Need Corydoras Help

Discussion in 'Corydoras' started by TDMac, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. TDMacNew MemberMember

    Hi. I'm new to the forum and I need help. I have a new 65gal freshwater community tank. It has artificial plants (for now). I spent two months doing a fishless cycle and at the end I was processing 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hours with 0 nitrites so I feel I have a good strong tank now.

    On Friday I stocked the tank with 3 black skirt tetras, 3 red minor tetras, and 3 panda corydoras.
    One Cory was super duper active and happy. The first night one disappeared (I fear he was eaten) and one died. I tested the water and had the following parameters. pH 6.6, ammonia 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm, nitrates 0ppm. I made a few very minor adjustments to pH and the tank seemed fine. Meanwhile all the rest of my fish are happy, swimming all over, and eating great. I took a water sample to petsmart with the dead fish and they confirmed my results were good.

    On Saturday I got 4 more Corys for a total of 5, 4 more black Skirt tetras for a total of 7, and 2 more red minor tetras for a total of 5. Four of the corys were very happy and 1 just didn't seem well. Turns out he wasn't, he sadly passed away during the night. I came home from work on Monday to one dead Cory and three swimming around happy playing in the bubbles. I tested water. pH is 7, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. Tuesday I came home from work to one dead Cory and two swimming around happy playing in the bubbles. Again I tested water. pH is 7, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5-10.

    So why are my sweet Cory's dying? Could it just be unhealthy fish from PetSmart? The two swimming around are super active and playing with their reflections and the bubbles. Am I not feeding them right? I bought Cory wafers but I think they don't find them or they don't like them. I tried placing one in their favorite spot instead of just dropping it in but they never went to it. They also eat any leftover flakes. The tetras eat A LOT so I've been putting in tiny pinches at a time until I get a good feel for how much they need.

    Am I doing anything wrong? Or is it just bad luck? These corys are so fun and playful and it breaks my heart that they keep dying. I refuse to buy more until I figure out what is going on.

  2. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    With the panda corys, people are going to want to know tank temperature. Lets ask @DoubleDutch for some help on this one.

  3. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    One thing that worries me is the ammonia and nitrites seem to be gone but weren't transferred into nitrates in the first test. And next is thing is the Ph-change.

    The playing you're describing is adapting / stress(reduction) and not just a sign of wellbeing that "playing" suggests.

    The food can be an issue, but not in such a short notice.

    Are you treating your tapwater?
    Can you please test your tapwater as well?

  4. TDMacNew MemberMember

    The tank temperature is pretty stable at approximately 75F. I had it at 73F when I first got them and they were not as active. However, increasing pH slightly and increasing temperature to 75F has increased their activity tremendously. I only have two now and I know I should have more. But I wanted to fix my problem before I added more. They play with their reflections swimming up and down the side of the tank and they swim up and down the bubbles at the back of the tank. I have a bubble wall across the back.

    I don't know how to attach pictures here yet or I'd post a pic of my tank. I'm afraid the gravel is too big and the food is falling through and maybe they aren't eating enough. And they aren't interested in the wafers
  5. TDMacNew MemberMember

    My tap water tests results are: 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, 0ppm nitrates, and pH 6.6. I am treating tap water with Prime prior to introduction to the tank. I haven't had fish in the tank at all until Saturday. During my fishless cycle I had the tank processing a full 4ppm of ammonia in <=24 hours to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and high nitrates. I did two partial water changes bringing everything down to zero prior to putting fish in. I currently have 14 fish in the tank. 12 tetras and 2 corys. I put 1 cup (wasn't sure how much so I started with that) aragonite/coral in a bag in my filter to help stabilize the pH. However I wanted to raise it slightly a little sooner. So I've done very small, slow increases over a 3 day period to bring my pH from 6.6 to 7.0, only dosing every 24 hours with pH up. (I used approximately half the recommended dose each time). I was afraid I'd hurt the fish if I adjusted faster than that.

    I was afraid my nitrates test wasn't accurate so this evening I'm going to shake the daylights out of that second bottle and retest.
  6. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Still strange the nitrates went to 0, but it could be a false reading indeed.

    I wonder if the Ph-change might be culprit. 0,3 might be a little for us, but I believe I'v read in fact that's quite a change. I am no good in these things though.
    Maybe a waterexpert can jump in and give his thoughts.
  7. TDMacNew MemberMember

    I just came home for lunch to let my dogs out a decided to do a quick nitrAte test. I shook the second bottle for a good 5 min first. Currently my results are approximately 10ppm
  8. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Then that's not the problem !
  9. TDMacNew MemberMember

    I guess maybe it's just bad luck?
  10. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    My only guess would be the Ph-raise.
  11. TDMacNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your help! :)
  12. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry to hear about your corydoras! I can tell you really care about them.

    Hopefully someone can weigh in more about adjusting the ph. I don't have personal experience doing that. From what I have read, it is generally preferable to have a stable ph versus trying to adjust it one way or the other. Most fish can adapt to the ph, even if it's not quite within their ideal range, as long as it stays consistent.

    How are you acclimating the cories when you bring them home from the pet store?

    How do you feel about your PetSmart's aquatic department in general? I know they can vary from store to store. Have you spent time observing the cories in their tank at the store--looking for any signs that they could be unwell? Is there a staff member there who seems particularly knowledgable that you could question about how that batch of cories has been doing?

    Finally, have you been able to notice anything different about the cories who have died after you take them out of the tank? Any signs at all of illness or infection? White spots? Sunken eyes?

    Even if they haven't taken well to the food you are offering, it should take much longer for them to die from starvation unless there was already a problem.

    I hope you can figure everything out! It really may just be bad luck and/or something completely outside your control.
  13. TDMacNew MemberMember

    Came home to my Corys not being very active. I'm afraid I'm going to lose them. All the rest of my fish seem fine. Water at 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, 7 pH and 10ppm nitrates. Maybe the gravel is just too big or something. I don't know.
  14. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    Not being active isn't necessarily a bad thing. Cories often spend quite a bit of time during the day resting. The super active behavior that you had been witnessing was probably part of getting settled in. Mine hang out on the sand together and rest for much of the day with little bursts of activity here and there. Mine tend to be much more active and playful when I watch them before I go to bed at night.

    So, hopefully yours are just resting.
  15. TDMacNew MemberMember

    The guy that helped me at PetSmart was new to the store and very knowledgeable. He has been fishkerping about 10 years and he has 10 tanks at home and one with just Corys in it. He recommended the Pandas to me and at that particular store all the tanks were clean and seemed healthy. I've been in other petsmarts around here (there are 3 within 20mi of me) that I couldn't say that about and that's why I chose to buy from that one.

    To acclimate them I put the bag in my tank for about 20-30 min. For temperature stabilization. Then I put some of my water in the bag for about another 15 min per his recommendation. I've never done that before but I thought I'd try.

    The corys I've removed from the tank have looked perfectly healthy if not for being dead. That's why I've been a little distressed. The pH has been stable 2 or 3 days now. The only water parameters I'm currently blind to right now are GH and KH. I'm trying to get a test kit for that.

    Other than that I'm at a total loss as to why it's only my Corys I'm struggling with and not the other 12 fish.....:(
  16. TDMacNew MemberMember

    My Corys are just laying there barely moving I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose them.....
  17. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    How are they doing today?
  18. TDMacNew MemberMember

    I can only find one right now. My red minors took a huge chunk out of his dorsal fin. :( I bought more red minors in hopes of curbing the nipping because they have nipped up my black skirt tetras. I'm afraid the other died and the tetras ate it. I'm still looking.
  19. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping for better news. I have heard that red minor tetras can be nippy, but I've never had them. Maybe someone else can offer some advice on that. How many do you currently have in your tank? How many black skirts?

    Maybe it would be wise to attempt a different kind of cory. I have read that pandas can be more sensitive than some of the other common types. Have you ever considered aeneus or paleatus cories? I believe they are known for being quite hardy.

    I am very sorry about your pandas.
  20. TDMacNew MemberMember

    I've been posting on the serpae tetra thread about the red minors. I had 5 and got 6 more today per advice I was given to increase the school. If it doesn't get better I'll get them out and put them in a bucket with an air stone until I can get to the LFS to try to trade them.

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