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Old 11-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #1 
Caliban
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Betta and 4 Panda Cory

I everyone. I'm working towards substrate planting my betta's 10 gallon home. It will be heavily planted when done with driftwood and a cave. I've heard of cories living well with a betta. Is this true? I've also heard that if the cories are in the tank first, the betta is more likely to accept them. Anyone have any advice or words of wisdom/caution about such a pairing? I am not fixated on panda cories, I like many of the cory varieties, but they're cute and at the top of my list at the moment.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:22 PM   #2 
Adastra
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With the betta's temperament permitting, they should do well. It makes sense to me that adding the cories first would help minimize the betta's response to them. If you added them awhile after the betta, the betta would see them as encroaching upon his territory and act accordingly, especially if he has had time to build a bubblenest and feels the need to defend it.

It also makes sense from a biological standpoint to add the cories first, assuming you're doing a fishless cycle on the tank beforehand, which would certainly be the best way to go about it if you're planning on stocking the tank with a whole school of fish plus a betta.

You could feasibly put in 6 panda cories with the betta, assuming you're using a decent filter, and you would be about 80% stocked, but with 6 pygmy cories you would only be about 70% stocked. I usually recommend pygmies for small tanks simply because you can fit more in, and the more you can fit into a school of social fish, the better. You could use the pandas and still get a decent school if you're set on those, though. :) If I were you, I'd go with 6-8 instead of just four and try to pick a sand substrate like Flourite sand.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:57 PM   #3 
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With the betta's temperament permitting, they should do well. It makes sense to me that adding the cories first would help minimize the betta's response to them. If you added them awhile after the betta, the betta would see them as encroaching upon his territory and act accordingly, especially if he has had time to build a bubblenest and feels the need to defend it.

It also makes sense from a biological standpoint to add the cories first, assuming you're doing a fishless cycle on the tank beforehand, which would certainly be the best way to go about it if you're planning on stocking the tank with a whole school of fish plus a betta.

You could feasibly put in 6 panda cories with the betta, assuming you're using a decent filter, and you would be about 80% stocked, but with 6 pygmy cories you would only be about 70% stocked. I usually recommend pygmies for small tanks simply because you can fit more in, and the more you can fit into a school of social fish, the better. You could use the pandas and still get a decent school if you're set on those, though. :) If I were you, I'd go with 6-8 instead of just four and try to pick a sand substrate like Flourite sand.
I am substrate planting the tank as discussed... here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...iption&t=51702 cycling is different, apparently. I am working on doing it to my 15 gallon now, so the 10 will actually be less of an experiment For the 15, I used a small grain gravel. Sand is an option, however, if gravel does not work well for cory. I thought I read somewhere that pygmy cory weren't as easy going as their larger counter parts. Is this not as extreme as I was lead to believe? I am very willing to take on more cory I was just assuming that fewer cory would increase the likelihood of the betta accepting them.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:11 PM   #4 
Adastra
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They can be more sensitive, but as long as you take proper precautions and get them from a reputable source, you shouldn't have many problems. As always, research does play a significant part in fish care, so make sure you understand their dietary needs especially before you get them.

As for your substrate choice, soil substrate isn't something I've tried before, so I can't offer much advice in that respect. I usually go with planting substrate like Flourite or Eco Complete and then add root tabs--it just seems like soil would be so messy that I'd personally rather keep adding root tabs than have to deal with it, lol. I hope you keep us updated with how everything goes for you. :) Cories do seem very partial to sifting through sand, and it can provide them with environmental enrichment to feed this way, which is why I recommend sand over gravel. Ultimately it is up to you, though--just make sure it's smooth enough that it doesn't harm their barbells.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:20 PM   #5 
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I keep my betta with 3 cories. I use regular aquarium gravel as substrate. The cories are doing fine. I occasionally inspect their "whiskers" and they don't seem to be damaged from the gravel. HOWEVER, I do hear that pandas are more sensitive than other cories. A quick google search led me to find other forums where people have a hard time keeping their pandas alive whereas other types do just fine. Other people say they are hardy and that they have easily survived the cycling process. Im not sure but this may be because unlike the other cories pandas may be wild caught. Im not sure though.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:04 PM   #6 
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A quick google search led me to find other forums where people have a hard time keeping their pandas alive whereas other types do just fine. Other people say they are hardy and that they have easily survived the cycling process. Im not sure but this may be because unlike the other cories pandas may be wild caught. Im not sure though.
Ain't that always the case? Seems everywher I turn I come across conflicting information! That's why these forums are great. You can't beat talking to people who actually own the fish. Thanks everyone, I'll keep you updated. This probably won't be happening for a few months. I'm going to finish the 15, temporarily move my betta into it once it is stable... get the 10 done and stable, add the cories and then introduce the betta. Then I'll have a 15 gallon tank to fill with something good!
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