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Cory behaviour and colour change

This is a discussion on Cory behaviour and colour change within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hi Byron, I'm really angry now at my local fish store and also angry at myself for listening to them again. They told me ...

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Cory behaviour and colour change
Old 02-21-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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Hi Byron,

I'm really angry now at my local fish store and also angry at myself for listening to them again.
They told me to add the salt because the Molly's like it and also told me 'it won't hurt' to add a bit of salt because it provides an environment which is a bit harder for bacteria to live in.

So in terms of immediate action i'm going to do the following:-

1. put the cory back in my main tank
2. later this evening when I get home from work (in approximately 8 1/2 hours) I will then perform a large water change to remove a heap of the salt out of the water.
3. no matter what happens, next week once the water settles a bit after the large water change, i'll go and purchase another few corys.

Would it be a good idea to maybe put the cory in a small hospital tank (with 9 litres of water) that's got 100% fresh (tap) water for those few hours before I get home and can perform the large water change? My other half is at home and she could do that?

I've got come stress coat which i use as the water ager.

p.s. - how come this is only affecting one of my fish and not both of them?

Thanks Byron
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
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If one fish already had a weak system he would be less capable to handle other variables, such as salt.

Many fish store suggests salt and it is sort of an archaic practice. Not only is it very harmful for freshwater catfish species among others, but it also allow strains of super ich to develop.

Mollies are better with different water parameters than some of the soft water fish. They do have special requirements and the person at your pet store wasn't completely wrong. You can learn more about Molly care here

I am glad the forum helped you out! Best of luck with your cories!


Last edited by fashionfobie; 02-21-2013 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #13
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Ok everyone - here's the latest on Ferb my little sick Cory

He's been taken out of the hospital tank that had the medication in.

He's in a small hospital tank now with 8 litres of water. 5 Litres fresh water (with stress coat as the water ager) and 2 litres from the tank so there was some familiar territory so it does mean there's a little diluted salt in there but nothing else added.

His colour had all but returned to normal and my partner Sarah did say that he was a little difficult to catch as he was trying to evade the net however was docile prior to the net going in.

He was obviously quite stressed when he was moved (as one can expect) and Sarah observed that he was lying on his side at the bottom of the hospital tank.

He's now got 8 hours on his own until I get home and when I get there, i'll be sorting out a large water change and then i'll put ferb back in the main tank and hope he survives.

If anyone has any good or counter advice in the meantime please let me know.

Thank you all for your help!

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Sounding good so far. But I would leave the cory in the "hospital" now that he's there. Each move is more stress. Clean water, quiet and dim light (= no tank light). Wait and see; sometimes they rebound, sometimes not, and we are still not certain as to the initial issue. As someone said, an already stressed or injured cory is not going to be able to cope as well with more stress (like salt).

Now that the main issue is taken care of, so to speak, I will digress a moment on one of my pet peeves. And that is compatibility. Many fish stores and thus many aquarists believe that any freshwater fish can go into a tank with almost any other, and further than some adjustment for one fish is not going to bother the others. Not so. Each fish species has evolved to suit a very specific environment--by which I mean water parameters, water flow, and objects in the habitat like wood, rocks, sand, plants. The fish's physiology is designed to operate best in this environment, and no other. So-called "adaptability" to something else in the space of hours or even months is for me largely a myth. If a fish species has taken thousands of years to adapt to its current environment, it is not going to be able to change to another that quickly.

True compatibility must take into account the water parameters of GH, pH and temperature; the water flow from the filter; the substrate in some cases; and the sort of "decor" in the tank. The closer we replicate the primary elements of their environment, the healthier will be the fish. Then we have to consider behaviour, which is what many think is the only criteria, and another topic entirely.

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #15
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Thank you Byron,

I'll just ask a quick question in which i'm just after a brief answer (as i'll probably start another thread or look for a better thread one before I do so) but is my community quite well suited?

If there's an 'odd one out' with my Tetras (they are White Skirt Tetras / Rainbow Tetras), my Angels (Koi and Marble), my Molly's and my Cory's, which one would it be?

Thanks very much for all the advice Byron!

I have a friend returning to Canada soon - I might need to arrange to send a little thank you gift for all the advice!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by beano129 View Post
Thank you Byron,

I'll just ask a quick question in which i'm just after a brief answer (as i'll probably start another thread or look for a better thread one before I do so) but is my community quite well suited?

If there's an 'odd one out' with my Tetras (they are White Skirt Tetras / Rainbow Tetras), my Angels (Koi and Marble), my Molly's and my Cory's, which one would it be?

Thanks very much for all the advice Byron!

I have a friend returning to Canada soon - I might need to arrange to send a little thank you gift for all the advice!
You're not going to like me after all this, but... it is in the best interests of fish.

Your 153 liter is about 40 gallons [I still think better in Imperial]. Angelfish are shoaling fish that live in groups, and 4-5 would be preferred, but in a 4-foot tank. However, what's done is done, so one has to make the best of it. Males can be nasty--if you have two males, one will most likely be harassed to dead fairly soon once they mature a bit. Two females can get along, or a pair. In a 40g I would leave this as is, unless trouble develops.

All tetra are shoaling and really must have a group of their own species. For most we recommend six, but more (where space allows) is always much better. A scientific study last year, the first on this issue, proven conclusively that shoaling fish in groups under five will show increased aggression. It is believed to be the fish's only way to lash out over its frustration.

Aside from this, some species are known to fin nip, and the Black Widow Tetra [another common name, and the white skirt is just a colour variety of the same species] is prone to this esp when temptation like angelfish are present. Keep a close eye on behaviours.

If the Rainbow is Nematobrycon lacortei, this could be more trouble. For years I tried to get this fish, then finally did two years ago. I ended up moving it through three different (and large) tanks, then I gave them away. Nothing would live with them, the males were simply nasty. In every tank, within weeks the other fish would be continually huddled at one end with the 3 or 4 male N. lacortei patrolling the rest of the tank.

Molly are livebearers, but your water seems to be moderately hard and basic pH so that is fine. "Balloon" varieties are deliberately malformed and many of us do not support this practice, which is cruel to the fish as it will develop internal problems and does not live normally. Give them the best life you can until they die, but don't buy more as that only encourages these breeders to continue such practices.

We have fish profiles, and if the name is the same in a post it will shade and you can click that for the profile.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #17
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Thank you Byron,
You know I really do appreciate your feedback and the reason I became a part of this forum is because I want to provide the best possible environment for my fish. I love having them and I just want to have a nice environment for them to live where I can just watch them on a daily basis and change water once a week.

My problem is that as much choice as their is - i like to narrow down my variables and then act accordingly.

So, I have always said that I have a 40 gal / 3 foot tank that sadly i cannot upgrade at this time. I may be able to if I move in the next 3 years but currently that's my max.

I would like a tropical freshwater, planted tank that I can also add a couple of rocks to plus some bits of driftwood and then i'd like to stock 2-4 varieties of fish that can live as harmoniously as possible and survive for life within that tank.

So what fish options do i have?

I asked this question in my fish shop and ended up with the fish that I mentioned above and sadly I'm learning that they are not well suited together.

My Tetras do look more like the Black Widow Tetra thought - just coloured versions (I won't buy then again because of the breeder practises)

I've actually lost 2 of the tetras along the way - initially had 6 but two died last year and again I've got no idea why... the rest of the fish in the tank seem fine!

Would the Angel live with the Molly's and the Cory's quite well? And if they do, would my tank support some more angels and cory's to encourage them to shawl?

Thanks Byron

(P.s. - having looked at your tank profiles and from your advice earlier you've just opened me up to trying to design a natural habitat for the fish that I look to keep!! Light bulb moment!!)
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:10 AM   #18
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Ok so update, my cory has died during the day

Less than 24 hours after noticing a problem with him, he has passed.

The rest of the fleet in my tank still look great and the other cory seems still to be unaffected.

So later this evening I will perform a big change to get the salt out of the water
Tomorrow I will go to my aquarium shop to get 2 or 3 more Corys and then another couple of tetras.

So by tomorrow night in my 40 gal tank I should have

3-4 Corys
6 black widow tetras
1 koi angel
1 Marbel angel
2 Molly's

Will they all be ok for a a year or so in a 40 gal tank?

If that's too much then I might just get 2 more Corys so at least they can be a bit happier.

I might try to commit to moving in September into a bigger place and then buy a new tank.

Loo and this is my tank currently

Thanks all
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #19
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I like that aquarium, that is a very good foundation (aside from the fish) on which to build a beautiful natural planted tank.

As suggested previously, I would leave the two angels. If you read the profile, it mentions never adding to an existing group. Aside from the fact that there is no space (given the angelfish's expected growth) I would not cause more trouble. If and when a larger tank is acquired, then you can consider increasing the shoal.

I would remove the "skirts," if the store or another aquarist will take them. I feel that down the road they are going to be trouble. While there is space for more, this is only increasing the likelihood of nipping the angels, and that should be avoided as the angels will get stressed, sick and possibly die.

Increase the corys. [BTW, I fully expected the sick cory to die; I have never known one to recover when displaying such symptoms. If one can exactly pinpoint the problem and treat for it, fine, but with internal issues there is seldom any possible treatment.] They are fine with angelfish, molly, almost anything. A group of five minimum if one species; if you want more than one species, you can have 3 of each species. You have space here for 12 or so corys, so look at species and decide. And you don't need to get only what the stores have now; many corys are wild caught and thus available "in season," according to normal collections in their specific habitats. Plan ahead.

If you can get rid of the skirts, there are many possible options for colourful shoaling fish among the tetra and rasbora groups that will work with angelfish (and corys obviously). The Harlequin Rasbora is one of the best of the cyprinids (rasbora are cyprinids), check the profile. Among tetra, some options for angelfish are Flame Tetra, Lemon Tetra, Rosy Tetra, Roberts Tetra. If you get any of these, get a group of 8-10 of the species. There are others, but these come to mind now. Check their profiles. And check the water parameters, I've forgotten what you're dealing with so keep that in mind when checking fish species.

Now to the plants. Do you have a light for this tank? If yes, give us the specifics and I will comment. As for other plants, pygmy chain sword or chain sword would be ideal for a nice substrate plant. I like these, and have them in most of my tanks.

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Last edited by Byron; 02-22-2013 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:10 PM   #20
Slight difference of thought then Byron in regarding cories. I dont think most species of cories will do well with just 3. My personal experience and I've come across other fishkeepers as well where our cories would not shoal with different species. I would suggest getting 5 of each species and you could do 3 species with 5 each or 2 species and up to 7 of each. The larger numbers seem to encourage cross species shoaling.
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