Bronze catfish lethargic - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 41 Old 05-20-2010, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Bronze catfish lethargic

Hey guys.

I have two bronze catfish that have been quite lethargic lately. They are normally quite active. They are housed in a 10g aquarium with four tetras. The water paramaters are all normal and nothing has changed in months other than water changes of course. This tank is not planted at the moment. It has a gravel laterite mix for substrate. I'm thinking about changing that to sand since I read that gravel can be hard on their feelers. These guys aren't even eating that well. They get sinking pellets made for bottom feeders and whatever tropical fish flakes the tetras don't eat. This tank was established over a year ago and went through a fishless cycle. I bought a piece of driftwood but I'm not sure if I should change anything right now?

thanks for any thoughts :)
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post #2 of 41 Old 05-22-2010, 04:34 PM
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Lethargy in previously-active Corydoras is almost always a sign of trouble in the water that is affecting the fish. There are many things that can cause this.

Corys in my experience are not that much on eating flakes that may reach the bottom. But sinking foods like tablets and pellets are usually fine. From your info I assume they have been eating fine until recently, so the choice of food was probably OK. If you can, get a small pack of frozen bloodworms; corys love these, and it may help to get them back to feeding (along with rectifying whatever is the problem). Don't feed bloodworms regularly (daily) though, maybe 3 times a week. The basic tablets/pellets have the nutrition they need and stuff lacking from frozen bloodworms.

If the wood is clean, I would add it; corys love to browse over wood, and it may provide some "shelter" as corys all like having hiding places in the tank in case they feel threatened. A cory in a relatively bare tank will be constantly stressed, and this can lead to trouble. The more "shelter" (and they love plants too), the better.

Gravel is not a problem unless it is sharp; the laterite may be, if it is leeching into the water. Laterite is simply iron enriched clay, and iron is a heavy metal and is toxic if high enough. Don't panic, laterite is intended for under the gravel in planted tanks, so unless you added too much this is not likely the issue. But it is worth noting.

Can you give us the current nitrate test number? And, pH and temperature. These may tell us a lot, so I'll reserve further comment.

Byron.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 05-22-2010 at 06:51 PM.
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post #3 of 41 Old 05-22-2010, 05:33 PM
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echo all of the above,the only thing i wondered was the temperature ?
is your heater working ok ?

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #4 of 41 Old 05-22-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback you guys. I actually went ahead with changing the substrate to a fine white sand that I got at the lfs. It's awesome. And it's letting me see how much the fish are actually eating. I just did it yesterday but what I've discovered is that even though they don't really eat in the morning they do clean the whole tank at night lol. This stuff is like snow and leaves little cory prints in it where they have been. The neons definitely don't do that. When I first changed it they were very active exploring but I also added the driftwood (also from lfs) and they have found a nook on the backside of one piece that they whole up in for the most part of the day. But when I was changing the water I got a really good look at them and they don't actually look sick. Maybe they are just being more active at night and less during the day? I'll have to get you the water parameters in the a.m. we just got back from a busy day at the rodeo/fair and i need to get my daughter fed and to bed.

eta: sorry. my thermometer is reading about 74 so I guess I'll up in a couple degrees and see if that helps.
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post #5 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 03:43 AM
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i love the little tracks they leave in the sand

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #6 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shara View Post
Thanks for the feedback you guys. I actually went ahead with changing the substrate to a fine white sand that I got at the lfs. It's awesome. And it's letting me see how much the fish are actually eating. I just did it yesterday but what I've discovered is that even though they don't really eat in the morning they do clean the whole tank at night lol. This stuff is like snow and leaves little cory prints in it where they have been. The neons definitely don't do that. When I first changed it they were very active exploring but I also added the driftwood (also from lfs) and they have found a nook on the backside of one piece that they whole up in for the most part of the day. But when I was changing the water I got a really good look at them and they don't actually look sick. Maybe they are just being more active at night and less during the day? I'll have to get you the water parameters in the a.m. we just got back from a busy day at the rodeo/fair and i need to get my daughter fed and to bed.

eta: sorry. my thermometer is reading about 74 so I guess I'll up in a couple degrees and see if that helps.
Temp at 74 is fine for neons and this cory species, I would leave that. Still want to know the other parameter numbers before commenting further. B.

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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post #7 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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ph is 6.6 (but after the tube sat for a bit it said 7.2 which I don't think is accurate since it didn't say to wait)
Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are all at 0. The only other thing my kit tests for is 'high ph' which I never use.
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post #8 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 02:48 PM
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That seems fine. So thinking back to my earlier comments, do they have hiding spots? Corys do like to get away from view, some more than others. I have several species in my tanks, and many of them I rarely see except during feeding when they are out front. They like security.

Byron.

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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post #9 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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They did before but they were smaller(mostly clay pots). Now that I've added the driftwood they have food a little nook behind one of the bigger pieces and it almost looks like they have moved the sand around to settle in there. There are other little nooks too but they like that one on the back side the best. I've ordered a moss ball and an anubis (sp?) for the tank and will add those and see if they grow. I tried live plants before with little success. I think maybe there was too much laterite in substrate? If I'm successful I will add more so they have more places to hide and more cover. I'm really liking this sand. When the cories do woosh around they live a little cloud behind them that settles immediately lol
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post #10 of 41 Old 05-23-2010, 04:13 PM
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Sounds like they're settling down again. As for the plants, Anubias is very low light (no mention made yet of what light you have) and needs to be attached to rock or wood, not planted in the substrate. Slow growing, but will eventually spread. Very similar to Java Fern in how it grows. You may need a good liquid plant fertilizer; I'm assuming you removed the laterite when you replaced the substrate with sand.

Byron.

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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