2 pygmy cories died this morning - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-23-2009, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
MikeyG's Avatar
2 pygmy cories died this morning

Now I'm down to 3 (you called it Byron)

Anyway, the water chemistry I can test with my API kit is OK except the pH...it's 7.6-7.8. The tank is a bit warm too, 79.1 degrees this morning, no heater (I live in San Antonio, TX). It occured to me that maybe my water is too hard for the little guys. I'm kind of broke after spending all this money on fish stuff, so I looked up the water info for San Antonio online:

Constituent Concentration Range/Avg. Concentration
Aluminum (ppm) 0 – 0.0770/.003
Bicarbonate (ppm) 159 - 278/218
Calcium (ppm) 42.5 – 101/76.6
Chloride (ppm) 11 - 23/15
Copper (ppm) 0.001 - 0.037/0.01
Iron (ppm) 0 – 0.1390/.009
Magnesium (ppm) 12.1 – 26.7/16.5
Manganese (ppm) 0 – 0.00370/.0003
Nickel (ppm) 0.002 – 0.0040/.002
pH 7.3 – 8.1/7.7
Sodium (ppm) 8 - 20/11
Sulfate (ppm) 14 – 52 23
Total Alkalinity as Calcium Carbonate (ppm) 159 – 278/218
Total Dissolved Solids (ppm) 223 – 574/309
Total Hardness as Calcium Carbonate (ppm) 183 – 275/229
Total Hardness as Calcium/Milligram (ppm) 180 - 310/250
Zinc (ppm) 0 – 0.141/0.019

So my question is this...are there any fish out there that can handle 78+ degrees, pH>7.4, and the water chemistry above that can live in a small tank? Or should I just put all my stuff out by the dumpster for the sake of fish everywhere?

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-23-2009, 09:02 AM
JohnnyD44's Avatar
i'm not sure about the chemistry of your water...but I keep my tank at 78 degrees and my ph is right around 7.6....all my fish are happy and healthy little buggers!
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-23-2009, 12:08 PM
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Agree, there are many fish that would thrive in your water. Plan what you want, run suggestions past the members here, many I'm sure will offer advice.

For the benefit of anyone considering corydoras, my best advice (as someone who has kept many species for more than 12 years and had losses too) is to wait until the aquarium is biologically established. This means at least three months after setup, with other fsh in it that are healthy. I have never lost corys when introducing them to such established tanks, but in fairly new setups I have had many losses. Corys do not travel well; they easily succumb to ammonia and nitrite poisioning in shipping bags if they are shipped more than a few to a bag (talking larger species here). And any fluctuation in water quality or parameters in an aquarium can be detrimental. Some are tougher than others in this respect; the dwarf species are particularly sensitive.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Byron - Thanks for all the sage advice.

I have done some research, and it just so happens there is a dealer here in town that specializes in fish from Lake Tanganyika, which has water so hard you have to drink it with a pickaxe. I suspect that cories, and the pygmies in particular don't like the hard water I have here.

Neolamprologus multifasciatus seem to be hands down the reccomended beginner fish for small tanks, so I'm going to try 3 of those.

I have not given up on cories though...if I can find a species that can live (not just survive) in harder water and is under 2.5", I will get another tank started just for them.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-24-2009, 10:11 AM
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I am sorry about your Corys.

Kindest Regards,

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

I have a 55 gallon, 40 gallon, 29 gallon, 20 gallon tank, 5 gallon , and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.
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