Have been doing a few partial water changes per day to clear out the meds in the QT tank. During the last one I caught the fish to get a close look at him. Mouth is so small it's hard to tell- but it looked as if the jaw was a bit swollen underneath and part of the upper mouth gone? as if can't close the mouth. Rest of it looked fine -no visible fungus- and I briefly wondered if it was no longer contagious, even if the mouth couldn't fully heal, wouldn't it be happier its last few days, to be in the home tank. Crazy notion, but the behavior sure clued me in. I was holding the fish in plastic baggie and while against the QT tank wall or held in the air it just kind of sat there, drifted up against the plastic side, turned again, not really animated.
When I floated the bag momentarily in the main tank, the fish went nuts trying to get out. Pushing against the sides, trying to leap out. I swear it saw the familiar habitat (though probably not the other fish, who were hiding) and wanted to be in it. But I saw then closer look with the dark tank background, the mouth really was deformed and I have a horrible dread maybe this is columnaris. I can't put that fish back in there. I returned it to the QT and it dashed so hard against the tank side, it looked like it broke its face. A large piece of jaw suddenly missing. No chance of any recovery- so I euthanized it and went out to the forsythia again with a shovel.
It was just after dark and the only brightness to my mood was coming across a large, beautiful moth crawling on the deck planks, when I approached the house again. I didn't have my camera, but I called my older daughter over and we admired it for several minutes. It was white with black rings and spots, the body orange and blue. I looked it up- a giant leopard moth.
Oddest thing is, this morning when offering food to the fishes, for the first time in weeks the largest serpae tetra came out immediately with the others to see what's up. In fact, all five of them came out of hiding among the plants and started looking for food at my tap tap. (Before it was just the boldest or dominant two, then the other two young ones, and the largest/oldest would hang in the back until almost all the food was gone). Something has shifted in their heirarchy? or one that was slightly unwell is feeling better? I don't know. But it was nice to see them all dashing around so lively after bugs (and each other).