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Old 01-13-2020, 11:42 PM   #1
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New to cory catfish owning - hope someone can help me

Hello everyone! I'm hoping someone can help me, I've searched and can't seem to find an answer.
I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 danios, 1 molly, and 1 mickey (up until now I've only ever owned danios). I bought 2 cory catfish about about 2 weeks ago. Last Friday I couldn't find 1 of them. I looked under every plant and rock and even took the filter apart to make sure it didn't somehow get into it. Nothing. So yesterday, I bought another, this morning both were there and now tonight I can't locate 1 of them again.
The woman at the pet store said nothing in the tank should have messed with/eaten it for any reason. Is it possible I'm missing it somehow or that it's buried under the gravel? I'm so sorry if this sounds dumb, but it couldn't have disappeared...could it?
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:38 AM   #2
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They can be very good at hiding and I believe even in sandy substrate. One experience I had me remove fish from my daughter's tank and thought I got all of the Cories, even running my fingers through the substrate.

After "emptying" the tank (and triple checking for the Cory) tank sat in her room for a month or so half full of water. It sat unheated, no light, no food no air bubbler, no filtering.

And I needed it for baby fish.

I reached in to grab a decor item and get it cleaned out, and saw a fish, which scared me and then I was so, so sad about how it had been left like that. She just happily went back into a big tank with her friends she seemed to miss, and lived for years.

~~~~~~~~~~~

But is your tank cycled - actually have a colony of beneficial bacteria - BB, which had been growing for 6-8 weeks in the media and creating a cycled tank?

Have you been testing for the parameters of the tank and verifying that the water is in the safe numbers?

The water in unsafe parameters, can kill your fish.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:05 AM   #3
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Thank you for replying! That makes me feel a little better, maybe he is just really good at hiding (hopefully)...

I didn't know about tank cycling for 6-8 weeks. I bought the fish tank, put the water, heater, filter, and AquaSafe/EasyBalance drops in, and then let it sit for about a week. Each time I tested the ph and it was always between 7.2-7.6 (i used the strips).

Then I added the 4 danios for about a day, went back for the molly/mickey and added them for about a day, then added the catfish. I've also been dropping in an algae wafer for them.
The other fish are doing great (including 1 cory) seem to be doing great! I just keep seeming to misplace a catfish. :\
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:48 PM   #4
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They can def be good at hiding. I have a 50gal with 6 in there and theres times ill only see 5 and I think one has passed but then days or weeks later ill see all 6.

However, I will be the one to say that you might not want corys in that tank. It's pretty stocked already and adding corys will require you to keep a close eye on parameters, feedings, and water changes. Which will keep the fish stressed and huge system swings.

Even more so because corys really love to be with other corys, normally a min of 2. Having just two might stress them out a bit and they would be fairly lonely.

Sounds like your tank isnt cycled, you need to test more than PH. You really need to keep track of Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites. Research and understand how important this cycle is. https://users.cs.duke.edu/~narten/faq/cycling.html

Upgrading to a 20-30gal with current stocking and then adding 6 corys total would be a good ratio.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:47 AM   #5
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The key things in the aquarium which can become unsafe is
Ammonia
Nitrite
and NitrAte

The nitrification cycle is the important process which will make the beneficial bacterial grow to the numbers to process the bad things during the cycle.

The "cycle" which gets the colony grown up, (needs ammonia source and takes about 6-8 weeks), and the daily continuing nitrification cycle which IS the process of the BB making the water safe for your fish.

The pH level is important and useful to know.

If you can order a API master kit online or buy one locally - Petsmart and Petco locations will price match for certain companies and/ or you can order and pay online and ship to store / pick up in store, and one will offer a discount as well - you can call and ask a supervisor for details.

It will be a valuable resource for helping keep the fish alive.

You can test during the cycling period to know how much water to change out and to know when the tank water is in an unsafe level which can injure and kill your fish.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:01 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for the advice. I have ordered a testing kit, which should be here tomorrow morning and will update as soon as I get/test.

In the meantime, I have another question. I have noticed what looks like tiny baby fish (3 to be exact). They seem to be staying near the 1 remaining cory. It's not a great picture, but you can see one of them in the corner of it. Should I remove them? Or leave them alone?
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:30 AM   #7
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Well it is likely that they will be a possible target for snacking.

Though also since you have live bearers in the tank, you will get more and more baby fish as that is the life of a live bearer - make baby fish and lots of them.

Options are that they can hide in the big tank and also get enough food to survive to a big enough size to not be eaten. Let nature takes it's course.

Or put up an additional tank to try and save these and future fry drops from the Mollies and Platies.

If you put up fry tank it is involved to make numerous daily feedings which requires many additional pwc's as excess foods are turned to waste and dangerous ammonia.

It is guaranteed that in the future you can always get a female fish which would have babies in your tank.

So, many people decide to skip baby fish care and let nature take its course in the event they are eaten... if some survive you can add a tiny extra pinch of Hikari Fry food or crushed flake food to help the little ones along. And frequently some little ones live.

If you are not going to move them out, you can get some additional plants with fine texture to help give them more places to hide and place them around the tank in several spots and some on top.

That is the reason live bearers have so many babies, is that many are eaten in nature and some still survive.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:56 PM   #8
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Okay, I finally got my kit.
ph- still showing between 7.2-7.6
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Ammonia - between 1.0-2.0 (the color is so close I can barely tell a difference) which I know is too high. I have done a partial water change (50%) and bought Ammo-Lock.

Is there anything else I can/should do, or just continue water changes until it is 0?
Again, I want to thank everyone for answering and helping me out.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:18 PM   #9
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Yes- water changes!
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:21 PM   #10
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You can't know what you don't know, but you can learn what you need to know and looks like you are doing that!
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