Two Sterbai Corys Just Died

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Geoff

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Two of my 6 Sterbai corys just died for no apparent reason. I tested the water quick and everything was good except nitrates were about 40. Tomorrow is scheduled water change day anyway. The ammonia and nitrites are 0. PH has been steady at 7.8. I never noticed any strange behavior in the corys (or the other fish) until seeing the two dead ones. I still have them; is there anything I should check for before I dispose of them? I don't see anything obvious but I've never checked a Sterbai up close and personal before.
 

Bijou88

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I'm sorry for your loss, that stinks
Other than seeing if they're malnourished, their barbells are worn or obvious injuries/marks on them like red steaks or spots etc, I'm not sure what to check for. :/

 
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Geoff

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The corys are all piggies, and these two were no exception. Barbels are still intact and no marks anywhere. It's weird. Especially since they both died at around the same time. Are corys particularly susceptible to high nitrates? I know 40 is on the high side but I didn't think it was toxically high.
 

Dom90

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Ok then yea that's the problem then I'm all for a natural tank where plants help to reduce nitrates. Fake decor has no biological value imo.


 
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Geoff

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Not having plants is not the problem. More likely, I'm overfeeding, which I can easily correct.
 

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I used to feed twice a day but diatoms went crazy so now I only feed once a day, small amount. The SAEs are on a diet of diatoms...


 
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Geoff

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I just noticed diatoms today. I'm annoyed.

But even with nitrates at 40...that's not terribly high. And it's most likely only been that high for a short amount of time. I did a 30% water change last weekend when nitrates were at 20. Are sterbais, or corys in general, known to be particularly sensitive to higher nitrates? Heck, it could be something else entirely that did them in.
 

Bluestreakfl

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Cories are slightly more sensitive to Nitrates, however 40ppm shouldnt have been the culprit especially if it was for a short period. Cories are however the most susceptible to things in the substrate. Worms, parasites, and who knows whatever other funk. Because of their scavenging nature, they are basically shoving their faces into the dirtiest parts of the tank. When I first got my 10, I lost all but 4. I was given 6 replacements, which put me up to 10, and I am now down to 5. I dont think your case sounds the same as what happened to mine, however I feel they are fairly sensitive, as I maintain very good water quality, and was religious about keeping up on everything with them. I originally was feeding twice daily, but have backed down to once daily.

Heres a link to my thread about them dying, if you care to take a read. I ultimately decided it was some kind of bacterial infection in my case, but im still not 100%.

https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/freshwater-fish-disease/196411-sterbai-cories-dying-rapidly.html
 
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Geoff

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Thanks Bluestreakfl. Yeah I definitely remember that thread. It interested me because I was planning on getting sterbai corys. My tank has been set up for about a month and a half. I've been good with the weekly water changes. Do you think there could be buildups in the sand already?
DoubleDutch - I feed the corys Omega One shrimp pellets. I also feed NLS pellets, mainly for the cherry barbs. And the pearl gourami and lambchop rasboras get Omega One flakes. Once or twice a week, they all get an Omega One frozen brine shrimp treat. I feed nothing else but the shrimp on those days. From what I can tell, everything gets eaten.
 

Bluestreakfl

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It may not necessarily even be build up, could be something like a parasite or some type of worms that hitchhiked in with something, plants, decor, or they may have even already had one to begin with. The substrate is where everything ends up aside from the filter. Aside from leftover food and mulm, there are also all sorts of critters and microorganisms that can manifest in the substrate.

When you do your water changes, do you stir the sand up? I've found either swirling the siphon around stirs it up a bit enough to loosen up anything that shouldn't be there, you can also attach a stainless steel fork or wooden skewer to your siphon about 1-2" from the end of it to help get gunk out of the sand.


 
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Geoff

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It may not necessarily even be build up, could be something like a parasite or some type of worms that hitchhiked in with something, plants, decor, or they may have even already had one to begin with. The substrate is where everything ends up aside from the filter. Aside from leftover food and mulm, there are also all sorts of critters and microorganisms that can manifest in the substrate.

When you do your water changes, do you stir the sand up? I've found either swirling the siphon around stirs it up a bit enough to loosen up anything that shouldn't be there, you can also attach a stainless steel fork or wooden skewer to your siphon about 1-2" from the end of it to help get gunk out of the sand.
I do not. I've read on here about people putting chopsticks on the end of the siphon for that. My tank is heavily "planted" with a big tree stump (fake, too), so it's hard to get to all open areas of the substrate. I swirl the siphon around where I can but I rarely ever see any large debris get sucked up. I do have a strong filter (Fluval 406 on half power since tank is only 36g) so maybe that takes care of the large pieces?

Here is a picture of my tank.

IMG_0476.jpg
 

Bluestreakfl

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I usually only stir up the open non planted areas, I don't vac around the plants. I figure even if I can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there and I'd rather it get sucked into a bucket than remain in the substrate.


 
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