Please help me with my Cory Cats

Theobetta

about 7 months ago I bought some ghost shrimp and put them in a 10 gallon tank without a filter. some died some bred. About 2-3 months later all the adults and some babies suddenly died. two weeks later the death stopped and everything was fine for about a month. I brought home 5 Cory cats. two weeks later I brought home 2 more Corycats, 3 nerite snails, a molly, and two platies. I got a 10 to 20 gallon filter for the 10 gal and started preparing a 29 gal that I was planning to move all the corys to after they quarantined. about a month later one of the platies (that had looked sickly when I got him) showed up with injuries. he looked like someone chewed up his side and head a little. he was lethargic and would just let the current float him around. I removed him from the tank and put him down. I cleaned the tank thoroughly and did a 50% water change. I took the Corys out and cheeked them over for any damage but they seemed good. Strong long barbules, prefect fins and a good likelihood that I have 3 females and 4 males. I figured the molly(who was always a little aggressive/chased the platies around) must had ruffed up the sick platy and his already poor condition resulted in the sickness or that my (actual) cat might have gotten to him. I saw that the corys were hiding behind a terracotta pot I had moved in the cleaning prosses but didn't think much of it. a week later I bought some oto cats and put then in a 15 gallon tall (not fully filled with a bubbler). I realized that the last platy was not eating and figured she was to nervous around the molly. so I moved her to the 15 gal.... she started eating... so i put her back in with the ones in the 10 gal but in a breeder net .. which i realize I should have done in the first place but I was being stupid. it has been about 2 weeks since the big clean. and the corys have bell hiding a lot. then today I saw that one of my corydoras is pale AND missing his barbules on one half of his face!! the other side looks worn! and I that his fins are ragged along with some of the other corys! only one looks prefect, the rest all have ragged fins! was it the large water change(I used all store bought RO water instead of half store and half RO water from our filter at home)? is it stress? a fugues? is the molly picking on them? what should I do?

*also my otos are not eating.... I put blanched vegetables in and they didn't touch them but they did eat a tiny bit of the pellets

here is some of the emergency questions with answers
Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 10 gal
How long has the tank been running? 6-7 months
Does it have a filter? yes 10-20 gal filter
Does it have a heater? no
What is the water temperature? around 72-74
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) one big female moly, one platy, 3 nerite snails, 7 young (1 to 2 inch)bronze/green Cory cats, 3 baby ghost shrimp.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? about every other week
How much of the water do you change? 10 to 20 %
What do you use to treat your water? I use RO water or water from the store that says it is pure water with no chlorine or softeners
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I just empty some water the water and rinse the filter media in RO water

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? I had the tank up with ghost shrimp in it for about 3 months
What do you use to test the water?....i know I should but I don't have a water testing kit.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
all the ones at my local stores don't have numbers and don't measure all these exact parameters
Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 2 times a day mourning and evening.
How much do you feed your fish? a pinch of flakes and 5 pellets each time
What brand of food do you feed your fish? TetraMin tropical flakes and Wardley shrimp formula pellets
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? I substitute their usual food with a small chunk of frozen Omega One bloodworms 1 to 2 times a week.

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? I got 5 green corys about 3 months ago then I bought 2 more and a black moly two platies and 3 snails about 2 and a half moths ago
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
 

bcsay720

Hello! I'm sorry to hear about your fish. I have a few bits of advice that you hopefully find helpful:

1. A 10g is too small for cories. Pygmy cories would do okay, but regular sized cories need at least 20g.

2. You may want to invest in a heater. All of the fish you have are tropical fish and should be between 74 and 80 degrees F (though 80 is a bit warm for cories).

3. Ghost shrimp do not produce enough of a bioload to cycle a tank. I tried.

4. You can order an API freshwater test kit (liquid) from Amazon, so I highly recommend you get your hands on one. Something is likely out of whack, which is causing stress to your fish. Even if it's not poisonous, stress leads to sickness in fish.

5. Along with the stress point, mollies and platies are both schooling fish, meaning that they need to be in groups of 6 or more. You can choose one small school to live in the 10g, but definitely not the cories, and not the mollie AND platies at the same time.

My overall analysis is that something is off with the parameters and/or stress is getting to the fish. For the time being, I would continue water changes at 25% daily or 50% every other day, using a high quality conditioner. In the meantime, consider giving away some fish or search for a larger tank.
 
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Theobetta

Hello! I'm sorry to hear about your fish. I have a few bits of advice that you hopefully find helpful:

1. A 10g is too small for cories. Pygmy cories would do okay, but regular sized cories need at least 20g.

2. You may want to invest in a heater. All of the fish you have are tropical fish and should be between 74 and 80 degrees F (though 80 is a bit warm for cories).

3. Ghost shrimp do not produce enough of a bioload to cycle a tank. I tried.

4. You can order an API freshwater test kit (liquid) from Amazon, so I highly recommend you get your hands on one. Something is likely out of whack, which is causing stress to your fish. Even if it's not poisonous, stress leads to sickness in fish.

5. Along with the stress point, mollies and platies are both schooling fish, meaning that they need to be in groups of 6 or more. You can choose one small school to live in the 10g, but definitely not the cories, and not the mollie AND platies at the same time.

My overall analysis is that something is off with the parameters and/or stress is getting to the fish. For the time being, I would continue water changes at 25% daily or 50% every other day, using a high quality conditioner. In the meantime, consider giving away some fish or search for a larger tank.
I have a bigger tank(29 gal) but it is cycling and I want to do better this time around... I honestly didn't want the molly or platies but my family forced it on me... I will try the water changes but my RO filter only makes about 2 gallons a day... shipping really slow where I live so buying the testing kit will take some time. I am going to town in 3 days and I should be able to buy a testing kit for ammonia and ph or get my water tested at our PetSmart. I really wish I could have set up the 29 faster but family and mental health issues got in the way... I can't really give them away either because I don't know any other people who keep fish... except people who keep goldfish in bowls.
 
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MyFishAddiction

I have a bigger tank(29 gal) but it is cycling and I want to do better this time around... I honestly didn't want the molly or platies but my family forced it on me... I will try the water changes but my RO filter only makes about 2 gallons a day... shipping really slow where I live so buying the testing kit will take some time. I am going to town in 3 days and I should be able to buy a testing kit for ammonia and ph or get my water tested at our PetSmart. I really wish I could have set up the 29 faster but family and mental health issues got in the way... I can't really give them away either because I don't know any other people who keep fish... except people who keep goldfish in bowls.
Petsmart should sell the API test kit, that's where i got mine.
 
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HupGuppHup

Maybe do fish in cycling on the new tank with the molly & platy and just leave the corys in your 10g - not ideal but your 10 Gallon doesn't sound like a happy place for anyone right now
 
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Theobetta

okay, so to update everyone. I went to my closest PetSmart and got my water tested. the problem with my water was the nitrate levels... they were at 90 mg/L.... oof.... not good.(I also looked for water test kits to buy but it was ridiculously expensive... 5 strips for 6 dollars? 20 dollars for 50? Without and ammonia reading?) I bought a gravel vacuumed and did one 50% water changes that day and since then I have done one more 50 % water change and a 20% water change. I am also going to do another 50 % water change today. I am going to check if any of my dads old heaters work and then go from there. I am also going to test if my Cory cats will uproot my plants. If they don't I will put the corys in the 29 gal. since the water changes I have not seen any progressing issues, so far, and the one with half it's barbells missing has colored up and isn't so pale.
 
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