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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 4 albino cories in QT and they have been there for about 6 weeks now. I was just about to move them to a 90 gallon community tank when I noticed one has damaged fins. They also seem to be eating less than usual. I usually feed one sinking pellet per day but I put in 1/2 of one yesterday and it was uneaten today.

They seem kind of sluggish, but I don't know if that is just how cories are. I have also seen them gulp at the surface, but I have read this is normal for cories.

I really want to add them to the 90G because I know they will do better there. Would it be a bad idea to do that? Should I just move the other 3 that look fine?

 

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I would keep him in the QT tank till he's better. Since you don't know exactly what's going on with the cory you have to assume he might infect other fish. He could have a parasite you don't see yet. Cories are anything but sluggish. What are you water parameters?
 

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Cories do normally gulp, yes, but they aren't sluggish. They're very active... Something's wrong.
That could be fin rot, or it could be damage from something else. Was it there when you got him? I'm guessing no. Is there anything sharp in the QT? Anything else that could have bitten him? If not, I'd say it's fin rot.
 

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If I found that in my main tank, I would want to be moving him into QT, rather than out.
I might guess damage from other fish as a first thought?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is just the 4 cories in a 20 gallon QT tank with sponge filters. I got them from petsmart but they were all healthy when I got them and have seemed fine until I noticed the fins on this one. I usually only check the QT tank two or three times a day. I say they are sluggish because when the lights turn on they all just sit behind the bog wood and don't "wake up" for a while. After that they swim around together but tend to just mill around in the same areas as a group. I just checked on them and the one with ragged fins is panting. The tank has been set up for over 4 months and the parameters where all 0 a few weeks ago. The PH is around 8, the GH is around 7, and the KH is around 4. I did a water change of 2-3 gallons yesterday and will try to test the water later today.

I change 1-2 gallons per week but I did not do it last weekend because I have been cleaning the 90 gallon and its filters and meant to add the cories to that tank over the weekend. I wanted to give the filters some time to regrow any BB that might have died while I was cleaning the filters. Now that the 90 gallon is ready for them, I want to move them ASAP because the 20g gets less attention and they wil have much more room in the 90g. Would it be a bad idea to at least move the 3 healthy cories?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just tested the water:
TDS= 190
Ammo=0
Nitrites=0
Nitrates= 30? (it was darker than 20ppm, but lighter than 40ppm)

I am guessing the nitrates where higher before I changed the 3 gallons, plus I have a few plants in the tank.
Should I wait for the cory with damaged fins to heal or can I go ahead and move the other 3 to the 90 gallon then move the 4th one once its fins heal?
 

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Do enough water changes, or add plants to get the NO3 lower.
One of the bacteria that cause fin rot seems to thrive in tanks with higher NO3.
I think this is fin rot, based on the info above- the fish are acting lethargic, and the NO3 is high enough to encourage Flavobacterium columnare.

Treatment:
Water changes to keep the NO3 a lot lower.
Antibiotics that target Gram negative bacteria.

You could try Melafix and Pimafix, they work well when the problem is external and just getting started.

Yes, it is normal for Cories to dart to the surface for a gulp of air. If you notice how often they do this, then find out they are doing it more often than average there could be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am just going to do water changes and feed less since only one cory is showing signs of fin rot and I don't really like using meds if it can be avoided.

Should I assume they are all infected and wait until there are no signs of fin rot in the tank, or can I move the healthy looking fish to the 90 gallon. The 90 gallon is pretty heavily planted and is a much healthier environment. I am planning on taking the 20 gallon down and the light is old so plants do not grow as well, which is probably why the NO3 levels have risen.
 

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Something that does often show is that larger tanks are easier to maintain than smaller. So while you are correct that getting them to the larger will make them have a better chance, you are possibly missing out on a good part of the QT idea. It gives us time to spot any disease but it also gives the fish time to get over the trauma they have been through. But to recover, they need good water! So if we keep them in QT but don't keep the water really good, we are missing the boat. A stressed fish, kept in semi-poor water is not as likely to get better?
When I have fish in QT, I don't stress over keeping the tank cycle done and fully working but I do a lot of water changing so that there is an almost steady flow of good water. One reason to keep QT tanks bare bottom with a minimum of décor other than hiding, is to ease the cleanup.
I would suggest getting the QT water grade A and using Pima and Mela for a week to give them a far better chance.

I just saw your note. Pima and Mela are not what I consider meds as they are much more a natural item. About the only two that I keep in stock as they are not harmful to the bacteria nor much trouble to use. I often look at meds as a way of time and money as it is so difficult to diagnose fish correctly. I use good water as my primary med!!!
 

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Looks like possible fin rot to me. The usual cause is poor water quality. Last time I had anything like this all I did was change 30% water everyday for about 7 days. The deterioration stopped and the fins started to heal.
 
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