We Had To Kill It
Remember that fish we were trying to treat? We had to kill it.
The infection was getting worse, our treatments weren't working, he couldn't swim very well, and we couldn't isolate him in his own tank so we could really dope him up with treatments (as that would potentially harm the other fish in the tank, which is why we would need an additional hospital tank). So last night, after watching the fish struggle around the tank, bones stiffer than usual and infection starting to spread, we made the decision to put it out of its misery before the rest of our fish (we have six others) got sick, too.
The most humane way to kill a fish (at least I've been told) is to flash freeze it. We've had to do this before, but basically we get a bucket of ice, fill it with water until the water is stupidly cold, and then dump the fish in there. So after thrashing around with the plants trying to catch the guy (it was far easier than usual, as it was struggling to move), we dumped him into the ice water, and while he thrashed for a few seconds, it would've been worse had we cut his head off or something (and he's certainly too big to flush down the toilet).
This morning, we broke the news to our six-year-old, and she was less-than-pleased about it. She wasn't really upset, but you could tell she's going to miss that fish, haven't pretty much grown up with it.
So rest in peace rope fish -- you will be missed. And if anybody ever sees them for sale at any of the local pet stores (Petco occasionally carries them, but they go really fast) please call me so I can buy two of them (we used to have two, but the other one we had died a long while ago of old age).