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BettaDexter 12-15-2011 02:38 PM

Cory begins seizing....dying?? Video - help! two striped cories have been acting very lazy for a bit now, but especially over the past few days. Everyone else in the tank(including 3 other cories) are completely fine. Last night I noticed one of them had 'fainted' which was alarming.
I tested the water yesterday and and everything was fine - nitrites were the only thing over - 20 ppm(which was different, it's usually around 5), but nothing crazy. pH is always high due to the tap water, around 7.0 but that's how it's always been. I did a 30% water change this morning. I added prime and Flourish excel for the plants as I always do. I usually change water every Sunday but I've been crazy with work so a bit behind - a few days shouldn't hurt though.
The tank is right next to my desk and all of a sudden I notice one of them is, what looks like, having a seizure. Swimming in crazy circles, up to the top, hitting the surface, falling to the bottom. I grabbed my camera and recorded it so hopefully this will help diagnose/determine what I should do. You can see the other sick one around the 20 second mark just sitting at the bottom. The others are swimming like their hyper selves.
He then floated up to the top, lay there on his side for a few minutes, and then back down into the plants. He's still breathing very shallowy, head up tail down, between the leaves of a water sprite but otherwise not moving.
I don't have a second tank to isolated him in and I'm sure he's dying - and the second of the same type is still acting very lethargic on the bottom of the tank. Could something have happened to just those two? It's so strange, no one else seems different at all. So confused why it's just to this species. I have three other cories - two albinos and one unknown(weird grey color w/an orangeish top fin, very happy perky guy). Rest of tank are tetras and a couple shrimp.
I'm afraid it looks like a nerve problem - something with the chemicals I use on the water/plants?
Do I leave him to die, put him out of his misery, I'm so confused as to what just happened.
I uploaded the video, hopefully this will help diagnose the problem. I'd hate for this to happen to any others.

Cory catfish seizure - YouTube

SeaHorse 12-15-2011 02:59 PM

That looks like bloating or a problem with his swim bladder. He's trying to right himself. It is definately hard to watch. if you have some time. Try to catch him and hold him gently in the water right side up. I have done with over the years with 3 diff fish, one a Swordtail recently. She thrashed and took off, had a good poop and after a couple of those I was able to release her and to this day I still have her. She had been floating at the surface upside down trying to swim and right herself.
I also move my hand back and forth very slowly/gently to keep water flowing thru their gills. Maybe that isn't needed so much with a Cory who normally would sit still on the bottom. Give a try. Sometimes they just need a rest and to get some of the air out of them. not sure what causes it really. others in here might know.
Good luck. Sorry for your troubles.

SeaHorse 12-15-2011 03:02 PM

It's exhausting trying to right yourself when all the air is in your tummy and keeps floating to the surface. Looks like he's resting and tries again.

BettaDexter 12-15-2011 03:12 PM

I wish that was it but I don't think it is - he was in the plant, completely vertical for a bit, and now has been pulled right up against the filter(which is right by the plant).
Not fighting it or anything - non responsive. I can't even tell if he's still breathing.
I've had a few fish die in this tank since I started it up but never seen one so fast. This literally just happened over the last hour.
My husband is on his way home, I think I'm going to have him put him out of his misery :( This is the worst.
What could possibly cause such a reaction...

I didn't mention - I only got a portion on video. He'd been doing the same thing but the first spasm was much more rapid/tighter circles/random. So strange.

BettaDexter 12-15-2011 04:10 PM

The other one is definitely going the same way as well. He just started swimming around drunkingly and starting to roll here and there. Now just sitting at the bottom of the tank. Everyone else is perfectly fine.

Edit: Ok so I was wrong - same one that is acting crazy. He came down from being 'stuck' to the side of the filter.
This is strange.

Byron 12-15-2011 05:33 PM

The gills are also very red, which is not normal. That would suggest a water issue--ammonia, nitrite, chlorine, something toxic. Obviously the other fish would be showing similar signs. Or very difficult attempts to respirate.

The unbalance I have seen in various fish. They always die sooner or later. I have never tried Jackiebabie's method, but that is something to consider. Swim bladder problems can be caused by injury during netting, so that may be it since these are new.

BettaDexter 12-16-2011 10:34 AM

So last night he floated back up into the plants and was laying there, barely breathing and nonresponsive even when we removed him from the tank. We put the poor little guy out of his misery :(

A very interesting thing happened today though - all along I thought the two striped cories were sick since the other was exhibiting the same lethargic behavior. Today he's perky again - something I haven't seen from him in a while - and playing with the others. Seems he was just sitting around with his sick friend. Definitely says something about social fish and their attachment to others of their kind.

SeaHorse 12-16-2011 04:59 PM

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. :-( Sometimes we never figure out what went wrong!
I totally agree with you. Some fish bond in pairs, some breed in groups. But I have definately seen a fish grieve and search the tank for it's mate and sometimes die themselves, or reject the new partner we so kindly bring them home from the LFS. I read once when we research a new fish to buy, to learn if they are a "bonding" type fish and to watch the tank to see if you can see bonded pairs so that you buy them both and not split them up. Sheesh how do you do that when there are 200 in the tank?
Makes you stop and think and wonder just how much "consiousness" other creatures have. Dogs grieve, birds grieve...

Reece 12-16-2011 05:45 PM

I'm very sorry for your loss, but on the bright side it's good that your other one is ok! Beautiful tank by the way! What is the floating plant in the top left corner called?

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