to consider the other tank inhabitants, if he is weak / ill and showing no obvious signs of recovery he is much more susceptible to disease (if he hasn't succumbed already of course) which could then be transmitted to other currently healthy fish and you have a responsibility for their well-being also.
Sounds like you have tried everything you can to me, best not to keep him suffering any longer.
If you decided to euthanase then the clove oil method is considered to be the most humane, I think there is an article on it on here somewhere.
In fairness it was probably my post they were getting annoyed about.
I agree, we were all novices once (and I still consider myself to be one) and keeping fish is a constant learning experience but it does irk me when people come onto forums asking for help & advice only to then challenge the facts being given to them and then state they will ignore most of the advice. I have provided help & advice to many others in the past and all of those individuals happily took my advice on board and took the necessary steps to improve the lives of the fish they were looking after, it?s a shame ?Lusky? hasn?t done the same.
I accept my tone may have been quite direct & forthright but I will not apologise for challenging people who do not appear to be taking advice on board, especially from people who are here to help.
Also, making idiotic statements about flushing fish down the toilet will hardly endear yourselves to the fishkeeping fraternity on here.
That's exactly the issue - there ARE thousands of pet shops across the length and breadth of the country providing inaccurate "advice" regarding goldfish well-being. This is an issue as a fancy goldfish keeper that I don't see improving unfortunately, I mean they still give away goldfish as prizes at fairgrounds FFS, you wouldn't see them giving away cichlids but that's because goldfish are still treated as disposable "ten a penny" pets which is a cruel (and not to mention uneducated) attitude towards a living animal.
You have said you are going to treat the fish to the best of your ability, I can assure you that by continuing to keep them in their current state you are not treating the fish to their best of your ability and the fish are suffering.
I have a 600l tank for my fancies, absolutely no way could I change water with buckets on that.
I am a bit lucky as I use an Eheim 2260 filter on it which has a tap at the bottom, I simply attach a hose (which also has a python attachment on the end of it) and drain 50% of the water from the tank out through that, the hose goes out into the garden and helps water the plants!
Then when it comes to re-filling I take the hose off the bottom of the filter, put that end in the end and attached the python connector to my mixer tap in the kitchen and refill the tank, simple! I then add de-chlorinator / plant food once the tank is full.
I used to own a 200l tank and used buckets on that but it was a pain - with my 600l water changes have never been easier! I would struggle to do it without having the Eheim 2260 though.
Following on from fcmf's comments I would have to say that goldfish really are not fish for a beginner, that may sound crazy to a lot of people but they are not easy fish to keep in a healthy and well maintained manner.
For a start they require large tanks as they grow very large, require large external filtration and the fish themselves create a lot of waste resulting in frequent water changes and tank maintenance by the keeper which many beginners can end up resenting in a short space of time thus resulting in neglected (then ultimately dead) fish and then a rejection of the hobby as a whole.
Don't underestimate goldfish, they are challenging fish to keep - but speaking as a fancy goldfish keeper of 8 fish I can confirm they are very rewarding to keep and I really enjoy it, although it took me a lot of time to research and make a few mistakes along the way before I learnt how to keep them properly.
Perhaps smaller, more hardy fish would be a better type of fish to start with especially if you are looking to keep costs down and inspire your child into the hobby.
I used black vinyl wrap (sold by car places on ebay) to cover the back of mine, you make it stick by spraying a mixture of water & washing up liquid onto it and then stick it to the back of the tank - you can then move it around, you'll also need to get rid of the air bubbles by smoothing over with a c/c.
Mine has never come off, but it you change your mind it does peel off if you are committed enough - would be less drastic / toxic than paint and would help it's re-sale value if you ever wanted rid of it.
Yes the cost goes up considerably from 4" upwards, mainly because there are so few decent, quality fancies of the bigger sizes anymore.
I wouldn't say large quality fancies are "rare" as such but they are very uncommon thus the higher price tag. Plus the fishkeeping world is more marketed towards tropical / marine keepers and unfortunately the "goldfish world" is still associated with cheap, ten a penny poor quality goldfish that are considered "starter fish" and disposable and therefore are treated as disposable by many of their keepers, you only have to go to a local funfair to see the harsh evidence of that.
A colleague of mine who has a marine tank always turned his nose up at me, even going as far as saying I wasn't a proper fishkeeper because I kept goldfish....but then he saw my tank and soon changed his mind!