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FAQs on  Corydoras Cat Disease 4

AQs on: Corydoras Catfish Health 1, Cory Disease 2, Cory Disease 3,
FAQs on Corydoras Catfish Disease by Category
: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,
Related Articles: Callichthyid CatfishesSummer loving: cats in the garden, kittens in the kitchen by Neale Monks,

 

FAQs on: Corydoras Catfish 1,
& Corydoras Catfish Identification, Corydoras Catfish Behavior, Corydoras Catfish Compatibility, Corydoras Catfish Stocking/Selection, Corydoras Catfish Systems, Corydoras Catfish Feeding, Corydoras Catfish Reproduction,
FAQs on: Panda Corydoras, Pygmy Corydoras spp.,

FAQs on:
Callichthyids 1, Callichthyids 2,
FAQs on: Callichthyid Identification, Callichthyid Behavior, Callichthyid Compatibility, Callichthyid Selection, Callichthyid Systems, Callichthyid Feeding, Callichthyid Disease, Callichthyid Reproduction, Catfish: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

 

 

Corydoras panda whitens out      8/16/17
Good evening (here), WWM Crew, I hope you are having a good week. Kindly allow me to emphatically state that this hobby is so fantastically rewarding but so frustrating sometimes!!!
<Oh, I concur>
My tank specs are ammonia/nitrite zero, 15-gal column,
<Mmm; not the better shape for Corydoras..
. which are facultative aerial respirators (come to the surface to breathe)>
everyone looking great and getting along fine. I have three large C. metae and one small C. panda, along with my mid- and upper-dwellers... the corys get shrimp pellets at night, a few times per week.
<I'd feed these (diurnal) cats during lights-on time>
I try to never overfeed. This morning the panda Cory's off-white skin was bright white and he was buoyant but visibly lethargic. Worst part--I had to leave for vacation. I decided that perhaps the big boys were boxing him
out for food, so maybe he was malnutritioned. I did a 25% water change and then moved the panda Cory--he did not put up much of a fight--into a floating breeder and dropped two different brands of shrimp pellets in for him. I figured if he wasn't eating, then now was his chance, and although now isolated, his stress level would have been high, regardless.
<Yes>
I removed most of the pellets before I left, leaving some crumbs. This way (1) ammonia from decaying small crumbs, at the top of the tank, wouldn't be too awful for the water (correct?)
<Hopefully>
and (2) if he still didn't make it, his body wouldn't become a meal for others. How would you have handled this one?
<Moved the fish to a different, established set-up if I had one>
And if this little guy does make it, do you have any ideas regarding his survival besides moving him to a new tank?
<This is about it. How warm is your water?>

Ideas are more than appreciated!
Thanks,
Matt
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Fwd: Corydoras panda whitens out      8/16/17

I meant to attach this photo:
<As you stated, stressed... BobF>

Re: Corydoras panda whitens out       8/17/17
Thanks Bob. I have the tank at 74 degrees
<A good temp. for all>
and I did work hard to find larger corys when I got these C. metae fishes, in hopes their bigger fins could propel them more easily to the surface to gulp air. They playfully race up and down the sides so it doesn't seem like a problem for them. I don't recall reading on WWM that I should try feeding corys during the day, but I can give that a shot, then maybe I can make sure they get to the sinkers while the others eat at the surface.
I'll report back after my trip. Thank you!
<Thank you Matt. BobF>

Re: Corydoras panda whitens out      8/21/17
Hi Bob, just following up... the panda Cory did not make it although I'm happy with my decision to keep him in the breeder so his body was not a Gourami snack. I removed him and did a 25% w/c. I'm going to see if these three large C. metae will fit the bill in this column tank...
<I think they will admirably>
would you say, one shrimp pellet each, a few times per week?
<Yes>
If not, Neale suggested whiptail cats instead.
<Another good choice>
They are tough to find around here so may be pricey... do you think they will survive with (smooth) gravel substrate?
<Yes I do>
Thank you!
<Welcome. BobF>


Cory health in 15-gal column tank      5/3/17
Hello Team, I searched the archives and I can't find this one.
I was hoping for some help with Corys in my tank. I have had a 15-gallon column tank for two years, with a single Opaline Gourami, five cherry barbs for a year (three m, 2 fem), and two (avg.) non-dwarf Corys. I feed flakes and float pellets once daily, a sinking shrimp pellet every few days, and freeze-dried bloodworms once a week. My ammonia and nitrite levels are zero and my temp hovers around 77 degrees. I filter with an AquaClear 20.
<Mostly sounds fine...>
I seem to only manage to get a 6-month lifespan from my corys, regardless of the breed. This seems short; when one passes, I buy a new pair to avoid loneliness, and the cycle continues. Just today, I have a single one again. (1) should I purchase a single or a pair more corys if any, and (2) am I doing something wrong or are corys simply a bad idea in this configuration?
<Corydoras are basically sound fish, but they do have a couple weaknesses.
Firstly, they're low-end tropicals. A good temperature range for most species is 22-25 C/72-77F. Corydoras sterbai is the one widely trained warmer water species. Anyway, the warmer the water, the more oxygen they
need. This brings us to the second point, their need for air. If the tank is too deep, they can't easily swim to the top to gulp air, and this in turn leads to stress. I don't think a 15 gallon tank is likely to be too deep, but if there's something stopping them swimming, like a strong current or aggressive/nippy midwater fish, it might have an effect on them.
Finally, there's the oxygenation of the substrate. If the bottom of the tank has poor water movement, the substrate can become anaerobic, and together with microscopic scratches to their whiskers and fins, Corydoras become sickly, listless, and may well die. So short term: I'd clean the substrate, I'd check the water flow, I'd lower the water temperature, and I'd check none of the other fish are harassing them.>
I know they should be kept in larger groups but I don't want to crowd them on the small floor. Should I choose another scavenger instead?
Bristlenose catfish seem too "dirty".
<They are not messy at all, given their size; but they're also pretty rubbish scavengers, being more or less algae-consumers. I find Whiptails a much better substitution for Corydoras. Standard issue Rineloricaria species are sociable, hardy, and long-lived.>
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do!
Matt
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Cory health in 15-gal column tank      5/4/17

Great advice, thanks Neale. I think I might give the whiptail a shot, as you suggested. For this columnar tank setup, so you think I should go for one or two?
<Definitely more fun kept in groups. Males hold little territories (like a crevice in a bit of bogwood) when breeding but otherwise Rineloricaria species do seem to be sociable much of the time. Singletons can do fine though, they just aren't as much fun. Do note that Whiptails are day-active, and prefer sandy substrates where they can bury themselves in at times. They will also change colour on sandy substrates, which is very cool to see! Underrated fish, I think because they *look* delicate -- even though they're actually quite hardy animals.>
Thanks,
Matt
<Cheers, Neale.>

 

Peppered Cory Illness      7/1/16
<Am responding here for timeliness-sake, but asking Neale Monks to respond as well>
Hello, I have been assisted by your staff in the past for some issues with angelfish, so I thought I might get some help with my Corys. I have the following setup:
55 Gallon
Artificial Plants
Driftwood
Sand substrate
Fluval 305 Canister Filter
5 Corys (3 Peppered and 2 Green)
5 Neon Tetras
5 BN Plecos
4 Silver Dollars
1 Male Betta
Food: Crisps, algae wafers (veggie and protein) daily. Betta gets a small amount of "Betta Food Pellets". Weekly offerings are bloodworms and/or Tubifex worms. Plecos LOVE cucumbers and the silver dollars enjoy romaine lettuce leaves.
I do 50% water changes every week and clean my canister filter every 2 weeks (suggested is once a month but I do tend to overfeed with the silver dollars). Two of my peppered Corys are ill. Both have turned a dark, almost, black. Listless, no eating.
<Mmm; something environmental at play here... introduction of a pollutant?

With the lettuce perhaps... I take it the insect larva and worms you're feeding are processed... Not live>
The larger of the two (female) is at least 3" long and she's just over 6 years old. The smaller (male) is about a year old and he is the same. The female has ragged fins and the male has a "scrape" on one side of the his tail where the paler "flesh" is showing and for a day or two had a red ring around the lower half of his eye orbit.
<Physical trauma? From... the Dollars? The Plecos?>
That has disappeared. The only outward sign of illness I have noticed is the female had an episode of her chronic swim bladder disease. From time to time (every 6-8 months), she will float to the water's surface and end up laying on her side for part of the day. I always withhold food and within 8 hours, she's great again. This happened last week. I was unable
to do my regular weekly water change last Saturday, because I had the flu.
So, my parameters are as follows:
pH 7.5
Nitrate: 5
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
<Water temp.?>

The female is my favorite fish. She's typically happy and LOVES water changes. She is just listless and I think she may have a little spot on her forehead, but I really can't tell with the dark color. I would sincerely appreciate any advice you can offer. All the other fish in the tank are happy and acting normally. I do notice some dark-looking (dark brown) algae or slime just beginning to form on my plastic plants, but this is something that I get regularly and clean each week.....
Thanks!
PS - Going to attempt to get a couple of pics to send as well
<Good>
Kristi A. Jones
<Bob Fenner>
Peppered Cory Illness /Neale      7/1/16

Hello, I have been assisted by your staff in the past for some issues with angelfish, so I thought I might get some help with my Corys. I have the following setup:
55 Gallon
Artificial Plants
Driftwood
Sand substrate
Fluval 305 Canister Filter
5 Corys (3 Peppered and 2 Green)
5 Neon Tetras
5 BN Plecos
4 Silver Dollars
1 Male Betta
Food: Crisps, algae wafers (veggie and protein) daily. Betta gets a small amount of "Betta Food Pellets". Weekly offerings are bloodworms and/or Tubifex worms. Plecos LOVE cucumbers and the silver dollars enjoy romaine lettuce leaves.
I do 50% water changes every week and clean my canister filter every 2 weeks (suggested is once a month but I do tend to overfeed with the silver dollars). Two of my peppered Corys are ill. Both have turned a dark, almost, black. Listless, no eating. The larger of the two (female) is at least 3" long and she's just over 6 years old. The smaller (male) is about a year old and he is the same. The female has ragged fins and the male has a "scrape" on one side of the his tail where the paler "flesh" is showing and for a day or two had a red ring around the lower half of his eye orbit.
That has disappeared. The only outward sign of illness I have noticed is the female had an episode of her chronic swim bladder disease. From time to time (every 6-8 months), she will float to the water's surface and end up laying on her side for part of the day. I always withhold food and within 8 hours, she's great again. This happened last week. I was unable
to do my regular weekly water change last Saturday, because I had the flu.
So, my parameters are as follows:
pH 7.5
Nitrate: 5
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
The female is my favorite fish. She's typically happy and LOVES water changes. She is just listless and I think she may have a little spot on her forehead, but I really can't tell with the dark color. I would sincerely appreciate any advice you can offer. All the other fish in the tank are happy and acting normally. I do notice some dark-looking (dark brown) algae or slime just beginning to form on my plastic plants, but this is something that I get regularly and clean each week.....
Thanks!
PS - Going to attempt to get a couple of pics to send as well
<<Would start by reviewing the environment, as Bob suggests. Corydoras paleatus is a low-end tropical species that can be stressed by overly warm conditions; 22 C/72 F is ideal, and if you're keeping other tropicals that like cooler water (such as Danios, Neons, Swordtails and Platies) then doing a good-sized water change with cooler water can pep the fish up. If cooling the tank isn't an option, add an airstone and/or another filter, because lack of oxygen rather than raw temperature is the thing that stresses them. Ditto more frequent water changes just to improve conditions generally. Now, reddish or whitish flecks on the fins and between the armour plates (scutes) is usually a sign of bacterial infection. Early on, the sorts of antibiotics used for Finrot can work nicely. There's something called Corydoras "Red Blotch" Disease that does plague these fish from time to time. It's probably triggered by an environmental shortcoming of some sort. I've written about the disease over at Fish Channel, here:
http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/disease-prevention/red-blotch-disease.aspx
Take a read. Hope this helps, Neale.>>
Re: Peppered Cory Illness      7/1/16

THANK YOU BOTH! I took some pics at lunch. They are attached. Perhaps temperature is an issue. I had been keeping the tank at 78-80 for angels that I previously kept (gave that up - no luck with that breed of fish), and I do recall my peppers doing much better with cool water at 72-74.
<Yes>

Oh, if it could be that simple.....please let me know what you think. I know my tetras and Plecos do great at lower temps....I believe the silver dollars will as well.
<They should; yes>
The pic of my female Cory on the red gravel substrate was within the first couple of months after I adopted her from my brother. I thought this would be helpful for comparison. THIS is what I'm used to seeing with her....and the changes may be subtle, but she's very special to me. The remainder of the pictures were taken today. The fish with the skinned up tail section (last two attachments) is the little male. The rest are of my female. The torn fins could be the result of the horrible advice I received 2 months ago from my LFS when they suggested tiger barbs would be good in this tank..... wow, were they wrong.
<Oh yes; too nippy>
I had those guys less than 5 days and they were ravenous, BUT I don't recall seeing any of this fin damage. When I compare the two pics of my female, her eyes may look a bit enlarged? She's always had such large ones....
<Both the before and current pix eyes are indeed too large>
I will definitely do a 50% water change tonight and slowly lower the temperature.
<Good>
I'm pretty careful with the lettuce and Cukes, but please let me know if there is a specific manner of cleaning these foods before adding to the tank.
<Soak them in tap water over night before offering. DO test the soak water for nitrates... telling>
I typically serve raw after about a 2 minute thorough rinse under lukewarm water.
<Again; the soak>
THANKS again, you folks are SO knowledgeable and it is extremely reassuring to have a source of experience to go to in these times of illness with our little finned friends.
<A pleasure to share; offer aid to other aquarists, humans who would better their understanding>
Kristi A. Jones
<BobF>


Re: Peppered Cory Illness /Neale       7/2/16
Thank you! Will follow all suggestions and let you know how they do....just two more questions:
1. Do you see evidence of an infection in the body condition of either fish?
<You can't really tell this by looking at a photo. I'd assume so, and medicate as per bacterial infection. It won't do any harm, and will help if bacteria are at play here.>
2. Do you feel the large eye issue is PopEye or is there something I need to do to that end?
<Pop-eye tends to fix itself when environmental issues improve, and assuming a secondary bacterial infection doesn't set in (again, another good reason to use anti-bacterial medications). Corydoras do get a bit "bug-eyed" when stressed, but usually recover from illness well, if the problem is caught early. Epsom Salt helps Pop-eye, so again, I'd do this alongside the antibiotics, as previously discussed.>
Much appreciated!
<Welcome. Neale.>

 

Panda Cory Advice; hlth., sel.  (Note: divide genus...)     6/1/16
Hi Crew!
<Hello Bronwen!>
It's been a long time since I've written and I feel a lot more capable in fish keeping than when I started out, many thanks for providing such a great educational resource! I have written before asking about Corydoras and have since set up a sandy bottom 90 litre planted tank with the goal of keeping some small Corydoras - I chose Corydoras panda. I have had a few mishaps along the way, which is a long story involving Corys wasting away, failing to thrive, then an extremely fast acting and virulent Finrot that hit penguin tetras and coincided with white patches on Corys while all guppies were spared of either, and this was after no known recent change or addition to the tank. But that's in the past now, and it's not what this email is about. Currently I only have 3 panda Corys left of 10, and I would love to get this back up to a proper sized school. I'm planning to remove the guppies as I suspect they were stealing all the food before the more timid Corydoras could get their fill. Anyway I am looking for help on which is the least bad choice for me to obtain more panda cories.
<Understood.>
The first batch of 5 or 6 panda Corys I purchased online had no barbels to speak of, and some were quite thin and sickly, most of those died - I believe this store to be a possible source of the Camallanus infestation I had earlier on so I had pre-emptively wormed these fish but it didn't help.
<Sounds plausible. Certainly, fish received in this sort of condition should be quarantined for at least 4 weeks, and ideally longer. Basically, until such time as they're putting on weight and obviously repairing any previous damage.>
The next batch I purchased from elsewhere, and were a lot healthier with beautiful barbels, but they spent an extra day in the post and I believe were quite stressed from the voyage. A couple of those were thin and sickly and died too, although they lasted a fair few weeks. This second shop charges 2-3 times more per panda Cory than anywhere else I have seen. Lastly. I have seen panda Corydoras sold locally very rarely, but every single fish I have bought from the local fish store has died within the first month or so. They frequently have ich outbreaks, livestock with visible white fuzzy patches or red spots, or wounds, dead fish in display tanks and in shared sumps. I really don't want to purchase anything from there as it would mean almost guaranteed disease, and I don't want to give money to people who mistreat their fish so badly - but I do have better medication available to me than I have had previously (eSHa 2000 which saved some fish during the great Finrot disaster after I was sure I would lose every single one), and at least I'd be able to see the state of the fish before committing to buy. Ideally I don't want to be medicating Corydoras at all, I know they're sensitive.
<Yes and no. They're no more sensitive than Dwarf Cichlids or Loaches, say.
Indeed, they're probably tougher in some regards. But they do have specific weaknesses. Copper and formalin are two chemicals to avoid. On the other hand, antibiotics shouldn't cause and problems, and short-term used of low salt doses (i.e., 2 gram/litre across 10-14 days) is a safer way to treat for Ick/Whitespot than many commercial medications. Complicating things is heat stress, Corydoras mostly doing best at 22-25 C (one or two exceptions, such as Corydoras sterbai, do well above this, and a few, like Corydoras paleatus, are actually happier even cooler). Heat increases their demand for oxygen while reducing the amount of oxygen in the water, and the tendency to keep Corydoras in overstocked tanks makes the risk of heat stress even higher. Of course they will gulp air when they need to, but
that in turn makes them more likely to inhale airborne toxins such as paint fumes compared with regular fish.>
I'm really not sure which option is the least bad. If I get cheap but barbel-less fish I can buy more of them and hope to nurse them back to health. If I get expensive but healthier fish, will they recover from shipping stress better than they would recover from illness? Or are the odds that the stress would make them get ill anyway? And then also, I
wouldn't be able to buy as many and each lost fish would cost me more.
<A real conundrum, for sure. If you have a quarantine tank, then buying 2-3 at a time from the less reliable place might be worth a flutter. Each time quarantine until they're back to health, pre-emptively deworming if you think that's necessary. But if that isn't an option, getting them from the more expensive place would probably make more sense. Better to have a group of 5-6 good specimens and breed from them than to try to buy a dozen or more that simply don't survive for long.>
The local option would involve me waiting long enough for a panda Cory shipment to come in, and then buying them before they've been held in the shop for long since the longer they're there the more likely they are to get sick - which is the complete opposite of the usual method of waiting to see which new arrivals last a few weeks in the shop.
<Correct; but in this case, with the cheap place, you've got to do the quarantining.>
I haven't got a quarantine tank ready yet and I want to do that first before I buy any more Corydoras. I'm really stumped on where to get them from. Due to where I live my options are pretty limited - some online stores just don't deliver here, others expect me to drive to the nearest capital city to pick my fish up from the airport (500km away)! My gut
feeling is that the best option is to buy cories from the most expensive source and just treat them with kid gloves and feed them up once they arrive as they definitely had the best barbels.
<Agreed.>
Is this a good indicator of healthy Corydoras, or is it just that Corys with no barbels are definitely unhealthy?
<Neither really. Worn barbels can happen to otherwise perfect specimens kept in tanks with an abrasive substrate. But since erosion of the barbels does seem to be caused by bacteria, worn barbels can also indicate less that perfect environmental conditions, in much the same way as Finrot. On the other hand, sickly fish can have perfect barbels if the problem is something internal, like worms. So you have to take the barbels for what they are, a sign that some unknown combination of abrasive substrate, lack of hygiene, and ambient bacterial infection has caused barbel erosion, and
whether that's something you can fix will depend on the rest of the fish's health.>
I know it's a bit of marketing trickery to overprice something so that people think its higher quality but maybe for these Corys it's actually true.
<It can be, but if they're all getting them from the same Southeast Asian exporter, it probably doesn't matter a lot. Depends on the retailers. Some will have a good reputation for quarantining their livestock and keeping their aquaria spotless. Some won't. Conversing online at fish forums specific to your country is a good start if you need some feedback from other aquarists. Alternatively, catfish-specific sites, like PlanetCatfish, have forums where you can place appeals for recommended retailers in your country.>
What do you think my best options are? What are the best foods for nursing stressed Corys back to health?
<Same as feeding Corydoras generally, but I'd skip anything live (like bloodworms or Tubifex) in favour of frozen, gamma-irradiated equivalents just to be safe. Otherwise the usual sinking algae wafers and so on.>
How many panda Corydoras could fit in a 5 gallon quarantine tank (that's the best I can do)?
<Definitely limited, but 2-3 shouldn't have problems for a few weeks.
They'll be skittish in such small groups though, so keep the tank shady and put it somewhere really quiet.>
I'm prepared to do frequent water changes due to the small size of the tank. I do think in my previous attempts to quarantine Corydoras, I neglected to make sure they were eating really well and did not fatten them up before putting them in with the pushy guppies and that is something I definitely want to do differently in future.
Thanks again!
Cheers,
Bronwen
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Panda Cory Advice      6/17/16

Hi again Crew! After my last email I realised I have a big plastic tub (around 90lt) which is much better for long term quarantine than the 5 gal tank I'd been thinking about using. I already had four double sponge filters running in other tanks ready for a different project, so I stuck them in the tub, along one side. They stick on the side by suction cup so provide a bit of cover underneath. I've set the quarantine tub up for comfort over bare sterility, so there are some Catappa leaves to hide under and a very thin layer of fine sand to snuffle through, the aim being stress reduction and recuperation.
<Understood...>
Decided to get my Corydoras from the closer seller to minimise shipping time. I was expecting heavy losses of panda Cory based on previous experience, so I ordered 7. A friend urged me to try some trilineatus too, dismissing pandas as too fragile, so I got 7 of those as well. I was expecting to lose over half the pandas and maybe 2 or 3 of the trilineatus.
The fish arrived last Tuesday and there was a remarkable difference between how well the trilineatus took to being shipped and how ill the panda Corys were; one had died in the bag too which probably didn't help. The trilineatus looked a little pink/flushed but were very lively and I could only describe the pandas as limp! Worrying; but they recovered quite
quickly upon arrival in quarantine. They all had nice looking barbels! No visible Finrot or white patches, unlike previous batches from this supplier.
<Good.>
It's been over a week in quarantine now and although one or two of them still look a little on the thin side, they are all very lively and I have had no losses! The trilineatus are a little more shy than the panda Corydoras and the two kinds seem to school together a lot of the time as they are pretty much the same size. I didn't think through one aspect of my
quarantine tub, and that was to raise it off the floor to make siphoning out uneaten food a little easier, I have had to resort to using a pipette to manually suck out the pieces that I could see. I put a small powerhead/filter in today to increase water movement and try to help keep the bottom a bit cleaner, and I got an instant reaction from the Corys, almost all of them went into formation and lined up to swim against the current. They seemed to really like it! It is an absolute joy to see a larger group of these little fish swimming together.
<I would agree, and am sure the catfish feel the same way.>
I haven't wormed them yet, I wanted to observe for a while first and I'm still not sure whether I'm seeing a couple of unwell skinny fish, or immature males that are naturally slimmer. It is good being able to look down from above to see how fat they are! The ones that concern me are almost tadpole shaped, instead of the tail tapering in a wedge shape, it is
thin for much of it's length. Maybe it will just take time for them to bulk up and recover? I have been feeding (not all at the same time!)
semi-crushed algae pellets(popular), sinking "tropical crisp" wafers (popular but perhaps too big to handle), shrimp pellets for catfish (ignored, which is odd because these are my sister's peppered Cory's favourite), frozen bloodworm (popular), Microworms (popular and generated some vigorous snuffling), frozen community food (popular but again some pieces were too big to handle and this made the big mess that I have had trouble cleaning up), flake (this just ended up stuck on the sponge filters, not sure if palatable to Corys). Water changes every couple of days, along with rinsing collected food particles off of the sponges to avoid fouled up water. So far so good!
<Yes; while I would not be thrilled to receive underweight Corydoras, it isn't uncommon. If, after two or three weeks, they're still underweight, that's more alarming. For now, I'd go by activity level and things like barbels and fins to see there's no sign of lethargy or physical damage. If the fish are feeding, just give it time, "a little but often" being the
optimal way to re-condition underweight fish, even four to six small meals a day not being out of line. Fish cannot store food inside themselves for long, and if you feed a lot, they poop out most of that food without extracting much nutrition. They're naturally grazers who would be consuming and digesting tiny amounts across the day/night.>
Worth worrying about worming yet do you think? I'm still cautious about Camallanus after the last outbreak, it's possibly the same supplier that send infested fish, and I have plenty of Levamisole/Prazi left, but not sure what the correct dosage for Corydoras would be. I've got doses of 20mg (17mg base equivalent) Levamisol HCL and 4mg Praziquantel per tablet. I've used 1 tablet per 10 litres dissolved directly into the tank water in the past, for guppies/tetras which was very successful for Camallanus treatment. I don't want to wait too long, if they're there, I've seen what damage they can do! And I think it would be hard to spot trailing worms on a bottom dwelling fish like a Corydoras anyway. I also don't want to
overmedicate and damage these Corydoras since they're doing so well so far.
Thoughts?
<Worming shouldn't cause undue harm, if used as directed by the manufacturer. I don't have any unique insight here, and would go along with what's stated on the packaging and in your own experience. I would not hesitate just because the fish are thin or newly imported.>
Many thanks for your continuing assistance!
Bronwen
Australia
<Welcome. Neale.>

 

Problem with Corydoras (Bob??)         4/5/16
Hello crew, as always, thanks for the help and all the good work.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Im writing to you today because one of my Corydoras was gasping while on her side... It seemed to recover a few hours later but has now come back it. Tank is 3.5 months old, 150 gallon tank with ph 7.7, and 0, 0, 20 ppm in nitrogenous compounds.
<All sounds fine.>
I have had this Corydoras with me for about 2.5 years its my oldest Cory. there are 3 other in the tank ( same species). I cant avoid looking at her belly and think she's probably underfed.
<Would seem so; do feed, generously, at night if you have lots of nocturnal fish, and you do. Assuming a 5-6 Corydoras, 5-6 Kuhlis, and the Whiptail, I'd be adding one or two algae wafers 3-4 nights per week. Check in the morning if any food is leftover and adjust accordingly.>
I feed twice a day, in the morning for most of the fish and an hour after turning off lights for the Kuhlis, Corydoras, Otos and Rineloricaria parva. I also noticed today she seems like she broke her lateral fin spine? I have attached some pictures... She still swims but she's disoriented and hand feeding is not working.. :(
<I am not optimistic here. I do wonder if she has a Mycobacteria infection or similar, which can cause wasting, disorientation, and skeletal deformities. I'm cc'ing Bob Fenner to see if he can add anything more specific. You might also try asking at PlanetCatfish, an excellent website and forum specific to catfish, and there may well be people there who have seen this precise thing in Corydoras and know how to treat it.>
Thank you, for your time
Roberto
<Welcome. Neale.>
Problem with Corydoras    /RMF          4/5/16

<8.7 megs of pix; why? >
Hello crew, as always, thanks for the help and all the good work.
<Welcome>
Im writing to you today because one of my Corydoras was gasping while on her side... It seemed to recover a few hours later but has now come back it. Tank is 3.5 months old, 150 gallon tank with ph 7.7, and 0, 0, 20 ppm in nitrogenous compounds.
<pH is a bit high, but what stands out the most is that this fish's barbels are gone; worn away... Indicative of being placed on an improper substrate usually>
I have had this Corydoras with me for about 2.5 years its my oldest Cory. there are 3 other in the tank ( same species). I cant avoid looking at her belly and think she's probably underfed. I feed twice a day, in the morning for most of the fish and an hour after turning off lights for the Kuhlis, Corydoras, Otos and Rineloricaria parva.
<Okay; what are you feeding? Are you sure (apparently not) that this fish is getting sufficient nutrition?>
I also noticed today she seems like she broke her lateral fin spine?
<Pectoral>
I have attached some pictures... She still swims but she's disoriented and hand feeding is not working.. :(
Thank you, for your time
Roberto
<The usual; sending you to read. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/CoryDisF3.htm
and all the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

 

Re: Problem with Corydoras        4/6/16
Thank you, about the barbels, i got him like that from the beginning,
<Ahh>
i have very fine volcanic gravel ( smooth) grain size is just a bit bigger than silica sand... Kuhlis and the other Corys have healthy barbels, as far as i can tell.
<Good>
I am feeding a mix of tetra min tropical tablets and Spirulina tablets for bottom feeders... Eventually i drop some granules or grindal worms which go directly to the bottom... I really don't make sure everyone eats... I commonly just look at where i placed the food and i would see Kuhlis and Corys going about and assume everyone's fed.
<I wouldn't just assume. Do observe your livestock to assure they're getting enough to eat>
That black patch where the broken fin is a bacterial infection right?
<Likely so; yes>
I just cleaned the substrate. ( high tech planted tank i don't vacuum much but i realized the bottom was quite dirty) and made a 20% water change ( just did a 50% 4 days ago) i have moved the Cory to a 3 gal hospital, with tank water and a cycled sponge( have several lying in my tanks) still reading, deciding if go about using antibiotics.
Thanks
Roberto
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Problem with Corydoras        4/6/16

Thank you, about the barbels, i got him like that from the beginning, i have very fine volcanic gravel ( smooth) grain size is just a bit bigger than silica sand... Kuhlis and the other Corys have healthy barbels, as far as i can tell.
<This is worrying. Not convinced volcanic gravel is smooth enough. Most of the traded stuff doesn't come from volcanoes, it comes from the glass making industry, and it's pretty sharp at the sort of scale we're worried about.>
I am feeding a mix of tetra min tropical tablets and Spirulina tablets for bottom feeders... Eventually i drop some granules or grindal worms which go directly to the bottom... I really don't make sure everyone eats... I commonly just look at where i placed the food and i would see Kuhlis and Corys going about and assume everyone's fed.
<Which is often fine and probably is if every catfish and loach is nice and healthy. But do review in this instance.>
That black patch where the broken fin is a bacterial infection right? I just cleaned the substrate. ( high tech planted tank i don't vacuum much but i realized the bottom was quite dirty) and made a 20% water change ( just did a 50% 4 days ago) i have moved the Cory to a 3 gal hospital, with tank water and a cycled sponge ( have several lying in my tanks) still reading, deciding if go about using antibiotics.
Thanks, Roberto
<I'm not wildly optimistic, but a robust course of antibiotics does look like the best possible chance of helping this Corydoras. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Albino Corydoras       3/20/16
Hi crew, Firstly, thank you for the reply to my previous email about my snails. Today I am writing about one of my albino Corydoras. She has been so happy and healthy until yesterday. As a matter of fact she has been laying bunches of eggs in the recent weeks. Three of her fry are a few weeks old and going strong(I'm a first timer)! Before I go into her symptoms I just want to mention a change I made recently that raised ammonia for the first time in nearly a year. A week ago, I transferred about a dozen juvenile and 2 senior apple snails into her tank(29 gallon planted, sanded tank with 9 Corydoras, 4 zebra danios, 6 white/black skirt tetras, moderate number of trumpets and a few Nerites). I noticed red spots on her yesterday and today there were more. After testing the water the only thing out of the norm was ammonia which was 0.25 ppm. Aside from the red spots she is lethargic, generally inactive and appears to have swollen eyes (one more so than the other. I'm concerned that this is more serious than ammonia poisoning because she is the only fish showing any symptoms.
I have isolated her to a floating container in the tank for now and attached some pictures. Thank you for taking the time out to read my message. Danielle
<Hi Danielle. Your little Corydoras has a type of opportunistic bacterial infection that is sometimes called "Red Blotch Disease" by catfish keepers because of its appearance. The non-zero ammonia is almost certainly part of
the story, but I'd also be checking if the substrate needs a good clean and making sure there's a good current of water passing over the substrate. Basically, it's a result of stress. Tetracycline is the usual medicine for
Red Blotch Disease, but improving living conditions is absolutely crucial as well. Don't forget to remove carbon (if used) while medicating. The swelling can be reduced by adding Epsom Salt at a dose of 1 tablespoon Epsom salt per 5 US gallons/20 litres. Hope this helps, Neale.>

re: Sick Albino Corydoras       3/21/16
Thank you very much for your help Neal.
<Welcome.>
I had read through the site about this issue and re-read the threads and articles after receiving your response, so I would like to share the results with you. As mentioned in one of the articles on your
site (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_2/mycobactera.htm ) , I did see results simply based on changing the main cause which in this case was water quality. After running errands most of the day(including picking up the tetracycline), I returned and noticed a major improvement in my Cory.
<Good; these are normally resilient fish.>
The only thing I did was isolate her to a floating tub (daily water changes) and added the Epsom salt as you suggested. I've attached pictures of her which were taken immediately after adding the first dose of tetracycline. I chose to go ahead with the antibiotic just in case the changes I've made aren't enough for her to make a full recovery.
<100% the right thing to do.>
However, it's clear that the improved water quality and especially the addition of Epsom salt are responsible for her progress.
<Could well be.>
The swelling has gone down so much that I wouldn't even be able to recognize her if she wasn't separated from the others. Can't thank you enough for your help and patience. Danielle
<Nice to hear a happy ending! Cheers, Neale.>

Please help my panda Cory!      11/14/15
Mature tank, 30 gallons, 5 panda Corys, 3 zebra Otos, an African dwarf frog, 7 mosquito Rasboras, some amano shrimp, Eco Complete gravel substrate,
<Ah, this might be the problem!>
planted tank, Aqueon 30 filter, TopFin 10 filter, 20% water changes weekly, 7.0 pH, Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 2.0 ppm
In the past 2 days, one of my panda Corys' barbels have almost completely eroded and today he has developed a white fuzzy cotton-looking patch on his head. He is lethargic, not eating, and stays away from the other Corys.
I'm worried that this could be columnaris because I have noticed tiny white things on the glass that sway with the current. Or do you think it might be a bacterial infection that has also developed a fungal infection? The other 4 panda Corys are acting completely normally and look healthy. What should I do?! I would hate to lose this little guy!
<How abrasive does the gravel feel to you? Here's the thing. Barbels erode because of a combination of physical damage (caused by sharp substrates) and subsequent bacterial infection (very similar to Finrot). Unfortunately for the Amano 'Nature Aquarium' brigade, substrates that plants like are replicated using quite abrasive materials, often byproducts from the
glassmaking industry. While not a problem for tetras, Otocinclus and shrimps, anything that roots about in the substrate, like Corydoras, is going to be less happy. Corydoras not only sift the substrate with their barbels, they like to stick their heads right in and swallow the substrate, spewing it out of their gills. It's adorable when they do it on a sandy substrate, but isn't going to work on traditional gravel or sharp sand. So, in situations where Corydoras are being kept, you're almost always better off keeping them on smooth lime-free sand (smooth silica sand or pool filter sand work well, and cheaply) or else the finest, smoothest pea gravel you can find. There's nothing to stop you using a plant friendly substrate underneath a gravel tidy (basically a plastic mesh) and then add 1 cm or so of the catfish-friendly substrate on top. Plants couldn't care less. Might need to make a few holes in the gravel tidy for plants with deep roots, but most plants will happily send their roots through the mesh in time. Anyway, this would be my first line of thought: is the substrate at fault. Try quarantining the suspect catfish in a tank with no substrate (8-10 gallons is ample for one or a few Corydoras, temporarily at least)
and see if they recover (medicating as per Finrot). Make sense? Neale.>
Re: Please help my panda Cory!

Absolutely. I'll try that first.
<Cool. Neale.>

 

Costia on Bandit Cory(s), invert safe treatments?          5/27/15
Hi, I have a planted 65 gal tank 4 years+ running with honey gouramis, kuhli loaches, Hengle's Rasboras, bandit Cory's, Amano shrimp, Nerite snails, Oto cats. I think the Oto cats brought in disease and I had some loses of livestock and then things seemed to stabilize with no more dying fish. Some of the Cory cats, one in particular, have gray slime on them that seems to be 'Costia'.
<Costia, now called Ichthyobodo, is an awkward parasite for sure. It's one of the causes of Slime Disease, though not the only one, so do be aware of that. Curiously, but significantly, Costia is harmlessly present in most tanks, and only becomes problematic when the fish become stressed. So it's important to try and think of why that might be the case. In any case, there are various proprietary treatments out there, such as eSHa 2000 (no formalin or copper), QuickCure (has formalin in it though) and Interpet Anti Slime and Velvet (this latter also contains formalin). Otherwise, apart from formalin (which does indeed work well against Costia) any metrifonate-based medication should work well.>
I have gradually turned the heat up from 77 F to 83 F. The slime seems less on the worst Cory but still there. I can't net them out of the tank, too many obstacles. The invertebrates make using most of the medications recommended for Costia not safe to use.
<Indeed. Anything with copper or formalin in it may be toxic to shrimps, snails, and potentially sensitive fish including loaches and catfish. So you've got problems.>
Is there anything else that I can/should be doing? Does Paraguard have any effect on Costia?
<Paraguard has a chemical similar to formaldehyde in it, so wouldn't be an obvious choice for use with your community of species.>
Prazi-pro did not help at all.
<Obviously not. It's a dewormer.>
Thanks,
Jeff
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Costia on Bandit Cory(s), invert safe treatments?      5/28/15

I'm not sure if I can get eSHa 2000 here in Canada. I'll look around.
<Or order online, via eBay, etc.>
The inverts in this tank have been through Paraguard treatment before without losses. I've never had it obviously cure anything, but if you think it would have a chance at Costia I'm willing to try it. I have a bottle handy. Should I adjust the dose for the Cory cats or Otto's?
<Adjusting doses down is fairly pointless. Generally the dose stated on the bottle is the dose needed to kill the parasite. Half doses might work, but then again, they might not. You could consult with the manufacturer for
guidance. SeaChem do have an FAQ, here:
http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/ParaGuard.html
They don't sell this product as "reef safe" as you can see, which means it might be toxic to invertebrates... but then again, it might not! That's probably about as sure a reply as you're going to get on this product.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Costia on Bandit Cory(s), invert safe treatments?      5/29/15

I tried the Prazi-pro first because I thought it might be skin flukes. I'll try the Paraguard after I do a water change on the weekend and see if that helps. If I go much higher with the water temps I am going to lose some plants.
I'll let you know if it seems to do anything.
Thanks, Jeff
<You're welcome, Neale.>
Re: Costia on Bandit Cory(s), invert safe treatments?        8/15/15

Hi Neale,
<Jeffrey,>
Is been awhile but I thought that I would let you know that the ParaGuard did not do anything. However, I had some PolyGuard and that cleared up the problem with 2 doses, maybe 3, I can't remember exactly.
<Cool.>
I have another question. I switched my tank to Fluorite black sand substrate about 5-6 months ago because I thought the eco-complete was too sharp on Cory cat and other bottom feeders barbels.
<Ah... not the best idea.>
Frustratingly, Cory cats I have put in there since have still developed eroded barbels.
<Yes. Fluorite sand is, as I understand it, manufactured, not a natural product. It isn't a natural substrate and remains sharp enough to cause problems for bottom dwelling fish. An excellent choice for Amano-style tanks with midwater fish (tetras for example) but not for catfish, loaches and so on.>
I know bacteria is another possible cause of this but the question is how to avoid it.
<The erosion of the catfish barbels is a two-step process. The sand creates scratches in the skin tissue, and bacteria (similar to Finrot) can get in. Whether there's a threshold of dirtiness required for this second step I do not know, but I'd assume not because catfish whiskers are just fine in silica sand tanks with lots of organic detritus, which would seem to have more bacteria than clean fluorite sand.>
I do a 30 percent water change every week and the tank is not heavily stocked. It is a planted tank, so I do not vacuum the bottom during water changes.
<Generally no need.>
There are two AquaClear filters and a circulation pump, so there are no noticeable dead spots with piles of waste building up in them.
Thanks,
Jeff
<It's the sand, Jeff. Swap it out for plain vanilla smooth silica sand from a garden centre or pool filter sand supplier. Will look hideously bright at first, but over time the grains darken (algae and bacteria, I guess) and you'll find it much more agreeable. Alternatively, replace the Corydoras with a midwater catfish species such as Dianema spp., Asian Glass Cats,
African Glass Cats, or even Dwarf Upside Down Cats. Cheers, Neale.>

 

 

Sick Albino Corydoras
Hello and thank you for taking the time out to read this. I am writing regarding an albino Corydoras catfish whom I recently rescued from poor living conditions at a local pet store.
<A kindness, but sometimes misguided: if a fish dies in an aquarium shop, that's a loss, and the owner will be less likely to buy that species; if the fish is sold, even if it's unhappy, the owner sees a profit, and re-ordering that species is likely. If you see a pet shop not caring for its livestock, then contacting the body that issues animal sales licenses is the best step forward, often a city or state government agency.>
To be honest, I am not a preferable candidate to take on such a task. I only recently (2 weeks ago) started my first tank (10 gallon).
<A bit small, but certainly viable for a small group of Corydoras, perhaps 3-4 specimens rather than a full school of 6+.>
Solely following the advice of a pet store employee, I soon learned that I had made mostly poor choices. I am diligently trying to learn as much as I can, while attempting to cycle my tank using SeaChem stability and prime.
My tank inhabits 3 albino Corydoras, 2 Danios, 2 mystery snails and 2 cherry shrimp.
<The snails and shrimps were bad choices. But the Corydoras and Danio combination is a good one -- though again, 10 gallons is a bit small for such active and quite big (5 cm/2 inch) fish.>
I have various aquatic plants and recently upgraded to an internal power filter for tanks up to 30 gallons (after adding the sick Corydoras to my tank, I thought it would be safest to increase filtration since my tank is not yet cycled).
<Some merit in that. Adding some Floating Indian Fern would be a very good idea. These jump start the filtering process and also remove some pollution directly, so are always worthwhile. They also inhibit algae.>
Originally I quarantined the sick Cory since I honestly had no idea what could be wrong with him. He was pale, listless and would enter what appeared to be periods of paralysis, which lasted for up to 4 hours. I thought he had died multiple times during his 3 days in confinement. Then suddenly he would dart around his tank and remain active for a short time.
He had red streaks/blotches on his body, darted to the surface for air often and would lie on his side motionless.
<These red blisters are suggestive of "Corydoras Plague" or "Red Blotch Disease", which is (probably) a bacterial infection seen in stressed and damaged bottom dwelling fish. A combination of improving the substrate (removing sharp sand/gravel), improving water quality, and treating as per Finrot usually helps.>
His gills would either appear to be deeply pulsating or not moving at all.
During his time alone in his small tank, I was treating the water with prime and stability. I was also changing 50% of the water daily and keeping everything as clean as possible. He did not eat (I tried almost every option possible) and he did not even acknowledge food when it was right in front of him. I forgot to mention that his barbels are very short, barely visible even.
<Again, a very good indicator of bacterial infection caused by the wrong environment. In brief: sharp sand or gravel damages the whiskers; poor water quality inhibits the immune response; bacteria infects the wounds;
the whiskers erode away.>
I only found your site today and this was after I made the bold (and possibly foolish) move of transferring my sick Cory to my 10 gallon tank. I posted endless requests for help on so many forums, but received very vague responses. Through research, my best guess is that the Cory had ammonia poisoning. After day 2 of confinement, his red blotches were gone and he no
longer displayed long periods of paralysis.
<Good.>
Although not nearly as active as my 2 healthy Corydoras, there was a significant improvement. Without any guidance and a true lack of knowledge, I convinced myself that he was depressed, lonely and recovering from ammonia poisoning. I have read that Corydoras should be in groups, so I moved him to the larger tank in hopes that the company would influence him
to thrive.
<Certainly wise. Red Blotch Disease isn't contagious as such, and is more to do with the catfish being stressed/damaged than "catching" something.>
My sick Corydoras has only been in the larger tank for about 15 hours, but he seems to be doing well. He has definitely taken to the other Corys and spends time grazing, swimming and even EATING with them(first time eating since I brought him home). However, he still appears pale and appears lethargic at times. I am very nervous that my irresponsible and uneducated choices will take a turn for the worst. I worry that I made the wrong choice for both the sick Corydoras and the rest of my fish. I am hoping you wouldn't mind offering some insight and advice. My only plan of action is to continue with daily water changes along with treatments of stability and prime. I have been testing parameters using test strips so far, but today I purchased the API testing kit. Once I learn how to use it I can offer better details on water conditions. My test strips have been showing values of 0 for both nitrates and nitrites(I started stability about 4 days ago).
Ammonia levels have remained at zero. I don't have the specific value on hand for hardness, but the key showed it to be in the "hard" range. My pH has been at 7.2 I believe. The alkalinity was very low.
<Corydoras are very adaptable: provided water chemistry is stable, it doesn't matter much what the precise values are within, say, pH 6-8, 1-20 degrees dKH. Don't overheat Corydoras though: 25 C/77 F is optimal for sick specimens, a degree or two cooler for maintenance. Incidentally, 24 C/75 F would be ideal for Danios, Cherry Shrimps and Apple Snails!>
The strips don't offer exact numbers unfortunately, so I apologize. I will get working on the API kit so that I can offer more details if/when needed.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this. I apologize if I left anything out. Sincerely, Danielle
<See above. Reviewing the environment and using an antibiotic should help.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick Albino Corydoras     7/20/15
Hello again, Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I was honestly expecting a bit of criticism in your response, but was very relieved that my choices were not (completely)ignorant to say the least.
<Good.>
Since my last email, my recovering Cory is doing fantastic (whom, by the way has taken on the name "Casper" not only for his albinism (obvious), but also for the multiple instances that he appeared to have come back from the dead =) ).
<So not named after Caspar Weinberger then?>
His improvement has been so ideal that I have yet to pursue treatment with an antibiotic. This decision was just that of a mothers intuition I suppose, since I avoid unnecessary drugs/chemicals within my own family. If you feel that proper treatment is still necessary despite his progress, please let know.
<If a fish is healing under its own steam, then no, there's no need to use medication. But do be on the look out for relapses and act accordingly.>
In the last few weeks I have fallen in love with this enjoyable responsibility/hobby, especially with my 3 sweet little Corydoras. How anyone can resist their innocent nature or the way they blink at you through the glass is beyond my comprehension (*Love*)!
<Certainly entertaining fish. The blinking is, of course, an adaptation to living in a muddy environment, where regular blinking helps to wipe away silt from the surface of the eyeball. Fish don't (with a few exceptions) have anything comparable to our eyelids, so they aren't self-cleaning in the same way (indeed, in an aquatic environment it's not normally necessary; eyelids are an evolutionary response to using fish-type eyes in a dry air environment).>
I have spent an unreasonable amount of time (while juggling a toddler) reading through the contents of your site. That being said, I purchased a 29 gallon tank today and what I understand to be equivalent necessities for the cycling process.
<An excellent size aquarium. Can't go wrong with 20-30 gallon tanks. A nice balance between size, cost and stability.>
I would love to do it the right way this time and provide a desirable home for my current fish while adding to my small group of Corydoras.
<Provided the filter is an internal or external filter, you simply swap from one tank to the other (switched off while it's out of the water though!). Transferring some/all of the aquarium water is a plus too, as well as substrate, plants, etc. All this will jump start the new tank instantly. Easy!>
In response to your comments I am also considering transferring the cherry shrimp to a small species tank, so thank you for that insight.
<Agreed: mixing Cherry Shrimps with some other 'nano' species in the 10 gallon would be great. An unheated tank stocked with Cherry Shrimps and subtropical species such as Least Killifish would be highly entertaining. I have just such a tank in the kitchen. Trivial to maintain, cheap to run, and some babies of both species too!>
So this is where my questions and/or current understanding comes in to play(please correct anything I may have misinterpreted)! The internal power filter that I am currently using has both sponge and carbon components (I also added ceramic rings). After reading your articles on freshwater filtration and media, I understand it would be best to replace the carbon cartridges with filter wool.
<Yes; carbon has only one function, removing unwanted chemicals, and for most aquarist, this is pointless. It'll remove medicines just as well, making it a positive hazard if you have sick fish.>
I mentioned in my last email that I am cycling with fish using stability and prime. My values are improving and I seem to be on the right track with my 10 gallon tank. Would you recommend that I use the stability in the fishless cycling of my 29 gallon tank?
<See above. Just swap the filter (and the fish) to the 29 gallon tank. If you can, put an equivalent filter in the 10 gallon, and cycle that one using Cherry Shrimps, which generally sail through the process if you don't add any food beyond allowing them to graze algae.>
Another concern of mine seems to be an overly covered topic on your site (and I genuinely apologize for adding to it). Since the Corydoras are at the top of my new infatuation, I am going with a sand substrate in the upgraded tank. I was unable to find silica sand sold locally.
<In the US, often sold as pool filter sand.>
Anxious to start the cycling process (and help Casper regenerate his lost whiskers asap), I purchased an adequate supply of sand by CaribSea called super naturals. I believe it to be appropriate for the cories based on what I've researched, but would appreciate any opinion you may have to offer on this product.
<Provided the packaging says "suitable for soft belly fish" or "suitable for sand sifting fish" or something along those lines, you're fine. Carib Sea used to expressly state this on their website, yes or no for each of its brands/products, but it's been updated and this information dropped. In any case, you're after a fine, smooth substrate different from sharp sand.>
I am worried that the maintenance of such a fine sand may be a bit beyond my experience level (when adding in the full time care of a feisty toddler and the final semester of a nursing program).
<It's easy to maintain. Silt sits on top of sand. It sinks into gravel. So in a gravel tank, the dirt is "out of sight, out of mind" but it doesn't vanish. Cheap tip: buy a turkey baster and use this to spot clean the tank whenever you see piles of gunk you can't ignore. For what it's worth, Corydoras don't mind a bit if mulm -- it's what they mostly consume in the wild.>
If you have no personal opinion on this specific product, please feel free to disregard (with much understanding). Finally, I have made a hypothetical observation with my albino Corydoras regarding possible sensitivity to light. It is somewhat hard to describe their behavior when the (led) lights have been shining down on them for a while. If I had to compare the symptoms to those of a human, I would say it appears as if they are experiencing absence seizures (2 of the 3, including Casper).
<Seems plausible. Review human albino eyesight, and for fish, it's probably similar, except of course water cuts out UV light almost completely. Corydoras are naturally shade-dwelling fish, and the addition of floating Indian Fern makes them a lot happier that bright overhead light.>
They have been unresponsive to firm taps on the glass while lying right beside it. Then a fraction of a minute later, upon tapping they suddenly jolt to the other side of the tank and all over for a few moments. They don't behave this way when the led lighting is off. Is this an issue that you've ever been made aware of regarding albino species and bright lighting?
<Yes; it is widely observed by objective fishkeepers that albino fish are less robust than their normal relatives. We've bred them because they look nice (to some people, anyway) but such fish wouldn't last long in the wild.>
In addition, my tank is planted with plenty of hiding spots. Even so, when the lights are on the 2 cories choose to remain unsheltered, eventually entering this odd "hypnotic" state. I find it odd that they don't try to hide if it's bothering them.
<Corydoras are not very smart. Causes problems if kept with territorial fish -- they simply fail to learn to avoid territories.>
In a way, to me this makes their behavior seem even more similar to that of am unsuspecting epileptic.
<Not beyond the realms of possibility. Fish behaviour is both more complex than we assumed even 20 years ago but also far less well studied than that of mammals or birds. We're observing all sorts of things we never expected with fish, such as play behaviour (hitherto associated with "higher" vertebrates) as well as what appears to be the ability to feel pain (this latter still contentious, but if it's true, profound in terms of how we catch fish to eat and keep fish as pets).>
I have added 3 pictures of Casper - the first 2 while quarantined and at his worst. The 3rd at his best state so far, taking a rest after playing with the other (not the best quality, but notable to his improved color and "plumpness"). Just proud of him and thought I'd share :) !
<Looking better than last time!>
Thanks so much again for your time and all the very valuable information on your amazing site. It has been quite the life saver for my fish (as well as my own sanity!).Danielle
<Most welcome. Neale.>

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