We have both petsmart/petco/petsupermarket. I can only find albino cories, and I want some pandas. I saw pandas ONCE. At petsupermarket, and they were mislabeled. I wandered the entire giant tropical fish store and I couldn't find ANY cories. Maybe I can ask them to get a shipment in? They could def order what I wanted probably.
If I have cories will they aerate the sand for me? I'm going to try to avoid a snail outbreak if I could.
Also, I dont even know if the school would even accept fish as a shipment. Because the tank would be at the dorm. They usually just leave us pink slips in our mailboxes when we get packages, and then we pick them up after that. But I dont think anyone has ever had fish shipped to the dorms. xD
Jen, you could ask for a store to order the shipment in and keep it for you at the store. That big LFS probably would do special orders.
Cories will aerate the sand a little but not like trumpets. You don't need snails to aerate it, you can just poke it once a week with a stick. Or you can get rabbit snails like what Bekah has. Those burrow and aerate but they don't multiply nearly as fast.
Pandas seem to be rare in the US. I've only seen them a few times at the many LFS around me. Jen, is your water soft? If it isn't, I don't know if I'd recommend pandas. They're not as hardy as other cories and need soft water and a fairly neutral pH. Even though my water was super soft, my pH was too high and they all ended up dying anyway. :( OOoootherwise, you could add a blackwater extract to soften the water. And driftwood.
Where I am, I find sterbai and julii cories everywhere, and some peppereds. And of course everywhere you look there are albino aeneus. One of my LFS gets a lot of rarer cories in because the fish lady loves them. I've seen metae there before, and skunks. And pandas. Only one other place besides that has had pandas. And they were maybe $4.
EDIT: Miah, make sure the water in her tub is dechlorinated and the same temp. Maybe she just gets a little shocked? Does she have a plant or something to hide under to make her feel comfortable?
Nope, she is in the EXACT same water in her cup as in the tub but in her cup shes fine and in the tub shes blah. The water is definetly okay. Yep, there is a plant thing and a hidey-barrel in there too.