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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! I've been in quite a strange situation with my aquarium. For the last few months some kind of bacterial disease has reared its head and has been picking off my cories one at a time. However, my one honey gourami (in the same tank) has had no signs of illness whatsoever.

I have no idea what exactly the disease is and I need your help identifying it so I know what to do next.

Symptoms are as follows: Lethargy, stops eating, loss of swim bladder control, the death hours after that. However all the cories develop these red fin-rot-like infections on their caudal fins as some point before or after the loss of swim bladder control. Sometimes the disease will kill in days. Sometimes it'll be weeks before i see swim bladder issues.

Currently all remaining 3 cories have the red fin rot but are not exhibiting swim bladder issues. Honey gourami still appears normal.

Params: 0 amm
0 nitrite
15ppm nitrate
7.8 ph

I've tried many antibiotic medications (most for gram-negative) and practically broke the bank doing so. Any help on what I should do next is greatly appreciated!
 

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Welcome to APC!

I'm sorry about the cories, but I don't have much experience with them, so I don't know what is wrong with them. I'm sure someone else will offer some suggestions.
 

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I think your antibiotics treatment is the correct course. If you move the infected fish to a smaller tank, it'll save you some money on antibiotics. Make sure to do frequent water changes to keep things clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think your antibiotics treatment is the correct course. If you move the infected fish to a smaller tank, it'll save you some money on antibiotics. Make sure to do frequent water changes to keep things clean.
Problem is ive already poured a but load of money into antibiotics. Only one i havent really tried is tetra cycline
 

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I am so sorry about your Cories. I know how distressing it is when our little pets get sick. :(

I doubt that trying another antibiotic would help, especially since you've tried more than one. Usually, antibiotics work or they don't.

My health surveys show that parasites are a much greater problem than bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Two studies showed that over 60% of diseased fish surveyed had parasite infestations, while only 10-15% had bacteria problems and most of that was from mycobacteria. See page 8 of my article: https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/diseasesurveysa.pdf

If the problem with your Cories is parasites, there's hope. If it's mycobacteriosis, there's none.

For parasites, you could try a salt bath, which will cost you nothing. Apparently, Cories can't stand to live in salt but can do okay with a quick salt bath. Noga recommends 10-30 ppt salt (NaCl) for 30 minutes. You can watch the Cories during the treatment and pull them out as soon as they start to look "drunken" or stressed. (My guppies turned pale and acted drunken and still recovered fully about a day later.)

I'm not a vet and like the others posting here, we don't have any experience with Cories, so this probably is not the best place to get the best answer.

That said, I don't think you have much to lose at this stage. For a salt bath, any table salt will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am so sorry about your Cories. I know how distressing it is when our little pets get sick. :(

I doubt that trying another antibiotic would help, especially since you've tried more than one. Usually, antibiotics work or they don't.

My health surveys show that parasites are a much greater problem than bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Two studies showed that over 60% of diseased fish surveyed had parasite infestations, while only 10-15% had bacteria problems and most of that was from mycobacteria. See page 8 of my article: https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/diseasesurveysa.pdf

If the problem with your Cories is parasites, there's hope. If it's mycobacteriosis, there's none.

For parasites, you could try a salt bath, which will cost you nothing. Apparently, Cories can't stand to live in salt but can do okay with a quick salt bath. Noga recommends 10-30 ppt salt (NaCl) for 30 minutes. You can watch the Cories during the treatment and pull them out as soon as they start to look "drunken" or stressed. (My guppies turned pale and acted drunken and still recovered fully about a day later.)

I'm not a vet and like the others posting here, we don't have any experience with Cories, so this probably is not the best place to get the best answer.

That said, I don't think you have much to lose at this stage. For a salt bath, any table salt will do.
Thank you for all your help here! If you don't mind I have 3 more questions. Is it likely for a parasite like that be exclusive to cories and other bottom dwellers like you said in a PM? And if I had mycrobactiosis (which i doubt as I haven't recieved any sores on my hands) what should i do with the gourami (assuming he's still healthy) and the rest of the tank? Bleach spray or hydrogen peroxide perhaps? If I can't figure out what this is what should my course of action be? (assuming gourami is still healthy) Thank you for your time!
 

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Is it likely for a parasite like that be exclusive to cories and other bottom dwellers?

Probably not. Cories are bottom-dwellers, and thus, are exposed to a whole different environment than your gourami. It could be toxic H2S released by substrate that is slowly stressing the Cories, making them more susceptible to disease. Then, Cories are sociable, so if one gets diseased, he's likely to pass the disease on to the other Cories. The gourami up in the top layers by himself is way less vulnerable.

Often parasites have a stage where eggs and/or juveniles are shed to the substrate. Or they come off when the fish sheds its mucus and the contaminated mucus settles to the substrate. I wrote about flukes coming off in shed fish mucus on page 5 in my article 'Flukes and Sick Guppies' https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/sick-guppies.pdf So if the problem is parasites, the Cories would be exposed to more than the gourami.

So in every way you look at it (substrate toxin, parasite, etc), the gourami is "better positioned" than the Cories to become diseased.

And if I had mycrobactiosis (which i doubt as I haven't received any sores on my hands) what should i do with the gourami (assuming he's still healthy) and the rest of the tank? Bleach spray or hydrogen peroxide perhaps? If I can't figure out what this is what should my course of action be? (assuming gourami is still healthy)


Mycobacteria don't transmit that easily to people; humans are not their natural hosts. The cases you hear about are rare and mainly found in unlucky hobbyists with open sores, compromised immune systems, don't wash hand/arms 30 min afterwards, and encounter a more virulent species (e.g., M. marinum). So the fact that you don't have a mycobacerial infection does not mean that your Cories don't have mycobacteriosis. And if they do, it doesn't mean that you need to sterilize the tank. See my article on managing mycobacteriosis
'https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/mb__2017c.pdf

There are no easy answers here and this is your tank, your fish.
 
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