Seeing your cory catfish get sick will be very troubling indeed. You love your fish and you just want them to be able to thrive under your care.
When your cory catfish appear to have white spots on their bodies, it’s a sure sign that they have a disease known as ich. Ich is a very uncomfortable problem for the fish to have.
You don’t want to ignore such a serious and annoying condition. To help the fish, it’ll be important to learn all that you can about ich.
Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about ich. This should allow you to treat the cory catfish in your tank so that they will be okay.
What Is Ich?
Ich is a type of parasitic infection that many fish are susceptible to. Cory catfish are no different, and it’s fairly common for these fish to get infected with ich when the conditions in the fish tank aren’t the best.
You’ll find that ich is caused by a type of protozoan parasite known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Some people call this condition white spot disease.
There are many different signs of ich that you’ll want to look out for. It’ll be best to catch the disease as fast as you can so that you can treat the fish.
There are various symptoms that are associated with ich. The most common symptom to look out for will be the white spots that will appear on the body of the fish.
You might begin to notice small white spots on the body of the cory catfish. Sometimes the white spots might appear on the gills, and this can make it difficult for the fish to breathe.
Fish that have ich will often try to rub their bodies against objects in the tank. They’re trying to give themselves relief, but it won’t actually help anything.
It’s possible that the fish might experience bruising due to rubbing against objects. This is pretty common for fish that have ich.
You’ll also see that the cory catfish will be much more sluggish than usual. General lethargy is associated with ich, and it’s also typical to notice the fish having trouble breathing.
Sometimes ich can even cause fish to die suddenly. This just shows you how severe ich can be and that it’s not something you can ignore if you care about your fish.
What Causes Ich?
There are quite a few things that can bring ich into your system. Generally, it’s going to happen when you bring a new fish into the fish tank.
Since cory catfish are community tank fish, it’s common for them to be in tanks with many different types of fish. You might have bought some new fish for the community aquarium recently.
If that fish was carrying the ich parasite, then that would be why the other fish in the tank started to show signs of the disease. This is a good reason why you should try to quarantine fish before bringing them into the main tank.
Many people take the step of quarantining new fish for several weeks to be on the safe side. It’s also wise to only buy fish from trusted sources.
Another possible way of bringing ich into your tank involves transferring equipment from one tank to another. The equipment itself could be infected if it wasn’t sanitized properly.
It’s best to sanitize all of your equipment to keep issues like this from being a problem. It doesn’t take long to do and it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to fish.
Moving water between systems can move ich from one tank to another, too. So you’ll also want to be careful about that.
Treating ich is possible, and it’s best to treat it as soon as you notice it. Most often, you won’t notice that a fish has ich until white spots start to appear on its body.
There are many different ich cure medications that you can buy at pet stores. Adding the medication to the water should help the fish to start feeling better.
It’s also recommended to raise the temperature of the water a bit if possible. Ich can’t survive in higher water temperatures, so you can raise the temperature of the water toward the upper limit of what cory catfish find acceptable.
Some choose to add saltwater treatments to the water as well. This is fine to do, but you should be careful if you choose to do this.
You need to know that adding too much aquarium salt has the potential to harm rather than help. Be sure to follow the instructions and only use the amount that you’re supposed to so that the fish will stay safe.
Also, you must use true aquarium salt for this. You can’t just use table salt or some other type of salt that you have at home.
Regular water changes should be a part of the treatment process as well. It’s recommended to change one-third of the water after the first treatment cycle.
Prevention is the best course of action overall. Try to keep your fish from getting ich in the first place by taking really good care of the fish tank and quarantining newcomers to the aquarium.
It’s even prudent to quarantine new aquatic plants for several weeks in a tank that has no fish. Doing so can keep you from accidentally bringing ich into your tank.
Ich is one of many illnesses that has the potential to be a very annoying problem for your fish. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to prevent your fish from getting ich by being careful.
Try to keep your fish as healthy as possible so that they have strong natural defenses against such infections. This means monitoring the water parameters and avoiding situations such as overcrowding the fish tank.
When you plan to add new fish to the community tank, you’ll need to quarantine them for several weeks first. Quarantine new fish for four to six weeks, and be sure to quarantine new aquatic plants as well.
Sanitize equipment when moving it from tank to tank. Taking steps like this will do a great job of protecting your cory catfish.
Being careful isn’t that difficult, but it will make a huge difference. If your fish do get ich, then at least you’ll be able to treat them by following the advice above.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.