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-   -   Frozen bloodworms a problem for Corys? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/frozen-bloodworms-problem-corys-44785/)

squilky 06-09-2010 09:31 PM

Frozen bloodworms a problem for Corys?
 
Tuesday night I fed my betta some bloodworms. Once the blood hit the water, my two corys went bonkers and started eating the bloodworms uneaten by the betta. They seemed ok for a while, but they just seem To be laying around today. Not a lot of swimming and algae eating like usual. Betta seems fine. Tested my water and the numbers are about the same as they were last week. Water seems a tad clody though. Should I be worried?
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Byron 06-10-2010 05:38 PM

You're talking frozen bloodworms, not live; this should rule out the chance of pathogens that can come in with live worms. However, if the worms thawed and then re-froze, there might be trouble.

I have some general comments on bloodworms. First, never use them as a regular (daily) staple; they should be more of a "treat." My corys love bloodworms, but they only get them 3 times a week.

Second, I never put them in still frozen; I have no idea if this matters, but common sense tells me that these fish would never get frozen worms naturally, so why should I give it to them? I thaw the bloodworms in a dish of water, then squirt them where I want them with a pipette so there is not a mass of bloodworms that some fish will gorge on.

How much did you put in? I can't see bloodworms turning the water cloudy the day following. I'm inclined to think there may be something else. When you say the water numbers are about the same--what exactly are they? Ammonia, pH, nitrate are things I would check; if you can provide numbers, and indicate how they vary from last week, it might point something out for us.

Byron.

squilky 06-10-2010 08:44 PM

My suspicions were correct, I returned from work today and both Corys were dead.

Yes, frozen bloodworms. I broke off a piece and placed it in a plastic cup. When the worms thawed, I dropped a bunch of maybe 5-7 worms in. As they hit the water they separated.

Water numbers, well I just retested with my API master test kit and the numbers are the same. 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5.0 for nitrates, with a ph of 7.4. Water is still kind of milky.last week my Ammonia was 0.50, nitrites were 0.25 and nitriates were 20ppm. So I think my water conditions improved. One other thing I did was remove my old Aqueon filter media and put in plane floss back on Monday night. I'm wondering if maybe the floss was too thick and the water couldn't flow through properly? I have since added a new Aqueon filter carbon between two layers of floss.

I would like to add a new Cory before tomorrow night. I was able to keep my son away from the tank tonight so he didn't notice the dead guys. Is it safe to put a fish back in? My betta seems fine. Could the milky/cloudy water be from the sick fish? Should I do a partial water change? Complete? I don't want to have to cycle again if I can help it. Any suggestions for A) keeping my betta safe and B) mKing the water safe for a new Cory.
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Byron 06-10-2010 08:56 PM

I would not recommend adding any new fish until the cause for the loss is determined. I think we can safely say it had nothing to do with the bloodworms. Aside from this, corydoras are shoaling fish that should be in a group, minimum three; alone or even a pair they are under more stress just from that, and that means weakened for whatever else might occur.

Ammonia or nitrite above zero is a sign something is wrong. Replacing the filter media would have removed a quantity of bacteria, and depending upon the age of the tank this can cause ammonia and then nitrite to rise. But replacing the media this Monday does not explain the ammonia and nitrite high last week. How long has the tank been set up? What is your water change schedule (how much and how often)? And what additives are put in the water (conditioner, etc)?

Corydoras are highly sensitive fish to fluctuating water parameters, unstable water conditions and any chemical or medication. I would expect them to be the losers over the betta for any of these issues.
With your answers we will hopefully narrow this down.

Byron.

squilky 06-10-2010 09:12 PM

Tank is about 12 weeks old. Early on, before I knew about cycling the tank, I would take the fish out and do a complete water change and rinse the gravel every few days. Been cycling now for about 6 weeks. When I add new water, I add tap water conditioner, and Cycle. I do water changes of 25-33% twice a week. It could be a coincidence, but the two corys were perfectly happy and active when I was feeding them algae wafers and the betta fish was eating wafers. Thought I would give them some bloodworms as a treat. They got very lethargic a few hours after eating the blood worms.
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squilky 06-10-2010 09:17 PM

Oh and after removing the dead Corys, I did a 1/3 water change, and it looks clearer already.
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Byron 06-10-2010 09:37 PM

As I mentioned previously, it is always possible that the bloodworms were tainted (something in the packaging, being thawed and refrozen before you got them, etc). That can't be ruled out.

Six weeks plus the numbers you mentioned suggest to me that the tank was not fully cycled. It takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks normally for a tank to cycle. "Cycled" means the bacteria are at a level sufficient to handle the ammonia (and nitrite) being produced continuously at that point in the tank's life. Until the tank is established (something quite different) any increase in ammonia (which can be from new fish, cleaning/replacing filter media, washing the substrate in tap water which contains chlorine that kills bacteria) can cause problems. It takes nitrosomonas bacteria (the ones that use ammonia and produce nitrite) about 9 hours to multiply under optimum conditions, and nitrospira bacteria (convert nitrite to less harmful nitrate) about 20 hours to multiply. In an established tank there will be sufficient stability to offset slight increases in ammonia, and the larger the tank the more this occurs; in new tanks that are still within the initial cycling period or may be just cycled, the "stability" is not there and a slight ammonia rise can trigger a mini-cycle.

The corys as I said are highly sensitive to all this, much moreso than a betta and many other fish. Ammonia and nitrite poisoning can be quick or slow to show up; some fish manage to live through it, though with internal damage we can't see and which may cause their early demise at some point in the future. Ammonia burns the gills, nitrite gets in the blood and slowly prevents it from carrying oxygen. Lethargy which in corys is usually the second sign of any trouble, could be from either of these. Increased respiration (breathing faster than normal) is usually the first sign.

You don't mention the specific conditioner; some detoxify ammonia, some also nitrite (Prime may be the only one to handle nitrite) and one of these would help a bit over a regular conditioner that just handles chlorine/chloramine and heavy metals. The "Cycle" aids the establishment of the nitrifying bacteria colony, so that is a good thing in new tanks. I personally prefer Seachem's Stability over Cycle, but in this case continue with the Cycle if you still have it, according to the directions on the label. Monitor ammonia and nitrite; when they are at zero for consecutive days, the tank should be cycled for the fish in it. During this period, don't clean or replace the filter, and don't vacuum the substrate. Do partial water changes using the conditioner (and Cycle) as needed to keep nitrite below .25, daily if you must; once this is down, regular weekly changes will be sufficient, 30-40% of the tank.

The cloudiness could be due to the ammonia rise, or a bacterial bloom.

Once everything is stable, then slowly add more fish if you like. Corys I would get minimum 3. No mention is made of the tank size, but if this is a 10g or 20g three will be fine; more if it is larger (5 in a 29g for example).

Byron.

squilky 06-10-2010 09:47 PM

Thanks so much for all the tips Byron. The water conditioner I use is API Tap Water Conditioner. I have a bottle of prime as well. Should I use Prime instead?

Ironically, a friend at work has a small beta bowl on their desk at work with no filter and their water is always crystal clear.
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Byron 06-10-2010 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squilky (Post 402074)
Thanks so much for all the tips Byron. The water conditioner I use is API Tap Water Conditioner. I have a bottle of prime as well. Should I use Prime instead?

Ironically, a friend at work has a small beta bowl on their desk at work with no filter and their water is always crystal clear.
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You're welcome. During the cycling, use the Prime; once established, use the API.

Betta are unique fish, though most of us do not endorse keeping them in those bowls. Your tank will settle and be beautiful, just give it time and don't rush it; nature takes her time to do things.

Byron.

squilky 06-11-2010 09:02 AM

I think it could be Ich. I checked my Betta last night and noticed a white spot around one of it's gills. When I woke up this morning, I saw several other small white dots around the head area. Don't have any experience with Ich. From what I read, there are several different products available to treat it. Do you suggest one over another? And I assume I need to treat the whole tank and not just isolate the betta and treat him alone.


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