Cory Catfish Floats And Cannot Stay Down In Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by JennF, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. JennF

    JennFNew MemberMember

    My albino cory catfish cannot keep herself from floating to the top of the tank. She has buoyancy issues it seems, which from my research sounds like Swimming Bladder Disorder. Right now she is floating belly up and breathing rapidly, that has been the past 12 hours or so. Before that it was about a day of wedging herself among plants or her log to stay "down."

    The recommendations I've gotten include feeding her de-shelled peas (but she won't eat) and treating the water with Melafix (she has two small reddish sores on her underside and it is rather solid white looking on her belly, not like the rest of her body). She is breathing pretty rapidly, I haven't seen her poop in a couple days. This has all been going on for two or three days now (beginning Sunday afternoon, 7/16/17).

    Within the last week I changed the whole tanks' food (I have one other smaller cory and two neon tetras in a 5 gallon freshwater tank thats usually at about 80 degrees). The new food is very comparable and I spent about a week integrating the original food into the new, as well.

    The water test I did seems ok however the nitrates (No3) was pretty high, and I have done about a 25% water change.

    I have her in a small makeshift quarantine within the tank to keep her from floating into a filter and I put some smushed peas should she want some. I have ordered a new hospital quarantine tank online and it should arrive today. When she is disturbed, she swims but floats right back up like a balloon :/

    Is there anything else I can do to try to fix her up? Thanks for your consideration, Jenn Finan
  2. Cheesearmada

    CheesearmadaValued MemberMember

    Tips to treating swim bladder issues,
    1. Peas (you've done this)
    2. Fasting
    3. Temperature change (you've done this)

    I would continue to feed her de-shelled peas and keep the temp at around 80 for another day or two.

    Also could you give us some better readings on ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and pH?
  3. OP

    JennFNew MemberMember

    Thank you for your reply!

    I only used the color change test-strips, so I'm basing off of where they fell in that spectrum. The water hardness and Nitrate (no3) were on the higher end of those readings but unfortunately I don't have anything more specific at the moment. I could buy a test - do you have a recommendation?

    The fasting seems voluntary! I haven't fed any of them since this began, and actually re-ordered the original food yesterday. The original food is eLive Tropical Flakes, I replaced with Tetra tropical flakes, but that has been the only change in the tank over the course of the past week or so - possibly causing this behavior? Either way I am fasting, yes. Minus the peas which no one seems to care for.

    How long can she just float belly up and breath? I feel horrible and hope she isn't in pain, although I can imagine that is causing a great deal of stress for her at the very least. Normally she is a very fun and active fish, plays and likes to hideout in her hollow log.

  4. Cheesearmada

    CheesearmadaValued MemberMember

    This is the test kit that I use,

    I'm guessing that maybe the tetra tropical flakes caused this. However you also indicated that there were red spots on it's underside which suggest a parasite. I would switch back to normal tropical fish flakes. A salt bath for your Cory might give it some comfort as this could be an parasite as mentioned earlier.
  5. OP

    JennFNew MemberMember

    Thank you. Would a parasite cause her to be a floater? Or possibly this is two separate things going on - swim bladder and a parasite?

    I read cory's don't like salt but perhaps that would be something to try when I get the real quarantine tank in there - I wouldn't want to harm the other fish with salt. Do you have any suggestions for information on how to give a safe salt bath?

    Thank you again for your response, there is so much information out there and I appreciate someone responding to my exact situation.
  6. Cheesearmada

    CheesearmadaValued MemberMember

    You are right about Corys not responding well to salt. Your fish seems to be in a dire situation and it appears as though you have tried everything.

    I do know several people who have successful cured their Corys with salt baths.

    1. Place your cory into the quarantine tank of choice (make sure the water is treated with water conditioner)
    2. Add 1 tsb of salt per gallon over the course of several days.

    example: 1 day = 1 tsb of salt so if you have a 5 gallon tank take 5 days etc

    Note, use aquarium salt.

    Best of luck.
  7. Tragic13

    Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    She could have an internal parasite that is causing her to have these symptoms, they can cause her to float and not be able to turn over completely or even float when resting but have the ability to swim perfectly. I have been told before that you can put them in a shallow tank, 5" of water or so, and give them Tetra Lifeguard All-in-one Bacterial and Fungus Treatment. Also make sure that she is in her own quarantine tank during this process. If your LFS doesn't carry it, you can order it from chewy for cheap.
  8. OP

    JennFNew MemberMember

    Thank you all for your replies. She just passed away. As much as it pains me to do so, I'd like to post some photos at the chance someone might be able to ID what happened. I of course would like to prevent this from happening again or help someone in the middle of it, so maybe these will help.

    I wish there was something I could have done. Thank you all for your input and I appreciate any insight into this. RIP Blanca.


    Attached Files:

  9. Cheesearmada

    CheesearmadaValued MemberMember

    So sorry for your loss.

    She definitely looks bloated. Not quite sure if it was from death or not.
  10. Tragic13

    Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    Sorry for your loss. It's hard to say what did it but Corys are known for carrying parasites. I'd keep a check on any other fish you had in the tank to see if they begin to experience the same problems.
  11. OP

    JennFNew MemberMember

    She was definitely bloated before she died, I remarked on it about a week ago before her behavior swimming changed and the buoyancy issue started.

    I am now worried about my other Cory. He has been okay so far, acting normal, but I wonder I should treat the whole tank and hopefully remove whatever caused her death. It seems like a worthwhile cause, wish I was able to prevent this before.


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