Cory listless with red gills

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in the pines

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Aug 27, 2007
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just moved to Ruidoso, NM!
Hi all,

A number of weeks ago my neon tetras started dying. My water parameters were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0-5 nitrate. Half my tetras died. Symptoms were listless then bloated belly and graying of color and then death.

I began using melafix and pimafix and doing more frequent water changes (twice a week) and the tetras stopped dying. I did lose one cory right before the melafix and pimafix though, so it wasn;t specific to the tetras.

Now, I have a cory who either never recovered or is now sick. He is listless with very very red gills. His whole head is red and he is very pale and doesn;t want to do much of anything except hang around at the bottom of the tank. I really don't want to lose him and it's sad watching him because he is usually so frisky and silly and I feel horrible that I don't know what the problem is or what to do.

Current parameters
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
0-5 nitrate (bright yellow with a tinge of orange)
pH 7.6 (awfully high? What can be done?)

I use the API master test kit. I have sand substrate with some eloda which is growing like crazy despite low wattage. I do use plant food. tetra flora pride 0-0-3. I have an air pump and a whisper 40i.

What can I do? What are the possibilities of what the red gills and listlessness might be? please help. I love my cories.
 

in the pines

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Original poster
Aug 27, 2007
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just moved to Ruidoso, NM!
Also, I feet them mostly flake, but I also have freeze dried bloodworm. What foods should I be feeding the tank? I have a honey dwarf gourami, tetras, scissortail rasboras, cories and kuhli loaches whom are hidden and I see rarely.
 

nguyendetecting

"Swim along with the snorks"
Jul 31, 2008
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Your cory sounds like he's in really bad shape. I would remove him and put him in a qt tank. To be honest I've never heard one of one in that bad of shape, I hope he pulls through but if he' sick to that extent he probably won't make it. Hopefully he doesn't suffer too much. What type of cory is he?? Your water seems fine, but I would move him regardless. A ph. of 7.6 is fine but what is your tank temperature set at?
 

Dangerdoll

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Aug 27, 2002
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I would say the same as pappy, these seem like classic symptoms of ammonia burn... perhaps a different kind of poisoning though... have you disturbed the gravel lately and witnessed what appeared to be bubbles being released from the beneath the gravel?
 

in the pines

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Original poster
Aug 27, 2007
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just moved to Ruidoso, NM!
I know right? Because of this **** sand substrate it could be anything, couldnt it. I am so angry and sad.

I swirl the sand about once a week. I get every area except for the part in which the elodea grows. Is that enough or could I be missing something? No bubbles have been released when I do this.

My tank is set at 80 degrees F. I'm looking at the poor little cory at the bottom of the tank right now and I feel so helpless and frustrated. I'll do what ever it takes. Could daily water changes help? Maybe?

I don't have a quarrantine tank. I can set one up, but I will need to buy everything. What should I get? This is my first tank. And despite a fishless cycle and doing everything I have been told to, I have killed fish. :(
 

nguyendetecting

"Swim along with the snorks"
Jul 31, 2008
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so sorry to hear about the rough start and all. I know we're all lost for words/advice but don't give up. You sound like your stuff and that you are definitely putting forth effort. Just look around the tank for other factors that could be causing your fish death. A prime example would be a good friend of mine could not keep fish for anything. He started with a 120 gallon tank but everything he kept died, time and time again. He had a great tank set-up and a full test kit and did everything by the book. But nope everything died. Which means bad fish stock or something else. That something else was an automatic house air freshener!! It sprayed every 10mins. Although it was a good distance from the tank you could see the mist travel and land on top of his water (no canopy). Everyone just didn't notice, so needless to say he keeps fish still and they all make it. Just something that simple caused him so much frustration and money at that.

So take a look around and examine everything that's going on. If all else fails start from scratch, and if you're worried about gas bubbles go with a small gravel. I would not add any chemicals to your tank besides water conditioner, and hold off on the plant ferts. Start with a baseline and see if your fish do ok then.

don't give up!
 

in the pines

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Original poster
Aug 27, 2007
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just moved to Ruidoso, NM!
Thank you everyone for your help. I appreciate it and am glad that I am not in this alone.

I went to my LFS, Sea Cave so that they could check my parameters and she said everything was fine, as well. I am trying tetracycline. A few hours after introducing the tetracycline yesterday, my cory died. The other juli cory (I have two julis and twoothers, I forget the name right now, but they are really cute) was laying beside his friend while he was dying and then when he died the other juli went to the other side of the tank while I scooped him out. :(

I am still going to do the full round of tetracycline because if it is bacterial then I want to protect anyone else from the corys fate.

After the course of antibiotics, I want to change to small gravel. I used sand because I thought the loaches and corys would like it, but at this point, I think I would feel better with small gravel.

Again thanks, and I will keep you guys updated.
 

Dan06

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Jan 22, 2006
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Tons of people use sand, it's likely nothing to do with your substrate.

Do you buy all your fish from the same store? How long have you had them? What size is your tank?
 

Mr. U

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Oct 18, 2006
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Hello Pines,
I hope everything is better. What size tank are you using, and kind of filtration?
 
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