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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is really long, but I hope to give all the info needed to get the help I need. I know this has probably been asked before. I have been searching this site, as well as others for hours. I don't know what to put in the search to get the right answers and I am a newbie and getting confused.

I am going to give lots of background here in case this helps.

In Sept. I set up a Fluval Spec V with plants. When it was cycled, I went to the fish store, which sells only fish, and is supposed to be very reputable. I didn't go to the local pet stores - drove over an hour to get to a specialty store. I think I had an inexperienced sales girl. We discussed different options, and she sold me 6 male cherry barbs and 6 pygmy cory for it. They did ok, but I soon realized it was to small for them. So as quick as I could get the tank and get it cycled, I set up a 15 gal. That is as big as I can go for now. A local fish club member had been giving me all kinds of plants, and I would say the tank would be considered medium to heavily planted.

The 15 gal. has an Aqua Clear 20 filter. T5 HO lighting, with one 6500 bulb and one 10,000k full spectrum. Temp steady at 77. Eco Complete substrate. Just tested water yesterday, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate between 5 and 10. Has had these same numbers, steady for several weeks. I am doing 30-40% water change every 8-10 days. Today is day 10 so will be doing another water change. My well water is high PH, at 7.8-8.0 (hard to tell difference on test kit) and it is hard. Gh and KH kit took 26 drops to change color. I don't know what that equals in degree hardness. I'm trying to get by with the well water without adding RO water or PH Down etc. So far, so good - I think. I use Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Trace twice a week, and do not have Co2. Oddly enough, I thought it needed more water movement, and ordered a second filter a week ago. There are so many plants I am not sure there is good circulation. The filter should be here today or tomorrow.

The 15 was started a couple days after Thanksgiving with plants, driftwood, mulm, and bio rings from the 5 gal. tank that's been going since Sept. (I had replaced the carbon bag with a second bio rings bag when I set up the 5 gal, so just moved one of the bags to the Aqua Clear filter) I did fishless cycle, added small amount of ammonia. Was going to add fish slowly, but we had big storm here Christmas day and they expected power outages. I thought they would be better off in the bigger tank, so moved everyone over. Transferred my betta to the 5 gallon from his 2 gallon Kritter Keeper. Did not lose power.

Right from the start of going in the bigger tank, I rarely saw the 6 cory. They hang out in the back and sides of the tank where all the plants are. So I am not sure how long this problem has been happening.

Yesterday, one of the cory was in the front in the open, and I saw something white behind it's pectoral fin, and a red spot in front of the fin, like it had injured itself. I was able to net it and put it in a jar to get a good look. It has feathery, cottony white stuff coming out from where the fin meets the body. And, a tiny white spot on it's head. I looked and looked at images of fish diseases and it does not look like ich to me. Looks like Saprolegnia or Columnaris to me.

I sat for several hours last night trying to get a look at the other cory cats. I did see one more with the same white fuzzy stuff coming out from behind it's fin. Same as the first one, but not as bad. I've seen a couple more of the cory that look ok. The cherry barbs look ok.

The pygmy cory cats are so small, that even with the strongest magnifying glass I have, it's difficult to see detail on the white stuff. I tried to take photos but cannot get close enough photo that will focus.

2 days ago, the friend who has given me all the plants gave me several cherry shrimp, and a red onion snail. I realize this will limit what I can mediate with.

The 2 pygmy cory are now in a 2 gallon Kritter Keeper with a betta bowl heater.

While it looks like Saprolegnia, it seems odd to me that two fish would get this in the exact same location on their body. It is possible I injured them when netting them to put in the bigger tank 3 weeks ago. Or maybe they are getting injured on the eco complete. The "fungus" looks white though, and what I read about Columnaris says it is a grey color.

To make things worse, I think I have that darned flu and no way can I drive over an hour to the specialty store, or the fish club member's house to get meds today. We have 3 pet stores in my town, they have limited fish supplies. We also have Walmart which has some fish stuff. Is there anything I can treat with that the local stores might have that would be safe for shrimp and snail?

Would you treat the 15 as well as the two cory in the "hospital" tank?

UPDATE: I called the specialty fish store for advice and they said treat the two cory in the small tank, not to dose the large tank. Told me to get something for fungus. So I went to local pet store and got API Pimafix. By the time I got home the worst of the two fish was dead. The other one is still swimming so I treated the little tank and will see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here is a photo taken a couple weeks ago. Added more plants a couple days ago.

Sorry photo is not the best. I can't seem to get any good photos.
 

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I'm sorry that I cannot answer your question very well. The only thing I have to offer is the observation that I have kept dwarf cories on EcoComplete, and they were not injured by it. So I don't think that is the cause of your problem. (Sorry I haven't more info... perhaps someone else will chime in).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Naturelady. The fish store guy didn't think it was the Eco Complete. There is the driftwood, but all the other rocks do not have rough edges.

I am puzzled by two fish getting the same thing in the same area. It is both of their left fins.

I have seen two cory today together, and they look ok. Wish I could see all the remaining 4 at once so I would know that no one else is affected. All the other fish still look fine. Just the cory so far.

I thought I might get more response. Maybe I gave to much information and everyone gave up on reading the post.
 

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no such thing as too much info when you are asking for help!

I'm a little perplexed because it's odd to have either injuries or infection in the exact same place. Plus I thought cories were relatively infection proof, but I am pretty much a newbie when it comes to diagnosing this stuff.

I am happy to hear your remaining 4 seem to be okay.

Pygmy cories do like larger groups and will be shy when in smaller numbers. Plus, in a heavily planted 15 gallon tank, they will be hard to find.

Just for comparison, I have 11 in a 10 gallon with shrimp and even then I can hardly ever account for all 11 at once, but they are active.
 
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