Bloated Cory catfish floating?

biofish

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I just got back a from a week vacation and had set up automatic feeders for my fish…. I think the feeders released too much because a lot of my look a bit chunky. But anyway! My one eyed Cory Catfish, his stomach is bloated, and for some reason he’s floating at the top of the tank, on his side. He’s still able to swim, but he just keeps stopping and floating. I thought he was dead the first time I saw him like this. I just changed my water 50% this morning because as I was gone, one of my female guppies also in the tank passed away and had decomposed quite a bit. I’m planning on changing 50% tomorrow and not feeding them for a day before I have them peas.

Is my Cory having a swim bladder issue? Or did he just eat too much?
 

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azvictoria

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I just got back a from a week vacation and had set up automatic feeders for my fish…. I think the feeders released too much because a lot of my look a bit chunky. But anyway! My one eyed Cory Catfish, his stomach is bloated, and for some reason he’s floating at the top of the tank, on his side. He’s still able to swim, but he just keeps stopping and floating. I thought he was dead the first time I saw him like this. I just changed my water 50% this morning because as I was gone, one of my female guppies also in the tank passed away and had decomposed quite a bit. I’m planning on changing 50% tomorrow and not feeding them for a day before I have them peas.

Is my Cory having a swim bladder issue? Or did he just eat too much?
Bad water can cause a lot of trouble. Have you tested the water - before/after? If parameters aren't ideal, you can go 75% on the water change. Be sure to get that gravel. Bloat can indicate a number of things from dropsy/bacteria/other infections to overeating and constipation. I hope they're recovering!
 

DoubleDutch

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Personally I don't see any bloating in this Cory (in neither pic).

What is it fed? The substrate is not that suitable for corys btw. Main issue is food getting out of reach and start to decompose.
 

Colin_T

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It probably swallowed a heap of air and when this passes out of the fish's digestive tract, it should be able to swim normally again.
 
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biofish

biofish

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My Cory seems to be a bit better this morning. His tummy isn’t bulging and I haven’t seen him to his weird side float thing yet. I included a picture where I drew some lines of where his tummy normally is( black line) and where his bulging tummy (red line) was yesterday.

I feed, well I try to feed them some shrimp sinking pellets regularly. My guppies hound these pellets even when I put the directly onto the substrate and I’m really not sure how much my Corys get. So sometimes I wiggle flakes in front of their nose just to be sure they’ve gotten something. I feed them some freeze dried bloodworms sparingly and I put peas in if notice a tummy isn’t going down.

I did not check my water before and after the change… I was more focused on getting the water changed immediately. Last time a fish died a couple months ago everyone had clamped fins within a matter of hours. I’m shocked that not a single fin was clamped when I got home. The degree of decay was much greater than when I found the last one.

And I’m not sure what the ph is… but ive been meaning to go get a water test anyway, and this new development just kinda sped up that need
 

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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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He’s completely fine now! Swimming just as much as he used to!
Now you'll need to address the tank hygiene issue, in order to prevent any more deaths and poorly fish.
As @DoubleDutch says, that substrate is far from ideal, because any uneaten food will fall deep within it and then rot. This will likely cause ammonia spikes, which can be lethal.
 
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biofish

biofish

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Now you'll need to address the tank hygiene issue, in order to prevent any more deaths and poorly fish.
As @DoubleDutch says, that substrate is far from ideal, because any uneaten food will fall deep within it and then rot. This will likely cause ammonia spikes, which can be lethal.
Is pebble substrate bad? What would you recommend?

Edit: To help with recommendations, it’s a 20 gallon planted tank that has only female guppies, Cory catfish, and a couple snails. I have a new candy stripped pleco in quarantine that’s gonna go in there in a couple weeks. And my water test (after the two water changes) returned with 0 ammonia and nitrate.
 
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alistairw

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Hi there.
Cory's love a sand substrate. They filter the sand out through their bills searching for food. It's what they do in their natural habitat, so it's good to try and recreate that. As already mentioned, the substrate you have will cause food to get trapped and eventually cause water issues. So, if you move to sand, it will work in your
favour! And it's a little easier to clean if you grade it to slope to a corner!
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Is pebble substrate bad? What would you recommend?

Edit: To help with recommendations, it’s a 20 gallon planted tank that has only female guppies, Cory catfish, and a couple snails. I have a new candy stripped pleco in quarantine that’s gonna go in there in a couple weeks. And my water test (after the two water changes) returned with 0 ammonia and nitrate.
Pebbles are bad, for the reasons I described.
Sand or gravel are your best options, although the gravel has to be river gravel, with tiny, rounded stones, (so as not to damage your cories barbels).

Sand is now the most popular substrate for cories, but it comes with it's own issues, those being its habit of compacting and forming gas bubbles under the surface and it takes a delicate touch to clean with a syphon. Many plants won't do well in a sand substrate.
River gravel is more traditional and cories managed to actually thrive on this for the last 70 years. It's less problematic to clean and is a better substrate for most plants.

As you're a beginner, I'd be tempted to recommend the gravel, until you really know what you're doing.
 

wasmewasntit

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A quick and easy way to make a beach effect in a pebbled or gravel substrate.....

Get an empty two litre plastic bottle, wash it out thoroughly with clean water (especially if it had fizzy drink inside)
Cut the bottom off
Take the top off and its locking collar

Next water change, once water level is down, turn bottle upside down and use the neck to gently move the subtrate to give a shallow space ideally down to glass bottom level.

Once that is done, get the sand and you might need an extra pair of hands to help, hold the bottle upside down about 1 to 1.5 inches above the now exposed glass bottom of the aquarium and very very slowly pour sand into the bottle whilst gently and slowly moving the bottle around the exposed area. This will give you a nice beach for the Cories and other snufflers to play in without causing great sand and dust clouds in the water.

Once the sand is in place, refill the aquarium as normal.

To maintain the sand beach, a large turkey baster is perfectly adequate to spot clean and to puff the sand periodically to prevent compaction or putrid air collecting underneath it
 

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