White spot on cory fins spread to body, and I don't think it's ich or a gland, please help these little babes

Littlefishyfish

I thought my corys had a white spot from a gland, but now I'm not sure because it’s also on their bodies. I referenced this post:

My cory cat has a white spot on his fin can anyone help me figure out what it is? | Corydoras Forum | 468502

What's also different is that I might have had a white spot on a betta before the white spots on the corys. Also, I have torn/rotten fins in an albino cory, and a baby emerald cory cat that isn't eating or playing (it was previously the most rambunctious fish in the tank).

Two, 4-year-old emerald cory cats have a white dot on the base of their fin. I’d like to figure out what is wrong so I can save my baby emerald cory cat by discontinuing Rid Ich Plus if I don’t need it.

I added a new betta three weeks ago. I added in an old plastic plant at this time. I bleached it, but it was from a time when the corys had similar spots a few years ago. I added the plant to stop the waterflow for the betta.

The betta *seemed* to develop a spot. I was bedbound, so I couldn't take a pic or look closely. My husband quarantined the betta and treated him with a mild herbal Imagitarium Parasite Remedy.

I treated the 20 gal tank with the Imagitarium at this time. I’ve been doing 50% water changes every 5 days. I’m disabled, so that’s about the most I can get my husband to help me with.

The betta healed in a day, but he’s still in his tank alone. His spot was hard to see because of his pattern and feathered fin. I almost second-guessed my husband that there was even a spot, because it looked to me like it was just a bit of cyclops stuck on him from dinner.

A few days later, I noticed a white, almost creamy, spot on the base of one emerald cory cat’s dorsal fin. As the corys swim, their dorsal fin "swishes" back and forth. Where the fin contacts the body, the spot seemed to spread from the fin to the body. The second fish had the same pattern. They are healthy in appearance and behavior otherwise.

I treated for a week with Imagitarium herbal formula, then stepped up to rid ich plus. I’m still using it and every day to every other day (if it’s been a few days with no water change). The spots are stable, with no new ones are appearing.

The baby emerald cory cat that two of the three emerald cory cats made by mating is not tolerating the rid ich plus and isn't eating. It's wasting away. If this isn't ich, I'd like to stop rid ich plus.

I had a total of 4 identical emerald cory cats, previously. Two had the exact same condition three years ago. I tried the following routine before: high temp and high salt → no luck→ Imagitarium→ no luck→ Rid ich plus→ no luck→ no treatment for a few weeks→ spots disappeared. Such a mystery! I figured it must be the gland. What’s different now is that there is white on the body and not just at the base of the fin.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
20 gallon high/regular
How long has the tank been running?
Four-year-old tank relocated a year ago.
Does it have a filter?
I have a green machine going at all times. I have a Grech filter rated for 20-50 gallons with a UV on at all times. GRECH CBG-800 5W UV Sterilizer Hang-On Back Filter, 20-50 gallon/211 GPH, Black


Does it have a heater?
Yes.
What is the water temperature?
Temp 80-82 degrees F My air conditioner isn't helping. It's set at 78 degrees F.
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
3 emerald cory cats. 3 albino cory cats. One baby emerald (?) cory cat. 1 longfin bristlenosed plecostomus. 4 black neon tetras

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Weekly
How much of the water do you change?
50%
What do you use to treat your water?
I use neutral regulator to neutralize my acidic, soft water. And I add ½ Tablespoon of aquarium salt with each water change. I use Stress Coat +, Quick Start, Stress Zyme + with each change
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Vacuum, but there’s not much that comes up

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes
What do you use to test the water?
Test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: not tested
pH ~ 6.8. NO2 = 0 NO3 = 0. Cl = 0. GH = 4d. KH = 3d

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
2-3 times a day
How much do you feed your fish?
A tiny bit of floating and a tiny bit of sinking if 3x/d. A little more if 2x/d. I switch up the food with each feeding so there’s a variety.
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
I also have a big tank, so I have a lot of different foods!
Hikari: vibra bites, mini algae wafers, first bites, micro pellets
Tetra: tropical flakes
Fluval: bug bites
Sera: Catfish chips, Vipan tropical flakes
San Francisco Bay Brand Tubifex worms
ZOO MED CAN O' CYCLOPS FISH FOOD (only used for a week...which happened to be the week these problems showed up)
Omega One: mini veggie kelp pellets, krill nutri-treat


Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
Freeze-dried every other day

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
4 years
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
3 weeks ago; possibly 3 years ago (spontaneous remission)
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
White spots on base of dorsal fin
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Imagitarium parasite remedy x 1 week then→ Rid Ich Plus x 2 weeks
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
Nothing aside from white spot






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Pfrozen

Those look an awful lot like abrasions and a lot of those pictures show torn fins. Lots of fin damage. Anything sharp in your tank?
 
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Littlefishyfish

Great idea! Thanks for the help.

The substrate is sharper than I would like. I ordered it and then realized it was rougher than I remembered. I can't physically get it out to replace it with sand, and I can't get my husband to do it for me.

CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

Amazon.com : CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black : Aquarium Decor Gravel : Pet Supplies


The ornaments are filed smooth and are 4 years old. I have a coral piece and a shell because my water is so soft and acidic. Those have been in there one year. The problems began three weeks ago. Everything else is silicone except for one plastic plant.

Please let me know if you need more info to help my wee little friends.
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Littlefishyfish

Anyone have any ideas about the white spots? I think I'll do a tank change today, and stop using rid ich. It's not seeming to make a difference. Would love some input!
 
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DoubleDutch

Definitely not Ich I'd say irritation if the slimecoat caused by waterissues / something in the water. Also the ragged fins point to something alike. NO3 of 0,0 is strange btw.

These are not Emerald Corys but C.aeneus
 
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Littlefishyfish

Definitely not Ich I'd say irritation if the slimecoat caused by waterissues / something in the water. Also the ragged fins point to something alike. NO3 of 0,0 is strange btw.

These are not Emerald Corys but C.aeneus

Thanks!

I've included my test results.

My tanks are always NO3 0. Is it because I use test strips that can't detect the NO3 at very small levels...or my eyes can't detect the slight color change? Do you suspect something else? My water is naturally acidic, and I think bacteria don't perform well at that pH.

Nitrifying bacteria - Breaking down aquarium waste

"Nitrifiers prefer pH levels between 7 – 8. However, a stable pH level with no fluctuations is more important. This also relates to most fish kept in an aquarium. Fish can take pH levels slightly out of their preferred range, but not the fluctuation. The goal in either case is a stable pH. Should the pH drop below 6.5, bacterial growth will be severely inhibited; and it ceases altogether at a pH of 6.0 and lower."

I add in bacteria, slime coat protector, dechlorinator, neutral regulator, and a bit of salt with each change.

My substrate is eco-complete. Eco-Complete has become one of the most popular substrates for live planted aquariums. It is composed of an extremely porous material that contains a wealth of nutrients as well as beneficial bacteria to support the nitrogen cycle. Among the key nutrients are iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur as well as two dozen other elements. These nutrients support robust root growth, while also promoting the development of healthy biologicals. No rinsing of the product is needed - it can be used as is in your aquarium. Eco-Complete is nitrate and carbonate free, and thus will not impact pH or carbonate hardness. This formula can be used as the sole substrate, eliminating the need for a layer of laterite as well as a regular substrate over it. It comes in two different colors (black and red), and they don't contain artificial dyes, chemicals, or paints. Sold in a twenty-pound bag.

I wanted sand, but this is what I got delivered to me (well sort of...they delivered to the wrong place...15 miles away). I can't physically change the sand. I'm hoping I can talk my husband into doing it.

I should have put in the species name. There is such confusion with common names. I'll edited the post to reflect that. I realize they are green cories, not emerald, but for some reason I didn't post correctly late last night. One can always count the spines in the fins to differentiate. These cute little friends are a light, iridescent color when on white sand.
Do you all think it's fungus?

I spoke with a biologist and she thinks the Corydoras aenus with the white spots has a fungus, and the albino Corydoras aenus has tail and fin rot and that I should use antifungals. These are in my 20 gallon tank.

I also have a 50 gallon bowfront, as my show tank. None of the fish in there have been in my 20 gallon. Two fish are starting to show what looks like fungus or bacteria around the mouth in two fish: dwarf neon praecox rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) and Goyder River banded rainbowfish (Melanotaenia trifasciata). The albino Corydoras aenus (Corydoras aenus) pictured with the torn/rotten fins was taken to the 20 g as a sort of hospital tank since it's not my show tank.

I have a hospital tank, but I'm physically unable to set it up and would have to ask my husband to do it. The biologist recommended that I put the fish with the fin rot in quarantine.

I've attached pics of the rainbowfish in my 50g bowfront.

Definitely not Ich I'd say irritation if the slimecoat caused by waterissues / something in the water. Also the ragged fins point to something alike. NO3 of 0,0 is strange btw.

These are not Emerald Corys but C.aeneus

DoubleDutch

Do you all think it's fungus?

I spoke with a biologist and she thinks the Corydoras aenus with the white spots has a fungus, and the albino Corydoras aenus has tail and fin rot and that I should use antifungals. These are in my 20 gallon tank.

I also have a 50 gallon bowfront, as my show tank. None of the fish in there have been in my 20 gallon. Two fish are starting to show what looks like fungus or bacteria around the mouth in two fish: dwarf neon praecox rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) and Goyder River banded rainbowfish (Melanotaenia trifasciata). The albino Corydoras aenus (Corydoras aenus) pictured with the torn/rotten fins was taken to the 20 g as a sort of hospital tank since it's not my show tank.

I have a hospital tank, but I'm physically unable to set it up and would have to ask my husband to do it. The biologist recommended that I put the fish with the fin rot in quarantine.

I've attached pics of the rainbowfish in my 50g bowfront.

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Sofiafish17

Cory cats don’t like gravel substrate. I know you said you can’t change it yourself, but could you put the fish in a big bucket for a little while and then cap the gravel with sand?
 
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Littlefishyfish

Capping it is a great idea. I did that in my bow front tank and it lasted for a couple of weeks. That might buy me some time until I can hire someone to change it out for me.
Cory cats don’t like gravel substrate. I know you said you can’t change it yourself, but could you put the fish in a big bucket for a little while and then cap the gravel with sand?
Do you think I should cap it before or after the treatment for fungus?
 
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Sofiafish17

I don’t think it will really matter, since fish meds stay in the water, not the substrate. Also, taking out the gravel and then replacing with sand could crash your cycle. Lots of beneficial bacteria is in your filter, but it might not be enough to handle the bioload if you take out the gravel. If you cap the gravel with some sand, the bacteria will still be there just a little deeper. That is still good though as it will just grow more to the top where the waste is. You could cap the gravel with maybe 1/2 inch of sand, and then let it be for a week or two to let the bacteria grow into the sand. Then after waiting add another 1/4 to 1/2 inch of sand. Cories like to dig around and they probably wouldn’t go a whole inch into the substrate but the extra sand is just to be safe. I think fungus treatments and substrate changes could both be stressful, so add the first layer of sand and then do a water change and add the anti fungal. For tail/fin rot you can use antibiotics, but they are overused and different treatments should be tried first. The rot is usually caused by stress weakening the fish’s immune system allowing bacteria that is already there in the tank to make them sick. The stress could likely be from the sharp gravel, as cories really spend most of their time on the substrate. For the rot aquarium salt is usually pretty good at clearing that up. What is your salinity at now? If you don’t have one you can get a hydrometer to measure saline content at a pet store. You don’t want the salinity too high as it could really bother the fish as they are freshwater. We need to know what your saline levels are to know if you can add more salt or not.

I also want to say that a Bristlenose Pleco is too big for a 20 gallon tank, 30 gallons is the minimum for them. What is the stocking in your 50 gallon tank? If it is not too much then I would suggest you move the Bristlenose over to the 50 gallon.
 
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