First off, I'm very ignorant and trying to learn. I've had a small cory in with a Beta in a one gallon tank for about 2 years. 2 weeks ago, the cory started swimming erratically, not being able to keep upright. If he settles on the bottom upside down, that's how he stays. (he looks dead, but if you tap on the tank, he moves immediately, sometimes turning himself upright in the process). However he lands is how he stays - even if its almost vertical. Sometimes the swimming looks normal for a second or two, then gets very wobbly and erratic again. I changed out the tank, but that didn't seem to help any. Any ideas on what's wrong and what I can do?
First hello and welcome to TFK :-D More information is needed to help to figure out what might be going on with your cory. Please provide the following information
1. Size of tank?
2. Water parameters
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?
5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
9. a. Filtration?
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed?
c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
d. Water conditioner used?
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
How often are they fed?
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary
Sounds like it could possibly be a swim bladder issue, but the following info is needed to try to figure out what may be going on. Also corys are a very social fish and need to be kept in groups of about 5-6, but depending on the size of your tank and the type of cory you have will determine if you have the available room. Also what type of cory do you have?
Hi Leslye, welcome!
Good that you're trying to learn! Barb gave you a lot of great information. The info sheet I know looks likea gigantic pain in the butt (and it can be), but fish are very sensitive and sometimes its unseen small changes in conditions that cause HUGE problems. Changes in behavior are usually the first sign of a bigger problem.
Water parameter are extremely important to maintain. You said you had him in a 1 gallon tank with a betta. Did the tank have a filter? Heater? A tank that small (it really is too small - even for the betta alone it's smaller than most experts will recommend) will have ammonia build up problems in 2 days if you don't keep up with water changes and gravel cleaning. Even if they were fine for a year, consider yourself lucky - it may have just finally gotten to be too much for his little system to handle. Bettas can live in stagnant water because they breathe surface air. Cories can not.
Do you use a water conditioner? You should, if you don't, but if you have a tank that small you can age the water and it will do the same job (but less effectively). If you let the water sit out for 48 hours before adding it to the tank, you are not only ensuring that it is the same temperature, you are also giving the chlorine time to evaporate out. If you haven't been doing this, I would recommend starting immediately.
Fish will sometimes live for a while in sub-par conditions before you realize how bad it is for them. Now that you know something is wrong, you can use it as an opportunity to educate yourself on proper care and hopefully save your fish!
If it is a swim bladder problem, I have had success doing large water changes (but only with de-chlorinated water!) and feeding the fish peeled blanched peas (the frozen kind at the grocery store are usually blanched). For bottom feeders it works extra well as the peas will sink. I have seen cories recover from some pretty severe circumstances, but many others have said cories are too sensitive to recover from these situations. In a tank as small as yours, the good news is that it's as easy to turn tank conditions around as it is for them to go awry.
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