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Old 01-16-2021, 06:10 AM   #1
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Cory Barbels Infected

Hi everyone,

One of my corys has developed a possible infection in its barbels. I will try and get a photo but I noticed the past couple of days that the barbels have turned white (fungus?) and very red around the mouth and started to erode. I have since done a 50% water change with a thorough clean of the substrate. Should I wait and see if there is any sign of it getting better or start to medicate?
Last night it wasn't showing any signs of illness apart from the obvious barbels, its still swimming around with the others, eating and scavenging. This morning it is hiding under a bit of wood and not showing much movement, could be from the stress of the water change though?

Tank specs:
160 litre planted (35 gal)
black sand substrate
cycled around 2 months ago
6 black phantoms
6 false julii corys
Tested with API master kit:
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
5 nitrate
6.8 pH
79F temp

TIA!
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:31 PM   #2
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Here's a couple of photos- the sick fish is now active again and looking for food with the others.
I have added a picture of one of the others for comparison - looking back on videos from the day I added them to the tank (~3 weeks ago) all of them have smaller barbels now and are whiter in colour than when I bought them- is there something irritating them or causing the barbels to slowly disappear or is this normal?
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:34 PM   #3
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What kind of sand is that?
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:37 PM   #4
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Its Aqua-Range sand https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/aqua-ra...black-sand-2kg
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:05 AM   #5
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The site isn't allowing me to post a link to the sand but its the Aqua Range 'aqua substrate'

I have ordered some Melafix to arrive tomorrow, I think I will start dosing as a safety precaution?
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:04 AM   #6
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I wouldnt use that. Better off just changing water frequently and feeding high quality foods. Fish heal quite fast in the proper environment.
The sand looked like blasting sand which is coarse and can be a bit jagged, not good for catfish or sand sifters
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:06 AM   #7
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Ok I wont bother with the medication for now, I have frozen food so will feed them more regularly with that and I've bought some algae wafers as well.
Do you think it would be worth changing the substrate to a finer sand? The sand I have doesn't seem course but I guess the grains are a bit bigger than they could be

Update: I have just fed them for today and another cory seems to have sore pelvic fins- they look very red and inflamed
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
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Unfortunately things are getting worse for the corys in my tank and I have to leave for a few days.
I have done 3 water changes this week and fed them on bloodworms, flake and daphnia and I have set up an auto feeder for while I'm away with flake, algae wafers and pellets.

The cory that was originally not well has now started to drift into a vertical position with head pointing towards the surface in the water, it is still able to forage and swim but it is not looking very strong. The barbels have almost disappeared now and another cory has almost lost theirs as well. Both the corys with the injured/infected barbels are also using their fins to swim but they look clamped? Unsure how to describe this but it almost looks as though they are swimming normally but their pectoral fins are glued shut?
Another cory has barbels which have turned a whitish colour but no other symptoms yet and the others are still looking healthy

At this point I'm wondering if there is some sort of disease in the tank rather than maybe substrate/something else eroding the barbels? The whiteness from the barbels has also started to spread across the face of the originally sick fish
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:43 PM   #9
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Do you have a hospital tank that doesn't have that substrate? Brookster123 mentioned the substrate may be too coarse for corys. If the barbels are damaged the white tissue/fish floating could be a symptom that bacterial infection has set in. It is worth consideration especially if it's affecting the corys and not the black phantoms.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:23 PM   #10
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Hi all, I'm back again. I really appreciate all the help and advice!

I have set up a small hospital tank for the corys with no substrate to see if this helps. The one that was starting to float and looked really bad has actually gotten better, but all of them are showing varying degrees of this white colour on their barbels so fingers crossed this cures it!

I have no idea if this is related or not but I am having an issue with my tetras as well now. Within a week 2 have died- I never found one but have photos of the other. Of the 4 that are left 3 are looking normal and healthy but the male is looking very pale and less active than usual. They seem to be losing their colour and energy and then dying with no other symptoms? My water parameters have been kept perfect and today I did an 80% water change and took everything out the tank to clean the substrate very thoroughly as well just to be safe.
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:19 PM   #11
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Smile

infection may have spread to tetras since they were in the same tank. Or they may have just been sick if they were new.

Keep up small/moderate daily or frequent water changes, don't go crazy every day, but wipe/vacuum to remove bacteria shedding. the missing tetra may be ammonia bacteria spike.

Aquarium salt can be helpful to have, even just in low amounts with corys and maybe not planted tanks, antibiotics are a guess unless one is a scientist with a microscope, ph <7 maybe nitrofurozone or maracyn 2. but I would try water change and salt.

Keep the hospital tank, it's a good thing to have, and quarantine all new fish.
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Old 02-01-2021, 04:44 AM   #12
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Thank you DeepAsHadal!

I have had the tetras since November with no problems so it must be like you've said and its spread.
I have been checking the water parameters regularly and theres not been any ammonia spike that I've seen, is it possible it got eaten quick enough for me to not have found it?
Would it be worth removing the single sick tetra to also put in the hospital tank?
I have ordered API aquarium salt to arrive later today, do you have a recommended dose for it?
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Old 02-01-2021, 05:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fraoch View Post
Thank you DeepAsHadal!

I have had the tetras since November with no problems so it must be like you've said and its spread.
I have been checking the water parameters regularly and theres not been any ammonia spike that I've seen, is it possible it got eaten quick enough for me to not have found it?
Would it be worth removing the single sick tetra to also put in the hospital tank?
I have ordered API aquarium salt to arrive later today, do you have a recommended dose for it?
1 rounded tablespoon per 5 gallons of water or 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. I see you have a planted tank so only add salt to your quarantine tank and move any fish that needs treatment there. Not many plants are tolerant of salt.
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:13 AM   #14
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Edit. I see you want to treat corys. They are considered not tolerant of salt. If you want to go down the salt treatment route, consider half the standard dosage.
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1 rounded tablespoon per 5 gallons of water or 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. I see you have a planted tank so only add salt to your quarantine tank and move any fish that needs treatment there. Not many plants are tolerant of salt.
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Old 02-13-2021, 09:28 AM   #15
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Hi all, got a bit of an update and a question

After moving the corys to the QT tank and treating with salt and water changes they have recovered really well and I was hoping to move them back to the main tank soon but I have been having serious issues with the tetras.
2 more have since died with no obvious symptoms apart from some of them lacking colour and being a bit more lethargic. I was going to catch the tetras and put them in the QT and swap them with the corys but when I caught them I noticed that one has bent spine which it never had before. I had a quick google and this seems to be a sign of fish TB or some other sort of bacterial infection? Now I'm scared of moving any fish in case I cross contaminate and spread disease to my healthy corys- would it work if I moved the tetras out and did a really good tank clean then put the corys in?
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