Albino Cory is sick! Help!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
aemaki09's Avatar
Albino Cory is sick! Help!!

So one of my albino's is acting like he has SBD.

He's keeps floating to the top of the tank, sometimes he's upside down, sometimes he's on his side.
It also seems like he's having a hard time breaking the surface to get air.
He's able to swim down but just ends up floating back up after he tries to rest.

I first noticed symptoms about an hour ago, he was stuck to the filter, I have since moved him to a .75 gallon QT.

His normal home is::
26 gallon tank
Tank mates: 5 other cories, 6 betta females, a couple of ghost shrimp, and a couple ramshorn snails.
Temperature stays at a constant 79*
He eats API bottom feeder tablets, Hikari Algea tablets on occasion, and whatever pellets the bettas dont eat.
He's normally very active and glass surfs nearly al day long.
30%+ water changes 1-2x/week

My parameters are::
pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
--Dont have a test for the rest--

I did add a new aquaclear filter to the tank last week (with old seeded media from the same tank) and so my tank is having a bacterial bloom right now if that makes a difference.
Other than that nothing new has been added to this tank in over 2 months. I finished treating for columnaris in my betta's about a week before christmas and havent had any disease or deaths since then.

Can somebody please help me figure out whats going on, if its not SBD?

And can somebody help me treat it! All I know about cories is that their salt tolerance is poor.

10 HM, 3 HMPK, 5 HMPK fry
8 German Blue Ram, 5 Green Dragon BNP, 4 Albino BNP, 4 Calico BNP, 6 Red BNP, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 2 ADF, 7 Peppered Cories, & 6 Tiger Endlers + Fry
12 full time tanks, 4 NPT, 6 QT/Breeders
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post #2 of 2 Old 01-11-2013, 05:01 PM
Byron's Avatar
I just finished a post in another thread on much the same issue, with a glass catfish there. So I've pasted some of that here, and will expand as you have raised a couple of other relevant issues that may be connected.

This is usually a swim bladder problem as you suggested. It is not curable, and in my experience fish never recover. Sometimes they can go on like this for weeks but eventually they die, perhaps from starvation since feeding can become impossible in severe cases. I have had several fish over 20+ years develop this, often out of the blue--I've had them for months and even years, then suddenly overnight this develops in just the one fish.

As to what causes this, I understand it can be genetic, or brought on by water parameter shocks. One reason why careful acclimation of new fish is important.

Another cause though can be internal or external protozoan that sometimes affect the nervous system. Without an autopsy examination of the dead fish by a biologist, this is next to impossible to determine unless other fish begin showing the same symptoms. I have also had this occur, once.

You mention treatment for columnaris. I don't know what you may have used, but any medication of any sort is tough on corys. Charging up and down the tank walls is usually a sign of stress, and this can be brought on by many things including any medications.

I don't see anything of concern in the water test results you post. But on the temp, you might want to lower it to 76F. I'm not suggesting this caused it, but corys with a couple of species exceptions are better in lower temperatures than higher, and by lower I mean around 75-77F. I keep mine at 77F except for the "dwarf" species which should be 75F.

The bacterial bloom is irrelevant here, but the filter media change may have caused a slight increase in ammonia perhaps? It doesn't take much; corys are super sensitive to ammonia above zero. Do yo have live plants? Plants are ammonia sinks, they take up a lot, and are always advisable with corys. Even simple floating plants.

Salt would do nothing, and make things worse given the effect it has on all soft water fish. But as I mentioned at the start, this is not curable as far as I know.

Hope this has helped explain things, even though it will not cure the cory. But knowing may help prevent further problems.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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