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Setup for a first time Cory Keeper


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#1 eoolson

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 07:08 PM

I have decided to set up my first fish tank and I've been doing a ton of research on what to put in it. I have just fallen in love with Corys, but I have a few questions I was hoping you could answer.

1) The tank I have is a 10 gallon, how many Corys could live in this size tank? I know it is a little small, but my apartment is so small I don't have room for anything larger. I've done the math and I figure that I can fit 4-6 into this tank. Is this correct?

2) If more then one species of Cory are placed together in a small tank, will they form separate schools, or just one mixed species school, and are there any adverse effects on keeping two or three species together in a small tank?

3) What mid to top level fish will work well with Corys. I've been told Danios would be suitable, but I thought they might be a little too active and might stress the Corys. I've also thought about Upside-down Catfish or Glass Catfish (Can you tell I like Catfish?). Or instead of a small schooling fish should I try for a single larger fish like a Dwarf Gourami. Really the only reason I feel I need another type of fish in the tank is to use the top half of the tank which would otherwise be wasted space. The Corys are going to be the main focus of the tank.

4) Selection in my town is limited. I've checked every shop in town and this is what they have. Out of this list what would you recommend for a first timer? (15 C. panda, 4 C. paleatus, and 8 C. aneus)
Or I can drive an hour and a half to a very large aquarium shop in Sacramento, California where I'm sure they would have 10+ species on hand.

5) Does a darker substrate material really give the spotted species a darker color? Biologically that makes since but I thought I would ask.

Even though I have not kept fish before I have taken care of many different amphibian and reptile species. Being a biologist I understand that animals need space, so if a 10 gallon is just too small please let me know. The last thing I want to do is keep animals in inproper conditions.

Well, that is it for now. Thank you in advance!

#2 scotcat

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 08:17 PM

Hi There,

Sorry about the delay in answering your question but have been busy the last few days.

1) By my calculations the 10 gall tank would be U.S. measure which would be about 8.3 U.K. gallons which is quite a small tank. If you can provide more base area for the tank example: 15" wide 15" long and 12" height as the height doesn't matter too much when housing Cory's. 6 of the small to mid sized Cory's should do all right but you will need to keep away from the long snouted Cory's such as amapaensis, narcissus etc as they need more room.

2) If you house Cory's that look similar they may school together but I would opt for the same species and that way you could be able to breed them also.

3) Danios would be a good choice as they are always on the go and wouldn't bother the Cory's. I would go for either zebra or pearl, maybe 6 would suffice.

4) 6 panda, paleatus or aeneus would be fine bearing in mind that paleatus would be better keeping in lower temperatures, 70f which would not do any harm to your Danios. All are no problem for breeding providing of course that you have both sexes. Probably 3 & 3 or 4 males and 2 females.

5) Some catfish species do look different in different substrates but I would go for a sand bottom, childs play sand is best as there are no chemicals in it and an internal power filter small enough to fit into your tank but not with too much of a powerfull water flow as it would upset your Danios. Another choice would be a sponge filter insead of the internal power but your local LFS should be able to point you in the right direction.

The main crieria here is to carry out weekly water changes to keep up the water quality in such a small tank.

Hope this is of some help to you and apologies again for the late post.
Allan.

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#3 eoolson

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 02:14 AM

No worries on the delay. Thank you so much for the good information. I'm currently looking to get a 20 gallon long so that the fish will have a little more room.

One more quick question...

I was under the impression that C. panda prefered cooler conditions and don't grow quite as large as C. paleatus, is this true?

Thanks again.

#4 Rockdoc

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:37 AM

Pandas are smaller than paleatus and do better at higher temperatures than paleatus, which really do best in cooler water. My pandas have done absolutely fine - breeding several times - at temperatures from 24C/75F up to the 28C/82F that they've been at for the last couple of weeks in our heatwave. What your corys will appreciate, whichever species, is a quiet, shaded spot that they can flee to when they get spooked. Having that sort of a "base camp" seems to make them happier.

I'd suggest that you get at least six corys. From my experience that gives them a certain comfort, as well as improving your chances of getting a pair. I have a tank with a lot of corys of several species. Once you get a fair few it won't matter if there are an odd one or two - they'll keep with the rest - but otherwise I'd stick with one species.

When buying, have a very good look at the fish. If they're active that's a good start but avoid any with a sunken belly. Their armoured skin doesn't show emaciation any other way. The belly should be at least flat or, better, slightly rounded.

I have penguin tetras (Thayeria boehlkei) and silver-tip tetras (Hasemania nana) in with my corys and they also do well.

Keith
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Synodontis eupterus
Rineloricaria lanceolata; Chaetostoma thomsoni; (?)Hypostomus cf punctatus
Scleromystax prionotos
; barbatus
Corydoras arcuatus; aeneus sp Colombia; semiaquilus; septetrionalis; simulatus; sterbai; panda; similis;
habrosus; hastatus; pygmaeus; narcissus; melanotaenia; robineae; paleatus; C035; C042; C089; (?)C133
Brochis splendens


#5 eoolson

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 08:45 PM

Well from this info is seems that both C. panda and C. paleatus have both pros and cons. C. Panda is smaller, so may be more comfortable in my small tank, but needs higher temps, which might be harder to maintain. While C. paleatus are larger, so fewer to a tank, but are easier to keep.

So this begs the question...which is best for a beginner like me panda or paleatus?

Thanks again.

#6 scotcat

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 09:38 PM

I would personaly go for the panda, Eric. Normal tropical water temperatures of between 75-78f will sufffice.
Good idea to go for the larger tank, easier to keep then the smaller one.
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#7 eoolson

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 12:07 AM

Ok, I purchased my first Corydoras today. The store owner said they were Corydoras punctatus, but after looking at this website I have my doubts. So here is a picture of one of them, and I was hoping you could ID it for me. They no longer had C. panda or C. paleatus but they did have 3 of these guys. They seem to like there new tank, I'll keep you up to date on how they are doing.

http://img.photobuck...k5/112_1279.jpg


http://img.photobuck...k5/112_1277.jpg


#8 scotcat

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 08:35 PM

Definately not punctatus, looks like C. leucomelas to me.
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#9 eoolson

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 07:53 PM

Ok, now that I know what these guys are I have two final questions...again thanks for all the help...

1) Do these guys have any special needs?

2) Does the gravel in the picture look ok? It is the only "sand" my shop had, but I would call it a small gravel. I'm worried that it is not rounded enough to keep there barbels from being damaged. Also it is VERY light in color which makes the whole tank seem very bright and I was wondering if these guys might prefer a darker substrate. Thanks

#10 scotcat

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:02 PM

You can use play sand as there are no chemicals whatsoever in that but as long as your gravel is rounded, you can feel this by running it over your finger, you should be fine. Your tank does look a little bright but if you provide plenty of cover for your Cory's you should be all right, or you could have a less brighter lamp for the tank.

No special treatment for leucomelas as long as you can keep up a good water regime, changing water etc. and the temperature kept between 73-79f. Good luck with your new purchases.
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#11 eoolson

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:20 AM

Not to bring this thread back from the dead, but I thought an update on this tank would be in order, especially for those who are new to the hobby.

My first little 10 gallon tank, oh how I miss it sad.gif

Ok on to the story, after purchasing my 3 little corys the did just great, but soon they stopped schooling and began to hide all the time. They would only come out at feeding time or at night and they would never stick together. I thought this might be a problem with the number in the tank or with their tank mates. I had after a few months added some Penguin (hockey stick) Tetras to the mix which were VERY aggressive towards eachother and would sometimes steal the corys sinking pellets to. Eventually I took them back and traded them for some rummynoses and a green fire tetra which were much more docile. Anyway, I also add 2 more C. leucomelas to my tank hoping a larger school would make my fish less shy. That didn't really work either, but I really enjoyed my little tank and I loved my little corys in it. I think my fish were happy and healthy, even in a little tank to. See the picture for my tank once I had my final set-up, complete with snails : ( .





Then after keeping the tank for year and a half I made a big mistake. I went away to visit my parents and while I was away a huge storm hit my town. Power went out at my apartment for 3 days. I thought my fish would be ok, I had fed them well and I thought they could handle it, but what I forgot to think about was the temperature. Turns out my apartment got down around freezing without the power on that time of year, and alas when I got home all my lovely fish were dead.

Since then I have not kept any fish. About a week later the tank sprung a leak and I gave it to a friend of mine. I learned some very important lessons from my little tank that I think might help some of you out there starting off in the hobby.

1) Small tanks = lots of maintance (I did weekly water changes but to clean the whole tank would usually take 50% of the water out and the tank did look dirty at the end of each week)
2) "Nice" Fish- I had read online that Penguin tetras (Thayeria boehlkei) were peacefull. Well maybe in a bigger tank with bigger fish to worry about, but these guys became bullies to one another when they have the run of the tank. This is probably my fault for having them in such a small tank, but I couldn't continue watching them fight so I took them back. Last time I checked they were happily living (and getting along in a school) at the local fish shop in a large tank that is used as a display tank.
3) Snails- I had a ton, and having a snail tank is no fun. Next time I'm going to really try for no snails.
4) Plants- I had a very hard time keeping plants grounded in my substrate. Never did find a good solution.
5) Burn-out- I spent TONS of time think about what I would do next with my tank. But then the day came when I couldn't fit any more fish in the tank and it was complete. This took a lot of the fun out of the tank. I still liked keeping fish, but the thrill of the new had washed off. I know this happens with most pets that aren't dogs or cats, but I thought that "new" feeling would last a little longer. I think this is important for new hobbiest to consider. Buying that 50 gallon tank that will hold a ton of fish is great at first, but you might get tired of it fast.
6) Happiness- It's not all bad lessons I learned, I loved my tank and I really do miss it. My first adventure into the hobby failed, but I really did enjoy keeping my corys.

Well I guess that is it. I'm thinking of starting a new tank which I'll be posting my ideas in a seperate thread. Once again I would like to thank everyone on this website for all of their help.


#12 scotcat

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:03 PM

Hi There,

Sorry to hear about your tank problems and glad to hear that you are thinking of starting up again. smile.gif
Thanks for the list of dont's as this could be very beneficial to new fishkeepers to the hobby.

Snails are all right in a fishroom or fishhouse but they can make a community tank in the house look untidy.

I think the main problem during the power cut to your house would have been the lack of filtration. Your fish may have survived at the lower temperatures but the lack of filtration would have been far worse.

Thanks for the kind words on the site as the members here are very helpful and not the least bit arrogant.
Cheers.


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#13 Kcat

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 01:58 AM

Just wanted to share something here--


My first cories were a leucomelas and an albino aeneus. They were housed with a number of different fish over the time I had them. None of the other fish bothered my leucomelas but I saw some of my danios, a red eye tetra and a gold barb attack my albino. Of course they were separated immediately but the end result was my albino had extreme fin damage.



The flash washed him out but you get the idea what shape he was in from this pic. He still got around fine and lived on for quite awhile.

Now I won't put any of my cories with danios, tetras or barbs just to be safe.





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