Problem With Panda Corys

Discussion in 'Corydoras' started by Kryptos, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. KryptosNew MemberMember

    I seem to be having issues with my panda corys.

    Bit of background. I am a total beginner. About three months into the hobby. I put together a tank based on the advice on someone who appeared pretty knowledgeable at a pet store with a very large and healthy looking aquarium section.

    I cycled the tank for three weeks before putting any fish in. My ammonia and nitrite values have consistently been 0 using a Colombo liquid test kit.

    Latest stats are:

    Temp: approx 25.5 degrees C.

    pH: 7.05
    KH: 7
    GH: 11
    NO2: 0
    NO3: 10

    This test was done with water sampled close to the bottom for the NH3 and NO2 tests.

    The tank is 80L and contains multiple plants that are in a healthy state. I am using a filter with ceramic biostrata and a zeolite element.

    There are currently 9 corys in the tank.

    They share the tank with:
    3 Guppies
    2 Mollies
    2 Electric blue rams
    2 Mikrogeophagus rams
    2 Neon dwarf rainbows
    2 Yellow platys
    2 Red platys
    2 White sail fin mollies

    I put this selection together on the advice of the person at the store as well.

    The tank and the substrate as well as one of the worrisome corys are pictured in the images

    I have already had one cory die on me. Used to have 10. One or two seem to have lost their barbels and one (I think the one in the picture) just started swimming in the bottom layer of the tank the last week or so which is weird.

    I clean the tank every week and replace about 25% water. I vacuum the gravel and trim the plants and remove dead material if I see any. The flow rate causes quite a bit of surface agitation. I use Denerle Aqua Elixer (15ml) and Denerle Bacto Elixer (15 ml) with every water change.

    Also I am slowly bringing down the ph and KH with Tetra pH/KH minus. About 3 ml every two days or so after testing these two values.

    Also I feed with Dupla Rin S and Dupla Rin S Colour plus Dupla Rin Tabs for bottomfeeders. One click S in the morning, one click S Colour in the evening and 1.5 tabs in the morning.

    So it seems that all the suspects I read about online is not present in my tank aside from rough gravel and possibly tank mates.

    What is your opinion in the matter?

  2. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    How did you cycle the tank? What was the ammoniasource?

    Are the fed tabs for bottomdwellers mainly algae/veg based?

    I think you are in The Netherlands ?
  3. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Hi DoubleDutch!

    Yes I am. Just registered on another forum and you said hi to my welcome post but somehow I cannot post anymore on that forum. Somer server DNS thing I think. So I came here.

    Hmmm I had none. Followed the instructions from the salesperson. So what I was:

    Wash the gravel
    Put in the water.
    Add the Aqua Elixer
    Add the Bacto Elixer
    Add Pflanzen Elixier also from Denerle
    Add the plants.
    Top up the water and start everything up.

    It ran like that for a three weeks. During that time I messed up the light cycle and it was dark for a week.

    I tested the water and took those readings to the store and the same person told me it was all good to go. Replaced 50% of the water. Added 4 guppies, 4 platys and 6 panda's.

    That went for two weeks during which I replaced 25% of the water. The ammonia and nitrite levels never read anything but 0.

    After the two weeks added 4 panda's and the rest of the fish.

    After 8 weeks I replaced the filer sponge only with a new sponge and the zeolite element. The ceramic bio-substrate remains the original.

    Weekly I wash the sponge and the ceramics lightly in the old water.

    I am using this product to feed the corys   It is spirulina based mostly.

    BUT when I drop in the tabs the other fish eat a lot of this.

    I also noticed that two or three of the cory's are looking exceptionally healthy and are now about double the size of the others.

    That is what confuses me. Most of the fish seems very active and happy. Plus the test readings are good. The plants are growing like crazy. It just seems that a lot of the corys are unhappy.

    Maybe worth noticing that one red platy has also become lethargic in the last two weeks.

    Am I even giving enough food?
  4. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Thinking about it the live plants would have been a source of ammonia as there was initially quite a but of die-off as they established.

    I also neglected to mention that I initially had a piece of drift wood there for two weeks but it would not become waterlogged so I removed it again. So whatever was in the driftwood would have leached into the aquarium water.
  5. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Personally I think you're tank wasn't decently cycled. No real pollution or ammoniasource means no ammonia / nitritereadings. Your tank probably started cycling after putting the fish in. Corys are quite sensitive to ammonia and nitrites and the damage occured in an earlier stage.

    My question about thw country you live in was about the products you seem to use to change Ph / Kh. If in the Netherlands I'd stop using those cause a stabil Ph and Kh is more important than lowering it.

    Then there are a lot of poorly bred pandas (Czech republic) sold in Holland.

    Corys in general do better in a stabil environment and ripened substrate.

    So there are more possible causes for the issues you're facing. Go back to the basics. Be sure it is cycled properly, if not needed don't add (commercial) stuff, feed good food (meaty/protein based for Corys) and keep up the waterchanges aso.

    Last but not least : I doubt this panda will make it. If things get worse I'd euthanise it.
  6. BobRocioValued MemberMember

    In my experience Panda Cory’s don’t do well with warmer temps, they’re better off at around 22 degrees and your Rams do better at 27-28 so they’re not the best tankmates. I personally think you will have problems with the pandas and the rams eventually 25.5 degrees Celsius.

    Pandas and blue rams aren’t really beginner fish they are more intermediate as they have these sort of requirements.

    If I were you I would also stop messing with your ph. Just leave it as it comes from the tap, your fish will find it easier to adapt to this if it’s constant as applied to it constantly changing as you try to lower it.

    Also your rainbows are schooling fish and would do better with at least 6 of their own species however I think if you were to add any more in you would probably be overstocked.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2019
  7. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies and help!

    I'll drop using the product to lower the KH immediately. I only did that as the person at the store said I needed to get the KH down to 5 :bored:

    Yeah I just followed the advice I was giving. Guess I should have found a forum before starting but this shop and advice sounded legit.

    How do I ensure that it cycled properly? The nitrogen compounds all ready within spec after almost two months with fish it is. Does that imply that is it indeed cycled well?

    And what food do you recommend?

    Hmmm I got told they were beginner's fish. But since then I have found so much mention of everything your say. For now I have to make the best of a bad situation and give the fish the best life I can under the non optimal conditions. I hate that as that is what I wanted to avoid but that is how it is now.

    What bottom feeders would be a good match for my tank in it's current condition? As I think that soon I will have an unbalance in that area and don't want to just throw poor panda's at it.
  8. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Bottomfeeders as in fish you mean?
    If so I'd wait adding anything.
  9. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Yeah I mean "replacements" for the corys. I am expected more than one cory to suffer from this situation and was just wondering it that would mean a problem in terms of the material at the bottom of the tank.

    So what you are saying leave the situation for now? And how long would one wait before adding again?
  10. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Yes first thing is to get a stabil "natural" environment going on there.
  11. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Cool I am going to do exactly that!

    But then last question, how would I know that it has happened. From all the tests and (up until now) the reactions of the fish that seemed to be the case?

    How does one judge this?
  12. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    When all fish appear to thrive.

    Could definitely be the cycle is completed now but I am pretty sure there have been some spikes (looking at the amount of fish there are in). Corys as sensitive and bottomdwellers will be the first to contact those so I think the damage was done earlier on.

    But as long as there are fish not well, I'd wait adding new ones. As a Coryfanatic I'd definitely stick to Corys. When pandas are bought one should be quite alert on their health (as said : there are a lot of issues due the way they are bred).

    One more thing : With a stabil environment I also mean a good bacterial life in your tank (not only filterbacteria) and substrate. These bacteria can't be shown by tests but only need a bit of "patience" to show up.

    Adding chemicals aso can mess up this build up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2019
  13. KryptosNew MemberMember

    Cool gonna take this advice seriously, thank you.

    The weird thing is I have tested all the parameters on a weekly basis and never was there even a trace of NH3 or NO2. But I have no idea of such a spike can appear and disappear again in days. But be that as it may the evidence points to there having been something wrong.

    Is it policy on this forum to perhaps ask about reputable retailers, should I get to the point to add fish again?

    As for chemicals all I will add now is the dechlorinator, the bacteria booster and the plant food. Then let's see how things go :nailbiting:
  14. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Tried to PM, but you'll need some extra posts to make that possible.

    Depending on where you live (I still think in The Netherlands) you might not need dechlorinator aso.

    Also this is a US based forum, so you wont find reputable shops in The Netherlands on here.
  15. KryptosNew MemberMember

    As soon as I get enough post to be able to message I will give you shout.

    Thanks again for the help and info.
  16. JChiValued MemberMember

    I agree, I think maybe your tank was not fully cycled before the fish were added and now you are seeing some side effects.

    So, I'm new to community tanks (I've always had Bettas by themselves), and recently I had one of my pepper cories start acting weird. I posted up on this forum for help and one of the things I learned was that I wasn't doing enough water you I was doing 25% a week, but after about 6 months one of my cories started swimming erratically even though all my levels looked good. The advice I got was that I needed to change more of the water at least 1x a month. It was a huge eye opener! If you think about it, 25% water change isn't really turning over the vast majority of the water and replacing all the minerals in the water that the plants are absorbing. Someone here advised 50% water changes 2x a week once a month. They also suggested that I do 50% water changes every few days for a couple weeks. I did this and the cory is doing MUCH better.

    So I'd advise changing up your water changes long-term to incorporate larger water changes to keep the water fresh. In the short-term since you are very lucky and have better water than the US, I'd recommend doing larger water changes more frequently. As people said, your fish will adjust to your tap water's perimeters, and the more frequent water changes will help them do that. It will also help keep the fish safe and health during the cycle and help you get rid of any ammonia or nitrites that might be spiking. But it's amazing how doing larger, more frequent water changes can help fish.
  17. KryptosNew MemberMember

    So this weekend I changed more water and will maybe do another large change middle this week and see now it goes.