Cory Cats -- Need Help Diagnosing Disease/treatment

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Jonathan Greenberg, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Hi there -- my cory cats have had a faint white film on them for a month or so now. I recently learned it was likely a fungal disease, and just completed my first week of Pimafix/Melafix treatment. A few days after the treatment began, one of the Cory's developed this clump on its side (it wasn't there before).

    Is this the fungus dying, or is it expanding? Thoughts/treatments?
  2. Swampgorilla

    SwampgorillaValued MemberMember

    Honestly ... I know a lot of folks swear by them ... but I really don't think Pimafix and Melafix are "all that". I don't think they're harmful, mind you, and might even do some good but I don't believe they have "curing" properties. More like symptom treatment if you ask me.

    Is your water good? Ammonia / Nitrite ... O? Nitrates? Well, for corys I keep mine at 0 too.

    Corys are sensitive fish and can have bad reactions to certain meds ... so treating them without knowing the root cause is a bit hazardous. Although I would agree your problem looks FUNGAL ... it could also be bacterial.

    I notice you have gravel ... I switched away from gravel to sand specifically because I had bacterial and fungal problems with my corys. It's impossible to keep gravel clean and bacteria free.

    Try the GOOD WATER route. If you've already done it - you may have to up the game to real meds but, again ... with corys it's a last resort for me.
  3. OP
    Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Ammonia/Nitrite 0 always, Nitrates hover around 20-40ppm (EI dosing of a planted tank) -- the tank is high tech so I do have CO2 injections, so the water tends to be more acidic (pH 6.6 or so depending on the time of day). I do weekly 50% changes (today is the last day of the treatment so I'll do a 50% change tomorrow) due to the EI dosing regimen. I did previously have a pretty bad outbreak of BGA but its been knocked out via an Ultralife dosing.

    It looks like (at least) one of my Bristlenose Pleco has a tad bit of fungus as well (the fungus is really pale so it was hard to see on that fish).

    It just occurred to me that I think I have carbon filters in my eheim -- would that more or less negate the effects of the Pimafix? Worth doing a 2nd round of treatment without the carbon?
  4. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Pimafix and Melafix are useless - not worth doing another round.

    What do you feed them?

    Do they have their barbels?

    Can you give tank size and complete stocking? Temp?
  5. OP
    Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Tetramin tropical crisps, yep all have their barbels, current stock:
    AqAdvisor - Family Room

    Edit: 75 degree tank!
  6. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You have stocking issues if you'd like to discuss them :)

    For the cories, I'm not sure what could be causing it. I would try to increase your water changes (I know, not good for the EI dosing - do you have a QT tank you can move the fish to?).
  7. OP
    Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    No QT. I can certainly increase water changes. Are there no other treatments that may work?

    What's the problem with the stocking? I figured with the plants I could get a little over my normal stocking (but according to the website I'm not too far over the stocking level).
  8. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't throw meds at the problem without knowing what it is. Often fungal infections are secondary to bacterial infections, so just treating the fungal issue wouldn't treat the underlying issue. I also wouldn't add meds to your whole tank. I'd purchase a QT tank (a 10 gal from the Petco $1/gal sale would be perfect, then get a cheap air pump and a sponge filter) and QT him before treating.

    Stocking websites like Aqadvisor aren't accurate. They don't take into account of lot of things (behavior, aggression, diet), and they have some bad info on water parameters for some species.

    I think you have too many schooling species for a 36" tank - 2 schools in the upper/mid levels of the tank is a good max for tanks 4 ft and under. You have 4 schooling species (danios, neons, two rainbows).

    Cories should be in larger groups of their own species - keeping them in smaller groups can be stressful, and stress can increase susceptibility to disease. However, Sterbai don't have a lot of temperature overlap with the other species in the tank, and I would recommend a different cory species to go with the cool water schooling fish you've chosen. 75 F is the extreme low for Sterbai, and it's not recommended to keep fish at the extreme ends of their temp ranges - also stressful.

    Are both dwarf gouramis male?
  9. OP
    Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Thanks. I'll consider getting a QT tank. Pima/Melafix are tree teas, right? Is there any worry about the fishies in the tank if I dose the entire tank? The only things I've read that are a minor concern are the Gouramis, but it seems correlative and no evidence of causative with the effects of those treatments on labyrinth fish. I did remove the carbon filter -- I had it in during the first round of dosing so I'm going to see if a 2nd week + no carbon works.

    Re: stocking and water parameters -- what would you consider accurate and a good site to see these sort of issues? In terms of temperatures, I've seen sites that say Sterbais are happy from 70 to 77, so 75 is not towards an extreme, and others that put 75 at the bottom of their happy range. Here's a small assortment of different temperature ranges -- how to choose which one is "right"?

    Also, the rainbows stay at the top, the tetras at the bottom, and the danios NEVER school in my tank -- they occupy all levels of my tank (it is approaching "heavily planted" on 1/2 of the volume of the tank -- I have ~ 1/2 fairly open). Given this, are there still issues with schooling? All the fish seem pretty happy and can get away from one another if need be.

    Gouramis I'm not sure about -- I noticed one tends to hide a lot towards the bottom and back of the tank and the other likes to be out front and get under my floating plants.
  10. OP
    Jonathan Greenberg

    Jonathan GreenbergNew MemberMember

    Sorry, I didn't mean this to come off as argumentative, I'm just trying to work through the problem. It seems you are suggesting to first figure out the root causes. It seems it could be:
    1) Nothing -- fungus happens.
    2) Temperature extremes (arguable given various online sources)
    3) Not enough conspecifics leading the stress (possible, but I can't imagine just adding new corys will solve the short term problem and may lead to more vectors for the fungus)
    4) Water quality issues (40 ppm nitrates too high?) -- I'm going to back off on my EI macros just in case.

    I'm pretty sure this is a fungal problem -- do you agree with that? The fishes are otherwise healthy looking (to be clear 2/3 corys have the white filmy stuff, the other one has nothing -- the picture is the one with the more clumped patch, the other one has a faint film around its head) -- no ripped fins, active swimming, good appetite. Besides water quality, what is the next course of action in terms of medication (QT tank or not -- what is the recommended way to remove fungus from this fish)?
  11. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    See responses in green!