Cory with pop-eye - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-30-2008, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Cory with pop-eye

Ok, I was walking through a friend's dorm today, and one of her neighbors had a sick cory, whom I could not help but rescue. I took him home and got him in a small 2 gallon with no substrate. It's got a small sponge filter and a tiny heater, and I plan on doing 100% water changes daily, so I can keep medication levels perfect and prevent any cycling problems. Here's the symptoms:

-reddish fins & stomach
-pop-eye in only one eye

He's also swimming and sort of refusing to rest on the bottom, only hovering above it. That indicates to me that his stomach is physically sore on the outside. No idea if he's been eating, I dropped some food in and he hasn't found it yet, although his barbs look very worn.

I took a sample of the old tank's home and tested it, and all the levels are fine, so no worries about that. Nitrite & Ammonia- 0; pH- 7.4; Nitrate- 12ppm

Any ideas for what could be causing this, and how I might treat it? I've been reading everywhere on pop-eye, and it's caused by a lot of different things. The best thing I can think of is a combination of Mela & Pimafix, as I know these two can be mixed and it will be the largest spectrum of treatment I can think of. Should I be feeding antibiotic pellets?

Any help is appreciated! Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-30-2008, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Here's an update:

I've decided to treat with Tetracycline. It's the broadest spectrum antibiotic I know, and it's been known to cure pop-eye, or more specifically, diseases that cause pop-eye. It's Maracyn-TC, and it comes in packets of 250mg powder. I'm supposed to treat with 250mg per 10G every day for 5 days. However, because the tank is only 2.5G, I mixed the powder with 40 ml of water, and added 10 ml of the solution to the tank with a syringe. It was the most accurate way I could think of.

So, currently his right eye is cloudy-white coloured and about twice the size of his left one. The areas where his fins meet his body are pinkish and he won't eat any sinking pellets.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-30-2008, 10:50 PM
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It's my understanding that if only one eye has pop-eye, it's due to injury, which means your diagnosis of a sore stomach may be correct. If the barbs are worn too is it possible this fish was being bullied by a tank-mate? This sounds like an injured and stressed fish.

Personally I would do exactly as you planned in regard to melafix and pimafix, since it sounds like it just needs time to heal. I would add substrate or a soft plant, something that will make it feel more secure in it's environment to reduce stress. The substrate might also keep the water parameters in check keeping in mind that a daily 100% water change can be stressful in itself.

Let us know how the cory does. I have 3, they are one of my favorites.


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-30-2008, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I've already started with the TC treatment, so I'm going to go with that for now. As for the sore stomach, you were right about the gravel. He's now in my hospital tank with a bare floor, and within a few hours stopped hovering above the ground. The redness is mainly at the base of his fins though, and doesn't really seem to extend to his stomach upon closer inspection, I think it looks internal. Other than him, there were only a few guppy, so I don't think he was being bullied. He had plenty of hiding spaces, and I didn't notice them picking on him at all.

He's very active right now, although still not eating. Hopefully I'll notice the swelling going down in his eye by tomorrow. She said he's had it for at least a few days, without going down, so hopefully he'll respond to treatment, as leaving him be hasn't helped so far. Once I finish the 5 day treatment of TC, I plan on doing a low dose treatment of Melafix, just to help him heal up those *very* ragged barbells. I'm hopeful, but won't really know anything until he starts eating and his eye stars to look better.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-30-2008, 11:35 PM
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Good luck. Hopefully you'll have a new member to your family. I still think it might be injury with only one pop-eye and ragged barbells, but I guess the TC won't hurt.


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-31-2008, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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I really don't know how he's doing. The redness in his fins seems to have subsided a bit, as has the redness in his gills (I think I forgot to mention that before). However, his eye hasn't gone down at all, and I *think* that his other one is starting to look a little swollen, although it's possible that it isn't, or that it always was, and I'm going crazy. So it'll either swell up more and I'll know he's getting worse, or it won't get worse and I'm just insane.

My biggest worry however, is that he *still* isn't eating. I've been dropping a little sinking pellet in every few hours (and sucking up the remnants of the last one), and he hasn't shown any interest, even when it's been right below his mouth. I know corys are grazers, so I'm trying to keep just a little bit of food in the tank at all times, but keeping it as fresh as possible.

My water parameters are pristine, although I'm not worried about that as I'm doing daily 75% water changes (it's a 2.5 gallon tank). The water is at 79 degrees. He's been on the tetracycline for about 24 hours now, so I guess I shouldn't really expect an improvement yet, but I was hoping that I would.

My #1 concern is his eating. How can I get him to eat? Any suggestions? I'm worried that if he starves himself, he'll be too weak to heal even if the TC helps.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-31-2008, 10:43 PM
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His damaged barbels may be sore and preventing him from eating. Hopefully your treatment will start to heal the little guy up.
Good luck!

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-31-2008, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the support. You're probably right about the sore barbs. I actually think he ate a little bit tonight, or he at least was active enough to spread the pellet mush around the bottom of the tank, whereas before it would all just dissolve and stay in a pile in one corner (I've been freshening the food supply up every few hours). So at least he's swimming around, which would indicate to me that he's not completely miserable.

It's great being able to post this online, even if people haven't had any miracle cures for me. It's nice to know that people are reading this and I'm sure someone would speak up if I was going in completely the wrong direction. I really like trying to rehabilitate fish, and being in uni means that I see a lot of mistreated dorm fish. As much as I'm known as the "fish keeper" among friends, I really don't know as much as a lot of people on here, I simply am not old enough to have been seriously keeping fish for that long. Especially when I'm working with a drug that I've never used before, it can be nerve wracking, so thanks to everyone who's reading this, even if you're not posting!
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-01-2008, 07:08 AM
I've been actively following this thread. I know nothing of this breed of fish or this medicine, but I admire your compassion and willingness to take it on. I'm glad you shared your story. I learn lots by reading this section.

Keep us posted!

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-01-2008, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the support guys! Curing sick fish is my passion (as you've probably noticed by my constant trolling of this topic in the forum).

Schwartz corys are great, I have two myself, and have been trying to get more, but none of my LFS seem to carry them, and I haven't wanted to order online. I'll be quite happy to add him to my shoal if he pulls through. I highly recommend them to anyone!

As of now, he's not really showing any improvement, although the eye is def not getting worse. It's going to be a while before I know anything definitive. He's on day two of the TC, out of five days, so I'd sort of hoped to see an improvement by now. He is still active and responsive though, so euthanasia isn't on the horizon currently. After that I'm going to do a week long Melafix/Pimafix regimen, just to hopefully get rid of any fungus he might be carrying before adding him to my tank (although he'll stay in QT for longer) and to help him grow his barbs back. The most rapid improvement I've seen has actually been of his barbs, which are already growing longer, and give me hope.
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