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Old 09-23-2022, 10:31 AM   #1
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Cory Catastrophe

Hello, I need to pick your brains. I have a 36 gallon bowfront and 55 gallon. Both are set up with the same substrate ( pea gravel), cannister filters and 2 power head - one at water line and one low along the back wall as well as artificial and live plants.

My 55 gallon as 12 quarter to half-dollar size juvenile angels (will be thinning out), 4 three inch bushynose plecos and 6 small spotted cory - all living, thriving and happy. Rocks for decor and plant attachment and a faux tree stump for hiding spot(s).

My problem is my 36 bowfront. I am having consistent cory deaths. As I said it is set up mechanically the same. It is stocked with 3 red & blue columbian, 2 lemon and 3 del rio tetra, 2 bushy nose pleco and currently, that I can find, 2 (I think - I can find one) panda's left, some rocks (for plant attachment) and faux rock structures for hiding.

I have lost 6 albino, and 6 panda. I never see them die, I just find them. This morning I was feeding and the lastest loss spiraled to the top of the tank, went back to the bottom, rolled over and died before I could get it netted out and put into a medication bath. When I buy them, I have quarantined them for a couple of weeks and they are fine. I move them to this tank and stuff happens.

Specifics you are going to ask about:

Water source is well and was tested in September and was clear.


API Testing: pH - 7.2; Ammonia - 0; Nitrite - 0; Nitrate - 10; kH - (2 drops) 0-50; gH - (3 drops) 50-100; phos 1.0

Last water change - 9/22 - 50% - stress coat added as well as Seachem prime to help boost back the biological

Last substrate vacuum - 9/22

Cannister filter was opened and rinsed (in tank water) last week.

I have prefilters on intakes - no fish attached.

Water change & substrate vacuum yesterday (9/22) on my 55 - stress coat added as well as Seachem prime to help boost back the biological. Everyone is happy. Cannister was rinsed in tank water last week.

The water in my 55 is crystal clear, the 36 is cloudy.

So, I am at a loss as to what is going on. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 09-23-2022, 04:36 PM   #2
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Your substrate doesnt look very cory friendly. Doesnt explain why they die in one and survive in the other but it maybe the specific species in one are better able to cope than the species in the other

Maybe there is a personality clash with one of the fish in the 36g.

Why are you using 2 different water conditioners? They both do the same job and neither of them do anything to "boost back the biological".
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:54 PM   #3
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Sorry, meant SeaChem stability has beneficial bacteria in it which I use to help boost the beneficial bacteria that may have been removed.

Stress Coat is used for the reason it states - to help the fish maintian their stress coat. Water changes & substrate vacuuming can cause stress.
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:58 PM   #4
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Sorry, meant SeaChem stability has beneficial bacteria in it which I use to help boost the beneficial bacteria that may have been removed.

Stress Coat is used for the reason it states - to help the fish maintian their stress coat. Water changes & substrate vacuuming can cause stress.
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Old 09-23-2022, 10:18 PM   #5
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I was losing my corys. My LFS said the bristle nose could be causing stress to them after the lights went out. I returned the bristle nose and the problem ended.
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Old 09-24-2022, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I dont think that. Is happening since I have plecos in both tanks and the corys in the other tank are all alive and well
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Old 09-24-2022, 02:15 PM   #7
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fact is, unlike popular thinking Corys do just fine on gravel.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:01 AM   #8
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Yes cories do great on small gravel. Sounds like there is something toxic in the tank, maybe one of the artificial plants. Double check to be sure that there is good circulation near the bottom. Bottom power head stopped? Also make sure you have a little surface agitation to provide good oxygen transfer.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghyti View Post
Yes cories do great on small gravel. Sounds like there is something toxic in the tank, maybe one of the artificial plants. Double check to be sure that there is good circulation near the bottom. Bottom power head stopped? Also make sure you have a little surface agitation to provide good oxygen transfer.
That was my point on the gravel. The gravel in those tanks looks overly large and will trap a lot of detritus which the corys might eat. It also looks quite abrasive.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:42 AM   #10
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Bad gravel won't kill cories, might wear down the barbels but should not kill. Besides same gravel in the other tank without problems. Got to be something unique to the smaller tank. Cories are on the bottom and other fish are up in the water column so I suspect lack of oxygen or toxic substance at the bottom. Yes could be something trapped in the gravel.
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:53 PM   #11
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Update!!!!! Lone panda cory that was taken from 36 gallon tank and put into 55.......still alive!!!!! Pleco's still okay in 36. Notice that fish are also okay even when they stay at or close to bottom. Such!!!!!! a mystery!!!!!

Did 50% water change yesterday and moved plants and ornaments so that I could vacuum good and also stirred up the gravel quite a bit. All fish (tetra & plecos) survived the disturbance.
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:55 PM   #12
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Yes cories do great on small gravel. Sounds like there is something toxic in the tank, maybe one of the artificial plants. Double check to be sure that there is good circulation near the bottom. Bottom power head stopped? Also make sure you have a little surface agitation to provide good oxygen transfer.
Bottom powerhead is working. I have had another powerhead at top for a while to aggitate the water surface for gas exchange.
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