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Panda Corys dying


Roxvet
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Hi All,

My first visit and first post to your site.

 

I’m hoping for some advice.

I have a 38 gallon bow front tank set up originally September 2022. I use a combination of well water (pretty hard from tap dGH 250-300) mixed with about half bottled water (dGH 35). It holds 30 gallons once filled with substrate and stuff.

 

The tank cycled nicely with a couple of black neons from a local store. It seemed to do very well so I added lots of plants. They had done well with minimal care. I gradually added a few more local fish and that went well. Water testing was all normal and stable.

 

I added more fish recently from Aqua Huna (Dec 10, 2022). They were Panda Corys, Otos, and Black Neons. Except for a couple that did not handle the travel they have all looked great.

 

On 12/14/22 my smaller Angel started looking fuzzy fins and weaker. I started Rid Ich and API “Fin and Body” treatment but it never seemed to recover and died 12/24. I also added a Catappa leaf later that afternoon. Otherwise not much else had been changing. I followed all the medication directions exactly and did water changes as directed. The other Angels all looked great.

 

Until 12/29 I had 5 Corys. That morning they were all happy and very active together on the bottom. Later in the morning I found one dead. He looked fat and normal. Today another one was acute dead. No apparent symptoms prior and again he looked plump (but not fat). No skin or fin lesions.

 

So, I’m just confused and not sure what to do as I am sadly expecting the Corys to keep dying now. And then I don’t know when or how to proceed to get more to keep them safe.

 

I do regular (nearly weekly) water tests (API Master Kit and GH/KH). Maybe I test too often but all my numbers have been very good.

                Water temp 80 - 82

                pH 7.6

                ammonia = 0

                nitrite = 0

nitrate = had been 5 but about 3 weeks ago I started using liquid fertilizer on the plants at the directed dose once a week, so now the nitrate is 30 and stable. (Specialized Nutrition)

                GH = 107

 

I have 3 Angels (about dollar size), now 3 Corys, 3 Oto, 13 Black Neon and 5 Nerite snails,

There is minimal algae and the many plants looks good.

I typically do 15-20% water changes every 2 weeks even though the tests are all good

I feed a combination of dry flakes, dry worms, dry daphnia, frozen blood worms and frozen brine shrimp.

There are also dry pellets made for bottom feeders.

I don’t feel we overfeed, and the fish sure wish there was more! All have slightly rounded bellies.

 

Anyway, I’m frustrated and depressed about the little guys. If you can think of anything I should or could be doing, your advice would be truly welcome.

 

Thanks in advance,

Roxanne Batt

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Have you recently done a water change before the deaths did you use a dechlorinator like prime  have you notice any rapid breathing hanging near the surface listlessness sunken belly spitting food out flashing also  the temperature on the high side for panada Cory's I would gradually lower the temperature to 77 @Roxvet

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Thank you! My well water has no chlorine and neither does the bottled, so no de-chlorinator. I could easily turn down the temp - OK for my Angels and Neons? None of the Corys showed any type of distress prior to being found dead. I have occasionally seen one swim to top take fast gulp and return to bottom - Is that "flashing"? What does it mean?  I was reading about Blood worms causing GI upset. I have been feeding both frozen and dry Blood Worms but not live.. ? Thanks Rox

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On 12/31/2022 at 11:20 PM, Roxvet said:

Thank you! My well water has no chlorine and neither does the bottled, so no de-chlorinator. I could easily turn down the temp - OK for my Angels and Neons? None of the Corys showed any type of distress prior to being found dead. I have occasionally seen one swim to top take fast gulp and return to bottom - Is that "flashing"? What does it mean?  I was reading about Blood worms causing GI upset. I have been feeding both frozen and dry Blood Worms but not live.. ? Thanks Rox

77 is fine for angelfish and neons Cory's swimming to the top to gulp air is nothing to worry about it natural behavior flashing is when they rub on objects in the tank thinking out side of the box is it possible your well water got contaminated 

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I will certainly turn down the heat, gradually. Interesting idea about the well. I live in north central Arizona in high chaparral. Our well is 900 feet deep through trickle stone (not an aquifer). It's been professionally tested for stuff twice in the last 5 years just as normal precaution for us. Always normal, no coliforms and only "odd" chemical is high calcium. Thanks much

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On 12/31/2022 at 1:17 PM, Roxvet said:

I do regular (nearly weekly) water tests (API Master Kit and GH/KH). Maybe I test too often but all my numbers have been very good.

 

                Water temp 80 - 82

 

                pH 7.6

Temp is very likely way too high for panda corydoras as well as PH being slightly high.  This is probably was caused some stress on the fish, resulting in oxygenation or other diseases flaring up.  Especially with corydoras I often run into acclimation issues, where you won't have a death right away but weeks (or first few months) you can have them fall off and just not act right.

Add an extra air stone for now as well as some aquarium salt (1/2 cup per 10G is the dose I use)

For angels and tetras you're looking at 78 degrees, but for pandas they really do better at the 72-76 range in my view.  If it is fine for all of the other fish in the tank, try to target 75-76 for your temperature, but if you need to keep it 77-78 then that will be much better for the corydoras as long as you have 1-2 airstones in the tank.  You'll also get some fun behaviors when they play in the bubbles 🙂

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Lost another Cory yesterday... 😞

Temp is down to 77 - 78 (trying to be gradual) My goal was 76-77.

Air stone and pump came in mail last night - will set up today.

Angels, Neons, and Otos seem ok.

Thanks for asking - any other hints are surely appreciated.

Rox

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It may be worth adding Prime still, as "It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels." Maybe you have some of those in your well water, which could fluctuate throughout the year. 

On 12/31/2022 at 5:20 PM, Roxvet said:

Thank you! My well water has no chlorine and neither does the bottled, so no de-chlorinator.

 

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I've kept several Cory species over the years and Panda Cory can be a challenge. I've lost them gradually in tanks that had excellent water quality where Sterbai, Albino, and Black Cory were thriving and spawning. From my experience they don't handle transport very well at all. They seem to get stressed more easily than other Cory Catfish species. They are more sensitive to high nitrate levels than other Corys from my experience so as others have recommended the Nitrate level needs to be much lower for them. I'm on well water but have an RO filter unit so that helps a lot with cleaning up the water for my fish tanks. Good luck with them.

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On 1/4/2023 at 4:06 PM, Roxvet said:

Lost another Cory yesterday... 😞

Temp is down to 77 - 78 (trying to be gradual) My goal was 76-77.

Air stone and pump came in mail last night - will set up today.

Angels, Neons, and Otos seem ok.

Thanks for asking - any other hints are surely appreciated.

Rox

I think it would be worth doing a course of kanaplex or maracyn2 just in case there's a bacterial component to the deaths 

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On 1/4/2023 at 10:55 AM, Colu said:

I think it would be worth doing a course of kanaplex or maracyn2 just in case there's a bacterial component to the deaths 

As usual, excellent advice from @Colu.  If you wanted to do a posy-mortem on the most recently passed cory, you can PM me pics and I’ll see what I can do to help.  Post-mortem approach will be similar to other species.  Iris scissors and a 15 blade are easiest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update. First thanks to all who have offered such helpful advice.

I have had no more deaths (still have 3 Corys) Everyone seems happy and active

Have reduce the temp to 77-78 degrees - but with ambient heat it sneaks up to 79 on warm days. I am still working on a slightly lower temp (76-77)

I have added a large lovely air stone and Catappa leaves. Did not do antibiotic at this time. One suggestion was salt but I was afraid to do it with all the plants?

So far I am less stressed!

I suspect I will try a different Cory type next time - but I plan to wait another month.  I have a nice 5 gal quarantine tank read to go for the next order and will do the 3 part "detox" treatment recommended by Co-op.

Thanks again Rox

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Salt at the lowest dose (1 tablespoon per 10 gallons) should not harm plants.  I’ve used it in several planted tanks with a wide variety of plants to no apparent ill effect.  It can help reduce stress and with osmoregulation for the fish.  Possibly have a detrimental affect on some parasites, even at that low dose.  I think your temp is just fine as long as it’s under 80’F.

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On 1/15/2023 at 6:43 AM, Roxvet said:

I suspect I will try a different Cory type next time - but I plan to wait another month.  I have a nice 5 gal quarantine tank read to go for the next order and will do the 3 part "detox" treatment recommended by Co-op.

False Julii do a little better warmer.  Might be the way to go over the pandas 🙂

Maybe the store can let you trade some in for credit or something given the issues (or give you some advice as well)

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Sterbai tend to be the Cory of choice for hot water tanks. 
Pandas like it cool. I think that’s stress enough. I’ve kept them in the 60s. At about a week at 82 they started to look poorly and I put a fan on them and that helped. They came from aquahuna which is local to me tap water pH is 6.5.
They are somewhat renowned for their ability to kill themselves with an auto toxic event. Was there any changes in the clarity of the water? 

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