I moved everyone a few weeks ago into the 10 gallon at last, but sadly Akela developed saprolegnia (possibly, less likely columnaris) within hours and died the next day. I think he was injured during the netting process.
Prince Alexander, of course, took the move in stride. He really is not the brightest of fish, but I think for him that is actually a good thing, as he doesn't seem to stress much.
The Corys, however, immediately went and hid (in their new ceramic log from Underwater Galleries) and didn't come out for hours.
So, for the next two weeks, the tank was under quarantine while I treated it. My five remaining corys were so shy I rarely saw more than 2 or 3 at a time, and for a while I wondered if more had passed under the Rainbow Bridge.
Yesterday, I decided the tank was safe and that I should at least get a 6th cory for the tank. Prince Alexander, of course, has been healthy as a seahorse.
I was still not totally certain if I had 5 corys still living, although I had seen all of them during the week, so I got the last 3 Julii (of course, they are probably 3-Lines) at Petsmart, and also got 2 mystery snails, as I have missed my snaily friends. I checked Aq Advisor before I did this, and it is supposed to be okay for a bio-load, even before adding in my horde of live plants.
What a change! All 8 corys came out to play and cavort and be joyful! I've heard that sometimes, when you have more than 6, the suddenly get brave and social -- but WOW, the difference is incredible! Ever more amusing, Prince Alexander seems to have decided at last, that he is a cory! He keeps trying to snuffle in the sand dish, and shoal along with them. It's hilarious to watch. The corys seem to have lost their fear of him (he doesn't attack them, but he's so big I think just seeing him approach used to terrify them), so now it is one big, bizarre family.
The two snails have vanished, so I think they are hiding inside the logo. Adnarel quickly came out of his shell after being acclimatized, and started cruising. Alarid stayed in the java fern I had dropped him into, so I was pleased when he disappeared, since that means he must have moved. Alarid is the smaller snail, maybe 0.75 inches across, and Adnarel is about an inch across.
Well, Adnarel has vanished, and Alarid has come out to play.
Meanwhile, After discovering my cycle had completely crashed (back to ammonia, no nitrite, no nitrate), and seeing some white mold on one or two plants (to which I have lost two corys in the past) I decided to do a very thorough cleaning. Pulled out all the plants, rinsed them in tap water, soaked them in tap water, then dechlorinated them. Sucked out all the fallen leaves, etc, that I could find. Pulled the log (where the snails had been hiding), the works. Got everything back in. Noticed later that one of my corys had lost his barbels, probably due to the cycle crashing and harming the water quality. Did some reading on PlanetCatfish and determined that bare-bottom is generally a very bad idea for corys, since the bacteria that live on the bottom tend to infect the barbels easily. So, I washed a bunch of my national geographic sand, and poured it in by handfuls. I now have a very thin layer (1 cm or less) of sand on the bottom, and honestly I can't tell if the corys are happier -- they're definitely more confused. Prince Alexander, of course, was confused for a few minutes, then forgot about it.
Now I am back to being able to find only 6 cories at a time, and Adnarel is vamoosed. Huh.