Possibly Sick Panda Cory?


HI guys, first post. I know there are a lot of questions regarding corys with short barbels, and lethargic corys, but I'm dealing with both issues in the same fish.

About a month ago, I moved my platy from her 5.5 gallon to a new 20 gallon high. I put the filter from the old tank in with the new filter to help the cycle along. Once the tank was regularly showing 0-0-0, I went added four panda corys (9/11/14). When we got them home, I noticed one had shorter barbels. I looked online and saw it seemed fairly common, and just made a note to keep the water and gravel clean and keep an eye on him.

He doesn't seem to have any red around his mouth or the barbels in question. The husband says he seems to be eating, but I've noticed he's rather lethargic and keeps to himself. Sometimes it also looks like his coloring is a bit pale, but then he'll move and it looks okay again.

I had originally planned on moving the smaller filter back into the smaller tank this week (figuring it would be great for a beta); now I'm wondering if I should try to move the cory into it so I can more closely monitoring his eating and water conditions? Or do you guys think the lethargy is just because he's still healing?

Any advice on how to help the cory get healthy and happy would be greatly appreciated.

Tank Stats:
Aqueon 20 Gallon High
Weekly water changes of 10-15% with Prime, plus 1/3 gravel vac
Filtration: Tetra Whisper 30, plus temporary Tetra Whisper 10i
Current stocking: 1 Platy, 4 Panda Corys, 3 Flame Tetras (just added yesterday - adding more when water stabilizes). There's also a Marimo Moss Ball the fish sometimes nibble on

Ph: 8.0
Ammonia: <.25
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: <5.00

The API Test Kit had the ammonia and nitrate levels at too dark to be 0, but too light for the first indicator. As mentioned, I just added some new fish yesterday. The ammonia is usually 0.

Also of note, the tank has a smooth gravel substrate. Eventually, I'd like to move to sand, but I've read you need a canister filter and I don't have the money or space for that right now.


There are a number of causes of barbel loss, sharp gravel, dirty substrate, high nitrites any of which could have caused it before you got him.
As long as there is no sign of secondary infection they usually grow back to a certain extent, good clean water is usually all it takes.
I would leave him where he is & monitor him to make sure he's eating ok, extra water changes will help to get the ammonia down & you could try soaking the food with garlic to improve his appetite.
I don't know if it's the same over there but over here a lot of people have trouble keeping pandas as they seem to be more delicate than a lot of corys, hope he does ok for you.
Your filter would be fine with sand as long as the intake is a couple of inches above the substrate


Lots of Pandas arrive in a terrible state from the Czech republic. Lot of nitrite-burning and a lack of good food in a certain stage of their young life. fishfarming of a popular fish grrrr. A shame. I'd take it back to the shop and swap it. I know you wanting the best for this poor fellow, but I doubt it's gonna make it (sorry). Regards Aad


Assuming you live in the UK btw !!!


Thanks so much! The other pandas are really active and seem pretty happy, so I was hoping it was just a temporary thing due to the barbel. Should I do more of the 10-15%, or should I do smaller ones?

And as for the sand - you've give me a new project! The husband will love you for this one, lol.

Didn't see the other reply: DoubleDutch - is there a particular reason you don't think he'll make it? He's still moving around and eating - he's just not as active as the others.


There have been several threads about (mainly) pandas at this and other forums.
A favourite Cory which is bred in large numbers.

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