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new pygmy corys on strugglebus

Phill D

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So i got some new fish yesterday and have them in quarantine right now. I got these from a local fish store because they're species i cant get at the nearby petsmart. 3 striped kuhli loaches, 2 scarlet badis (apparently a dominant male and either a female or sub male) and 5 pygmy corys. I've never kept these particular species before but to my eye some of them smaller than what you might buy at the big box store. The pygmy corys in particular are clearly a range of 3 different ages with one seeming full grown,  and the 2 smaller looking 1/2-3/4 inch long (which is also the size of the female badis) 


Anyway, about 10 minutes after i introduced them to the quarantine tank one of the corys started torpedoing around like a football, then stop like he was dead, then try to move again but with no real ability to stay upright. He'd just fall into a plant (i have a large clump of floating hornwort in the quarantine tank) or fall to the gravel belly up for a while. 


Normally i wait a day or 3 before doing my med trio dosage so the fish have time to chill out and maybe eat a bit, but given this situation i dosed right away because i thought there could be an infection present. At one point yesterday afternoon i thought he was dead so i prodded his tail with tweezers and he flipped out and zoomed away. So i let him chill for a few hours to see if he was just in shock and needed some time. However at around 7 it was pretty clear he was done for. None of the other fish bothered him during this time. The oldest pygmy i've noticed seems to cuddle up to the smaller ones as if protectively. It seemed to try this with the male badis too but of course he would just swim away because he has no interest in that. 


The tank itself besides the hornwort also has a shrimp cave, topfin HOB, air stone, and a 1/2" purple mystery snail. The parameters when i tested yesterday are 76-77*, nitrite 0, ammonia 0-0.25, nitrate 10-20, ph high 7s. The water source is the same as my other tanks so i think hardness and other additives are probably pretty close to the same. 


Anyway move on to today and the 2 smallest pygmy corys, as well as the female badis, look to be having a similar kind of struggle today. None of the other fish are harassing them but they're just kind of laying there struggling like a drunkard with a hangover. When they try to move it's not very graceful and all 3 have ended up resting in the same sprig of hornwort that i guess is a low current zone of the tank, so they don't have to do much to stay put. The kuhli loaches, 2 largest pygmy corys, and male badis are all acting pretty normal and unconcerned. So i'm not really sure what to think. I don't see any exterior signs of infection. 


Have you experienced this before? Could this be just transport shock? (i live about 30 mins from aforementioned fish store). Could it be med shock, or a reaction with carried parasites? Is there a size where a nano fish is too small to medicate safely? This fish store is very well regarded locally - but is also the same fish store i got 5 cherry shrimp and they all died within a few days. In contrast, i've gotten 15 fish from the nearby petsmart and have only lost 1 (an otocinclus) during quarantine and it happened on day 2 or 3 without any real warning. So that detail also makes me concerned about the relative quality of fish i'm buying (even though their in-store tanks look very nice). This local small store has a 7 day guarantee but given the 20some miles honestly i'd have to lose multiple fish for it to make sense driving all the way up there again to get credit or replacements. 

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I had a similar experience where only certain species I received were affected and died. I think it may have been the ph difference. 

I did acclimate but I think I might need to do it over hours instead of the usual 45 minutes I do. You may want to see how that stores water parameters compare to yours.

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