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Cory Cats Dying?

This is a discussion on Cory Cats Dying? within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Waste is not visible on the substrate, I only see if I sift through the gravel with the siphon. The reason I brought it ...

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Old 09-03-2011, 03:14 PM   #11
 
Waste is not visible on the substrate, I only see if I sift through the gravel with the siphon. The reason I brought it up was because of 1077's comment about bacterial activity on the substrate causing infection in the Cories barbells. I usually only feed once a day and I don't feel that it excessive, because I never see spikes in ammonia. As I said earlier in the post I do 50% water changes weekly and usually just glide the siphon over the gravel in the areas that are not densely planted.
Maybe, I will go with the Peppered Cory Cats, but they look kind of dirty. One of the fish stores in my area has had a supply of Metae Cory Cats. Are these Bandits? Do you have any experience with them.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:08 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by spike0544 View Post
Waste is not visible on the substrate, I only see if I sift through the gravel with the siphon. The reason I brought it up was because of 1077's comment about bacterial activity on the substrate causing infection in the Cories barbells. I usually only feed once a day and I don't feel that it excessive, because I never see spikes in ammonia. As I said earlier in the post I do 50% water changes weekly and usually just glide the siphon over the gravel in the areas that are not densely planted.
Maybe, I will go with the Peppered Cory Cats, but they look kind of dirty. One of the fish stores in my area has had a supply of Metae Cory Cats. Are these Bandits? Do you have any experience with them.
Yes, the Corydoras metae are nice; I have some in my 115g. I actually prefer Corydoras melinni, they are very similar but a little "sharper" looking in the dorsal stripe. We have many of the usually-seen, and several rarely-seen, species of cory in our profiles, check them out; each has at least one photo.

Barbel degeneration of corys is usually caused by one of two things: from sharp substrate, and from high nitrates. I find it very difficult to believe it can occur from organics or waste in the substrate. These fish in their habit dig through decomposing organic matter all the time, that is why they have barbels, to find food. Nitrates in their habitat are non-existent; all tests of Amazonian streams that I have ever seen have had nitrates never exceed 1 ppm, and often so low they cannot even be detected. My aquaria have nitrates around 5ppm, which is pretty low for an aquarium, and rarely do I see any barbel degeneration. Sharp substrates is easily avoided. The enriched substrates, both Eco-complete and Flourite, are in my view too sharp for corys; I in fact removed my corys from the 70g and moved them into the 115g which now has sand, and they seem much happier. The C. panda were having barbel issues in the 70g.

Your substrate "waste" sounds fine, exactly what I have, and that is perfectly normal and natural.

Byron.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:39 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by spike0544 View Post
Waste is not visible on the substrate, I only see if I sift through the gravel with the siphon. The reason I brought it up was because of 1077's comment about bacterial activity on the substrate causing infection in the Cories barbells. I usually only feed once a day and I don't feel that it excessive, because I never see spikes in ammonia. As I said earlier in the post I do 50% water changes weekly and usually just glide the siphon over the gravel in the areas that are not densely planted.
Maybe, I will go with the Peppered Cory Cats, but they look kind of dirty. One of the fish stores in my area has had a supply of Metae Cory Cats. Are these Bandits? Do you have any experience with them.
you have to get the muck out of the gravel or at least stir up half of it. Sand is different, but you implied rocks. Sand is "glide over" and rocks are "dig in" Sometimes you have to replant stuff with small roots (the fast growers all have small roots) - but you can get a tool that simplifies that for under $15 so you don't need to get wet. i personally don't mind getting wet while cleaning/tidying a tank.

The consensus seems to be to only vacuum half the tank's gravel per water change.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #14
 
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you have to get the muck out of the gravel or at least stir up half of it. Sand is different, but you implied rocks. Sand is "glide over" and rocks are "dig in" Sometimes you have to replant stuff with small roots (the fast growers all have small roots) - but you can get a tool that simplifies that for under $15 so you don't need to get wet. i personally don't mind getting wet while cleaning/tidying a tank.

The consensus seems to be to only vacuum half the tank's gravel per water change.
With respect I will disagree on this. I never touch the substrate, and most aquarists with planted tanks do the same. You can read how this works in this article on bacteria:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

I believe it is always preferable to let nature do the work; it is after all very experienced after millions of years.Provided the tank is not out of balance, this works well.

Byron.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:27 AM   #15
 
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Yes, the Corydoras metae are nice; I have some in my 115g. I actually prefer Corydoras melinni, they are very similar but a little "sharper" looking in the dorsal stripe. We have many of the usually-seen, and several rarely-seen, species of cory in our profiles, check them out; each has at least one photo.

Barbel degeneration of corys is usually caused by one of two things: from sharp substrate, and from high nitrates. I find it very difficult to believe it can occur from organics or waste in the substrate. These fish in their habit dig through decomposing organic matter all the time, that is why they have barbels, to find food. Nitrates in their habitat are non-existent; all tests of Amazonian streams that I have ever seen have had nitrates never exceed 1 ppm, and often so low they cannot even be detected. My aquaria have nitrates around 5ppm, which is pretty low for an aquarium, and rarely do I see any barbel degeneration. Sharp substrates is easily avoided. The enriched substrates, both Eco-complete and Flourite, are in my view too sharp for corys; I in fact removed my corys from the 70g and moved them into the 115g which now has sand, and they seem much happier. The C. panda were having barbel issues in the 70g.

Your substrate "waste" sounds fine, exactly what I have, and that is perfectly normal and natural.

Byron.
My apologies if I muddied the water so to speak, by posting my opinion's/ observation's,, as to possible causes for bacterial infection's or otherwise poor health of species in question.They were/are, merely observation's and my feeling's as stated ,not to be confused with cause and effect.
Stream's that these fish are found in and video's I have seen of same, indicate very little decomposing matter laying about or excess NitrAtes, due in large part to current's which carry organic's and waste away, and plant growth is sparse due to tree canopy in many area's, that block's light that plant's need.
Usually nothing but leaf litter and root wads,sand substrate, or smooth river stones along with moderate current in area's that these fish choose to inhabit.(my observation's)
I do not believe they use their Barbel's to dig ,so much as they use them for locating food by smell, or scent, in same way as many other catfish species do.
They do enjoy sifting through sand as opposed to gravel in my opinion while searching for food and it then becomes easier on Barbel's than rooting around in gravel be it sharp gravel or otherwise.

Last edited by 1077; 09-06-2011 at 01:32 AM..
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:55 AM   #16
 
Um...............So what do I do? I think for the plants sake I will not siphon the gravel, but if I start to notice any problems with their barbells I will give it a shot.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:51 AM   #17
 
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Um...............So what do I do? I think for the plants sake I will not siphon the gravel, but if I start to notice any problems with their barbells I will give it a shot.
If barbel degeneration occurs, check the nitrates. There may well be other causes, I only mention the two that are cited by the catfish people like Dr. David Sands.

To pick up on 1077's correct observations, organics are present in the sand substrate of streams. If there are worms, crustaceans and insect larvae in the sand that the corys are looking for, these creatures must be eating something. Plus there is natural waste from fish, birds, whatever that falls into the water. All this gets pulled into the substrate just as it does in the aquarium if there is a proper flow of water down into the sand. The fish/water volume ratio is obviously very much higher in the aquarium, so this is more evident. Plus there is the leaf breakdown creating its own organics and micro-plankton life.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:11 AM   #18
 
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Um...............So what do I do? I think for the plants sake I will not siphon the gravel, but if I start to notice any problems with their barbells I will give it a shot.

I think you are doing what can be expected.
It was unclear to me, as it often is without further info throughout post's, to determine what substrates are being utilized, and what food's and frequency of feeding's are.
With plenty of plant's ,there will be less problem with organic's creating problem's on substrate as there would possibly be otherwise for plant's will use the organic's as fertilizer's.
I also use (believe Byron does as well), trumpet snails to help further keep substrate clean of that which plant's don't readily use.
I keep a dozen (six each) of schwartz corydoras, and Melanistius corydoras, in planted tank and have yet to vaccum the substrate in nearly two year's.
I also as mentioned ,offer them a variety of food's as opposed to just letting them scavenge for what flake food the other fish receive.
I could not vaccum substrate if I wanted to due to plant mass, but I am careful to not overfeed the tank as you are as well.(once a day)
I have kept many species of these little fish and it is only the species in question here that I have had trouble with.
I do believe they fair better on a whole as species go, in fairly well established tank's of a few month's old as opposed to newer tank's, and I would not discount possibility of sick or weak fishes when purchased to be problematic due to stress of shipping,and or poor water quality in holding tanks at fish stores.
Just keep up with tank maint,qualtiy food's,and fishes will have best chance.
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