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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have five Sterbai Corycats in my 29 gallon with a few other fish. I purchased three of the Sterbais from Petco when I noticed they were misidentified as Juli Corys and were sold to me for $3 a piece, the other two I purchased afterward at another store for regular price. I have had them in my tank for about four to five weeks now.

I recently noticed that one of the corys has a white bump on its mouth area that looks like a blister (pictured). A second cory appears to have a white tint to its face area as well, but no white face bump (second pic). These are both stock from the fish I purchased at Petco at a reduced rate because they were mistakenly shipped as another species.

Any idea what this is? I suspect that it might be ich because there looks like a smaller white dot on the side of the first fish. I plan to buy some Kordon Ich attack today and start treatment. Do the experts agree?

Bump: Let me also add that before opinions are formed that blame the substrate because of the lack of barbs on these two fish I must mention that they were purchased with no visible barbs and since that time have began regrowing them while in this tank. I have two other corys in the tank with full healthy looking barbs so I do not think that the substrate is responsible.

I have been doing water changes of about 1/3 tank once a week.
 

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Their barbels are missing, they most likely ripped them off (and worse off the top layer of hide on their 'snouts') trying to burrow through you substrate to scavenge food... which looks far to rough for them, you'd be better off with them in a sand based tank.
 

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It has been previously stated that the cories were missing their barbels when purchased, and the other cories in the tank have full barbels despite the substrate. It does look like a rough substrate, but the other cories should be the judges of that.

Looks to me like they hurt their little faces on the Petsmart gravel and may be having a hard time regrowing their whiskers. Could be a mild infection? I'd up the water changes a bit to keep the tank cleaner and just leave them alone for now, maybe treat with something gentle in case it is an infection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's a pic of two of the bigger Sterbai that were purchased at another store a day after bringing home the original three corys that I purchased without visible barbs. You notice that they have full barbs being in the same tank for the same period of time as the "sick" corys. The corys have started to regrow their barbs in the time I have had them at my home.

I know that sand is best for these fish, but I also have read that any clean substrate will suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am wondering if anyone has a best guess to my problem here. I do not currently have any medication treatment on hand so I will be ordering something. Fortunately, Petco is having a 50% sale on online orders so I can stock up on medication. Are there recommendations for plant safe treatments out there?

I am considering the Kordon Ich Attack, and API Pimafix or Melafix? I read that Kordon products are natural and safe for planted tanks so maybe the Kordon RidFungus is better? Does anyone know more than me what is effective and safe for planted tanks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice all!

What I decided to do was order Kordon Ich Attack, Kordon RidFungus, and API MelaFix from Petco since the prices are cheap right now. If I need one of the three in the future I will have it on hand. I think that dosing the MelaFix might be what I need to patch those Sterbais up. If not, I guess it is a process of elimination.
 

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Be careful with cories. They don't take to medications well. I have never fixed a problem with cories with medications myself.

Here's my advice. Focus on clean water. Water changes will help. Indian almond leaves/Oak leaves/Other tannin releasing substances may help a lot too.
I had a Common Hatchetfish (Thoracocharax stellatus) that got caught in a moss wall. I have since removed the moss wall, but it hurt him really badly. His entire tail fin was ripped off. Half of his body was covered in white slime that was probably bacteria, and he had a little bit of blood in his eye, probably from a popped blood vessel.
What I did was focus on water changes and I added a lot of Indian Almond leaves. The Indian almond leaves produce tannins which help kill bacteria. Furthermore they lower your pH which most bacteria can't handle as well. My hatchetish recovered fully and quickly and now his tail fin has almost completely regrown.
This looks like a bacterial infection. This seems to be common with cories and has been implicated over gravel in producing barbel loss. I keep cories in fluorite with very long barbels. I have kept cories in sand back in the day and they lost their barbels. That's because I wasn't the best fish keeper back then. I didn't do water changes as often as I should, the tank was slightly overstocked, and I didn't have the knowledge I have now. I think the substrate isn't the most important for cories. I think they enjoy sand, but I don't think gravel causes barbel loss.
If you have Oak leaves outside you can use those.

If you do use medication I don't think any of those you listed will help. Most of these problems seem to be bacterial. I'm not a vet or anything, so I'm just speculating from what experience I do have in this hobby. However, I think that antibiotics might be more helpful in these cases.
Again, there's some research to be done on how well cories handle medication. Perhaps in the past when I medicated them I just wasn't using the proper medication. (I tended to use Melafix for everything and it never 'Fixed' anything!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Be careful with cories. They don't take to medications well. I have never fixed a problem with cories with medications myself.
Ok, thanks for the advice. I heard that scaleless fish are more sensitive and show signs of stress/poor water quality faster than other types. I suppose that sensitivity includes medications. I am new to aquariums so I am spending lots of time researching forums to figure out what I am doing. I also saw something similar to what you said about dirty substrate causing barbell loss in cories and from what I have seen in my cory population, I don't think that my substrate is the problem (Eco-complete). I clean it with a gravel vac each time I do a water change, which is at least 1/3 tank change weekly. Hard to get under the rocks though so there are some slightly neglected areas.

I will research the almond and oak leaf recommendation that you made. I have oak trees in my backyard so that sounds like something easy to try out. I have white cloud minnows and mollies in the tank as well though and doubt a PH change like this is good for them.

Water parameters at 0, 0, 10-20 ppm Nitrates.
 

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Ok, thanks for the advice. I heard that scaleless fish are more sensitive and show signs of stress/poor water quality faster than other types. I suppose that sensitivity includes medications. I am new to aquariums so I am spending lots of time researching forums to figure out what I am doing. I also saw something similar to what you said about dirty substrate causing barbell loss in cories and from what I have seen in my cory population, I don't think that my substrate is the problem (Eco-complete). I clean it with a gravel vac each time I do a water change, which is at least 1/3 tank change weekly. Hard to get under the rocks though so there are some slightly neglected areas.

I will research the almond and oak leaf recommendation that you made. I have oak trees in my backyard so that sounds like something easy to try out. I have white cloud minnows and mollies in the tank as well though and doubt a PH change like this is good for them.

Water parameters at 0, 0, 10-20 ppm Nitrates.
I would focus on water changes. Maybe do 2 water changes this week. a 50% water change will help too. It will help bring your nitrates down at least. It might not fix everything, but water changes are 99% of the time helpful. The water changes will help remove any bacterial cells floating in the water that might lead to re-infection or infection in another cory.
The pH change from the leaves hasn't been a problem from me, although I don't keep those species. The pH change isn't that big though I think. Unfortunately I did not have my pH meter last month when I had to do this, but none of my fish experienced any symptoms. I think the tannins and humic acids and such were probably more helpful than the pH change, if they did indeed help. Again, this is my anecdotal evidence.
Also, I didn't add the leaves all at once. I added 1 very big leaf on day one. 2 medium leaves day two. Then at some point another very big leaf. After that I stopped adding leaves because I thought it was enough. The leaves will color your water a light brown. A water change after my hatchetfish recovered took out the brown color. The pH swing that might have occurred with that water change did not seem to harm my fish either. Again, I don't think some leaves will change your pH that much. Btw, I have a 29 gallon.

Oak leaves should work great unless you just sprayed pesticides or fertilizers on them.
 
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