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 Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:43 pm

If you read my earlier thread, i had some peppered corydoras which passed away rather suddenly due to some kind of bacterial issue. The symptoms of the first cories to get sick were lethargy, sitting at the bottom of the tank with whitish spots forming at base of fins and fin erosion.

This new case, so far, is only affecting one fish, but it is another peppered cory. The only potential similarity is the posterior dorsal fin is missing, but no white discoloration and the whole fin is gone, like it was bitten off, and no other damage to other fins. Also the right pectoral fin is paralyzed, and the fish is spending a lot of time at the top of the tank, swimming rather erratically. Also the area around the gil slit and the pectoral fins on both sides is very enflamed with pinkish reddish color. That same reddish blood color extends down the body in what looks like bruising, down the bottom belly of the length of the fish. I have tried to take about 20 pictures and I have not captured much.

I will not be replacing any corydoras after this one, but I am very curious as to the diagnosis. I will continue to try and take photos and post if I get any good shots.

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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:33 am

Images posted:

Image #1:
No flash, left side of body, missing posterial dorsal and inflamation around pectoral is visible.



Image #2:
Used flash to try and capture detail, left side of fish, this is the side that is paralyzed.



Image #3:
The fish died overnight, and this is the underside of the fish. You can see the pink and red inflamation throughout the body and blood under the scales in a few spots along the body.



Anybody know what this is?

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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:19 pm

Please check your nitrites. That is the first thing to do.

This definitely looks like some kind of poisoning to me. Paralysis and blood spangling all point to it.
How did your cory get poisoned? Probably from spoiled and rotten food trapped in the gravel, or from high nitrites, which corys are sensitive to.

For more information check out DL's thread "My Corys look fat ... "

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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:05 pm

Nitrites are zero, I tested a few hours ago. However, spoiled food in gravel is a real possibility. The Tiger Barbs are messy eaters for sure and a lot of food particles fly around the tank when they are finished eating. I was told that smooth substrate was good for cories to preserve barbles so I tried to get a smaller smooth round stone, but it still traps a lot of sediment.

Honestly I like the way sand looks a lot better, but I have been told that it can compact and choke out plant roots as well as being difficult to vacuum. I do try to vacuum the substrate on my tank about once a week.

In order to do sand, I would have to remove all ornaments and plants, scoop out about 20 to 30 pounds of rock and replace with sand.....do you think its the right choice?

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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:29 pm

@ddavis1979 wrote:
Nitrites are zero, I tested a few hours ago. However, spoiled food in gravel is a real possibility. The Tiger Barbs are messy eaters for sure and a lot of food particles fly around the tank when they are finished eating.
Spoiled food is a definite possibility, then.
Another possibility, also due to large particle gravel, is poisoning from substrate gasses. Gasses become trapped between the particles of large size gravel. The gas derives from spoiling and rotting debris of all kinds, not just food. It's a fact of aquariums. Usually, these gasses are a non-issue as most fish swim above the substrate and do not poke around in it. However, corys not only poke around but they dig and dig actively. Eventually, they may hit a gas pocket, which may be Hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). At one time these gas pockets were considered very dangerous, generally. In fact, they are only potentially dangerous to fish that come in direct contact with the gas. You can see how an industrious cory, searching around for food, could go so deep as to hit one of these gas pockets, and get a direct hit right in the face.

It isn't always fatal. Sometimes the gas dissipates in the water column and all is well. Other times a full dose lands right in the cory's face. Paralysis, disorientation, "drunken" swimming, spiraling, lying sideways on the substrate, and of course blood spangling, or reddish brown blotches around the gills or abdomen - all of these are signs of poisoning.

ddavis wrote:
I was told that smooth substrate was good for cories to preserve barbles so I tried to get a smaller smooth round stone, but it still traps a lot of sediment.
It's true that a smooth substrate is the best thing for corys but large particle gravel, even when it's smooth, can still cause the problems described above. It's too bad because the basic advice was good.

ddavis wrote:
Honestly I like the way sand looks a lot better, but I have been told that it can compact and choke out plant roots as well as being difficult to vacuum. I do try to vacuum the substrate on my tank about once a week.
I'm sure your tank maintenance is good and what happened was sort of a fluke. Sand can definitely compact but some sands compact worse than others. In general, compacting isn't really a problem, especially if you have plants. We can discuss more about specific sands if you want to go that route.

For Corydoras, you would need to have no more than a depth of ¾" or 2 cm. At this depth, the corys will be able to dig right down to the glass and this will keep the sand aerated and loose all over the tank. I know you have said that you don't intend to replace your Corydoras but if you set up your tank with sand, down the road you might want to try them again. Very Happy

As for plants, there are many ways to have plants in sand. I've got a field of crypts growing in my ten gallon and many plants growing in my 20 long. See my signature ("Venezuelan" "Asian"). Lots of folks grow plants in sand and I hope they chime in here with some tips. I have found the looser sands like Tahitian Moon, Sunset Gold and Lowe's play sand to be suitable for plants. Very fine (superfine) sands like Aragamax (aragonite sugar sand) are not as good and DO compact much more.

In any case, you can pierce the sandbed once a week or so all over, in a sort of grid pattern, with a chopstick to keep it aerated. This procedure which takes about 17 seconds will disturb any gas pockets that might be forming and send them harmlessly up to the surface.

ddavis wrote:
In order to do sand, I would have to remove all ornaments and plants, scoop out about 20 to 30 pounds of rock and replace with sand.....do you think its the right choice?
That's about the way to do it but you don't have to do the whole tank at once. Choose a methodical approach and do about a quarter of the tank at a time. Flippercon and Liz have both recently done substrate switching and so have I.

Hope this answer helps. I think separate threads are in order for decisions about what sand is best and also for specific help in changing from gravel to sand. You may want to think it over for a while.

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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:24 am

Thanks so much for that information, very helpful!

I still have 5 cory cats left in the tank. 4 Peppered and one Julii. So far none have been showing signs of stress or disease. Maybe it was just a fluke.

However my substrate is very deep...2" to 3" in different parts of the tank. Last night I did another water change and gravel vacuum, and i dont think I had been digging the vacuum deep enough. Last night I really buried the vacuum about 1.5" into the substrate and all sorts of nastiness was sucked up.

Lowes and HD have the "all purpose" sand. this sand is usually meant for mixing with cement to make mortar, but I have also used it in the yard for gardening and laying pavers. Its a very coarse sand. Do you know of any good or bad from this product?

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PostSubject: Re: Another Sick Cory - Very different symptoms   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:22 pm

@ddavis1979 wrote:
Thanks so much for that information, very helpful!


Lowes and HD have the "all purpose" sand. this sand is usually meant for mixing with cement to make mortar, but I have also used it in the yard for gardening and laying pavers. Its a very coarse sand. Do you know of any good or bad from this product?

I have used paver sand for laying brick walkways and often thought might look good in an aquarium. Very dusty though so I would think it would take a lot of washing prior. See the thread today from thegundog "Sand for Substrate", Pool sand is a lot cleaner. I have also seen a lot of tanks with Playsand whick comes out really nice too. I'm not a live plant grower because of the types of fish I have but have been told sand is not one of the best substrates for plants. Liz and Deb could perhaps help out better in that area. You do want to watch with sand not to get too deep as will cause some serious fowling issues. Pretty much true with all substrate but sand really compacts causing problems if more than 2 to 3 "

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