Weirdness in my tank

Discussion in 'Corydoras' started by pumpknmom, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    I got two new catfish this weekend. I didn't know they're such slugs! Anyway, one is a little bit active. The other one acts so lazy sometimes I think it's dead (but then it turns out not to be.) Mr. Lazy has been hiding himself in some weird places, like up against the intake filter. The female guppy looks like she's trying to eat something off of him. A lot of times he just sits there and lets her do it. The other catfish swims away before the guppy can get to him. Sometimes Mr. Lazy acts dead when she's doing this- that is he kind of bobs around a little before he's had enough and swims away.

    Is there any chance this lazy guy could be sick? Right now he's hiding in the cave, probably trying to get away from the female guppy. Looks like she hasn't found him.

    I was going to get a few more cories this week, but if this one is sick, I'll hold off. It's a ten gallon tank.

    Anyone ever see cory catfish act like this?

  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    that doesnt sound like a normal cory to me...what are your readings for ammonia,nitrites, and nitrates? what else do you have in the 10g tank? could it be uncycled or in a mini cycle? when you add new cories to a tank, they are actually more hyper and all over the place for a short time...even up and down the sides of the tanks....but not stand still kinda ways..
  3. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    The tank has just the 2 guppies and the 2 cories. The readings are ammonia less than .25 ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 5.0 ppm. They were pretty hyper the first few hours in the tank, but it's been over 48 hours now, and they've calmed down- one a lot.

  4. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    If you have ammonia, your tank is probably cycling. also, cories prefer to be in groups of 6, 3 minimum. Either thing could be the problem, I think.

    I would add one more cory, and do 50 percent daily water changes using a conditioner called Prime.

    What test kit are yu using? Is it the liquid, or a strip that doesn't show zero ammonia readings? The liquid is more accurate.

  5. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    It's the liquid, API test kit. The reading is not totally yellow as it would for 0 but it's not dark enough to be .25, so somewhere in-between.

    I plan to get 2 more cories. I was going to go back to the store tomorrow to get them, but if I have a sick one, I'm not sure I should.

    I also did a 20% water change a few hours before I added the cories, and I did a 10% water change tonight. So 20% less than 72 hours ago, and 10% tonight.
  6. ssanubisssValued MemberMember

    the only time i have ever seen a cory act like that was because my fish were stressed out. I had just changed out the filter to one that was more powerful (transfered all the media over to the new one) and it seemed to me like the water current was too strong for them. I didnt notice the current being so strong till a few hours after i had installed it and i found one of my corry's up against the filter intake. As soon as i saw this i immediatly turned the flow way down like almost as far as it would go and after like 30 all the fish looked alot better. I dont know maybe the current is too strong for them or something else is stressing them out ???
  7. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    Unfortunately, the cory died this morning. I called the pet store, and the woman on the phone said that if I have ammonia then I must be overfeeding them. I didn't think I was feeding them more than I was supposed to, as I did what I was told, 2 flakes twice a day. Right now, there's 2 guppies and one catfish.(10 gallon tank.) I've been doing 1 gal. water changes almost every day, and siphoning off as much waste and food as I can. (I have aquarium sand in the tank.) I did a 20% PWC after I took out the dead fish, and I still got a .25 ammonia reading. Then I changed 3 more gallons after that and got all of the waste and food I could find. The other catfish seems to be doing fine, but not hungry. I am kind of afraid to use the sinking tablets to feed it, because I did the first day and it made the water cloudy, from just one tablet. Also, the pushy female guppy ate all of it anyway.

    When I bought the catfish, I was told they would eat the flakes that would sink to the bottom.

    My husband thinks I just got a sick fish. He also said, how can ammonia ever go to 0 when fish are constantly peeing in it? I don't understand that either, honestly. That's why I thought the tank will always have a little ammonia. Maybe someone can enlighten me on that.
  8. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    The page about the nitrogen cycle explains it.
    Basically, your tank has ammonia from the waste. The beneficial bacteria living on the surface of your gravel and filter media eats the ammonia, changing it to nitrite. Another beneficial bacteria converts that into nitrates.

    Any amount of ammonia or nitrites can be lethal to fish. A small amount of nitrates are fine (5-20). The reason for weekly water changes is to keep the nitrate levels down. Once your tank is cycled, it means you have enough benefical bacteria growing to eat all the ammonia and nitrites, making your tank a healthy place to live.

    edit: as far as the food, I feed shrimp pellets to my cories, but only enough that they eat in about 5-10 minutes. You're feeding too much if there is a lot of food on the bottom of your tank. Could be causing your ammonia problems.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  9. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    I wouldn't say there's been a lot of food on the bottom, but I don't know how much food at the bottom is "too much." As I've said, I try to siphon out all of it at each PWC, which I've done practically every day.

    I forgot to mention that when I called the pet store, the woman said I should add Stress Zyme to the tank. I don't have any of that, and it seems that everyone here says it doesn't work/messes up the tank.

    I just did a reading for ammonia and it looks like it's at zero, or very close to it. It's hard to read it sometimes. I don't know if it will go up again tommorrow.
  10. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I would avoid:
    1) The stress zyme
    2) talking to the lady ;)

    seriously though, i'm only kinda kidding about 2 - the people on this website have nothing to gain by giving you advice, unlike many fish store employees, who are sometimes even taught to say things to make a sale and maximize profits. I'm not saying your pet store is like that, but many are.

    as far as food, I think if there is any left after 20 minutes, reduce the next day's feeding by that amount. I think you should not have any leftovers just sitting in your tank like that - the food breaks down and turns into ammonia.

    Also, you could consider fasting your fish for a day.

    hopefully someone else will come and chime in soon, as I've only had fish since Oct 1. I'm sorry you lost your cory. I know it is frustrating when you are first learning about all this - hang in there!
  11. ssanubisssValued MemberMember

    I see that you have sand in your substrate so there shouldnt really be any food leftovers at the bottom of your tank at least there isnt in mine which also has sand. the only thing that is ever at the bottom of my tank is fish poo and that is easily taken out with weekly water changes. It really sounds like you are overfeeding your fish a little
  12. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    I basically have to agree with the advice so far. So many pet stores give terrible advice either out of ignorance or greed. Fish suffer because of it. Also, I have corries with sand substrate. I feed flakes, sinking pellet, frozen blood worms and tubifex worms, fresh veggies, and sinking wafers for all my various fishies (and not all at once). Food shouldn't last more than 20 minutes in there; if it does, cut back on portions. Too much rotten food can cause too much ammonia and overpower the good bacteria that should be keeping your ammonia levels at 0.

    Have you tested your tap water for ammonia or nitrates - it's rare, but it happens, and you may be getting false readings in your tank water.

    Another thing that may really help is using Prime or Amquel Plus to make the water safe for your fish. I just don't think it's a sick fish because it would've been lethargic at the store and the whole time in your tank; the fact that it became lethargic after a few hours, leads me to believe there's a tank issue.

    Just my two cents. Hopefully we can get everything under control.
  13. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    What are Prime and Amquel exactly? Are they like Ammo-Lock? I've never seen those at my local fish store, but I have seen stuff that's supposed to "detoxify" ammonia. Would Ammo-Lock help at this point?
  14. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Yep, ammmo-lock says it detoxifies ammonia, so it's basically the same thing. :) If it is an ammonia issue, it will definitely help. :;th

    Any readings for your tap water?
  15. OP

    pumpknmomValued MemberMember

    No ammonia in the tap water, slight reading of nitrates. For the nitrates, it's not enough to be 5.0 but it's not exactly the color of 0.

    As of last night I have 5.0 nitrates in the tank.

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