Urgent help please - bronze cory not well, swim bladder issue?

IndiaHawker

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All was fine until as far as I knew until within an hour or so ago I noticed a bronze cory was swimming around and then suddenly was floating upside down at the surface, thought s/he had died. Still alive but last observed sitting on the bottom looking not well - very bloated-looking, even eyes look swollen. Did the only thing I could think to and emergency half-dosed some broad spectrum medication as it's all I have and wanted to try SOMETHING. But been advised to half dose when a dose isn't stated for scaleless fish like cories. Don't know what to do from here, please send good vibes and preferably some help too please and thanks
 
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IndiaHawker

IndiaHawker

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Recent re-aquascaping - could I have accidentally hurt him or her by moving stuff around?
 

Colin_T

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Fish naturally have a thin mucous coating over their body and when they are stressed (usually by something in the water), they produce more mucous to help reduce the substance irritating their skin. The fish in the picture has lots of excess mucous on it, as indicated by the creamy white film over its body and fins.

Check your water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & pH.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks.

If a fish suddenly bloats up and its eye bulge out (like the fish in the picture) it is usually an internal bacterial infection and they are pretty hard to treat. A broad spectrum medication might help but normally you need anti-biotics. However, fish that suddenly bloat up usually die within 24-48 hours of showing symptoms.

Personally, I would euthanize the fish. If you want to try anti-biotics then treat the fish in a separate container without a filter because the anti-biotics will wipe out filter bacteria. Clean the container and change the water each day before re-treating it, and hope for the best.
 

Jessie J.

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When was your aquarium set up? He's probably suffering from high ammonia. Do a small water change and check your parameters.
 

DoubleDutch

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It is extemely bloated (eyes bulging).
What is it fed ?

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NickAu

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He's probably suffering from high ammonia. Do a small water change and check your parameters.
If its high ammonia then a small water change is next to useless, try 75% water change.

Watch this video it will explain why bigger water changes are better. Pretend the yellow stuff is ammonia.
 
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Cichlid4life

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i don't think your cory is a bronze cory, and it may be a female with eggs, but the lethargic-ness, could be something else.
 

Colin_T

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i don't think your cory is a bronze cory, and it may be a female with eggs, but the lethargic-ness, could be something else.
It is a bronze Corydoras, just one that is bloated up, has bulging eyes caused by the bloating, and it's covered in excess mucous (the creamy white film over its body).
 

Cichlid4life

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It definitely is a bronze.

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It is a bronze Corydoras, just one that is bloated up, has bulging eyes caused by the bloating, and it's covered in excess mucous (the creamy white film over its body).
for a bronze cory it is pretty grey. and the white mucus part i already know about. It could also be a female with eggs, or it may be a cory with bloat.
 
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IndiaHawker

IndiaHawker

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Thanks for the help everyone, unfortunately the cory was dead the next day. At first I thought he/she had massively improved overnight, but pretty sure I was looking at the wrong one as hours later I found the cory dead behind a rock :( Rest in peace. Been feeding them flake food that came with the tank when I adopted it (can flake food expire? Nearly run out so getting more soon anyway), alongside shrimp pellets, and very occasionally frozen bloodworm as a treat. Haven't been having problems with ammonia but been having long-term nitrate problems which I'm still battling, could this have contributed?

When I dosed the medication I took the carbon out of the filter - it's been left out for days now, can I put it back in or not? And should I? Heard different things regarding carbon. What is the purpose of carbon in the filter? And is there anything I can replace it with (small rectangular cutout space in the foam - Fluval Flex 57L)?

Please and thank you!
 

Colin_T

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Yes flake food and any dry food can go off. It is preferable to use all dry foods within a week of opening but that is not normally practical so the next best thing to do is repack it into zip lock bags as soon as you open a container. Basically put most of the food into a zip lock bag and get all the air out and seal it up. Put that bag inside another one and get the air out and seal that up. Then keep that in a cool dry place.

Have the remaining food in the container and try to use it up in a week or so. After 2 weeks tip the open food out and put a bit of the fresh stuff (from the zip lock bags) into the container and try to use that up within a couple of weeks.

If the tank has an established filter you can feed frozen (but defrosted) bloodworms to catfish several times a week. You can also use other types of frozen or live foods including prawn, brineshrimp, daphnia and mysis shrimp. Most pet shops have these in their freezer.

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High nitrates can contribute to a fish's declining health and whilst it might not have caused the problem, it won't have helped it. Try to keep nitrates below 20ppm.

If you have trouble reducing nitrates, try doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Check the tap water for nitrates. Some countries have nitrates in their water supply and that ends up in the tank when you do water changes.

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Carbon is used to absorb chemicals from air and water. In an aquarium it will absorb tannins from driftwood, plant fertiliser and aquarium medications, hence the reason you need to remove carbon when treating fish. It will also absorb some heavy metals (like copper) from water.

You do not need carbon in a filter unless you specifically want to remove chemicals. Some people add it to the filter after treating fish. This helps to remove the chemicals from the water. However, I prefer to do a big water change each day for a week after treating fish, to remove the chemicals.

I normally tell people to leave the carbon out and keep it for an emergency, eg: someone used bug spray or window cleaner on the aquarium and the fish are gasping at the surface. Then you do a huge water change and add carbon to the filter.

You can use sponge instead of carbon. Just buy a sponge that fits or buy one slightly bigger than you need and cut it to fit.

If you do want carbon it comes in different grades. Highly Activated Carbon is the best, Activated Carbon is next best, and plain old "Carbon" is the lowest grade. If you want carbon in the filter get Highly Activated or Activated.
 
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Cichlid4life

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Thanks for the help everyone, unfortunately the cory was dead the next day. At first I thought he/she had massively improved overnight, but pretty sure I was looking at the wrong one as hours later I found the cory dead behind a rock :( Rest in peace. Been feeding them flake food that came with the tank when I adopted it (can flake food expire? Nearly run out so getting more soon anyway), alongside shrimp pellets, and very occasionally frozen bloodworm as a treat. Haven't been having problems with ammonia but been having long-term nitrate problems which I'm still battling, could this have contributed?

When I dosed the medication I took the carbon out of the filter - it's been left out for days now, can I put it back in or not? And should I? Heard different things regarding carbon. What is the purpose of carbon in the filter? And is there anything I can replace it with (small rectangular cutout space in the foam - Fluval Flex 57L)?

Please and thank you!
So sorry to hear that happened to your cory, i hope that he/she did not suffer from much pain while she died.

Flake food is not the best food out there for just about any fish as the flakes that they don't eat after five minutes will start to absorb water, swell in size a little bit, and then if still not eaten after it swells, it will break apart and cloud up you tank water along with polluting the water, meaning that you will have to do a water change a little sooner than you needed to do before. Also, flake foods that are eaten by a fish right away, or after a few minutes of being in the water, will still swell up a little bit in the fish's stomach, therefore risking your fish getting bloat if your fish overate on flake food.

This could explain the big belly, it could of been bloat to a serious degree that might of been just enough to, unfortunately, kill your cory. As for the carbon, ColinT said all you need to know, from the basic levels to the extra things about carbon:
Yes flake food and any dry food can go off. It is preferable to use all dry foods within a week of opening but that is not normally practical so the next best thing to do is repack it into zip lock bags as soon as you open a container. Basically put most of the food into a zip lock bag and get all the air out and seal it up. Put that bag inside another one and get the air out and seal that up. Then keep that in a cool dry place.

Have the remaining food in the container and try to use it up in a week or so. After 2 weeks tip the open food out and put a bit of the fresh stuff (from the zip lock bags) into the container and try to use that up within a couple of weeks.

If the tank has an established filter you can feed frozen (but defrosted) bloodworms to catfish several times a week. You can also use other types of frozen or live foods including prawn, brineshrimp, daphnia and mysis shrimp. Most pet shops have these in their freezer.

-----------------------
High nitrates can contribute to a fish's declining health and whilst it might not have caused the problem, it won't have helped it. Try to keep nitrates below 20ppm.

If you have trouble reducing nitrates, try doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Check the tap water for nitrates. Some countries have nitrates in their water supply and that ends up in the tank when you do water changes.

-----------------------
Carbon is used to absorb chemicals from air and water. In an aquarium it will absorb tannins from driftwood, plant fertiliser and aquarium medications, hence the reason you need to remove carbon when treating fish. It will also absorb some heavy metals (like copper) from water.

You do not need carbon in a filter unless you specifically want to remove chemicals. Some people add it to the filter after treating fish. This helps to remove the chemicals from the water. However, I prefer to do a big water change each day after treating fish to remove the chemicals.

I normally tell people to leave the carbon out and keep it in an emergency, eg: someone used bug spray or window cleaner on the aquarium and the fish are gasping at the surface. Then you do a huge water change and add carbon to the filter.

You can use sponge instead of carbon. Just buy a sponge that fits or buy one slightly bigger than you need and cut it to fit.

If you do want carbon it comes in different grades. Highly Activated Carbon is the best, Activated Carbon is next best, and plain old "Carbon" is the lowest grade. If you want carbon in the filter get Highly Activated or Activated.
 
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