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Peppered Corydoras Floating after Med Trio


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Hello Everyone. 

I'm very new to the hobby and I'm really stressed and horrified right now. I really need help. I hope someone has experienced this and can share how they dealt with the situation.

I have only done the med trio on panda cories, albino cories, black neon tetras, zebra danios and peppered cories (on separate occasions). Only the peppered cories had such drastic effect on these meds. I am baffled because I got them from a hobbyist. Before the trio, I observed them for almost 2 weeks fed them regularly (frozen brine shrimp, shrimp sinking pellets, micro pellets) and made sure the water was clean. I used test strips as well as the API Master Kit constantly and water change accordingly. (0Nitrite 0Ammonia) I noticed the peppered cories were energetic, eating, very responsive, looked way healthier than the fish I got from big pet stores (such as panda, albino cories, black neon tetras) so I was very confident to do the med trio.

I have a 20Gal Tank so I put 10ml Ich-X, 2 Packets of both Paracleanse and Maracyn. I have an airstone running, heater, filter (I took out the carbon for the meds), thermometer, live plants, hiding places. I currently have small zebra danios, and pepered corydoras in this tank. 

Only a few hours after the meds (nitrite .25 & ammonia 0) I noticed all the peppered cories seemed like they all had swim bladder disease. For example, they're like swimming on the moon, like the gravity is working against them, some would float just still on top then after a quick nudge from another cory or me they would swim slowly to the bottom, a few make it okay to the bottom, while the rest just let themselves go back up again. Their eyes are still moving, still breathing it's just not normal. I had the lights off and left them there tried to not stress them more.

After 10/12 hours or so, the situation seemed worse, so I did 20/30% water change and put the carbon filter back on. I was so stressed going to bed because I didn't want to wake up to dead cories. More than 24 hours has passed and still no deaths but I did another 20/30% water change. I think the cories are still getting worse I can't really tell at this point. I'm going to do more water change later. 

Has anybody experienced this? I've only found one forum just like my situation 

 

The mixed responses I've been getting:

  • never a good idea to medicate fish when you don't know what's wrong with them, cories are scaleless and don't tolerate meds well, you're better off putting them in a tank for weeks and watching them in the future
    • now that I reflect on my experience I have lost 4 panda cories while on the med trio but I thought that was because they were sick and weak already when I got them *3 albino cories, 2 panda cories, 6 black neon survived my first med trio
  • don't overdo dosing meds, start low and work up
  • stress from uncycled tank and meds at the same time
    • I made sure with both test strips and API Master Kit that nitrites & ammonia was 0 before I decided to do the trio. Although, I don't think my tank was fully cycled - however, my fist batch of fish that I did the med trio on were also on an uncycled tank but none of them floated like how the peppered corydoras reacted to the med trio

Are there other ways to quarantine my peppered corydoras now? Aside from fully cycling a quarantine tank, what could I have done different?

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Edited by msapphire012
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I don’t know if this is good advise or not especially for your situation, but wave makers and power heads help with flow and increasing oxygen to your tank. It doesn’t look like your Cory’s are gasping for air so it’s prolly not a respiratory issue, but maybe it would help if you had one handy. Its just a thought and I feel your pain best of luck. 

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This is just an update or log for me and those with the same issue. 

So after having the horrific incident of my peppered corydora's reaction to all the three meds at the same time (7 Day Preventative Quarantine Method), I doubled my carbon filter (I have those refillable tetra carbon filter packets) did about two 25%ish water change per day for a few days... I had a spare tank that's been running for a little bit more than a week in preparation for another batch of fish to quarantine. It's been empty since I've set it up. I added media from my main tank, and only used fish food shrimp sinking pellets (I found these don't make a lot of mess) as ammonia source. 

I decided to put the peppered cories in there, watched and fed them for a few days, when my nitrite/ammonia was zero, I decided they had to be quarantined somehow. I was super scared but decided to dose them with paracleanse according to the box. They just finished their day 5. (Day5)I heavily fed them in the am, did a water 30% water change... and dosed with Maracyn & Ich X and will be soaking them for 7 days if I don't see any bad reactions. So far they seem normal, no deaths, they're responsive, eating... everything is good. Phew. More updates tbc.

Oh, I added 1ml of Seachem Prime (I'm using a 10gal tank) assuming it will mess up my biological filter. I've been reading online and seems like 50% people have experienced their tanks crashing while doing meds. I've seen water cloudiness when i just dosed the paracleanse, as well as when I did all the med-trio.

Edited by msapphire012
seachem prime
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@msapphire012  I have not had the experience you describe.  Recently my only local fish store is a PetSmart and the cories from there are often healthy looking but don't make it though all 3 meds at once.  I attribute this to them not being extra healthy.  I am writing because I have found that If I do the meds one at a time as Cory suggests "if you aren't in a hurry" and as you seem to be trying now, I have much better success with the PetSmart cories and have even had one accidental baby.  I hope your one-at-a-time quarantine will be successful.

Good luck.

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From what I observed, veterinarians and biologists do not medicate unless there is a problem during the quarantine process. Since medications will stress the fish. Whereas, hobbyists mostly will medicate for preventive practices.

In my own experience, the first time I use the med trio, I noticed my angel fish extremely stressed which I rectified quickly with a 50% water change and adding carbon for medication removal.

My next group of fish, I let them settle in the Q tank for a week and watched closely. The next week I decided to only deworm during quarantine process, again watching closely. Shortly, after the second round of the medication process, I noticed the fish were stressed but not as severe as the angel fish with the med trio. I rectified that quickly as well. 

@msapphire012 I do like your approach to your situation which I may adopt in the future. 

As for the quarantine process in general, to med or not to med, I still find perplexing and I have not made a definitive stance. 

Edited by Hoi Polloi
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@Hoi PolloiYeah I just started this hobby and I assumed medicating was a normal thing... but there's actually a number people who don't instead just observe and just as you mentioned

On 1/11/2022 at 6:38 AM, Hoi Polloi said:

medicate unless there is a problem during the quarantine process

So with your angel fish, you let them rest for the first week, you dewormed the 2nd week, and dewormed them again the 3rd week? Did you do out of the box or the 7day soaking?

Other hobbyist can share their experiences and methods and I'm very thankful for that. I heard one hobbyist said that there's so many different ways to do this hobby. It's still up to us to do our own research and also experience what works for our own water and our own pets. Even with products, some works for others some doesn't.

I ended up using more meds with following the box for deworming though so I might tweek it a little bit and do a 7day soak deworm, then bacterial and fungal mixed 7day soak, then deworm 7 day soak again. Only for my more sensitive fish.

On 1/11/2022 at 6:38 AM, Hoi Polloi said:

As for the quarantine process in general, to med or not to med, I still find perplexing and I have not made a definitive stance. 

I 100% agree with you on this. 

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It's been 24 hours after I dosed my peppered cories with both marcyn & ichx for their 7day soak. I noticed one was infront of the filter intake and I was like oh no. I grabbed a stick to get him out right away so the ammonia wouldn't go up. Turns out he's still alive! Phew. They're definitely stressed. They're not floating, but would keep going up for air. I checked the water parameters & nitrite was high 3.0 according to a test strip. I didn't bother checking with a liquid test skit because any presence of nitrite is poison, right? I added more seachem prime.

A few hours after I added more prime up to the limit according to the directions on the bottle. The peppered cories are still constantly going up for air... I also double dosed on beneficial bacteria. I also added a long airstone, but it doesn't seem to be helping. It's pretty hard observing them at the moment. 

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I would say the extra oxygen is very useful. Whenever I medicate fish I add an extra oxygen source. Great job doing this from the pics. 

The source of fish matters. A fellow hobbyist with good husbandry practices or you’ve seen their facility is very different source from the big box store that shall not be named. I’d throw online sales in there as well - some sources are super trust worthy and should be treated like your local fish breeder while others churn and burn fish with minimal qt so knowing as much as possible about your source of livestock starts my calculations on what the qt will look like.

I use aquarium salt a lot. Especially during qt they are stressed. Stress breaks down their slime coat and the salt helps them a bit get that osmotic balance back. I start low and slow with 1 tsp per 5 g and then work up from there if needed. If they came from a breeder I know and trust I’d sit on them for a week or two before putting them in their forever home. If they come froma shadier source of qt a month minimum.

My usual process is set up the qt, get the fish, I plop and drop them, and I add a tsp of aquarium salt. I watch them closely for 4 hours. Do they look frisky? I feed them if they do and only a little bit. Don’t look great I don’t feed them and wait until the next morning. I give them 3-7 days before medication typically. Are they eating like pigs? What’s their poop look like? White stringy? Red like the krill flake you gave them? You’ll need to slowly attune yourself to these things. 

Do I have fish I don’t medicate? Yes. If they look like poop at day 3 I’d medicate them. If they look stellar for 2-3 weeks and  I may never give them anything. Are they a species renowned for their ability to house worms of unspeakable size? I probably will deworm them then. Puffers and a couple species are notorious for this sort of thing. 

I want to make sure you’re not hard on yourself. As a forum we are here to help by giving you anecdotal evidence from our own hobby to help you make your choices. This is a tough call for folks like me in year 35 of the hobby let alone someone new. 

Have fun, it’s supposed to be fun, learn and grow and don’t take it too personally as everything is personal but just the degree of that matters. If you took up tennis 🎾 you’d not expect to have a perfect backhand by now so don’t think you’ll have a perfect tank. It will take time but you’ll get there. 

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@Beardedbillygoat1975Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and being encouraging. I'm trying to fill my 55gal community tank and will be quarantining a few more batches of fish. I'm also taking plenty of notes! Few questions, would your QT be fresh like not fully cycled, do you add prime or beneficial bacteria or squeeze a sponge from your main tank etc., when you medicate do you sanitize with bleach as well or just do water change and don't have to start fresh for your next batch of fish?

Edited by msapphire012
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I am right along there with @Beardedbillygoat1975. What I do totally depends upon where I get the fish from and what they look like when I do get them. Everything goes into a QT tank, but what meds depends on how the fish is doing. Almost everything will get at least some Ich-X put in the water, but I wait a couple days to see if anything else develops before throwing in paracleanse or maracyn.  Fish are in QT a minimum of two weeks, if after two weeks, they are eating good, no signs of disease, I will put them in the tank they are going into. 

I keep a couple of tanks for QT, a 10 gallon and a 20 high tank, I keep sponge filters running in a tank so they have bacteria on them, and can toss them in the QT tank and have the beneficial bacteria already in them. I have some plastic plants and terra cotta pots I can throw in as security for the fish, but I can also sanitize them with hydrogen peroxide in between uses (I don't use bleach in my house due to a sensitivity with it). 

There are times that I don't use the QT tanks I have and the fish will just go into the tank they will be in, such as when I got some large wild discus last fall, I put them directly into the 75 gallon they were going to be in, but they were the first fish in there, and I treated them in there and made sure they were nice and healthy before I added anything else, and anything that will be added to that tank from now on will go into a separate QT tank beforehand. 

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On 1/11/2022 at 6:47 PM, msapphire012 said:

So with your angel fish,...

@msapphire012

So far, I have tried varying quarantined methods and with each method, the time in the Q tank is one month.
When I acquired the angelfish, I it let get comfortable in the Q tank for one week, no meds. The second week I used the med trio. At about day 4, near the end of the med trio stage, the angelfish was extremely stressed, which I corrected as stated previously. The last two weeks were the resting period. The angelfish is doing very well in the main tank now.
As a side note, I too am new to this hobby and this coming February will be one year for me. 
I am interested in the quarantine practices of others and what would be the better practice. Since I keep my fish for a month in the Q tank, it seems reasonable to take small steps. 
Thanks to those above for sharing their insight. 

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On 1/12/2022 at 1:16 AM, msapphire012 said:

@Beardedbillygoat1975Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and being encouraging. I'm trying to fill my 55gal community tank and will be quarantining a few more batches of fish. I'm also taking plenty of notes! Few questions, would your QT be fresh like not fully cycled, do you add prime or beneficial bacteria or squeeze a sponge from your main tank etc., when you medicate do you sanitize with bleach as well or just do water change and don't have to start fresh for your next batch of fish?

I start fresh tank wise but pull in a seasoned sponge filter from one of my tanks. Squeezing a sponge in would do something similar but I’d want to give this 24 hours to season the filter before adding fish. 

I always add dechlorinator to my tap water. In terms of using them while medicating yes I do.

Sanitizing do you mean the equipment used in that tank or wiping down the qt tank? I use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar which forms permeatic acid a good solution to cleanse and sanitize items. I try to reserve bleach for situations where a plague has fallen on the tank. 
 

My usual step for resetting a tank is to dump a whole bottle of hydrogen peroxide into the tank. Then I wipe everything down with hydrogen peroxide. I then set it out in the sun to dry. 

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On 1/12/2022 at 2:21 AM, Andy's Fish Den said:

Everything goes into a QT tank, but what meds depends on how the fish is doing. Almost everything will get at least some Ich-X put in the water, but I wait a couple days to see if anything else develops before throwing in paracleanse or maracyn.  Fish are in QT a minimum of two weeks, if after two weeks, they are eating good, no signs of disease, I will put them in the tank they are going into.

Thank you! I noticed you're a corydoras lover. I'll be getting more similis corydoras to add in my fish tank. I read that cories can't get Ich. What would be your recommended QT process for these?

I noticed my peppered cories were healthy for two weeks when I didn't medicate them. They were eating good and no signs of disease. Sounds like a good idea to just observe them first before medicating. As a beginner I can only spot a few signs popeye, ich, fungus... but not many other signs of illness. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't have good experience in seeing if a fish is sick.

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@Beardedbillygoat1975I stopped adding dechlorinator to my tap water when I tested that it had 0 chlorine in it. I only started using it after I read on one of the med boxes to watchout for nitrite & ammonia and to add prime if present which is why I asked. Okay sounds like I do need to sanitize the tanks between different batches of fish uses. Because I was wondering if I'll have to sanitize my tank after these peppered cories finish before I put tetras in to QT or if I can just do a water change and put the tetras in. So always reset a tank in between QT?

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On 1/12/2022 at 6:19 PM, msapphire012 said:

Thank you! I noticed you're a corydoras lover. I'll be getting more similis corydoras to add in my fish tank. I read that cories can't get Ich. What would be your recommended QT process for these?

I noticed my peppered cories were healthy for two weeks when I didn't medicate them. They were eating good and no signs of disease. Sounds like a good idea to just observe them first before medicating. As a beginner I can only spot a few signs popeye, ich, fungus... but not many other signs of illness. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't have good experience in seeing if a fish is sick.

What I would do is set them up in a QT tank, I always put ich-x in the tank. I have had cory get ick before, not very often, but I've seen it. Then watch them. Feed them, make sure they eat., Look at their poop and make sure its not white and stringy. If they eat, and no white stringy poop after a couple weeks, move them to their permanent tank. 

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