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I have a heavily planted 12 gallon that I let go for about a year and all of the fish died but the plants and nerites thrived. I recently added fish to it but have a wierd problem that I have never had before. The fish that swim in the water column are happy and healthy but every scavenger I have put in it has died within a couple of days. I have added panda cories, albino cories, and a kuhli loach (not all at the same time and purchased from different LFS). Is there something that could have built up on the substrate? Before I got so sick, I had nanus cories that lived about 3 years and a sumo loach that lived for almost 6 years.

Substrate: eco complete
Ammonia: 0
pH: 7.8
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 50

Plants: anubias nana, nana petite, crypt wendtii, madagascar lace, marimo ball
Fish: 4 black neon tetras, 6 white clouds, 1 dwarf gourami

Any ideas? I am stumped.
 

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I have a tank with very similar parameters to yours. Cories and loaches are scaleless fish, which means they're a little more sensitive to chemicals in the water than your other fish. I know that whenever the nitrates are up to 40 in my tank, they're the first ones to become a little lethargic and unhappy. It's possible you just need a water change.

Best of luck!
 
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