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Josie 11-17-2012 04:54 PM

Unfamiliar with Cory Catfish; Stocking and Other Questions
 
I need someone who owns or has owned Corys in the past to answer some questions, if it won't be too much trouble. :D

You can find my tank's stats in my profile (and in another thread I posted asking questions about Corys), but I'll do a quick rundown here too. So I've got your standard 10-gallon with a filter rated for 5-20 gallons (set at maximum; fish don't seem to mind the extra current on one side of the tank) and a Top Fin vertical heater set to 78 degrees (tape thermometer on glass confirms this is what it's at). I've got a sand-gravel mix as I transition towards pure sand. Half my tank is silk plants and half is live plants (eventually no silk; I want the live plants to pretty much overrun the tank) with a small rock cave in the middle towards the back. pH is 7.6 with unknown hardness, ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are <.25/0/<5.

I have 3 juvenile Trili Corys. 2 are approximately 1-1/4" long and the third is 3/4" long. The smallest is paler (more like pale sand than the others' warmer brown) with dark irises compared to the golden irises of the other 2. So far they seem happy --they play all day long when they're not vacuuming for food-- but I want to be sure I'm doing right by them. Hence joining Aquarium Advice.

These are the first community fish I've ever owned; I used to keep a smaller setup (6-gallon Fluval Chi) for my betta. But my betta passed and I decided to upgrade just a little, getting my feet wet before I take the plunge into bigger tanks.

Anyway, QUESTIONS:

2. 20 minutes. 20 minutes is the suggested amount of time the wafers should remain in the water, according to the packet they come in. However, it takes 20 minutes of searching the bottom of the tank for my Corys to stumble across them, and then they still don't gobble them up. Instead they pick at the wafer pieces for 10-15 seconds and then go, "Oh, I'm good." and go back to searching for food elsewhere. Do they not like the wafers? What other foods should I try that will sink easily? Should I remain true to the 20 minutes and take the food out after, even if they haven't found it yet?

3. Other fish. Adjusting for their adult size and the setup, can I keep more (small) fish and not overstock the tank? I would like a strong mid- to top-water swimmer that wouldn't mind a moderately strong current. I'd almost prefer one fish that got to 2-3", but 3-6 little guys would probably be better. They would have to be peaceful and unlikely to stress my little Corys out. If 3 Trili Corys are the most I can keep in a 10-gallon I'll understand: I'd rather they be happy and healthy than make them sick for my own amusement.

4. The differences between my Corys. While two are so similar they could pass for twins, the third (and smallest) easily stands out. I described "him" (not sure on the gender; it's just easier to refer to it that way) above. Do Trili Corys experience sexual dimorphism, and is the smaller, paler one a male? Or is it because he's younger, and will bulk up and and grow darker with age? I don't think he's another species that was put into the wrong tank: his markings are the same, that reticulated dot pattern you would expect to see in Trilis versus Juliis.

5. Okay, so how do I tell boys and girls apart? Or is it too early and I should wait until they're adults? I don't intend to breed them, but I would be ecstatic if they did without my intervention further down the road because then I'd know they were getting everything they needed to be happy and healthy.

ANSWERED:

[STRIKE]1. My fish are not at adult size yet (I don't think; I thought they were supposed to reach 2 - 2 1/2"), and I'd assume I should not be feeding these 3 like they are. Adjusted for their size, how many Hikari Bottom Feeder wafers should I be feeding them daily? The wafers I have are about as large as my pinky nail dry, but they swell up and break down quickly in the water. Right now I break them up into smaller pieces and feed 2 wafers in the morning and 2 at night, always in the same spot in the tank (I got rid of all the gravel right here so it's just sand when they feed).[/STRIKE] ANSWERED! THANKS! From now on I'll feed them 1/day, broken into 4-6 pieces, fed 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 night. We'll see how they do on that. If anyone has anything more/different to add I'd appreciate it.

BONUS QUESTION!

So... odd question. I've named individual fish in the past (my latest betta who died after 2 years was named Khal Drogo: I'm sad he died, but how it happened was actually so ironic it was funny), but do I name community fish? I mean, I know I CAN, but for people who have 60, 100, 200+ gallon tanks... do you name your fish? Can you pick one fish out of a group of its kind and be like, "That there's Charlie: he's one of Marley's kids that I kept. Marley's that one there with the stripes that are at a slightly shallower angle along her body than her fellows."

emerald76 11-17-2012 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Josie
I need someone who owns or has owned Corys in the past to answer some questions, if it won't be too much trouble. :D

You can find my tank's stats in my profile (and in another thread I posted asking questions about Corys), but I'll do a quick rundown here too. So I've got your standard 10-gallon with a filter rated for 5-20 gallons (set at maximum; fish don't seem to mind the extra current on one side of the tank) and a Top Fin vertical heater set to 78 degrees (tape thermometer on glass confirms this is what it's at). I've got a sand-gravel mix as I transition towards pure sand. Half my tank is silk plants and half is live plants (eventually no silk; I want the live plants to pretty much overrun the tank) with a small rock cave in the middle towards the back. pH is 7.6 with unknown hardness, ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are <.25/0/<5.

I have 3 juvenile Trili Corys. 2 are approximately 1-1/4" long and the third is 3/4" long. The smallest is paler (more like pale sand than the others' warmer brown) with dark irises compared to the golden irises of the other 2. So far they seem happy --they play all day long when they're not vacuuming for food-- but I want to be sure I'm doing right by them. Hence joining Aquarium Advice.

These are the first community fish I've ever owned; I used to keep a smaller setup (6-gallon Fluval Chi) for my betta. But my betta passed and I decided to upgrade just a little, getting my feet wet before I take the plunge into bigger tanks.

Anyway, QUESTIONS:

2. 20 minutes. 20 minutes is the suggested amount of time the wafers should remain in the water, according to the packet they come in. However, it takes 20 minutes of searching the bottom of the tank for my Corys to stumble across them, and then they still don't gobble them up. Instead they pick at the wafer pieces for 10-15 seconds and then go, "Oh, I'm good." and go back to searching for food elsewhere. Do they not like the wafers? What other foods should I try that will sink easily? Should I remain true to the 20 minutes and take the food out after, even if they haven't found it yet?
My cories LOVE shrimp pellets. They do the same thing though.
3. Other fish. Adjusting for their adult size and the setup, can I keep more (small) fish and not overstock the tank? I would like a strong mid- to top-water swimmer that wouldn't mind a moderately strong current. I'd almost prefer one fish that got to 2-3", but 3-6 little guys would probably be better. They would have to be peaceful and unlikely to stress my little Corys out. If 3 Trili Corys are the most I can keep in a 10-gallon I'll understand: I'd rather they be happy and healthy than make them sick for my own amusement.
Get a few male guppies or a female betta

4. The differences between my Corys. While two are so similar they could pass for twins, the third (and smallest) easily stands out. I described "him" (not sure on the gender; it's just easier to refer to it that way) above. Do Trili Corys experience sexual dimorphism, and is the smaller, paler one a male? Or is it because he's younger, and will bulk up and and grow darker with age? I don't think he's another species that was put into the wrong tank: his markings are the same, that reticulated dot pattern you would expect to see in Trilis versus Juliis.
I have a peppered that is pale like that, who is male. I don't know much about Trilis but Id assume its similar

5. Okay, so how do I tell boys and girls apart? Or is it too early and I should wait until they're adults? I don't intend to breed them, but I would be ecstatic if they did without my intervention further down the road because then I'd know they were getting everything they needed to be happy and healthy.
Generally females are plumper
ANSWERED:

1. My fish are not at adult size yet (I don't think; I thought they were supposed to reach 2 - 2 1/2"), and I'd assume I should not be feeding these 3 like they are. Adjusted for their size, how many Hikari Bottom Feeder wafers should I be feeding them daily? The wafers I have are about as large as my pinky nail dry, but they swell up and break down quickly in the water. Right now I break them up into smaller pieces and feed 2 wafers in the morning and 2 at night, always in the same spot in the tank (I got rid of all the gravel right here so it's just sand when they feed). ANSWERED! THANKS! From now on I'll feed them 1/day, broken into 4-6 pieces, fed 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 night. We'll see how they do on that. If anyone has anything more/different to add I'd appreciate it.

BONUS QUESTION!

So... odd question. I've named individual fish in the past (my latest betta who died after 2 years was named Khal Drogo: I'm sad he died, but how it happened was actually so ironic it was funny), but do I name community fish? I mean, I know I CAN, but for people who have 60, 100, 200+ gallon tanks... do you name your fish? Can you pick one fish out of a group of its kind and be like, "That there's Charlie: he's one of Marley's kids that I kept. Marley's that one there with the stripes that are at a slightly shallower angle along her body than her fellows."

Answers in quote

Kellie 11-17-2012 05:30 PM

<-- not an expert.
I have six panda cories (3 adult, 3 babies, babies were bought as babies, not bred by me). Out of the three adults, one is a little paler then the other two, "she" is also a bit plumper but slightly shorter. Based on what I read online about sexing, size seems to be the way most people sex cories, and that one is a girl based on that. Based on their activities, they seem to be mimicing the spawning behaviour I read about online, with the paler one acting out the female lead and the other two adult ones tussling about who can swim with her, so maybe thats another way to sex that isn't as reliable? If they are all swimming happily I wouldn't worry if the colors aren't exactly the same as long as all are eating and fins are in good shape, etc.

I think stocking a ten gallon is hard, a lot of small fish want lots of room to swim. Maybe add another cory and then get some silver hatchets for the top maybe? They are peaceful, little boring, but brighten up the top of the tank and are small. I think that would be way pushing your bioload but if your committed to large PWC I think they'd be ok SOMEONE ELSE CORRECT ME IF YOU DISAGREE!

In terms of naming, I used to have several tanks, took a long hiatus from fish and now recently got back in, but what I have done this time and what I did the last time was name any fish that stood out as an individual. Like for example in the past I had only one red tail black shark, I called it scarlet. In that same tank I had a shoal of tiger barbs, the alpha barb was easy to distinguish so I called him a dirty word I wont repeat here, lol. Currently, I have two bettas which both have names. The tiniest baby panda cory I call lil' puppy although I'm sure once they are full grown I wont be able to tell them apart they will just all be named "Panda" for whichever look feminine to me, or "Cory" for the masculine looking ones. I call my alpha black phantom tetra male a different dirty word I wont repeat. But I call both of my Espei rasbora "Espei." When it comes to names do whatever feels right to you!

bkiggy 11-17-2012 06:00 PM

Your PH is too high for Cory's. below 7.0 is ideal

Ammonia will burn delicate skin

Josie 11-17-2012 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kellie
<-- not an expert.
I have six panda cories (3 adult, 3 babies, babies were bought as babies, not bred by me). Out of the three adults, one is a little paler then the other two, "she" is also a bit plumper but slightly shorter. Based on what I read online about sexing, size seems to be the way most people sex cories, and that one is a girl based on that. Based on their activities, they seem to be mimicing the spawning behaviour I read about online, with the paler one acting out the female lead and the other two adult ones tussling about who can swim with her, so maybe thats another way to sex that isn't as reliable? If they are all swimming happily I wouldn't worry if the colors aren't exactly the same as long as all are eating and fins are in good shape, etc.

I think stocking a ten gallon is hard, a lot of small fish want lots of room to swim. Maybe add another cory and then get some silver hatchets for the top maybe? They are peaceful, little boring, but brighten up the top of the tank and are small. I think that would be way pushing your bioload but if your committed to large PWC I think they'd be ok SOMEONE ELSE CORRECT ME IF YOU DISAGREE!

In terms of naming, I used to have several tanks, took a long hiatus from fish and now recently got back in, but what I have done this time and what I did the last time was name any fish that stood out as an individual. Like for example in the past I had only one red tail black shark, I called it scarlet. In that same tank I had a shoal of tiger barbs, the alpha barb was easy to distinguish so I called him a dirty word I wont repeat here, lol. Currently, I have two bettas which both have names. The tiniest baby panda cory I call lil' puppy although I'm sure once they are full grown I wont be able to tell them apart they will just all be named "Panda" for whichever look feminine to me, or "Cory" for the masculine looking ones. I call my alpha black phantom tetra male a different dirty word I wont repeat. But I call both of my Espei rasbora "Espei." When it comes to names do whatever feels right to you!

Thank you both for your feedback. Yeah; I figured it'd be tough finding another fish I could put in and not put too much more of a load on my tank. I would add some shrimp if I had top- or mid- water fish, but adding bottom feeders in with bottom feeders still leaves some negative space up top. Someone mentioned guppies; do you think I could keep 2 male guppies in there comfortably? I don't know their space or social requirements (as in, how many at a minimum I need to keep for them to be happy), but I know those can be happy little community fish.

I already do 25% water changes twice a week; it comes from having OCD. I'm very hands-on, and it gives me something to do that has reached ritual status. I have a little water vacuum and 2 5-gallon buckets that I swap each time: one is always partially full with replacement water (with water conditioner and plant fertilizer added ahead of time) and one's empty for when my internal clock goes, "DING, WATER CHANGE TIME!"

Josie 11-17-2012 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkiggy
Your PH is too high for Cory's. below 7.0 is ideal

Ammonia will burn delicate skin

Yeah; I know it's too high. But I also know they can adjust, especially since the LFS I bought them from is less than 2 blocks away. At this point I would be more concerned about sending them into shock, trying to change the pH. Aren't multiple small changes to pH more dangerous than just a steady --but high-- pH? I also know what ammonia can do; that's why I test every other day and perform regular water changes. Adding these 3 to a tank that had been cycled without fish caused the ammonia levels to rise some, but already they're tapering off again. I just stay on top of it. :)

Rivercats 11-17-2012 07:24 PM

The PH is fine especially since they were bought locally and most likely were in the same tap water as yours. And yes, a stable constant PH is most important. Trying to raise and lower PH is tricky and should only be done in very specific instances. Right now in a 10g 3 cory's is it, there isn't a big enough footprint to keep more. As for other fish you could do micro fish. A pair of sparkling gourami and ember tetras are both good choices. Hatchets wouldn't do well in a 10g. You could do a betta since cory's are the one fish betta's don't seem to pay any attention to. Make sure to do weekly WC's of preferably 50% as smaller tanks are actually harder to maintain good water quality in.

Josie 11-17-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rivercats
The PH is fine especially since they were bought locally and most likely were in the same tap water as yours. And yes, a stable constant PH is most important. Trying to raise and lower PH is tricky and should only be done in very specific instances. Right now in a 10g 3 cory's is it, there isn't a big enough footprint to keep more. As for other fish you could do micro fish. A pair of sparkling gourami and ember tetras are both good choices. Hatchets wouldn't do well in a 10g. You could do a betta since cory's are the one fish betta's don't seem to pay any attention to. Make sure to do weekly WC's of preferably 50% as smaller tanks are actually harder to maintain good water quality in.

I don't know if I really like gourami, but tetras are cute. :) Someone else I spoke to says that I could do 6 Corys (and nothing else) in a tank no problem, but I suppose I should err on the side of caution, right? My 3 seem to be doing fine, but it's been less than a week and I don't like counting chickens before they've hatched.

Ultimately... I guess it's up to me, right? I do my homework, get opinions on what will or won't work, and see if what I decide works.

Rivercats 11-17-2012 07:46 PM

The problem with the cory's is they are a bottom fish and the available area on the bottom of a 10 gallon is very small. Three will be okay but 6 would be very crowded for space. If you had dwarf or pygmy cory's then you could do 6 as their adult size it small. You look at your cory's now and think there is room for more but you have to look at them as you would be in their adult size which I believe is around 2 inches.

Josie 11-17-2012 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rivercats
The problem with the cory's is they are a bottom fish and the available area on the bottom of a 10 gallon is very small. Three will be okay but 6 would be very crowded for space. If you had dwarf or pygmy cory's then you could do 6 as their adult size it small. You look at your cory's now and think there is room for more but you have to look at them as you would be in their adult size which I believe is around 2 inches.

You're right; I've been trying to keep in mind how big they're going to get, but I was considering it in terms of the whole tank. But if they're only using the bottom than that's a whole different story.

Hrm... Okay, so maybe I will get a Gourami. What kind of current can they withstand? I'm filtering 100 gph and --based on the movement of my silk plants on that part of the tank-- there's a pretty good current reaching all the way to the bottom. Doesn't a gourami require conditions similar to a betta (i.e. little to no current)? Same for guppies from what I've found.

aquarium fish lover 11-17-2012 08:15 PM

My leopard Cory eat the sinking wafer of about some second then swim away

bkiggy 11-17-2012 09:12 PM

You need 3 females to 1 male guppy. And you'll be fine

Josie 11-17-2012 10:02 PM

Okay. Final consensus:

- 3 Trili Cory (currently in tank)
- 3 Guppies (2:1 female:male)

Foot's down, no more debating this on my end. However, that opens up more questions like:

1. If I just got 2 males instead, would they be aggressive towards each other or overly stressed out? If they would be I'll just get the 2:1 mentioned above.
2. Do different types of guppies all grow to roughly the same size?
3. If not, what's the smallest kind of guppy?
4. Does anyone have any favorites they'd like to recommend?
5. I know guppies are hardy, but is there any 1 type that's tougher than the rest?
6. My QT tank is 1 gallon, meant for little fish who are sick in the aquarium to be put into and treated. How long should I keep the guppies in there to assure they have no communicable diseases (of course doing 25-50% water changes daily)?

Rivercats 11-17-2012 10:38 PM

Unless you want your tank over run quickly with guppy fry my suggestion is to get all males. It's done all the time and works fine. You can get all male endlers. They are similar to guppies, colorful, just smaller.

Josie 11-17-2012 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rivercats
Unless you want your tank over run quickly with guppy fry my suggestion is to get all males. It's done all the time and works fine. You can get all male endlers. They are similar to guppies, colorful, just smaller.

Yay: that's the sort of answer I needed. I love those Endler's with the red and orange and yellow and blue and black... yeah: can you tell I know my fish? >_<

emerald76 11-18-2012 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Josie
Okay. Final consensus:

- 3 Trili Cory (currently in tank)
- 3 Guppies (2:1 female:male)

Foot's down, no more debating this on my end. However, that opens up more questions like:

1. If I just got 2 males instead, would they be aggressive towards each other or overly stressed out? If they would be I'll just get the 2:1 mentioned above.
No they will not be overly aggressive.
2. Do different types of guppies all grow to roughly the same size?
Yes, all colors of guppy are the same species.
3. If not, what's the smallest kind of guppy?
You could get endlers(different species) or endler guppies(hybrids)
4. Does anyone have any favorites they'd like to recommend?
I love love love bluegrass guppies. You can get stunning ones from ATFG hatchery.
5. I know guppies are hardy, but is there any 1 type that's tougher than the rest?
They are all the same
6. My QT tank is 1 gallon, meant for little fish who are sick in the aquarium to be put into and treated. How long should I keep the guppies in there to assure they have no communicable diseases (of course doing 25-50% water changes daily)?

(for the last question) You will probably be fine putting all three of the guppies in there. Provide plenty of hidey holes for the females if you get them.

Are you prepared for hundreds of fry? There will be hundreds. If you do three males, you'll have no fry problems and the males are more colorful. Answers in quote.

bkiggy 11-18-2012 07:39 AM

I have 8 females, 3 males. I have a pictus cat that takes care of fry ( I know cruel but works)
The endlers are the smallest. Fancy guppies are the pretty ones. I don't QT. dose tank with Voogle and StressGuard. I put StressGuard in bag when transporting. I always feed medicated food for internal parasites.
-- frozen brine shrimp, metrocondizole, focus, and splash of garlic guard for taste, they eat it
-- I have guppies, 7 Cory's, pictus, Pleco

nacho1cheese 11-18-2012 10:39 AM

To answer your algea wafer question just break it in 1/4 or smaller and give that to them. you'll save a lot. I break mine just because my bigger fish like to hog them but they can't take two at a time ;-)

Rivercats 11-18-2012 11:25 AM

As I suggested before in a tank that small with no predators to eat the fry you really should only get males, whether they are guppies, hybrids, or endlers.

librarygirl 11-18-2012 12:16 PM

I have Pandas and Sterbai Cory in a 40 gal; my favorites in the tank by far.

Trili corys might be a bit large for a 10 once they start to grow as they reach about 2". 3 might be ok in a 10 though, at least for a while. My Pandas are about the same size and the smallest I had them in was a 20 gal before I upgraded; given their activity level I couldn't imagine them in anything smaller. If you upgraded your tank in the future you could also add more corys then, as they feel more secure in larger groups.

For now you could probably do a sparkling gourami for a centerpiece (avoid the larger types) or one or two Scarlet Badis and either a shoal of 6 NANO fish like ember tetra, chili rasbora or celestial pearl danio.

For the wafers, Corys are mostly nocturnal and like to feed at night. Drop a wafer in (you can break it up into pieces) at lights out and remove anything uneaten in the morning. They also go nuts for shrimp pellets or algae or veggie wafers (not sure which wafers you're feeding now but they seem to like both along with the pellets so I rotate). They will also scavenge for other food. I feed mine the wafers or pellets a few times a week just to supplement. I found that the New Life Spectrum H20 stable wafers are good as they don't break down as easily and cause less of a mess.

To sex Corys, look at them from above. The rounder ones are females (it can be hard to tell though).

Josie 11-19-2012 10:01 AM

Thanks for the advice about breaking up the wafer: I also started adding fewer (1/2 wafer in the morning before the light's on, 1/2 at night after light's off). The change was astonishing: they went from picking at their food to an itty-bitty feeding frenzy. I was definitely feeding them too much before. When I say I have bottom feeder wafers I mean that's literally what on the packet: Hikari Sinking Wafers ("Ideal for Bottom Feeders!"). Among the ingredients listed are Spirulina, Silkworm and Krill. I'll get them some veggie and algae wafers for variety, but for now I would like to avoid live/frozen food because I can be a bit absent-minded (I keep some of my spices in the freezer to preserve flavor, and I'm just the type who would blindly reach for the rosemary and end up dumping frozen worms into my dish). "My, what wn unusual texture-- WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT!?" *Gag, Vomit, Hyperventilate, Repeat*

I'm definitely going to upgrade to a 20; I just can't really do it until after Christmas (you know how it goes: EVERYONE expects a present and I always get rocking, geeky gifts for everyone because I'm so awesome).

I believe 2 male guppies it is! Once I get them in a larger tank I'll get them some lady friends if they've good boys. ;D Plus, these little Cory are ADORABLE and I want more!


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