So I bought Ratchet a brand new 2.5 gallon tank, new silk plants, and a new heater. I rinsed everything and acclimated Ratchet to the temperature before adding him to his new home. He immediately went to exploring and showing the bubbles who was boss. He spent the night in his new home and enjoyed it very much.
The next day I had to be to work by 5 in the morning, so I got up at 3 and got ready without checking on everybody. I was only scheduled until 8 in the morning so I assumed I would be getting off around then. Unfortunately, I wasn't let off until 12 in the afternoon, so I went home to immediately feed my dog and my boys since they hadn't had breakfast yet.
When I got home, I noticed something was very wrong with Ratchet. He was lethargic, clamped, and staying in one corner. I immediately cupped him and change the tank water as well as his cup water. By then his eyes were starting to cloud, but it shouldn't have been an illness or water quality since all the water he was in for the past 24 hours was clean with relatively little ammonia.
I changed his water again a few hours later to see if he had improved any, but he was looking worse. I changed his water twice daily and added 2 tsp/gal epsom salt each time.
The next day the tips of his fins turned black and began to fall off. The red wash on his anal fin began to turn a sickly yellow. His scales started to turn black around the edges and his black face began to turn white. His eyes were completely clouded over and he was gasping for air all the time. I thought I was going to lose him that night.
The next day he was miraculously improved. The black tips of his fins had fallen off for the most part and the white on his face was improving. He wasn't breathing as hard as he was the night before. He was willing to eat and scarfed down the pellets I offered him. I wasn't going to lose my favorite grump.
It's been over a week since he beat chemical poisoning and burns now. He's eating like a champ and grumpier than ever. He's still living in the .5 gal hospital tank, but it's floating inside the new tank for warmth from the heater. He won't be going back into that tank until I rinse everything out a bajillion times and then a bajillion times more just to be safe.