I've recently started a 2 foot South American Biotope with Cockatoo
Dwarf Cichlids and Ember and Flame Tetras. the Embers came from
a small species tank, but seem to have settle well in the 2 ft
tank. I'm now trying to find some Corries that will live happily
in 7.4 Ph and won't grow too big for the tank. I've got Corydoras
melini who are enormous now and far too big for the new tank,
also I have some Aspidoras pauciradiatus in a 35 litre but these
seem too small to put in the 2ft. I don't mind what Corries I
have, but want them to be happy with the Ph, I had a run a while
back when I lost Corydoras Metae, Panda, Duplicareus, and Corydoras
julii & trilineatus before I realised it could be the Ph that
wasn't what it should be, so I haven't really bothered with them
since. But somehow, no community tank seems complete without Corries
agree that your Aspidoras pauciradiatus would be too small for
your tank and are better suited to a species tank. I would go
with your normal bronze Cory's Corydoras aeneus, either the normal
or the albino variety. I know it doesn't sound very exciting but
you would have a better chance with the farm bred Cory's. I think
your p.H. of 7.4 is on the border line for keeping Cory's but
some of my tanks which I tested at the weekend are at 7.2 after
introducing a different type substrate and they are doing fine.
Some of my other tanks with silver sand are at a p.H. of 6 and
they are thriving also so there is a wide p.h. parameter there.
I don't know your tank maintenance routine but may be more regular
water changes would help in the future. (Allan James)
A Perhaps try some of
the smaller species such as habrosus. If your apistos are okay
then corys should be too. (Graham Ramsay)
I have about 10 albino corys that are about a year old that I raised.
I used sand in the small tank when they were little, and am using
"small, red flint gravel" in the 55 gallon tank where
they have been for about 9 months. The gravel is just about the
size that it can be picked up with an airstone - sized hose and
occasionally will lodge in that size hose. I also have a bunch of
apistos in the tank, and a few rams. I just noticed this evening
that about half of the Corys have no barbels (bummer). I had never
noticed it until now (and feel like a poor custodian of the fish).
The red flint gravel does have points opposed to being round, but
I never anticipated it would damage them. I have 6 adult (3-4")
Corys (breeders) in another tank with the same substrate and none
of them have this problem. I have read that pointed substrate will
cause them to damage their barbels, but didn't see this coming.
I have also heard it can be a biological problem, but don't know
I like the small gravel,
as it cleans nicely and doesn't show all the dirt like a white-type
1. Would I be better off with playground sand?
2. I have heard that pool filter sand is good to use because it
is cured and thus no impact on ph, however I don't really like
3. Could this be a biological issue, and if so what is it? I have
heard that ammonia can be a problem, but I think the apistos would
have had problems before the Corys, and I don't think there was
an ammonia problem. The apistos (cacatoides) were reproducing
in the tank.
4. I was going to raise these for breeders. Should I give them
away and start over(as I understand they use their barbels in
the mating process)? I have about 25 in another tank that are
about 3/4" long now.
I have tried to read some of the articles
on this, but the info seems all over the map. I don't want to
go to bare-bottom tanks, except for maybe when the Corys are small.
Since I am in the USA, I don't know that
what is available to me would be consistent with other countries.
I appreciate any references, explanations, and advice, especially
what to use that is cheap and available in the USA. I have some
concern the play sand is harder to clean than gravel.
Q Playground sand it is.
I have heard that you are supposed to boil it and cool it down
before using it. How important do
you think that really is? I would like to see if the barbels grow
back, and with sand that may be possible.
A I would
go for playground sand. I have just added some of this to a small
tank holding 6 C.habrosus and, depending on the maker of course,
mine is not white, just a light brown colour, quite nice actually.
As you say I don't think it is a ammonia problem but hard to say
whether it is a bacterial problem, if you regularly clean the
gravel out with your syphon hose you may be all right on that
score so then it would point to the sharp edged gravel.Some Cory
species are more prone to barbel loss than others. I do know that
C.arcuatus are bad for this if you don't keep the substrate clean.
Once you sort out your problem you can keep your Cory's, as 90%
of the time the barbels will grow back, some better than others.
I agree with you not to go with bare bottomed tanks as other recent
posts have pointed out the pitfalls in this with scum forming
on the tank bottom. (Allan James)
A If you just wash the
sand in a bucket with warm or hot water and drain it off it should
be all right to use right away. Another sand that I use is Silver
Sand which here in the U.K. we get in the large builders Merchants.
As the name applies this is a light coloured sand which is nice
also, and safe. I used to in the past use bird sand which has
bits of crushed coral in it and it helped to keep my p.H. up as
I have very soft water. It wasn't the greatest looking sand as
it was a dark brown colour but again safe to use after being washed.
know that various similar corys will school together but I am
wondering if there is any information, or if anyone has experience,
to show what degree of similarity is required? I have a friend
who has one lonely albino cory and I have 3 C habrosus that need
a new home but I am a bit concerned that the difference in colour
(more than the difference in size) will mean that they won't school
A In essence
Cory's don't really form a school as such but seem to "hang
out together". It is true that most species that we house
in our tanks go looking for food together but in other instances
they also break away singularly, also I think the addition of
your 3 habrosus to the one albino cory will be more of a plus
point than the albino being on its own. They may not move around
together but I am sure it will be more happier in Cory company.
A I've found that the
grouping patterns change with numbers, Allan. One or two will
behave (for them) unnaturally because there aren't enough bodies
around. Get to four to six and they'll begin to relax. By the
time you get to a dozen or more you'll see that there are sub-groups
of similar numbers that the fish keep to within the overall group,
individuals moving from one sub-group to another.As to similar
colour patterns being morelikely to stick together, I'm not sure
that's a fixed thing. My gossei and seussi groups never mixed
to any extend but the nattereri and prionotos groups do but, similar
to what I mentioned above, the two species associate but within
that the species tend to keep to their own.It may be that fish
with very different patterns don't associate because they live
different lifestyles (if that isn't too anthropomorphic!) I have
some C141 and rabauti in the same tank and you rarely see them
together but, from observation, the spotted fish spend much more
time in the open while the rabauti spend almost all their time
in amongst the plants and bogwood. Something similar occurs with
my arcuatus and melanotaenia. The former are always visible but
the latter only appear if I disturb the tank. (Keith
think it must be something to do with our own parameters, water,
plants, how many in a group even light sources as my melanotaenia
are always buzzing about at the front of the tank especially when
I approach with food. Opposite on the other rack of tanks I have
elegans, which I collected in Peru in 2000 that never appear apart
from feeding time, and the tank next to this I have weitzmanni that
are very shy and again next on I have panda that are always showing
at the front and also bilineatus that are never shy since I moved
them into my new Fishhouse, but previous to this in my old fishhouse,
you couldn't see them. Strange (Allan James)
Over the past week or so, one of my two Corydoras's has been acting
sick: He swims as if drunk and settles down on the surface quickly
or on the nearest plant. Today he seemed near death (i haven't checked
my 20 gal tank in the last 1 hr). He appears pale. No growths are
seen. I have had him for nearly 9 mos. His previous partner was
found dead over 6 months ago and I bought another who seems to be
OK. The other denizens appear OK, though one of my platy's had developed
a swollen eye a week ago which has now cleared, and a few of the
platys have died over the past several months (I am now on my third
generation of these). Altogether I have 5 adult platys, about 8
or so juveniles with occasional fry added, an asian algae eater,
4 mollies and 8 neon tetras (the newest additions). The water is
kept at 27 deg C (about 81 deg F) and the tank is heavily planted,
with the plants supplying the oxygen. The CO-2, Ammonia, nitrites
and nitrates all test "within normal limits". I have a
bacterial powered filter system (Eheim Professional) which seems
to be working fine. I feed the fish daily with granulated food,
and must admit that I haven't been generous with the additional
tablets meant for the bottom feeders. Could it be that the poor
fish (who I've named "dopey" because from the start he
would overlook the tablets when they were right by hm) has been
malnourished and is dying of that?.
A It's difficult
enough identifying ailments in one's own tanks. Offering diagnosis
and treatment advice on the internet is rarely productive. I can
only repeat the advice I give to anybody with persistant problems
which is to increase your water changes both in quantity and frequency.
With your own specific setup I would say some of your fish have
very different requirements in terms of water conditions. Also
the Asian algae eater may be harassing your catfish. It's perhaps
a little on the warm side too. (Graham Ramsay)
A I would agree with mummymonkey
and as he says the temperature seems a little high for Corydoras.
There are only a few that can stand the higher temperatures, Corydoras
sterbai for instance but in the main they will do better at a
mid 70sF regime and it is also very possible that he has caught
something from the Platy's and has an internal bacterial problem.
Corydoras are hardy fish but when something like this happens
it can be very hard to halt the decline in the fish and I am afraid
it doesn't look too good for him/her. (Allan
Here's a thread going at another forum I belong to and one person
is insisting they knew of a 6 inch long cory that attacked and killed
small oscars. wacko.gif And they're warning others about keeping
cories with neon tetras because the cory may "eat them."
So is there any cory type
cat that could possibly fit that description???
sounds a bit odd to me. The only aggression you will maybe get
with Cory's would be the bigger ones such as barbatus males who
will spar with other males but aenus must be the most docile fish
you can meet. The only aggression that I have ever witnessed,
and this was about 20 years ago, was when I was breeding elegans
and one of the males had small damage to the dorsal, again maybe
males sparring for a partner. (Allan James)
A There is a story from years ago of someone
diving in the Amazon basin and seeing a brochis species at 150mmSL,
I think it was Heiko Bleher, but not sure. However Brochis are
quite a peaceful species.Maybe a case of mis-identification and
not a cory at all, just something similar. Certain large hoplos
also can get a bit manic when feeding, but they are not known
as being belligerent. The only other candidates I can think of,
are young dorads. I used to look after a large Oxydoras niger,
and it was housed in a tank with some pacu's, it wasn't aggressive
towards them; but on occasion I observed it gently mouthing the
pacu's flanks, the pacu's always swam off, but the niger never
gave chase. (Adrian Taylor)
Otocinclus: 1. I have two meds now that I haven't used yet. Methylene
blue and Jungle Fungus Clear. I know MB can be used against ich,
I've seen the JFC ingredient, nitrofurazone, listed in a few other
brands of ich treatment. Which one would you pick?
I think I'll be dosing M1+M2 along side to prevent bacterial infection,
or should I use the JFC for that? Edit: I just remembered I have
Kanamycin soaked spirulina pellets I could feed him, maybe that's
enough for bacterial prevention?
3. Obviously, I can't use salt, do any
of these meds require smaller doses for scaleless fish? Any med
combos here you would avoid?
4. I've read a bit about the ich life cycle,
should I warm the tank and wait a day or two for treatment?
A It is
a bit of a personal thing with me.. I just hate adding any medication
to catfish tanks and if I do, I half the dosage for scaleless
fish. What I would do myself is to higher the Temperature to about
86 to 88f for about five days and this should kill the life changes
of Ich. Just keep an eye on your Otto's for signs of stress and
also a good idea is to increase the aeration in the tank as the
oxygen supplies can drop the higher the temperature is. (Allan
A I also raise the temp
of the tank as soon as i see whitespot and increase the aeration
in the tank, i find this tends to do the trick avoiding the use
of meds, if done at the fist sign of an out break. (clunk)
A Hi! new here, but have had otos for a little
while. When my guys got ich (Petco fish aren't the healthiest...)
I did some research, as I knew that scaleless fish are more delicate
when it comes to meds. During a search I found a site called monsterfishkeepers.com.
As you can imagine, they are dedicated to monster sized fish - including
catfish. smile.gif They absolutely raved about Ich Attack by Kordon.
It's a natural remedy made from naphthoquinone. It doesn't mess
up your bio filtration, and is very gentle on the cats while doing
it's job on the ich. It does take a bit longer to get rid of all
the ich - but the full life cycle is longer than what standard meds
suggest medicating fish at anyway. My guys were clear of ich within
about 5 days and I actually treated them for almost 3 weeks with
no ill effects whatsoever! In fact they fattened up very nicely
during that time. I also agree with raising the temp if you chose
not to use this and even if you do! Getting the temp into the 80's
for at least 5 days should do the trick too. (nj2tou)
Blinded by a bit too much science!. Check
out the ScotCat glossary page and find out what that name
or description really means.