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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am appealing to the masses with a hope that someone has had a similar issue with cories and might have a clue what I need to do to fix this situation.

The story is that I have a 29 gal tank setup specifically for my Sterbais with a goal of having 20 or so eventually. I had 9 Sterbais, 4 ottos and 4 ghost shrimp living together perfectly well until I introduced new fish. There was a sale at Petsmart (buy 3, get 1 free) and so I bought 4 new Sterbais and stuck them in the tank. After 3 days, I had 3 dead fish (all new Sterbais). I returned them to the store and received 3 new Sterbais which I stuck in the tank. After 2 days, I had 3 dead fish (1 new Sterbai and 2 older established Sterbais). I am now just waiting to find all my fish dead and am desperate to find a fix.

The first dead fish I found looked raggedy and pale, but I think the shrimp were eating at them. The larger established fish I found dead today looked fine, aside from being dead that is. The smaller new fish I found dead today had one red eye if that means anything.

I should add that I noticed the new fish had tattered fins and looked rather pale when compared to my fish. I started treating the tank for Ich after I noticed a white bump on a fin of a new fish. My tank is relatively clean (PWC 1/4 tank weekly) and the water parameter test 0ppm across the board. I have dense floating plants and I never test above 0ppm for Nitrates. I included a pic of the tank.

Bump: I can already hear the replies chastising me for not using a quarantine tank for the new fish. I know. I know. I should have one, but I seldom buy new fish and didn't think having a tank for use two weeks a year was necessary.
 

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Certainly sounds like you've introduced some sort of pathogen to the aquarium - in this situation, if you've seen something like a white spot, you are probably going down the right track with treating white spot.
I haven't added new fish for months as everything has been very stable, but have just bitten the bullet and bought a q-tank - makes those few new fish pretty expensive!
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Certainly sounds like you've introduced some sort of pathogen to the aquarium - in this situation, if you've seen something like a white spot, you are probably going down the right track with treating white spot.
I haven't added new fish for months as everything has been very stable, but have just bitten the bullet and bought a q-tank - makes those few new fish pretty expensive!
Good luck!
I think I learned my lesson. I need a quarantine tank. Any ideas on what to do presently? I figure I will keep treating with Ich Attack for the next week or so and hope for the best. I don't like finding dead bodies and I hate the fact that I don't have any idea what to do to treat the problem.
 

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I just learned the same hard lesson a few weeks ago. I usually buy my fish from a store that does a pre-quarentine before the fish hit the sales floor and I have never had issues with fish from them, but I decided to try a new place and I had a terrible experience. I bought 4 cories. 1 died before it even made it through acclimation. That should've been a huge red flag to turn around and take the rest back to the store, but I told myself he was probably just stressed or got squished in the corner of the bag. The second was found dead 2 days later and had white stuff in his barbels. So, I go to my regular fish store and get mouth fungus meds and start treating the whole tank. The third died a couple days after that. A couple days later, established fish are showing mouth fungus, but some are showing signs of ich too... So I had to treat for that too... By the time I got both of those things cleared up, and in my last day or so of meds. Then, my oldest cory gets these weird bubble blister looking things all over him. Well, I had added extra aeration during medication treatment and apparently too much air can cause that in cories. At this point, I was at my whits end. Luckily, within 24 hrs after removing the air those things went away. So, yeah, now, I am getting a quarantine tank before any more fish come into this house.
 

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What are your temps at? Sterbai like higher temps. My LFS quarantines new fish for 1 week or more for more expensive fish. My local Petsmart treats all the tanks wirh something that turns the water blue when they add new stock. I would look into raising the temps and getting the blue stuff. Fortunately the stores I buy from take precautions against this. At the very least I wouldn't buy from them again. I know it's of little consolation
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just learned the same hard lesson a few weeks ago. I usually buy my fish from a store that does a pre-quarentine before the fish hit the sales floor and I have never had issues with fish from them, but I decided to try a new place and I had a terrible experience. I bought 4 cories. 1 died before it even made it through acclimation. That should've been a huge red flag to turn around and take the rest back to the store, but I told myself he was probably just stressed or got squished in the corner of the bag. The second was found dead 2 days later and had white stuff in his barbels. So, I go to my regular fish store and get mouth fungus meds and start treating the whole tank. The third died a couple days after that. A couple days later, established fish are showing mouth fungus, but some are showing signs of ich too... So I had to treat for that too... By the time I got both of those things cleared up, and in my last day or so of meds. Then, my oldest cory gets these weird bubble blister looking things all over him. Well, I had added extra aeration during medication treatment and apparently too much air can cause that in cories. At this point, I was at my whits end. Luckily, within 24 hrs after removing the air those things went away. So, yeah, now, I am getting a quarantine tank before any more fish come into this house.
That sounds horrible. I should definitely buy a small fish bowl or 5 gallon tank or something for future use. I didn't want to have to buy extra filters and heaters for a tank I would barely be using but now I am seeing that dead fish can quickly surpass the cost of extra equipment.

Bump:
What are your temps at? Sterbai like higher temps. My LFS quarantines new fish for 1 week or more for more expensive fish. My local Petsmart treats all the tanks wirh something that turns the water blue when they add new stock. I would look into raising the temps and getting the blue stuff. Fortunately the stores I buy from take precautions against this. At the very least I wouldn't buy from them again. I know it's of little consolation
I have a heater set at 76 F or so. I had raised it a notch (maybe 78-80) the last few days after finding the white spot on the cory becasue I read that heat is a method to treat ich. I lowered it again today just in case my temperature gauge wasn't as accurate as I give it credit for.

I don't know what blue stuff you're talking about...
 

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Yes, the costs can add up quickly. I spent probably almost $40 on meds and an extra air pump, lost some plants during the treating process and lost $20 in fish... Keep an eye out on Craigslist for cheap set ups. A quarantine tank doesn't need a fancy filter. A sponge filter will suffice. And the blue stuff that The Dude is talking about, is probably Ich - X, I am guessing. I used it to treat my case of Ich and it was blue. It stained my tank seals, the air tubes, etc all blue too.... Which wasn't impressive, but the bottle did warn me, but what are you going to do? The fish are sick, the tank is infected, you don't really have any options....
 

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So exactly how long has this been going on? If you've only seen one fish with one spot then I would not think it was ich. I'd be treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic.

As far as a Q tank goes - a bowl isn't going to cut it and for most fish a 5 gallon won't either. You need something large enough to comfortably hold a few fish at once, you need to keep it heated, and you need to either cycle it or be prepared to do daily water changes, or else you'll end up with sick fish even if they were healthy to start out with.
 

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I would without question raise your temps back to 80* and leave them there for 10 days. You've got something bad in your tank killing your fish. I mentioned the blue medication because it seems to not harm the healthy fish... You're going to have to treat that tank sooner or later hopefully you still have some fish left
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
At this time all the fish look healthy and are acting normal. The three newest fish are darting up and down the glass quite a lot - have been since I put them in the tank. I don't see any signs of ich on any of the remaining fish, but I think I will continue to treat that for a few days to be sure it is eradicated.

I have one of those floating breeders boxes. Would it be beneficial to put the new cories in that to isolate them? If this is something contagious it seems like the water would transfer it anywhere in the tank.
 

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I disagree with raising the temp if you don't know what the underlying problem is. Bacteria thrive in warmer conditions, so if it's a bacterial issue and you're not treating it with antibiotics then you are simply going to make the problem worse by increasing the temp.

The blue medication is methylene blue - it will 100% destroy your cycle if you treat the tank. It's very effective as a dip/bath, however, or in an uncycled quarantine tank.
 

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Quick deaths are columnaris most of the time IMO.
DO NOT raise temp!
Columnaris loves clean warm water!
You got kill it!(Intentionally)
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/columnaris.html
I believe Kannamycin is mentioned in link and will be endorsed by memebers who have used it.
I used PP as a treatment instead of antibiotics.Not the easiest safest path for most IMO.
You need to treat the whole tank IF it is columnaris,and hope.It can live 30+ days without host and cycle annually.
Read the link,Not all the pics show what you might see.Not all columnaris is fuzzy.
Good luck.
+1 with mistergreen
And the blue could be a Jungle Product formerly called "goldfish saver".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For those keeping score at home, the body count is currently at 7 dead corydoras. The first 4 new sterbais I brought home last week are all now dead and 1 of the replacement 3 that were given to me monday is now dead along with 2 of my larger and more robust sterbais that I have had in my tank for the last three months.

After reading through the article you linked I agree that this could be Columnaris. It looks like I need some methylene blue to use as a dip or bath. I think I am going to need to order it though and wait for the two day delivery because it doesn't look like Petco or Petsmart carry it. The addition of salt to the tank is not a good idea for cories (at least that is what I have been told) and the rest of the suggested treatments are prescriptions so it looks like my options are limited.

I had some Rid Fungus on hand so I dosed that today. Then I read the back and realized that it lists Naphthoquinone as the only active ingredient which is identical as Ich Attack. I am worried that I may have overdosed the tank now because I had used the Ich Attack earlier. [email protected]$*&!
 

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So sorry to hear about your troubles. It's frustrating when you don't know how to fix a problem and you know they are suffering. :(

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of advice except that I would avoid buying fish from box stores altogether next go around and source a LFS that knows what they are doing, buys from a reputable breeder, and cares for the fish properly. It's all about the bottom dollar at PetSmart and Petco type places so they'll get cheap fish and keep them in not-so-great conditions.

I don't have a quarantine tank either, I just make every effort to buy from a good source. That's not an excuse really to not have a quarantine tank, but it's better than nothing.

I hope your fishes get better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If anybody is still following this, the sickness seems to have leveled out. I haven't seen any deaths in the last three days and the fish are all looking healthy (except one). I have been dosing Ich Atttack/Rid Fungus daily for the last week or so.

I got some Methylene Blue in the mail today and I was planning on making a dip to put the fish in, but I'm not sure if it is needed anymore. One fish has a white tuft on it's fin so I thought maybe I would just put him through the dip process and not touch the others. I want to disturb them the least amount possible to not stress them anymore. Would dipping one fish work or not? I have no experience with this.
 

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Yes, dipping one fish will help. When I have an issue of some disease I would do a 30 min bath in a bucket/container. This in addition to treating with whatever meds were appropriate in a hospital/display tank. Many times if I couldn't easily catch a fish I would just do the bath for the sickest ones that I was able to net-it does help that fish have a better chance to fight off the disease. Along with frequent water changes to reduce the amount of bacteria/ whatever in the tank. Good luck.
 
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