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Sturbai Cory - death and odd behavior


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I am having trouble keeping my sturbai corys alive.  I got 4 new Corys about a month ago, 1 died over the first night, and 1 died a week later.  I tested my water, which was fine, and all my other fish seem fine.  I change my water regularly, etc etc.  This morning i saw one of the remaining cory's really having a hard time.  he was not only darting to the top of the tank, but splashing all around at the top of the water going nuts.  afterwards he sank down and was looking terrible.  

Researching this I saw someone posting that they had similar problem and solved it with an air stone.  I realized that in my past tanks I always had a waterfall pump of some sort and this tank was the first with a completely submerged pump (its a Fluval) and that it has no aeration. 

Is it possible this is the problem with the cory's not making it but the other fish are fine?

what is the best way to aerate water in this kind of tank.


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I think you’re right. It sounds to me like an oxygen issue.

How big is your tank and what fish do you have? I think any old air stone will help, but at some point the tank will be big enough that you’ll need more than one. Other people will probably have a better idea on this than me. 🙂

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Sorry it took so long - just got it tested at the store. 

My water is 80 degrees, the ph is higher than last time at 7.4 (it was 7.1ish 6 weeks ago).  

They said everything else looked fine.

The tank is 40 gallons been running for 1 year.  I have 10 tiny embers, 1 big dwarf ram, 2 frogs, 2 loaches, 2 siamese algae eaters and 2 darios.  

I've done 2 water changes in the last 3 weeks.

The cory is still alive and still behaving as if he is dying.  I aimed one of the pumps up so it broke the water surface and he actually went up and sat on a plant like 2 inches under it.  Not sure if it a coincidence because he can't really swim straight.

I did purchase an air stone yesterday, but I'm still interested in ideas of what could be wrong.

Edited by Timarooz
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I still think all signs point to an oxygen issue. Sounds like the cory cat found the most oxygen rich spot pretty quickly!

The higher the temp in your tank, the less gas can “fit” in the water. So for tanks that need to be at a high-ish temp like yours, the oxygen level will naturally be lower. I have a 55 with loaches that I keep at 80 as well, and I use a power head with an attached bubbler. Before I had that, my fish also showed signs of oxygen stress.

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