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Old 01-11-2005, 11:36 PM   #1
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new tank, new fish: two (not so bad) surpises

First of all, hello everyone, I just registered today though I've been reading for a week or so now, this place has been very informative.

As a Christmas present to myself I bought a 29 gal tank (starter kit) to do a basic freshwater community aquarium. This is, in essence, my first aquarium. When I was little, we did have a 10 gal in my home for a while, but dad did all the maintenance, I was too young, just liked watching the pretty fish.

So anyways, determined to do things right, I have been diligently researching setting up a new aquarium, learned about the different options for cycling a new tank, and decided to go the Bio-Spira route. So after having my tank up & running for about 3 days at temperature but empty, testing the water (ph 7.1-7.2, zero readings for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate) I searched far & wide for a pet dealer that had Bio-Spira. Finally located one about an hour from where I live, so this afternoon took a drive up there to get the Bio-Spira and some fish.

Came home with the magical liquid and (what I thought) was a half dozen zebra danios and 3 peppered corys. Now...on to the surprises.

1. As I was floating my bags in the aquarium to get water temps acclimated, I noticed that it really looked like there were more than 6 zebras. Upon further review, the pet store gave me 8! (Only charged me for 6). Not sure if that was an accident or if it is the pet store equivalent of a "baker's dozen," but either way I am not going to complain.

2. After releasing my corys in the tank and watching them for a while, I suddenly noticed that...2 of my 3 peppered corys are NOT peppered corys! Their body shape is the same, but they do not have that distinctive black & light splotched look. Instead, the bodies are basically light, but most of the top half of the body is one long, thick, horizontal black stripe! So now I want to identify what those other two might be. Other than the color difference I described, the body shape is exactly the same, so it is clearly some type of cory. Anyone have an idea which one? Or can anyone direct me to a page that provides nice clear pictures of the different varieties? I'd post a pic, but unfortunately I just loaned out my digital camera to a friend taking a 2 week vacation in Europe, so I won't have that back until near the end of the month.

Other than those two surprises, all seems fine. The danios are tons of fun, swimming all over, not exactly "schooling" as one large pack but going around in pairs 3's and 4's, using really teh whole tank from bottom to top and side to side. The especially seem to like the flowing water where the filter dumps water back into the tank and the bubbly area caused by an airstone I have in the other corner (a couple of the smaller danios like to zip right through the middle of the bubbles). The only problem is I think one of them is not going to make it; even in the bag he seemed really lethargic compared to the others and he is the same in the aquarium; he stays near the surface, barely flaps his fins, and mostly just sits there. I am worried he might be sick and am considering pulling him out, but I have no smaller tank so if I do that it means euthanizing him. Should I do that, or wait it out a few days and see if he gets better?

The corys are great, alternating between just resting on the bottom (or on a rock ledge) and swimming all over; I've never seen catfish so active, I thought they all just hung around on the ground all day, but these guys really like to swim. The three don't exactly school, but often one of the two striped ones will follow the (slightly bigger) peppered one around, almost like a litle brother following a big brother. Both of the smaller ones do this, but never both at the same time.

Anyway, they've all been in the tank about 6-7 hours and I just did a new set of water tests. Results are pH 6.8-6.9, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate all zero. (Or at least too low for my test kit to detect.) So other than the pH dropping a little, no change in water chemistry. Should also mention the temp of the aquarium is 76 F.

If anyone can think of anything I should know, or am overlooking, please let me know! Otherwise, the only thing I am really looking for is help on the cory identification. Thanks!

P.S. -- Sorry if this is really long and wordy!
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:52 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the free fish and welcome to Aquarium Advice

Check out this page it has great pics of cories to help you identify them:
http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog...a/g_thumbs.htm
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:06 AM   #3
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Send a message via AIM to AlonelyCody Send a message via Yahoo to AlonelyCody
That is always a bonus!!

And Welcome to AA !!
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55 gallon - Live plants, gravel:
3 Bala Sharks, 4 Tiger Barbs, 3 Long Finned Rosy Barbs, 1 Tire Track Eel, 1 Black Ghost Knife, 1 Gold Gourami, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Pecock Eel ,1 Chinese Algae Eater.

45 gallon - Live plants, sand.
6 Cichlids = 1 Pink Convict, 1 Electric Yellow Hap, 1 Kenyi, 1 MUTT, 1 Johanni Mbuna, 1 Jacobfreibergi Peacock, 1 Plecostomus.

1 gallon - SW - crushed coral, live rock. **
4 Dwarf Hermit Crabs, 2 Astraea Turbo Snail.
Hitchikers - 1 green shroom, 2 polyps, and one muscle.

1 gallon - SW - crushed coral, live rock. **
4 Dwarf Hermit Crabs.
Hitchikers - 4 yellow polyps.

**10 gallon sump attached to both the 1 gallons.

10 gallon - FW sand, rock.
30ish Cichlid fry.

30 gallon - DOWN - Awating FW or SW
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:36 AM   #4
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[center:a65c6db903] Welcome to AA, JohnPaul! [/center:a65c6db903]
Kudos to you for being a responsible fish owner and researching the needs of your new pets

Quote:
The danios are tons of fun, swimming all over, not exactly "schooling" as one large pack but going around in pairs 3's and 4's, using really teh whole tank from bottom to top and side to side.
Most fish will shoal, unless there is danger lurking and then they take on the selfish herd mentality and school tightly together.
Quote:
I've never seen catfish so active, I thought they all just hung around on the ground all day, but these guys really like to swim.
Happy cories are busy cories!
The pH may have dropped due to the equalibrating of the gasses from the water to the air. Taking a pH reading straight from the tap, or recently poured, will not give accurate results.
Quote:
The only problem is I think one of them is not going to make it; even in the bag
That's a shame. Some fish just do not do well in transport, or after a large net scoops them up. Give the fish some time, but if he is as bad off as you say, he may pass away during the night.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:17 AM   #5
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Good info and pictures here.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/categ.cfm?pcatid=830
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
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A small update--the one danio did, in fact, die over the night, so no big surprise there. Otherwise all the others have made it through night #1 alive and seemingly doing well.

Greenfish, thanks for the link to the Cory page. Unfortunately, after looking through the 85,000 pictures of Cories there...it seems none of them is an exact match for my two! lol At least if I am trying to judge by markings. It seems to have characteristics of about a half dozen of those; the body looks like one, but the dorsal fin like another, etc. (Is there such thing as a fish "mutt"?) When I get more time I need to really study mine in detail and study those pics more. But the link was very useful!

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:01 AM   #7
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You can also post your cories' pics here. There are two members that are great cory-identifiers
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:12 AM   #8
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I'm not sure about cories, but many fish will fade or darken in response to stress. The color of your cories may change when they become comfortable. That might be why they are hard to identify right now.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for the note about stress, I will keep that in mind and watch to see if there is any change in the pattern or intensity of the colors. And as for the pics, my digital camera is out "on loan" to someone for about 2 weeks; in the meantime I will see if I can bum a camera off someone else to use for a day to post a couple pics.
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