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Old 08-14-2011, 09:19 PM   #1 
Kiiarah
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Question Bronze cory, ideal tank?

Hi everyone, I was hoping somebody who has cory cats might be able to give me some housing advice. I just got two bronze cory fish, hoping to get more if space allows but the pet store only had these two. They will be in QT for two weeks minimum, but I want to sort of plan out where they will be going after that and what I need to do to alter their permanent tank, if anything. Right now they are in a cycled 10 gallon QT tank with a tiny fantail goldfish. The goldie will be moving into the big goldfish tank when he is out of QT, and I had originally planned to put the cory cats in the black moor goldfish tank. I figured since the moors are so messy and miss so much of their food the added bottom-feeders would help.

After some reading it looks like the corys would do better with a heated tank. However, I live in the desert and it is rarely lower than 76 degrees in any of our tanks, even the 30 gallon goldfish tanks. The only issue is that these tanks are not a stable temperature like the heated tanks are. I do not know if corys can handle temperature fluctuations. I also read that if the goldfish tried to suck them up, the cory's barbs could be dangerous, but I am not sure how big a goldfish would have to be for that to be an issue. I know corys are common betta tank-mates, but I have been reading that they need lots of aeration and bettas usually want very still water. I figure there must be a way to make this work since so many are doing it, but I could use some expert opinions. I am going to upload pictures of each tank they could go in with a brief description in hopes that someone can help me figure out which they would be happiest in. :)

Tank 1: 30 gallon goldfish tank. Cycled and kept at a temperature between 76 and 81 degrees. Heavily aerated and moderately full of artificial plants. The gravel is rougher in this tank than the others. These two are seperated at the moment because of some issues with nipping. The new goldfish will be going in this tank when he comes out of QT, so there would be a total of three fantails in here when the corys were ready to move.




Tank 2: 30 gallon black moor tank. Also cycle, double filtered, and kept between 78 and 81 degrees. Aerated and fairly open because of the moors' fragile eyes. There is nothing rough in this tank and I would probably be reluctant to add many more plants or ornaments. The larger of the two is about 4.5'' long and the largest of my goldfish. I am not sure if he would be able to fit the cory in his mouth, but I doubt it.



Tank 3: 10 gallon with one male veil-tail betta. Claude is the least aggressive of my bettas. I have only seen him flare once. He stays near the middle of the water and keeps pretty active. His tank is heated and is usually kept around 79 degrees, but it has been up as high as 81 recently because of the weather. His plants are half artificial and half live. The live plants are Amazon Sword. No added aeration in this tank. This tank has been up and running longer than the other betta tanks.



Tank 4: 10 gallon with no added aeration. This tank is also kept at about 79-81 degrees. It does have a heater with a thermostat, so I can ensure that it doesn't get below a certain temperature but it may go as high as 82 degrees on a very hot day. The plants in this tank are artificial. The decoration in the tank has various entrances and could make a good cory cave.



Tank 5: 5 gallon heated tank, no added aeration. I am assuming that this tank would be a last choice because of its size, but I do have it as well. Right now Axol is being treated for ich, so if they were to go in here it would have to be after I was sure he was ich-free.

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:11 PM   #2 
hedgehog
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I'm going to try my best with this one but I'm not really a cory expert. I just have a small school and have done research about them.

Even though Bronze cories are tropical fish they can live in cooler temperatures just fine. This really isn't a problem though since all of your tanks seem to be pretty warm. In fact the upper limit for what Bronze cories can really thrive in is about 79 degrees. I understand that where you are you can't really control the temp of your tanks too well--I've had cories living in 82 degree water for the same reason. They will be okay their life span just may be shortened. Fluctuations aren't a big problem either just be wary that sudden drops in temperature can prompt spawning even in community tanks--had this happen last week after a water change.

The substrate in the first tank looks to be too rough for a cory and may cause wearing of the barbels which could lead to secondary bacterial infections, difficulty finding food--just in general a bad thing. It doesn't seem to be too bad in other tanks though.

5.5 gallons is too small for two cories. Also cories do best in groups of at least four or more. I would suggest getting a few more from the pet store the next time they have them in. Make sure they are of the same species though because members of different species will only school together out of necessity, ie four cories of four different species in same tank. Most albinos in stores are of the same species as bronze cories and petsmart sells green cories that also are the same species (coryadora aeneus). All the color varieties of the same species will school together. Once you have enough cories for a proper school you have to put them in a 10 gallon or larger.

Cories are generally very sensitive to water parameters. They require clean water to live happily and healthy. Gold fish give off a lot of waste as I'm sure you know so it's not really recommended that they be housed together. In the black moor tank there is not a lot of plants which cories adore. They really love places to hide and explore. Since you are reluctant to add more coverage this is another reason not to put them in this tank. Cories aren't particularly strong swimmers. All the filtration and water movement in the goldfish tanks may cause them stress. Finally if a goldfish did decide to grab a cory they can lock up their fins which would prevent the goldfish from swallowing them but also from them getting loose. In the end you would lose both fish.

I would say tank three is the best option. It has a fair amount of coverage but could perhaps benefit from a bit more. There is room for 4 cories in there. The live plants should provide extra oxygen for the tank. I would just be prepared for the fact that the betta may be aggressive towards the cories.

Hopes this helps or just made any sense.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:30 PM   #3 
Kiiarah
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Thanks for the advice! I was kind of leaning towards that option too. It is great to know that bronze and green corys are the same family, since I may have to resort to the greens at Petsmart if the pet store in town takes too long to get more in stock. I will know if that is the case when the new shipment comes in on Tuesday though.

I would sort of like to add them to the fourth tank with the large ceramic ornament, since the betta in there is really clam also and the cave would be great for hiding in. However, there are no live plants in there at the moment. I am not sure about adding tank-mates to Claude's tank just because of how comfortable he seems with his territory. I think he would be upset about having to share his best hiding spots. lol

If I were to steal one of the larger plants from Claude's tank (3rd one) and plant it in Ryuu's (4th one) would just one Amazon sword plant be enough to aerate and would there be enough hiding spots if I added a couple more fake plants until I can pick up more real ones? I could also add the glass jar from the QT tank as another cave on the opposite side of the tank. Ryuu is much less active and doesn't have strong preferences about where to sleep or hide yet as far as I can tell, so I think he would accept companion fish more easily. :)

Last edited by Kiiarah; 08-14-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:47 PM   #4 
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As long as more coverage was provided for the fourth tank I think it should be fine. I think the one live plant should be enough--I only have one in my tank and all my cories do fine. It's important to keep up with weekly water changes though when you have a school of cories in the tank.

As for the caves--I found with my cories that they don't use the few they have. They are in a tank with a betta who thinks he's a cory so they are all fairly comfortable. After I baffled the filter so the current wasn't so strong it was knocking them around they stopped hanging in the cave. My cories are almost always together and generally they feel safe so they hang out in the open next to a plant--which only the little boy hides behind. The only time I've seen one go in recently was when she was searching for a spot to put her eggs and even then she opted against it. You may find that your cories won't use a cave either but it is good to give them the option.

What has been recommended to other people to make a community tank more successful is to take the betta out, rearrange the tank, add the tank mates, and then put the betta back in. If the tank no longer looks the same it may trick the betta into believing it's not actually his territory but instead it's the cories and he just gets to live there too.

Good luck with your bronze cories. I got one as a tankmate for my betta Hugo (before I knew better) but after he passed I really noticed how much personality they have. They are probably my favorite fish. It's also fun having a bronze, albino, and two greens because I can tell all of them apart based on markings. I hope you find your cories as enjoyable as I find mine!
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:57 PM   #5 
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Awesome, I think that will be my tentative plan then. I really am loving the Cories so far, they are so fun to watch. I started quarantining with just one cory and the little fantail, but ran back out to get the second one today. I couldn't believe how much the first cory perked up! They have been racing around playing and searching for food every since. ^_^ I am not sure if the pet store sells only males or only females, but do you happen to know if there is an easy way to tell? Oh, and the filter is baffled already, so hopefully they will be comfortable. :)
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:06 PM   #6 
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The easiest way I know how to do it is to look at them from above. The males are very streamlined and thin. Females bulge out in the middle. They also have a hard time laying flat on the substrate because they generally have large rounded bellies due to eggs/
Some sites say that the shape of the pectoral fins is a good way to tell but I think in bronze cories it's just easier to look at their body size. In the picture here The middle one is obviously female while the one on the right is male. (The left one is a little ambiguous but I think it's a female).

Since you just got these cories they are probably younger/smaller so it may be hard to tell. I also found that my females didn't get the really rounded belly making them obviously female until they were fed a good quality diet for a few weeks or so. Then when one spawned she lost her belly but still was noticeably wider than the male with the same coloring in the tank.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #7 
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In females the widest part of their body should be past their pectorals. In males the widest part of the body is at the pectorals or just above.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:11 PM   #8 
Kiiarah
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Wow that is easier to see than I was expecting. I guess my only other question then would be what to do about spawning. Do I need to worry about housing a male and female together, and what do I do if they do wind up spawning?
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:23 PM   #9 
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I had spawning happen once and it was totally an accident. My cories had been fasting themselves. We ran out of their preferred food and couldn't find it around here. We bought them another kind of food in the meantime so they still had two types of food but they went on a hunger strike lol. After we got the new favored food my mom overfeed them and they gorged themselves. A few days later I did a water change and accidently used water that was colder than the water in the tank. This is what is used to make them spawn because it mimics the rainy season where they are from. I guess that in combination with the abundance of high protein food led Thing 1, who has always been one to hang around with the two boys in the tank, to believe she needed to spawn then.

From what I read it's not common that they will spawn in a community tank but now that I technically have a spawning female I'm always cautious about water changes because they have a ton of eggs. If your fish spawn and you want to keep the eggs you should put them in a breeder box in the tank with a drop of methylene blue to prevent fungus and move them after they hatch in 4-5 days. If you don't want to keep the eggs there's two options. 1) Scrape them off where they were laid and squish them or throw them away. This sound a lot easier than it is because the fish spawn several times and leave eggs every where and the eggs are really sticky. I had at least 5 different spot with at least 20 eggs each but two spots really had closer to 75 each. 2)Leave them in the tank. Cories are awful fish parents. They eat all eggs regardless of whether or not they have fungus. Some may hatch but then the parents will likely eat the fry before you see them. Out of each spawn you may get a few that survive if you do nothing at all. If you just leave the eggs your betta and cories will have a high protein snack and you won't have to worry about what to do with the tons of eggs you have.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:25 PM   #10 
Kiiarah
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Aww as awful as that sounds, I guess it is good that it wouldn't be hard to take care of. I certainly don't have room to raise 100 plus cory cats, as much as I would love to.
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