Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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love_my_fish 11-04-2006 02:46 PM

Sick/injured Cories
During today's morning feeding, I noticed only one of my 2 cories actively swimming about. I looked at all over the tank and discovered the other cory on its side, between the sponge filter and the tank glass. I got my net and went to get him out, but discoverd he was quite alive. However, his gill area was bright pink and then I noticed around his head it looks like some chunks of skin are missing. He is much less active than normal. I looked at the other cory, and it appears it too is missing some skin around it head, but not as much. The fins on the one are also a bit torn up along the edges.

What is going on? Could this be some skin disease? Or are the angelfish biting them? One angel took a poke at one while I tried to get a photo. My water parameters appear to be fine and typical - pH=7.4, nitrates=10, nitrites=0, ammonia=0, temp=76. These guys are about 2 years old, and have been with the same tanks mates practically as long. My other suspect is possbly the bristlenoses? The sponge filter is their territory. (I actually removed it today -- also removed one from another tank and either my 'baby' bn plec was already dead, or I think I spooked him to death :( )

Here's some pics. It doesn't look like something growing on the skin, but like lighter skin is exposed where pieces of skin are missing:

trreherd 11-04-2006 04:01 PM

Can u guys tell me if this sounds like corry cat behavior.
During the day my cat is totally inactive he lies on the botton in the back of the tank under a peace of driftwood and looks pretty much dead.At night and in the morning he will be very active he will agressivly rummage the bottom for food and then every so often he will stop cold just sit there for a minute or two and then carry on with his feeding.

Another strange behavior he does is he will shove his face against the sides of the tank and move up and down but never breaking the surface of the water like he is vacuming the sides of the tank or something?

I heard somewere that corrys need a special substrate so they dont hurt there barbels.Is this true?

I also heard that you will see your corry swimm to the surfase and take gulps but my corry has never done this?

Ilovemyfish-(However, his gill area was bright pink )

My corry also has pink around his gills just like you described is this ok?

And also my guppies and the neons are very agressive surface feeders so much that barrly a bit of food gets down to my corry Is this ok or should i get him some sinking food?

Tracy 11-04-2006 08:25 PM

Sinking food can't hurt if you think your cory isn't getting any of the flakes that fall to the bottom, just don't overdo it. Not sure about the pink gills :?:

Tracy 11-04-2006 08:27 PM

Re: Sick/injured Cories
[quote="love_my_fish"] Or are the angelfish biting them? One angel took a poke at one while I tried to get a photo.

Could be the angelfish picking on your cory, but I'm not sure about the pink gills. I know that I had some albino corys that had their dorsal fins nipped off by angelfish in the past.

girlofgod 11-04-2006 09:35 PM

could it be "hole in the head" disease? im not real familiar with it, but maybe? i hope yall figure it out. good luck. and yes, its very normal for the cories to be active one minute, and completely still the next. and my cories are constantly "vacuuming" the sides of the tank. =) up and down and up and down and up and the energizer bunny...they keep going...and going....and going...........and going.................and get the point :D

bettababy 11-04-2006 11:40 PM

Good guess girlofgod.... while this doesn't appear to be hole in the head disease aka hexamita, it does appear to be protozoan, and related to the hexamita.
There are 2 medications I would use at the same time, but before suggesting the meds, I'd like to know what other fish are in the tank with the cories and angels, so I can be sure it is safe to use them.
trreherd, same thing in your situation... I'll need to know all of the fish in the tank, along with your water params before I can suggest medicating safely.
As for the habit of hiding all day and coming out at night, this is typical catfish behavior, they are nocturnal feeders for the most part. One thing I will mention is that corys are a schooling fish, and the more in their group the more active they tend to be.
The only time I've heard of corys regularly gulping air from the surface is when the oxygen levels in the tank are low. And special substrate.... nope, this is not needed. Corys will suck the food from between the gravel pieces, and the size of the gravel shouldn't harm them at all.

love_my_fish 11-05-2006 09:20 AM

I'm planning on getting a 10 gallon tank today. The cory appears to have white cottony fungus(?) on his head and tail. The other one appears to be fine, and is quite active.

I want to quarantine this guy because I don't know what effect any meds would have on my other fish (I have tetras, bristle nose plecs and angels) or on my plants.

SHould I medicate the other cory as well (as a precaution or to keep the other company)? Do I need plants or anything in the tank?

What med should I use? I do have Jungle Fungus Eliminator.

bettababy 11-05-2006 09:28 PM

If the 10 gallon tank is new, I would use at least 1/2 of the water to fill it from the existing tank, and then top off with clean water. Watch the water params before attempting to medicate. I would use filter media and possibly some gravel from the existing tank to see the 10 gallon, to help avoid an ammonia spike when transfering the fish to it. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic by themselves, but if there is ANY ammonia and/or nitrite in a tank mixed with meds, it will be deadly.
Keep the feedings in the quarantine tank light, only every other day, make sure the fish can finish it within 1 minute.
Once you know the tank stats are stable and safe, I would use a combination of 2 medications at the same time... metranidazole and maroxy to treat the tank, following instructions on each of them. Be careful not to overdose. Do not use carbon during medicating, but DO run some kind of a filter and/or air stone and a heater. When the medication course is finished, add carbon to the filter and do a 25% water exchange, and give the fish a few days to determine if it is again healthy.
If you need more help, feel free to ask!
Oh... as for the other cory, I would suggest moving it with the sickly one, so that it can also benefit from the meds. Most likely it is also sick, just not as advanced as the other. Add some kind of decoration to the quarantine tank to reduce stress, but I wouldn't move live plants. Plastic or silk plants, rocks, something for the fish to use for shelter.
Good Luck!

love_my_fish 11-06-2006 09:16 PM

I'm using a hob filter with media from another tank, and a sponge filter that I had in another tank. Got the tank, a heater and a little gravel from other tank and a plastic plant. Used the old tank water and some fresh water. Transfered the fish last night. Cory looked awful this morning. Got the maroxy today, couldn't find the other stuff. After adding the med, the cory turned on his side and just laid there, swam about a tad and lay on his side again. Not thinking he's gonna make it through the night. :( The other one appears a little stressed, but looks healthy.

bettababy 11-06-2006 09:43 PM

The maroxy wouldn't do that to the fish, but stress and water quality could, as could an advanced stage of illness combined with the stress. Illnesses in fish tend to progress rapidly, and if not treated soon enough, can still be fatal. Check parameters in the 10 gallon and watch them close, use the medications as directed, and thats about the best you can do. Maroxy was meant to treat the fungus/bacterial issue, the metranidazol was meant to tackle the parasite issue. If the parasite issue has not been dealt with, it could be the parasite issue that is continuing to harm the fish.
When looking for the mertanidazol, look for the following meds: HexOut or Hexamit. Metranidazol is the main ingredient in these medications.
I would check online at to see if they still carry one of these meds.
The best way I could compare what is likely happening is this: A person gets the flu and also has cancer. The flu is being treated but the cancer is not. The immune system is weakend by both illnesses, and the end result is that the person dies from the cancer before the flu treatment is complete or the cancer treatment has begun.
Good Luck to you and your cory cats.

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