How to keep corys? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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How to keep corys?

Hi everyone! I have a question about keeping corys. My boyfriend and I have a 20g long tank with some platys and tetras in it -- and they're super hungry all the time. We've unsuccessfully tried to add some corys into the tank twice. We buy the healthiest looking out of the bunch (my boyfriend knows more about this kind of thing -- he's a budding aquarium enthusiast), quarantine them for a week -ish (not sure on how long he puts them by themselves since the tank is at his apartment), and then add them to the 20g because (a) corys are really cute; (b) we originally bought them to pick up the leftover food.

Except when we get the corys, they have all died :( He's made sure to feed them adequately and distract the other fish while feeding, but we've found all of the corys dead a few days later. I used to have a betta + 3 corys in a 10g, but I wanted the corys to have a bigger tank and more cory-friends, so I gave them to him. We added my 3 and another 2 into the 20g. One of mine died (they were all very healthy-looking; luckily I saved the other 2 before it was too late!) and so did the other 2 from the fish store. We are lost as to why since corys are pretty hardy fish. I know they like to be kept in groups of ~4-5+, so keeping 2 together is temporary. :)

Anyway, we're going to use an empty 29g to combine fish tanks in August when we move in with friends. I love my little corys and want them to have more cory-friends and a bigger tank, but I also don't want to send them to their deaths by adding them to the fish tank. So far, they're doing great with my betta fish and get along well. (But I think he'll be happier by himself :P) All the tanks the corys have been in have bubbles, a heater, and a filter. When all the corys were together with the platys and tetras, we made sure to give them both sinker food (fish pellets) and flakes.

Sorry this is long and if this is a stupid question. I just want to figure out what I should do before we move them. Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 11:54 PM
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Cories are pretty hardy for the most part, but there are also over 200 species of corydoras. Some of them are not hardy. So first question is what species do you have?

Second, cories should only be added to a mature tank. This means it has been running for around 6 months. Tank maturation is different from cycling. Cycling is just the establishing of the beneficial bacteria colonies. Once they are established it will still be another 3-4 months before all the parameters of the tank settle to a "mature" state. At this point you can start adding the less hardy fish.

More questions: what substrate do you have? Cories do best in sand. If the substrate isn't well-cleaned then they can get infections on their barbels. Do you know exactly why the cories died? What visible signs where on them? Do you know the parameters of the tank they were in? Nitrate, ammonia, pH, GH, KH? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but we need to know a little more info before we can tell you why they died.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 11:56 PM
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cories are hardy, but still sensitive, and some are even more sensitive than others. what kind of cories are they? is the tank cycled?

lol late post. thekoimaiden's reply is better than mine x3

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:53 AM
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They are sensitive to certain chemicals too. Like aquarium salt.

Keep yourself clean and bright, for you are the window through which you must see the world.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:16 AM
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+1 To every one else. I know pandas are a sensitive type.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
More questions: what substrate do you have? Cories do best in sand. If the substrate isn't well-cleaned then they can get infections on their barbels. Do you know exactly why the cories died? What visible signs where on them? Do you know the parameters of the tank they were in? Nitrate, ammonia, pH, GH, KH? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but we need to know a little more info before we can tell you why they died.

In my fish tank, the substrate is half gravel and half sand since I know cories like to scavenge for food in sand, and if we move them to a new bigger tank it will be all sand. I have albino cories and the ones we bought at the pet store were pepper cories. I use the aquarium vacuum thing (?) (well, my boyfriend does it) about once a month to keep the substrate clean. I think the substrate in the 20g is gravel. Can an infected cory barbel really kill one in 3 days? @_@ Both tanks were cycled and fresh water -- the 20g we put the corys in to has been running with the platys and tetras for about 4-6 months now and I had my cories and betta together for about 7. Unfortunately, we didn't have a fresh water test kid -- only salt water -- so we couldn't run water parameters. When we found them, they looked like they just died that day. The pepper cory had lost some of its color I recall though. I was only able to save my 2 other cories because I noticed that one looked sickly (lethargic, not moving much, etc) so we looked around the tank to get them out and put them in a cycled fresh water 29g (it was vacated the previously day -- my boyfriend moved his Congo puffer to a bigger tank). Upon moving the decorations, we found that one of my cories had died and that the ones from the pet store were dead as well. :( (We did all of the necessary water changes and monitoring too). The time frame between me putting my albino cories and the pet store pepper cories into the 20g was about 1-3 days, so I was really surprised that all of them dropped so fast. I'm still trying to figure out why they died so I can prevent it when we move them together again (hopefully) again this summer. Thanks for all the help. :)
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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They are sensitive to certain chemicals too. Like aquarium salt.
Both tanks are fresh water and have nothing added to the water except Prime.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 01:46 PM
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Without water parameters it is going to be a little difficult to tell exactly what went wrong. If your boyfriend is keeping freshwater fish he should really have a freshwater test kit. The API master kit is the best out there for its cost. What I'm guessing happened is the parameters from the two different tanks were very different and the shock of the move and lack of conspecifics killed them. Cories need to be maintained in groups of 6 of their own species or more. Unless the tank is pretty heavily planted, your need to vacuum the debris off the substrate weekly. An infection can kill a stressed fish very quickly. With just a monthly vacuum, I imagine there was a lot of gunk in the substrate.

Cories are hardy but not nearly as much as our betta. The two species you are working with the bronze cory (albino is just a varient of the bronze) and peppered cory are some of the more hardy cory species, but they are still sensitive because they are cories. I highly recommend that you or your boyfriend get a comprehensive test kit. The strips won't give you accurate reading so you will need a drip test kit like the API.

---Izzy

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Last edited by thekoimaiden; 05-09-2012 at 01:51 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 03:30 PM
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I guess you can call me an amateur cory keeper cause I am xD But I do have some alive(: When I got them in the bag I just added about a table spoon on the tank water into the bag every 10 minutes for an hour have you tried that? I have julli cories and they seem to do great! I highly recommend them(:

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 06:21 PM
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You REALLY should vacume every week. Corries have a tendency to shred pellet food and throw it all over (or at least my merry little band of terrors do!). Also, as for schooling: your albino won't get any schooling advantages from your pepper. Not all corries are the same and you will need to check your exact species listing (for instance all of mine are aeneus cory catfish). Also, what are you doing to add them to the tank? For instance - drip acclamation, floating bag system, or dropping them in by net.
PS: Oh and your future corries, when you get this sorted out, will LOVE your sand! I've made it a point to leave hills and valleys when I clean, because my corries seem to make it their personal mission in life to level out the tank and thoroughly bury my few smooth stones.

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