FAQs on Corydoras
Related Articles: Callichthyid Catfishes, Summer loving: cats in the garden, kittens in
the kitchen by Neale Monks,
Corydoras Catfish 1,
FAQs on: Corydoras
Catfish Identification, Corydoras
Catfish Behavior, Corydoras Catfish
Stocking/Selection, Corydoras Catfish
Systems, Corydoras Catfish
Feeding, Corydoras Catfish Health,
Corydoras Catfish Reproduction,
FAQs on: Panda
Corydoras, Pygmy Corydoras spp.,
FAQs on: Callichthyids
1, Callichthyids 2,
FAQs on: Callichthyid
Reproduction, Catfish: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction,
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Now Corydoras
released/exposed to natives
Are Bronze or Emerald Corydoras catfishes harmful to the native fish and
insect faunas though?
<Almost certainly if these catfish consume the same prey as, say, the
gobies that spend part of their life cycle in rivers and streams. In the
absence of catfish, gobies may thrive despite being not especially good
at sifting worms from mud. Add the catfish, and now the less efficient
way gobies forage becomes a serious liability. That's the sort of way
competition between native and exotic species works.>
They seem like one of the most docile fish in the aquarium hobby.
I can easily see how Clarias Fuscus can be a problem though.
<It's more than simply big exotic fish eating small native fish; it's
about competition for food, for resources such as nesting sites, about
carrying diseases against which the exotics are resistant but the
That sort of thing. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gourami compatibility question , Apistogrammas are known
to blind Corys? 6/29/16
Eeek, I just read that Apistogrammas are known to blind Corys?
<Yep. Never seen it myself, but Paul Loiselle describes it in his book,
'The Cichlid Aquarium'.>
So perhaps this is after all not a good addition?
<I'm wary about cichlids and Corys, yes. Can work depending on the
species, especially the bigger Corydoras being more durable than little
species. Similarly some cichlids are worse than others. Review.>
Sorry for the multiple questions. I want to be extra cautious about
compatibility as it's much easier to choose carefully than to take fish
Re: Gourami compatibility question... Now Neotrop. Cichlid
stkg./sel., comp. w/ Corydoras spp.
Thanks! Do you think the Cleithracara maronii or Laetacara curviceps
would be safer choices?
<Both excellent choices. Very mellow fish. Laetacara are a little bit
shy, but their colours are lovely. Cleithracara is more midwater-y than
the dwarf cichlids, so less troubled by catfish. Both cichlids are
sensitive to water quality, including nitrate, so approach maintenance
and stocking with
that in mind.>
black convict, Cory cats? 2/7/16
Heya! I'm new to your site but have poked around a bit. Lots of good
information. I didn't see anything similar to my situation so here goes with my
I have a single male black convict in an established 20 g tank.
No tank mates. Got him about 5 days ago. I was thinking of getting a handful of
Corydoras cats for bottom cleaning.
<Uhh; not likely compatible>
It's not necessary, just thought they'd ease up the gravel trash and provide a
little more interest. Is this a mistake?
<Too much chance the Convict will harass, kill them IMO>
Big Papa is about 4.5".
If I were to add Cory's should I do this sooner rather than later, before he
gets too settled, or would that matter?
<Good question, but likely no different in result>
Also, I was leaning against dither fish if he would be comfortable enough. Could
the catfish serve this function or is that strictly top dwelling fishes?
<I'd go solo w/ this Cichlid here... better for you, it... to rely on filtration
and maintenance to keep the tank clean>
I understand you're busy and so appreciate your attention to this matter.
<Glad to share. Am a fan of this species, but realize how many singletons,
especially large males can be aggressive.
Re: black convict, Cory cats? 2/7/16
Wow, that was prompt! Thanks so much for your advice. I will follow it.
That was mighty super of you and have a great day
<And you; BobF>
Best tank mates for Peppered Cory
1 1 16
I'm partly writing to express my ongoing gratitude for the help you have me
sometime before the turn of the century!
<Ah, I see... well, you're welcome.>
This question has probably been answered 100 times but I'm getting lost with
issues that aren't exactly parity to mine. I have a 36g fresh/soft water bow
front aquarium. I'd like to get your opinion as to what the best tank mates
<For Peppered Corydoras, I take it? Most anything, provided the water isn't too
warm. These fish are best kept between 22-25 C/72-77 F. So avoid hothouse
flowers like Discus, some of the Gouramis, some of the characins
like Diamond and Cardinal Tetras, etc., and focus on species that prefer the
cooler end of the range. South American options include Neons (though personally
I'd avoid them because the quality is dire), Emperor Tetras, Black Phantoms, Red
Phantoms, Lemon Tetras, "False" Penguin Tetras (the commonest species despite
the name)... outside the South American zone, Danionins of most types can work
nicely, hardy Rasboras like Harlequins, the less aggressive barbs like Cherry
Barbs as well, and also the subtropical Redline Torpedo is an obvious choice
too. Such midwater fish will avoid competing for food while providing good
"dither fish" to help your Corydoras settle down. Do also try mixing Corydoras;
so long as you have 5-6 of any one species, they'll be perfectly happy schooling
This happens in the wild all the time. Corydoras also mix well with Ancistrus
"Bristlenose cats", Otocinclus, the smaller Panaque like Panaque maccus, and
pretty much all of the Whiptails, so you've got lots of nice options there.>
I'm having trouble locating something I trust and like. I had Harlequin Rasbora
and they are fine but I'm leaning toward hatchet-fish with the full knowledge
that's quite a bit more advanced due to their jumpiness.
<Depends on the Hatchetfish. For sure they're all jumpy, but the bigger species
are reasonably robust otherwise, for example Gasteropelecus sternicla. On the
other hand, Marbled Hatchets are shy and nervous, and while good companions for
small Corydoras species, I think C. paleatus would be a bit big and boisterous.>
And if that isn't too bad for someone that has had the tank going for 8 years,
I'd love to hear ideas for containment. Screen lid for instance.
<Well, certainly keep the lid on the tank if you're keeping Hatchets.
Beyond that, gentle water movement, floating plants, and nothing more aggressive
or hyperactive at the top level of the tank (Danios for example) and nothing
I have owned Serpae tetra which are evil fin-nippers, and pearl Gourami which
have mean males and they bully the cats for algae wafers.
<Understood, and certainly agree re: Serpae Tetras; with the Pearl Gourami,
their behaviour is pretty much what you expect for the genus.>
I've read where you have mentioned Danios and if that's a good place for me to
go next, I'd like a plus/minus on them versus Rasbora. I've also had red wag
Platies but they don't seem to live long in my tank. Water too soft?
<Livebearers are out if you're keeping the fish in soft water. At least, the
standard livebearers sold in the aquarium trade. When kept in soft water they
tend to become sickly.>
I can't decide if I should go with fish that race all over the place or another
schooling fish. The Rasbora were great but at times it felt like watching a
freeway go backwards and forwards.
<Then you won't want Danios! Hyperactive little fish. The characins tend to be
more stately though, particularly the vaguely territorial Emperor Tetra; would
also recommend Cherry Barbs on this basis too, as the males stake out
micro-territories whereas the females school about placidly. I also like the
contrast between the stripy, peach-coloured females and the rich red of the
males. One of those times where the sexual dimorphism works both ways,
with both sexes being very attractive fish, but in different ways.>
I know I'm not going to be able to add middle and top in big numbers. The
catfish are the most important. Thanks and so nice to find you again!
Re: Best tank mates for Peppered Cory 1/4/15
Thanks Neal. I meant decade not century! I brought home 4 of the Emperors to get
an idea of how they would fit and also because they only had 4. The sex ratio is
1 male to 3 females. He's chasing one and I'm not sure if it's a mating thing or
if he's just a bully.
<Mostly the former, but because this group is too small for them, they may act
out of character.>
These things are very timid at least at this point which isn't surprising.
One is somehow under the catfish cave swimming but touching the substrate.
Two others are at the far corners of the tank where there is cover with hoses
and the heater. I also picked up some Neons with the advice with the LFS.
<A day or two after introduction they should settle down. These are normally
reliable, hardy tetras despite their exotic appearance.>
I expect things to settle down over the next couple of days but 4 isn't enough
and I need to know about ratios. Some sites say ratio doesn't matter and another
says more males are better because they keep each other busy showing off.
<Ideally, outnumber the females with males, but really, it isn't a massive issue
provided there aren't more males than females. The males tend to hold mini
territories, while the females school about. It's more important to keep a large
group, as many as you can afford. Certainly, no fewer than 8 would be my
recommendation, and the more the merrier. In a 36 gallon tank, keeping 10-12 is
Let me know what you think. I was leaning towards 4F/2M but maybe 3F/3M? I know
it's early but I'd like to round off the bunch because I am certain it will be
better with two more.
cherry shrimp hassling injured Corys
Dear WWM Crew,
I'm seeing something in my tank that I thought was impossible: cherry
shrimp are pestering fish.
<Not so much pestering as feeding on dead tissue.>
The tank in question is a little 5G one I'm using as a quarantine tank.
I set it up months ago with a few cherry shrimp and a handful of plants
and have been using it first to breed up a bunch of cherries and
secondly to quarantine fish: both shrimp and fish are heading ultimately
for the kindergarten fish tanks. It has been a wonderful way to get a
good population of cherry shrimp into the kindy tanks. I knew they bred
fast, but I've never kept them in a predator-free environment before and
are now hundreds of the things!
So yesterday I sent off a batch of white clouds to kindy and this
morning I received some Corydoras paleatus that, once quarantined, are
heading to the same kindy Fishtank. Unfortunately the Corys arrived in
the post in bad shape: two were dead on arrival and the remaining 3 have
Anyway, I acclimatised them and put them into the tank, but there seems
to be a problem: I've seen shrimp picking at the fish's tails. I reckon
that the Corys have been damaged in transit by being in a bag with dead
mates for 24 hours, and that the shrimp are actually "only" picking off
dead bits of fin. But it's bugging the Corys enough to make them swim
time. I'm worried that it will stress them and decrease the chances of
them surviving this initial adjustment/quarantine period.
<Possibly, but it's a small risk. Obviously the idea would be separate
them for the interim, just in case.>
Now I had no idea this could happen! Shrimp and Corys coexist entirely
happily in my main tank and always have done so. I figured that the
Corys might hunt some of the baby shrimp, thus curbing the population in
there somewhat, but it didn't occur to me that the shrimp might attack
<Corydoras will eat small shrimps for sure.>
What would you do? I could catch some of the shrimp out, but the process
of netting them would further stress the Corys, and I don't have
anywhere to put the shrimp other than a bucket or back into my main
tank, which would mean any disease the Corys are carrying could be
transferred with the water to the main tank. I could net the Corys out
and put them into a
bucket, but that doesn't seem a great idea either, seeing as the
quarantine tank is filtered and planted and should in general be a good
place for them to heal and recover.
<Can you not isolate the catfish or the shrimps in a floating breeding
trap or breeding net? Not ideal, but at a pinch should work.>
I could feed the tank heavily in an attempt to make the Corys seem less
interesting to the shrimp. The filter could probably cope with this:
it's a well established tank by now. Do shrimp stop looking for food
when they are full?
<Not really. They're grazers with an essentially straight-line digestive
tract. Food goes in at about the rate faeces come out, which is ideal
for their natural habitat where they consume algae and organic debris.
Adding the odd algae wafer should attract their attention, but the
degree to which it'll dissuade them from pecking at the catfish is
Have you ever seen this happen?
What would you do?
Any advice would be welcome,
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Cory catfish types and angels, comp./env., terr.
Just wondering if Cory trillis can be kept with angelfish in about
<Mmm, yes; one caveat that the Angels might damage the Corydoras if they
pair up, spawn>
The temp can go a little higher in the summer in the tank. The LFS here
has the Trillis variety and the Julii variety. They had the Sterbai
catfish, but I haven't seen them in a while. Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Options with Corydoras, stkg./comp.
I've looked over your web site and have a follow-up question. We
have six green Corydoras doing well in a 15 gallon tank. What
peaceful and hopefully colorful / interesting fish would pair well in
the same tank?
<Mmm, let's have you read here:
Perhaps one that is a bit large but not huge. We could move up in
tank size if absolutely necessary. We've had a few less than happy
pairings in the past so I'd love your advice before we shop.
Thank you so much for any help you can offer.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Options with Corydoras, comp.
Thank you very much. Of the suggestions on that page, Angelfish
are the most interesting. We're looking for a fish on the larger
(or colourful, pretty, interesting) side. Quote, "Angels can work,
but only just. Corydoras and Zebra Danios will tolerate water up to 25
C/77 F, which is at the low end of what farmed (i.e., average pet shop)
Angels accept. Wild Angels will need rather warmer water to do
consistently well, around 28 C/82 F, so you'd keep these with Corydoras
sterbai, the classic "warm-water Corydoras"."
So (with no danios) would green Corydoras work with Angels?
<Can and does work with farmed, common Angels; but avoid excessively
Our water is not hard and they are doing well 80 degrees; in fact they
lay eggs occasionally.
<Corydoras spawn when water temperature changes, typically from warm to
cold, but I dare say can happen the other way around. Warm water doesn't
kill the hardy farmed Corydoras like Bronze Corydoras, but it isn't good
for them and in the long term shortens their lives. There's no need to
keep Angels at 27 C/80 F.>
Again many thanks. I'm sure it's not a question of the information
being there, only that I don't have enough experience to apply it…
especially in light of "only just" in the quote above and our higher
<Hmm… do spend time reading about individual fish requirements; all this
information is published. That (most) Corydoras prefer somewhat cool
conditions is hardly news and certainly not me being picky. Cheers,
Re: Fish to add
Hi there, one follow-up question. My daughter is
interested in Angelfish.
Those are not on your list below, but could they work with
Corydoras and Zebra Danios? Again, thanks so much for your
<Angels can work, but only just. Corydoras and Zebra Danios will
tolerate water up to 25 C/77 F, which is at the low end of what farmed
(i.e., average pet shop) Angels accept. Wild Angels will need rather
warmer water to do consistently well, around 28 C/82 F, so you'd
keep these with Corydoras sterbai, the classic "warm-water
Corydoras". As for water chemistry, Angels prefer soft, slightly
acidic water, just like the other two species, but all three can do
fine up to 20 degrees dH, pH 8, even though it isn't optimal.
Angels normally ignore Corydoras, and if the Danios are in a big group,
there's little risk of fin-nipping. Cheers,
Betta and Corydoras, sys. comp. -- 12/29/11
I have a male Betta in a 20 gallon long. I put a little marine salt in
his tank to prevent fin rot and it seems to work, no more than a
Three Corydoras catfish would probably be a bad idea??
<Mmm, no. Most Corydoras are moderately salt/s tolerant, and unless
you have a good deal in your source water in addition to what
you've added, they should be fine here>
The Bettas tank is at 80F, but even at 78F that would be a little
high for the Corys I would assume??
<Many species, yes. DO look on the Net re the needs/range of the
species you have in mind. I'd lower the set temperature to
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Albino Cory Catfish. Oto incomp.
I have a 30 gallon freshwater aquarium that has been well established
for over a year. All of my fish have been together since the beginning.
I just recently did a 75% water change and added new plants (water
changed due to long interval of no water change and new plants were
boiled for 15 minutes and rinsed with old aquarium water prior to
placement in the tank) I have tested my water with colored test strips,
everything appears to be perfect. I currently have in the tank the
following: 3 albino Cory, 2 zebra danio's, 14 neon's, 1 frog, 1
snail, and a monster of an algae eater (Otocinclus) that has become a
bit aggressive and very large. The problem is with my Albino Cory his
top or upper fin looks as though it has been nipped, he is well for
lack of a better word tipping.
<Mmm, the Oto...>
He can not seem to keep balanced in a stationary position like he use
to. Also, resilient as he is, he has started 'lodging' himself
against plants to stop from tipping. I can not say with 100% certainty
that he has been eating but he has been coming up for air like normal.
Also, I have noticed his breathing is much more labored than usual and
much more than my other two. What can I do I have had the Cory fish the
longest and do not want to lose him. Thanks for you help.
<I would move the Otocinclus elsewhere. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy
Hello: I have had the Julii-Cory Catfish (7 of them in a 50
for two years. Lately, they have been nipping on all the fins of
my four young Fancy Goldfish. that I have only had for three
weeks. Why are they doing this,
<Probably hungry, but if they've learned they can do this,
and the Fancies swim so slowly and weakly that they can't
escape, this is Nature doing what it does best -- turning weak
animals into food for strong animals!>
as I had large Fancy Goldfish half a year ago, and the Catfish
left them alone? Any ideas why they are attacking my Goldfish and
what I can do about it??
<Not a great combination of livestock, but you might review
diet in terms of the Corydoras, and whether or not the Fancy
Goldfish are strong enough to survive alongside other types of
fish -- things like Pompoms and Celestials are so hopelessly
deformed they're best kept in groups of their own variety,
i.e., Celestials alongside other Celestials, and so on.
Re: My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy
I have Black Moors (two), one Oranda, and one Calico Fantail.
These are young goldfish - about one inch in length, excluding
<Do read, re-read my previous message and act accordingly.
While these varieties aren't especially delicate, they are
deformed, and that means they're weak swimmers. Secondary
infections of the fin membranes can make them sore and bloody,
and the resulting wound, as well as the excess mucous, can be
attractive to opportunistic catfish, potentially including
Corydoras. Look at whether the Goldfish have damaged fins, and if
they do, make the appropriate changes to their world as well as
Re: My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy
Thanks for the info.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?),
GF, Cory incomp. -- 02/02/11
I am writing via my iPhone from cold MI, USA. I LOVE your
website, I have spent a great deal of time just reading and
absorbing such great info. Collectively, your knowledge and
experience is so impressive.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Today my question pertains more towards behavior rather than
chemistry, thus I feel compelled to write. I have a large (appx.
4-5" not counting tail)
<Actually, not that big. A BIG goldfish would be 30 cm/12
inches, though fantail-type Fancy Goldfish typically max out
around the 20 cm/8 inch mark.>
Black Telescope Goldfish in a 30 gal tank with a natural rock
substrate and decor, along with some floating live plants. I
introduced some Albino Cory Cats to do some
And today I returned home to find 0.25" of Cory Cat hanging
out of my Big Guy's mouth. Should I remove it, or will the
Big Guy be able to digest it?
<For now, see what happens. Trying to pull out the dead fish
-- I assume it's dead -- may do more harm than good. Fish
have quite delicate jaw bones, and pulling catfish backwards
causes their spines to lock, so all that'd happen is
you'd be forcing erect spines into the jaw. If, by tomorrow,
it's still stuck in the Goldfish's mouth, you may need to
do something more hands-on. Or better yet, call a vet used to
handling Koi (many are) for their advice and assistance.
There's going to be a trick to lowering the fin spins on the
Corydoras using a mounted needle or similar, then pulling the
corpse out. Or perhaps the whole catfish will be crushed, and
then removed. But either way, the pectoral and dorsal fin spines
will need to be dealt with.>
The Cory Cat was about 1.5" not counting the tail.
<Not tiny, then.>
I really am at a loss. I guess I should have expected this,
knowing that the Big Guy is essentially a Carp and will eat
anything, I just assumed that he was peaceful.
<Usually they are. You've been extremely unlucky. Goldfish
are mostly herbivorous and their fish-eating skills are minimal.
For a start, they don't even have teeth in their mouths! My
hunch is that the Goldfish was dead or at least moribund, and the
Goldfish simply took advantage of the situation. Normally,
Corydoras cohabit quite nicely with Goldfish, given the right
water temperature and water quality.>
Well, thank you so much Crew! Any other ideas and/or suggestions
I deeply appreciate! Thank you Mr. Fenner et al for the wonderful
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
<<RMF would catch the goldfish, gently try to extricate
(paying attention to the prominent anterior dorsal and leading
pectoral fin spines) the catfish. No need for anesthetic, nor
tools... just a wet hand to hold the goldfish, the other to
"wiggle" the Corydoras and pull it free. IF not easily
removed, I would use a small, sharp-tipped scissor to cut the
respective stuck fin spines free>>
Ahh, now that I see the pic, you will need to use a tweezer.
Re: Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?)
Greetings, Neale and Crew,
Many sincere thanks for your speedy reply this afternoon!
<Glad to help.>
Well, I observed my Telescope for about an hour, walked out of
the room for just a quick minute, and returned to see the Albino
Cory Cat had disappeared from Telescope's mouth. (I
erroneously assumed that it had somehow gotten swallowed). Many
hours later, I find the Cory Cat hiding out under a rock.
All of his fins appear severely damaged, and of course he does
not seem to be having an easy job of navigating around the tank.
So I guess I am "cautiously optimistic" with regard to
<Fins will grow back. I'd treat with something mild to
prevent Finrot, perhaps Melafix for want of anything else.
Otherwise, a standard anti-Finrot medication would be worth
Needless to say, I was *SO* grateful to get your response
earlier! The situation was so bizarre and unexpected that had I
not seen it with my own eyes & snapped a pic, I probably
wouldn't believe it had happened.
<Agreed, very unusual.>
Here you go! Granted, the Big Guy (Telescope) was turned away a
bit, and I hope you can see why I was so alarmed.
<Would assume Telescope won't do this ever again!>
Have a splendid evening and many thanks once again!
<Good luck to you all, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew... Cory eating
In the past, I have successfully used the wet washcloth holding
method to hold the Telescope, so I was planning to employ that
same technique along with tweezers to remove the Cory Cat. The
Cory Cat was really in there! Now I know what to do should such a
situation ever present itself again. After reading Neale's
response, I am glad that I waited to act, and more so now that by
some unknown miracle the Cory Cat came out by
<Certainly an excellent result.>
I'm thinking of Jonah and the Whale, although I think we were
more like three hours as opposed to three days. Forevermore, the
Cory shall be known as Jonah. The Force is strong with him. ;)
There does not appear to be any damage to Telescope's jaws,
and I hopeful that the Big Guy will return to a peaceful
I am snowed under at the moment, so at my earliest opportunity I
plan to look for Neale's suggested Melafix- which I have
never used before.
<We don't widely recommend Melafix because it's a most
unreliable cure. But as a preventative it has some merit, being
relatively mild, inexpensive, and provided the fish is basically
healthy and strong, does seem to work.>
I am glad you were able to see from the iPhone's pic, it
certainly wasn't the best photo ever! If you don't mind,
I will pick your brain, what do you think about the gold on the
underside of my Telescope? That is fairly recent, within the past
4 months or so. Could it be a seasonal change or just normal
<Just normal colour changes, common on non-pedigree
Your Crew and website are really awesome, I can't stress
enough how many questions I've had answered from your site.
And deep, sincere thanks for the personal emails!
I think I saw on your site somewhere that you were associated
with Marine Aquarists in Lansing, MI?
<Hmm'¦ we're not associated with anyone
specifically, but companies advertise on the banners, and Bob F.
does his bit to promote aquarium clubs, reputable retailers and
wholesalers, and other folks who do good works in the
I live in a rural area near Lansing, and no Koi vets appeared
locally when I Googled. Anyway, something for me to think about.
Thank you for honoring grammar,
<Both Bob and I feel strongly about "good English"
being essential to clear, polite conversation, though I certainly
don't hold myself up as a paragon of either clarity or
and again, many thanks for getting me thru the drama, you all are
fabulous! Have a splendid day!
<And you too, Holly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew
I'm starting to feel like we are old friends!
You are smart, and you've really gotten me, the basic
beginner hobbyist, really thinking. (I am an English Major, hence
my fondness for standard grammar).
Your comment re: pedigreed goldfish-- Very interesting. I
wasn't even aware of such a thing.
<Oh yes, is very true. Most Goldfish tend to change colour
with age, sometimes uniformly becoming paler, other times
becoming darker in patches; it varies considerably.>
That in turn has gotten me thinking. Do you have any good
pictures of nasal bouquets?
<Not to hand. But look at the varieties called Pom-Poms. In
normal Goldfish, the nostrils are more or less inside the skull
except that each has a small flap, called a lobe, that sticks
out. On Pom-Poms these are wildly developed into cauliflower-like
growths. Those are the bouquets.>
My Telescope (which has flat eyes), does have what I would
consider to be prominent tear drop shaped nares, along with bumpy
skin texture on the head. Possibly it was a throwback from an
attempt to breed another variety, like a Pom Pom.
<Could well be. To some degree, many Goldfish will show
features you're characterise belonging to different breeds
than their own. For example a standard Goldfish might have a
slightly chunkier body, like that of a Fantail. Or a Fantail
might have slightly bulgy-out eyes like a Moor. And so, and so
forth. What has happened over the centuries is that these traits
were selectively bred to become more and more exaggerated along
particular breeding lines, and ultimately, new varieties were
Well, I imagine it really doesn't much matter, but as a
thinking person, I just found it really interesting to think
<Is indeed, particularly given Goldfish had originally been
domesticated as food, at which point they were merely greenish
fish much like their wild ancestors, but better adapted to life
in ponds. Some of them sported golden patches or perhaps a more
brassy overall green colour, and these were saved from the
kitchen and bred one to another, and over time the Goldfish that
we know and love was created. All this happened some centuries
ago in China and Japan, though subsequent varieties have been
created in England (like the Shubunkin) and in the United States
(the Comet) as well.>
Learning and thinking are just amazing things, so I hope you and
the Crew are aware of how sharing your knowledge and opinions not
only informs and educates, but also inspires.
<Those are very kind words; thank you.>
Keep up the Great work, I am off to the LFS. You are awesome.
<Have fun! Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew 2/4/11
I hope you are well today! :)
<Yes, thank you, Holly. Glad it's Friday though...>
Just wanted to ask, do you think 3 days of Melafix would be
sufficient, or should I plan on a longer course of treatment?
<Should be ample.>
Would a 25% change at the 3 Day Mark be advisable?
<Would do no harm at all.>
I am noticing a strong odor, which isn't offensive, just
different. Is that a sign of overdose or normal? I did indeed
measure, just checking!
<Likely normal. You can add carbon to the filter for a few
days if you're worried, and it should remove it all.>
Thank you so very much, please have a splendid day!!
<And enjoy your weekend, Holly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?)
Thank you, Neale. Enjoy your weekend also!
<I plan on sleeping through most of it. Been a tough week!
Re: More re: Hello Crew...Chatting -- 02/04/11
I hope your week was not tough because of me and all my
<Ah no, just the kids at school. Some good, some bad, but all
of them exhausting.>
Thank you again! All of my fish appear happier today.
Sleep is always a wonderful thing, my friend! Enjoy,
<I plan to.>
<Best to you, too, Holly. Cheers, Neale.>
Tetra compatibility/sel. w/ Corydoras
Hi guys and gals, just a quick question for Neale if I could. I've
started a 29-gal FW and am wondering what type of schooling tetras
would share the same temperature range as Corydoras? I'm not
terribly interested in "same-old" Neons. Something along the
lines of Bloodfins or Rummynose would be really nice, if they'd
work. Others that are readily available locally would be something like
Glowlights or silvertips.
<Hi Scott. The big surprise for many people is how many South
American fish actually enjoy quite cool conditions. Besides Neons,
other good choices for temperatures between 22-24 C would include
Bloodfins (Aphyocharax anisitsi), Dragon-fin tetras (Pseudocorynopoma
doriae), Blue tetras (Boehlkea fredcochui), Black Widows (Gymnocorymbus
ternetzi), Silvertips (Hasemania nana), Buenos Aires tetras
(Hyphessobrycon anisitsi), Flame
tetras (Hyphessobrycon flammeus), Loreto tetras (Hyphessobrycon
loretoensis), Black Phantoms (Megalamphodus megalopterus), Red Phantoms
(Megalamphodus sweglesi), Red-eye Tetras (Moenkhausia
sanctaefilomenae), Penguin tetras (Thayeria obliqua), Darter tetras
(Characidium spp.) -- to name just a few! In fact about half the South
American fish we see in the trade prefer relatively cool conditions,
and there's a clear distinction between the fish from relatively
cool streams and the fish from much warmer habitats like the llanos
pools and some of the rivers (the Rio Xingu being notorious in this
respect). Rummy-nose tetras and Cardinals do prefer
somewhat warmer conditions, so aren't ideal Corydoras companions.
Hope this gives you some ideas! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Tetra compatibility 2/4/2010
Thanks, Neale. Is there a larger single fish that would go with a
school of tetras and a group of Corys to complete the "look"?
An angel would do the trick for me, but I'm guessing that it
wouldn't work here.
<Many of the cichlids we call "Acaras" come from the same
relatively cool waters, and thrive between 22-24 C. These include
Aequidens pulcher, Cichlasoma portalegrense, Cleithracara maronii and
Laetacara curviceps, to
name but four of the more widely traded species. Cichlasoma
portalegrense in particular is an under-appreciated species that used
to be very popular because of its hardiness and tolerance of cool
water, but has been much
overlooked in recent decades. Cheers, Neale.>
Betta breeding, Corydoras comp.
Hi WWM Crew! My name is Hana and I have been planning for over a month
to breed my Bettas. I was wondering if I could put a Corydoras catfish
in a fry tank after my fry become free swimming.
<No. There are two reasons. Firstly, Corydoras catfish will eat
anything small they can catch. Their eyesight isn't good, so they
hunt by smell. If the thing they find smells nice, they'll eat it!
Secondly, in breeding
tanks you want perfect water quality. This is difficult to do. It is
important to remove uneaten food, do lots of water changes, and above
all, not add any big fish! You cannot add "one" Corydoras
they're schooling fish, and adding the minimum number -- five --
would cause too much pollution. If the breeding tank gets polluted, the
fry will die.>
This is my first time so I would like some advice too.
<With regard to what?>
I don't have a sponge filter or a air pump but I do have a normal
hang-on filter. Would it be okay if I put a piece of cloth on the
intake tube to soften the intake?
<No. You do need an air-powered sponge filter. Firstly, the male
Betta needs to make a nest, and for that, water flow must be very
gentle. If the water flow is too strong, the bubbles will not stick
together properly, and the eggs will fall out of the nest. Secondly,
the fry are very, very small, and if the water current is too strong,
they will be at risk of being sucked into the filter. Thirdly, you will
need to feed the fry infusoria,
and these will get sucked into an electric filter.>
Cory compatibility 5-26-2009
Hello Crew, hope all had a great weekend. I have a question about
Corys.. I have 8 bronze Corys that stay together and school
occasionally. I know Corys they are shy and do better in larger groups.
My next door neighbor is getting rid of his aquarium and gave me 2
panda Corys. They hang out together and seem to be eating well. I want
to know if they feel more comfortable with the bronze Corys in the tank
with them than if they were by themselves. I really didn't want to
buy more pandas right now.. Please tell me what you think.
<I have mixed and matched many different types of Corys whom school
fine together. You should easily be able to introduce the panda Corys
with the bronze Corys. If they don't mix well (sometimes they
don't like each other), then you can easily purchase more in the
<You are welcome! Merritt A.>
Cory compatibility Part II 5-27-2009
Thanks for the information. I always thought that only like types would
school together and not mixed. If different types do not like each
other how can you tell? Do they fight or run each other off? Thanks
<Corys are very laid back fish. They will just ignore each other and
swim in their own schools. That is why I would not worry about mixing
them. You are welcome! Merritt A.>
Corys fighting-- 05/09/09
Hello Crew, hope all is going well with you. I have a question
Several weeks ago I purchased 6 medium sized panda Corys for my 75
gallon aquarium. There are no other fish in there right now. About 2
days after introducing them into the tank I noticed one dead one
morning. I didn't really think much about it since fish die just
like people. But last night when I was just watching them swim around
together 2 of them starting picking on one. They seemed to be pushing
him around with their noses and when the attacked fish tried to swim
off they would not let him alone.
Finally the 2 attackers left but the one attacked stayed on the bottom
motionless for a while before starting to swim around again. At that
time I went to bed and did not have time to look in the tank this
morning as I was getting ready for work. But when I got home this
evening one was dead and I assume it was the one picked on last night
(and maybe today also.)
<How big are these Corydoras? It's rare for Corydoras to
"fight", whereas the closely related Scleromystax species
(such as what was formerly called Corydoras barbatus) are much more
boisterous. But, adult Corydoras will spawn readily in good conditions,
and the mating behaviour involves multiple males courting single
females. To the casual aquarist, this can look a lot like
I have had Corys before in smaller numbers (usually 2 or 3) and in
other aquariums and never noticed any fighting or bullying. Please tell
me what can be the cause of this. Before in other aquariums I always
had about 3 Corys and each one was a different kind. I never had any
problems at all.
When setting up this tank I read about how getting six or more of the
same kind would cause them to school together and be happier. I did
just that and now this has happened.
Any advice or reasoning you can give will be greatly appreciated.
<Since you have so much space, I'd add a few more Pandas. If
there is some aggression, this will dilute that problem. Corydoras also
become so much happier and more attractive in big schools!>
Re: Corys fighting-- 05/09/09
Thanks Neale, I appreciate the advice. Could courting cause one to
<Shouldn't do; the females are usually so much bigger than the
males that it's hard to see what problems would occur. I have a
school of eight or nine Corydoras paleatus in one tank that spawn every
few weeks (in fact
rescued a few eggs just the other day). Never seen any sign of serious
problems. By contrast, Scleromystax males can be feisty, and sometimes
shed one another's fins (though they don't harm the females).
So provided you
have Corydoras rather than Scleromystax, as you do with Corydoras
panda, I can't foresee any issues with aggression.>
And how many more would you recommend getting?
<I find groups of 6-10 works well with all these little
Cherry Shrimp Compatibility, w/ Corydoras 8/20/08
Apistogramma ID and comp., esp. with
Corydoras 02/08/09 Hi I have a 40 gallon
community tank Corys, Gourami, Rasbora. I went to one of my local
fish store and saw a fish that I thought looked pretty cool was
told it was an Apistos cichlid (didn't expand on the name.
From what I can find on youtube.com he LOOKS like
"cacatuoides" (I know nothing about any types of these
fish) except what I found AFTER I bought him since LFS said he
would do good in community tank. It has black horizontal line
through center of body a black line vertically under eye and very
light black vertical lines on body. Tail is bright yellow
outlined with black. Only difference (that makes me not sure from
what I found on youtube.com if it is cacatuoides) is the
yellow/black coloring is nowhere else. The dorsal fin only has
one thin vertical black stripe at the front. My question(s)
because if first question is negative answer then the rest of
questions is none issue --to me anyway. 1 My online research
concluded (again, after buying with OK from LFS) that
Apistogramma are for tanks ph 6.5 to 7.0. LFS says their ph for
their fish is 7.8 red flag???????? My tanks ph is 7.4 do I need
to return the fish or will he adapt? He doesn't seem to look
stressed or breathing hard so clamped fins etc. 2. From the
description above are you able to give me an idea of WHICH
Apistogramma this might be, and if the lack of coloration
anywhere besides the tail means its a female or can still
possibly be male but still young to have more color. 3.Depending
on what type of Apistogramma it is what is the common name e.g.
cockatoo thank you <Hello. It's not a good idea to buy any
fish before confirming the identity of the species, and looking
up its basic needs in a book. Cichlids are a particular problem
because many species look similar but turn out to have differing
needs or behaviours. Apistogramma are notoriously difficult to
name. For one thing, the females are all virtually identical, but
even the males can be extremely similar. Within species such as
Apistogramma cacatuoides there are also distinct varieties.
There's no way to name your fish without (at least) a photo,
and to be honest even then there's room for error. This said,
the majority of Apistogramma are fairly similar in needs:
moderate temperature, soft water, low to neutral pH. Social
behaviour is almost always polygamous, with one male needing to
be kept with 2+ females to avoid bullying. Assuming this was an
inexpensive fish, the chances are good that it was Apistogramma
cacatuoides simply because that's the species most easily
bred. There are numerous artificially bred forms about. It's
fairly tolerant of moderately hard, slightly alkaline water.
Assuming the hardness is no more than, say, 10 degrees dH and the
pH no higher than 7.5, you should be fine. The major killer with
these dwarf cichlids is nitrate, and you absolutely must keep the
nitrate level below 20 mg/l to have any chance of long-term
maintenance. Finally, most cichlids don't have common names,
and those that do, the common names are often misleading, being
used for other species as well. For example, the "Parrot
Cichlid" isn't just that hideous hybrid, but was
originally the name of a South American species, Hoplarchus
psittacus. So the sooner you get comfortable with scientific
names, the easier you'll find navigating the world of
cichlids. By the way, do watch the Apistogramma/Corydoras mix:
Apistogrammas have been known to attack and blind Corydoras
catfish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Apistogramma and 02/08/09 Hi Thank
you for the fast reply. Yeah, I know it was a bad move buying a
fish without knowing about it. I usually do a lot of research on
the internet before getting something. I had just gone to guy
some fish food and it became an "impulse buy" and I
have gotten fish here before and this was someone new there. So I
can only blame myself. The ratio for male to females is that for
multiple cichlids for the bullying? because this is the only
cichlid I have. Or is that ratio for just having a cichlid in a
tank period? Here is a pic sorry that its not a great one.
Hopefully this will help in a possibility identifying the fish.
<Hello. The ratio of one male Apistogramma to 2+ females is to
do with their social/breeding behaviour; if you have equal
numbers of males and females, things don't always work out
right, and sometimes the male bullies the female. With more
females, he'll be moving between temporary associations with
different females, so while mating with one female, the other
will get a rest. If a single female has to put up with the
constant attention of the male, she'll get exhausted. As she
weakens, he'll get frustrated, and he'll try to drive her
out of his territory. (Polygamous male cichlids can be "wife
beaters"...) In any case, the picture does look a lot like
Apistogramma cacatuoides, going by the orange/black flecks on the
caudal fin and the long black bar along the midline of the flank.
This is lucky, because as I think I mentioned last time, it's
one of the best "beginner" Apistogramma. It'll put
up with more mistakes than most any other member of the genus.
Hello, <Amanda> I hope whichever of the crewmembers that gets
this is having a good day. <I hope we all are> I have a quick
question. I am pretty sure I already know the answer, but I read over
the facts (both shrimp and Corydoras) and just wanted some confirmation
either way. I have the opportunity to purchase some cherry shrimp (they
aren't very common here). I am very interested in getting some but
only if I can house them safely. The only tank I have which is suitable
to their needs at the moment is populated by 10 Corydoras (five C.
aeneus and five C. sterbai). My gut feeling is that the Corydoras might
try to eat the cherry shrimp (on the Corydoras section on WWM it is
stated "Corydoras et al. are more carnivorous than omnivores...
eating mainly insect larvae, worms, and crustaceans in the wild."
If this is the case I will not get them, but if you feel housing them
together will be safe I'll pick them up. Thank you Amanda <If
this tank is large enough (let's say 29 or more gallons), and there
is sufficient habitat (rocks, plants, wood...) these shrimp and
Callichthyids should be fine together. Bob Fenner>
Question about unknown fish - 06/08/2007 Hi, I recently
bought a 180 gallon fresh water tank that came along with a fish
that I cannot identify. I was hoping that you could help me. The
previous owner stated that the fish was a goby but the research
that I have done does not support that. I have searched the web
and went to my local pet store but no luck. The fish is about 10
inches long very stout and broad. He has bright orange/red
coloring on his very top fin. He has small eyes and a pretty big
mouth. The fish is gray in color with stripes on the body. He
likes to sit on the bottom of the tank resting on two bottom
fins. I would like to add some other fish but I am a little
apprehensive because I do not know how this fish behaves. I would
greatly appreciate any help. I have included a few pictures Thank
you, Michelle <Hello Michelle. Your new fish is almost
certainly the North American sleeper goby Dormitator maculatus.
The taxonomy of the gobies and goby-like fishes is complex and in
a state of flux, but broadly speaking this is a goby of sorts, a
member of the family Eleotridae as opposed to the
"true" gobies Gobiidae. This is a large, omnivorous
brackish water species with a high tolerance for freshwater
though I'm not convinced it can be permanently maintained as
a freshwater fish. It doesn't need much salt to do well; 3-6
grammes of marine salt mix per litre should be adequate. It can
also be kept in a marine aquarium. In freshwater aquaria its
colours tend to be subdued and it is more prone to sickness. It
is hardy, gets to 70 cm in the wild, though 30 cm or so is more
typical in aquaria. This species (and sleepers generally) eats
both animal and plant foods. An ideal diet would contain green
foods like tinned peas and algae wafers along with bloodworms,
chopped seafood, and the occasional earthworm or river shrimp. It
is not aggressive towards fish it can't swallow whole, but
given its maximum size it is obviously not suitable for the
average community tank! In the right tank, e.g., with scats,
Monos and other largish brackish water fish, these sleeper gobies
are friendly, entertaining pets.
this helps, Neale.>
Re: Question about unknown fish, Corydoras comp. --
6/8/08 Neale, I can not thank you enough for your help! Do
you think I could add some Cory cat fish in the tank with the
goby? I have some cat fish in another tank ranging in size from
about one inch to 3 inches. thank you Michelle <Short answer
is no, Corydoras wouldn't work. Firstly your Sleeper Goby
will need at least some salt added to the water, and Corydoras
won't appreciate that at all. Secondly the Sleeper Goby could
well try and eat them. If you want a catfish for this aquarium,
consider Hoplosternum littorale, a large relative of Corydoras
from northern South America and Trinidad. It's very hardy,
can be kept alone or in groups, gets to about 20 cm in length,
and is very tolerant of brackish water. It will thrive in the
slightly saline conditions Dormitator maculatus demands. There
are various other brackish water catfish, but that's the one
I'd go with here. Cheers, Neale.>
6 Cory Cats, comp./sel.
4/13/08 Hello WWM crew, Thank you for your wonderful site and
service to the community. We have a "community" 125
gallon tank working fine. Our tank has a total of 9 Corys: 2
albinos, 5 bronze, 1 peppered, 1 c. metae, along with the usual
swords, mollies, and platys. Specific question on the usual
advice to have 6 or more Cory cats. I use six as an example only.
Please clarify whether this means they must all six be the same
type (say, 6 emerald or 6 peppered); or does it mean 6 of any
type Cory, as we have? <While a few Corydoras species will mix
in the wild, for all practical purposes they should all be
treated as different things when it comes to forming schools. So
six bronze Corydoras, six peppered Corydoras, and so on. While
they may all look the same to us, to one another they are
completely different things. The sole exception is the Albino
Corydoras, which is (usually) Corydoras paleatus, i.e., the
peppered Corydoras though sometimes it is alternatively the
bronze Corydoras, Corydoras aeneus.> We ask because none of
the Corys (including the 5 emerald cats) hang out together as a
"shoal" like the photos on www sites. <Precisely so.
You need a reasonable number, generally six or more.> Ours are
all independent critters. Is this normal or is it due to our
large tank (5' long, 18" wide) ? <Bit of both.
Corydoras don't normally swim as a single group all the time.
They often cleave off into subgroups, often a couple of males
escorting a mature female. Mine do this all the time, and
periodically you'll find eggs laid on the glass as evidence.
Remove the eggs, rear the fry (comparatively easy) and add them
to your group of Corydoras!> One observation is that the new
(this week) C. metae immediately paired off with the 1 peppered
Cory; but neither of these "hang" with the albinos or
emeralds, and the albinos do not associate much with the
emeralds. Does this mean we have stocked wrongly?
<"Wrong" is perhaps too strong a word, but perhaps
not "ideally". It's a lot of fun to watch Corydoras
doing the social thing, and if you feel you have space in your
community tank, I'd heartily recommend bumping up the
numbers. In 125 gallons, you could easily keep ten of each and
not have problems.> We want to do the right thing by these
very nice fish. <Indeed so!> Many thanks, Rosemary
Re: 6 Cory Cats 04/14/2008 Neal,
brilliant reply in concise terms. Off to the LFS Monday for some
albino and bronze Corys! Many, many thanks! Rosemary <Happy to
help. In theory at least, Peppered and Albino catfish should
school together; if they don't, then the chances are you have
Albino Bronze catfish rather than the more common Albino Peppered
catfish. Enjoy your fishkeeping! Cheers, Neale.>
Gold Rams, comp., beh. 4/8/07 Hi People,
<Ruth> Firstly I would just like to thank you for your
great site. I've got a 60l tank (about 2 months old) with 3
Peppered Corys, 2 Schwartz Corys, 4 Longfin Leopard Danios and a
pair of Gold Rams. The tank is well planted with live plants,
plenty of bogwood and a rock cave. <Sounds very nice>
Everything was great until about a week ago when the female ram
started bullying the Corys at feeding times only. <Mmm,
unusual... unless... they're reproducing...> The Rams
aren't timid in any way and she only chases them if they run
away, typical bully! I thought maybe they were trying to spawn so
added a flat piece of slate at the bottom for them but nothing
happened. Then I added the 4 Danios as ditherfish, <Good
idea> funny thing is she seems to like them and doesn't
bother them at all and even swims around with them. Is she just
hungry? Or territorial because she and the Corys both eat at the
bottom? <Perhaps a bit of both> She only fights over
catfish pellets not frozen or flake food. I always sit and watch
them eat and she eats like a pig and doesn't look pinched. Is
my tank too full? <Is near a "psychological" limit
here> Will the Corys manage with a bit of chasing at meal
times (I'm 99% certain it doesn't happen at any other
times) or would it be better to get rid of the rams? Thanks very
much, Ruth <I do think all should be fine here... The
Corydoras/Callichthyids are quite armored... and the Rams know
this... I might try feeding at both ends of this tank
simultaneously... Please do read (on WWM, fishbase.org,
elsewhere) re the water quality of Microgeophagus... perhaps
lowering water temperature will reduce the agonistic behavior.
Cory-Eating Koi! 9/19/06 Hello,
<Hi Ben, Pufferpunk here. Please try correct
capitalization & correct punctuation in your
email. I have to fix this, before we can post in our
Daily FAQs.> Today I came home to find my ghost coy (spelled:
Koi) had tried to eat my small catfish. I found it had
lodged it's spines through the cheeks of the coy. I had to
use sharp scissors to cut both front spines which were protruding
on the cat fish and its top spine to remove the catfish and save
the Corys life. I removed the fish after some time but
to my surprise the catfish was still alive! After I
had clipped most of his top fin down to his back, including its
fin spine, I have put it in an separate tank in attempts to keep
it sterile. I am just wondering if its fins will grow back from
such massive loss of its top fin? <You can add Melafix to his
water, to keep him from getting an infection & to help his
fins grow back. You must keep this water pristine, by
doing at least 50% water changes daily, since his tank isn't
cycled. Is there a filter on there? He will
heal best with a heater set to 78-80 degrees too. I
don't suggest putting him back in with your
Koi. I'd also add Melafix to the Koi's water,
as his mouth obviously has been pierced ~PP>
Regards, Ben Walker
Betta/Corydoras Comp., Sys.
8/2/06 I love your site! It is so helpful and the best one I
have come across. I have a new male Betta in a 3
gallon, filtered tank. It has silk plants. He refuses to eat
anything but frozen Brine Shrimp <Need to expand this diet...
not nutritious completely> and it an active little
sucker. My question is .. . is a 3 gallon too
small to add a Cory catfish to? <Mmm, no... is not too small
for a small/ish species of Corydoras> I am concerned about the
size of the tank and how active the Betta is. Being that Bettas
are territorial, I worry that adding a Cory is not a good idea.
What are your thoughts? Thanks! Dawn <Should get along fine.
There is an occasional "super mean" male Betta that
comes along, but most are so "autistic" that they leave
such armored cats be. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner> Hi There, <Hello again!> Sorry, I found the
answer. I kept reading and reading and found the same question.
Whew! Thanks again! Dawn <Welcome. BobF>
Betta and Corys
6/5/06 <<Hi, Chris. Tom with you.>> I
have recently added a Betta with 2 Cory catfish in a 10 gallon
tank. Sometimes the Betta chases the Corys around the
tank. I have seen the Betta take a nip at the Cory but
the Corys have been fast enough to get away. Could
this be the Betta just setting up his territory?
<<Most likely the case, Chris.>> I have read Bettas
and Corys are compatible. Is my Betta overly
aggressive? <<Could be the "alpha" type but, as a
recent addition, I wouldn't be concerned.>> Anyway to
calm him down? <<With good conditions, he
should acclimate without much else being done.>> Also, are
there any other tankmates suitable? <<A ten-gallon tank is,
typically, a bit large for a Betta but I wouldn't hurry out
to find more "tankmates". They'll do very well
"solo" and I'm not a fan of mixing these with other
fish. (The Corys, which I adore, are pretty inoffensive in any
tropical tank so I would discount these as "other
fish". :)>> Thanks, Chris <<Any time, Chris.
Corys With Rams 4/27/06 Good Morning~
I've been at my aquarium hobby for about 6 months...learning
a lot from this great site/people and really appreciate it!
I've spotted a dwarf ram that I'm interested in and have
a couple questions. The LFS has their temperature with these fish
at 84 degrees...I've gotten my 12gal tank up to that
temp....my tank was down for a while...bio-wheel.. have added
dirty filter water & dirty gravel...about a week ago...will
it be okay to put about 3 or 4 rams here?....should I purchase a
few Danios/barbs at the same time to put in with them - or just
the rams by themselves? < Either way would be fine.>
(I'm planning to have a 20gal free in a couple weeks and
intend to move them to that) Also, I really like Corys and wonder
if any particular one is okay with the higher temperature? <
Most Cory's can handle the elevated water temps. Some cannot
but these are usually rare and expensive. Check out the
Cory's at Planetcatfish.com if you are interested in a
particular species.-Chuck> Thanks Again, Judy
Kribensis, Ram query... Corydoras
comp. 4/21/06 Hi Crew, <Jeff> I hope all is
well wherever you all are. Winter finally broke last week here in
Edmonton, Canada. <Thank goodness... my cold tolerance (and no
preference) is "out the window" with advancing age>
Anyway, I have a reef invert question and a freshwater question.
<Okay> Reef - I recently added a frogspawn with
three heads and a small xenia about 4 days ago. Both appear to be
doing very well, the xenia is showing full movement (pulsing) and
the frogspawn is still colourful and opens up very nicely during
lighting hours. My system is a 29 gal with 130w of PC (10k &
Actinic). Firstly, how often do I feed each species (Reefroids
for xenia & Mysis for other). <3-4 times a week>
Secondly, I have the frogspawn in the middle of the setup about
10 inches below the lights and set on my LR. Is it better to have
it as low as I can and in the substrate? <Mmm, I would keep
this Euphylliid off the bottom. See WWM re> I am letting the
xenia tell me where it wants to be. <Good... just do keep it
confined> Freshwater - I recently upgraded a 7 gal bowfront to
a 25 gal tank. I had 4 Cory cats (5-6 years old each) and are
very fond of them. I just added a male and female Krib to the
tank 5 days ago. I had not recently read up on the fish, just
remembered that I thought they would be interesting and hardy.
They are particularly beautiful specimens, but I am embarrassed
to say that I didn't realize that they were bottom dwellers
and would take nips out of my Corys. <Too likely, yes> My
question is can I replace them with rams (tank bred) and have the
Corys left alone? <Yes... a much better choice> If it is
ok, I saw some very small and very red shrimp that would be neat
to have, they are about 1/3 the size of my algae eating shrimp I
have (2 only), would the rams bother the new small red shrimp.
<Not likely> The shrimp remind me of camel backed shrimp
for marine. Thank you again for your time, Jeff Morgan
<Morgan: "Man of the sea"... Bob Fenner>
Cory Cats co-livestocking 2/2/06 I recently
set my son up with a ten gallon aquarium and after
a little research, talked him into putting Cory cats
in the tank instead of the Bala sharks he originally
wanted. Currently, there are 3 bronze Corys
in the tank. I wanted to build the tank
community up a little at a time. They have
a cave, some plastic plants, and a statue in their
tank to hide behind. They really love the
cave. The tank has a Whisper 10-20 gallon
power filter. I plan to get at least 2 more
Corys, but what else could I put in the tank that would
swim in the middle of the tank. I'm not
real keen on livebearers, and I don't want to
overstock. The Corys are such fun
fish. They're almost like little
puppies when they swim out at feeding time, or just
when someone walks in the room. Thanks for your help. Vicki
<Many choices... look on WWM and elsewhere re small barbs,
Danios, Rasboras, small Gourami species... Bob Fenner>
Platy - Gourami mix revisited: this time,
+cats! 2/2/06 Hi crew!
Thanks for your quick+informative reply regarding my
platies! The little guys look very happy! I followed your advice
and bought a test kit: all very good readings:
Ammonia: 0 Nitrate:0
Nitrite:25 - 50 <These last two are
crossed-over... and nitrate's a bit high. Do try to keep
below 20 ppm... means covered on WWM> Ph: not
sure, as it was a funny light blue colour, but I'm guessing
it was about 7.5, and they told me not to worry about it at my
local fish store place. <Is likely fine...
also covered> I did not buy the gouramis, as
planned, but instead bought 2 little cats. I hope to get the
gouramis later. My question is
about my cats. In the shop, they were labeled as "speckled
cats", but when I got them home and looked in a fish book,
there was a picture of them... Labeled as peppered Corys! I
can't send a pic. with this, but I'm working on it! They
seem very peaceful and fun loving, could they be the peppered
Corys? <Are very likely a species of
Corydoras... maybe paleatus... covered on WWM... fine here>
Thanks for replying to my email, and once again,
thanks for your great site! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Corydoras panda are losing their eyes! 1/26/06 I
hope someone can help. Recently I noticed 4 of my young
pandas have lost their eyes. 2 have died so
far. After they lose their eyes they start to loss
their color and turn whitish. They still feed and act
silly. I've had pandas for a few years and have managed
to breed them very successfully. I love my little guys and
take good care. Could this be a disease? <Not likely>
or is someone attacking them? <Yes> The only
"new" addition is a very young Kribensis Cichlid (about the
same size as the pandas). I have a 60 gallon tank with
mostly tetra (cardinals and hatchets), 5 platies, 2 small angelfish, 2
yoyo loaches and 2 Plecos. <I suspect the Kribensis or loaches...
but could be an angel... only close observation or systematic removal
will reveal the culprit. Bob Fenner> Help me please - Sabiha
Oscar Tried To Eat Cory Cat 1/14/06 Hi, I've
had my Oscars for about 4 months, the tiger is about 2 inches and the
albino about 6 inches. There were also to albino bronze
catfish in the tank, the Oscars didn't bother these until
now. I arrived home from work today to find one of the
catfish stuck in albino's mouth, my dad arrived and informed me
that it had been there for most of the day. I netted the
Oscar and carefully tried to remove the fish, eventually in came
out. The Oscars mouth is now very open and I am worried as
it is not feeding. Do you think that my Oscar may die from
the trauma, and should I take it to a vet, thanks for your
time, Alex < The protective spines of the Corydoras
catfish work just as well in the aquarium as they do in the wild. If
the spines broke off in your Oscar's mouth then you are in trouble.
If you got the spines out then I would keep the water clean and treat
with an antibiotic for infection. Your Oscar can go for more than a
week without food. Give it a chance to heal and remove all the smaller
fish that can be considered food by the Oscars.-Chuck>
Oscar Basking In the Moonlight was: Oscar Tried To Eat Cory
Cat 1/22/06 Thanks for your help, he is back eating
properly again now, his mouth has closed up although it is slightly off
centre, other than that he is fine. I have been toying with the idea of
getting a moonlight effect bulb for my tank, will this confuse the fish
and make them think its night time all the time, or will they be okay
with it?? Thanks again for your
time, Alex < Oscars are pretty smart and will be
able to tell the daytime from the night time from the ambient room
light. I do' think you will be able to appreciate your Oscar too
much under those lighting conditions.-Chuck>
More Corys, Crowding Concerns? - 12/18/2005 Gage, Not to
worry. I appreciate the reply. (My reply was largely rhetorical,
anyway.) <Hi, Tom; Sabrina with you today.> Now, (refreshing your
memory here), four Serpae Tetras, six Bloodfin Tetras, six Black-skirt
Tetras and a Red Flame Gourami in the 50-gallon tank. Eight Panda Corys
enroute to the QT. Can I add another school of Corys (six Serpae Corys)
or, is this, now, overload? <I think this is
sustainable. Go for it.> My best, Tom <Wishing you
Re: Oscars, Corydoras Cats Together Bob, thank you for your
quick response:) I have a freshwater 150 gallon tank, that houses: 1
tiger Oscar several small Corey cats <Yikes... hope your Oscar can
resist swallowing any of these Corydoras... >too common cause
of death...> [smiles] They are well fed, happy Oscars, and never
bother anyone. The Corys are prolific breeders in the tank, though the
Zebras and fire eel seem to enjoy eating the eggs just as prolifically.
>1 random cichlid [about the size of a convict] I would like to
figure out what this cichlid is. It is almost shaped as a convict, but
a bit more streamlined. Very rich coloring, with bright bluing around
the eyes. Any good url that has pictures I can start researching?
<Oh yes: fishbase.org The family Cichlidae is quite large... maybe
start with Spilurum, the various re-do's of the genus Cichlasoma...
and a very large pot of tea/coffee (to stay up late). Have fun.>
>and two young albino Oscars [about 7 months old, not true
albinos, >having >lots of darkness on their fins]
><Yes, "Gold" (xanthic) varieties> Excellent, thank
you:) ><Hmm do read over this (marine) piece on HLLE... and its
cure... can be >done with vitamin and iodide adjunct to their
foods: >http://wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm> These are the
articles I read over, and it seems always to pertain to salt water
tanks. Though I salt a bit heavy due to the HLLE [hoping this will keep
down the other parasites while they are under stress] it is by no means
brackish let alone salt. <The same causative mechanism/s exist in
both marine and freshwater... lack of essential nutrients>
><Let's discuss this issue to the point of clarity for you...
and >maybe >we'll generate a definitive article on
freshwater HLLE problems>. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> We are
discussing:) What I am wondering is what vitamins? What changes in
diet? <Mainly C and D, some E... and iodide (often termed
iodine)...> I feed them Tetramin's cichlids pellets and sticks.
Live feeders once a month. Frozen brine shrimp, occasionally blood
worms, crickets and other assorted 'make my fish happy and give
them treats food'. In the last few days, the babies have gotten to
look worse, with the 'caves' beginning to look reddish, as if
they are losing the last of the skin in those craters. I would like to
start treating them as soon as possible, but really need to know what
vitamins to give freshwater Oscars/cichlids. <There are prep.s that
are made/labeled for fishes et al. aquatics, but the compounds involved
are the same as for tetrapods (like you and me), so "baby
vitamins" (liquids) will do... or pet-fish ones like Micro-Vit,
Selcon... Add these to the food a few minutes before offering.>
Thank you Bob, for all your time and help on this issue. I am really
getting worried about them. cj. <Me too... do try the vitamins...
they can/will effect a reversal at this point. Bob Fenner>
Molly - Cory compatibility Doctor Fenner, <Call me Robare,
just not late for din din> My wife and I recently started an
aquarium in our apartment. While I was growing up, my grandfather was
an avid fish keeper, and it really rubbed off onto me. Finally, I have
a setup of my own, and we bought four beautiful black lyre tail mollies
to start. <Ah, great> I've heard from several sources that
Cory cats are good tank mates for mollies. However, I wanted to make
sure before I head out to my local aquarium shop that Corys can handle
the slightly harder water that mollies need. Thanks for your help!
<Yes, good question... "modern" Corydoras catfishes are
much more "plastic" (tolerant of wide, varying water
conditions) than those of yore. Will do fine with Mollies, even
tolerating a modicum of salt. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Chris
Up late stressing about my four Corys <Ananda here this
late night/early morning, fielding the puffer questions...> I just
did what now seems to be a very stupid thing. I had an overflow of
snails so I read all about loaches and went to the local aquarium store
to buy myself a small pack of them, having read they where a schooling
fish. I was a little nervous about this and was easily manipulated by
the evil aquarium experts? <Always stick to your guns
when you have researched something...keep in mind that the people at
the store are trying to sell you something and that non-commercial web
sites about fish generally have the fishes' best interests at
heart.> Anyways they told me I would be better off buying a single
Puffer fish, and after asking what fish I already had in my aquarium
told me to add a teaspoon of rock salt per gallon of water to my
aquarium. <Knowing you had Corydoras catfish? Shame on them!!> It
has been a little over a week now and my Cory Catfish are not eating,
and I just read that Corys can not tolerate salt, <Usually not well
at all. I would do a 50% water change with no salt in the new
water.> but I now have a green spotted puffer fish as well. <Cute
and intelligent fish, requiring salt as they mature.> Tell me how to
safe my fishies without buying a second aquarium
please. :( <Oh my. That is difficult,
because the puffer needs salt, and the Corys can't tolerate it.
Very young green-spotted puffers (under 2" in length) can tolerate
freshwater for short periods. But your long-term solution is another
tank for the puffer.> <Best wishes, Ananda>
125g Plant Tank, Inhabitants, Compatibilities - 10/22/2005 -
Sabrina Learns Hawaiian - 10/23/05 Hi, <Aloha! Sabrina with you
today, soon to be leaving Hawai'i to head back home....> Thanks
for all your help in the past in assisting me with my F/W Planted
Discus aquarium. It has been set up now for about three months and has
been doing well. I just have a few short questions. First I'll give
you the tank specs. * 125 Gallon tank- glass * 1 -Rena XP3 Canister
Filter * 1 -48" Coralife Double Bulb Compact Fluorescent Light *
1- 24" All-Glass Double Bulb fluorescent Light * 100-150 Assorted
Live Plants * 2- Large Pieces of Driftwood * 3-4" of a Mix of
Fluorite and Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate * 2- 300 Watt Via
Aqua Steel Thermometers * 6- Small/Medium Discus- about 3-4" * 6-
Lemon Tetras * 20- Cardinal Tetras * 6- "Golden Wonder"
Killies- about 2" * 20- Grass Shrimp * 50 Small Snails- I tried to
keep them out of the tank! * 2-Large Common Plecos- 6" * 1- Small
Common Pleco * 2-Clown Plecos * 6- Assorted Small Corydoras Cats
(Julii, Emerald, Panda) * 6- Dwarf African Frogs * 12- "Oto"
Cats * pH- 7 * Nitrate- 20ppm * Nitrite- 0ppm * Ammonia- 0ppm * 30%
Water Change every Saturday So, my questions are these: Can I add six
German Blue Rams to the mix? <Mm, in all honesty, I would not.>
Also, can I add six more Corydoras Cats and two more "Bushy
Nose" Plecos? <The Corys, yes, but the plecs I would be a bit
concerned about, since you already have several of two species. If you
add these, do so with extreme caution and be prepared to remove
immediately.> What is the best way to remove a green mat algae- I
think it's Cyanobacteria? <Mostly just nutrient control.... In
your case, you might want to explore the amount of light, needs of your
plants, amount of CO2 and fertilization you
use.... I heartily recommend a book called "Encyclopedia of
Aquarium Plants" by (don't laugh) Peter Hiscock (I love that
name, really I do!). You can likely gain a lot from this book. Aside
from that, it's a pleasant read.> Thanks, -Anthony <Ahuiho!
Restocking, Learning - 08/25/2005 Hi WWM Crew,
<Hi, Wayne! Sabrina with you today.> I've been
emailing you a lot lately; sorry for the inconvenience because the
problems I've had seemed petty. <No worries.> I
thought Corys would be fine living with goldfish and mine have been
doing pretty well. But I was just informed I shouldn't
keep them together because of the different temperatures they live
in? <Quite true.> Anyways, I'm set on just
keeping them separate, maybe giving my biggest goldfish (about 2.5
inches) to a petstore, and restocking my tank with the peppered Corys
with fish that are compatible. <Sounds like a plan!> I have 4
peppered Corys in a 10 gallon tank so far. I think 1 female and 3 males
because one is significantly larger than the other 3. <Actually, a
good ratio, if you wish to breed.> They've been chasing her
around during these past few days. She (if it's a female) looks
like she's trying to swim away from them. Seems like they want to
mate with her. Is it stressful to her to be the only female in the
tank? <Not really.... Provided, of course, that there is
plenty of cover for her to hide.> I want to add maybe 2 more Corys
to the school nonetheless. Would that be too much for my
tank? <Pushing it, but they'll be
fine. Corys are VERY social animals.> I've also read
some stuff on freshwater livestock and compatibilities saying Tetras
(Neons, Cardinals, Black Skirts, Bloodfins, False Rummynose, and
Penguins), Platies, Loaches, and White Cloud Minnows? are good for a
community tank. <I would skip white clouds, as they are actually a
more temperate fish.... prefer cooler water.> I don't
want any more bottom feeders or fish that like to hang out on the
bottom. <Skip the loaches, then.> I'd prefer fish that stay
in the middle of the tank or the top. Also after reading about size and
water quantity, how big will tetras, platies, and loaches grow?
<Much variance for tetras.... depending upon species,
less than an inch to over a foot! Just research the species
you like. Platies, roughly 2". Loaches,
again, much variance.... from a couple inches to over a
foot. Again, research....> Do they live in the same water
conditions as my current Corys? <All but the platies, yes, but even
the platies will thrive with you.> Are there any other types of fish
I can think about putting in the tank other than the ones I listed?
<Uhh.... how big is this tank going to be??> I also
don't know how many of those fish I can add along with let's
say 6 peppered Corys already in the tank. <As above.... I
don't know the tank size (I do recall corresponding with you
before, but we go through sooooo many emails
daily.... Can't remember every
detail! Mostly, be sure not to go overboard on
stocking. It's always better to have too little than too
much bioload.> I don't want to have an overstocking problem like
I did with the goldfish. <Ahhhh, very good!> Thank you so much
and you guys have been very helpful! <Glad to be of service.>
I'm starting to understand more about fish care and also gaining
much needed knowledge for future the well being of any future fish!
<That, my friend, is why we are here. Thank you very
much.> Wayne <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Restocking, Learning - II - 08/26/2005 Hi Sabrina, <Hi,
Wayne!> Thanks for replying! I have a 10 gallon tank. I think it has
completed it's cycling phase, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate
looks like 20ppm maybe slightly more. <Best to get the nitrate down
some with water changes - but otherwise, great.> I have a bubble
wall and an action pirate ship bubbler. <No other
cover? I'd recommend adding more stuff for the Corys
(and future fish) to help them feel secure and be able to "get
away" from one another. Plants (plastic or live,
low-light plants), rock, even very clean, new terra cotta plant
pots.> My filter is a hang on back Whisper 20 Power Filter and my
tank temperature (and also room temp) is 78 - 82 degrees. When it
starts to get colder I'll drop the heater in. <Perfect.> I
have the 4 peppered Corys already in that tank and was just wondering
how many fish (Corys, Neons probably, or platies unless there are other
types that will thrive comfortable even after they are fully grown)
<I'd go for platies, honestly. They are MUCH more
entertaining - and durable - than Neons. Neons can be very,
very delicate and sensitive to any changes in water
quality. Platies are VERY forgiving, especially in regards
to pH, hardness, and nitrate. Plus, they come in SO many
great colors/patterns.> Are panda Corys more delicate than peppered
Corys because <Not really.> I love the way they look. <Me,
too.> If they are too delicate, I would probably skip buying them
and just add 1 or 2 more peppered Corys. <Well, platies are
schoolers and like to be in hoards of their own species (literally, can
find them in schools of hundreds, maybe thousands, in the wild!), but
they'll play well with other species, too. Pandas are my
favorite, as well. You could mix these two.> I visited
Petco today and if Neons would do well in my 10 gallon tank I saw some
neat tetras that were an inch or less in length. The only probably is
that they school and I'll have to get at least 5? (read somewhere
odd numbers were best) for them to feel comfortable? <Mm, the odd
number thing is bologna - it's just important to have them in a
school of several. Again, I'd do platies instead of
tetras, here; if you're totally bent on having Neons, yeah, no less
than five.> I would like to add some color (blue, red, orange, etc)
to my tank that are not bottom dwellers. <Yup, you want
platies! Err, at least, they satisfy your color desires
:) A trio of platies and your small group of Corys would do
well in this tank, provided you keep water quality in check.> Lost
interest in goldfish because of how messy they are. <Ahh, dig a
pond! You'll get interested again right
away. Goldfish are AWESOME, given the proper
environment. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Restocking - III? IV? - 08/30/2005 Hi WWM Crew, <Hi,
Wayne! Ya got me again!> Sabrina answered my last couple
of emails about restocking my tank and I didn't give a complete
description of what's in my tank (sorry). <No worries.> My
Tank: 10 gallon AquaClear All Glass Tank Light Hood Whisper 20 Power
Filter w/ Biofoam (this black foam that slips in front of the filter
cartridge) Whisper 10 - 30 air pump A bubble wall An action pirate ship
bubbler 10 plastic plants of different kinds (small - medium) Small
fake log with silk plants attached Small Easter Island Statue Small
natural color shallow creek pebbles (I think) <Sounds like plenty of
great cover for the Corys to feel safe.> I currently have 4
Corydoras paleatus, 3 males about 1 inch long and a female about 1.5
inches long, look like they are doing great. I had 2 of them for a
couple of months now and the other 2 for a month or 2. My tank has a
regular temperature of 78 to 82 degrees and when winter time rolls
around I'll drop a heater in to maintain a steady temp. The ammonia
is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is rising but I am doing water changes
to keep it down around 20ppm. <Try to get this lower -
otherwise it sounds awesome so far.> Now I would like to start
adding more fish to the mix. From reading/receiving information from
your site, I've narrowed my choices down to a couple fish I would
like to add to my tank. I definitely want to add a couple more Corys,
either panda Corys or peppered Corys, to my 4 peppered Corys.
<Either would be fine, I think.> For tetras, I like Black
Phantoms, Flame, Glowlights, Lemon, and Pristella and for Rasboras, I
like the Harlequin and Scissortail. If I were to get panda
Corys, how many would I need to get for it to feel comfortable around
my peppered Corys. I'm afraid one panda Cory wouldn't school
with the other peppered Corys. <Agreed; your best bet is to stick
with peppered Corys, and plan some day in the future to go with a
larger tank and do a same- or similarly-sized school of pandas.> As
for the tetras and Rasboras, how many could I get so as not to
overstock my 10 gallon tank. I learned the hard way before with an
overstock of goldfish. <So many people do! Don't feel
alone in this!> I know tetras and Rasboras like to be kept in a
school of 5 or more. <If at all possible, yes.> Is it possible
for me to get at least 2 different types of fish without overstocking
my tank? I am thinking of around 5 - 7 Corys total and 2 different
schools of tetras and/or Rasboras with 5 or more in each school. <I
would go with the 5-7 Corys and one type of tetra or
Rasbora.... And just five of those. A 10g tank
just isn't forgiving on water quality once you begin to reach the
stocking limits. And again, if possible, consider a larger
tank in the future.... some time down the
road.... to have more options.> If you have any other
combinations and amounts of the types of fish I could keep I would
really appreciate it! <Just as above - pick your favorite of your
list (possibly omitting the Pristellas for their pretty harsh
aggression) and go with five or six of those. Then in the
future, when you're addicted and go up to a 29g or 55g tank,
well.... the possibilities are nearly endless!> Thanks
again WWM Crew! <And thanks for being such a great, conscientious
fishkeeper.> Wayne <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>