it could be ich but this late seems unlikely, at least to me. the ram died yesterday and the first visible sign of ich was 10 days ago, which is also when i started treatment. at 86 degrees, the ich life cycle takes about 3-4 days. i dosed copper the day i saw it as well so any free swimming ich would have been knocked out by the copper. if ich was harbored in the gills, maybe that was it? but then why did none of my fish show any signs of stress, aside from hiding which is what they had done before the ich as well. i know for certain one of them died from fighting cuz i watched it happen and i saw the beat up ram later.
the ich happened before the hatchets came in. i think it was stress induced or was in on the honeycomb cat but even then, the honeycomb cat was one of the first fish in my tank 4 weeks ago and did fine. the ich hit when i removed my platy so i reasoned it was stress that led to the ich outbreak.
funny thing about the startling haha my first hatchet has never even tried to leap no matter how many times i aquascape or surprise him. it was all the little ones that did. and yeah most of my fish are ich susceptible, but somehow, my hatchet never got it. maybe ich doesnt swim to the surface as much? hahaha