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FAQs on Callichthyid Cats 1

Related Articles: Callichthyid CatfishesSummer loving: cats in the garden, kittens in the kitchen by Neale Monks,

Related Catfish FAQs: Callichthyids 2, Callichthyid Identification, Callichthyid Behavior, Callichthyid Compatibility, Callichthyid Selection, Callichthyid Systems, Callichthyid Feeding, Callichthyid Disease, Callichthyid Reproduction, Catfish: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

FAQs on: Corydoras Catfish 1,
FAQs on: Corydoras Catfish Identification, Corydoras Catfish Behavior, Corydoras Catfish Compatibility, Corydoras Catfish Stocking/Selection, Corydoras Catfish Systems, Corydoras Catfish Feeding, Corydoras Catfish Health, Corydoras Catfish Reproduction,
FAQs on: Panda Corydoras, Pygmy Corydoras spp.,

A nice group of Corydoras aeneus (Gill 1858), the Bronze Corydoras.


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! -Sabrina>

Strange problem with new Cory cat  9/11/05 Hello! <Hi there> First, I would like to thank everyone at WWM for the awesome collection of information.  The articles are particularly good.  I've searched the archived FAQ's and cannot find anything that matches the problem I'm experiencing with a new Corydoras sterbai.  I bought three of these little guys almost two weeks ago.  They are all approximately 1" in length, and have been adjusting happily in my 10 Gallon quarantine tank.  On the ninth day, I noticed one of the new catfish had a white colored blotch between his eyes, approximately 2 mm in diameter.  It does not appear to be fungus, as there is nothing fuzzy protruding from the blotch.  Nor is it deep, it doesn't appear to make an indentation at all.  What really concerns me with this fish are the little nasal "flaps" normally associated with Corydoras catfish.  They are now absent from this fish, and the nasal passages appear reddish and inflamed.  I inspected these fish prior to purchase, and I am confident all three were intact prior to bringing them home.  What can this be? <Common... from rubbing... on the bag in transit, on the glass... in captivity. Happily, most always repairs, grows back> The other two Corydoras are perfectly healthy.   There is nothing sharp or abrasive in the QT tank to have inflicted injury, nor could it have been caused by other fish as these three have been in there alone.  The QT tank housing them has been cycled for several months, ammonia/nitrite read 0.0, nitrate reads very low, somewhere between 1-3 ppm.  To be safe, I moved the two healthy Corydoras to another cycled QT tank today, a smaller 5 gallon rendition.  The only thing I have added to help the sick Cory is 4 mg of aquarium salt.  I'm afraid to go much over that as Corydoras are not very salt tolerant. <Yes, correct> Wouldn't you know the fish store I purchased these from have a 7 day guarantee?  As I said, this problem showed up on the ninth day, so now it's on me to try and help the little guy.  The fish is swimming normally.  He's always on the move, digging around for food.  He ate several thawed bloodworms last night, with a good deal of enthusiasm I might add.  And even though his nasal passages seem reddish, he is breathing normally.  Any help you could lend on this matter would be much obliged. Many thanks, Brook     <Good observations, carefully related. I would not be overly concerned here... the red coloring should abate, and the fish appear more "normal" in time. Bob Fenner>


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>


Treating Corydoras paleatus in main tank 8/24/05 Hi again, I have a question about treating my main tank for Ich. I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 peppered Corys in it right now. I've recently moved my 3 goldfish into another 10 gallon tank and don't know if I want to keep it as a QT tank or keep them in there for good. <... you were keeping Callichthyid (tropical) catfish with coldwater goldfish?> I also moved my 4th goldfish into a temporary 3? gallon tank. I plan on either giving that one away to a friend or a pet store because it's getting way too big and it's pretty aggressive towards one of my goldfish. I know... too many goldfish for a 10 gallon tank haha <Ahh, not funny...> I didn't know/read about fish when I got them for my birthday so here I am with too many. <Very common> Now I'm trying to get rid of them. Anyways the goldfishes are being treated for Ich in the other tank right now but I don't know what to do about the Ich that could be in my main tank and my Corys. I want to just treat them in the main tank but I heard Ich med kills the beneficial bacteria. <Likely so> I wanted to try treating the tank with salt but I don't know how well my Corys would do in it. <Don't like> Is there a way to treat my main tank with my Corys still in it without the risk of any dying? <Half dose/s, elevated temperature> They are doing really well and I don't want to jeopardize their lives. And does salt kill the beneficial bacteria? <Yes, can> Whenever I treat fish in a QT tank they always seem to get so sluggish and I don't know if I'm doing it right or not. <Good question, speculation> Oh and one more thing! This is just for the future if I wanted to keep other fish. I want to add 2 more Corys to the 4 that are already in the tank. Will any kind do or should I stick with peppered Corys? <Can mix> I would also like to add a few fish that aren't bottom feeders. Which kind would do well with Corys and also won't make my tank overstocked? Thank you so much your help. It's great to know that I have a reliable source to direct my questions to! Wayne <Read on my young friend... re livestock selection, Ich... the latter here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>


Sick Cory Catfish 7/26/05 Hey gang, I'm back to seek your advice once again. I have three bronze Cory catfish in a 3 gallon quarantine tank. The tank is filtered, unheated (temp 21-23c) and not cycled, but I am doing daily water changes to keep the toxins down. The eventual destination for these fish will be my 10 gallon tank, currently occupied by a male Betta. Anyways, two of these three Corys are doing fine, but the third is ill....fins clamped, listless, and not very interested in food, although he does eat a little. I've had these fish for five days now. I matched pH and temperature when I transferred these fish into the 3 gal. tank; chances of some foreign substance having gotten into the tank or water are minimal. I can't think of anything else I might have done wrong.  I guess I'm not looking for a diagnosis, as this fish's behaviour is a symptom of pretty much every disease out there...but is there anything you recommend that might help this little guy? I'm continuing to do my best to provide ideal conditions for this fish, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Thanks in advance for your help! JM < Get a heater and raise the water temp to around 27C and treat with Nitrofuranace, watch for Ich. Keep the water clean and maybe use some softer water until a cure is completed.-Chuck>


Cory problem I have 37 gallon community tank set up that is just getting back to full speed after a store whose name I won't mention, but whose initials are WM. sold me a Pleco with a virulent case of Ich that was not obvious when I purchased him. <Happens... all the time> Despite aggressive treatment, I lost all my fish (some of which I had had for years) except for 4 rosy barbs (tough little suckers) most on a horrific night where I lost one an hour.  Anyway, I do have a point.  Over the last 3 months, I have been adding back fish mostly tiger barbs (9 of them now) from a reputable LFS.  I recently added two green Cory cats, but noticed that one of them has what appears to be tumors.  Two on it's side and one on it's tail.  The ones on the side appear to be under the scales or the same color as the scales.  All are rather perfectly round and small about the size of a bb.  Do you have any idea what this could be, how I can treat it and if it is contagious?  Any help would be appreciated.  I don't want a repeat of what happened a few months ago.  Thanks so much.  You guys have always been a great help! <I do have a pretty strong suspicion re the identification of these spots... they're either encysted worms (likely nematodes) or Microsporideans... either way not really treatable nor catching. No problem. Glad to see/state that you stayed in the hobby. Bob Fenner>

Cory problem I have 37 gallon community tank set up that is just getting back to full speed after a store whose name I won't mention, but whose initials are WM. sold me a Pleco with a virulent case of Ich that was not obvious when I purchased him. <Happens... all the time> Despite aggressive treatment, I lost all my fish (some of which I had had for years) except for 4 rosy barbs (tough little suckers) most on a horrific night where I lost one an hour.  Anyway, I do have a point.  Over the last 3 months, I have been adding back fish mostly tiger barbs (9 of them now) from a reputable LFS.  I recently added two green Cory cats, but noticed that one of them has what appears to be tumors.  Two on it's side and one on it's tail.  The ones on the side appear to be under the scales or the same color as the scales.  All are rather perfectly round and small about the size of a bb.  Do you have any idea what this could be, how I can treat it and if it is contagious?  Any help would be appreciated.  I don't want a repeat of what happened a few months ago.  Thanks so much.  You guys have always been a great help! <I do have a pretty strong suspicion re the identification of these spots... they're either encysted worms (likely nematodes) or Microsporideans... either way not really treatable nor catching. No problem. Glad to see/state that you stayed in the hobby. Bob Fenner>

Cory Eggs 2/24/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a 20 gallon tank with 2 African Dwarf Frogs, 3 Black Skirt Tetras, 1 Scissorfin, 4 Corys and 3 shrimps. The tank is doing beautifully!!! So well that my Corys decided to spawn and have laid about 50 - 60 eggs in the tank. I adopted these Corys about 4 months ago and apparently they like their new digs very much. I love keeping a tank but I was not prepared for spawning and don't exactly know what to do now. I've read that they may eat the eggs and I understand that I only have about 5 days to decide before they hatch. Should I just leave them and take a chance on having live young, remove them or dispose of them? What do people do with the new fish? Sorry to be so naive about this...it's probably just a matter of me making a decision. <What I did, was scrape the eggs off the glass & put them in a breeder net, inside the tank. Not all the eggs hatched, but I did have many fry that I raised to adulthood. Try hooking the net across the output of your filter, so they will get fresh water. ~PP>

Will Epsom Salt hurt Panda Corydoras? Thanks, Chuck, but you didn't answer my main question. Would Epsom salt hurt panda Cory cats? < Corydoras come from very soft acidic water with no salt in it at all. Depending on how much salt you add with have an affect on the amount of irritation and discomfort you cats will be subjected too. If you fish are wild then I would not recommend adding any salt to their water at all. Domesticated or tank raised fish are more tolerant to salt being raised in confined conditions so a little can probably be tolerated.-Chuck> 


Corydoras, aquarium salt and goofy goldfish G'day, mates! <Good morrow Ted> I've got a 60 gallon freshwater with a relatively stable 75 degrees F (24 degrees Celsius) temperature throughout the year and approximate 7.7 pH readings. At the moment, there are five 2-3 inch fancy goldfish. Rather peaceful characters they are. <Yes, and comical> I've seen and heard of many people keeping goldies and some tropicals together successfully. <Mmm, not a good idea in general... as you are surely familiar... Goldfish are very eager eaters, and messy!> Seeing as that my temp is pretty stable and goldies are very happy, I thought I might try adding a few Corys in the mix. Yes, I know it's a bit of a risk, but isn't everything?  I'm aware of the possibility of mixing two types of fish like this (foreign diseases possible), but I would definitely be taking steps to quarantine any new comers. Clown loaches would have been my second choice, but I haven't done too much research on them yet. <Corydoras are a much better choice... undemanding and can span a range of water qualities, overlapping goldfish's> My question is two-fold:  1) Here we have two very peaceful fish types; do you foresee any major obstacles of this arrangement?  2) I add aquarium salt to the water as a preventative measure (approx. 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of new water); are Corys sensitive to aquarium salt? <They are, but this is not too much for most all species. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much for your assistance!  Ted  <Welcome>


Three Line Cory Catfish question Thank you so much you have helped me in the past, I hope you can again. This Cory catfish started acting funny, he is constantly going up and down, but not for the usual gulps of air, just blindly bumping into everyone else up around and down. <Mmm, may well be interacting with its reflection... in your aquarium walls. Corydoras Catfishes are extremely social... do best in groupings> All the water parameters are ok and all the other fish are ok too, so is one other Cory catfish. Do you have any idea what this might be, I figured if it's a parasite or something the other fish will be affected. Thanks again for your time and your insight. <If you have room, I would add another two or more of this species. Bob Fenner>

Re: Three Line Cory Catfish question Thanks for the speedy reply. I wanted to add that this Cory bumps into other fish swimming while he flutters/scutters like on a roller coaster along the glass. <Not atypical> Zooms up and down however he slows down enough to not hurt his barbels when close to surface, but when in water he bumps into other fish, did I say that twice. <Yes, yes> He has 1 buddy and he completely ignores him, the other just works all the time, rarely I see him tries to follow other but there' no pattern and goes back to working. I do have reflection on the glass but do you think that might be the cause with him bumping around? Thanks for your patience. By the way Happy New Year! <Yes, and thanks much. All will likely be fine in time. Bob Fenner>
Re: Three Line Cory Catfish question, feeding
Hello Bob, <Teresa> I thought I'd follow up on this as I thank you for your reply. It seems I was not feeding the Corys enough and starts to swim high as more food is floating than hitting the bottom. <Ahh> I started throwing in some herbivore small sinking pellets and at times they nibble on these if the gluttonous angelfish don't get to them first. I know these pellets are for algae-eating fish but I never saw the Otocinclus eat anything else but algae. I guess what I really need to ask is what should I be feeding the Corys? Is the premium tropical flake food that I feed the angelfish enough you think? Thanks and have a great day. <I would augment this with a high protein sinking pellet... there are several companies that make these for bottom dwellers... One of my faves is the new Shrimp Pellets by Omega Sea. Bob Fenner>

Cycling, timing, and Endler's Dear WWMites, <<Kewl. I'm an official Mite!!>> Well, thanks to the rest of your site (and I thought I'd read nearly everything before), I've answered my own questions.  Wow, y'all have a lot of stuff for us to read!  I backed out to the home page and found more links to more info a bit farther down.  Unfortunately, the intense absorption of so much info knocked most of the third grade out of my head to make room.  Ah, well, third grade was a bust anyway...  To recap: We'll get the Otos much later in the process rather than earlier, and our earlier decision on five (one per ten gallons) is apparently a good population.  Also, my bride and I decided we're going to replace several of the silk plants with live plants, both for the beauty and the Otos. <<Excellent idea :)>> We'll stick with making larger batches of tweaked water, and go get a cheapy air pump to aerate it (at least overnight) before we use it.  We're also talking about increasing the water changes to 20% a week rather than every two weeks, especially after reading about the sensitivity of Otos and Corys to nasties in the water. <<It would be a good idea to vacuum your substrate regularly, Corys are prone to bacterial infections of the barbels. Nasty stuff can accumulate in gravel beds, and Corys are always sticking their noses into...it. :P>> We're going to have to decide which Corydoras to get, since they prefer being with their own.  I'd had the impression that it wouldn't quite do to mix based on genus rather than species.  (Now if I can just convince my wife to go with the paleatus...) <<My favorite Corys are melanistius melanistius and adolfoi. You can check out pics of any species of Cory cat at www.planetcatfish.com/ Maybe you will both see something inspiring there that you agree on :)>> As I said in an earlier message, the little speed demon is, indeed, an Endler's.  He's started getting a stronger hint of green on his caudal fin, and a more definite green tinge on his rear half.  We're looking forward to getting a group of them after New Year's. <<Nice fish. Easy to keep and not a royal pain like so many livebearers can be...Belonesox spring to mind.>> Again, thanks for the wonderful site, and I hope I haven't chewed up too much of your time. Glen <<You are most welcome. Happy Fishing. LOL. -Gwen>>

Pandas and Barbs Incompatible? Hi! I have a 10 gallon tank with 2 striped barbs and 2 long-finned Danios. All 4 fish are about 1" in size.  Tank has been cycled and water tested. They have been living together for a few months now and get along great. I do a 20-30% water change every week.  The other day I added 2 small panda Corys.  Right away, one striped barb started chasing one of the Corys.  This went on for a few days. Every time the panda tried to rest, the barb would seek him out and chase him.  It only happened with one barb and one panda.  Also, the barbs were hogging all the food, so we tried a sinking pellet for the pandas, but the barbs found that too and devoured it!  Needless to say, when I got home from work one night, both pandas were dead. I took them out and did a water change and the 4 original fish are back to normal.  Will this happen with any new fish I add or was there some incompatibility with the panda and the barb?  I feel like the barb harassed the pandas to death!! < Some fish do get territorial and some barbs have been known to become fin nippers. Next time do a water change and rearrange the tank just before adding any new fish. This may help. Or you could try to add numerous fish at the same time to help disperse the aggression of the barbs.-Chuck> Thanks, Frances

Re: Eggs in Tank Well, as of last night, Thursday, there aren't any white spots! I will still hold off on cleaning, just in case. Robyn <If they were Cory eggs you may find the fry huddled under a rock or some other little cave on the bottom. Still think it's more likely the eggs or freshly hatched fry were eaten. Keep an eye out, but don't let the tank go too long Don>

Corydoras trilineatus losing colours Hello WWM Crew, I hope you can help with my problem, as nobody else seems to be able to. This is going to be a bit long, sorry. About two months ago I bought 5 c. trilineatus fish in a shop. By the time I got home, even before I put them in the tank, two of them were already half dead (sank to the bottom and could only swim a few inches at a time). After a day of realizing this was not only a shock of which they're going to recover, I ended their misery. Then a third one developed the same symptoms and I did the same.  In a second visit to that same shop I've noticed that many fish were ill, or dead (and left in the tanks en masse) and so I never bought fish from them again. <Good plan!> I bought two other c. trilineatus in another shop whose fish look great, and they never had any problem.   But that was just an exposition to the real problem.  After about a week of having the two original surviving Corys, I noticed that one of them had a white patch just behind his gill. I couldn't remember if he always had it or whether it was something new so I decided to keep an eye on it.  Now, after about two month, he has the same spot behind his other gill (which wasn't there before. The spot, not the gill. The gill was always there) <One would hope!> and the first spot is getting larger. He had a fin rot a while ago, which was treated with Melafix and is now completely healed, but I don't think it has anything to do with the spot as he had the spot first. Apart from the spot, he is okay. He swims with the rest of the Corys, he is active and he eats well. One more thing about him, which might be the clue to solve the mystery. He is kept with some guppies and some of the female guppies sometimes try to nibble on him. They don't really bite him, but the act if food is stuck to his body.  They sometimes do it to the other Corys as well, but not as often, and while the other Corys just swim away immediately, this one "freezes" and only swims after few seconds.  He has no wounds from those bites, but he seems to be shocked. <The guppies are feeding on flakes of skin> As for the tank, it is a 90 litres tank, with interior filter (Juwel compact), I change about 20% and clean the filter media weekly.  The other fish in the tank are 6 guppies, one Betta male, and one Pleco.  The water parameters are Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 10ppm, temp 25.7c, pH 7.4, 17 dGH and 6 dkH. <All good> I know that the GH is too hard for Corys and that's my next project, but I more inclined into thinking that it's something that he got in the shop before I got him. <Maybe, it's possible that the hard water is stressing the Cory and lowering his immune system, but I think it's far more likely the bad conditions at the shop did that before you got him.> I attach two pictures of the fish so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. I hope you can help me identify the problem and find a treatment. Many thanks, Golan. <Hi Golan, Don here. Just a small point before getting to your main concern. Unless you're planning on breeding the Corys I wouldn't worry too much about your hardness. You could start doing water changes with RO/DI or bottled water, but that could change your pH. Not a bad thing, but it must be done slowly and kept steady. Better to have the fish adapt to your conditions then start tinkering with things, IMO. As to the white patch. It could be a fungus. I remembered a thread on this in our forum and found this.    http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/thread.jsp?forum=3&thread=22384&message=179838&q=22576869746520706174636822#179838 Get's a bit off track, but I think you'll find it worth the time. Meds were recommended, but ended up not being needed in Gup's case. Since your water seems in line but the patch is spreading, I think medication is called for in your case. If you have a small tank you could use as a QT, move him there to treat. If not, it would be a good investment. If you treat your main, make sure you watch for ammonia and nitrite spikes and do water changes to keep them at zero. Don>   


Cory melanistius Problems Hello WWM crew!  Thanks again for having such an informative web  site. Over the past few weeks I've lost a total of 4 Corys.  Three of  the 4 that died lost all their black spots and black coloring on their  dorsal fin, making them completely white...very strange.  I'm guessing this  happened once they already died because every day I observe all my fishes  behavior and nothing seemed odd about any of their color.  I've  noticed on three of them that their gills looked a bit red, not swollen or  anything just red or reddish.  I was wondering if you could help me  diagnose the problem. Here are my stats: 30G tank with a Penguin 280 filter 1 male Betta 5 cherry barbs 7 neon tetras 2 Cory cats :( I have all live plants w/approx. 1 watt of light per gallon and 1 drop of Dupla plant 24 (fertilizer) every day: Green Cabomba (which was doing unbelievably well in the beginning, but has recently started to "break" at their stem segments leaving me half a stem floating in my tank, can this be a sign of changing water conditions?) Wisteria (doing very well, except I've noticed black algae with broad stringy arms on some of the leaves) Hairgrass Mayaca Echinodorus tenellus pH 7 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate ?? (I know I should be testing for it, but the LFS told me that my live plants would keep nitrates low to nil) GH 5 KH 1 Temp 29 C (I turned off my heater 2 weeks ago because I don't keep the AC  on in the lounge room regularly, so this is just "room/water temp").  Maybe it's too warm for the cats? All my other fish are doing well.  I figured if anything was really  that bad my Neons would have been the first to react to it due to their  sensitivity.   I do a 20% water change every week.  I feed my  fish tetra flake food 1-2 times a day or I may substitute some frozen  bloodworms for 1 of the feedings.   Once or twice a week I would feed the  cats Hikari sinking wafers to supplement.  I'm not sure what I'm doing  wrong, so please help.  Thanks, Chris <<Hello Chris. A couple of things to consider. First, the LFS is wrong, plants will NOT leave your nitrates LOW TO NIL. What a load of horse hockey. The fact that your bio-load is low is the ONLY thing keeping your nitrates low. That is, IF they are indeed low. Chances are, they are not quite as low as you think they are. Buy yourself a NITRATE TEST KIT! The trick is in the balance between tank size and stocking rates. A large tank, say 75g, fully planted, with a dozen Neons, for example, may not have any trouble with nitrates. Yours will, if you don't already. Test your water! Another thing is, just how long has this tank been set-up? How often are you vacuuming the gravel? Try to do it at least twice a month, more often if possible, and be as thorough as you can. This is never easy in planted tanks. You might want to do a web search and read up on "anoxic substrate" problems. Cory cats can be quite sensitive to build-ups in planted tank anoxic substrates, normally they develop barbel disintegration problems, but worse things CAN happen... In which case, no, your Neons will not be the first to show a problem, the Corys will. I suspect your Corys are going to need a bit of intervention if you hope to keep any new additions alive. Always make sure you are buying healthy fish (I begin to doubt the quality of the LFS you are using...) Perhaps a quarantine tank will help. You can add a bit of salt which may cure any gill fluke problems. Yes, Corys CAN tolerate salt for short term medicinal purposes. Second, acclimate them properly: you don't mention your pH, is it vastly different from your LFS pH? And thirdly, if your tank is older than a few months, you may want to reconsider keeping Corys in this tank unless you can verify that the substrate isn't the problem. -Gwen>>
Re Cory melanistius Question
Gwen, thank you for your response.   I bought my nitrate test kit as you asked and my readings are between 0 and 12.5mg/l according to the TetraTest kit.  Based on the coloration, my  wife and I agree that it is probably about halfway or between 5-7mg/l.   According to the instructions this measurement is acceptable, what do you  think?  To answer your follow-up questions: 1-The tank has been set-up for about 1.5 months 2-Along with my weekly 20% water changes, I also vacuum the gravel. 3-My pH is 7.0. I really hope I can keep Cory cats, they're so comical! Thanks again for your help. Chris <<Dear Chris; The nitrate level does sound acceptable. As I recall, the Corys you had were turning white and dying? Perhaps then, the fish were from rather poor stock, or being kept in poor conditions before you bought them. I am sure I mentioned a quarantine tank, I usually do :P It might be a good idea to set up a little 5 gallon q-tank for all new additions, that way you can treat them without worry, and if they are sick, you don't risk your entire display tank. Plus, it's WAY cheaper to medicate a five gallon than a larger tank. When buying new stock, always ask the store folks how long the Corys have been there, were they medicated for any reason, are they eating well, general health, etc. Yes, some stores are not honest, but many are. Again, the q-tank is your best insurance :) Check store Corys for barbel erosion, they should have long, healthy barbels. Stumpy snouts should be completely avoided. The fish should be energetic with full finnage, good color, and normal respiration. Avoid fish that continuously cruise up and down the glass, from the bottom of the tank to the surface, over and over. Corys DO swim to the surface from time to time for air, but fish that repeat the maneuver in a frenzied fashion are usually ill. Also avoid Corys who hide from the rest of the group, or seem in any way not overly strong. The clerk catching them for you should have a pretty good time trying to net them, a healthy Cory is a fast one :) Hope this helps. -Gwen>>

Cory Catfish problem        Hi, I want to get some Cory catfish and I read that they could not tolerate any salt in their aquarium, but I also want to get platies or mollies. < Cory cats come from the Amazon river basin where the water is very soft and somewhat acidic. The mollies and platies come from Central America where the water has more minerals and salts. > I read that platies and mollies need some salt, so is there any that I could have both in the same aquarium? < I have found that platies are pretty tolerant of a wide range of water conditions and may be worth a try in your situation. Try and get half grown ones as they may be able to adapt to a wider range of water conditions. Mollies I have found truly do like some salt added to their water or they end up "shimmying" in the tank. There are a whole group of tetras worth looking at. Just try and get the ones that don't get too big. Barbs are fast moving fish that are fairly hardy but tend to be fin nippers, especially with your female Betta.> If not, what are some other fish that would substitute the platies and mollies that would go well with female Bettas? Thanks for any information. < Check out the Rasboras too. These fish are from Asia and are attractive , don't get too big and will not bother the Cory cats. -Chuck>

Cory Catfish Question Hello, I have an Albino Cory catfish in a 42 gallon tank.  It has been with the other fish for months, but this week I noticed that it was not down at the bottom like usual.  Instead it is swimming at the top and floating around.  It seems a bit sluggish in its swimming, but otherwise looks alright. My husband and I did a 30% water change last weekend which is consistent with what we have always done with this tank. > Do you have any ideas what might be up with my little fishy?  I don't know if it is related or not, but we have had it for 4 or 5 months and it hasn't really gotten any bigger. He is about an inch long. > Thank you for your time and consideration. Anne > <<Dear Anne; In order to answer, I need to ask for your water test results. Do you test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? I would need to know these levels. If you do not own your own test kits, please take a sample of your tank water to your LFS and have them test your water for the above. Please let me know the results. This is always the first thing to do when you develop a health problem in your tank. It  does not matter which fish is affected, it has to start somewhere. So, I always ask for water test results first. IF all is well, it could be age, aggression, or some internal problem the fish has developed over time due to diet deficiencies, etc. Please let me know your test results first. Thank you, Gwen>> Hello Gwen, I got the test kits you recommended and I tested everything this afternoon. ph 6.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ?? it was quite pink, but it was brighter than ones on the chart.  I am guessing 50 or higher, but I am not quite sure. In any case, I guess I should do a water change tonight, shouldn't I. Anne <<Hello Anne, thanks for getting back to me. Yes, go ahead and do a water change. In fact, if possible, try to do a 20% water change every second day, to bring those nitrates down. Then you should test your water every other week to make sure the levels are not going back up. Buy a nitrate test kit, and do it yourself, it's really quite easy and saves you a trip to the store. Also, your Cory should start feeling better within a few days, and all your fish will live longer and healthier if you keep track of your levels :) If there are any other problems, please feel free to email me again. -Gwen>>

Cory Cat 
Thank you Gwen for all your advice. Unfortunately, the Cory cat died today. I will continue to do the tests you recommended, and get a few more Corys. Anne  <<Hey, sorry to hear, Anne. I hope you will get more Corys. They are fun to watch and a joy to keep. Try not to be too bummed, though. You did a fine job trying to save him, but sometimes we just lose them and there is nothing we can do about it. I urge you to get some more, and try again. Best wishes -Gwen>>

"Cory Catfish Question"
Greetings - I read with interest and anticipation Anne's question ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/armoredcatfaqs.htm, "Cory Catfish Question") as she described the current behavior of one of my fish quite accurately.  After weeks of wondering, reading, medicating and worrying, I thought to myself "Finally!  The Answer!".  Alas, it was not to be, as Anne's Cory expired before a full examination could be conducted.  :-( Like Anne's, my fish is not staying down on the bottom as per usual.  It is swimming, upside down, at the top of the tank and diving down to the bottom every once in a while.  Until recently I thought it had trouble getting to the bottom, when I noticed that it sleeps on the bottom of the tank, so apparently not...  Comparison with a like fish (I have two of the Albino Corys) shows that the one acting strangely has dark blotches inside its abdomen.  Both fish seem to be a less active and less interested in food than I remember them being.  Neither fish has grown much since I bought them.


Fluorite and Corydoras I am planning to start a 37 gallon tank with angelfish and Corydoras. I have the plants planted in fluorite. Is the fluorite okay for the Corydoras or will it hurt their barbells?  Marc <Hi, Marc - it's not so much their barbels I'd be worried about, but their soft, scaleless bellies....  Fluorite is pretty sharp stuff, and I think that is a good concern.  Would you consider covering the fluorite with a thin layer of smooth gravel?  If you get gravel of a slightly larger size, it should primarily stay on top of the fluorite, even when you siphon/vacuum.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Fluorite and Corydoras, II
Sabrina, I've pretty much decided to switch the fluorite out for Eco-Complete. <A much more 'roundy' plant tank substrate, probably much nicer on Cory bellies!> I might reserve one section of the tank for some Tahitian moon sand, too. <Do keep in mind, sand will ultimately settle beneath the Eco-Complete; you may never get a chance to enjoy it, really.  Might want to think about a gravel of a slightly larger diameter than the plant substrate, and just laying a thin layer over the top.> Thanks for the help.  Marc <You bet.  Wishing you, your plants and Corys well,  -Sabrina>

Cory cat eggs Hi all, We have a male and female CORYDORAS AENEUS who just laid eggs. We also have a weather loach in the tank who sees the eggs as food. <so will the parent Corys.> So what we did was gently removed the eggs from the glass and placed them in a floating breeder with an air stone because we read they need a lot of aeration. <Good idea!  Actually, I just hung the breeder net inside the tank.  I raised the fry in there, until they were large enough to release.  They ate crushed up flakes.> If you have any hints or suggestions they will be much appreciated. thanks <You're welcome & good luck w/your new babies--Pufferpunk>

Corys & salt? (10/17/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...found one bit we hadn't really answered...> Question on the tank set-up.  If I do continue with salt for my livebearers am I correct to understand that I couldn't get Panda Cory's?  From what I've read they can't stand salt. <You could get panda Corys if you have a different tank for them...you won't be able to keep them in a brackish-salted tank. --Ananda>

Corydoras arcuatus Hi WWM Crew :) Good day to you all. I have a question concerning Corydoras arcuatus. I've been trying to get my trio to breed and have tried everything I feed them bloodworms 3 times daily mixed with flakes and Tubifex worms. And I get up real early and do 50% water change with 60 degree water to induce spawning and nothing should I continue to do water changes till they spawn? There isn't too much info on spawning these my Corys are 1 1 1/4 inches. Thanks JM <Do check on the hardness of the water you're using for the changes, and make or buy or collect (as in rainwater) as soft a water (other than distilled) that you can here. Also, try not making the water changes for a week or so between two, three days of doing so, and augmenting their diet with more, different meaty foods. Bob Fenner>

Spooked Corydoras Hello, <Hi there> It seems as if all sources I go to between the Pet Shops, the Internet and even Books and Articles are inevitably contradicting each other.  After going the rite of novice passage of purchasing too many ornamentation and aquarium chemicals, and other, non-essential items, I've decided to go au natural (which a friend of mine who used to work in a fish store told me to do from the beginning) and leave things be for while. <I have to agree with your friend here. The less chemical products we add to our tanks the better off our tanks are.> I started my 36 gallon bow front tank four weeks ago with two albino clawed water frogs and 6 neon tetras.  They are healthy to this day.  Two weeks ago I added three Corys.  After water checks my ammonia level is between 0 - 2ppm, PH is 7.4, my water is on the hard side (200 to 250 ppm) and I keep the temp between 75 and 80 F.  I've been told that while the PH is not optimal, it will be a problem long term and I should get it down. Otherwise, the tank is going through its cycling process just fine.  I used Stress Coat after each addition and handling of the fish.  I also have been using the Stress Zyme for the bacteria colonies.   <OK, your main concern here is the ammonia (and probably nitrites too although they aren't mentioned). This is still a relatively new tank so its not going to be fully cycled yet but your goal is to get the ammonia (and nitrites) to a consistent 0ppm. The pH is not really something Id be too concerned with. Yes, its a bit high but not enough that you need to worry about and its not going to cause any long term problems. My pH in my own community tank is kept at a pH of 7.8 and my tetras and Corys are all doing fine in it.> This past Sat, at the recommendation of a pet store owner, I added 1 tsp of PH Down to my tank each hour for three hours.  He said to do it once an hour for four hours, but I was going out and figured this could only help and the less additions to the tank, the less osmotic stress. I returned home about 6 hrs. after the last PH Down tsp was added.  I turned on the light and looked in the tank to see that all 6 of my tetras lost their blue and red coloring and where a milky white and seemed kind of bloated.  The Cory's seemed to be doing fine, hanging out w/each other behind a plastic plant.  I could only locate two of the three Corys but figured he was hiding elsewhere.   <The problem with products like pH down is that they do lower the ph but then within a few hours to a day it will go right back up to almost what it was before. It takes a long time to get your ph to stay down and its very stressful on your fish while its happening. This fluctuation is probably what caused the color fade of your tetras.> After seeing the tetras I did a 50% water change.  That seemed to do the trick as their colors came back within 20 min. of completing the water change.  The Corys looked good too.   <Very good. Now just leave your ph alone and toss the ph down in the trash> The next day, I still could not find the third Cory.  The other two Corys however were exhibiting completely opposite behavior than they were for the past two weeks.  Originally they all hung together, swam vertically up and down quickly, in both plain water and the air bubble currents.  They were sociable and fun to watch.  They never bothered or were bothered by any of the other fish.  Now they seemed spooked.  These two Corys were hiding in either corner of the tank, sometimes alone, sometimes on top of each other. Each time I approached the tank and they saw me or other movement outside the front, they darted around as if in a panic (almost as if a predator was after them). <Probably a residual effect of the fluctuation. Make sure your ammonia and nitrites are at 0ppm and then give them a few days and they should calm down. If necessary, leaving the lights out for a day or two will help relieve some of their stress.> I figured they were behaving this way because they do good in schools and the other Cory was missing.  I decided to do an all out search (thinking I may have mistakenly thrown him out in the garden with the bucket I used for the change - never do water changes after you've had a few is the moral there... <ROTFL! Ill definitely remember that.> However, after checking the floor around the tank and futilely the garden I went back to the tank. I took out the two plastic rock formations I had and found the third Cory was stuck in the bottom of one which had a hollow back.  He wedged himself in such a way that he could not move up or back:  the only ways out. He was like this for what must be approx. 12 to 16 hrs.  I freed him from this by slowly swaying the ornament in the water.  He popped out and immediately went to his friends.  Figuring he was stuck, I put the decoration back.  Within seconds he wedged himself in there again. I took him out again and removed the ornament.   <Some fish do this and removing the decoration is the only solution. Even then, they'll often find something else to hide in.> But instead of solving the problem, I got three paranoid, skittish, darting and panicky Corys on my hands now.  The behavior has been consistent for the last three days.  I see no signs of disease on their bodies, their whiskers are only getting longer, eyes are okay, gills and fins are functioning and full - if not puffed out as if in a defense mode.  These are among the hardier species, so I'm not sure what's going on.  The tank is still cycling, and when the ammonia level passed the 0-1 ppm on the chart, I added the Ammo Lock (but that was three days ago - before the Cory got stuck even). <The darting may actually be caused by the ammonia/nitrites. If these have risen again its causing your fish some discomfort, even at the small amount mentioned. Ammo-lock helps but the best way to get your tank cycled and get the ammonia/nitrites down is water changes.> I thought perhaps one of the water frogs may have gone after the Cory (as everyone is telling me they will eat one of the tetra's any day now, but I see no sign of aggression from the frogs to them - actually, the other way around, they will poke at the frog's back, distract him, while others run in to nip at the wafer he's guarding.  If anything, the Cory's chase the frogs around in their bottom feeding ventures.   There are no signs of any aggression in my tank. <Well, the frog may eventually eat any of the fish he can catch. But the Corys should be a bit safer than the tetras because of their barbs. That's not saying it WILL happen, just that it MIGHT. Sometimes these frogs (and other species) live peacefully with fish for ages, other times they'll eat every fish in the tank.> I did make another change:  I added twelve more neon tetras.  I figure cycling for an appropriate volume of fish, given my other parameters, should be the priority, ph being second as it's not at such a highly noxious level. I've got the ammo lock on hand in case of anything and am checking the ammonia and ph daily. <That's a lot to add at one time so keep up with your testing and water changes. Rely on the water changes the most and only use the Ammo-lock if its an emergency.> Thanks for reading all that but I wanted to be sure to convey all the detail. Here are my questions: <Thank you for being thorough> What is going on with my Cory's?  I was thinking that I should add 2 or 3 more as all info says they do better in schools of 5+.  But I don't want to add if there's any diseases, yet there are no signs of any.  Could this behavior have developed because they are "under - schooled" (no pun intended)?  Or could they be traumatized by the removal and replacement of the ornaments and the large water change?  But the others seem fine. <I don't think there are any diseases but don't add anything else until the tank is fully cycled. Then you should be able to safely add another 2 or 3 Corys.> Am I right in my priorities:  cycling first and ph second? (given my PH is on the low side of high) <Definitely. Like I said above, don't even worry about the ph at this level.> I was thinking of adding the PH Down 1 teaspoon per day until I've achieve 6.8-7.0, but am not sure it that's what caused all the stress to begin with. <Nope, toss that stuff in the trash. Your fish are better off in a high but stable ph than in a lower fluctuating one.> I added 12 more tetras yesterday and everything seems fine.  The frogs seem to be a little annoyed at the increase no.'s of tetra's which swarm around them and their wafers, but are otherwise fine.  The Cory's are still darting, spooked and skittish, but this morning they came out to feed - tentatively and cautiously (as if watching for something) in the center of the tank.  My wife just called me now to say that they are still "going absolutely crazy".   <You may notice your frogs going after the fish a bit more now that there are more of them in there. And just give the Corys a bit of time, they should calm down.> so...what's happening with these Corys?  Also - in order for them to school, am I obligated to get the same species of Cory or can I get three of a different species and still have a school of six? <They will probably school with other types, most of them will.> Also - what additional fish (colorful - as per the wife) would you recommend adding (down the road, of course) to this hopefully successful community tank? <Some options would be: Platies (these are livebearers so get 2 males unless you want tons of babies that will get eaten by the other fish and frogs), some of the less aggressive Barbs. I like the Cherry Barbs and the Rosy Barbs although the Cherries turn more brown as they get older where the Rosie's turn a gorgeous red and green, or some of the other Tetra species like the Cardinals (basically larger versions of the Neons), head & tail lights, Penguins (these can be a bit ornery but not too bad), etc. Stay away from any fish that gets more than about 2-3 long because your Neons will become food for them. A great place to look at pictures of different fish species is at http://www.wetwebmedia.com  in the photos section and also http://www.fishbase.org > Thanks in advance for your help CJ <You're welcome! Ronni>

Panda Corys Hi. Are panda Corys compatible with other Corys species? I have read they are sociable and like to be in a group. I have one remaining panda having 6 that died. I want the panda to have company but I do not like the fish store where I got the pandas from and can't find pandas where I want to purchase...so I'm looking at getting other Corydoras species. You think? Thanks Marty <Hey Marty, they will do fine together.  Corydoras are one of my favorite fish.  In my experience, I have noticed that although they do not bother each other, they do stick with their own.  My Albino Corys hang out with the other Albinos, and the Peppered Corys hang out with the other Peppered Corys.  What is interesting is the Albino Corys do not hang out with the Bronze Corys even though they are both Corydoras Aeneus, go figure.  One thing you may want to look into is why the other 6 died, that is not a good sign. Fishbase.org is great for information regarding water parameters and what not, the link below is a fun Cory site. -Gage http://www.nettaigyo.com/corydoras/encyc/index-e.html >

Panda Corys Thank you so much Gage. I will check out the info you sent me. The fish store where I bought the pandas is not someplace I want to frequent any longer. Their Corys had no barbels to speak of, and the Corys were very little. I watched the guy catch them and it looked like a slaughter rather than a netting. Marty <Good plan, no barbels is a very bad sign. -Gage>

Sick Corydoras Catfish Hi, I have a question about what I think is a sick Corydoras cat fish. I have an eclipse six Marineland aquarium, started it in Oct. 2002. Right now I have 2 white clouds, 2 harlequin Rasboras, and 1 Cory cat. <Corydoras catfish should be kept in groups, and not in tanks this small. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/callichthyids.htm> Everyone was doing great since Nov., but these past two weeks the Cory cat has been swimming erratically, gulping water at the top once a day or so. <His going to the surface to gulp air is normal for Corydoras species. If you have been at home more often than usual lately -- say, due to the winter holidays and time off from work/school -- could it be that you are simply watching the tank more often and thus noticing this behavior that was present all along?> He was fine before, eating every day, and almost never went to top to gulp for air, and would move about bottom. Now he doesn't eat, and he hides out in corner of tank, Very still, alive, but still. <What are you feeding him? These fish need meaty foods twice a day.> I had gotten some plants in from a place called aquabotics.com- <I'm not finding this e-tailer...> and they didn't really last the week- 1 java fern, 1 African bulb lace, and a Boca Carolina plant. I had purchased a live driftwood centerpiece the week before, and no problem. <I am guessing that by "live driftwood" you mean a piece of driftwood covered with plants? Did your Corydoras start acting oddly before or after you added this driftwood?> Only the Cory cat isn't doing well- After a weekly water change I got rid of all plants, and the water is totally clear. I had been using a product called Algone, which takes care of excess nitrite/nitrate and keeps water clean. They have a webpage and a few people I know use the stuff- just put packet in filter. I had some high nitrite/nitrate and used it, from decaying plants, and the tank was clean in a week. <When did you start using the Algone, compared to when the Corydoras started going downhill?> I haven't had any trouble with water in past 2-3 weeks: I have no ammonia readings, 0 on nitrate and nitrite readings. Ph is between 6.8-7.2 but Jersey water is hard. I had readings of 20 or 25 on KH and about 15 on GH. I bought an AquaPharm. tap water system, and now the KH is 11 and GH about 9. Water looks a lot clearer too. <Good> Like I said the other fish are great- but Cory, not so good. I don't know what else to test for. <Check the pH of the water coming out of the tap water purifier.> Is there any chance that the plants somehow affected the cat. <Perhaps not the plants themselves, but something carried in with the plants or driftwood.> Any other tests you can think of- he looks fine, no color change, or Ick or anything I can see. Just sits still and won't eat. I'm worried about him but don't know what else to do. <I would suggest weekly water changes (perhaps a half gallon or a gallon) to keep the water quality high.> thanks a lot Rosa Haritos PS- if he gets over this and is better, do you think it would help to get another Cory to keep him company? the clouds and Rasboras get along great- Or would 6 fish be too much for a 6 gallon tank? <Six fish would be too many for this tank. --Ananda >

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>  

Are my Corys stressed? Hi there, I'm new to tropical fish having had a cold water system for a few years. I have a small setup of about 8 (UK) gallons - yes I know it's odd! I'm currently cycling my system with 4 Trilineatus Corys. I've had them for a week now but I'm really worried that they're not happy. They don't stay at the bottom of the tank; they swim in the middle and up and down the sides of the tank and only go to the bottom when they're hungry. Now I've noticed that their gills are going pink. I've done ammonia tests and the levels are 0. What am I doing wrong? I don't want to lose them -they're too cute! Can you help please? Thanks, Sau <Hi Sau, Yes, if you are cycling your tank it is producing Ammonia and then nitrites, both of which are deadly to fish. Cycling means that the nitrogen cycle is establishing itself and producing these wastes.  You should be testing for ammonia/nitrites and the final product nitrates.  Please read more about the nitrogen cycle at WetWebMedia.com and perform regular water changes to relieve your fish from these wastes.  This should help, Craig>
Re: are my Corys stressed?
Hi Craig, Thanks for the advice, I'll get reading. Since last emailing, I've tested for ammonia, nitrite and Ph. Ammonia is 0 and Nitrite 0.1 and Ph is 8.6. Could the alkaline water be bothering them? Their gills are still pink. <These fish are sensitive to hard water. This may be your problem.> I also wonder why they are so jumpy. They flinch and hide every time I lift the hatch to feed them and swim up and down the front of the tank constantly. Do you think they're scared at the moment because there are not many fish in the tank? <No, I suspect nitrites, ammonia if there is nitrite, and also hard water indicated by 8.6pH. I was going to buy two more Corys this weekend so they had a bigger family to shoal with and perhaps not be so scared. Do you think this is a good idea? Thanks for helping, Sau <After addressing the current situation, yes, but I wouldn't until then. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/callichthyids.htm There is lots of info you need there, especially health, source and water issues.  Craig>

Re: are my Corys stressed?
Hi there, I'm new to tropical fish having had a cold water system for a few years. I have a small setup of about 8 (UK) gallons - yes I know it's odd! I'm currently cycling my system with 4 Trilineatus Corys. I've had them for a week now but I'm really worried that they're not happy. They don't stay at the bottom of the tank; they swim in the middle and up and down the sides of the tank and only go to the bottom when they're hungry. Now I've noticed that their gills are going pink. I've done ammonia tests and the levels are 0. What am I doing wrong? I don't want to lose them -they're too cute! Can you help please? Thanks, Sau <Hi Sau, Yes, if you are cycling your tank it is producing Ammonia and then nitrites, both of which are deadly to fish. Cycling means that the nitrogen cycle is establishing itself and producing these wastes.  You should be testing for ammonia/nitrites and the final product nitrates.  Please read more about the nitrogen cycle at WetWebMedia.com and perform regular water changes to relieve your fish from these wastes.  This should help, Craig>

Tiger barbs gorging on Adolfi/duplicarius Corys food My barbs are gorging themselves on the sinking pellets I drop in the tank for my Cory cats. They will push the Corys out of the way and break the pellets into chunks. The tiger barbs will swim around with a big chunk until it can choke it down! I am worried that the tigers will hurt themselves as they are bulging and don't seem to be able to stop eating.  How can I make sure the Corys get some food? Are they nocturnal feeders? How often do I feed them? <I would try distracting the barbs by feeding then on the other side of the tank, then sneak some pellets to the Corys.  You could also try a different type of food for them, but I doubt it would slow the barbs down, I use the Hikari Shrimp wafers and everyone in the tank goes after these as well.  If the Corys get hungry enough they will eat, they are pretty well armored.  They love blood worms in their diet as well, good luck sneaking those past the barbs.> I may have gotten two C. duplicarius with my recent purchase of three Adolfo's Corys. They pretty much look like the two side by side in the enclosed photo.  C. duplicarius has a broader dorsal stripe and a fuller, rounder head.  My two have paired off leaving the "real Adolfi" on his own. I wonder if I got taken or if the store is just ignorant. I hope that the two are close enough in price and attributes. In my research the consensus seems to be that there is not much difference.  One article even suggests that they are more attractive. <depending on your tank size, I would add more of both, they like large groups.  Best Regards, Gage> Thank you Stephen

Doomed Corydoras Hi WWM crew . . . haven't emailed you in a while (thankfully). My main problem is, that no matter how hard I try, my Cory cats never seem to prosper. It's so frustrating since Corys are my favorite fish. <Mine too>  No matter what conditions I keep them in, they eventually die, lose their barbels, or remain stunted (never mature from 1 inch juveniles). I have acquired some beautiful harder-to-get species, such as similis "violet", xinguiensis, caudimaculatus, and trilineateus. I used to have six xinguensis (now five? or four?), and have two similis, caudimaculatus, and Trilineatus each. I assume that it is not for lack of company that they are dying. They seemed to lose their barbels on a Fluorite substrate, so I switched them to a bare-bottom tank. The current tank: 10 gallons, sponge-filtered, a few plastic plants, one female Betta, rather warm (80-82 degrees). Every so often one of them, such as the xingus, will die suddenly. I can transfer them to a currently empty 75 gallon tank . . . I just really really wish to breed them, see them grow up and prosper . . . and live. My problems that I can see is the warm water temp . . . the infrequent feeding . . . and the rather dirty tank bottom. Thanks for your time and info! <Arghhh, your breaking my heart. I love the little guys, their selfless devotion to cleaning your gravel, the way they wink at you when you stare at them long enough, ok I'm done. For starters, what are your water parameters? If you are serious about breeding them you will need to set up a tank for them, and them only. Like you said "warm water temp . . . the infrequent feeding . . . and the rather dirty tank bottom" this will cause problems. 82 is a little high, you will need to vary the temp depending upon the type of Cory, but high 70's is a good starting point. These guys love live worms, I feed mine shrimp/algae wafers and left over frozen food, but I am not trying to breed them. 10gal is a little small, a 20gal long is a good start. With good water quality and good food you should be ok. You might try starting with a more common Cory instead of shelling out the cash for the rare ones. Use the Google search tool on our site and Google.com to find more information on Cory care and breeding. Good luck, Gage>
Re: the doomed Corydoras ...
Thanks for the speedy reply! I have a few more questions to clarify, sorry. Will Corys be happy with members of other species? Should I get more of each species? As I said, I have several pairs of different species in my tank. This is because I bought them at a local aquarium society auction. This is great as there are many dedicated Cory breeders who can provide us with many healthy, rarer, and more-or-less cheap (about $3 each) specimens. The 10 gallon was intended to be a quarantine tank, but I don't want to move them to the 75 gallon, as they look so small and delicate. Perhaps I should add a small bio-wheel power filter? (I've got an extra one lying around) My water parameters are: nitrites - 20, and pH 7.8 (with "Amazon" buffer), KH 3, dh 2. My tap water is supposedly very soft, with no fluoride and hardly any (if at all) chlorine/chloramines. One of the perks of living in Hawaii! Of course the water is too warm  <If I recall you mentioned your water was around 82, this is not terrible, but I would not go much higher> . . . Well I will do more water changes, feed them twice a day,  <They love worms!>  add a fan . . . and hopefully see them grow to 2 and 3 inch maturity.  Thanks for your help . . . Trisha. <Hey Trisha, great idea with the QT tank, it's the only way to go. I would however add the filter (the more the merrier), and keep up on water changes. Nitrates are really high, they should be around 0 I am guessing that ammonia is high too. How long has the QT tank been set up? Sounds like it is rather new. I would still be sure to use some sort of water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines, your Amazon buffer may do this, I am not sure. What other fish do you have in the 75gal? These fish are pretty tough for their size. Corys will get along with other species of Corys, but would be happier with more of the same. In the wild they like to hang out in shoals of about 50, not always easy to recreate in the home aquarium. Gage>

Corydoras Correction on the FW Web Site I will pass along your link request and ID correction. Thanks, Steven Pro Hello Steve, I was just checking out the WWM web site, very nice. I would definitely like to link with the site. Let me know if that would be possible or how to go about it. Also, some helpful input, I noticed on the page below: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/callichthyids.htm that the Corydoras catfish captioned "Corydoras barbatus" at the top of the page isn't correct. It appears to be a Corydoras semiaquilus, nowhere near a C. barbatus. Hope that helps a bit, Thanks, Eric <Thank you for this. Will check, re-label tomorrow. Bob Fenner>

Re: Freshwater planted setup Howdy once again, In regards to the sump for the 55 gallon live plant fish tank. I would appreciate your comments on the sump design (drawing attached). I'm kind of new at this fish stuff but have been doing a lot of research for the last six months and want my system set up right the first time. Thanks for your previous input and thanks for your input on this aspect in advance. <missed the attachment, bud> As to your first response on adding more Corydoras cats-Should I add more Panda Cory's or can I add the same amount of another Cory species (from what I read their all compatible, given water parameters are within reason). <I'm inclined towards shoals of the same species and the panda specifically for warmer waters if you need that. Anthony>

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

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