40 Gallon Tank Cory cats getting ill - don't know what to do. - Page 2

devsi

Hello all,

I have an 180 Litre (40 Gallon) tank, which was fully cycled before adding any fish, and I have been slowly adding fish over the course of a month/5 weeks to ensure the bio load is controllable.

On Sunday just gone (05th of September), I added the last group of fish (9 Sterbai Cory Cats, to compliment my existing school of 6). I tested my water parameters before adding (0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 5ppm Nitrate) as I always do, and did a water change the day before (which I do on a weekly basis).

Yesterday, I saw one of the Corys looking very pale and it was laying on it's side a lot (picture below). Unfortunately, over night, he died. This morning, I've noticed another Cory with a red spot (picture also below), and I'm not sure if this is just a graze or if it's Red Blotch disease?

Since adding all my fish, I've come to learn that I have been acclimitising my fish all wrong. My LFS told me to lay the bag on the top of the water for ~20 minutes, cut it open, swish it around in my tank water and then turn it upside down and let the fish swim out. I've come to learn this is NOT the way to acclimitise fish, and it could have actually shocked and killed the fish that died yesterday, which is very sad.

I also don't have a Quarantine Tank, as it was suggested by LFS to not buy one and just treat the whole tank. I'm still not entirely sure if this is the correct thing to do or not.

If this is Red Blotch disease (RBD), could someone recommend what to do to treat him? It has been suggested to use API Melafix, because we can't get the medications over the counter in the UK that US people cank. Is this the best thing?

Is RBD contagious? Do I need to rush out and get a Quarantine tank?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: I also did another water parameter check yesterday, and it was still 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 5ppm Nitrate.


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devsi

Quite often when we first get fish we see each tiny difference and get concerned. Sometimes it is something to be concerned about but lots of times it isn't.

aha yeah, it's worse because I don't know what I'm looking for really so anything out of the ordinary is a bit of a concern.

I've never seen any kind of disease showing up as green on a fish.

That's comforting, thank you.

Bettas have been known to not be the best option for a community tank. Keep a very close eye on her and if she continues to peck at any of the other fish she may need a tank of her own.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of my fish tank adventure, some questionable LFS advice led me to buying a sorority of six female Bettas. They are all amazing fish, and I don't regret buying them, but I only came to learn of the recommendation for only experienced people to even attempt a sorority.

We do keep a close eye on all of our fish, and the Bettas do leave almost all of the others alone - for some reason they seem to have gone for this poor oto.

I will let doubledutch answer the question about the QT and medication. I don't really think you need to rush out and buy a QT right now though. You may want to read up on melafix while waiting for him to log on. I suspect there are tons of threads here on the forum about it.

I actually had read up on Melafix before starting this thread and the conclusion I made was it's pretty much just tree oil that has been marketed as medicine but isn't.

I also read it can be damaging to Bettas? Don't know if that's true though.
 
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mattgirl

I also read it can be damaging to Bettas? Don't know if that's true though.
I have read this too. Personally I would be reluctant to add any kind of "oil" to my tanks. I suspect there is very little actual tea tree oil in melafix though.

I have either just been very fortunate or it could be the fact that I change out at least 50% of the water in my tanks each week because I have never had to deal with any kind of disease in any of my tanks. Although it really isn't a disease, I've not even had to deal with ich. I am thankful for it but it leaves me unable to help folks that are dealing with not so healthy fish.

Don't get me wrong. I have lost fish through the years. In this hobby it is inevitable. We will lose fish and most of the time we won't be able to determine why. One day they will seem fine and the next day they are gone. Most recently I have started losing some to old age. The ones I am losing (black skirt tetras) are at least 6 years old. I am down to only 2 of them now. The 2 remaining fish appear healthy and active but age isn't on their side.
 
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devsi

I have read this too. Personally I would be reluctant to add any kind of "oil" to my tanks. I suspect there is very little actual tea tree oil in melafix though.

Yeah - that's what I was thinking. Adding it to a QT as a "last resort" is one thing, but to my main tank sounds dangerous; but then, I have no idea what I'm talking about so :D.

I have either just been very fortunate or it could be the fact that I change out at least 50% of the water in my tanks each week because I have never had to deal with any kind of disease in any of my tanks.

50%!? Is there a reason you do so much? I thought the recommendation was 25% for big tanks and 15% for smaller (like my 25L Betta tank) otherwise it would start removing beneficial bacteria?

I have never had to deal with any kind of disease in any of my tanks. Although it really isn't a disease, I've not even had to deal with ich.

And long may that continue :)

Most recently I have started losing some to old age. The ones I am losing (black skirt tetras) are at least 6 years old. I am down to only 2 of them now. The 2 remaining fish appear healthy and active but age isn't on their side.

You can't hope for any more though, really! If you can keep a fish healthy and happy until it dies from old age, you've done amazing for those little fish!


P.S. What size tank would you recommend for a QT tank? I was thinking of buying another 25L tank, the same as my Betta (Start 30 Tropical Kit), but I'm not really sure how big I should go.


As always - thank you for ALL of your replies and help. I'm extremely grateful.
 
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mattgirl

50%!? Is there a reason you do so much? I thought the recommendation was 25% for big tanks and 15% for smaller (like my 25L Betta tank) otherwise it would start removing beneficial bacteria?
The very best thing we can give our fish is fresh clean water. Since the bacteria isn't free floating in the water doing big water changes isn't removing any of it. Our bacteria is growing on our filter media and also on all the surfaces in our tanks.

In my humble opinion that is actually backwards. The less water the quicker things build up in a tank. I change out more than 50% in my 5.5 gallon tank. Although it normally isn't recommended I also change at least 50% of the water in my 2.5 gallon shrimp bowl. Instead of pouring the fresh water back in the bowl I drip it in. By doing it this way I can get away with the bigger weekly water changes.
P.S. What size tank would you recommend for a QT tank? I was thinking of buying another 25L tank, the same as my Betta (Start 30 Tropical Kit), but I'm not really sure how big I should go.
Normally we just quarantine a few fish at a time so don't need a huge tank. If I were going to set up a QT I would want to set up one at least 10 gallons or somewhere around 35L. It is actually easier to take care of a bigger tank. The more water the more things are diluted. I have to admit. I have never set up a QT. One day that may come back to bite me but so far I've not introduced anything to my tanks when adding new fish.

Once you add your sponge filters and they have been running for at least a month you can use one or two of them to instantly cycle a QT so you don't need to keep one up and running all the time. Just set it up as needed. If you are like most of us if you keep it up and running it won't be long before it becomes another display tank and you will have to have another QT :D

MTS (multiple tank syndrome) is a real disease. Thankfully there is no cure for it. Eventually we all catch it :D
As always - thank you for ALL of your replies and help. I'm extremely grateful
You are so very welcome. I am very happy to help. We were all new to this hobby at one point so we know how confusing things can be. Folks today are fortunate. They have the internet. It wasn't around when I got in the hobby. I know new folks have to wade through a lot of opinions. Some good, some not so good. The not so good can cause a lot of confusion so it is good to get second and even third opinions. I am glad you came to us. :)
 
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devsi

The very best thing we can give our fish is fresh clean water. Since the bacteria isn't free floating in the water doing big water changes isn't removing any of it. Our bacteria is growing on our filter media and also on all the surfaces in our tanks.

I completely agree with this! I only usually do 25% water changes but, outside of cycling, I've never had my water parameters be higher than 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 5ppm Nitrate; I was assuming that meant the water was in really good health, so I didn't even need to consider doing more frequent water changes (I hadn't even considerd more % water changes, to be honest!).

The biggest issue with the water change, is trying to figure out a good way of getting the water back into the tank haha!

Normally we just quarantine a few fish at a time so don't need a huge tank. If I were going to set up a QT I would want to set up one at least 10 gallons or somewhere around 35L. It is actually easier to take care of a bigger tank.

Thank you :) Yeah I find it far easier keeping my 180L (40 Gallon) tank in good health vs my 25L (5.5 Gallon) tank!

I have never set up a QT. One day that may come back to bite me but so far I've not introduced anything to my tanks when adding new fish.

Hopefully it doesn't :)

Once you add your sponge filters and they have been running for at least a month you can use one or two of them to instantly cycle a QT so you don't need to keep one up and running all the time.

Still trying to figure out which sponge filters are considered the "best" haha :) with everything, there's SO many options and you can't always trust Amazon reviews to know what's actually worth getting.

MTS (multiple tank syndrome) is a real disease. Thankfully there is no cure for it. Eventually we all catch it :D

Seriously! I have no room for another tank (mine is tucked away in my office, there are little people running around in the house); but I am constantly looking at Facebook Marketplace / eBay, finding a nice tank, showing it to the wife and then one of us eventually goes "Yes.... but where would we put it!!" :D

It's the tanks with fish in that pull on my heart strings, because I just want to save them all. I saw one of FB Marketplace yesterday, with a Goldfish and a Bristlenose Pleco in a 25 Litre, and I wanted to buy it just to get the Pleco out of that small tank. Alas, I created a post on FishLore about whether it would fit in with what I currently have, and the consensus was it would not :(

> You are so very welcome. I am very happy to help. We were all new to this hobby at one point so we know how confusing things can be.

For real. Trying to start this hobby with (wrong) advice from LFS and conflicting information from Reddit was incredibly hard. I probably did a lot wrong at the start.

Folks today are fortunate. They have the internet. It wasn't around when I got in the hobby.

Ha, yeah. I have no idea how I'd have managed without the internet!

The not so good can cause a lot of confusion so it is good to get second and even third opinions. I am glad you came to us.

I'm glad I found my way here too :) Reddit was great, but this seems to be a much more interactive community when you need help with something.
 
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mattgirl

Still trying to figure out which sponge filters are considered the "best" haha :) with everything, there's SO many options and you can't always trust Amazon reviews to know what's actually worth getting.
I am happy with the sponge filters I bought I am running 2 of the medium ones in my 55 and a nano in my shrimp bowl.
I completely agree with this! I only usually do 25% water changes but, outside of cycling, I've never had my water parameters be higher than 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 5ppm Nitrate; I was assuming that meant the water was in really good health, so I didn't even need to consider doing more frequent water changes (I hadn't even considerd more % water changes, to be honest!).
Normally water changes are done to lower the nitrates. The thing is, there is more to doing water changes than just lowering the nitrates. There are things that build up in our tanks that we don't normally test for. some of the minerals in our tap water get depleted but some hang around. Over time those that hang around get high.

Say we change out 25% of the water each week or just when the nitrates get too high. We are still leaving 75% of the old water in there. Over time if we continue only changing 25% of the water those things we don't test for are gradually going up. Over time the parameters of our tank water and our tap water are vastly different.

Fish have been lost after doing a bigger than normal water change. Something happens and we do a much bigger water change than we normally do. It wasn't really the fact that a water change was done. It happened because the change in parameters was too much for the fish. They had gradually gotten used to the steadily changing parameters so it wasn't affecting them.

Hopefully this will explain why I do big water changes and recommend others do the same.
The biggest issue with the water change, is trying to figure out a good way of getting the water back into the tank haha!
Have you considered a python type system? You can both remove and replace water with it. When refilling the tank just add enough water conditioner to treat the full amount of water in the tank before you start refilling.

I still use buckets for both removing and replacing water but one day it may reach the point to where that is too difficult and I will get a python or have my husband rig something up for me.
 
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Ghost777

Hi,

In my experience, maybe the gravel…they tend to get pale …it’s their barbells. I find soft substrates are better for them. I use FluvalSmart and the one time I tried eco complete for a species only tank I experience similar. Just pale and lethargic. I notice difficulty to pull up black worms. So I put them with my other catfishes on fluval stratum substrate that I kept for years no problems. It’s been 6 months for the new addition and they are well. I didn’t have any redness. Mine was a 24 hour period so I’m not sure if longer I will experience inflammation or redness. Hope that helps.
 
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devsi

Fish have been lost after doing a bigger than normal water change. Something happens and we do a much bigger water change than we normally do. It wasn't really the fact that a water change was done. It happened because the change in parameters was too much for the fish. They had gradually gotten used to the steadily changing parameters so it wasn't affecting them.

Hopefully this will explain why I do big water changes and recommend others do the same.

It does, and I'll definitely look into this going forward!

Have you considered a python type system? You can both remove and replace water with it. When refilling the tank just add enough water conditioner to treat the full amount of water in the tank before you start refilling.

I had heard of the Python; but they don't actually sell it in the UK (so it's sold by third parties who jack up the price), and I was looking for something a lot simpler to just get water from container -> tank (Coradee has been helping me over on Water Transfer Pump with UK plug? | Cleaning and Maintenance Forum | 508637).

I still use buckets for both removing and replacing water but one day it may reach the point to where that is too difficult and I will get a python or have my husband rig something up for me.

I was tipping the container water -> bucket and then tipping the water in from the bucket, but I wasn't sure if that would upset the fish; with the big gush of water.
 
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mattgirl

I was tipping the container water -> bucket and then tipping the water in from the bucket, but I wasn't sure if that would upset the fish; with the big gush of water.
My corys actually seem to enjoy it when I pour the water in. They look for tidbits of food that might get stirred up. They don't run from it. In fact they come running as the water is being poured back in. I do try to avoid pouring water directly on all the other fish. It is easy to do in a 4' long tank. I can pour it in on one end and the fish that don't want it poured on them go to the other end.

The most I can lift and control the flow is a 2 gallon bucket. With it I can pretty much control how fast or slow the water goes back in. When only corys are under the flow I pour a bit faster.

It is unfortunate that the python isn't available to you. Hopefully between you and Coradee you will come up with a solution.

Edited to add: I just realized I gave you a link to sponge filters you probably can't get. I am sorry about that. When looking for one try to get one with looser foam. The ones with dense foam tend to clog up too quickly.
 
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devsi

My corys actually seem to enjoy it when I pour the water in. They look for tidbits of food that might get stirred up. They don't run from it. In fact they come running as the water is being poured back in. I do try to avoid pouring water directly on all the other fish. It is easy to do in a 4' long tank. I can pour it in on one end and the fish that don't want it poured on them go to the other end.

Oh really :D they're such funny little creatures! Some of my Guppies/Bettas swim towards the flowing water, so I have to then pour in the other side of the tank because I thought I'd hurt them with it....

It is unfortunate that the python isn't available to you. Hopefully between you and @Coradee you will come up with a solution.

It doesn't seem overly suitable for what I need, to be honest, and Coradee has offered up website which looks like I can get what I need, which is awesome!

Edited to add: I just realized I gave you a link to sponge filters you probably can't get. I am sorry about that. When looking for one try to get one with looser foam. The ones with dense foam tend to clog up too quickly.

Apologies! I didn't even realise you'd provided a recommendation; my brain must have just skipped that part of your reply. Thanks for providing the link, it gives me something to reference :)

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "looser foam", sorry. Looking on Amazon; there appears to be two types of sponge filters....
Are either of these what you meant?

I'll say it again.... I really appreciate all the help/guidance :) (you're going to have to deal with all my appreciation, I'm afraid :) )
 
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Coradee

Oh really :D they're such funny little creatures! Some of my Guppies/Bettas swim towards the flowing water, so I have to then pour in the other side of the tank because I thought I'd hurt them with it....


I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "looser foam", sorry. Looking on Amazon; there appears to be two types of sponge filters....
Are either of these what you meant?

I'll say it again.... I really appreciate all the help/guidance :) (you're going to have to deal with all my appreciation, I'm afraid :) )
Hi by looser Mattgirl means less dense foam, have to say I haven’t seen any like that here.

My fish all seem to like the water change being quite quick, the corys & aspidoras all suddenly appear at the point I’m dumping it in.
 
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devsi

Hi by looser Mattgirl means less dense foam, have to say I haven’t seen any like that here.

Ohhh ok, thanks Coradee :) Is there any benefit in getting the multi-tubes over the single-tubes? Presumably the multi-tubes filter more, because there's two of them?

My fish all seem to like the water change being quite quick, the corys & aspidoras all suddenly appear at the point I’m dumping it in.

Maybe I'm trying to solve a problem that doesn't need to be solved then :) The tank is certainly long enough they could get away from it if they wanted, and I put a jug into the water before pouring the bucket in so it takes away some of the flow. Perhaps they do just like it :)
 
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Coradee

The multi tube ones you can stick on the glass higher up, the singles are usually just sitting on the bottom so it’s personal preference really as both do the same job.
 
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devsi

The multi tube ones you can stick on the glass higher up, the singles are usually just sitting on the bottom so it’s personal preference really as both do the same job.

just realised I didn’t respond to this. Thanks for explaining Coradee !
 
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Cinabar

The biggest issue with the water change, is trying to figure out a good way of getting the water back into the tank haha!
I have a confession to make... I haul buckets for my 10 and 20 gallon tanks. But that is tedious for bigger tanks because my noodle arms are very frail. So now I drag my garden hose through the front door, across the living room, past the kitchen (weaving between the table and chairs of course) and finally to the back of the house where I keep the tanks. It’s not embarrassing if no one sees you doing it. 10/10 totally worth the effort
I am constantly looking at Facebook Marketplace / eBay, finding a nice tank, showing it to the wife and then one of us eventually goes "Yes.... but where would we put it!!" :D
Ahem. Hello may I interest you in an aquarium rack? But that vertical space to good use!
 
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devsi

So now I drag my garden hose through the front door, across the living room, past the kitchen (weaving between the table and chairs of course) and finally to the back of the house where I keep the tanks. It’s not embarrassing if no one sees you doing it. 10/10 totally worth the effort

You put the water directly into the tank?! I did that on my first water change (which was SO much easier), but was told I shouldn't do that anymore because the water would be too cold for the fish and would shock them?

Ahem. Hello may I interest you in an aquarium rack? But that vertical space to good use!

Stop that. I was moving a dresser, into my office, at 9pm last night just so I could put my QT tank somewhere. I simply don't need another tank......

Or do I..... :)
 
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