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Old 02-10-2006, 10:04 PM   #1
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Gravel Gravel Gravel and Sick Corys

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40 FW tank
Almost 2 months old, fully cycled
Readings as of this evening (A 0ppm, No2 0 ppm, No3 5 ppm
2 Gold Gouramis
2 Giant Gouramis
2 Cory cats
1 Balllon Molly
1 White Molly
1 Swordtail
2 Rainbow Sharks
1 Mickey Mouse Platy
2 Tiger Bardbs
2 Green Tiger Barbs
1 Gold Molly (very agressive)
Whisper Power Filter 60
Question:
When should I vaccum the gravel?
When should I change filter elements?
Everything was going fine until earlier this week when my two favorite fish, the Cory Cats , suddenly took ill. It looks as if I will lose both. We added 6 fix last weekend. Did I make a terrible mistake and add too many fish at once? Did my not vacuuming the gravel contribute to their condition. I was told not to vaccum too early as the tank was cycling in in need of the biomatter accumulating in the gravel. Help!
Thanks
FHJ
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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What are your test levels?
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:37 PM   #3
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Re: Gravel Gravel Gravel and Sick Corys

re read the post
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:37 PM   #4
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Do your cories exhibit any symptoms? Is there a lot of gunk on the bottom of the tank? If not I would not gravel vac yet. if there is, just do a light gravel vac not a deep one. Were the cories in there first or were they of the 6 added? If they were new it is possible there were ill from the lfs. Depending on the symptoms, there may be help for your cories.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:03 AM   #5
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Yeah, what are the symptoms? White spots, cottony growth, lethargy?
What kind of corys? Some just don't acclimate as well as others. Pandas are said to be very fragile.

I don't think it has anything to do with adding too many fish at once - you would have seen some ammonia.

Is the substrate sharp? That could injure their mouths.

To answer your Qs, I would do a light gravel vac, especially since your tank is now cycled.
I'm not familiar with the Whisper HOBs, but most other manufacturers do well with a weekly rinsing of the filter element in tank water. Replace when it starts falling apart, or when rinsing simply won't restore full filter outflow anymore.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:10 AM   #6
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The Cories were already in the tank and had been doing well for over 6 weeks. They looked fine, no spots, discoloration, etc. They simply stopped moving. They slowed at first, resting motionless on the bottom of the tank and then leaning sideways. I'm not sure what test levels Rich 311k is looking for. Earlier this evening and throughout the past week the water tests have been good (Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm, and Nitrates fluctuate between 5 ppm and 8 ppm.) Could adding the additional fish at such quantity cause the Cories to get sick?
Thanks for the help guys!
FHJ
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Old 02-11-2006, 08:09 AM   #7
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Hi,

My answer might not be of much help.... I'm also trying to "revive" my lethargic corys, so I' sharing my findings with you.

I have panda corys and bronze corys. They were really really active when I first got them. They are now mostly lethargic, mostly hiding under the piece of wood. I usually do a pwc (20%) once a week with a deep gravel vac and found that they were even more lethargic if I waited 10 days instead of 7 (one of them would almost lie on its side). I test my water before and after the pwc and the results are pretty much like yours (ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate 5 and less). So I come to the conclusion that pwc and gravel vac are really important (now that I think of it, maybe if I tested the water from the bottom of the tank instead of the top, maybe the results would not be so good... I'll have to give that a try).

I've also noticed that a lot of food and gunk ends up in my gravel, too deep for the corys to get to. All this decaying matter, close to where the corys hang out can't be good for them, so gravel vac is important. I've started putting their food in a dish so that less of it gets lost in the gravel. This seems to help.

I'm also testing on how much I feed them. I used to feed them once a day and just started feeding them twice a day. They seem to have perked up a bit.

Oh, also, I talked to my lfs and he said to keep in mind that corys are mostly nocturnal and like to hide during the day. Also, they will be more active when in a larger group (that's why they are crazy at the lfs when they are 20 in there!). Maybe two is not enough.

I hope this gives you some ideas of things you might try to help them.

Good luck,
Vero
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:00 AM   #8
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Ok the listing to one side may be a sign of a swim bladder illness, do they have swollen stomachs at all? Do they eat at all, and I know it is hard to tell with cories because quite often they eat at night. I would take some frozen peas, skin them and cut them or mush them to small portions and put it in the tank. Preferably close to the cories so they might take a bite or 2. They may be constipated. Do you know what kind of cories they are? Or a picture? It might be helpful if we are able to identify the little guys. I wouldn't be concerned about your water unless you are adding something to the water not mentioned. I seriously doubt adding the new fish did any harm to your cories, except perhaps make them more shy.
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:13 PM   #9
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When i first got my cories, they were just sitting there on there sides, they dont do it anymore though. Mabye its a cory thing?
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:39 PM   #10
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Check to make sure their fins are not damaged. My 1 cory (I had a total of 3) began to do the swim on his side thing and would just sit in a cave, and it wasn't until later I realized he was being picked on and basically eaten alive by one of the barbs in my tank. I would watch him for another day or so, and if no change for the better, I'd put him in a breeder box. This way you can keep a better eye on him, you can guarantee whether he's eating or not, and can get him out of the tank if he looks infected (parasite/disease/or other).
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:22 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the support. I'm sorry to say that I lost both of my Cories (Punctatus). The fact that they both died leads me to believe there was a problem with my tank. I'm guessing something was not right wit the gravel or perhaps food situation. Neither fish was picked on by any others. The were no visible injuries, spots, discoloration, bloating etc...The weird part is that they were doing so well for over 3.5 weeks and the water quality was good (Ammonia and Nitrites were not present 0 ppm and the Nitrate levels were steady, always below 8 ppm) The only thing that changed was the introduction of the additional fish (2 Tiger Barbs, 2 Green Tiger Barbs and 2 Rainbow Sharks). It was very soon after I added the new fish that I noticed the Cories getting a little sluggish and not their usual selves.
I read elsewhere that Cories prefer the company of 4 or 5 friends. I would really like to have some more Cories as part of my community. Should I buy more than 2 or 3? Can anyone suggest a hearty breed that ould be happy with my other fish (see original post)? My pH is between 7.4 and 7.6, and my water is a little hard.
Another thought I had was that my gravel may be too large? The river washed stones are smooth and vary in size from about 3/16" to 3/8" is diameter. There may be a few stones here and there that are appraoching 1/2" in diameter. Should I have smaller gravel?
Sorry to ask so many questions, I guess I just feel badly about losing the Cories and want to make sure that whatever mistake I made I won't repeat it again!
How about food? I alternate between typical freshwater flake food and Spirulina flake food. This was recommended to me by the LFS person when we started almost 2 months ago. The other fish seem to do well with it but maybe the Cories didn't like it and it took a while for it to catch up and make them sick?
Hopefully someone out there can help me figure out where I went wrong.
Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:51 AM   #12
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I have sand in all my tanks now and my cories love it. Cories do like to be in groups. I'm still not sure there was anything wrong with your tank, as the cories were the ones afflicted. They may have had an illness right from the lfs that was killing them. So sorry to hear about your loss. I would have small gravel or sand for cories. Becareful when switching substrate as you can cause a mini cycle. There is an article here that gives good advice on substrate changing.
As for foods I would also supplement with algae wafers and veggies and fruits.
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:28 PM   #13
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Sorry for your losses..The fact that they showed no signs of harm from other fish (watch out for those barbs! at first they were fine but a couple days later they became little bullies), makes me think they were either already sick like Zags mentioned, OR (and this is going out on a limb), something is leaching off of the substrate and since the cory's eat off of the substrate they could be building up levels of some contaminant. Again this is just a wild idea, but could be why they seemed to die while everyone else is fine.

I'd probably wait on addition of more cory's and watch all the other tank inhabitants and keep an eye out for weird behavior/looking sickly.
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