Panda Cory Laying On Side - Dying? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-24-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Panda Cory Laying On Side - Dying?

It appears one of my panda cories has developed a swim bladder issue. He is laying on his side twitching. I have removed him and placed him in a shallow Gladware but I'm unsure of how to treat him. Ordinarily, I would use epsom salt but since cories are so salt sensitive I don't know what to do.

I have had him in a 10g, cycled, with three other panda cories and a female betta for the last week. Before that he and his four cory pals were in a 2.5g quarantine (daily water changes and filter) for two weeks. I did change the water, close to 50% so I could clean the substrate. I made sure the water was same temp and was treated with Stress Coat. Only thing different is last night I had a female guppy in a 3 way breeder in the tank for a short time; she was later moved to her own tank but she died earlier today. Could she have transmitted something to my cories? I had her in there because she was giving birth. Another guppy died the day before that. What am I doing wrong??? My water params check out, my water is supert soft but my pH is a little high, 7.4-7.8. My 11 bettas, the remaining 2 guppies, the remaining 5 cories (2 in quarantine since they are new), and the guppy fry are all fine so far. *knock on wood* Please help me figure out where I am going wrong. Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-25-2011, 04:33 AM
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Epsom salt is different to Aquarium salt and is safe to use.

The guppies do best in Hard/alkaline water as well as the higher PH, maybe it is way to soft for them. I don't think the guppy transmitted something that would make the fish sick/die so quickly. How long had the 10g been cycled for and did you cycle it with those fish? If the 10g was just cycled, perhaps you cleaned too thoroughly and caused a mini cycle. How did you clean the substrate, maybe it left a toxin in the water.

Panda's can be sensitive when first introduced and guppies often aren't as hardy as they once were, it may still all be related to going through the cycling process or water quality.

This is a really informative article by Byron if you haven't already read it....
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-25-2011, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Hi Beaches, thanks for replying. In answer to your questions, the filter itself has been cycled for about 3 months now, the substrate is white sand and is about 1 month old; I switched the filters when I got a second 10g. I did a 45-50% water change with vacuuming (by hovering the gravel vac just above the surface to pick up poo etc) and that's it. I cycled the tank with 5 female bettas in a sorority. The cory who died is one of my older cories that I've had for 3-4 weeks. He had been in his new tank for a week and was active and eating. The remaining 3 panda cories and my female betta in that tank are all doing fine. I do 2 water changes a week, about 40% each time. I never take out more than 50%. The only thing I can think of that might have made a difference is I changed the bio-max media in my filter. I have an AquaClear 20 that is 3-stage filtration so I never change all the media at once. But why would only one cory be affected? Also, the guppy who died was not in that tank when the media was changed.

I am wondering if the guppy who died did so because of being pregnant. One other guppy who died was also pregnant but the male and one female who does not appear to be noticeably pregnant yet are still fine. I had read fish adjust to water parameters that aren't ideal but perhaps you are right, the water is not to the guppies' liking. :/ Hopefully the other two guppies left will make it. If not, I will take that as a definite sign that I should not keep guppies.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-25-2011, 03:57 PM
You changed your substrate and replaced a cartridge on your filter. Most likely your tank is cycling again.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-25-2011, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
Maybe he was a weaker cory than the rest? I changed the substrate a month ago . . . And uhm, if this ever happens again, what's the best way to treat a cory with swim bladder issues? Epsom salt?
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-26-2011, 10:11 AM
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Nothing in my experience can treat swim bladder; fish that develop this will sometimes live on for months, or die, depending.

However, this cory issue could be various things, and from what we are told I wold not suspect a swim bladder issue. It sounds more like ammonia or nitrite, given the other deaths as well, and the substrate/filter changes. Do you have live plants in the tank? Have you checked the tank water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? What are the specific numbers?


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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