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-   -   i fail at keeping corys... (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/catfish/i-fail-keeping-corys-122607/)

dorabaker 12-13-2012 08:31 PM

i fail at keeping corys...
 
When I first started keeping fish, corys were my first fish. I had bronze corys first, then, later, peppered corys. Since I didn't really know what I was doing back then, the bronzies weren't a huge success, although it's amazing they lived as long as they did considering how I treated them. The peppered corys were a HUGE success, even though, or perhaps because of, the appalling conditions they sometimes had to survive (multiple cycling tanks, filter disasters, overstocking, etc...)

Anyway, since I found this site and actually learnt how to look after fish properly, I have had NO LUCK with corys. A few years ago I bought a shoal of beautiful little Panda corys from a large aquarium store. They were in perfect health when I got them, but not long after I introduced them to my tank they began to shows signs of gill flukes. I treated them and thought they had recovered, but shortly afterwards they died of finrot and fungus. More recently, I bought a shoal of - again perfectly healthy-looking - peppered corys from my local pet store and EXACTLY THE SAME THING happened! :cry:

My tank is 15 gallons, with a gravel substrate, a heap of plants, and very gentle homemade filtration using an airstone and some filter wool. There are also two pieces of driftwood which I collected many years ago. Not surprisingly, since they aren't real bogwood they are starting to disintegrate after so long in the water, but they still provide a good anchorage for my Java Fern. The pH is acidic but not wildly so (when I put the indicator fluid in the phial the color is a slightly greenish yellow.) I can't afford a hardness test kit so I don't know the kH but it's probably quite soft, if the water is that acid. The tank's been set up for over 2 years and is thoroughly mature.

I can't understand what's wrong. The only thing I can think of is that the gravel is quite full of detritus and since corys are bottomfeeders maybe that's making them sick. I siphon off as much of the muck as I can every week, but I don't have a gravel vacuum so there's a limit to how clean I can actually make it. When you stir up a bit of the gravel heaps of detritus comes out.

I have kept other fish species in this tank without any trouble; for some reason I just seem to suck at keeping corys! I'd really appreciate it if anyone could give me an idea of why I can't seem to keep them alive. I miss corys :(

Bluewind 12-13-2012 11:31 PM

Sorry for your loss. I know how atttached we can get to the little guys :-(

I'm sure others with more experence will come in and give you better advice than me, but here is my take. Corys are a scaleless fish, so water contaminants, copper, and above normal levels of thing like amonia REALLY get to them. Also, gravel can hurt their little barbles and once they wear them down, they don't grow back! Between that and the dirtiness of the gravel, you might consider changing out the substrate to sand (stay away from pfs as it's too corse! Not sure about play sand as I've never had it, but be warned that it takes FOREVER to clean). You can also make a homemade vacume using a Coke bottle and a piece of air tubing. Googing diy gravel vacume should bring up instructions on how to do it. ;-)

If you can't change out the substrate quite yet, you can do a bit of cleaning using a turkey baster. I got one from Dollar Tree and you would be surprised how handy it is!
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marshallsea 12-14-2012 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 1347947)
When I first started keeping fish, corys were my first fish. I had bronze corys first, then, later, peppered corys. Since I didn't really know what I was doing back then, the bronzies weren't a huge success, although it's amazing they lived as long as they did considering how I treated them. The peppered corys were a HUGE success, even though, or perhaps because of, the appalling conditions they sometimes had to survive (multiple cycling tanks, filter disasters, overstocking, etc...)

Anyway, since I found this site and actually learnt how to look after fish properly, I have had NO LUCK with corys. A few years ago I bought a shoal of beautiful little Panda corys from a large aquarium store. They were in perfect health when I got them, but not long after I introduced them to my tank they began to shows signs of gill flukes. I treated them and thought they had recovered, but shortly afterwards they died of finrot and fungus. More recently, I bought a shoal of - again perfectly healthy-looking - peppered corys from my local pet store and EXACTLY THE SAME THING happened! :cry:

My tank is 15 gallons, with a gravel substrate, a heap of plants, and very gentle homemade filtration using an airstone and some filter wool. There are also two pieces of driftwood which I collected many years ago. Not surprisingly, since they aren't real bogwood they are starting to disintegrate after so long in the water, but they still provide a good anchorage for my Java Fern. The pH is acidic but not wildly so (when I put the indicator fluid in the phial the color is a slightly greenish yellow.) I can't afford a hardness test kit so I don't know the kH but it's probably quite soft, if the water is that acid. The tank's been set up for over 2 years and is thoroughly mature.

I can't understand what's wrong. The only thing I can think of is that the gravel is quite full of detritus and since corys are bottomfeeders maybe that's making them sick. I siphon off as much of the muck as I can every week, but I don't have a gravel vacuum so there's a limit to how clean I can actually make it. When you stir up a bit of the gravel heaps of detritus comes out.

I have kept other fish species in this tank without any trouble; for some reason I just seem to suck at keeping corys! I'd really appreciate it if anyone could give me an idea of why I can't seem to keep them alive. I miss corys :(

My odds of being right are slim to none but I added a piece of wood collected from a local lake a week before adding a pleco and new plants. For almost 4 months I chased imaginary water problems and parasites as my fish were glancing. I blamed the pleco and the plants. My wife reminded me about the driftwood 3 days ago so I removed the wood and have not seen glancing in 3 days for the fist time in 3 1/2 months. Knock on wood, no pun intended. Maybe your wild caught wood is the culprit.

kaythenewbie 12-14-2012 06:41 AM

How long after you bought your cories did they get sick? Sometimes "perfectly healthy" fish bought aren't perfectly healthy after all. Also, how many did you buy?

Thoth 12-15-2012 10:59 AM

Sorry to hear you are having so many problems keeping corys. From the information given, I would think the issue is with the amount of nitrogen compounds (Ammonia or Nitrate) in your tank. Try taking it to a LFS to see if they will test Ammonia, Nitrate, pH and your hardness (KH and GH). It behooves a store to test your water for free. These other water characteristics are good to know but are likely not the problem because of the wide range of conditions that Corys can be kept.

The visible detritus is what I am keying on as the issue. When you do a water change, you need to remove the debris or you could have a build up of ammonia or nitrate. Ammonia is far more toxic and when it is present in a just a small amount it can stress a fish leaving it susceptible to disease or kill the fish in a short period of time. Nitrate will also stress and kill fish but it take much higher levels.

I think some people get stuck on the idea that they are doing a certain percent water change and do not think about what they are trying to accomplish with the water change. Ilook at it as...

Over a period of time, the amount of Nitrogen (ammonia and or nitrate) removed needs to be greater than or equal to the amount of Nitrogen introduced to the aquarium and the more frequent the water change the smaller the spike of Nitrogen compounds.

luke77 12-15-2012 01:27 PM

You could of gotten a bad batch of cory's also. I bought 4 panda's once and they all died in 2 days. When I went back to where I got them all theirs had died too.

fish monger 12-15-2012 02:06 PM

Corys are portrayed as hearty fish in many circles and they are given the proper conditions. My experience has been that they are very sensitive to change in water parameters. After having very mixed results, I have discovered that doing a 50% water change right before adding them to the tank has worked like a charm.

Bluewind 12-15-2012 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish monger (Post 1349836)
Corys are portrayed as hearty fish in many circles and they are given the proper conditions. My experience has been that they are very sensitive to change in water parameters. After having very mixed results, I have discovered that doing a 50% water change right before adding them to the tank has worked like a charm.

I wil have to try that next time I get more! anything that helps is worth a try :-D
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dorabaker 12-15-2012 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1348168)
My odds of being right are slim to none but I added a piece of wood collected from a local lake a week before adding a pleco and new plants. For almost 4 months I chased imaginary water problems and parasites as my fish were glancing. I blamed the pleco and the plants. My wife reminded me about the driftwood 3 days ago so I removed the wood and have not seen glancing in 3 days for the fist time in 3 1/2 months. Knock on wood, no pun intended. Maybe your wild caught wood is the culprit.

I have wondered about this myself, but I boiled the wood extensively when I first collected it and would have thought that would kill anything that might be a problem?

marshallsea 12-15-2012 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dorabaker (Post 1349887)
I have wondered about this myself, but I boiled the wood extensively when I first collected it and would have thought that would kill anything that might be a problem?

IMO, I think the boiling is too kill any living thing in or on the wood. However, there may be metals or minerals in the wood that can cause problems, that boiling may not remove. Just a thought, I could be wrong. P.S. What were the signs of flukes that you saw?


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