There used to be a myth, sometimes still around, that tropical is more difficult than coldwater. For tropical, it only requires a heater which simply needs to be set to the correct temperature and plugged in, after which it switches on and off automatically to keep it at the correct temperature.
I'm glad that he is continuing to be enthusiastic about food. It seems to me as though this is a long-term condition that he's going to be living with but that he might fare best kept in the 145L/larger tank for the foreseeable future rather than being returned to the pond - how would you feel about this?
I wonder if it might be worth taking a break from the eSHa 2000 treatment, and see how he fares - ie whether he stays much the same or whether he deteriorates. Perhaps continue with the Epsom salt dips as they are until we know whether or not ceasing the eSHa 2000 makes any difference.
Continue the water changes as you've been doing and continue to feed him on food that sinks or is pre-soaked so that it sinks, to avoid him gulping in any air from the surface, and intersperse this with feeding peas (shell off, chopped into small pieces) and possibly other live/frozen food. One individual on another, now-defunct forum used to swear by Repashy Soilent Green - not designed for goldfish but she said she had very beneficial effects from its use with goldfish suffering from buoyancy problems... I just wonder if this might be worth a try..?
Glad you successfully completed the tank cycling - presumably, once you'd achieved that, you topped up with ammonia as required (to keep the beneficial bacteria alive), right up until you got fish?
As for whether you could get more fish, could you remind us what your water parameters are for KH and GH, and what your water/utility website states your postcode's water hardness is for CaCO3 and German degrees hardness? That way, we'll be able to advise on which fish's requirements match those of your water. (Neon tetras like soft water; guppies like hard.)
In terms of *numbers* of fish of the size you're referring to, this will at least in part depend on what your nitrates are like. In the meantime, you could take a reading of your tap water to find out what the 'baseline' level of nitrates is (or your water/utility website may state this). [I have the same-sized tank as you and would say that you could increase the number of tetras and possibly add some small cories such as pygmy/habrosus/hastatus but you'd be pushing the stocking capacity to its limits; alternatively you could possibly add another couple of neons and have a shoal of panda cories. Cories need to be kept in larger groups than 3 and any other cories including the albinos (corydoras aeneus) need a larger tank. However, depending on your water hardness, it may be that cories or additional neons may not be suitable.]
Let us know how recently your tank was cycled and dosed with ammonia, what your water hardness is, and your tap water nitrates' level, and we'll advise further on potential additional stock and when to add.
Thanks for the update. In spite of his 'adventure' involving dry land, the Epsom salt bath/dip appears to be very promising; let's hope that subsequent ones provide further improvement.
A bigger net and possibly even a jug may help transfer Terror e.g. guiding him with the net into the jug, then gradually manoeuvring the jug upright before gently pouring him into the other.
Almost every time I've used eSHa 2000 treatment, I've had to extend the treatment dosage / repeat it - usually I find that results start to appear around Day 5. No guarantee that this will happen in your case but I definitely think it's worth extending the dosage at least another couple of days.
It's difficult to tell whether it's over-eating or eggs or something else that is causing her to bloat. I had a female x-ray tetra who was very similar to this - in her case, her expanded size was gradual and remained that way and became more extreme gradually, and I put it down to the vast quantities she ate in comparison with everyone else. Sadly, I think it was her obesity that ultimately killed her. As your water quality and feeding regime sounds good, working out the cause may come down to how sudden the increase in size was. If it was sudden, then it may be worth treating with Epsom salt bath dips to help draw out any excess fluid. If gradual, then it may be over-eating / skill at retrieving the food, in which case it's difficult to know how to treat, other than to reduce feeding or possibly separating her from the others temporarily to give the others the opportunity to eat but which may stress her unnecessarily.
That does look like brown algae. Nerite snails are lovely and your number are the same as I have proportionately for the tank size. It's really difficult to comment on how good a job they will do at cleaning it - but generally the tank doesn't have much algae (maybe due to them controlling it) and it comes down to the individual snails. One of mine prefers to work diligently away on the tank's walls/surfaces but that's not to say that they're completely algae-free - sometimes a seemingly clean part is gone over and over, sometimes patches of algae are left and not ventured towards, and often there's patterning/footprint marks of where the snail has been. The other snail tends to work diligently away on the wood and rarely is on the tank's walls/surfaces. Sometimes they'll go onto the silk plants' leaves to clean those but only those that support their weight - I have to give the plants' leaves a scrub with a toothbrush weekly and sometimes use a sponge to give the front wall/surface of the tank an extra wipe to eliminate any residual algae. I enjoy having snails for admiring their beautiful patterning and watching their antics (e.g. hanging off a leaf) more than I do for their algae-eating abilities. In a nutshell, they will help but don't expect the result to be transformative like adverts for cleaning products!
It is indeed invaluable to have found a vet like that - and so good that all the staff treated you/him with dignity and were caring. [I had a horrible experience many years ago when I called for a vet - can still remember his scathing attitude and words - but thankfully found another who was willing/happy to help and caring as well.]
What a loving and fitting place to bury him. RIP Shadow.
As long as the Epsom salts only contain that, and not some other ingredient/perfume, you should be fine. I buy Epsom salts from epsomsalts.co.uk
The all-in-one water testing strips don't actually measure ammonia, so I'd advise getting a liquid-based test kit for that as it's a crucial reading to take (and the strips for it aren't that accurate / easy to read).
Your feeding regime, and especially the daily inclusion of pea, sounds fine, although it might be worth soaking the pond sticks in the water beforehand so that they sink and the fish doesn't take in air from the surface which can contribute to buoyancy problems.
As for the new filter, move the filter media from the existing pump/filter into that, so that any beneficial bacteria built up over the past few days is transferred into the new filter. Monitor ammonia, nitrite and nitrate daily to ensure they remain at 0, 0 and 20 (or no more than 20 above tap water levels), and do larger or more frequent water changes as required to ensure that they remain consistently at this - they are liable to creeping up as the filter media goes through its fish-in cycle.
The shedded scales may be from the pressure internally but I wouldn't worry too much about that particular aspect.
Yes, use the eSHa 2000 in place of the Melafix and FishAid.
The 145-litre box you found on e-bay sounds ideal, with the pump/filter and pond water (as s/he's used to that) although you could top it up with a little (eg up to 20%) dechlorinated tap water if you have dechlorinator such as Seachem Prime.
As previously mentioned, and as Fishlady kindly re-emphasised/reminded you, it's Epsom salt (not aquarium salt) baths which you should be doing. I've already mentioned the timescales for these dips/baths in my previous post - 30mins max but removal sooner if s/he becomes distressed. The dosage seems to be 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts for every 4-5 litres of water - best to err on underdosing if unsure, though.