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Established Tank - Julii Corydoras Died within Hours


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Hi guys,

I have an established 65 gallon tank that has been up and running for years. I am running a Fluval 307.

Water Parameter's:

Water temp - 78 degrees.

Ammonia - 0 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 5 ppm

It currently has:

  1. 1 EA - Angelfish
  2. 8 EA - Cherry Barbs
  3. 5 EA - Runnynose Tetras
  4. 4 EA - Ottos

I just purchased and added:

  1. 6 EA - Julii Corydoras
  2. 1 EA - Redhump Eartheater

I floated them for 15 mins.  Then opened their respected bags and added 3 - 4 ozs of my tank water to bag.  Waited 10 mins.  Added another 3-4 ozs of my tank water.  Waited another 10 minutes.  Placed new fish in tank.

The eartheater seems perfectly fine.  Though, within several hours, I had one dead cory.  The next day, 2 more died.  The next day, 2 more died.  The fish all seem to have red bruising around their chest/lungs.  Not sure what the deal is.

PH shock?  Temp shock?  Sick / bad batch of fish?  Purchased from big box pet store.

I am just trying to figure this out.  Should i be drip acclimating? I would like to get some cory's.  I just don't want to continue to waste my money.

Thanks for your help!

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On 1/30/2024 at 2:12 PM, Maximus said:

I'm not sure if the Julii is a type of Cory with venom, but this sounds strangely familiar to what @Irene experienced. That, or they were already sick from the store.

To add to this, some cories excrete a poison or venom when they are stressed and can sometimes accidentally kill themselves in the bag.  Well poison themselves in the bag and die over time it seems based on your story. I have no idea if this is what actually happened to your fish but it adds up.

On 1/30/2024 at 2:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

 

Should i be drip acclimating? I would like to get some cory's.  I just don't want to continue to waste my money.

Thanks for your help!

My suggestion is to plop and drop. Temp acclimate them for 15-30 minutes and then just put them in your tank.  The idea is that the least amount of time in the bag the better. any stress caused by water parameter differences is still less than the stress from being in a bag.  I have switched to the plop and drop method and have not lost a single fish on acclimation in over a year.  

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On 1/30/2024 at 12:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

I am just trying to figure this out.  Should i be drip acclimating? I would like to get some cory's.  I just don't want to continue to waste my money.

If you do want to go the route of drip acclimating I would follow the method they use with shrimp as opposed to adding water to the bag in the tank.

1. Temp acclimate the bags as usual.

2. Setup a container where it is small enough so that when you move all of the water from the bag, the fish can still swim. You would want to start the drip so that it drips into the bucket, which doesn't have to literally be a drip, but a low addition of water using an airline and a valve.

3. When you open the bag of fish you put them into the container with 1-2 drops of dechlorinator.

4. Drip them until the water volume is doubled or tripled.

(There are videos on this if that makes it easier)

Most people will recommend the temp acclimation and then plop and drop method. I believe either one is sufficient as long as you do all of the appropriate steps to minimize stress from ammonia/pH shifts when the bag is opened as well as temp swings.

On 1/30/2024 at 12:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

Water temp - 78 degrees.

Ammonia - 0 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 5 ppm

It currently has:

  1. 1 EA - Angelfish
  2. 8 EA - Cherry Barbs
  3. 5 EA - Runnynose Tetras
  4. 4 EA - Ottos

I just purchased and added:

  1. 6 EA - Julii Corydoras
  2. 1 EA - Redhump Eartheater

I am unsure what the requirements are for the eartheater. The angelfish and rummynose will do just fine at 78 degrees. The barbs, oto, and corydoras prefer high oxygenation and generally prefer water that is cooler. Of the corydoras species that do well in 76+ range, sterbai and Julii are the ones you want to use. What this means and the reason that I mentioned it is because to set those fish up for success in this tank you want to ensure you have good filtration with at least one additional air stone. If you're running a sponge filter, you'd want to at least have a sponge filter and an air stone, for instance.

That would explain the stress, redness on the gills, and the acclimation issues.

On 1/30/2024 at 12:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

I floated them for 15 mins.  Then opened their respected bags and added 3 - 4 ozs of my tank water to bag.  Waited 10 mins.  Added another 3-4 ozs of my tank water.  Waited another 10 minutes.  Placed new fish in tank.

Basically when you open the bags, you exposed the fish to a pH swing and ammonia. There's a more detailed answer, but that's the jist of it. Which is why the 1-2 drops of dechlorinator or stress coat are often used.

On 1/30/2024 at 12:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

Purchased from big box pet store.

When they bag the fish, make sure to ask them to split them into multiple bags. If they had the bag with too many fish, I've had it happen where they didn't make it through the 10 minute drive home.

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This is all great information.  Thank you everyone for your prompt responses.

There is one thing I forgot to mention.  I have never run an air stone before in any of my fish tanks.  I have always had plenty of surface to air agitation from the filter.  At least I thought I did!  After googling last night, I saw that Cory’s might need more than normal.  I went out and bought an air stone and pump and got it going.  Do you think this could be it?

John

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I'll put another vote in for float for 15 minutes, plop, and drop.  Nothing good is happening in that bag... 🙂

There seem to be many stories of corys dying very quickly.  This person also did drip acclimation: 

If I do buy corys in the future, I'll consider asking for individual bags.

 

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The Cory venom thing could be an issue. I once had 6 skunk corys travel 2 hours home with me. Lfs is a relative thing. After acclimating them, I did a bit of tank maintenance while I was at it. The arm I had in the tank broke out in hives within 15 minutes. From my ears to my fingers 

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On 1/30/2024 at 8:04 PM, only6foot6 said:

Hi guys,

I have an established 65 gallon tank that has been up and running for years. I am running a Fluval 307.

Water Parameter's:

Water temp - 78 degrees.

Ammonia - 0 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 5 ppm

It currently has:

  1. 1 EA - Angelfish
  2. 8 EA - Cherry Barbs
  3. 5 EA - Runnynose Tetras
  4. 4 EA - Ottos

I just purchased and added:

  1. 6 EA - Julii Corydoras
  2. 1 EA - Redhump Eartheater

I floated them for 15 mins.  Then opened their respected bags and added 3 - 4 ozs of my tank water to bag.  Waited 10 mins.  Added another 3-4 ozs of my tank water.  Waited another 10 minutes.  Placed new fish in tank.

The eartheater seems perfectly fine.  Though, within several hours, I had one dead cory.  The next day, 2 more died.  The next day, 2 more died.  The fish all seem to have red bruising around their chest/lungs.  Not sure what the deal is.

PH shock?  Temp shock?  Sick / bad batch of fish?  Purchased from big box pet store.

I am just trying to figure this out.  Should i be drip acclimating? I would like to get some cory's.  I just don't want to continue to waste my money.

Thanks for your help!

With red bruising you described around the chest and lung  could be red blotch disease 

Screenshot_20240131-103750.png

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On 1/31/2024 at 1:05 AM, Tony s said:

The Cory venom thing could be an issue. I once had 6 skunk corys travel 2 hours home with me. Lfs is a relative thing. After acclimating them, I did a bit of tank maintenance while I was at it. The arm I had in the tank broke out in hives within 15 minutes. From my ears to my fingers 

Corydoras can have acclimation issues. I view them similar to a puffer in that they require special care.

The toxin is VERY apparent and Irene's video isn't quite as clear as the talk that was given on the subject with examples. The water becomes cloudy and all the corydoras die in minutes. It's very clear to see the toxic and the time to death also is very clear given confirmed cases.

The oxygenation helps them acclimate.  Quality of the fish, health of the fish, distance traveled, and all of those play a role.  Things like not using dechlorination and air stones during acclimation can play a role as well.  Drip acclimating is a method, but there's a lot of different ways people accomplish that. There's ways to minimize the stress and a lot of studies that go towards acclimation methods I'm sure we could dig up.

I think it's very easy to blame toxin, but understand it's extremely rare.

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On 1/31/2024 at 5:21 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

Corydoras can have acclimation issues. I view them similar to a puffer in that they require special care.

The toxin is VERY apparent and Irene's video isn't quite as clear as the talk that was given on the subject with examples. The water becomes cloudy and all the corydoras die in minutes. It's very clear to see the toxic and the time to death also is very clear given confirmed cases.

The oxygenation helps them acclimate.  Quality of the fish, health of the fish, distance traveled, and all of those play a role.  Things like not using dechlorination and air stones during acclimation can play a role as well.  Drip acclimating is a method, but there's a lot of different ways people accomplish that. There's ways to minimize the stress and a lot of studies that go towards acclimation methods I'm sure we could dig up.

I think it's very easy to blame toxin, but understand it's extremely rare.

Possibly, but haven’t physically had that issue before or since. Have got 6 different species and have had no issues with acclimating corys 

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On 1/31/2024 at 2:24 PM, Tony s said:

Possibly, but haven’t physically had that issue before or since. Have got 6 different species and have had no issues with acclimating corys 

Ian Fuller has a photo of Sterbai releasing the toxin.  It's hard to find, but it's out there somewhere.

image.png.fc2f726c18ff549bc5978cb9143eb0f5.png

https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/corydoras-s3/img/upload/files/Corydoras toxins SICB Poster (Final).pdf

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On 1/31/2024 at 4:21 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

I view them similar to a puffer in that they require special care.

 

@nabokovfan87 I plan on getting some Amazon puffers within the next couple of months. Would you care to elaborate on the special care needed? 

I have done research and know that I need some harder foods to trim their beaks and plan to try to farm meal worms as well as feed frozen blood worms. Anything else I should know?

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I listened to a cory expert give a talk to the Minnesota Aquarium Society a couple of months ago about cory toxin and the description of what it took for them to reliably get the toxin released, I feel, is unlikely to happen during most normal handling.  Including at a store and the drive home.  And maybe even relatively unlikely to happen during shipment.  

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I don't think I would necessarily hang my hat on that being the cause.

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On 2/1/2024 at 7:07 AM, jwcarlson said:

I listened to a cory expert give a talk to the Minnesota Aquarium Society a couple of months ago about cory toxin and the description of what it took for them to reliably get the toxin released, I feel, is unlikely to happen during most normal handling.  Including at a store and the drive home.  And maybe even relatively unlikely to happen during shipment.  

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I don't think I would necessarily hang my hat on that being the cause.

Rachel O'Leary has a video with someone about shipping corydoras in particular and they discuss an older method that people use to "force" them to release the toxin prior to shipping.  I've heard things like adding carbon to the bag can help.  I've seen studies where they use garlic to cure/recover corydoras from the toxin.  The talks on the co-op members side are really helpful.  I can't recommend them enough.

 

On 2/1/2024 at 6:35 AM, NOLANANO said:

@nabokovfan87 I plan on getting some Amazon puffers within the next couple of months. Would you care to elaborate on the special care needed? 

I have done research and know that I need some harder foods to trim their beaks and plan to try to farm meal worms as well as feed frozen blood worms. Anything else I should know?

@mountaintoppufferkeeper would be a great resource for details on puffer shipping and acclimation.  One of the big things is trying to not hold them out of water.  They are also a scaleless fish, which does come with it's own challenges of sorts.  There are some sensitive fish which people often recommend to drip as opposed to plop/drop.  I do believe puffers fall into that category as well as other scaleless fish that are known to have some stress related issues with shipping.

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Congrats cool tank ! I have not personally kept amazons but I have kept 11 species of puffers so far most in breeding colonies and some care is probably applicable. I do know a few who have and have taken the journey with them.

I would defer to the experts on amazons but in my opinion: Teeth are a concern for some puffers more than others but the amazons seem to be the quickest to grow from what i hear about them.  I feed my  puffers primarily snails, shrimp, tilapia, repashy, ecobugs, dubia roaches, earthworms. i havent tried the puffer'pashy in the below video much but it has worked on a couple of puffers. 

I think the tooth growth for them is more often than not an "eventual" issue but its basically like trimming a dogs nails when it does happen.

Here are a few articles on them i had to google translate this when it opened:

https://www.documentation.ird.fr/hor/fdi:43866

One more paper

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02514.x

There may be more on scholar.google.com it is a good resource for research on many species generally from peer reviewed journals and field research. 

Dan's fish , coop affiliate for fish, currently has great videos on them linked below: 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the heads up @nabokovfan87

Edited by mountaintoppufferkeeper
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You guys are all so helpful.  Just an update and a question.

I ended up having four Corydoras die and the remaining two seem to be thriving.  I got the air pump and air stone installed.  I feel like since installing the air-stone that the oto’s are so much more active.  Swimming all over the glass.  The remaining two Cory’s are also really active.

Here is the crazy part.  I have had two Cherry Barbs die since installing the air stone.  They seemed lethargic within 12 hours of installing the air stone and they were dead the next day.  Could setting up an air stone cause this?  Could it change my tank parameters that much?!?!  All other fish seem fine right now.  Stumped.

Thanks guys.

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You didn't mention quarantining the new additions.  I wonder if something has been introduced to the tank?

I'm guessing that just adding air should be fine.

Edited by Galabar
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On 2/1/2024 at 8:01 PM, only6foot6 said:

Here is the crazy part.  I have had two Cherry Barbs die since installing the air stone.  They seemed lethargic within 12 hours of installing the air stone and they were dead the next day.  Could setting up an air stone cause this?  Could it change my tank parameters that much?!?!  All other fish seem fine right now.  Stumped.

Barbs like air.  So I don't think that is the cause of the issue.  Maybe the added air lead to a ph shift or something?

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