Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-24-2023, 01:58 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Salem, VA
Posts: 4
Damaged Barbels Corydora

Hello, I am new to this community, but I have been keeping fish for two years now. I had three corydora catfish in a ten gallon tank to begin with, but I unfortunately lost one after six months. I had just the two for another year and a half until a second passed. The remaining corydora is Porky, a peppered corydora. I did not want him to be alone, and knew they should ideally be kept is groups of six, so I purchased a twenty gallon tank. I set this tank up last Sunday, and put Porky in while monitoring all water parameters. Ammonia and nitrite are at 0 ppm, Nitrate around 20 ppm, pH at about 7.4 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit. After a day, I went to purchase more corydroas, but the pet store had only one baby albino corydora. This is where I made my mistake, seeing only one corydora I decided to also purchase a spotted pictus catfish and four neon tetras. I added them to the tank, and closely monitored the water parameters. Two of the neon tetras died on the first night, and the pictus ate the other two (one disappeared and I watched him eat the fourth), but the three catfish were fine for a period of about a week. Starting yesterday, the new corydora decided to stop hanging around Porky and just hides. I later noticed the pictus's barbels are losing color and getting flimsy on the ends, and when the new corydora came out of hiding today one of his barbels was completely missing. I do a 50% water change once a week, and the water parameters have not changed. The pictus I know technically does not have enough space, could he be aggressive towards my new corydora? He hasn't been up until now, but could that have changed? Am I missing something with the water parameters? Could it be from having a gravel substrate? If it's either of these, why isn't Porky experiencing stress or damaged barbels? Now that I have already made the mistake, what can I do to best help the pictus get more space, and how can I help fix everyone's barbels? Thank you all for any help you can provide.

__________________
Death Himself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2023, 03:29 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,860
I dont see gravel causing barbel degradation in a matter of a week. While i can see sharp, abrasive gravel causing this type of issue, poor water quality is now considered a more common cause. Your nitrate is a little higher than ideal, but not sufficiently to cause the issue you see, and certainly not in a week. I keep corys just fine on gravel, but its a very smooth, polished gravel.

I think conflict between your catfish and cory is a more likely cause.

As you have alluded to, corys are better kept in groups. You have 2 types of corys and the new one is probably being picked on and feeling lonely and stressed. You would be better picking 1 species of cory rather than trying to mix and match different species.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2023, 04:49 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Perth in Western Australia
Posts: 1,238
Hi and welcome to the forum

I need pictures of the fish, gravel, and a picture of the entire tank?

What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH of the water now?
When you moved the Corydoras into the bigger tank, did you move the filter across with it?
What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

Until we get pictures and more information, the best thing to do is a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or until the issue is identified. The big water changes and gravel cleaning will dilute any possible water quality issues and disease organisms that might be in the water, and hopefully buy some time for us to work out what is going on.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

-------------------

Pictus catfish need to be kept in groups of at least 6 (preferably 10) or more. They can reach 8-10 inches long and need a tank that is at least 6 foot long. I would return the pictus catfish because it needs company and a much bigger tank.

Don't add any more fish until we know what is going on in the tank.
__________________
Colin_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2023, 06:24 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Salem, VA
Posts: 4
I wasn't planning to add more fish until I get this fixed, and I would like to add more corys do make them more comfortable. My water parameters hold very constant, and are the same as listed above. 20 ppm nitrate y'all said wasn't ideal, but Porky has never seemed to mind. Should I complete more frequent water changes to lower this further? As for the other questions

I did move the filters into the new tank.

One filter is a sponge filter I clean in removed tank water once a week. The other is an Aqueon Quiet Flow Internal Power filter I am now realizing is actually not large enough for this tank. That filter I clean in removed tank water once a month as well as replacing the cartridge once a month and adding Tetra SafeStart with the new cartridge.

I dechlorinate all new water during changes, and I will work on uploading some pictures.

The pictus is now swimming around the top of the tank, and Porky is beginning to act sluggish. The new cory is still hiding.

Could it somehow be related to oxygen levels, and how can I check this?
__________________
Death Himself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2023, 06:40 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Salem, VA
Posts: 4
Hopefully I did this right, I had to learn to upload pictures. The first is Porky, the cory I've had for two years. The second in the new cory hiding in the castle. The third is the pictus who didn't like to stay still for his picture. The whole tank is in the fourth. If the pictures don't actually make it to this post, I will wait for guidance on how to best do that. Porky also moved quite a bit when I went to take his picture, so I may just be paranoid about him. I've had Porky since he was a baby and I did all of this to try to help him, I am feeling really badly that I am actually harming more then helping.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20230224_182630776_HDR.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	250.7 KB
ID:	324995   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20230224_182708855_HDR.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	250.2 KB
ID:	324996  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20230224_182845079.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	161.2 KB
ID:	324997   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20230224_182728180.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	208.0 KB
ID:	324998  

__________________
Death Himself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2023, 05:21 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Perth in Western Australia
Posts: 1,238
The peppered Corydoras has excess mucous on the edge of its tail and on the pectoral (side) fin. That is caused by something in the water irritating the fish. It is usually ammonia or nitrite but can also be heavy metals, chemicals, medications, plant fertiliser, or even pollutants that get into the tank from an outside source (cream, grease, hand sanitiser, etc, on your hands).

Fin degradation is usually caused by poor water quality (ammonia) that damages the tissue and allows harmful bacteria into the wound.

Treatment is big (75%) water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate every day for a week, and maybe adding some salt.

-------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Himself View Post
One filter is a sponge filter I clean in removed tank water once a week. The other is an Aqueon Quiet Flow Internal Power filter I am now realizing is actually not large enough for this tank. That filter I clean in removed tank water once a month as well as replacing the cartridge once a month and adding Tetra SafeStart with the new cartridge.
You don't want to replace filter cartridges unless they fall apart. The cartridge houses beneficial filter bacteria that help convert ammonia into nitrite, and nitrite into nitrate. If you replace the filter media (cartridge/ pads, sponges, etc), you get rid of the good bacteria and can have ammonia and nitrite problems.

You have a second filter that is probably holding a lot of good bacteria but it might get overloaded with ammonia when you change the filter cartridge in the second filter. This could cause ammonia problems for a few days and this might be the cause of the fin damage

You can normally replace filter pads/ cartridges with sponge from a different brand of filter. Just find a sponge that is the same size or slightly bigger than the cartridge and cut it to fit. Sponges last for years and don't need replacing until they start to fall apart.

You probably don't need to change the power filter to a bigger one. Not all fish come from fast flowing water and even fish that do, tend to have calm sheltered areas to hang out in when not swimming into the currents.

-------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Himself View Post
The pictus is now swimming around the top of the tank, and Porky is beginning to act sluggish. The new cory is still hiding.

Could it somehow be related to oxygen levels, and how can I check this?
You can buy Oxygen (O2) test kits and monitor the oxygen levels. However, you have a reasonable amount of air coming out of the sponge filter and that should be adequate for the tank, especially considering there are only a few small fish in it.

-----

Basic First Aid for Fish
Test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or until the problem is identified. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use the media. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens so any medication (if needed) will work more effectively on the fish.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.

-----

It's a reasonably new set up so probably doesn't need the glass wiped down.
You clean the filters regularly so you probably don't need to do that.
The picture shows a fair amount of aeration from the sponge filter so that's probably ok.

Your fish are showing signs of stress associated with a water quality issue and water changes should help. I would be doing a 75% water change and gravel cleaning the substrate every day for at least a few days (preferably a week) to see if it helps. If there's no improvement after a couple of water changes, post more pictures of the fish, but at this stage, I reckon it's a water quality problem.
__________________
Colin_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2023, 05:36 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Andy Sager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, Florida
Posts: 6,858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Himself View Post
I wasn't planning to add more fish until I get this fixed, and I would like to add more corys do make them more comfortable. My water parameters hold very constant, and are the same as listed above. 20 ppm nitrate y'all said wasn't ideal, but Porky has never seemed to mind. Should I complete more frequent water changes to lower this further? As for the other questions

I did move the filters into the new tank.

One filter is a sponge filter I clean in removed tank water once a week. The other is an Aqueon Quiet Flow Internal Power filter I am now realizing is actually not large enough for this tank. That filter I clean in removed tank water once a month as well as replacing the cartridge once a month and adding Tetra SafeStart with the new cartridge.

I dechlorinate all new water during changes, and I will work on uploading some pictures.

The pictus is now swimming around the top of the tank, and Porky is beginning to act sluggish. The new cory is still hiding.

Could it somehow be related to oxygen levels, and how can I check this?
Keep in mind that just because it's a Corydora does not mean that they all get along well together. It's best to keep schools/ shoals of the same specie and not mixing them up.

As for cleaning the sponge filter, do not over clean them. A simple squeeze or two is all you want to do. If you don't get really dark water out of the sponge, you don't need to clean as often. ( Or you need to increase the aeration to it to increase the water flow through it. )

There are test kits to test dissolved oxygen levels. This is just one of them: https://www.amazon.com/Salifert-Diss.../dp/B001EJ3DQ4

__________________
Andy Sager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2023, 02:39 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Salem, VA
Posts: 4
Before I get into this post I would like to say thank you all for all of your help. You guys showed me that even though I thought I knew what I was doing I still have a lot to learn.

I've been doing the water changes and gravel cleaning like y'all recommended. I've gotten the nitrate down to 10ppm as opposed to 20, and all of my water tests were still passing. I was beginning to get frustrated that I still couldn't find the problem when I noticed an odd bit of color coming from the power filter. I dismantled it to find what was left of the fourth tetra I thought disappeared. By the looks of it, the pictus probably did get it but didn't finish it. I have a picture if needed, but I won't post yet as it's a bit gruesome. From this I learned that just because your water passes some tests does not mean it is clean.

Porky still seems fine, and the pictus has moved back to the bottom. The pictus's barbels still look the same but haven't gotten worse, and the baby cory is starting to heal. He has the barbels back that he lost, though they are smaller.

I am working to rehome the pictus. Many of the other students in my ichthyology course also keep fish, so I am hoping to find him somewhere where he can be happy. From this I learned that the 1 gallon per inch of fish rule is not always gonna work, and to research the fish before buying, as not doing so was reckless.

Finally, I have learned that just because my corys were comfortable mixing species in the past does not mean this will always be the case. This is the only problem I am still unsure of how to fix. I am going to keep doing daily water changes for a week to be safe, and give the little cory a chance to finish healing. My final questions are:
Is a week a good amount of time for him to heal before adding more corys?
Should he come out of hiding if I add more ablinos?
I understand now I need the same species of cory, but I already now have a peppered and an albino. Would purchasing two of each, so I had three and three, be a good solution or will this likely cause problems? I do not have space for six and six.

Thank you all again for all of your help, and I apologize for my longer posts.
__________________
Death Himself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2023, 03:18 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,860
Nobody can tell you whats going to happen if you add more corys.

3 corys is going to be better than 1 cory. 6 corys better than 3 etc. Fish will often make the best of the situation and group up with other similar fish, but sometimes they dont. It will come down to the personality of individual fish. Maybe you go put and get 5 more albino corys and they settle in and form a nice group, maybe the 5 new ones will see the one you already have in not 100% health and pick on it until it dies, fish often do this.

Ive recently added some otos into a tank because there were only 2 left and i felt they needed some company. The 4 new fish all hang out together separately from the 2 i already had.

Having 3 albinos and 3 peppered corys is probably going to be a compromise situation that works. Consider that Corys are often sought after fish and it should be possible to rehome or return one of them and then build up a group around the other if thats your preference.

1 inch per gallon has its place, but its a limited metric. What it works great at is stopping you from overstocking when you are taking about groups of small to medium fish. 10 ◊ 1" fish might work in a 10 gallon tank, but 1 x 10" fish wouldnt. You need to consider if fish need to be kept together with others of their own species. So 3 x 2" fish in a 10g tank wouldnt work with social fish because they really should be kept in groups of 10, so a 20 gallon tank would be needed for a group of such fish. You also need to consider if fish are active and need swimming space, so an active fish might need a 2' long tank so it can stretch its legs so to speak.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2023, 11:28 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Perth in Western Australia
Posts: 1,238
It is possible the neon tetras died and then got eaten by the pictus. Neon tetras regularly come in with neon disease (a bacterial infection) that causes the red and or blue lines to fade in the rear half of the fish. More advanced cases show a white area where the red and or blue line should be. The fish die within 24-48 hours of showing the white patch.

If you see a white patch on neon tetras at a pet shop, or the red or blue line is faded, avoid getting any fish from that tank, and if those fish are for sale, it's probably best to avoid buying any fish form the shop at that time.

Guppies can also get a white patch on their back and this is a similar bacterial infection. So check out the fish are the shop and if in doubt, don't buy any new fish.

Having said all this, pictus catfish are nocturnal predators and will eat small fish.

-------------------

Albino Corydoras come in a few species. The most common type is the albino bronze Corydoras, but they also come in an albino peppered Corydoras. Albino peppered Coris and normal peppered Cories should hang out together. The trouble is in identifying which albino Corydoras the shop has.

As Aiken said, 3 Cories is better than 1 and 6 is better than 3. If you can get 3 more of each, that might be ok and should fit in the tank.

-------------------

The one inch per gallon rule is antiquated and should have disappeared with goldfish in a bowl.

-------------------

If a fish has died or been sick in the aquarium, wait at least one month before adding any new fish. This gives the remaining fish a chance to recover from whatever affected them, and for any diseases to show up.

The fish you have do need companions, but you also need to make sure the tank is safe for the new fish, and you need to make sure the newcomers don't bring something bad into the established tank.

If you have a quarantine tank, you can put new fish into that for a month and if they are ok and the fish in the other tank are ok after that time, then add them.
__________________
Colin_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
age, barb, cory, corydora, damage

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Corydora Stories: Corydora Show And Tell! Share Your Stories! nkim1994 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 12-09-2018 01:58 PM
Cory with damaged barbels reun Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 11-20-2010 06:42 PM
Corydoras - what are barbels?? is Barbels = whiskers?? Bubble_B0y Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 7 07-22-2005 02:19 PM
Damage to catfish barbels... lil'nemo Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 8 04-19-2004 07:05 PM
Cory barbels... Strikh Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 5 04-08-2004 08:25 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.