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Old 11-10-2019, 09:56 PM   #1
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Julii cory lost his barbells

I have 6 cories. A few days ago I saw that one of the cories barbells are completely worn away. He was still swimming around and eating. Now, he just lays at the bottom and I canít tell if he is eating or not. Iím not sure how he lost his barbells. Iím not sure what to do about it.

I have a sand bottom, 20 gallon mostly planted tank. I vacuum the sand for detritus once a week and change about 20% of the water every week. I test 2x a week for ammonia and nitrate. Ammonia is 0.0 & nitrates are 20 ppm. The tank is running around 11 months and I have had these cories about 6 months. I also have 5 neon tetras. I have fluval 307 canister filter.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:35 AM   #2
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I had this problem with a Cory cat I ordered online that had fin rot. It rotted his barbels off. I medicated and cured the fin rot but he never grew his barbels back. He lasted about 8 months and died suddenly. Not sure what happened. He was full grown when I got him so I'm not sure if he died of old age or if it had something to do with his missing barbels.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #3
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Should I treat for fin rot in the display tank or try to catch him and put him in the q tank. He is a schooling fish and I wonder about the stress of catching him and keeping him alone in the q tank. I never know what to do in these situations.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:28 PM   #4
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If his fins are ok I wouldn't treat for fin rot.

From my understanding, barbels can get worn down from poor water conditions or from a rough type substrate.

Even though your water seems to test out fine, I would up your water change to 50% once a week. This is good practice in general. Even for your plants that consume minerals from your water that needs to be replenished.

I'd immediately do a 50% water change then start a 50% weekly. See if he gets better. Are any of your other Cory's acting in this manner? How old is he/she? Any aggression in the tank towards that particular Cory?
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:13 PM   #5
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Hello Craz...

An abrasive substrate will damage sensitive barbels. You could replace the bottom material with a pea sized polished gravel. It allows the Corydoras to forage and move small pieces around the tank, which they love to do and won't damage their barbels. The use of standard aquarium salt will help heal the barbels and in time they'll regrow. I'd recommend a level teaspoon of the aquarium salt in every five gallons of replacement water.

As for water changes, 20 percent isn't nearly enough. You still leave 80 percent of the pollutants behind. The fish will add to this before the next water change. Gradually work up to the point you change half the water weekly.

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