Spotted Cory Catfish Sudden death

trinity86

Last night I came home to a very ill Boo (my catfish). I had known something was up with him, although he often got pale or stressed out, he did not greet me like he normally did when I got home and was hiding from me. I tapped the glass to get a reaction from him but he didnt move. My husband was able to get him to move a bit but not much. We thought he was fine just was tired. 10 minutes later he began swimming around the tank fast. Way too fast. He had his color back though, I just thought he was really anxious but didnt know why. He was splashing at the top of the tank. And then went back to crazy. I walked over to check on him and he just fainted. I dont know if fish can faint but he stopped and just floated to the bottom. I automattically panicked took him out of the tank away from the others (I have a dalmation molly, who loves Boo, two guppies, and two African dwarf frogs). Another side note. No one has ever had any problem with each other. I have had them all except the baby african dwarf frog now for a few months before everything closed because of COVID. Everyone got along just fine. Anyway, i took Boo out of the tank into my travel one to figure out why he fainted. He wasnt moving much and was breathing lightly. I noticed that he was starting to internally bleed or bruise. It was very red. I panicked more. He had a fight in him but he didnt make it. We lost him within the hour of the internal abdminal bleeding. The very odd thing is that he had started the splashing weeks prior. However he moved too quick for me to ever see him do it. I didnt know who was doing it at the time until last night and I saw it happen. When he fainted he had no sign of internal bruising or bleeding. He was his normal color. It took about a minute for the blood to get to the surface. I didnt know what to do. Or how to help him. He was the first catfish I ever had. I have learned a few things about his species that I never knew until now. I know that they usually are meant to be in schools but him and the dalmation molly where about the same size and grew up together in the tank through the course of the months that I have had them and were even brought home together. My dalmation molly is looking for his friend now and I really need to know what happened to Boo. It was very sudden. His attittude changed within the last week, I look back on maybe he was hurting. I have no idea. Here is what i do know. The tank water is perfectly fine. I tested it after Boo passed fearing that it was nitrate or ammonia posioning and my other fish were in trouble. But the water was fine. Boo had no bites on his fin and was perfectly fine on the outside. He has always been one to get pale, and when I noticed I always tried to calm him down cause I have read it is a sign of stess. Any information can help. I cant find any videos of what happened to him. Someone has had to have this happen before. There has to be an explanation. He was only about a year old. I have read too many things of what it could be but there was always a factor that eliminated Boo from it being what led him to death. No other fish are presenting any of the signs Boo was at all.
 

feeshi

Hello and welcome, I'm sorry for your loss. Its hard losing fish, especially ones we name but its unfortunately something we all experience as part of the journey in fish keeping. It drives us to get better.

You said he was a stressed fish, often going pale. Stress in fish lowers their immune system, allowing usually harmless bacteria to take hold and harm them, kinda like how stress can make humans more likely to get sick.
Erratic swimming is a discomfort response as the fish is scared and unable to understand what's happening.
I think most likely he caught some kind of infection which spread to his blood, this would explain the hemoraging. It becomes easier to see when they pass as they go pale.
There is also a disease which can occur in corys, known as red splotch disease, which is a slow killer that shows these symptoms. It is something that he likely came to you with.

The best thing to do for fish is keep their immune system in top shape. Good weekly water changes (aim for 40-50%) to lower overall bacteria counts, this decreases the chances of bacteria taking advantage. Good food and good stocking like keeping social fish in schools to ease their insecurity, keeping fish with similar temperaments together so everyone gets on.

I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, which is completely normal as its kept a secret by most stores to keep the sales up lol but these fish going through the cycle may have stressed them as well. It is basically the growth of two 'good' bacterias that grows in the substrate/surfaces/filter of the aquarium and eat all the waste (ammonia/nitrite) at such a quick rate that it can't harm fish, the only downside is it takes a month to grow in.
Luckily you are a few months in, and it's likely the cycle is completed by now. So just remember to never wash anything in the tank with non dechlorinated water and never throw things like filter sponge etc away, it all has precious life breathing bacteria on it. Water changes won't affect this bacteria.

Sorry this is so long and I hoped it helped. We are giving so little information when we get into fish keeping from stores, so dont blame yourself in any way. All the best!
 
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trinity86

Hello and welcome, I'm sorry for your loss. Its hard losing fish, especially ones we name but its unfortunately something we all experience as part of the journey in fish keeping. It drives us to get better.

You said he was a stressed fish, often going pale. Stress in fish lowers their immune system, allowing usually harmless bacteria to take hold and harm them, kinda like how stress can make humans more likely to get sick.
Erratic swimming is a discomfort response as the fish is scared and unable to understand what's happening.
I think most likely he caught some kind of infection which spread to his blood, this would explain the hemoraging. It becomes easier to see when they pass as they go pale.
There is also a disease which can occur in corys, known as red splotch disease, which is a slow killer that shows these symptoms. It is something that he likely came to you with.

The best thing to do for fish is keep their immune system in top shape. Good weekly water changes (aim for 40-50%) to lower overall bacteria counts, this decreases the chances of bacteria taking advantage. Good food and good stocking like keeping social fish in schools to ease their insecurity, keeping fish with similar temperaments together so everyone gets on.

I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, which is completely normal as its kept a secret by most stores to keep the sales up lol but these fish going through the cycle may have stressed them as well. It is basically the growth of two 'good' bacterias that grows in the substrate/surfaces/filter of the aquarium and eat all the waste (ammonia/nitrite) at such a quick rate that it can't harm fish, the only downside is it takes a month to grow in.
Luckily you are a few months in, and it's likely the cycle is completed by now. So just remember to never wash anything in the tank with non dechlorinated water and never throw things like filter sponge etc away, it all has precious life breathing bacteria on it. Water changes won't affect this bacteria.

Sorry this is so long and I hoped it helped. We are giving so little information when we get into fish keeping from stores, so dont blame yourself in any way. All the best!

Thank you for the information. I often change the water my husband is very good with it too, I will change it more often though. I had no idea of what happened to Boo. This makes me feel better a bit. I have named all my fish, I am very attached to them. I did not know about the nitrogen cycle at all. I was never brought to any awareness to it. I am glad that I know now, we were planning to get a new tank soon it very good to know. I read a lot of the red blotch disease and he catogorized in it almost perfectly
 
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mattgirl

I am sorry to hear of Boo's passing. It is never easy to lose a pet. We may not be able to pet our fish but nonetheless they are our water pets.

I have to think little Boo may have been stressed out by not having any more of his own species in the tank. Stress can cause many things in both humans and pets and could have weakened his immune system. They really do need friends to hang out with. I know you said he kinda hung out with your other fish but it isn't the same as having friends just like him.

When you get your new tank if you are upgrading this tank to a bigger one you can just move the cycle from this tank over to the new one. Simply move everything from this tank over to the new one. Everything including water, decor, substrate, filter and fish. There will be very little if any bacteria in the water but it is the water your fish are used to. If you are moving to a bigger tank both fish and bacteria will just think they have had a normal partial water change. You will leave some bacteria behind on the glass but you will be able to move enough to keep the cycle going.
 
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trinity86

I am sorry to hear of Boo's passing. It is never easy to lose a pet. We may not be able to pet our fish but nonetheless they are our water pets.

I have to think little Boo may have been stressed out by not having any more of his own species in the tank. Stress can cause many things in both humans and pets and could have weakened his immune system. They really do need friends to hang out with. I know you said he kinda hung out with your other fish but it isn't the same as having friends just like him.

When you get your new tank if you are upgrading this tank to a bigger one you can just move the cycle from this tank over to the new one. Simply move everything from this tank over to the new one. Everything including water, decor, substrate, filter and fish. There will be very little if any bacteria in the water but it is the water your fish are used to. If you are moving to a bigger tank both fish and bacteria will just think they have had a normal partial water change. You will leave some bacteria behind on the glass but you will be able to move enough to keep the cycle going.

He hung out often with Cow. My dalmation molly. I had no idea that they liked to be kept in schools until after Boo passed. I know now. He was very fond of Cow. If Cow and his log where in the tank with him he was always fine. I loved him a lot. If I bring myself to get another catfish in the future i will be getting a few of them. Thank you for your insight. I am happy I am able to switch over the cycle to a new tank. That is very reassuring. Thank you again.
 
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DoubleDutch

I suspect it encountered ammonia / nitrites (splashing, swimming frantically and red "bruises",).

What is the substrate it was.on ?
 
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trinity86

I suspect it encountered ammonia / nitrites (splashing, swimming frantically and red "bruises",).

What is the substrate it was.on ?

That too had been my first thought however I was able to cancel it out due to the frogs have not presented any sign of illness. They are all perfectly fine. I tested everything and there had been no spike of nitrate. Everything was normal in the tank. If it was caused by the subtrate he was on then I think Boo would have died early on of when I got him. Thank you for your feed back.
 
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DoubleDutch

;
That too had been my first thought however I was able to cancel it out due to the frogs have not presented any sign of illness. They are all perfectly fine. I tested everything and there had been no spike of nitrate. Everything was normal in the tank. If it was caused by the subtrate he was on then I think Boo would have died early on of when I got him. Thank you for your feed back.

But what is the substrate ?
 
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trinity86

No. I do not believe it was. Over the few days I have done research on what could have caused him to pass quickly and suddenly. The first person mentioned the red splotch disease in the first reply in thiz thread. Which I believe is what he did have, and may had caught when he was at the store I got him from. I have been there a few times it is just a local pet store and they do not take care of the fish very well. Most of the employees who work there have no experience or knowledge of fish caring for fish. It is the reason why I was never told about the nitrogen cycle either, my guess is that they had no idea about it or they just never wanted to tell me.
 
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