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Old 10-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
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Panda Cory's Dying

Long post, sorry. Want to make sure all the info is out there...

I'm having an issue with my Panda Cory Cats dying all of a sudden and I am unsure why.

I have a 29G high tank that's been established for about 2 months. Water parameters are:

Temp = 78
pH = 6.8
NH3/NH4 = 0
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 0
Cl = 0
GH = 8 Degrees
KH = 5 Degrees
PO43- = .5 (after dosing phosphorous), otherwise 0

It is currently stocked with:

8 Neon Tetras
7 Cherry Barbs
4 Dalmation Mollies
3 Gold Dubloon Mollies
3 Black Kuhli Loaches
2 (?) Panda Cory Cats (Started with 6, 2 dead, and 2 unaccounted for)
5 Nerita Snails

This is a planted tank and I have:

3 water wysteria
1 Amazon Sword
1 Chainsword
1 Cyperus
2 Red Wendtii.

For the plants, I add:

Flourish (3 ml 2/week)
Excel (3 ml daily)
Potassium (5 ml 2/week)
Phosphorous (5 ml 2/week)
Seachem Plant tabs (as needed)

I use a Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 11 hours per day.

I inject CO2 at a rate of 180~ BPM to maintain approximately 24 mg/l. I do a 50% water change once per week and all parameters are stable. I have some minor green hair algae, and some GSA on some of the leaves, but that is slowly correcting via targeting use of Excel on plant leaves. My substrate is standard gravel as you would find at any LFS (wasn't planning a planted tank initially).

Filtration is a Penguin 200 HOB and Fluval U3 internal.

Until a few days ago, everything was fine. Yesterday, I found one dead Panda Cory (which sucks since they're my favorite fish). Today, I found another. 2 remain alive, but two I cannot find and are presumed dead. I've had the Corys for 3 weeks. The other fish have been in the tank for about 2 months and seem perfectly happy. I feed once per day a variety of flakes, freeze-dried bloodworms, and shrimp pellets.

The only thing that has changed is the CO2. I started injecting about a week ago and my plants are thriving as a result. My tap water is soft out of the faucet with a GH of 6 and KH of 3. As a result, I used sodium bicarbonate (1 tsp) to raise the KH to 5.

Of course, not until after I dosed the baking soda did I find that Corys do not tolerate salt. Sodium being a prime component of baking soda now has me wondering if I've successfully killed my Pandas to grow my plants.

And, if that's the case, what do I use to keep my KH up for injecting CO2?

Thoughts?
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster95 View Post
Long post, sorry. Want to make sure all the info is out there... I'm having an issue with my Panda Cory Cats dying all of a sudden and I am unsure why. I have a 29G high tank that's been established for about 2 months. Water parameters are: Temp = 78 pH = 6.8 NH3/NH4 = 0 NO2 = 0 NO3 = 0 Cl = 0 GH = 8 Degrees KH = 5 Degrees PO43- = .5 (after dosing phosphorous), otherwise 0 It is currently stocked with: 8 Neon Tetras 7 Cherry Barbs 4 Dalmation Mollies 3 Gold Dubloon Mollies 3 Black Kuhli Loaches 2 (?) Panda Cory Cats (Started with 6, 2 dead, and 2 unaccounted for) 5 Nerita Snails This is a planted tank and I have: 3 water wysteria 1 Amazon Sword 1 Chainsword 1 Cyperus 2 Red Wendtii. For the plants, I add: Flourish (3 ml 2/week) Excel (3 ml daily) Potassium (5 ml 2/week) Phosphorous (5 ml 2/week) Seachem Plant tabs (as needed) I use a Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 11 hours per day. I inject CO2 at a rate of 180~ BPM to maintain approximately 24 mg/l. I do a 50% water change once per week and all parameters are stable. I have some minor green hair algae, and some GSA on some of the leaves, but that is slowly correcting via targeting use of Excel on plant leaves. My substrate is standard gravel as you would find at any LFS (wasn't planning a planted tank initially). Filtration is a Penguin 200 HOB and Fluval U3 internal. Until a few days ago, everything was fine. Yesterday, I found one dead Panda Cory (which sucks since they're my favorite fish). Today, I found another. 2 remain alive, but two I cannot find and are presumed dead. I've had the Corys for 3 weeks. The other fish have been in the tank for about 2 months and seem perfectly happy. I feed once per day a variety of flakes, freeze-dried bloodworms, and shrimp pellets. The only thing that has changed is the CO2. I started injecting about a week ago and my plants are thriving as a result. My tap water is soft out of the faucet with a GH of 6 and KH of 3. As a result, I used sodium bicarbonate (1 tsp) to raise the KH to 5. Of course, not until after I dosed the baking soda did I find that Corys do not tolerate salt. Sodium being a prime component of baking soda now has me wondering if I've successfully killed my Pandas to grow my plants. And, if that's the case, what do I use to keep my KH up for injecting CO2? Thoughts?
Pandas prefer cooler water. No salt. I would start slow on injected CO2 and gradually raise it.
Also is the CO2 on timer , off after lights out ?

They may not be the best species for your tank.

No idea on the KH. My tanks are low tech
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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No timer for the CO2. I've been reading conflicting information on whether it should or should not be shut off at night. I tested the pH fluctuation turning it off and noted a .6 rise to 7.4 in the morning. So, I decided to let it run 24x7 to maintain a consistent pH. However, when the lights are off, an airstone turns on automatically to oxygenate the water.

I don't have a drop checker, but the pH is consistently 6.8 right before the lights come on in the morning and the KH is stable at 5, so I'm operating on the presumption that hypoxia is not an issue. Also, I've kept an eye on everyone for snorkeling behavior and noted none.

I have the temp set at 78 on my heater as I was having trouble keeping it down with the recent spate of warm days. Should I lower it?

As to salt, the interwebs are not being helpful on the topic tonight. Is the sodium that is a component of NaHCO3 (Baking Soda) the same type of "salt" that is considered harmful?
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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My pandas are doing well in my 36 gallon. I just had an ick battle and won by increasing temp to 88 and adding SALT. The pandas did fine as well as the other fish and I had 0 losses. I noticed no change in their behavoir during the treatment. They were as playful as ever. The were in that hostile enviroment for 2 weeks.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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I have 2 Pandas remaining and they seem to be doing ok. I removed the two decorations I have in the tank, and have no idea what happened to the other two Pandas that are unaccounted for. I'm assuming none of the fish/snails I have would eat the carcasses, so... ???

Just for giggles, I did an extra 50% water change this week (I normally do a 50% once per week), but all parameters remain 0 and the rest of the community is as happy as they've always been, so I have to believe that they either reacted poorly to the Baking Soda or came to me with issues (I've only had them 3 weeks.)

At this point, I guess I just chalk it up to a fluke and carry on.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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All fish and snails would eat on carcasses!
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