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HELP! Cory swimming funny, etc..

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by braykbeat, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I've had 6 corys for a long time in a 20 gal long and suddenly one of them started swimming upside down and close to the surface. When he wasn't, he would either just sit in one spot or swim around the middle/top areas of the tank. This isn't normal for him. He also has some torn fins and some weird red spots in the middle of his body almost looking like blood. The other 5 have stopped being as active as they were before. The changes I made to the tank recently are adding a sponge filter and I switched from fluorescent light to an LED light. Additionally I have two filters on the tank, namely a 20 gallon canister filter and a standard 5-15 gallon hang on the back filter.

    I was thinking maybe the sponge filter created so much CO2 in the tank and made him bloated? I read other places and they said the fish could be getting bloated and to feed a pea to it. I did so and he ignored the pea and just hung out in the bottom of the tank. I just put him into a nursery tank in the same tank with a pea and I'm hoping he will eat it and/or get better. Did I do the right thing? Please help.

    Thanks,
    Bryan
     
  2. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    Hi Bryan,

    We will meed a little bit more info to help with this.

    1) what are your tank parameters? Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, pH, KH, GH and temperature?

    2) what type of cory is this? And are all 6 of the same specie?

    3) what are the other tankmates?

    4) how often and of what size are your water changes?

    5) do you have pictures?

    6) what is your substrate?

    Emphasis on the last question as my hunch here is red blotch disease.

    This is a bacterial infection that tends to affect bottom dwelling fish who sit on the substrate a lot.

    Corys spend most of there time rummaging for snacks, so the substrate needs to be a soft, fine sand. Sharp sand, gravel etc simply isnt healthy. It can cause their whiskers to get worn down and become infected.

    Red blotch disease is pretty nasty, but can take weeks to months to kill the host. Cories are also rather sensitive to medicine.

    Im no vet, and havent had to treat my cories for anything, but i currently have the potential (unlikely) onset of ich in my tank which houses cories, and advice i have received is that salt, whilst not great, is better than most meds - but of course do your research. If you go down the line of salt (as your affected cory is in a hospital tank) you could try aquarium salt (which isnt very expensive. Dont use table salt as that can often contain added chemicals -iodine i think off the top of my head - to stop it from clumping) then work on the basis of 1 level teaspoon of salt per 3 litres of water. Youd want to add it to the tank slowly over the course of a whole day, ensuring you disolve it in a little tank water before adding to the tank. Do not add crystals to the tank. Continue with regular daily 10-20% water changes to keep it fresh, and remember to only top up the salt based off the amount of water you changed!

    It might be worth waiting for a second opinion before using salt though.

    With regards to your main tank, you need to do 50%+ water changes each week for now until the other cories are becoming more themselves. Make sure you clean the substrate thoroughly as any decaying organics on the bottom will make things worse.


    On the flipside it could be a mini cycle if your tank is heavily stocked. In which case it would be ammonia burns. The cure for that is big water changes (50% +). Your tank sounds under filtered to me. I have a 20 gallon long tank with a filter rated at suitable for 30gallons which i think is underfiltered for my own 'light' stocking levels.

    Beware that if you change your filter you should atleast keep some of the old media to prevent a new cycle. Also if you change substrate you need to really monitor ammonia levels and be sharp with your water changes as the substrate houses a good proportion of the beneficial bacteria in your tank.
     
  3. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Member

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    Sounds like ammonia / nitrites.

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  4. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    -----------
    @marnold00 Thank you so much for getting back so quickly with such a detailed response.

    It's been a while since I checked the levels, but I just did.

    1) Parameters
    --
    Ammonia: 0ppm
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    Nitrate: 5ppm-10ppm
    pH: 7.0 - 7.4
    High Range pH: 7.8
    Temperature: 73°

    2) It is an albino corydoras catfish. They are all corydoras catfish, but different colorings. They are two peppered, two albino (the named one is part of these two) and two bronze.

    3) The other tank mates are an albino bushy nose pleco, a clown pleco, two harlequin rasboras and 3 black skirt tetras.

    4) I do a 25% water change about every 1 - 1.5 weeks.

    5) Photos attached.

    6) My substrate is gravel, but very fine gravel. It is smaller than most gravel (see photos).

    The second photo is the one that is now the injured cory.

    There seems to be a LOT of algae in and on the gravel that they usually take care of if they haven't eaten in a little bit.

    How often should I be feeding them wafers?

    Is all that algae good enough for food until it's gone?

    Is this what may be causing all the excess algae?

    Do you think it's safe to turn the sponge filter back on?

    IMG_0367.JPG IMG_0330.JPG IMG_0329.JPG IMG_0331.JPG IMG_0366.JPG IMG_0377.jpg IMG_0378.jpg IMG_0379.jpg
     
    #4 braykbeat, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  5. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    I forgot to mention that I also have dirt under the substrate. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or is related to the algae on it?

    Also I meant this message to go to @marnold00 , Thank you for your response as well @DoubleDutch .
     
  6. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Member

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    Hahahaha you're welcome Bryan.

    I misread the filterpart. Thought you started a new one, but that wasn't correct. That was the reason I came to the ammonia / nitrite (red spots and ripped fins).

    The are in fact looking great (beside the issue).

    Corys won't hardly eat algae !
    What exactly are you feeding?

    Could the dirt have caused anaerobic gaspockets maybe?



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  7. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    I am feeding them algae wafers. I feel like they were eating a ton of the algae because a while ago I stopped feeding them for a few days and the algae was practically gone after. I'm not super familiar with anerobic gas pockets...how does that work?
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Been holding off posting until we had the test results. Ammonia and nitrite at zero, excellent. Nitrate 5-10 ppm is acceptable (cories do not like nitrates, but this is not an issue this low). The pH we can assume is more likely the lower number; use only the one test, the normal not the high, so you will have consistent results from now on. Temp is fine for these cories.

    Cories do not eat algae. They will browse through it, looking for other foods (microscopic critters, etc), but they will not eat algae itself. They must be fed specific foods in sinking form. Shrimp pellets are ideal, and wafers. I assume the latter are veggie-based? That's fine, there is usually fish in these too, and the green stuff helps their digestive tract. I like Omega One sinking foods (Shrimp Pellets, Veggie Disks). For four/five cories, one disk at a feeding, with shrimp pellets, 5-6 at a feeding. Alternate these each day so they get a different food from day to day. If other fish eat them too, fine, but may have to use more to ensure the cories get what they need. The pleco will obviously feed off sinking foods too. I have 50 cories in one tank, and three whiptails, and when I feed the Veggie Rounds I put in four; it takes them 3-4-5 hours to disappear.

    The BN pleco is likely eating the algae, when it disappeared. They are primarily vegetarian.

    I will not guess as to the issue with that one cory. Doesn't look good. DoubleDutch has more experience than I do so he will probably have some ideas. The filter is not the issue, run it continually, this is important.

    The algae...this is most likely the soil. Organics will leech out and this is going to feed plants but also algae if they are more than what the plants need.

    Byron.
     
  9. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    @Byron I use Hikari algae wafers. I usually break one big one up in to a bunch of pieces (a lot of the time the plecos get at them too). They seem to like them...Maybe i'll check out those other foods as well. Thanks.
     
  10. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    Damn -- I was just trying to move the isolation/nursury tank/container and he escaped...he seems to be doing ok now. He's not swimming frantically and is combing the substrate, which he had stopped before. I'll keep you posted...thanks again..
     
  11. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Member

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    They will eat it, but don't get the right / enough nutritional value out of those.
    Lots of Corys start having issues being on an algaewafer menu. I call it CAS
    Corydoras Algaewafer Syndrom.
    I'd fet some more carnivorious food for sure.


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  12. Byron

    Byron Member

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    On this issue of algae wafers. Not all foods are the same, it pays to look at the ingredients.

    While Hikari is a reputable brand (I have some of their specialized foods, and I use their frozen) I believe Omega One is better for fish. Let's look at the ingredients.

    Hikari Algae Wafers:
    Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ Meal, Starch, Dried Seaweed Meal, Dried Bakery Product, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Soybean Meal, Fish Oil, Krill Meal, Spirulina, Garlic, DL-Methionine, Chlorella, Astaxanthin, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C), Inositol, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Oil, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Disodium Phosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate and Calcium Iodate.

    Omega One Veggie Rounds:
    Whole Kelp, Spirulina, Whole Salmon, Halibut, Seafood Mix (Including Krill, Whole Herring, & Shrimp), Wheat flour, Wheat Gluten, Lecithin, Astaxanthin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Phosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Natural and Artificial Colors, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Biotin, Inositol, Tocopherol (Preservative),Ethoxyquin (Preservative).

    You will note that the latter has "whole" fish (salmon, halibut, krill, herring, shrimp) rather than "fish meal." So right off, you are feeding a superior product. And while it is aimed at vegetarian fish, it still contains the "meat" that bottom fish like cories and loaches need. I do not recommend this as the sole staple food, but only one alternative. The "veggie" ingredients are nutritionally beneficial and (according to professional ichthyologists) help to maintain a good digestive tract.

    The shrimp pellets are an ideal food, perhaps the most beneficial for cories. I use the Omega One brand, again because of the ingredients:
    Whole Shrimp, Whole Salmon, Cod, Whole Herring, Wheat flour, Wheat Gluten, Lecithin, Astaxanthin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Phosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Natural and Artificial Colors, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement,Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Biotin, Inositol, Tocopherol (Preservative), Ethoxyquin (Preservative).

    You will again note that "whole" fish, etc, and none of the "meal" stuff.

    It is always preferable to have a varied diet, not the same food every day. I alternate three flake/pellet foods for the upper fish and three sinking foods for the substrate feeders. This way, the cories as an example are getting the shrimp two or three times a week, the veggie twice, and frozen bloodworms as the treat after the water change. One day a week is "fast" day for all the fish.

    Byron.
     
  13. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    Well the little guy died unfortunately. I'm almost 100% convinced it was the lighting change that did it. All of the other corys are hiding under wood and plants during the day because the damn LED is so goddamn bright. Do you think I should re-install the old system? It sucks but want my fish to be happy and more active instead of hiding all the time. Also here is a picture of the old system vs the new.
    IMG_0259.JPG image.jpg
     
  14. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    They look about the same brightness but the led is much white/bluer in comparison. Perhaps they were just used to the yellowish hue. Either way it suxks and I just want them happy again. Help! :/
     
  15. braykbeat

    braykbeat New Member

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    The plants were doing much better too. Have a look at these videos I made. You can also see how much more active the corys are in the second one with the snail.









    Any more recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Bryan
     

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