Ok you know how the eheim classics have the surface skimmer at the top of the intakes?? Well my prize baenschi, the most active and lovable fish in my tank, SOMEHOW got himself sucked in about a week ago. I was doing my periodic fish count and noticed he was missing, and when I finally found him he was stuck a couple inches down the intake, head first!! I pulled him out and his tail and all fins were totally disintegrated and he looked real pale. I automatically thought the poor guy was a goner. But he was alive!! I noticed some very weak gill movement, and he was swimming (in circles and corkscrews) when I touched him with the net. So I decided maaaaybe just maybe he could pull through. I put him in my hospital tank and dosed with melafix and a weak antibiotic... the first 36 hours he just sat at the bottom on his side, barely breathing.. then he began to get his balance back and sit on the bottom upright... and NOW he's swimming and eating and has full color back!!! His fins are torn to shreds still but he's fine other than that.
The morals of the story:
1) just because he looks like a goner, does NOT mean you're right. He might survive. EVERYONE should own a hospital tank for this reason.
2) Never let your water level get too far below your surface skimmer LOL.
I have also had great results with melafix and pimafix. I have actually seen a noticable difference within 24 hours of regenerated fins and tissue. After day 7 is when you realllly notice a difference.