Hi. I am new to the forum and to pygmy cories. My tank is a 15g, cycled, up 3 months, cories added a month ago. Ammonia and nitrIte are 0, nitrAtres are 5ppm, ph is 7.2, gh is 5, kh is 4. Water temp is 78. Water changes are 2x a week at 20% each. Planted with anubias nana, anacharis, vals, java moss, java fern and dwarf riccia. Substrate is small smooth natural gravel (getting sand soon). Filter is an Aquaclear 50, baffled with a sponge and cut water bottle to ease the current. Tankmates are 3 amano shrimp, 5 male endler's and 7 other cories. I treat with Prime at each water change, do not use aquarium salt but do add API Leaf Zone once a week for the plants. 1/2 tsp crushed coral to aid my tap's natural kh of 0. Three smooth lava rocks arranged into a "cave".
Okay, so I think that covers the "what are the basics"...
Now...the problem...one of my cories died today...I was doing a regular wc and noticed he was laying in the java moss, not moving but breathing heavily. He scooted off when he saw the gravel vac and I thought perhaps he had just been schooling with the endler's (they all school together). Before I finished siphoning the water, I noticed he was "floating" in the tank. He allowed me to scoop him up in my hand and as I carried him to a 2.5g heated/airstone qt I quickly set up for him, I noticed a red blister (not open ulcer but a blood blister like the kind a person would get) on his white belly and from underneath be also appeared to have a red internal stomach. He died half an hour later .
I know I can not help him, but I am concerned about the rest to the tank population of cories and endler's. Could it have been random (all cories were added together a month ago), like he accidentally bumped into something and had internal bleeding? Could it be some type of parasite and now I need to dose the tank (I would like to avoid medicating if it is reasonable to do so, but if I must then I will for the health of the fish). I also noticed one other cory just laying on the sponge cover I have over the filter intake...but I didn't see any heavy breathing or signs of redness.
Anyone deal with this before? I didn't think to take a pic before I disposed of the fish...so sorry because I know that would have been helpful.
Ack...and I thought I had everything covered...shoot.
I have a number of things I feed...twice a week I feed frozen brine/baby brine shrimp (baby for the cories, brine for the endler's). I also feed Sera veggie flakes, Omega One flakes, Hikari Micro Wafers and New Spectrum Small Fish Pellets. I do not fed them all at once...I alternate. I crush the flake to a fine powder between my fingers because the endler's and cories have such tiny mouths. The shrimp and endler's seem to love the Omega and Hikari, the cories like the New Spectrum and Sera. I would love to find something they could all "agree" on so if you have suggestions, please let me know.
Is there any other info I can provide to help you help me?
Go to the fishypharmacy website and read their categorical diagnostic steps to determine the likely problem. Red, open lesions can be fish TB and I hope that is not what your fish has. That is contagious to humans he says. Read and decide what you think. My hastatus expired one by one breaking my heart last fall. The medication I used, erythromycin, couldn't save mine. Now I have several medications in wait for my fish when one becomes sick. Good luck.
Coriequest...as I said, it was not an open lesion, it was what appeared to be a blood blister. I want to get feedback from all of the more experienced cory keepers here before I start randomly tossing medication in the tank...that will kill my plants, my cycle and my inverts...and build up resistance to meds for the bacteria. Like I said, I don't mind treating with meds if I have to, but I need an idea of what I am treating first. I have several lfs around me if I need to buy meds tomorrow. I also spent two hours searching google and metacralwer info and photos for information about cory illnesses, diseases, treatments, symptoms...before I came here (found this forum during my search for info). Thank you for the warning about tb...I have been aware that it transfers to humans from fish since I started keeping bettas 10 years ago...but it is always good to get a fresh reminder.
It is hard to know what someone already knows and has tried on these forums and therefore one risks repeating known facts. What I share does come from very experienced fish keepers in my club and much reading on the Internet and still it may not be the info you need. For that I do apologize and wish you much good luck that someone here knows just exactly what it is,
Last edited by Coriequest on Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Coriquest...I didn't mean more experienced fishkeepers than you...I meant more fishkeepers. I am grateful for all the feedback I get! You never know who may have the magic answer to a problem so every possible answer is one to consider.
You are 100% right, forums are hard because we don't know everyone's background completely so we don't know which advice is best to give (so we give the best advice we can). I had a betta with tb about 7 years ago and that is when I learned about it's potential transfer to humans. Since then, I do not reach into tanks with any cuts or wounds on my hands (and when I cared for that betta tank, I always wore latex gloves). You are lucky to have a great club to help you with your fish keeping skills. I do not have access to one at this time so forums like this and people like you are a great source of information and assistance to me.
I am still leary of adding meds to the tank though...I know there are so many forms of medications, each treating different things...and I don't want to have to jump from med to med trying to find the right one...I know I always feel like poo when my doctors can't find the right meds for me and I would imagine the fish feel the same.
I looked at the tank this morning, doing my best to examine each and every fish in there and they all appear to be showing no symptoms that the original cory did. I will keep a vigil eye on the tank and hope it remains healthy.
I have observed that when it's illness that sometimes people don't reply so I often try to give it a go. I am lucky with my planted tank group SFBAAPS. Without them I prob would have given up. It is true to not medicate when you don't have to and the diagnosis can be darn hard to get right, the vet at fishy pharmacy talks to callers with questions for free, but the website says he's recovering from surgery. A club member told me that given what our fish go through to get to us it's a wonder more don't fall ill. Clean water and good food surely helps. You have that covered, crossing my fingers that the rest stay well too.
I might have missed it, but how often do you water change? How are the other cories?
But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I will be unique in all the world..... You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Coriquest...thanks for asking, I lost one cory pygmaeus in addition to the one habrosus I lost last week. I have no idea how he died, only that it was yesterday (the amano shrimp "got rid of the evidence").
Taratron...I change 20% 2x a week. Match the temperature and treat with Prime. I did a 50% change when I found the first dead cory habrosus.
I am watching all of the other fish and have seen no signs of anything "funny" or unusual. I have spoken to the lfs and they feel it was just random and there is no need to medicate the tank because it will overstress the remaining fish. They suggested Voogle First Aid as an alternative and told me "no salt" in a cory tank. I am confused because I have heard they can and I have heard they can't tolerate salt.
I am baffled. I mean, perhaps the pygmaeus was old when I bought it but without a body to inspect, I don't know if he had the same spot as the habrosus or if it was just random.
Either way, I feel bad for my corys and I want to keep them healthy. I feel like I did something wrong.
You are examining them daily, seeing no signs of illness... It seems like with two that it is not random or old age or bad luck...I'm so sorry for your loss by the way. Maybe post some images for the group. My pygmaeus are at ph 6.4 and my temperature runs 72-74, a little cooler than recommended but I have CRS breeding in there too so it's a compromise until I get another 20 long. I have 9 adult, two juvies, eight tiny wrigglers, two oto and four CRS and 4 juvie CRS. Do you have India Almond leaf in there? That is good tonic for cories. I hope some others will weigh in here. My gut feeling is either it will stabilize and all will be well or some others may pass but I hope it's the former. Much good luck to you.
Coriquest...that is what is driving me crazy...I am observing them several times a day and I really can't see anything. I change the water twice a week, I changed out gravel for sand (slowly so that the good bacteria had a chance to "catch up" to the removed parts), I test the water parameters at least twice a week (usually everyother day because I am such a worrywart and because with the natural kh of 0, I want to make sure the crushed coral in the filter is buffering properly).
I will try to get some pictures but as far as I can see, they look fine (and soooo darn cute).
Today I finally caught one of my girls who had developed a film on her eyes...first one, then the other and she was eating but sitting on the bottom too much looking unhappy. She was so hard to catch. I put her in the sick tank with triple sulfa, it says four days, and treats cloud eye; and other things too; the sick tank is warmer too. She's not happy alone poor girl. I'm crossing my fingers. It took me a week with several attempts a day to finally catch her. This tank has many hiding spots and is heavily planted and scaped with manzi. I'm crossing my fingers that she will be okay. It's a big expense to have sick fish from tank, meds, work and all around a pain but we have try to keep them happy and alive. Hope your issue never returns!
Update...after so so results with Triple Sulfa I removed the medication and put them on kanamide for 14 days as directed. They has a bit of salt and I Treated for parasites with prazipro. They are ready to rejoin their tribe. Hallelujah! I love kanamide!