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Old 02-13-2004, 02:50 AM   #1
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Loopy Panda Cory

I just got my second batch of panda cories, and one of them seems to have some kind of equilibrium problem: the little guy is always rolling to the left when swimming. If he goes any distance he looks like a football (US, not soccer) in a perfect spiral pass.

My first concern is: is this a symptom of any contagious disease? I'm a newbie, so I don't know much--my first attempt to find info turned up whirling disease, but I don't think that's what this is. But maybe I'm wrong.

FWIW, the first three I got a few weeks ago are all doing fine, as are the other two I just got.
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:02 AM   #2
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Equilibrium problems suggest a swimbladder problem. It can be due to a lot of things, but in this case, it could be due to a bacterial infection caused by stress (of moving to your tank, or due to infection at the LFS). If you have a quarantine tank (which I doubt), you should put the new batch there for a few weeks.

Now, what can you do for this cory: not much except treat with a broad spectrum antibiotics (attention, here I assume that your tank is cycled, and that your readings -ammonia, nitrite, nitrate- are good).

Before you do that, make sure to explain to us 1) the size of the tank, 2) what you have in, 3) what are your readings.
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:36 AM   #3
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Thanks, astroguy. Per your request:

25 gal
3 marigold swag swordtails
6 panda cories

Tank fully cycled--0's on ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, 7.0 pH
76 degrees

No QT.

P.S. Since you said "swim bladder" I did some looking around, and I think it's worth mentioning that the panda cory seems otherwise normal if not more active than the other cories. No noted physical deformities, no hanging out in one spot (other than what is usual for the cories), no swimming with head down, etc. I just read the "A Cory Lost Its Equilibrium" thread from December--wish I knew how that turned out.
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Old 02-13-2004, 10:13 AM   #4
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thanks. The tank is understocked, which is good. My only surprise comes from 0ppm nitrates. Do you have lots of plants?

One other idea I had: is he flashing against the gravel or any other ornament?
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Old 02-13-2004, 11:08 AM   #5
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I have no plants, but I do have some algae growth. Lately I've ended up doing 30% water changes more than once a week--my original goal was 10% once a week. (My third swordtail had developed a bad case of fin rot after introduction which I treated with Melafix and Pimafix, and I did a big water change after that was over, then I tried out two gravel vacuums, then I got angelfish that died and I did a big water change after I removed them.) Hey, it may be more than 0 ppm nitrates, but it looks like 0 on the test strip--definitely less than 20.

The cory could be thought to be flashing decor a bit, but then as all movement involves rolls to the left, it's hard to tell if it's intentional.
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Old 02-13-2004, 11:18 AM   #6
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I have no other ideas about the behavior. Maybe others have.
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Old 02-13-2004, 02:20 PM   #7
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Hey, astroguy, what would flashing have indicated to you?

I just checked in on the little guy, and today he's just leaning to the left rather than rolling. I hope he's getting better. I was just about to investigate medical treatments....
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Old 02-13-2004, 02:41 PM   #8
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Hmm, irritated gills due to some disease or worms came in my mind. Sorry I cannot be of more help.
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:28 AM   #9
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For the benefit of anyone who may find this in a search result in the future: I tried PimaFix for six days with no change in the cory's behavior. (I intended to go seven days, but I needed to do a big water change on the sixth day while installing a bubble wand, and I had seen no improvement, so I just stopped.) I fed the cory a smushed green pea, as recommended elsewhere--no change. Other people have mentioned that they've seen apparent swim bladder/equilibrium problems like this which have just fixed themselves after, say, a month. I'll see. The cory has shown no signs of distress--the little guy is very active and seems to be eating okay, etc.
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
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Pimafix is for fungus problems. Melafix for bacterial problems. I would have gone for the second one instead of the first one, but ok.
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:47 AM   #11
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Well, I was going by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals' own descriptions:

PimaFix: It rapidly treats fungal infections on the body and fins, and internal and external bacterial infections.

MelaFix: Heals open wounds & abrasions, treats fin and tail rot, eye cloud, mouth fungus and promotes regrowth of damaged fin rays & tissue.

Of course, it never hurts to use both together, I suppose....
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:01 PM   #12
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One thing I forgot to mention--in searching around for info I found this reference:
"Clear Ich also takes care of a peculiar swim bladder problem that only affects corydoras."

I could find no additional information anywhere on a swim bladder problem peculiar to corydoras nor why Clear Ich would help treat such a problem.
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:39 PM   #13
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A sad update--the loopy panda cory died yesterday. It may or may not have been related to his problem--he was the last (I hope) of four sudden panda cory deaths.

One day I found two dead, and I suspected that something had attacked them, because they were missing parts of tails and pectoral fins. A couple of days later one of the cories looked a little whiter than normal, hours later I noticed his tail looked a little frayed, and then the next morning I found him dead. A week later, another one showed a frayed tail, and I thought, oh no! But that one continues to seem okay otherwise a week later. Then the loopy one got a frayed tail and he died pretty soon after that. I've been keeping an eye on water params, and they're all normal--nitrates vary from near 0 after a water change to 20 ppm when I do a water change (this would be my "normal" once-a-week 25% water change, though I sometimes do twice-a-week 30-40% water changes that keep nitrates down near 0). None of the cories showed any other symptoms that I could note, and I tend to keep a pretty close eye on them (especially after the first two deaths).

Do panda cories need cleaner water than 20 ppm nitrates?

I've also seen people say that pandas don't do well above 77 degrees F. What happens then? My heater is set to 76, and is "guaranteed" to be accurate within a degree, but the stick-on thermometer on the outside says 79, with no accuracy guarantee.

On the other hand, maybe I just got a bad batch of panda cories....

The first two mysterious panda deaths occurred within a week after I introduced a bristlenose pleco and two pearl gouramis to the tank. I didn't notice any ammonia/nitrite spikes, and I was testing the water daily after they came in. I did not QT them, but if I had I would have put them in the tank two weeks later--they have seemed otherwise healthy, as have the swordtails.

I waited a week after the first three deaths and then got three more panda cories--the remaining ones were seeming a bit down in the dumps. Everything has seemed okay with the new ones and the one remaining unaffected old one.

Shoot, I probably should have just started a new topic. I just wanted to update the status of the loopy panda cory, and I wasn't thinking I'd get into all this detail (I would have posted earlier about the panda cory deaths, but I was short on time).
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