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Old 05-24-2014, 12:39 AM   #1
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Okay for cory to be solo for a week or two?

Hello all. As you can see, it is my first post here and I only registered recently, though I must admit I have been a lurker here for quite a while. I wanted to ask whether a Sterbai cory being the only cory in the tank for a week or two would be okay.

I get a pretty decent discount at PetSmart, and I wanted a school of Sterbai cories, so I figured I may as well purchase from there. I noticed that they only ever seem to have a couple of the little guys there. This week they said they had three, so I wanted to purchase all three of them and then get more next week. However, I then found out that one was dead on arrival. So I decided I may as well get the two--they would be in a pair at the store regardless, and I planned on getting more.

After acclimating them, and once inside the tank, I noticed that one of them seemed to have some injuries, a bloody lesion of some sort near his barbel, and his dorsal fin looked torn. (No idea if he was that way when he arrived at the store, or if the employee could have possibly harmed him that badly when they had to pick him up. He jumped from the net onto the table or whatever. T__T) He just didn't look right, and I unfortunately got the feeling he wouldn't survive the night--he didn't.

So now the one little guy is the only cory in there, and he zips around/swims up and down the glass a lot. I just don't feel right about it. Seems unnatural. All the other fish are behaving normally, and none of them have bothered with him. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, about 5-10 ppm nitrates, pH 8, temp 80F (no heater in there right now, it's just warm in my room in the summer). I know the pH and temp are a little on the higher side, but from what I've read, it's him being solo that's causing him stress. I know it's obviously not good for him to be alone, but is this a matter of him just behaving unnaturally until he has friends, or actually significantly risking his health?

If it's really harming him, I will go seek out more this weekend from another shop and forego my discount, but I wanted to ask some opinions first, as the only research I can really glean from the internet is that they "like" to be in groups. Thank you!
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:51 AM   #2
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I had a Cory alone for about a month until my lfs got some again
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:45 AM   #3
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Cories will swim like that. I have 6 and their all over the tank. It should be fine solo until you get more but definitely get more!
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:28 PM   #4
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Okay, good. It startled me because he seemed pretty relentless with it, I can't imagine swimming like that would be pleasant, but to each his own lol. I will definitely get more, I feel bad for him being alone!
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Okay, good. It startled me because he seemed pretty relentless with it, I can't imagine swimming like that would be pleasant, but to each his own lol. I will definitely get more, I feel bad for him being alone!

I'm the same way too lol! Yeah mine are absolutely crazy. Sometimes they're just chillin out on the bottom. And other times they're up and down the glass at full speed or swim straight up and grab some air and back down. Always something with them haha! They're so fun to watch, especially in groups. You'll love them!
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:54 PM   #6
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I have one and he is the only one in the tank for years.but know going to add a few more to tank
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:10 AM   #7
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Well, I came home after a few hours at a friend's and he was dead. Don't know if it was something to do with my tank, or if he was just on his way out already. Maybe I should purchase them elsewhere. I hate having animals die in my care. The one was pale and injured when I got him, but the second didn't look like he had anything externally wrong with him. :/ Maybe they only ever have one or two because they always arrive in poor condition?
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:49 AM   #8
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Okay for cory to be solo for a week or two?

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Originally Posted by PhelanVelvel View Post
Well, I came home after a few hours at a friend's and he was dead. Don't know if it was something to do with my tank, or if he was just on his way out already. Maybe I should purchase them elsewhere. I hate having animals die in my care. The one was pale and injured when I got him, but the second didn't look like he had anything externally wrong with him. :/ Maybe they only ever have one or two because they always arrive in poor condition?

Sorry to hear that! Do you work there? Maybe you can try ordering more of them and bringing them straight home from the bag their shipped in, might be an option. (Less stress from fish acclimating then bagged right away again). Or if you have a private/small LFS nearby might be a better bet too. Also, check online such as www.liveaquaria.com or even on classifieds here. Shipping is usually $30-$40 from online retailers but stock is usually very healthy. Sometimes large box stores have poor quality fish, which is also why their usually cheaper. I've had good luck and bad luck with box stores, just depends on what I'm getting. How are you acclimating them? The slower the better!
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:23 AM   #9
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Well, my significant other actually did the acclimating this time, so I'd have to ask him...maybe that wasn't the best idea, he may have gotten impatient, if I know him... >_>;; I know he didn't just dump them in there or anything, but after this I'll do it over a few hours and he'll just have to deal with the wait.

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Old 05-25-2014, 08:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PhelanVelvel View Post
Well, my significant other actually did the acclimating this time, so I'd have to ask him...maybe that wasn't the best idea, he may have gotten impatient, if I know him... >_>;; I know he didn't just dump them in there or anything, but after this I'll do it over a few hours and he'll just have to deal with the wait.

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My husband has nothing to do with the fish tanks. He loves watching them but it's not his hobby so I don't mind doing all the work lol! Keep us updated on what's to come! Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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Same here , my hubby has nothing to do with my tanks , he doesn't even feed them, I think if it was up to him he would just toss the fish in there no I don't think he would .. But I'm sorry for your loss maybe try elsewhere ? I recently bought kuhli loaches from a chain pet shop and all died and infected one of my tanks with Ich (after they said they were just out of quarantine !) so I'm trying a smaller family run one who don't have masses of stock but everyone I've had from there have been fantastic and nothing wrong
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Lol, I hear you on that one. I basically do all the animal care, ostensibly because "you're the animal lady". :P

Got some spotted and false julii cories yesterday, and despite there being a dead fish in like every tank at that Petco (lol, tried an actual fish place first and they were closed), they seem to be doing really well, cruising along the sand and eating. They seem to be creating a new layer in the substrate as they go along. Very different behaviour from the constantly freaking out ones who died. :c I wonder if they were just unhealthy, really, I have no clue whether the acclimation time would have made that much of a difference.

Still want Sterbai next, though... >_>

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Old 05-27-2014, 10:01 PM   #13
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Good luck with the new fish! Hope you don't have the same outcome as the last time
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #14
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Lol, I hear you on that one. I basically do all the animal care, ostensibly because "you're the animal lady". :P

Got some spotted and false julii cories yesterday, and despite there being a dead fish in like every tank at that Petco (lol, tried an actual fish place first and they were closed), they seem to be doing really well, cruising along the sand and eating. They seem to be creating a new layer in the substrate as they go along. Very different behaviour from the constantly freaking out ones who died. :c I wonder if they were just unhealthy, really, I have no clue whether the acclimation time would have made that much of a difference.

Still want Sterbai next, though... >_>

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Oh I do hope these are healthy fingers crossed for the little fellas
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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If I see any dead or sick in a fish stores tank I never buy any fish they all could be sick and not showing illness yet
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:22 AM   #16
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If I see any dead or sick in a fish stores tank I never buy any fish they all could be sick and not showing illness yet
Fair and true enough. I should get into better habits with that stuff, ultimately probably shouldn't buy from a chain pet store. They sell bettas in cups, after all. :/ I shouldn't be so naive.

On the upside, the little guys are doing well. I have the false julii cories' markings committed to memory so I can name them and tell them apart. XD. The spotted ones are a bit tougher to differentiate between.

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Old 05-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #17
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I've had several hundred Sterbai come through this fish room and the extent of my acclimation process is temp matching and dropping them in the tank (that's how it goes when I'm getting a few hundred fish at a time). They aren't really that delicate. Your water quality wasn't the issue here.

Sometimes stores just get sickly fish from the wholesaler. That's what I imagine was happening here. It happens to everyone. However, in the future I would suggest:
A. Not buying fish that have just arrived at the store. Most of the fish that are going to come in and crash are going to do it within the first few days of arrival.

B. Not buying fish that have visible marks or lesions, discoloration, etc.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:18 PM   #18
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Petsmart is very good about refunds on dead fish. They a 14 day replace/refund policy and my local stores honors it without question. I had an issue with some neons a few weeks ago and the fish were replaced. You do need the dead fish though.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:48 AM   #19
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I did return them, haha. It's great they have that policy.

Unfortunately I didn't look closely enough at them, I didn't notice the one was jacked up until I was home. Need to be more careful in the future.

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Old 10-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #20
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One thing I also look for at stores that carry fish is the filtration. If they are on a central system, and fish are sick in one tank, my bet is that it spreads. I always look at the fish in the chain stores but never buy them (the one near me always has fish with visible ich for sale!) anyway I've had good and bad luck with cories. The older they are and the more reliable of a source the better it's worked for me.
Glad to hear the new guys are doing well!
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