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Black Corydoras - White Eyes (Genes or Disease?)


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Hey everyone,

I had a bit of a freakout this morning.  Thought I had an ich outbreak, still might, but that's something to monitor going forward.  I saw a wound / white mark on one of the fry and it looks like he just injured himself, but could be indicative of ich starting to form.  In the midst of my looking for Ich I found this guy.  He is a new fry, born in november / december, so very new fry.


He is undersized compared to the rest of the group and there is a small group of them that hang out in the S.Repens carpet.  they are all similar in size, which is about 1/2 the size of the rest of the fry at that time.

Now, behavior wise I see zero issues. there's no signs of stress, just a very different appearance.  I did try to capture on video, potentially the eyes moving which gives you an idea that it is the eye and it might be the iris itself.

Let me know your thoughts. Much appreciated.


Black Corydoras Tank:
Temp: 71.6
Phosphate: 3.0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5-15 ppm (Difficult to read!)
PH: 7.0
KH: 60
GH: 150

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On 1/21/2023 at 2:04 PM, Colu said:

Possible trauma to the eye I would add Indian almond leaves and monitor for now given time it should heal fine @nabokovfan87

Not sure if you were able to see it, but in the video it's on both eyes.  That first photo the fish was moving, the "wound" that looks like a discoloration on the body is just algae on the glass and the only issue is the white on the eyes.  I honestly can't tell if it's cloudy or blindness and so I'm at a loss on this one.

Does that change anything in terms of trauma being a culprit here?


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As it's affecting both eyes  that can be caused by poor water quality trauma to the eyes causing localized inflammation possible cataracts as it a young fish the chances of that are small it could be genetic and it going blind @nabokovfan87 I think it's a case of monitor keep stable water parameters and Indian almond leaves I would update in a week if theirs no improvement 

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I have some alder cones coming today, will add those in.  Tomorrow I am going to go get a QT tank and set that up, let it set up and then decide if I move the fish or not so I can better monitor and directly treat.

Thanks Colu for the advice.

I'll toss in some carbon, let that run in the tank for a little while too.  If this has anything to do with the glue, that could explain water quality issues that don't show up on the substrate.

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Some pictures from the night check in.

I found another one with a really torn dorsal, so two that I'm keeping an eye on.  Again, not much in terms of stress signs or behavior. Only thing that has changed in weeks is the replant and reglue of the moss on a large portion of the tank. Definitely could've been an issue... 😞

It's a little difficult to see, but the analogy here of what I'm seeing is like when you look into a dog's eye at night and you see the crazing, that is what I see under the blue light. When the white LED is on it's a very intense dark white. We'll just have to keep an eye on things.

Amazon decided to delay my alder cones and then emailed me saying "if it doesn't arrive just tell us because it's delayed now" so I'm confused by that.  Just a tough day today. Hopefully everything is ok. 20230121_190343.JPG.610698b0e1bb2213be0000d6c487b9f0.JPG20230121_190909.JPG.1b2d51f1143b6bda1771b5e224dec920.JPG

Reminds me of Riddick.

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Adding this here.  Still researching.  I am contemplating moving the fish as early as tomorrow once I can verify the tank is ok to do so.  It's been running for a few days, but the tank itself is brand new.  I can add some bacteria from the current tank, just need to mull it over. 


Today I ran some water tests, added more ammonia to the QT tank.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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  • 2 weeks later...

Looked a little better today.  I did another WC this morning.  Riddick is very bloated though.  Big meal of worms is what I am hoping all it is.  I have been holding food, focusing on clean water as a result. 

I can confirm the fish is not blind, so this points everything towards bacterial at this point.  The fish could be "healed" now but there is some distinct whiteness in the iris still present.  Although it is very light, it is something where I do want to run a dose of kanaplex through the tank.  The fish responded to shadow, which is how I have felt that blindness isn't the cause for the initial issue. 

I'll keep monitoring for now. Thanks everyone.

Edit: Dosed in meds on 2-9.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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While checking on the fish tonight and attempting to record a video of the heater noises I was sitting and watching the little corydoras in the tank and it had just this weird discoloration.

The tank was on weird colored lighting because it was late and so I tried to focus in. It looks like nothing more than the usual sand stuck to the body of the fish. The fish was flashing, obviously annoyed by the sand and it's just so fine that it keeps bugging the fish. Because it's a sponge filtered tank it does have a lot of debris and there isn't a massive amount of circulation to push off debris and the fine layer of sand that is there. You can see remnants of food and stuff on the surface, there's just stuff there and the sponge doesn't pull it from the surface despite having "decent enough" airflow. It's a pump rated for a 30G aquarium I believe on a 10G sponge.

Anyways. I tried using a turkey baster and gently blowing air over the fish, didn't work too well. Then I thought about trying to use my hand and wave water over the fish or something. Using a net to gently lift the fish out of the water and back in to disturb the sand. Maybe that would irritate the fish worse, I just don't know.

I thought about trying to get a very soft brush, again, not sure if it would work and that definitely seems like it would stress the fish.

I want to see if this is Ich (or the other one) or sand. My thinking that if it's just sand, it would remove easily from the fish. Hopefully. Then I kept thinking about how one day it's there, the next it isn't.... Yeah, you know, like ich.

I really, really don't think it's ich. I'd like to find a happy medium to try to help reduce stress and flashing on the fish.

Any ideas?


Some of the fuzziness is dirty glass. I'll grab a better photo tomorrow.


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On 2/14/2023 at 4:49 AM, Colu said:

It's difficult to tell could be sand or ich

It's the ridiculously fine "white sand" from caribsea. Not sure why they sell stuff this fine apart from for salt where the waters a bit heavier.

Anyways, checked on him this morning and everything was fine. Just the hint of white in the eye. Fed the fish, now he's covered in sand again. I definitely feel bad for this guy.

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Jan 21st:

Feb 2nd:

Feb 16th:

I do apologize for the terrible photos.  Still a little cloudiness in the eye, but much improved.  The little Riddick is doing ok.  He's enjoying playing in the sand and trying to find new ways to get it to unstuck from his slime coat.   Water is a mess because I was changing water today. I lifted his cave and the muck went everywhere.  Trying to get the filter clean, upon touching it, released everything to the water column. 😞

He's a really fun, adorable, cool little fish.


Planning to swap the substrate out of this tank when possible, for now it's "fine".... 😩

Minor update, but it was fun to hang out and get some time with him today.  I can also confirm you can start a siphon using a turkey baster... much better choice than your mouth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tank has some black swordtails in there now and it appears they are very nippy. I'll end up moving Riddick as soon as I can.

Two treatments of salt. Two treatments of kanaplex and there is still a tinge to his eyes of cloudiness. It's much improved.

Not sure what to do from here but if it's genetics (cataracts) then I'm not going to add him to the breeding tank. He will do just fine with the bloody Mary shrimp and have an awesome life grazing with them.

Thoughts on if anything further is required?





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