Preparing for Corys, have some questions
A fish store near me has recently started carrying what they call Julii corys. I've completely fallen in love with them and want to add them to my tank! However, based on what I remember about the fish at the store, I think the so-called "juliis" actually looked like C. trilineatus (now that I'm seeing pics online). Either way, I'm bound and determined to add a cute little shoal of these guys to my tank.
Here's what I've come to understand about them: I should get at least 4, though 6+ is better. They don't like bright light so they need lots of places to hide. They need a varied diet of wafers, pellets, bloodworms, etc. They prefer soft substrate, can't tolerate any changes in water parameters, and no salt should be used in the tank.
My tank is a 20 gallon high that's been running for three years with 5 harlequin rasboras and a male betta. (The betta has never picked on other fish before, but I'd of course keep a close on him. I'm prepared to move him to his own tank if needed.) Completely cycled. Substrate is fine sand. There's a mix of fake and live plants. No wood of any kind.
2. Without seeing them I would say that they are C. trilineatus as they are much more common. The Julii common name is used for both species. It is said that these two species can be caught in the wild schooling together. They both have the same care. They dont have any special care that is any different then the majority of the Cory species.
3. 20 high is a large enough space for a school of 5 to 8 medium sized Cory. I have kept a breeding school of 7 C. paleatus in a 20H with no issues.
4. The solution is dilution. The concentration of the salt is unknown so its hard to say the exact amount of changes required. I would do 2 or 3 80% water changes.
5. I would target temperatures in the range of 74 degrees F. I prefer sinking micro pellets over the larger pellets that are commonly used (1/2 inch long tubular or flat circular pellets). The more aggressive feeders get the majority of the food from the sinking pellets. The micro pellets when spread out in the tank you give an opportunity for the more shy feeder (some Cories withing the school will be more shy then others/less aggressive feeders). The micro pellets are mouthful size for Cories. Sand is the only substrate that I suggest.
Corys are carnivorous, feeding on worms and inverts that live in the substrate, so feeding veggies and veggie wafers is unnecessary. Lots of people keep Corys in tanks that small, however I will not - you are right to be concerned about the amount of bottom space, in my opinion. In my experience, they are rather inactive in small tanks. But like I said, many people do it - it's up to you to decide how much space you want them to have. Depending on how much salt is in the water, you could do a large water change and get most of it out all at once. If you have more than just a small amount, you can do a few medium ones - like was said, dilution is the solution.
I had 3 peppered corys do very well in a 10g tank for several months. The only reason I moved them is because I opened up more space with a new tank. I also have the julii. They are very nice fish and you could put 3-4 in the 20. More space and a bigger shoal are always better, of course. I don't think you'd be doing a shoal of 3-4 in a 20g any disservice as long as you provided the needed care and parameters. I feed my corys the mini pellets of all purpose food. They get all the vegetable matter they need from a well balance pellet. Just my thoughts and experience. Good luck.
First off, watertiger21, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D
On to your questions, I can't add much to what Toth and others have written...so I will only mention our fish profiles, second heading from the left in the blue bar at the top. If the name used in the profile is typed exactly the same in posts it will shade and form a link to that profile, example Corydoras trilineatus. You will find info on the species and its care in the profile. It also briefly explains the confusion over the name of this species and Corydoras julii.
Thanks for your advice everyone! I can't wait to finally get some of the little guys. I'm taking what everyone has said into consideration, and I believe more space is always is better. I'm going to start planning an upgrade to a bigger tank so that all fish will be happy!
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