Is my panda Cory sick? Need help!

Zedelgee

Hi folks!
We had three panda Cory’s and two of them died About a month ago after having white fluffy spots on them. This little guy remains, mostly hiding under a log. His barbels are gone and his fins looked ripped to me but I’m not sure if he’s sick. I never see him do much or eat…although I will say he has got more active since yesterday when we added a new substrate (seachum onyx).
He’s in a 15 gallon with five ember tetras and a dwarf honey Gurami. Water parameters are as follows:
Ph 7.2 (this went up since yesterday when we added a new substrate (seachum onyx)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5ish
Questions:
Is she/he sick?
Can we treat her/him?
Should we move her/him to a well planted ten
3490865A-B71D-482F-BA5F-C0E171038B80.jpeg gallon with six Pygmy Cory’s and one ottocinclus?


93001B58-3ADC-467C-8E83-15FA25EF3E88.jpeg
 

Blacksheep1

Poor little guy looks a little beat up. What was the previous substrate ( looks like a plant specific substrate maybe ) ? That onyx looks a little sharp for corys, they need sand to dig and sift through. Is gourami having a go at him? What’s the temp of the tank please ?

If he’s the last one in this tank but you have a school to move him to, I’d be tempted to do so. Do you have a qt you can move him to to rest and monitor him for a week or so? Let those fins grow back a little …
 

Zedelgee

Thank you so much for your reply!

She/He looks better than he did a few weeks ago but definitely still rough. We did do two very small doses of aquarium salts about three weeks ago (1 tsp each time). Maybe do another? I know it’s controversial with Cory’s…

I haven’t seen the gourami aggressive at all, it seems to be very chill and calm with the others.

The original substrate was Tropica aquarium soil which our fish shop manager (the best one in our big city) said would be great for Cory’s. I think it was decidedly not. The onyx is a bit bigger and rougher than we thought, again, recommended by said fish shop… I wanted to get super fine sand but my son went on his own and they sold him this…

The temperature of the tank sits around 78-80. We have a non adjustable heater. We could replace that so it could be lower?

We don’t have a qt unfortunately. But the other tank (10G) has mostly very fine sand substrate which the Pygmy Cory’s have been thriving in. I only worry about plopping him in there if she/he’s sick and ends up giving it to our cherished healthy and thriving Pygmy school. It’s a Tough call!!! I suppose we could remove the onyx and replace with a fine sand?
Thank you so much
 

Blacksheep1

Oh these fish shops do like to sell you something completely different than you asked for !!!

In my very humble opinion your Cory doesn’t look sick , he looks plump and good colour, just a little beat up. I think the sand would do him a world of good but it’s your choice if you replace substrate again or move him. A 10 g is a little on the smaller side especially already stocked but keeping him on the substrate you have isn’t a good option for me.
Lower temp is better for panda corys but probably not for the other fish so Again that’s your call.

Tetras are known for fin nipping so if not the gourami and not those guys then possible fin rot , doesn’t look white around the edges to me though.

There’s a lot of debate about corys not tolerating salt and I urge you to do your own research on that one , I know where I stand on it though :)

How long have you had the fish now ?
 

Katie Dawn

Poor little fella! Blacksheep has given some great advice here.

If you think there's any possibility he could have an illness and want to quarantine him before moving him in with your pygmies you don't have to have a tank. Just get one of those clear rubbermaid storage containers - it should hold a few gallons but doesn't have to be huge. You'd need a heater and filter (and air if not using a sponge filter) but upgrading to a heater than can be adjusted is a great idea anyway.

I use these filters because if I need to quarantine a fish I can just pull one the sponges out of an established tank and put in the quarantine tank. That way you don't have to worry about the quarantine tank cycling and causing stress to an already stressed fish.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XZZ2BXY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

Depending on how powerful your air pump is you might be able to split the air between the quarantine tank and one of the other tanks using a splitter.

I also wanted to echo Blacksheep's question: how long you've had this fish?
 

Blacksheep1

Poor little fella! Blacksheep has given some great advice here.

If you think there's any possibility he could have an illness and want to quarantine him before moving him in with your pygmies you don't have to have a tank. Just get one of those clear rubbermaid storage containers - it should hold a few gallons but doesn't have to be huge. You'd need a heater and filter (and air if not using a sponge filter) but upgrading to a heater than can be adjusted is a great idea anyway.

i meant to add this but it’s feeding time at my zoo so I got distracted !! Thanks Katie Dawn :)

If you’ve had him a couple of months then likely not a disease more of a substrate issue ( possible feeding issue but he looks plump enough )
 

Zedelgee

Thank you both so much for fantastic input and advice so far. We got the panda Cory’s about six months ago. We also had a goal of five otto’s live and die in that tank over that period. All have died with fuzzy white patches on them. My theory is that there was uneaten food on the substrate and that both the ottos and Cory’s skimmed over that which created infections. I’ve seen uneaten food in our tank get white and fuzzy just like the spots on their bodies. This hasn’t happened for a while now, I make sure not to over feed or leave uneaten food in the tank.
Now I wonder if the tetras and attacking the Cory, it does hide A LOT.
For a variety of reasons, a qt tank or equivalent is not going to happen. I have to make do with what we have. So I guess we now decide to roll the dice on leaving the Cory where it is and risk a sad ending or moving it to the 10gallon and risk the chance it has a disease and those fishies are endangered. Aiyyyyy hard call!!
 

Blacksheep1

He will be stressed on his own too , they are social little fish. He likely won’t shoal with the Pygmy’s but he will feel better with the sand.

Good luck either way !
 

Zedelgee

He will be stressed on his own too , they are social little fish. He likely won’t shoal with the Pygmy’s but he will feel better with the sand.

Good luck either way !
Just wanted to report I moved the Panda cory on Thursday and I am delighted to report it is soooooooooo much more active, eating well and seems to be really enjoying the sand. The Pygmy’s have been very welcoming. Yay! I hope this was a good move in the long run. It’s looking good so far.
 

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