Hello! Another cory question! My apologies- my parents had them while I was growing up, and I enjoyed watching them, but didn't care for them. I've done research on them online, but what I've read pretty much covers the basics of behavior, care, etc. and doesn't account for individual differences. I stupidly expected my new cories to behave like the typical cory I keep reading about...
So here's the question: I purchased 3 false julii cories on 10/31. For the first day and a half, they all kind of hung out separately at the bottom of the tank, barely moving. Even though I acclimated them, I know that a big move can be stressful, so I wasn't panicking. Finally, tonight, they are darting all over. Here's the silly question- they are all over the tank; is that normal? I mean, when they settle down, they settle at the bottom, but otherwise, they're finally hanging out as a group, and quickly going back and forth and covering every level of the tank, not just bottom-dwelling. From my childhood, I remember them being typically bottom-dwellers, and that's what I keep reading, too. I'm just a little surprised at their willingness to swim all over the tank. I'm not sure if these are signs of happiness (I hope) or stress.
Water parameters are normal, temp at 78*. They are still small- about 3/4" long each, in a long 10 gallon that has live plants and driftwood. They came from a LFS with red gills and a heavily stocked, but lightly planted, tank. I'm hoping that they're just happy to have more cover, which I've read that they prefer (i.e. plants and driftwood) and more space to swim around and better water conditions. I'm probably just a worried mommy, but I wanted to see if anyone who has more experience with cories has any advice or insight. Thank you!
Ok, thanks, I'll check it out! I kept reading different numbers- some were saying a minimum of 3, others said a minimum of 5 or 6. I didn't want to overstock a 10 gallon tank. The only other inhabitant will be a betta... So far, I haven't seen them eat, but the pellets are gone when I come back later. When I come near, they suddenly go still- poor little things are afraid of me. :(
I've had several kinds of Cory and they do tend to be all over. I try to keep at least 3 of any one kind but it's tough sometimes I can't add to my group when the LFS doesn't have any for sale. Often I'll have 2 different species at once in my fully planted 75 gallon.
I rarely see mine together... sometimes I'll see 2 following each other, or rather I'll see pairs of them. But I do always see one come out to meet any and all newbies that arrive in the tank after release...and they all go off together. As if one says, "Come on guys, let's go, I'll show ya around." Cute. Happens every time I add to the tank.
Cory will go off on their own exploring when they ARE happy in their tanks. They know there are others in the tank with them to be comfortable to be alone. Does that make sense?
Just to be sure what exactly are you're water perameters?
But other then that I'll say Juliis, false Juliis and a few other related ones seem more shy when their group isn't big enough... and even more so when there isn't a cave or shady place to hide under when they are resting. Yes All of my corys are EVERYWHERE in my 55 gallon. They do seem to like to investigate every inch. Eventually they'll settle more to the bottom but really they are active little swimmers and still will go around the top. Also they tend to out of habit sometimes go to the top to breath...but when they breath from the top a lot then it's likely there is a water quality issue.
As for numbers I'd say 6+ for any group of corys.. but you'll have them in a 10g with a Betta so another 2 would be good till you decide to upgrade . make sure you know your Bettas behavior and temperament really well before putting it in there and always have a plan B if the betta nips at them. I actually have a male PK betta in my cory tank.. and he either swims with them, rests on the bottom with them, or becomes a halfway point landing pad between the top and the bottom of the tank lol.
My Juliis actually do swim together but they didn't until I got more of them..can't remember my number but I think I had about 5 at first but now more like 8-10(I really need to get a head count on that tank) . However the julis I have do not swim with the albinos and the bronzes . Two distinct groups.
Thanks for your responses, everyone! I'll have to check the parameters again when the fishies are awake- it's almost midnight here. No need to freak them out. The ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates were all at 0. I don't remember the pH at the moment, although I remember that it was in the "ideal" range. I also don't remember the number for the water hardness- that was my only concern. I think it said "moderately hard" on the test strip, but I've heard that cories like soft water. Other than hardness, everything else was at 0 or within ideal limits.
They seemed to be acting much more normal today. I did add 2 more, so we now are at 5, and they're pretty much hanging out together. (The 2 that I added were from the same store, same tank, only a couple of days apart.) They are finally eating well and eagerly as soon as I drop the food in. They're still moving quickly, but not darting back and forth as quickly as they were. They're more interested in the bottom of the tank now, but they'll still swim around and check things out all over. And they're not going to the top excessively for air, so all good news there. Overall, I think they now seem happy and healthy, even if they weren't before. They're hanging out together or at least grouping up sometimes, they're checking out the driftwood and the live plants, they're eating ravenously, etc.
The betta is next to them at the moment. I wanted to see how he would react before doing putting them together, plus quarantine anyways. He watched them a little when they first went in- not flaring or anything, just watching, but he's lost interest. There's definitely a plan B- he can go right back in his old tank if he's a bully! He's currently in a 5 gallon, but I really wanted some cories. And I obviously didn't want to add cories to a 5 gallon tank, so I decided to upgrade the betta to a 10 gallon so I could get some cories!
It's been a little frustrating, though. I kept reading that a 10 gallon tank is fine for them (I live in a small apartment so I can't go much bigger. I also have several other bettas and a saltwater tank...), and that a minimum of 3 cories is fine. I asked the employee at my LFS when I bought them the other day how many would be a minimum number- I want them to be happy, and I also want to not overstock my tank- and the employee told me that 1 is fine by itself! Grr... So I bought 3. I went back today to get 2 more after reading y'all's feedback, and asked a different employee the same question. Got the same answer- 1 can do just fine by itself! Where do they find these people?! So anyways, I got my 2 more, and everyone seems to have adjusted quickly. They do still seem a bit shy, but not nearly as bad as before. I don't know if it's the increased group size, or if the "older" ones are giving the new guys confidence, but they seem much more comfortable. And, while I don't take everything they say at face value, aqadvisor.com says that a 10 gallon tank with a betta and 5 false juliis is only 81% stocked, and that's using adult sized fish. So I'm hoping that they'll be ok? I think (hope) that I have some happy cories at the moment, anyways! I can figure out how to upgrade later, if need be. I wish there were books out there on cories like there are on bettas! I'm hearing and reading so much conflicting information that it's hard to know what to believe.
There are books on them! In fact my daughters fav bedtime story is an aquarium fish encyclopedia.. lol. They have a section on corys. The better books aren't at the pet stores.
Glad they settled in. They should be fine. Of course a bigger tank is better but I'm not concerned with your plans for that tank and I'm pretty particular. Corys do have a long lifespan (18yrs I think in an aquarium) so one day you can upgrade when you have more room. Now its just time to sit and watch and enjoy them
Oh, you don't have to go through that much trouble! Maybe I'll check out my local used bookstore or Barnes & Noble. It's hard to order that type of book online because you don't know what you're going to get when you open the cover....