Cory Has Died, Worried About The Others

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Brian Garner

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Hi all. I have 8 Corys in my 40 gallon breeder. Parameters:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrates: 0
Nitrites: .05
PH: 7.0
Planted
Switching substrates slowly from "round" Mexican river rock to sand
Fluval 306
About 5 days ago I noticed one of the Corys was getting paler by day. He succumbed to whatever was happening to him last evening. He was suffering, and I felt there was nothing I could do. I don't want this to happen to the others.
I have Neons in there as well, and when I got them they developed ick two days later. Got them from a LFS, went back and their fish from that tank were healthy as could be. I am sure the stress of moving and a different PH set it off, but I quickly treated them, and (to my surprise) three days later no physical signs of the disease. It's been two weeks and no issues. I feel I need to mention that as I go on here.
The Cory was in there since I set up my tank three months ago. I have noticed that most of the Corys in the tank have loss of barbells. It happened so slowly, that I really didn't see it until my lady noticed three days ago, right after we were checking out the sick one.
My two questions are, why? I was told when I got them that they are sensitive to sharp edges. Since I have round river rock, ranging from peanut size to walnut size, that this would be OK since they are not "sharp". I will say that they do go "crazy" at feeding time, digging far into the substrate to get to the pellets. Not an easy chore since the size of the gravel is so large.
Because of the loss of barbells, not know what fish I wanted to keep when I first set up the tank, and the fact I was getting too much algae from left over food that could not be eaten, I am switching the substrate with proper sand. I did my research, and I feel it will be a much healthier aquarium with what I am trying to cultivate. I can offer some advice on doing this (switching substrates) as I am doing this "fish in" in small sections. It's going to take a month or so to finish the job as this is done on water change day. I am hoping this is the issue as I have also heard from SO many members their "theory" of how they think it is NOT the substrate, but a bacterial issue from the substrate. I want to know from someone here, is it a theory, or is this a problem that is documented to be a bacterial issue. AND, is this what happened to my Cory? He was fine, full of color, and slowly turned white, emaciated, and died. He did try and forage for food up until his last day. Needless to say, this is my first fish loss, and I am upset about it and I hoping I gave him/her the best life possible. Which evidently I did not. Any help would be good, as I don't want the others to follow. They all look healthy and happy at the moment.

Brian
 

endlercollector

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Bacteria is all around us, so a bacterial infection very likely set in after the damage to the barbels. Even though the river rock was rounded, the surface is still uneven, so it's possible that's how they've gotten injured. I hope things get better now that you have sand in there.
 
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Brian Garner

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If it is bacterial, should I medicate? As I am looking at my Corys now, some are not quite as black in thier markings. See image of a pale one in attached image.
20170607_181205.jpg


Another image showing the contrast in color. The color is worring me as thay were all very black a week ago. Anything to do with the substrate change and maybe a bit of stress. They do not seem to be affected when I am changing out thw substrate, as they continue to forage and not care about me being in the tank.
20170607_182229(0).jpg


Thinking more about this. In the previous substrate I had Osmocote fertilizer in capsules. When changing the substrates, I that I noticed a few pellets rolling around on the bottom. I paid no attention to them, figuring they would find their way back into the substrate. Does anyone think that maybe the Corys chewed them, or just a nibble, and are now reacting to that? Are the pellets that strong as to burn or make them sick?

Really glad I joined the forham.
 
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Brian Garner

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All specs and test show no signs of being off. It's been a few days, and they seem to be OK at the moment. If you have Corys, do yhey fluctuate in color even when the lights have been on for a bit? Sonetimes all lool beautiful, and then at points duri g the day some seem pale. Might be the lighting and the fact I'm obsessing. Let me go look at their gills and double check. Thank you.

Here is a current image, and they look fine at the moment. But later they seem to fade in color.
20170609_144706.jpg
 
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bopsalot

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I'm a little confused. Your nitrite reading is 0.05? Is that a percentage from a test strip? Or is it in parts per million? .05% would be 500 ppm, impossibly high. 0.05 ppm would be very, very low. And you'd need a very sensitive test kit to even read that. Do you mean 0.5 ppm? If so, your test results do indicate that there may be a problem with your nitrogen cycle, a very common cause of this kind of fish death. Can you test again and post current numbers? Thanks!
 
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Brian Garner

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Let me be clear as maybe I was typing too quickly. Test are:
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
7.0 ph
5.0 nitrate
The tank has been cycled for three months, with a slight spike when adding fish that last two days.

My thoughts : Barbellloss caused by food getting out of reach and decaying in the old substrate.
Colorchanges of the sterbai caused by the white / light surface they are on now.
Thank you for your thoughts here. Makes sense. And I'm happy to be switching substrates as I do have the same beliefs as you.
 
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